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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Arrey Mathiao!

Let me begin by apologizing, in profusion, to those enlightened souls who may not have had the good fortune of growing up in the barely-intersecting intersection sets of the Venn diagrams representative of certain popular languages of India. This post is not for you.

When I was a kid, all eager and curious and enthusiastic about learning new stuff, language always held great attraction for me. Language - irrespective of origin. I would ask my neighbours and my friends all sorts of questions about the various languages they'd speak at their homes - Bengali, Oriya, Marathi , Tamil, even Hu, what not. The song from Khuddar, with its catchy lyrics describing the common refrain of love-struck Romeos in just about every Indian language, was always a big favourite of mine. Ah, the joys of trying to decipher the meanings of strange tongues and to recreate them! And oh! The innocent joy of watching Parveen Babi.

Being a fake gult born and brought up on the very extremity of the Hindi heartland came with its own set of linguistic pros as well as cons. There were three languages that I could speak with some measure of proficiency and intelligibility - English, Hindi and Telugu. I will not risk being lapidated in Panagal Park by attempting to add my version of Tamil to this limited roster which, most unfortunately, could never get any additions on account of subtractive preoccupation for the most part of my storied life.

Anyway, back home in India, I would probably be regarded as a good speaker of English . But that wouldn't be quite the case in the world west of the Prime Meridian. Similarly, I might be considered a fair speaker of Telugu among the substantial population of fake gults around the third rock from the sun but I'd certainly come a pretty big cropper within the confines of gultland. Which brings me to my last and only hope - Hindi. Here again, I was dealt a rude shock today when I realised that my colloquial Hindi wasn't really how it is actually meant to be. And that the only glimmer of hope for me lies in C++ and JCL.

I had been walking back from office with a pure-blood from New Delhi. It had rained intermittently throughout the day and the roads were wet. We pretty much stuck to the sidewalk, careful enough to keep our Hush Puppies clean and shiny (and I might add that he was holding up the ends of his trousers quite daintily as well), until we arrived at a short-cut to our apartment building. A short-cut which would take us through sloshy grounds and inevitable grief.

I cast my eye over it and remarked, quite innocuously, "Arrey kitna kaadaa hai!" The pure-blood, who had been eyeing the mud distastefully, now turned his eyes (and perhaps his distaste I daresay) to me, a mud-blood. "Huh? Kya kaha?" (connoisseurs, especially the ones of New Delhi fame, will note the kya kaha instead of the humble kya bola).

Being deprived of the kind of IQ that comes naturally with a brain nourished by pure blood, I replied without thinking, "Kitna kaadaa hai na?"

"What exactly you do mean?" said he, of the New Delhi lineage, in a tongue tempered by the purest of blood flowing through the millions and millions of its well-fed capillaries.

Like a little boy in a Hindi classroom manned by a ferocious guardian angel of the ancient language, with my fingers nervously clasped behind my back, I mumbled and bumbled, "Kaadaa. You know, kaadaa. All that mud. And all that muddiness. Kaadaa."

He looked at me for a few moments before magnanimously allowing a smirk to creep up that wonderfully chiselled face that is so unique to gentlemen hailing from New Delhi. He sort of decided to take the longer route I guess. Before leaving me to contemplate upon the vast expanse of kaadaa, ahem, slosh that lay ahead of me, he remarked, "So you mean keechad?"

Ah! Keechad! Really, there's nothing worse than dirty language. I'm going to have my dinner in a few moments. And I wonder if the chattu is jhaal.

Management Class : Meandering thoughts of a fickle mind

mental baba 7:07 AM
This pseudo gult who has been left out of all the intersections in the venn diagrams has the follwoing farmaish -
1. I would have said 'Arrey kitna mud hai'
2. Or atleast 'Arrey kitna keechad hai'.
But Kaadaa, whats that??
3. Now I dont have recourse even to C++ or PLSQL.
|Ser F***ix| : Kaadaa? I wish I knew. I wish I knew.
baba ka katora |