Local languages of India and Tamil

On returning home from work on a saturday morning, I didn’t feel like sleeping. I was browsing through Indivine when I decided to read this post . It was about the struggle of a girl (a girl who had been to different cities in India) with Tamil at Chennai. It was so funny, but was thought-provoking. To think of, how many languages has India got with her. We feel so proud to call our country multi-linguistic. We brag about unity in diversity.

I wonder how birds migrate from one place to another so easily. Don’t birds have the problem of having to learn the local language when they migrate? Does a Mumbai bird use a different language than a Tamil bird, leave alone the Australian bird. Okay (enough talking about birds and bird watching) let me come back to our topic. Why is that people in India find it so difficult to migrate from one place to another. We proudly say our country is multi-linguistic. But it comes with a lot of struggles which we adjust with, without many complaints. I’ve my own experiences and the experiences of my colleague-friends to show how we move along, fighting all the struggles with local languages.

I’ve been to Hyderabad for a 2 month training last year and it was a wonderful experience there. I’ve been with my college friends and most of us never knew Hindi. The moment I landed in Hyderabad, I was expecting waterlu, tealu, coffeelu (Now my Telugu friends are gonna kick my ass. No hard feelings friends. I know only those words in Telugu that end with ‘lu’). But Hyderabad greeted me with Hindi. I was forewarned by one of my friends that Hindi is widely spoken in Hyderabad than Telugu. She even taught me how to talk to autowala to take me to office. I remember those sessions 😀 “BHAII!! XXX Office jaane kitna hoga??”. I tried a few times, but somehow or the other, every time the autowala found out that I’m a Hindi illiterate 😀

It had always been our routine during our stay at Gachibowli,Hyderabad to play cricket, on returning from office, until the time we used to go out for dinner at 8:30. There was an apartment where Infy people (See I did not specify any specific gender here) stayed and it was opposite to the apartment where we stayed. We used to go out for dinner and on the way back, we always used to raid a supermarket for reasons you know (Obviously. It was for bird watching and not window shopping. If you had guessed window shopping, you are still a kid ;))

It was on that destined day, when we were performing our routine at the supermarket – we were standing in a queue to bill  just one chocolate that we picked, only to spend more time looking at the package that was waiting in the adjacent queue. Finally when the package that we were looking at was getting billed at the adjacent queue, we had one guy getting his package billed in front of us in the queue in which we were waiting. We were cursing the guy who was standing in front of us,commenting everything about him when this guy turned back and offered us to get our chocolate billed along with his package. We accepted his offer, paid him the amount, got our chocolate swiped for verification and went out of the supermarket to see the whereabouts of our interested package. Just after we saw the package move in a car, we realized that the guy who was standing in front of us in the queue, when he offered us to get our chocolate billed along with his pack, talked to us in Tamil –  the language which we knew, the language in which we were cursing him, the language in which we were commenting about him, about everyone there. It was an embarrassing feel. We waited outside the supermarket for the guy to come out. When he came out, we told him “Sorry!! We never knew you know tamil” with a sheepish smile on our face. He was laughing crazy when he told us that all from Chennai are the same and he did the same when he migrated to the city.

The other night at Hyderabad, we were having dinner at a hotel. There was this gang of girls from Infy who were having their dinner in the table before our table. When there is a gang of girls, what else do you expect from them. Yes, they were gossiping, giggling.  Again, they were gossiping in Tamil (Now, don’t ask me what they were gossiping about. I don’t remember). We tried our best not to show them that we understood what they were talking. Beyond a point, one of my friends couldn’t control and laughed out loud. The girls realized that we understood what they were talking and out of embarrassment, they finished up their dinner quickly and left the place as quick as possible. We didn’t get a chance to meet those girls again in Hyderabad. All the time during our stay at Hyderabad, we were free to talk whatever in our mother tongue. We used to curse the autowalas, shopkeepers in Tamil on their face. After the two months stay at Hyderabad, we had to get back to Chennai and we were still living the Hyderabadi life. The moment we landed in Chennai, my friend cursed a beggar who was following him all the way. We realized we were in Chennai only when the beggar cursed back. (lol ;))

At Chennai, I got two colleague-friends from Mumbai in last one year. Let me call on of them S and the other N.  Both of them don’t know Tamil, though N has been working on learning Tamil all the while. This was one another destined day when 3 of us (N is not one among the three)had a night out at workplace (Those of you who wonder what night out is – it is not hangover. We stay awake all night working. No, it is not night shift. We swipe in at 8 AM and swipe out at 8 AM next morning. Yeah, it was one of those days). S was one among the three. Let us call the other one R. So S,R and me were working on an issue. R and me gave up at around 1:30 A.M and were gossiping (Yeah, guys do gossip when there is no girl around. R and me had no clue about the issue. The code would go even more worse if I or R try when we feel sleepy). S, being very stubborn, kept working on the issue and found something about it and was telling us something. But R and me were busy gossiping that we never listened to what S was talking. It was only after our manager told us we realized that S was frustrated and saw him throw his mobile and bang on his cube. (Woww!! we love irritating S. We always talk to S in Tamil. lol 😉 S, if you are reading this – cool :D)

This is one more incident with S. That evening, S found one of our common friends have Adai Avial at food court. He tasked it and liked it. I was not in the scene that day. For some reason, he didn’t get the dish that day. I was with S the next day at food court, S wanted to taste that dish that our common friend was having the day before. He tried recalling the name of the dish, calling the dish by all the funny names (Now if you ask me all those funny names, I don’t remember them) and finally made a call to our common friends to get the name of the dish. Unfortunately the dish was not available that day at food court (I had mentioned this in shalini’s post in comment, the one that inspired me to write this post. I don’t see my comment approved at this point in time. If at all she happen to approve the comment and if S gets to read my comment on that post, he will definitely kill me. Apologies, We didn’t get the dish that day. It was not available that day.S, again – cool)

With all these experiences, all that I can say is – If you are a person who knows Hindi, you can survive anywhere in India, but Tamil Nadu. If you are a Tamilian who doesn’t know Hindi, you cannot survive at any other place than Tamil Nadu in India (Now, hope none of the politician gets to see this and demand for an independent Tamil Nadu). It is Ironic, but it is true. It is fun if you are with your friends at a land, where people speak the language that you don’t understand. At least one or two of your friends would know the local language and you are safe. But if you are alone, It is pain. All said and done, Life has to move on and we are all proud to be Indians.

PS: These are not the best moments in my life. But these moments make me smile, when I turn back and flip through those pages of my life. I would  call them Jiyo life moments of my life. Why not? If you like whatever you read here, I would like you to leave a comment and promote my post here. Yes, This is the first lengthy post from me. But, I think I made sense with this post. If not, 😦


24 thoughts on “Local languages of India and Tamil

  1. Karthik JK says:

    Man thats a heap of awesome depiction…

    Was smiling wide reading the blog!

  2. iblogattimes says:

    Only state where auto poeple don’t speak hindi is Tamil nadu,

    We(Tamilians) are unique atleast in that sense…!

    Nice blog bro, would have enjoyed it better if had been with you when these incidents happened…:-)

    • cresloga says:

      Not that they don’t speak hindi, They don’t know hindi in the first place 😉
      We are unique in the sense that annoys others…. lol… The reason why people from other states find it difficult to migrate to Chennai…

      Yeah, It would have a great experience with you at Hyderabad.


  3. Rajagopal says:

    Good post machi

    I remember that incident
    Particularly s throwing his mobile and later playing it down as it fell from his hands

    very cool

  4. sharmila says:

    … but they (Tamilians) understand english … don’t they. But there’re countries like Italy they don’t even speak english – not even at the airport … if u know french u may survive … so no big deal if u can’t speak hindi … In Italy u survived through sigh language n they’re very understanding … later learned italian too – we used to talk about people standing next to us in english n they never understand a word … that was really fun !!

    … back to ur post – very interestig … enjoyed reading it 🙂

    • cresloga says:

      Yeah it is fun when you talk about the person when he stands right next to you in a language that only you understand. It is like being upto all the misconceive when we get a chance to go invisible.. lol

      glad you enjoyed reading it. Thanks and keep visiting..


  5. Don’t know the language? I am a tamilian and married a hindi gal and 3+ years now still we have not learnt properly each others language 😛 but managing really well… all one need is to understand beyond words ..

    • cresloga says:

      Hey Lakshmi Rajan,

      That is really great to know man. I personally know a person from Mumbai married to a Tamil girl. He doesn’t know Tamil, but his wife knows Hindi. Your case is nice. very true about understanding beyond words. That probably is what Paulo Coelho calls Universal Language – True Love.

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment. Keep visiting.


  6. KK says:

    @ above

    Well said, Can understand in between two soul mates…this understanding beyond words?! 🙂

    @ cresloga

    Yeah, it is really funny how it is sometimes people try to flaunt their own language when you are pretty sure that the other person who is right beside you does not know the language.

    I have been targeted many a times due to this. I am quite well-versed and manage in all the four South Indian languages and then of course our National Language(Hindi).

    It is really fun to see how people respond to you when they think you dont know their language….and they way vallunchufy( that’s a colloquial word for ‘make-up’ after creating a mess) 🙂

    Loved the post…and the inspirational post too…! 🙂

    • cresloga says:

      Yeah it is fun to be up to all the mischief but the only part of embarrassment is the make-up thing that we have to do after the mess.. lol..

      Glad you liked the post. Thanks.. Keep visiting.


  7. Kamal says:

    Very true da. Once I went to mumbai and while travelling I queried a localite regarding an address, he looked like a person who could talk english but instead he spoke to me in hindi and explained me about the way(I said him I dont know hindi but still no gain for me he just left). Reason is,he somehow found that I am a madrasi and he became arrogant.
    All over mumbai people were like this only and I have heard delhi is worser than this.

    And as yu said ‘aavanunga munnadi aavanuke theriyama kalaaikuradu oru thaani sugam dhaan machi’. Survival is tough for us if we move out from TN.

    Post is really good da and continue your blogging.

    • cresloga says:

      Not sure if the person who talked to you in Hindi did it deliberately. But we are forced to believe that others do deliberately. This is the same comment that north Indians have got about Chennai. How do i forget our struggle for the address to Kuruva Island on the trip to Wayanad. Ppl made sure we never visited Kuruva Island by giving us so many different directions and all the hoardings that were all written only in Malayalam. Even the direction boards there were written only in Malayalam. Come on. Be generous and have at least the direction boards in English.
      Thanks Kamal for stopping by and for the comment. glad you liked the post. Keep visiting.


  8. leena says:

    Very nice post loga!!! i hate it when people speak in a language i dont understand be it in a small group..I have come across this in my own team..but talking when they dont understand our language is fun 🙂 😉 would look out for all yre posts in the future!! cheers!! 🙂 🙂

    • cresloga says:

      Yeah I know you don’t like it when you don’t hear as well 😉
      Thanks Leena. Keep visiting


  9. Arun Adaikkappan says:

    hey log.. yet again u proved 🙂 especially the part u spking to the autowalla n the lighter moments u’d with tht ‘S’ friend, YOU SIMPLY ROCK!! ur style is simply amazing. in my style – excellent 😉
    and still one of my friend is making fun of my hindi.. she’ll simply make me read hindi and start break out to laughter.. thou i know its jus fun, felt lil embarassed in the beginning but later used to it. infact had some stepping stone in my learning scale of my hindi 😛
    as u said, thou it is lil embarassing or feeling sheepish in those moments, wen u recollect it at later point of time, its all just fun n nothing else.
    as our Balram Naidu (Dasavatharam fame 😉 used to tell, wen we’ve five different languages in tamil / telugu or any other regional language, no wonder we undergoing all this 😉 Long live our diversity.

    • cresloga says:

      your case is reverse of what we do to S 😉 All embarrassing moments bring smile on our face when we flip through the pages of past 🙂 Long live our diversity.. Thanks for the comment 🙂 keep visiting..


  10. Saranyan says:

    machi .. its typical South Indian feeling ….. even i frightened to go banglore recently for an interview …… And i am glad that u dint put any keralians into embrassment …. it would have spoiled ur blog because they will survive with a tea shop even in moon …lol …

    great going …. loga

    my regards…..

    ippadikku unnai pakka mudiyamal yenguvor sangam ….

    • cresloga says:

      Thanks Saran. I would rather call it a Tamilian feeling about rest of India and North Indians Feel about Tamil Nadu. No one is to be blamed. As a matter of fact, we should have learnt Hindi with Hindi being our national language. Blame it on our educational system (There are efforts going on to completely go without English as well) or the politicians or ourselves. But we do enjoy the differences and that is what has helped me write this post. Keep visiting..

      PS: Will definitely make up one weekend.

  11. Shalini says:

    Hey Loga,I knw I am late,thouh this blog starts from me.I think, I was so happy to knw dat smone gt inspired by my writeup.I hpnd to read it again today!really grt depiction :)keep writing!cheers:)

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