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, 😦