Words have always fascinated me. Often I come across some phrase that catches my attention. Once intrigued by one; I am compelled to find out more about it.
'Welsh rarebit" was one of these. I came across it in a book and saw a rabbit in my mind’s eye.
Went searching and was amused by the fact that Wikipedia had this to say about it: “Welsh rarebit, Welsh rabbit, or infrequently rarebit, is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot on toast.
That’s English for you. Not even remotely having anything to do with a rabbit - as in animal. I guess it is all phonetically governed. That again is an irony because English is one of the phonetically most illogical languages. What you write is far from what you pronounce. That’s why 'C' is pronounced at times as 'K' and then also as 'Ch' or sometimes as 'S'; driving my Indian brethren mad while learning the language.
Another word that caught my eye was “pickle”; especially when I came across it on television.
The American characters in those programmes dig out of a bottle a "pickle" with fingers and pop into their mouth. The bottles show semi clear liquid - brine, of course - with green cucumber-like small things submerged in it.
Now for an Indian a pickle is a more often than not fiery, red or green and oily gravy-like stuff within which a wide variety of other stuff like diced raw mangoes, green chilies, lemons or even carrots are pickled. Of course there are parts of India where pickles are mild but none of them is something you reach for with fingers and pop into your mouth. If you do at all use a tip of a finger to taste; more often than not, your tongue is on fire. Then you either wash or carefully watch that tip because an innocent rubbing of an eye can make you experience the pickle magic in quite a painful manner.
Well, it takes all kinds to make this world! So let's enjoy this world - with rarebit, pickle and all!