The English word “mealy-mouthed” comes from the German Mehl im Maule behalten, “to carry meal in the mouth, that is, not to be direct in speech,” the dictionary says. Its opposite is “plain-spoken,” as in “Mr Lee Kuan Yew is as plain-spoken as Dr Singh is mealy-mouthed.” This is not an English lesson, however. It’s just that the word came to mind while reading this AFP report “Lee Kuan Yew urges Muslims to ‘be less strict’.”
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the illustrious exponent of Hindustani classical music of the Kirana gharana, passed away in Pune yesterday. The one and only time I had met Pt Bhimsen was in 1991 in Pune during the Sawai Gandharva music festival. As it happened, I was in Pune yesterday.