All Talk and No Action Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Dear Fundu English Speaking Brethren,

I hope my letter finds you in the pink of your health. Ah now, there is no reason why you shouldn't be feeling so...given the umpteen number of reasons our Non English/Mediocre English/public school bred brethren give you...

So how have you all been?

Err, please, that suspicious look is the last thing I need right now. I know I should have written to you long back. I should have taken more initiative and interest in your well being.

If only I had had the foresight, things might not have come to this.

I know I really should have raised my voice when you laughed your brain off at Eena's English Poetry Recitation.

I shouldn't have looked the other way when you mocked Meena on her inadequate class participation owing to her rudimentary English grammar.

I should have shown my disgust when you ostracized Deeka for being from a lower middle class, non English speaking background.

All through the past years, you joked, laughed at, insulted, belittled everyone who fumbled with their English. Vernacular Students were shooed away and so were Hindi professors.

Old uncles and aunts reading Manorama, Navbharat, Gujarat Samachar, Jansatta were persuaded to switch to the hep Times of India.

Kitty parties became breeding grounds for "Yo" Mommas who couldn't stand Hindi speaking behenjis...

Anything remotely "Hindi" was dismissed !

You wanted to welcome the new world and all the glories it brought in the form of BPO/KPO/ITES et al.

Yet, at what cost? What had our dear old Hindi done to deserve this fate??

For all I know, she is one of the sweetest languages ever. One who is all embracing and understanding.

So, then, the fault must have lied with you. Your basic need to seek approval. The centuries old burden to please and try to be "one" with those who thought Hindi was "down market".

And so, this is why I write to you today. I want to help you overcome your illusory feelings about yourself and others. I want to help you understand that it is OK to be "not very good" at English. It's NOT the end of the world if one of our brethren fails at talking in "correct" English.

Will you be my friend again? Will you help me build this bridge between us?

What? Is that a Yes?! Great !

Now that you show an inkling of what needs to be corrected, here are my guidelines for our Fraanship -

  • Do not laugh at Mr A for fumbling with his English Presentation in office. He might not have been lucky to attend a good school but he damn well is a hardworking man
  • Please talk with fellow Indians in Hindi. Not because it brings with it a certain informality, but because it is natural
  • Please talk to your neighbour in Hindi. Though she is from the Hindi medium, I bet she shall have lots to add to your overflowing cup of intelligence
  • Please don't start with "You Blooddyyyy..." when a Sam/Somnath calls to sell credit cards in his rustic English. Say a Polite No.
  • If you are a snooty teenager who avers Hindi and often mouths Eva, I tell Ya, Gotcha, Oh My Gosh, betcha, gotta go, Yo Baby.....STOP you idiot ! Now you are iinsulting not one, but two beautiful languages! Go, join some English Speaking Academy.
  • I know I am stretching this a little far, but why don't you try your hand at a Hindi Daily, or for that matter, any regional daily? They have great content and show an otherwise unknown India. Once we progress, I shall ask my Mata Shri for recommendations on Premchand and Mahashweta Devi's novels...
  • Promise me you wont ill treat Vernacular Students. Let me tell you a tiny secret. Vernacular Blood courses through my veins and some of my closest pals belong to this breed too! These people are go getters and very committed. Before you know, they shall be challenging your very own strengths !
  • You might be interested in knowing that Mandarin & French are two of the most sought after languages. Yet, the countries they are spoken in, forged ahead not by boycotting these languages.
  • OK, Please follow the above only when you are fully convinced that Hindi deserves more respect. Follow these rules if you truly believe that Hindi is a part of who you are, your identity. Don't do it because you feel obliged to or face danger from me !
Now that I have made myself clear, please convey my regards to all at home.

Hope, my next missive to you shall be in our Rashtra Bhasha !

Ah, one more thing, STOP using "in the pink of your health" in your letters !! Don't you know that it's a moronic phrase?? Didn't your English Prof teach you that??

Jai Hindi !


Anonymous said...

Hey..tell you what I was smiling a lot while reading this post. I really liked what you have written.

We shouldn't be ashamed of speaking in hindi.

Btw these days I am reading our 12th std hindi book 'yuvakbharti'(Yes I still have that)...and some of the stories are too good.... :D


कनिष्क कुमार said...

log hindi ka samarthan karne ke liye bhee uchh koti ki angrezi ka prayog karte hain ...hindi ka bhavisya vastwikta main ujwal hai

All Talk and No Action said...

@allthecrap - I am glad you feel so about Hindi.

Yuvakbharti & even English textbook for that matter. 11th & 12th definitely had some great stories :)

@Kanishk - Aapke vicharon ke liye dhanyavad. Zeher hi zeher ko maarta hai, heera hi heere ko kaat ta hai. Yeh toh suna hi hoga aapne? Ussi vichardhaara ko dhyaan mai rakh kar yeh post likhi gayi thi.

Quaintzy Patchez said...

@All talk and no action

Sundar lekh hai :) padhte hue kuchh gudgudee bhee huee (teenagers/betcha/gotcha par)

meree donon hee (asal mein teenon hee - Hindi, Marathi aur Angrezi) bhashaaon se koee dushmani naheen hai :) in sabhi mein mujhe baat karna achchha lagta hai

aur is 'firangi-pan' se kuchh chidh bhee machtee hai.. haalaanki kuchh samay pahale (jab main school mein huaa karti thi - kuchh 10veen tak) tab tak main bhee kuchh kuchh firangi-pana karti thi, par kam se kam hindi mein baat karane par koee sharm mehsoos naheen huee, par ab school chhode 5 saal guzar chuke hain. is beech maine apnee M. Sc. bhee Gujrat University se kee. Yahaan aa kar yah pataa chalta hai ki bahut se (takreeban 80-85%) logon ko class mein angrezi samajhne mein mushkil padti hai, kyunki we sab Gujrati maadhyam se padh kar aae hain. Aise mein unka mazaak udaanaa koee achchhi baat naheen.


khair, kanish jee kee baat se main sehmat naheen hoon :)
Angrezee chahne walon se angrezi mein baat naheen kareinge to kis mein kareinge? :) :)

india unbound said...

One of the best posts in your blog. Looks like it is written straight from the heart...

A good way to show your commitment towards the cause would be to start another blog in Hindi :)

Jitendra Singh said...

Aapka yeh lekh padhkar dil ko bahut shanti mili, sath mein itne logon ne iska samarthan kiya.
Kitne hi baar aise ghutna padta hai aise Fandu Angreji gulam logon se.

Aaj bhi kayi kshetra hain, Khaskar IT company mein, jahan majbooran angerji bolna padta hai. sare hindi bolne wale log milkar angreji mein sare kaam karte hain. Aur aap hindi bolte hain, to aapka senior bolta hai, aapki "Communication Skill" kamjor hai.

Aise andar ki bhadas nikalne ke liye dhanyawad.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Quaintzy Patchez - aapke comment ke liye dhanyavaad. Mere hisaab se adhiktar Bharatiya Angrezi bolne mai saksham nahi. Yeh koi buri baat nahi... lekin unki kamzori par hasna zaroor buri baat hai...

@India Unbound - Thank You. I wouldn't want to promise, yet, writing in Hindi would be a dream come true.

@Jeetendra - Aapke vichaaron ke liye shukriya.
Sirf IT hi nahi, zyadatar companies mai achhi angrezi nahi bol paane ko achhi nigahon se nahi dekha jata. Chaliye woh baat samajh sakte hain kyunki antar-rashtriya sthir par agar hum log kaam karte hain toh "communication skills" achhe hone chahiye.

Par, iska yeh arth nahi ki hum dusron ki kachi/kamzor angrezi par unki khilli udaayen. Mera bas yehi maan na hai... :)

Quaintzy Patchez said...

@All Talk and No Action...

jee jee jee, bilkul :)

lok said...

gr8 post one of the best ...on hindi ..
kaafi achha likha hai aapne ..hum hindi se kaafi laggav rakhte hain par army mein hindi jyaada nahin bolte , kintu hum koshish karte hain ki apne jawano se hindi mein baat karen ..

shukriya ;-)

Naveen said...

language is just a medium of conversation , making an opinion of someone just cos he/she speaks a certain language is definitely wrong

All Talk and No Action said...

@Lok - Thank you for stopping by. It feels great to have a comment from an army man. Army mai aap regional bhaashaon mai baat karte hain?

@Naveen - Rightly said. Thank you for visiting...

Azad said...

It was a mindblowing post!!! Infact one of ur lines is my Facebook status msg for d day!!!
Would love to see more of u on the blogosphere!

God bless!


All Talk and No Action said...

@AZAD - Thanks a ton for the kind words.