Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do the needful

I work a lot with colleagues in Bangalore, and - as we have been heads down in the familiar drudgery of completing a project - one of them has taken to emailing asking me to "do the needful" if I need to contribute to crossing an oustanding action off our list.

I googled it.
"Do the needful" is a phrase which means "do that which is necessary", and carries the respectful implication that the other party is trusted to understand what needs doing without being given detailed instruction. It is commonly used in India and Pakistan and widely attributed as an Indianism.
How marvelous. I seem to get on very well with Indians for some reason.

I remembered when Bombay was attacked that I had learned of the 7/7 bombings in London when someone from Bangalore asked me if I was OK via Microsoft Messenger as I sat in SW19 unaware that anything was going on.

Many Indians acted with sublime courage during the terror. Michael Pollack has a harrowing but inspiring story to tell... more. There were many other heroes as well.

We are all New Yorkers now.
We are all Balinese now.
We are all Madridleanos now
We are all Londoners now.
We are all Mumbaikers now.
..... almost certainly to be continued.

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