About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

English? not Hindi?

As i hopped on the train from Madgaon,Goa to Chennai [err, the Travelogue will follow, patience!! ], a french couple[FM -french man & FW-French woman-duh!!] also got into our compartment along with couple of others.. A family, assuming Kannadigas[cos they spoke Kannada..Bah] moved to sit in the next booth as their child wanted a window seat... Another man[IM- Indian Man-Pah!!] , was sitting across from me and we exchanged a few words on this train... The train had people travelling to Pune and to Chennai [ a couple who were waiting with me on the platform were convinced i was waiting for the wrong train... showed em dint we... :)]..

We realised the train halts at Londa where the trains are seperated and all that.. While talking, i realised he was from Goa, travelling to a part of Karnataka on work... [all this conversation happened in English.. you'll want to know for later part of the post...]

The light house at Fort Aguada

Few hours into the journey, the FW looked at me and IM[ refer above , it is not instant messaging, follow the post alright!!!] - Can i ask you both a question?
I: Sure thing..

FW: Observed that when you and IM were talking, you spoke in English [with a crazy puzzled look on her face]
I: Right...
FW: How come? Why dint you speak to him in Hindi?
I: Simply cos English is a common language [duh, like does it take a rocket scientist to figure that out!!]

FW: But Why not in Hindi? [aka, Cmon, dont mess around with me, am confused, put me out of my misery wont you look]
I : Well, i dont know where he is from, and so English is the obvious choice of language, and he knew it, so we spoke in that...

FW: Why not Hindi? [am trying to understand,but beats me!]
I : Its not necessary for all to know Hindi, infact English is much more common than hindi here...

FW: [oh, no what are you saying look].. But
But Lonely planet says Hindi is the ONLY language spoken in India... and you are saying English is.... strange!!

I :[Patiently].. you see, in India we have quite a few languages, and only recently was Hindi made the National language.. but its not necessary all should know hindi, ergo, English is used..

Every nook and corner you will find a different language or a different dialect of the local state's language..
FW: Oh, so you are saying Hindi is not spoken across the country by all?

I : right... we each speak the language of our state, and sometimes people are familiar with other languages as well.. and since hindi is widespread, we learn that ... there are people who dont know any language but their regional language...

Anjuna beach....

FW: Arent you all taught Hindi in schools/colleges?
I: Nope.. hindi is a language.. just like english is, and it is upto us to choose the language..

FW: Oh, alright.. That is interesting.. no wonder each one speaks a different language.. In Goa, we dint hear much of hindi as our cabbie spoke fluent English..
I: See..once again English comes to the rescue... :)

FW: that is true, if he dint know that, we were screwed!!
[Smiled and went back to playing the strange game of cards they were playing!!]


  1. i am of the opinion that every country shud have a schooling system where the world lan - english, ur nation lang - hindi and our regional lang are compulsory, and if u want to learn a foreign language, now that shud be optional. Being from bombay, having learnt all 3 ....its a chaos when u see someone from southern or northern india speak with a heavy accent here in the US. the southern will not speak in hindi and his english with have a heavy southie touch making half of the words non receivable even for indians and the northern guy will only speak in hindi, his english will have a pysdee grammar, making that again a pain to understand.

  2. hey was not trying to offend anyone, being a southern indian myself.
    But yeah, sometimes its funny...and foreigners find that even amusing. They have no clue that English is THE medium in some schools. When i started to write for the newspaper here, that was the first question interviewed to me...so English is ALSO taught in schools?
    I said, thanks to the britishers aka ur ancestors, english is THE lang in schools and everything else in non compulsory. They are pretty naive when it comes to that!!

  3. @Rush - :) I dont see any offence in what you've written!!! yep, i've had people gape and ask in surprise= oh so you Indians also speak english..!!
    and i've had more than my share of northies ask in awe- wow, u speak good hindi.. i thot u were a punju!! :)

    I was more surprised at what Lonely planet was spreading than the poor FW's dilemma in understanding this little nuance about our country

  4. very interesting!! no wonder foreigners find us so confusing... esp if they are fed such mistaken info!!

  5. Atleast speaking english helps us to connect with any foreigner and any indian, I am glad we all speak in english, common medium is what we are looking at, we can still practise our on mother tongue, without making it extinct. There is this fine line and I hope people understand it soon.

    by the way it was a witty narration :P with codes and all

  6. Anu- i know. felt sorry for them... :)

  7. Sri-- Absolutely....

    thanxxxxxxxx... :)


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