1. "How would you like a gym membership on your next birthday?"
No, she will not believe that you are offering it simply because you think she might enjoy working out.
In reply to "What's the matter?" or "What are you thinking?". Even if it IS nothing, she won't believe you, so you're better off with "Tired" or "About the match" - lame, but she'll believe it. After all, women do think all the time, and something or the other is always the matter with them, so they assume it is so with men too.
3. "Let's go for a cricket match - more fun than a dinner date, na?"
While the first half is acceptable, the second half will almost always land you in deep shit.
4. "No offence, but your best friend is insufferable."
Uh oh. Thou shalt not underestimate the power of thy girlfriend's best friend. The best friend will be told about what you said, make no mistake, and will initiate a break-up.
5. "No, I don't obsessively collect our photographs. In fact... hmm... *with amusement* I can't recall where the last bunch is, yaar!"
Nostalgia and mushiness usually form the core of any woman's personality. Stay noncommital here.
What not to say to a man (Here, I don't think it matters what gender you are. These are things that are just not to be said.):
1. "You're not as cool as you think."
The person to whom this is said will either ignore it, or sever relations with you. But whatever the case, he will never believe you.
2. "Sports aren't really as great as they're made out to be."
This might just be acceptable if you're Angelina Jolie, but otherwise, it's a no-no.
3. "You're scared of bikes/dogs/swimming/horses?? HA HA HA!"
A certain large -but fragile- something called the "male ego" is broken here.
4. "Ask for directions, na!"
No. The First Principle of Manhood, all the world over, is, "Never ask for directions. We can find our way, even if it means getting lost thrice and wasting a gallon of fuel."
5. "You don't have a chance with her."
Will be met with disbelief, in every single case, so quite pointless.
[The above points were based on observation of my friends of both genders. So maybe I know only a few nutty teenagers who are hell-bent on growing up too fast. But as a general rule, it is true that even the most smart, pretty and funny woman won't believe you when you say she is all those things; and even the most idiotic, halfwitted, and boring male won't believe you when you say that he is indeed, an ass.]
What not to say to a teenager (For adults):
1. "Don't you have to study?"
The 'S' word is a no-no.
2. "You're a child. You won't understand."
Note: The teenage ego is almost as touchy as the male ego. You do not say such things. Because, frankly, you have no idea of the number, and the monstrosity, of the things a teenager can do to prove he/she is an adult.
3. "What are your plans?"
This is okay if you want to know where he/she is going today and tomorrow, but for a time period longer than that, no way!
4. "What were you talking about?"
With reference to the 1-hour conversation he/she just had with his/her best friend. Trust me, you don't want to know.
5. "You really like this music?!"
Okay if asked in an appreciative, or at least, curious tone. Not okay if asked with wide eyes, a disbelieving tone, and a "God-yeh-kya-bakwaas-hai" look.
6. "Your uncle's wife's sister's son's wife's brother is getting married tomorrow, you have to come. Agar nahi aaye toh bahut bura lagega, beta!"
He/she is never going to buy that.
7. "You met your friends just yesterday! Why do you have to meet them again?"
This will induce instant dislike.
8. "Blue hair? I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!"
While surprise, shock and disbelief will be met with equanimity - since they're all expected - a sentence like "I will not let that happen" will have the worst possible effects. She will do a combination of blue and green, just to show you where you stand.
9. "You should socialise more."
While "socialise" with reference to friends will be a welcome suggestion, most people usually mean with relatives. All you will get is, "God, I tolerate them for 5 hours sometimes, at a stretch. Instead of applauding me for my bravery, you want MORE?!"
10. "How can you be bored so often? There are so many things to do!"
No, there are not. At least, what qualifies as "things to do" in your language does not even form the periphery of an average teenager's life and routine, and he likes it that way.
[I realise that I've just painted a picture of myself that is very Hrithik-Roshan-in-first-half-of-Lakshya. Not true. I am, in fact, one of the most patient and hard-working people of my age, whose tolerance level for pages and pages of shitty Economics deserves a mention somewhere. Ditto my dislike for long conversations and obsessive "He/she likes me - likes me not - likes me - likes me not" stuff. *Thinks* That probably makes me abnormal. Sigh. Another cross to bear, but I can live with it. :p]
What not to say to a Bombaiyya (If you come from another part of India. I'm not counting Bombaiyyas themselves here, because they never will say such things in the first place anyway.):
1. "This city makes me sick."
Response will be, "You make me sick. Bye."
2. "I tried Vada pav / pav bhaji / pani puri / bhel / ragda pattice yesterday. It's okay, men."
No, men, saying nothing is preferable to saying "It's okay." We live for our stomachs, and food lies at the core of Bombay, just like pandus at a signal and Gujju rummy-players in a 1st class compartment. Anything that falls short of "Wow!" when you first taste Bombaiyya food, is unacceptable.
3. "Aap please bata sakte hai nau-adattis ki Churchgate ki gaadi humein kahan se leni chahiye? Humne suna hai khaali aati hai."
The person you are talking to, at the station, has: a. No time. b. No knowledge of the "hum" and "aap" variety of Hindi. c. No patience with people who speak like this. The question must be rephrased thus: "Bhaiyya, nine-thirty-eight ka Churchgate kidhar aayenga?" to which he will say "May-dom, kaiko time khoti karta hai. Indicator saamne hai," and walk off.
4. "Ha ha, what a weird dialect of Hindi you people speak."
Chances are, that is the only form of Hindi he knows.
5. "Tell me, why does your city vote for the Shiv Sena?"
Now this is perfectly correct and hence will touch a raw nerve. We don't know why we vote for the Sena. And we don't know why we don't know. But the last thing we want is to be questioned about our political blunders by "bleddy outsiders."
6. "I saw Shweta Kawatra in Lokhandwala yesterday, men!!!"
Ho hum. It's not news unless you spotted Hrithik Roshan, SRK, AB, Kareena and Aishwarya together in a car, and they waved at you.
7. In a whining voice: "Three people stamped on my toes in the train yesterday!"
No, we don't sympathise. That happens everyday. Learn to laugh.
8. "I want a 1 BHK furnished flat in Bandra. Rs. 5000 a month should be more than enough, right?"
Are you for real?
9. "I'm overworked. I have to work from 9 to 5 and 2 hours overtime!"
No, child, you are overworked only when you work from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
10. "Delhi is better than Bombay."
This is the ultimate blasphemy. If you said Bangalore, or Chennai, or Kolkata, or Pune, or Hyderabad, the more charitable souls will think you're an eccentric and nothing more. But mention Delhi, and you've had it. After a stunned silence of 5 seconds, where the listener will wrestle with his first instinct (i.e. strangling you), you'll get a few Bambaiyya gaalis - a healthy mix of Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati and English - followed by "Go back to where you came from, bleddy moron!"
[The above being gained by personal experience. Having grown up on vada pav, kanda-batata-kothmir instead of pyaaz-aloo-dhania, A-1 Pav Bhaji Stalls, Chinees Corners, Shezvan Noodle and Sendweech Stalls, I loathe category 10 like any Bombaiyya and almost fainted when a close friend told me that she would prefer Delhi to Bombay for university. While, in a kind-hearted moment, I forgave her; the memory still rankles and things can never be the same again.]
Afterthought - The length of my posts is getting to be horrible. A little longer, and this would have been as long as Chidambaram's speech on Budget Day. Next entry, I promise, will be as short as Uday Chopra.