You do not take me for
A pucca Englishman,
Speaking Standard English,
Impeccable English,
Not even for an Anglo-Indian,
Not a gora sahib,
But a brown, very brown sahib,
An Hindustani man
As no Englishman am I
Nor a European too.

I am an Indian, an India man,
A Hindustani boy
Speaking in English,
Just trying to speak in
Haltingly, hesitantly
Not so fluent, proficient in,
Not even conversant with
The nuances and idiosyncrasies of it,
Never, never an Englishman,
But, but a Hindustani man,
Speaking, speaking Hindustani English.

My dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Take me not for an Englishman,
Even an Anglo-Indian
Nor for a convent-educated boy,
A Hindustani boy, boy am I
Never, never a convent boy,
But a rural boy
Learning by rote to speak in English,
Putting paan to my mouth
To speak in.

I thinking and thinking to speak,
Speak in English,
Framing sentences to express,
Sometimes fumbling and faltering badly,
Misspelling the words,
Beginning to stammer,
Sometimes failing to put it before,
What to say and how to
As words come not,
Sentences fail I to construct,
A bilingual, trilingual am I.

Goonda, chor, badmash
My words,
Ram Sing, come here,
Order I
Like a sahib calling
Call I
My waiter, orderly
In an English tone
To show that I know English,
That I a sahib of some sort
Speaking in English,
Ordering in the likewise manner.

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