Colloquial language used by complainants stumped the district magistrate at his second janata durbar on Thursday.
DM N. Saravana Kumar, born and brought up in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, was left scratching his head trying to understand the meaning of “alien” words like aethi, agla saal, aego and maane ki (See graphic).
Kumar had to take help of junior officials to understand colloquial words and kept asking the complainants to be straightforward while sharing their problems.
A youth, facing problem in securing a character certificate for a railways job, said: “Sir, agla saat tarik ko application jama kiye hai (I submitted the application on the last 7th). I have not got the character certificate yet.”
Kumar replied: “Today is the 7th only. How can you get the character certificate so fast? You better wait for some time.”
The youth said: “Sir, agla saat bol rahe hai (Sir, I mean the last 7th).”
The DM said: “That is what I am telling you, today is the 7th. Why can’t you understand?”
Additional district magistrate-general Arvind Kumar Tiwari said: “Sir, he means the 7th of the last month, not today.”
Looking confused, the DM said: “What kind of a man are you? You are telling agla saat tarik, which means today. But you mean to say last 7th. Is this the way to narrate the problem? Why can’t you be clear? You are going to work in the railways?”
Asked about what languages he can speak, the DM said: “I can speak Tamil, Kannada, English and Hindi and can understand Maithali and Magahi.”