Language In India.

The image on the left is the cover of a book that explains a fascinating phenomenon and I hope that some of my interested readers will read it to understand why I find it so.

My employer during most of my working career was an English company and all communication was in English. All our customers spoke local languages and were also most uncomfortable with English. Among the many innovations that I had brought in during my career as a Manager was to let reports from field personnel be simple and mostly statistical in nature with the narrative kept in minimum because most of the salesforce were not comfortable with English either. I even encouraged the reports being written in local languages if important enough, so that the content could be conveyed accurately. We had to use translators to understand and take action but, that was a small price to pay for effectiveness.

India is a country with 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. However, figures from other sources vary, primarily due to differences in definition of the terms “language” and “dialect”.  Barring the Hindi belt the all the other states, have different languages as their official languages and most schools teach in the local language.

English has a unique place in India thanks to our colonial days and higher education particularly in Engineering and Medicine has been in English.  Many students struggle with this arrangement as they have to learn English in addition to their other subjects.

Under the circumstances, I found this news item fascinating and unlike our snobs welcome this development. I hope that the rest of the country follows suit.

Hinglish is actually a local name for the combination of Hindi and English. You can also have Tamlish for Tamil and English, Maratish for Marathi and English and so on and so forth. Purists usually are appalled at the usage but I for one encourage it as the idea is to communicate effectively and not be snobbish about the correct use of language.

Among other things, I find it quite interesting as to how American English and English English are different and also the various accents around the world when speaking in English.

Language is fascinating.  Here is another instance to lighten my readers up.  This is a sign board for the office of a Law Firm.

The lawyers do not seem to mind. I suppose that the clients understand what the sign says. Only snobs will find find fault with it.

Posted in Books / Reading, Humor, India, Language | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Do you have a code that you live by?

The answer to the question is, in all humility, yes, I try to. While I succeed mostly, I confess that there are occasions when I slip. I normally take whatever steps that need to be taken to make amends when I slip.

As my readers know, I am a Vedantin and as such try to follow the Indian code of conduct called Yama and Niyama.

Yama consists of the Moral paths and Niyama consists of the ethical paths.

Yama.
1. AHIMSA: Respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others.
2. SATYA: Truthfulness.
3. ASTEYA: Non stealing.
4. BRAHMACHARYA: The virtue of celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married.
5. APARIGRAHA: The virtue of non-covetousness.

Niyama:
1. SAUCHA: Cleanliness/Hygiene. (Physical and Mental)
2. SANTOSHA: Contentment.
3. TAPAS: Spiritual practices and austerities.
4. SVADHYAYA: Self education / Life long pursuit of wisdom.
5. ISHVARA PRANIDHANA: Surrender to the Supreme Power.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for this Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Yu can see what he has to say at his blog.

Posted in Blogging, India, Philosophy, Religion, Spiritualism | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Mind Your Own Business.

Posted in Humor | 5 Comments

There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten.

The title of this post is a quote that has been ascribed to Marie Antoinette,  a remarkable personality by all accounts. This quote has long been a favourite of mine when occasions arise when I can quote it.

Another similar adage is “History repeats itself”.

Let me give the latest instance when I used it.

I received an SOS from a young lad that his father, a friend of mine, is interfering in the bringing up of the former’s child. I called my friend to remonstrate and reminded him as to how he felt when his parents interfered in the bringing up of the same child that he was trying to influence now. And, I could not resist the temptation to use this quote for effect! And to add some spice to the discussion I also said that there is nothing called the generation gap and that there was only a memory gap.

This topic was chosen by me for the weekly Friday 2 on 1 blog post where Shackman and I post on the same subject. Please see what Shackman has to say too.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship, History | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Memory Trigger – Song.

The trigger.
I got this message forwarded to me in WhatsApp by a friend “Sonu Nigam singing Mohd. Rafi’s famous song “Dil ke jharoke mein” in a concert in London… All instruments are played by foreigners except the singing by Mr Sonu Nigam ! The song is from movie “Brahmachari” released in 1968 composed by the great Shankar Jaikishan! A marvellous song enjoyed even today (after 50 years!) in its full spirit and melody by the mass!”

Sonu Nigam is a contemporary singer in our Hindi films and other programmes. This was obviously aimed at the Indian diaspora in London.

The Original clip from the film showing the song as originally sung by Mohd. Rafi with Shammi Kapoor lipsynching the song.


The memory.

The film Brahmachari was released in 1968 just before our wedding. After our marriage, Urmeela and I had set up home in Delhi in December of 1968, during the midst of the wedding season. In North India, weddings are preceded by the groom arriving on horseback escorted by his family and a brass band. This is called a barat. Since this song was very popular and all about a man declaring his love for a girl, this was the choice song for the brassbands throughout the season. Not a day passed without our being exposed to this noisy band music coming up from the streets till quite late in the nights.

Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a brass band playing the tune but to give you an idea of such music here is a clip showing a barat but, with a different tune.

Posted in India, Music, Nostalgia, People | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Goodbye Old Faithful!

For the past twenty odd years this copper pot has been my faithful companion every night. It would be filled with drinking water by around 4.00 pm every afternoon and kept near my bed for me to drink about half of it as soon as I wake up in the morning on an empty stomach.

I started the practice as part of my daily morning routine on the advice of an Ayurvedic Doctor as a healthy habit. I can vouch for its efficacy as I always feel the difference to my sense of well being when I am out of Pune and am denied this morning habit. Drinking water first thing in the morning from the glass bottles or other vessels helps but it is not quite the same thing as drinking water stored in a copper vessel.

A week ago, I found that the vessel was leaking and so had to find a substitute. Uncle Amazon helped me source a modern equivalent and once it arrived I have bid goodbye to the old vessel. Manjiree insists that the leak can be stopped by some copper vessel makers in the old city and will take the vessel one of these days there to see if it can be done. If it can be, all for the good and I will revert to keeping that beside my bedside while keeping this new baby as a standby. In the meanwhile, I will be using the new copper bottle as it is called by Amazon.  Back to being bottle fed?  Perhaps apt for a second childhood!

Posted in India | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

You Can Go Anywhere From The Comfort Of Your Home.

Blogger Padmum has not blogged in a long time due to preoccupation with other weighty matters but, that has not stopped her from coming up with ideas for her brother to write blog posts on. This is one. There was a peremptory message on WhatsApp from her to her beloved brother suggesting that this be done. Never having been able to deny her anything, here I go attempting it.

She suggested another topic as well, which will follow soon. Just watch this space.

Disclaimer. I have travelled a great deal in my pre retirement days and strongly believe that substitutes do not come anywhere near the physical presence in strange locations to get a feel for the place and its people.

Having got that off my chest let me find the ways in which one can go anywhere from the comfort of one’s home.

The first way is to get oneself a good computer and the best possible internet connection. Once you have these two prerequisites, all that you need is to request Uncle Google to take you to any place on earth and he will oblige. He has got the widest possible access via satellites and Google maps. He would often guide you to consult Aunt Wikipedia who keeps getting her information updated by a vast network of nephews and nieces.

The second way is to ask Uncle Google again to list movies that show the place that you wish to visit. He will gladly oblige and you can either see the movies via Netflix or Amazon Prime or get a DVD of the film. Quite often a visit to the Youtube will also show you the film that you are looking for. This activity requires the first prerequisite as well and if you want the best results for movie watching a smart TV too.

The third way is to read books. In many ways I should imagine this to be the best way to get a feel for the place though it would be second hand. Travel books often give more details than the other methods.

The next best way to do this is to locate characters like me to ask about their experiences. The limitation here is obvious in that the coverage that the first two options will have will simply not be available to the intrepid traveller, no matter how extensively he has travelled.

I would be delighted to receive any other ideas that my readers can come up with.

Posted in Family, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Rains!

June has brought the rains to us and along with it lowered temperatures and tempers.

Among the first to enjoy the after effects for the first heavy shower was Chutki.

She not only got wet, she got all muddied. When she came back inside she came up to me to show off her wet self with a grin and dared me to go out with her.

I wish I could have obliged.

Posted in Humor, Pets | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Chappal!

I take my readers back to my post where I had written about how I lost a pair of slippers when I had gone for a concert/lecture programme.

I was reminded of that incident when this ditty came way my in a WhatsApp forward. It is in Hindi and I have translated it to English below each line.  This poor fellow is devastated because only one of the pair was stolen!

रंग से गोरी न थी ..😊
She was not fair in complexion
लेकिन सुन्दर थी..😊
But, she was beautiful
बहुत ऊँची न थी…😊
She was not very tall
लेकिन मेरे लिए योग्य थी…😘
But, she was just right for me
प्रेम देने वाली न सही…😊
Though she was incapable of giving love
मेरे कदमो से कदम मिलाती थी…😊
She used to walk in step with me
मंदिर – मस्जिद आने से इनकार करती थी….😊
She is used to balk at accompanying me to Mosques and Temples
लेकिन बाहर मेरा इंतजार करती थी….😍
But, she used to wait for me outside
कही भी जाओ मेरे लिए रुक जाती थी वो….😉
Wherever I went, she would stop for me

.
जैसी भी थी
However she may have been
मेरी चप्पल थी.. 🙄🙄
She was my chappal
पता नहीं कौन उठाकर ले गया साला 😠😟😭😞😞 एकदम नयी चप्पल थी।
Don’t know who stole her away from me, she was brand new.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, WhatsApp, Writing | Tagged | 14 Comments

Is amazon.com overrated or is it really useful?

Amazon in India launched online marketing in February 2012 with a portal called Junglee.com (Junglee in Hindi means ‘wild’ or ‘ill mannered’). From the very first month of its operations in India, I have been a regular customer of theirs. They became Amazon.in in June 2013 and if anything, my purchases from them increased. On an average, I make three to four purchases from Amzon every month, now a days, mostly books for my kindle application. I also buy gifts to be sent to others on at least a couple of occasions every month.

I have also used Amazon.com and Amazon.uk on a few occasions to import or deliver something overseas to friends.

I tried their competitor Flipkart on a couple of occasions but was disgusted with their after sales customer service and stopped dealing with them totally.

I have also used eBay on occasion with satisfaction but by and large depend on Amazon.

There are a number of other online marketeers that I use for dry fruits, specialised books, grocery, vegetables and fruit besides a number of home delivery of food portals.

To sum up, I am more or less an exclusive online-shopper from home and have found the experience satisfying and convenient. I am particularly fond of Amazon and so, the answer to the question asked by my fellow Friday blogger Shackman for this post, is a resounding no, they are not overrated but are really very useful for comfort zone denizens like me. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say about his experience with Amazon.com.

Disclaimer. I have a grand nephew working with Amazon India in Pune. That rascal never visits me or calls me with the excuse that Amazon keeps him too busy. I am glad that Amazon keeps him so busy that he is forced to stay out of trouble, particularly the kind that his grand uncle that he calls Daadu can get him into.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments