The rick guy asked me...
I was talking to the husband yesterday while getting work. I hang up and the rick guy pipes up:
A little annoyed I ask: "Kya?"
"Aapka boyfriend thha?"
"Nahi, aap bolo pehle. Kuchh aur mat sochiye."
"Achhaa, aapka bachcha thha?"
I am getting really annoyed now and ignore him.
"Nahi, main is liye poochha kyonki aap 'baby, baby' bol rahe thhe."
"Nahi, madam, all girls sitting in aato talking to boyfriend," he says thinking maybe my understanding of hindi is insufficient.
I say with a big thunder-cloud frown, "Toh?"
"Sab log boyfriend ko 'baby baby' bulata hai."
I smile and relax. And he takes that as a cue to continue.
"Ladki ko baby bulaya toh thheek hai. Par ladka ko kaise baby baby?"
He grins at me and I stupidly try to tell him it's a silly term of endearment, as if he doesn't know.
And as I pay and get off he says, "Boyfriend?" and I say, "Nahi, husband". Pat comes his sign-off line. "Achchha, toh phir baby hoenga to kya bulayengi?" By the time I give him some innane reply, he zooms off leaving a tobacco-stained grin in the air.