Archive for the ‘north south’ Category

“Muje bahut neendh aa raha hai”, I announced.  And just then I noticed that sarcastic lopsided grin appearing on The Bloke’s face and I knew something was wrong.

“Is it ‘aa raha hai’ or ‘aa rahi hai’?”, I further questioned him and he dissolved into a peal of laughter.

Hmph.  “It is my neendh and I decide its gender”, I shrugged. He guffawed.

And for the record, The Bloke can manage just few Tamil words and he gets labelled as ‘cute’ for that. Uh.

Anyway, I digress. This post is NOT about The Bloke or about the state of my spoken ‘Hindi’ but rather about my miseries with it.

The story dates back to ’93 when my vocabulary in Hindi was limited to ‘hathi=elephant’ and ‘kalam=pen’. To supplement this, I was sent to a Hindi Pundit and he bestowed the worldly knowledge upon with  the sentences like ‘Yeh kalam hai’ and ‘yeh mej hai”.  And equipped with vast and improved vocabulary, I appeared for Prathmik exam and ahoy! I managed a good score as well ;).  For the uninitiated, in TN we have exams conducted by Hindi Prachar sabha and back in ’90s, almost all of us appeared for those exams and mostly, in this case, the teacher is referred  as ‘Hindi Pundit’. So,  after all this rigorous and ‘katin’ Hindi exams, we could confidently rattle off, Yek gaavon my yek kisan raghu thatha’

All was well until we moved to Delhi in ’95.  At school,  I dreaded Hindi classes.  I was totally lost. On my very first day in school, just before the Hindi period could start, someone behind me buzzed, “Rajini madam is coming”. I  turned around with adoration in my eyes. How cool it was to nick name your teacher after RajiniKanth’! Probably, the teacher was just too strict and well-built, I thought. But in came a petite woman with a porcelain skin and  looked pale. Or, so I thought. when she spoke, I could hardly hear her.  No way near Rajini, I thought. Few more days and then the understanding dawned on me that her name actually was ‘Rajini’  and it looked like it was a pretty common name given to girls as well!

“Is that name in any way  inspired by the actor ‘RajiniKanth’ ?”, I asked the boy sitting next to me. He scratched his head in reply.

After the initial hiccups, I managed to pull through the Hindi classes. Among the four of us, my mom adopted quickly to Delhi. She would pack Chapathi and Dal for us every day.  The extra protein and fiber did help the plants in my school and they flourished and looked greener.  “Idly arici’ became a precious commodity and was taken out only on special days or when we had Tamil guests at home. And those were the only years when we got away giving Idly  and sambhar on the day of Diwali to all the North Indian neighbors. They were insanely happy. I was happier since I had the Gulab Jamuns for myself. After few years we were back to Tamilnadu and there, I pledged my commitment to Hindi and went ahead and chose it over Tamil.

Cut forward to 2006, I was the most sought after by my Tamil friends.  While Shahid Kapoor wooed, enticed and smiled, I interpreted his words and I think I did well,  for my friends let out a collective long sigh. I never understood if it were my words or Shahid’s looks that garnered that reaction. Living in a paying guest accommodation had its perks and I almost became the  North-Indian-certified-decent-Hindi-speaking-tamilian.

After getting married to The Bloke, I thought I would be more fluent in Hindi. How wrong I was! True, initially I picked up cooking instructions in Hindi like “ubalo”. But it was quite short-lived. Within a year of marriage, I forgot all the Hindi that I had picked up since The Bloke just refused to  converse with me in Hindi. Okay, we had never conversed in Hindi before wedding as well but we could have given it a try!

To me, Hindi is like  aerobics. When I practice it sincerely, I reap the benefits. But when I turn to it once in a blue moon, I end up with sore muscles. So recently when I had to converse for long in Hindi, I said something like “Mere prashno” and before my words were out, I realized my mistake but the damage was done. The very moment, the truth dawned on me – Hindi Prachar Sabha had left a dent on my heart, mind and soul and it was to remain forever!

So people, that is my tale of woe and now, I need a drink to keep the misery from enveloping me.  A strong filter Kaapi for me, if The Bloke agrees to make it otherwise I will settle for a Chai 😀 .

Until I sober up,

“Hail Hindi, hail Hindi Prachar Sabha”

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The H controversy and other trivia

Posted: November 19, 2011 in north south, Rants
At times when I muse about the North and South Indians, in a truly filmy way I feel there is a “*zameen aur Aasman ka difference” and yet when I relish the aaloo parathas, I realize it is just  a case of “same wine in different bottle”, the rest is still the same .

And when the  “*north ka sona puthar(NKSP)” migrate to the land of dosas and interact with the “*southern singham(SS)”,  there is a bit of disagreement,  amusement, and earth shattering discoveries.

*So hereafter  NKSP refers to our ideal north ka sona puthar as well in collective terminology and ditto for SS

 The most likely disagreement would be on “H”. NKSP  feels that SS sprinkle and overuse the Hs everywhere. Sounds cryptic?  Shwetha, Adithi, Kruthika, are all frowned upon by NKSP and says it should rather be Shweta, Aditi, Krutika and also accuses SS of mispronouncing Bhavna, Rakhee and says the B in Bhavna should be followed by a “huh” syllable. Yes, yes, yes SS tries hard to correct it through some rigorous yoga practice. Once the B syllable is out the SS tucks in his tummy and mustering all the strength, does a kapalabathi through mouth to stress the “huh”. NKSP rolls his eyes and gives up

NKSP says “Chaiiiin!!”. SS is completely bowled out and in utter confusion looks for cycle chain. Meanwhile, NKSP zips up his jacket and then everything falls in place and the “law of chains”  dawns on SS, i.e “chain == zip”

Plantain leaf – “Yes, Yes we SS use plantain leaf as plate at occasions and that means no cleaning up and the cows feast on the discarded leaves and the food remains, very eco-friendly ” explains SS with a beaming smile. NKSP muses ” why don’t you let the cows feast on the leaves in first place if that was the purpose?” 

When NKSP meets an elderly SS,
with all reverence he bends down — SS thinks NKSP has dropped something down
reaches for the leg of SS — SS backs off in utter shock

and mind you all this happens in a flash of a second.

And both NKSP and SS wonder when it comes to food habits,
SS – “Don’t you eat curd rice? okay, sambhaar?”
NKSP – “What is this brown water?” (Obviously, he is referring to the rasam served by some office caterer)

Above all are just trivia.
And when it comes to looking forward for the potato masala  inside the dosa/paratha and the ensuing curses that fly in air due to lack of potato, they are as alike as two peas in the same pod.

PS:  No, it was not my intention to put the men in limelight but when it comes to the north and south indian women, they get along so well, how do I put it, like aloo and mutter or urad and rice in batter

*zameen aur Aasman ka difference – starking difference
*NKSP – precious son
*SS – southern lions