is something I truly lack. My mom, on the other hand, has oodles of it. Whenever I try to tease some shop owner into giving me some discount or attempt to sweet talk to get my way with some teacher, I always get an angry expression as if I've really insulted that person. As opposed to that, when my mom uses that sweet lilting tone of hers and says playfully "Kya bhaiyya, hum kitni der ruke hain", the shopkeeper/waiter/any-person-at-receiving-end-of-charm will give a shy smile and say "Ha Madam, bas do minut." And it's really done in two minutes! I, apparently, have received none of the charm. I think instead I've inherited my Dad's sharp tongue and even while meaning to sound polite and teasing, I end up saying some crap which usually makes the person in front of me bristle with indignation and declare that they will never do my work!
I present some (purely hypothetical) situations to you:
Me: (using my sweetest smile and most charming tone) "Oh madam! Chalo now teach us aerobics! It's 7:22!!!"
Aerobics Teacher: "Let more girls come".
Me: "I'm here na! And this other girl too! How many more girls do you want!?? "
She: (bristling with anger, there we go) "I do NOT teach aerobics when there are only 2 students in class. I need at least 3 students to teach. You should be happy I haven't called off the class yet and I'm still waiting for more students to come. In other gyms where I teach, this rule applies. %^%&##$#^"
If another student hadn't turned up just then, I would have heard a full lecture on the International Laws of Aerobics. I mean sheesh, my charm just didn't work on her! I was just trying to be playful and friendly and instead this is what happens. I really don't know what I do wrong.
Thankfully, I do have some friends who understand my sense of humour and who haven't slapped me till date. One of my friends had a weird skin abnormality (dark patches) around her eyes and I said to her "Wow! You look just like Catwoman!" From the striken look on her face, I thought "Oh crap! I've done it again!" Mercifully, she didn't beat me up or throw me out of her house and she actually got rid of those marks!
In another instance, a friend had worn a brand new shirt which was white in color and had vertical thin black stripes. As soon as I saw him, I was going to blurt out "Which jail did you escape from?" but I just about managed to hold my tongue as I choked on my soup and got some time to think. Good thing I choked, this one has a really bad temper and the slap was sure to come.
So, my idea of humour is very twisted and not everybody gets it. It's under control now, thank God, but the whole playful-teasing-charsima thing is still not working. I'll never get my work done at this rate!