Kannada – Language/fanaticism?

The other day a friend had called and I was talking in hindi. My FIL who happened to be there commented that I have to start talking to him in Kannada so that he will learn since he’s planning to settle here. For that moment i felt, in that case – I wouldn’t be able to make him understand what I am saying if I start off in Kannada! Later I thought…

Having grown up in Bangalore I have heard a lot of languages other than Kannada. Up
until I joined MCA – all my friends mainly spoke Kannada and it was the main language of communication. MCA – the crowd was mostly telugu-so my vocabulary improved. Once i joined work, there was a mixture of languages – hindi,telugu,tamil and malayalam. Hordes of people coming from all over India – and speaking their mother tongue. I had no problem with that. But their general complaint was that I talk in kannada with all my Friends who know the language! I was surprised – when they could continue to talk in their mother tongue ignoring those around them who do not understand the language they didn’t want me to talk in Kannada with my Friends. Why the bias? But I have noticed that most of us kannadigas even when we are together, or if someone else is with us who doesn’t understand the language we tend to talk in english since that’s the official language and we want to stick to ‘office ethics’ and also the other person doesn’t feel left out. But the minute 2 people talking in telugu/tamil/malayalam/hindi meet they start off in their own tongue not minding the place they are in or who they are with! Another general thing I hear is that they don’t feel the need to learn to talk in kannada – the shopkeepers/vegetable vendors/ auto drivers all talk to them in hindi/tamil/telugu – whatever language they talk!But it really irks me to think that ppl from everywhere else want to come to Bangalore and say they don’t see the need to learn the language or they DONT WANT to learn the language! “Why should we learn?” – they ask when we are getting everything without making the attempt.Their attitude irks me no end!

Yes, for me, language is just a means of communication – way to express my thoughts. I am no language fanatic and I do use hindi/telugu/kannada frequently in my conversations if I feel I can make my point clearer! Bangalore is being termed as a cosmopolitan city/friendly city for what?people like being here as they dont feel that they are outsiders. Has anyone gone to any place in TN? I bet if you are not a tamilian you will feel totally outcast! They speak only and only tamil!I am not against it-I only meant then you would be forced to learn the language! But hey! Blore doesnt make anyone feel that – thanks to all the kannadigas who welcome with open arms, make you feel comfortable and settled down by speaking your language – the reason why everyone feels Bangalore is “home”. So why cant all the people out there who live in Bangalore make an attempt to learn the local language?

I for one – have started speaking in kannada with anyone who speaks to me in their
mother tongue!- I am trying to do my bit to save my language. Jai Karnataka Maate!! 🙂


Columbus – gratitude to friends

What makes a place feel like “Home”? I would say its people.

For all of 8 months I stayed in US – I was in Columbus Ohio. Having gone all alone for the first time in my life, not having any knowledge about the country and its ways – I was really scared. Would I really be able to manage the tough job on hand as well as set up home?!

I needn’t have feared. I had friends who made life in Columbus a memory of a life-time. I was picked up from the airport by not 1 or 2 but 6 people! (Can you imagine after a 22 hour flight, having left all your loved ones back home,how it feels to be welcomes by so many friends?) Took me to Anup/Lakshmi’s home-fed me, and in the days that followed helped me set up home- from scratch. And they all came again to pick up hubby from the airport-exactly 1 month later.

And what to speak of the lovely dinners had together, the late night movies and shopping at walmart, playing cards and “raja rani kaLLa police” 🙂 until wee hours of the morning. And to top it off – Anup telling “ghost stories” at that hour! :-O chatter chatter and chatter – with no care in the world. Of course come weekend-plan to go out somewhere-anywhere. A new place to eat (or old favourites – Donatos Pizza or Mexican Chipotle), some sale to check out or if nothing just meet in someone’s home for more gossip… and cook together – reminds me of the ghee rice by Raj, Pav bhaji by Aravind, Saabudaana kichdi by Keerthi,bisibeLebaath by Divya and not but not the least-the daily chai and poha by Lakshmi. What did I do? Just tea somedays in the evenings ;-p – yeah -escaped easy…

Some one’s birthday? Anniversary? Oh yeah! We have to have a party-or at least the whole gang gathered @ 12 to make enough noise to wake up the neighbours 🙂 And of course the tennis matches and swimming lessons by KK and Keerthi. Thanks to them-I can manage to swim the breadth of a pool now *hehehe*

Everyone asks – Do I miss US? Of course-who wouldn’t – with all this fun…Would I want to go back to US? Yessss – if its Columbus and with all these friends still

I have to accept I am blessed.

Indian traffic – blame the drivers…

Having returned from the US, one question that people ask is: Hows the traffic there- Its more organized – isn’t it?

I say yeah – of course, because people bother to follow the traffic rules there. They follow the lane discipline, traffic signals, give way to the pedestrians and dont honk!

Why is it that we have so many traffic jams here? Agreed that the infrastructure is not too good but do we bother to follow the simple rules ourselves? Here are a few examples:

# Lane Disciple – There are wide roads in Bangalore – the ring road, inner ring road, hosur road – all choc-a-block with traffic snarls everyday. Why? The road is wide enough to have 2 lorries and a car to all go side-by-side but what to do about the 3rd lorry driver who wants to squeeze his lorry in the space of a car?!! Can’t he see that a lorry is bigger than the car? What ensues is a traffic jam where neither of the 3 lorry drivers want to give way to the other and the vehicles behind them get stuck too. Why cants they just stick to one lane and let the other traffic pass? This doesn’t apply to only lorry drivers – car drivers even 2 wheelers for that matter.

# Traffic Signals – Another major irritant for all those people who carry the world on their heads X-( Can’t wait for a few seconds more until the light turns green. They HAVE to rush when the traffic from the opposite side stops though they still have a red signal or there is a light for the pedestrians to cross. And they give you such a stare if you happen to wait for the light to turn green as if you have gone bonkers! And yeah – the same thing here-don’t bother about the lane – stand in the left most corner even if you have to go right. As for an autorikshaw, he needs just enough space for his front tyre- the rest of the auto follows! And doesn’t matter if that space is in the left most lane and he wants to take a right turn!

# Give way to pedestrians (and slow at intersections) – I mentioned before that people just have to go even if the line is green for the pedestrians to cross – even if its just a matter of 10 seconds. And God forbid, if a pedestrian does happen to cross then he gets the choicest abuses! And give way to the other vehicle if it happens to enter the intersection before you. Why do accidents happen at intersections? People don’t bother to even slow down at intersections to check if there is another vehicle also entering the same junction. Don’t slow down – keep going at 80kms/hr and just sound 1 honk – the other guy does the same – need I mention what happens next? Hey, All it takes is a few seconds to slow down, check and proceed – saves you a lot of trouble and pain!
Which reminds me – what happened to basic decency – why cant people just give way to an ambulance? Are you in so much of a hurry that you have to stick to being in front of the ambulance so you can get thru a signal? Is reaching your destination more important than the man who’s fighting for his life inside that ambulance? Height of selfishness, I say.

# Don’t honk – This is by far the most irritating thing for me. If you are stuck in a traffic jam and all around you the vehicles cant move, here comes a ‘king’ behind you and starts honking! Where to go? And if you are a traffic signal, honks start at least 15-20 seconds before the light turns green. Yeah, yeah – i can see and I know i am in front of you and will go ahead as soon as the light turns green – why honk? And its another matter that they aren’t bothered if there is a hospital close by – and a no horn sign put up!

# Mobile usage – Imagine – A tractor guy going at 5 kms/hr in the middle of the road at peak hour traffic AND to boot talking on the mobile oblivious to the fact that he is slowing down the traffic. God!!Cant he at least move to the left most lane and talk? Does he NEED to be in the middle of the road? And that applies to everyone else who wants to talk on the phone and drive.

So do we still want to blame the govt for poor infrastructure? Forget rules-cant we just use simple common sense and make life a little more easy?!

Lifestyle – life+style?

Last weekend we met hubby’s cousins for a game of bowling. We left home a little early and not knowing what to do decided to take a peek into lifestyle since hubby wanted a jacket. But we ended up looking at a lot of “lifestyle” furniture. We liked quite a lot of them and were thinking of how we could fit in this and that and something else and where we could probably fit it in. But one look at the cost of it all made was want to think: Wouldn’t we be getting the same style of furniture for a lot lesser somewhere else? Of course we might not get the “branded” stuff but I am sure the quality would be equally good.

Which set me thinking – what is lifestyle? And here are some of the answers I got on googling for the word 🙂

1. A persons pattern of living as expressed by their interests, motivations, activities, desired experiences, and beliefs – Oh yeah! we sure are interested to buy the best, motivated by dreams and desires and belief that this is the kind of furniture we would want for all our social activities (may be inviting people home/relax while watching a TV – that too a big flat screen one!)

2. A lifestyle whose structure prevents growth of the personality.- Oho! does that mean we aren’t looking at other things which would probable fit our ‘home'(when we have it) and personalities better?

Now this has set me thinking…

No smoking plz!

Smoking banned in public places – thats what the law says today. But in most offices we see a lot of people (i wont say men – have seen women too) standing in corners called the “smoking zone” and enjoying their cigarettes.

Yesterday evening when I called hubby he said he wanted some fresh air and so walked out of his desk. But to his dismay he found that there were atleast a dozen men standing right outside the entrance of their building-leaving puffs of smoke – where is the fresh air?! Despite repeated requests to the concerned authorities to shift the “smoking zone” to anywhere else other than the main entrance has fallen on deaf ears.

In my office I see a nice hut like structure next to the canteens.On my first day here I thought it would be good to sit there and have my lunch. But later found out that they were designated “smoking zones”! Wow! What luxury! And ofcourse if anyone needs a smoke they would have to walk to these areas to smoke which would take atleast 30 mins to reach the place, have their smoke and come back-so on an average working day considering the person needs to have atleast 2 cigarettes it would take away 1 hr out of the 9 working hrs apart from the 1 hr for lunch!

One very upset friend told me: “I dont go out for cigarette breaks 3 times a day – so I get to complete my work well within my 9 hrs and leave office at the right time – and the manager says I leave early every day!” Hello!- isnt 9 hrs a day the right way to work?

Sad but true – no law and no defined “smoking zones” are going to stop us from passive smoking along with bearing the ‘cigarette mixed with the strong mint’ smell on their clothes.And getting noticed for leaving work at the right time at the end of a tiring day – having completed our work and not taking “cigarette breaks”!

Of Giggles and Afternoon Suns

My friend Bondie always sends a good morning mail every day – she being in UK for an assignment, I always get that mail late in the afternoon and smile at it.This was what she sent yesterday and it somehow brought back a flood of memories – Of us standing in a shelterless bus stop in the scorching afternoon sun and hungry. All 3 of us – Me, Bondie and Gundu – would stand there and giggle at anything and everything. Me and Gundu would be so deliriously hungry that the sun would get to both of us and what started as a giggle would go on to be a full fledged laughter until we had tears in our eyes! Other village people (yeah,college was in a village) would stare at us and wonder what we found so funny… And our Bondie would glare at us and ask us to shut-up. We used to tease her that she is our mom while we were young pranksters who needed to be kept in check!

How I wish we could again spend a silly afternoon together… Not worried about anything at all and just have a tear filled laughter. Suddenly – I miss both of you, gurlzz…

Welcome 2008 – Adieu 2007

Finally! After a lot of thoughts and contemplation I decided to write my own blog. Lets say a pass time for the lazy afternoons when I wont have work at work :-p

And thanks to my friend Sanju who said – “Hey just start writing and you’ll get the words”.

So what better resolution to take than to give an outlet to whatever little creativity I have? HAPPY NEW YEAR to anyone who’s reading it.

As for 2007- Well its been a very eventful year – Starting with going onsite,setting up a temporary home to changing jobs. Its been a year of loads of fun mingled with some tears and hard work too… Hope to have a better 2008.

May everyone’s dreams come true!