Do not underestimate anyone...This real-life incident happened in the recent past in Chennai. My friend and I had been to a small supermarket and were discussing something about a particular brand of the suitcase that he wanted to buy. We were sure that we will not be able to get it at that place. My friend was about to go out of the shop. I suggested that we ask the person who looked a little educated as to where we could buy the branded suitcase. My friend immediately told me in English that he may not know anything and literally pushed me aside. Even when he was doing it, the young man turned towards me saying, "excuse me, Sir". He then went on to explain that in the next parallel lane, there was a new shop that sold the branded item in Tamil. He then told my friend that he knew English as well, and spoke about his background. He had just completed the M.Com degree through correspondence and was employed here to take care of his ailing mother. The owners of the shop were related to him and they were actually helping him to find a new job soon.
He rather curtly told my friend to not jump to conclusions after seeing anybody. Just because a person is not so well dressed does not mean that he or she does not know English. Both of us were stunned, and my friend immediately apologized to him.
I had always held that the dress worn by a person can be deceptive. In this case, we were caught on the wrong foot in a distant Chennai suburb.