Mind Your Language

India is a land of varied diversity, be it in terms of culture, race, creed or even languages. What intrigues me the most is the fact that a country like ours can house an entire language family as compared to other bigger ones like China, U.S.A., Russia who are happy with their one and only language.

We have 100+ languages spoken in India (counting all the dialects and others). No, don't be very proud... remember how Mr. Thackeray drove away Biharis from Maharashtra. If we could have lived together happily ever after, then this would be a thing to be proud about. But enough lecture, I don't like people who preach and I certainly wouldn't want to become one. I just blame every single guy who came from outside the nation and tried to settle here. It is as if they thought "Chalo bas jaate hai aur bhaasha badal dete hai" ( Let us settle here and change the language spoken here ). Not the Europeans, we started entertaining guests way back with the stupid Aryans who came and drove the Dravidians down South. No wonder that was the start of the bitter feud between the Tamil and the Hindi speaking crowd.

Don't believe me? 

Try speaking some Hindi in Chennai, they leer at you as if you have defiled their sacred temple. Auto wallahs charge more if you speak in Hindi and some even ignore you as if you don't exist. Though I don't agree with this behavior, speaking Hindi is not easy too. Keep in mind you are speaking to a Bong whose only source of Hindi are the daily soaps on Colours, Zee and Star. At first it seems easy peasy, but soon you will get acquainted with that level where they teach you about genders. Unlike other languages, while learning Hindi it is important to learn the grammatical gender of non-living objects too. For instance car jaati hai, truck jaata hai.  Now being the male chauvinist guy (pig ?) I assumed that the bigger vehicles are male and smaller ones are female. But BOOM !! bus jaati hai... and with this the language flushed my sweet theorem down the drain.

When speaking of languages it is hard to leave out my pseudo home town - Hyderabad. It is not clear due to whose influence, but people here speak a different degraded Hindi. It is like they took Telugu , Hindi and Urdu - mixed them, mashed them and stuck them in a stew. Once I had called a Tata Docomo customer care employee for some information and the chap told me (in Telugu) "Tata Docomo ki Maa Randi" among other things. I burst out out laughing so hard that he had to hang up. I later found he was trying to convince me to "change" my network to Tata Docomo, instead of abusing his network provider . No Telugu salespeople are exempted from these mix-ups, even at exhibitions salesmen can be found shouting "Randi, Randi" outside their shops, angering the non-Telugu speaking aunties and teasing the perverts on the road. However, what they are actually trying to do is asking you to visit their shop, "Randi" in telugu means "come" and that too with respect.

And then there are Bongs... We simply like to put our names into every single leaderboard, be it good or bad reasons.

The rest of the world eats food, we eat food
The rest of the world drink water,  we eat water
The rest of the world smoke cigarettes, we eat cigarettes ...

In wikipedia, languages are defined as modes of communication... with these many Indian languages it is a miracle that we manage to not only communicate but stick together.


  1. Nyc work.....a tinge of humor makes it a fine read :)

  2. ROFL, Saumabha. Indian urban soundscapes are truly a lingophiles delight. Ask a man to speak in Hindi and chances are you can place him to 100 miles from his home-district. I struggled with trying to be linguistically correct as I moved from city to city, but gave up soon enough. The universal language of music, food, love, and hand gestures can transcend what no other languages can. Enjoyed reading. Keep at it, man.

  3. A FANTASTIC read so wonderfully written :).N yes,language does become a barrier not only in South,but also in places like NEstates,Kashmir,etc,but yet we have been able to stay together,inspite of being so very diversified in culture,food,dressing n ofcourse language.

    1. Yes that is what I admire the most in India. How we stick together and cheer for our country despite the differences. :)


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