Saturday, May 14, 2005

Banni, Bisi, Beda!!!!!

I came, burnt my mouth, and said "No Way"!!!!! That about sums up my experience with Kannada.

My "Experiments with Kannada" started almost 1.5 years ago when I came to live in the erstwhile capital of Mysore state, Mysore. As all people keep reminding me, it is really a very good city... for tourists that is. And not to forget, pensioners!!!! As I am neither one nor have become the other yet, it gets kinda boring. (For those who know Pune, my hometown, as Pensioners' City, please update your calendars... It's 2005, not 1950's). As the sum of all the places outside office where a young person will be happy hanging around comes up to 2, you can understand how we painted the town red.

And then started the difficulties of communication. With all due respects to "Unity in Diversity" principle, I am strongly of the opinion that we should have one common language across India. I am sure it will reduce a lot of fights.

But on the other side, it will greatly reduce the fun of learning a new language with the comfortable knowledge that you can find a translator just round the corner. And so, I started trying to learn a new language.

No wonder Banglore became the "Silicon valley" of India. I am sure, you won't find any other language in India with such an obsession with H. So I am sure it is pretty natural that they took to H1 visas like a duckling takes to water. To give some examples, here a simple name like Aarti becomes "Aarthi", Chetan (remember the 3D Chhota Chetan?) gets rechristened as Chethan and BSNL is renamed as "Bharath Sanchar Nigam Ltd".

It's OK if you put H after anything, but when you start exchanging the places of alphabets in the word, it becomes quite confusing. I mean, I could have understood what bhath would mean, but what is bath???? I mean, I am going to hotel to eat, not to get a nice shower. Worldwide, "Turkish Bath" means a place where people go to inhale steam and reduce some fat by means of famous massage. But here, "Turkish Bath" will come in line with "Vaangi Bath", "Bisibele Bath" on a hotel's menu card.

And while we are having "bath", what is "Rice Bath"???? In "vaangi bath" you have vaangi + rice. In "curd bath", you have curd + rice. So logically, "rice bath" contains rice + rice (huh???). I mean, doesn't it sound a little redundant to say that your rice contains rice?

And to cap it all, in my mother tongue, "Houda" means the place in the saddle on elephant where the person sits. Going by this definition, the number of "Houdaaa"s by a single person in a single phone calls will cover all the elephants in Bandipur, Kerala and we will end up importing some elephants from Africa to carry them.
So, even as my friend reminds me that Kannada is around 2000 years old, and has won 7 Gyanapith awards, I say "Mera Bharat (not Bharath) Mahan"!!!!

Disclaimer: All names, incidences in this article are true, and bear no resemblance to fiction. Still, this article is to be read as light reading and not as an attack on any language, person or places living or dead, ancient or new, intended or otherwise.


Figo said...

I've had that bath experience inspite fo being so far away from kannada speaking folks.
occasionally we get to 'eat' bisibela bath..
we amuse our idle minds my thinking of it as 'busy babe bathing'..

Kani said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kani said...

yo whts all this obsession about H u r talking about ??? there r equal number of aartis n aarthis over here... its just writing the name the way u pronounce .... i hope to find some pune guys who use H in the similar way in their names :)

Kani said...

now whenever i say howdha i cant but remember ur pachyderm joke n laugh ... lol

Cuckoo said...

Ha Ha Ha..
How I missed this post? Simply Hilarious.
Yeah, their H is zimbly great. :)
So, what is rice rice?

I am yet to go thru your entire blog. Not yet done. :((

Fleiger said...

I still don't know what exactly is "rice bath". And my memory is now hazy...
The "H" thing is what gets my goat though... or Goath, as they would spell ;)

And to answer the question you put on your blog, I have written about 45 posts in last 1.5 years. Not at all near the frequency I would have liked... So keep reading, and finish reading all my blog posts soon :D