Kannada barattaa?

In view of the coming Holiday... November the 1st. Kannada Rajyotsava ( do we really need this holiday?)
here it goes....

Tamil Nadu, the one place where every individual lands up building a vocabulary of at least a hundred words in Tamil ranging from the slang “po da” to the greeting more popular than good morning… “Saaptiaa?” Which means “had something to eat?” This is one place where the locals really love their language, culture and heritage and the thought of trying to learn a different language is the last thing on their mind.

I have a few friends who have been to Chennai and when I ask them how was their experience this is what they say: “These people don’t budge from speaking Tamil!”

On a wider angle, Delhiites don’t budge from Hindi: “Kyun, theek bola na?”, Bengalis from “tumi kemon achho?”, Keralites from “Yendada mone?” and Biharies from “Kaisan ho bituwa?”. Then there are Mumbaikars with a mixture of Hindi and Marathi, Hydrabadies with a mix of Urdu/Hindi and Telugu.

Any one who visits these places are bound to come back with a considerable vocabulary of the local language. The local language comes along with people like silver foil stuck on sweets (Sorry.. can’t help it… I just love food).

All this brings me to think about my land, and more specifically, my city, the garden city “Bangalore”. Every outside person who comes here does not face any language problem. They needn’t sweat it out to learn kannada or attend some rapid kannada speaking course. Given a span of three months a non kannadiga would learn a max of 30 words which include words like “Bartira?” (Will you come?), “Hogtira?” (Will you go?), “Yeshtu?” (How much?). All these words learnt widely because they can take you places, literally, if you want to use an auto to commute then you got to know these words and that’s where the need to know to speak kannada ends. The rest of the city just welcomes you with the language you know be it Hindi or Tamil.

I’ve been here in Bangalore all my life. I’ve seen this place change and more importantly I’ve seen the use of kannada fade away with time. This place has gotten more cosmopolitan with locals speaking in tongues of outsiders. It has reached such an extent that kannadigas themselves don’t know kannada properly.

Why is it so? Is it because people think it is not cool to speak in kannada? Or is it simply great hospitality of us kannadigas to make our guests feel really comfortable by speaking their tongue? I think it has got to do with a bit of both. If it were not for the dislike of the language the Kannada film industry would not try imposing all kind of bans on movies of other languages or Kannada activists would not go around spraying black paint on English boards. This dislike for the language gives us more scope to learn other languages and what we pick up is greatly influenced by our surrounding, like the way I picked up some Tamil from my neighbors. No offence to the North Indians but they have greatly poisoned us with Hindi. Almost every person who has a North Indian as a friend takes great pain to learn to speak Hindi than let the other person learn kannada. The other part, hospitality of us kannadigas… well we are world famous in India for this :), which means that we love to make our guests feel at home. And what best a way than to let them use their language and we sacrifice ours.

It sounds good that we are cosmopolitan and all that stuff but if you look closely you will see that all the metros, the places that have been important trade centers in India for decades now have not lost their language, culture and heritage. Delhi: people still speak Hindi all the time. Calcutta: Bengali reigns. Mumbai: Marathi never dies out and Chennai: come rain, come snow, come Tsunami… Tamil will always survive. Then why is it that Bangalore is in a hurry, a rat race to let away its culture and heritage? Is it good? India is known as “the land of many languages and cultures and rich in heritage”. But at the rate at which Bangalore is going India will have the original "many- 1" languages, the culture and heritage might just last a little longer.

As a helpless and lazy individual all I can do is pray that we do not let things fade away as rapidly and work towards growing our roots deeper and keep our language and culture strong. Let us not let people put so much silver foil on us that our actual colour and flavour is lost. And more importantly let us learn to be proud of being Kanadigas.

(By kannadigas I mean we the people of Karnataka and not just the Kannada speaking masses)

My new template

I was getting mixed comments for my previous template that i decided to change it to something mellow. But I think there will always be a difference in opinion when they come from people with different tastes. My sis finds this new template cold and dead. She says it is lifeless and she really liked my old template. What bout the others?

Friday the 13th

For a long time now people have believed this crazy superstition that Friday the 13th is a day when one can expect hell to make its presence felt to him/her. We just happened to get through one of these days… “October the 13th, 2006”.
I didn’t realize it until my friend pointed it out and then, from that very instant, I was on red alert taking care to see that I do not screw up any thing. The day went on with me on guard and nothing happened until about 5:00pm. I had totally forgotten about external factors that could make my day hell. I heard rumbling sounds coming from the roofing. Sounds like those of barrels being rolled on wooden flooring. I had no clue of what was going on. A loud thud broke my thought process of trying to figure out what could be the cause of the sound. It was crazy, a thud followed by the rumble again.
I sprang out of my seat like a jack in the box, looked around, found nothing different, and looked up just to notice that one of the roofing panels had broken open. Things were getting scarier now. What was it up there that was so menacing?? What was it that had enough brains to get roofing panels off their supports??
My first thought of answering that question went in the direction of tiny little evil creatures which have immense power, thanks to the novel “Darkness Comes” which I had read a few months back. It was a thought and it ended there, I don’t believe in black magic anyway. The rumbling continued, and this time it was even louder, loud enough to get some more jacks out of their box. We all wore a similar kind of expression, a distinctive scared and curious look.
It was time we needed a brave knight or a wise magician or just about anyone who could save our souls from what we were experiencing. At that time another thought struck me… it was happening… Friday the 13th in all its horror. Well, we finally got someone brave enough who took measured steps to get under the opening. He peered into the darkness of the opening while we were praying that horror movies do not turn to reality in a place when adventure happens on a regular basis anyway. He looked around for some more time; we looked at his reactions trying to judge what could be in, and then spoke. “There are monkeys up there!” he said. And we were like… “What!!!”. “Lots of them!!” he said and moved away. That word “monkeys” released all the air stuck up in our lungs and we eased out.
Yeiks!! Now this was turning interesting, monkeys doing monkey tricks in the roofing of the first floor of a four storied building. All I had on my mind was “How the hell did they get there???”
The rumbling got louder, faster. We got the hint that the monkeys were now restless and trying their best to break free.
We were asked to move out of our seats and go to some place safer. We chose to go near the pantry and be VIP observers as the house keeping guys came equipped with sticks. More and more panels started falling off, all in random places, the rumbling continued and we were enjoying seeing the house keeping guys try and get the monkeys out of there. All work had stopped and this gave way to relaxed minds creating jokes related to monkeys and all the happenings at that hour. A few colleagues of mine came up with employee ids, usernames and passwords for the monkeys. They also came up with a separate tab for the issue tracker with the tab named “Issues related to Monkesh”. They were having a gala time while the house keeping were sweating it out to get those menacing creatures out of the place.
An hour passed by before we realized that the panels had stopped falling, the rumbling all silenced, the house keeping guys all confused. Where did the monkeys go after all??
Good they found a way out of the roofing without being escorted through our work area otherwise we would find a crowd of civilized people behaving worse than monkeys.
All this made considerable damage to my day. I had to wait an extra hour to end my day which meant that I would reach home real late and not have much time to do anything else but eat and sleep.