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]
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...
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!!]