The Language of the Royals

She was a new recruit to the organization. The induction program was going on, as a part of which she and her newly joined colleagues were given a briefing on the technologies that they would be using to work – just a formal brush up before being assigned to teams. There was a presentation to be given at the end of the training – each recruit was given a separate topic so that everyone could learn.

She was from a small town, far away from the big metropolitan capital of the state. Till her 12th Standard, she studied in a Tamil medium school (The local language of that state). There on, she went to the only engineering college at the outskirts of her town. The sudden change in the medium of instruction was quite difficult for her at the beginning. Not that she didn’t like English, both English and Tamil were her favourite subjects at school. She got more marks than others in these two subjects. But back then, she only studied English as a subject. Now she was enrolled in an engineering course, in which she had to study all the subjects in English. Not only that, some of the words were too technical and too complicated. The only way she could absorb what was written in the text book was to translate the lines into Tamil. Every line. And then memorize the English lines. It was an arduous task, but slowly she picked up. But it was a huge task to even clear the examinations. Her professor would ask, “Don’t you know the meaning of chip set?” when she asked about it, and she would think ‘If all the technical books were available only in Tamil, you would struggle with even ‘Min Anjal‘ ‘, which was email in Tamil.

So, when she joined this job, she was impressed by the English that was so carelessly and fluently spoken by her colleagues. She was taken aback by the way they were asking questions and even talking with each other. She never heard anyone speak English like that, in her town. She was actually nervous about the presentation. There were even a couple of mock presentations done by her seniors, so that they could become familiar with the format. And one of the senior made such a beautiful presentation that everyone were stunned. It was not only about her language, but the confidence, the poise, the demeanour, the clarity, and what not!

After the presentation, she saw that senior in the cafeteria. She went and introduced herself and told what she thought about the presentation. They also discussed her background, how she was uncomfortable with the language and her nervousness about the first presentation that she had to give in English.

“I will give you an idea. Make a good presentation, let it be well researched and informative. On the day of the presentation, just go to the front and read it from the LCD projector screen. Just add a couple of points of your own in the middle”

“Can I get away with that?”

“Yes, as long as the presentation that you are going to give is technically informative, you can. I too started like that. Focus on the content, not the language. The purpose of a language is to enable us to express, and not hinder our expression”

Her respect for the senior grew even more. Focus on the content, not the language. For a small town girl, that was a huge consolation. She always thought that people were judged in the big cities only by their style of speaking English. She was however determined to make the utmost efforts to learn to speak good English.

She would, eventually.

She would even live to see the day when her kids would call her ‘Mamma’ instead of ‘Amma’. She would live to see the day when her friends would abuse the native language by mixing so many English words unnecessarily, while speaking the native language. She would live to see the day when the majority of the local population would ignore the rich literature available in thier language, forget contributing anything to it!

Destination Infinity

You could visit the ‘Short stories (Fiction)’ section of this blog for reading similar stories.

(Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)

58 Replies to “The Language of the Royals”

  1. Unfortunate that our local languages are getting lost…

    but like you said The purpose of a language is to enable us to express, and not hinder our expression

    in this global era… I guess we all need one language… and its the needs that are dominating the selection here…

    however the dearth of poets / literary works in local languages is not a good sign… 🙁

  2. Hell yeah , DI . And I am afraid even I am guilty of ignoring my mother tongue . Barring Prem chand and a couple of other authors , I haven't read much . That bothers me . And the bastardization of the language bothers me even more . If you start speaking the purer version of the language , minus the English words , people start staring . More importantly , there are times when I don't even know how to express myself in my language .

    1. When we start reading literature in our native language thinking that as a duty, I think the fun will be lost. Actually, I casually had a chance to browse a couple of blogs in Tamil and was astounded with the quality of the poems written by the bloggers. Then it dawned on me that I was not looking for such blogs at all!

      Destination Infinity

      1. True , But if it comes to that , then it is sad . I think the fact that most book stores rarely offer a good collection of books in Indian languages , also has a role to play .

        1. I have tried searching so much Kislay and I have never been successful..the only time I can get my hands on books in every Indian language or for that matter any language of the world is during the Delhi Book Fair..
          god bless those people!

          1. In the recently conducted Chennai book fair (It happens every Jan), there were as many book stalls for Tamil as there were for English. That is one thing I like in TN.

            Destination Infinity

  3. There is a fundamental disconnect in the post. At one place, you mention that the objective of language is to communicate. By doing this you are removing all beauty from it, restriciting yourself to its purpose.
    The purpose of language has never been art, which is the poetry, prose, plays, so on.
    The demise of the local language is as per the survival of the fittest, in this case, most used.
    Therefore, one cannot exonerate the fact that a language is just for communication, and then berate it for dying out compared to other languages.
    They are two separate points that need to be tackled separately.

    1. These are two separate points agreed. Actually in the first context I was pointing out how people think that the way something is communicated is more important than what is being communicated. It is like judging the magazine by its cover.

      In the second context, just because a language is used by a lot of people or the urban elite, it does not become the best or the fittest! Just a couple of days back I accidentally visited a couple of blogs in Tamil and was astounded by the quality of poems written by bloggers there. We don't visit native language blogs assuming that they are either insignificant or they are not of good quality. Both the assumptions are very wrong when you compare to the stuff that gets passed on as poems in certain English blogs, by Indian writers of course!

      Destination Infinity

  4. DI, That was really thought provoking.. I have the unfortunate condition of being more comfortable in English than my mother tongue – being brought up outside my 'native' state.. And you know, I am trying very hard to teach my daughter my language.. only to hear her reply back in English.. It is indeed sad that so many of our rich languages, which have such a rich literary history are slowly going to die away..

    1. I am in a similar situation like you. Even though my mother tongue is telugu, I can only speak in that language but not read and write. The poems and songs can get sweetest in Telugu, and I have heard a lot of them but still I can't read and write. But I think parents should teach both english and their native language to kids. If the kids are more comfortable with something, let them go on with that.

      Destination Infinity

  5. My parents talked in Punjabi but never taught it to me or my sis. So, in a way, the language finished in our home with them. It will never be carried forward. Its sad and its a price to pay for development. It kills many things. 🙂

    1. Development doesn't kill anything. The Germans, French and Japanese have been able to develop by learning everything in their native language – only we Indians have this attitude that for developing, we need English. That is because we are not self sufficient in a lot of things – Engineering and Scientific education for example. If we do not strive to be self sufficient, we will only be the back offices to large English speaking nations.

      Destination Infinity

      1. DI,
        We need to have a parallel communication system. The country today thrives on the "Services Sector" which is mainly english dependent. Moreover "Mandarin" which is the worlds highest spoken language is not the widely accepted language. Your point of self-sufficient is valid once India becomes a developed country. In my opinion, no developing country can become self-sufficient without the language "English" in today's context. These guys only come as tourists, give businesses etc

      2. @KK: That's exactly the point. Our over dependence on the service sector and our ability to master English. No doubt that has resulted in so many jobs and businesses in India. But the question is, when are we going to move ahead. Are we happy being the back office of the world or do we need to get into the 'core' activities as well. That includes innovation, developing of technologies, patenting them etc. We have millions of software coders who do a bit of this module and bit of that module in the global scenarios. But a decent software product with a 'Made in India' tag is yet to become popular, except maybe Finnacle. This is because we are very comfortable and happy in our offices as we get a good pay at a young age and do what ever pleases the client.

        Look at the Chinese in contrast – There is a company called Huawei. Initially, they too started as a back office for production of good networking/communications gear. They worked for a number of European, U.S and other clients. Now they have their own patented products developed by in-house R&D. They are the maximum market holders in China for network switches, for example. Now they have combined with 3Com and the company is making a wave internationally too. I don't see Indian companies going that way at all. They just want more of the outsourcing pie. We can say that we are moving to become a developed nation when we develop the core of a technology/ business and outsource the mundane jobs to other smaller countries.

        Destination Infinity

  6. I read your blog and found it very informative. The event blogs are striking enough to have a feel of the event, so, I would like to have a little chit-chat on your blogging interests. And even we are coming up with an event on startups on June 6th. So, can I have your contact details? Looking forward to hear from you.
    Contact me at ojas@siliconindia.com

  7. Though in context I want to agree with you.. but I like most other people born outside their state are more comfortable with English..

    Though I do agree that a lot of beautiful literature is lost.. due to language constraints.. If only we could have all of them translated in english 🙂

      1. For a change, What about learning the language? I know it is an impractical suggestion, but for me – I either read it in the right context or I don't. I am planning to learn German to access certain literature that they have. Hopefully, that will happen within this lifetime! 🙂

        Destination Infinity

        1. I can hardly speak my mother tongue! forget about learning to read n write… but I have read marathi literature and in my opinion there are some fantabulous literature and line of thoughts.. tht should not be lost due to language constraints 🙂

          Frankly.. its part of nature that some language gets lost and others survive.. the smart thing would be to adapt to the new wave than to hold on to the old one 🙂

        2. This post is not about survival skills. It is not about which language is better than which. I think the languages have a clear role in today's world, and I cannot refuse that. Like, I cannot aspire that a local language will become the preferred language of communication over English. If that was the question, I would have preferred German or Chinese/Mandarin to take over that role.

          It is only about the attitude of the people who think that speaking good English automatically puts him into some kind of higher class – where he becomes much more cleverer and everyone in the world becomes his slave. I have noticed this attitude with people. Secondly, there is a lot of literature in the local languages, which are of exceptional quality – which might cease to exist if we don't do anything about it. This is in public interest only and if the public doesn't care, why should I care???

          I can accept your point of translating the content into English but I was just concerned that the beauty of the literature is lost, that way!

          Destination Infinity

  8. I hate people who purposefully ignoring their mother tongue and running behind English… its a disrespect… so to keep myself touch in tamil I am reading tamil newspapers, tamil blogs and also writing a blog. Its a sad thing that many were not able to read and write in their language 🙁 very nicely written DI 🙂

  9. I can symapthize, being from a small town myself..
    And to top that, I had ignored my mothre tongue Marathi since I was staying in a different state..Flip sides are many, the most important one beings missing out on the rich literature and culture .
    Nicely written 🙂

    1. I think it is our responsibility to at least introduce the richness of our literature to the next generation. Whether they take it or not is their call. I feel that we are less enthusiastic about doing it!

      Destination Infinity

  10. I actually dont get the point. If we consider neglect of local language then how is that related to a professional live where your colleagues are all over India? Developing local language, having more books in it are all fine ideas but that doesnt reduce the necessity to know one binding language of the world!!

    1. We, latest generation of Indians, are good at copying a lot of things from the west. Including the language and their style of living. As long as we keep copying things from there and not do anything original, our prescribed text books for engineering, medicine and all other technical subjects will be from abroad and we will be proudly running their back offices.

      It is very much necessary for us to be proud of our heritage and gain our confidence back so that we would stop celebrating the Indian growth and actually do something worthwhile. And one of the ways to be proud of our heritage is upholding our languages and its richness.

      I am typing these words in English. I do acknowledge the contribution of English as a unifying language within India and bringing in dollar revenue. But a bulk of that dollar revenue is due to doing back office jobs for the advanced nations. Have we ever calculated how much of revenue we lose by buying almost everything from those nations?

      When this language starts dominating our lives so much that we start neglecting our regional languages, we are losing our identity. Can you say with confidence that we are not neglecting our regional languages? I know I am exaggerating and bringing in unrelated things here, but I feel they are all connected. I may be wrong. I just wish that I am wrong!

      Destination Infinity

  11. yes we need to develop our native language but then we all are aware of how many languages we have in India. Hindi by no means is accepted as the National Language.
    Rest I do agree that English language has taken a lot of space in our mundane work but then that's more or less the global language. So we need to get a grasp on that too.

    Good Stuff,
    Keep Rocking.

    1. Actually, there was a discussion going on in one of the blogs about hindi vs regional languages. They were saying that hindi was killing the regional languages. That made me think how people are totally oblivious of something very obvious – English! Of course, the best option available with us right now is to concentrate on English. But we must not let it dominate our regional languages or national language (I can accept to hindi being the national language as most of the people are familiar with it – I can get away with speaking in hindi in Hyderabad or Bangalore easily).

      And we need to be literally aware about the major works and authors in our regional languages. Many people don't take efforts in that direction. I also don't get the attitude of certain people who think that regional languages are already out of fashion or for the lower classes and we will speak only in English everywhere!

      Destination Infinity

  12. unfortunately life in the big cities is such… there is far more focus on superficial things rather than what really matters… be it the emphasis on dressing, clothes, looks, behaviour rather than the actual person. sometimes i feel the essence goes missing in the quest…

  13. I think you have a moral of the story here! 🙂 However few people ignore their native language on purpose. The circumstances of theri education and job and where they stay determines to a great extent what happens. The language one speaks most fluently and writes most fluently just happens, often without conscious thought.

    1. What about thinking, sometimes I find myself thinking in English! I have always wondered, other than the conscious thought process, does the unconscious thinking process have a language? I don't think so, even the babies can think and understand things without knowing a language! I try to put morals inside to get feedback of what other people think about them, as most of my thoughts hover on the mid-way – always undecided!

      Destination Infinity

  14. you know, DI, i too have studies from local language school till my 12th standard (gujarati medium) and i can relate complete with your protagonist. I know how difficult it was for me in the first year of MBBS when my colleagues used to complete one full chapter and i was struggling to get hold of the first page!!!

    But, i too have learnt that mother tongue has to be respected and i try my level best that my child gets best of both the worlds.

    1. I too was struggling to get hold of the first page in my engineering – because I never opened the book!! 🙂

      But even my father studied in telugu medium till his 12th and struggled to complete his college and professional degree. I admire people, who do that. So, it is a great achievement for you too. It seems, before a long time, people in France wanting to major on mining technology had to take German lessons (as a part of their curriculum) to learn Mining technology as much of the references were in German! When compared to that, our city students are too pampered (They have one author in English and one local author who would translate the same English in an understandable and simpler way for the students so score marks!).

      Destination Infinity

  15. It should be a mix of both the worlds at school. They should encourage children to speak in English right from the beginning but at the same time, the regional language should also be taught. and I guess, even at home it should be a similar mix. I know of families where the kids speak only English at home and when they are asked to speak the regional language, they shy away.

    1. There was the reverse situation, even before some years where even city students used to shy away to speak English!. Schools are doing a good job of promoting speaking in English – as the local languages are automatically picked up by students. But the thing is – we don't realize when English starts dominating the local language totally to the extent that we start feeling the local language is a waste and we should always speak in English only as it is the language of the higher class!! And secondly, we just don't care about the literature or the works in local languages – which is appalling at least in the cities!

      Destination Infinity

  16. The purpose of a language is to enable us to express, and not hinder our expression—-thats what I believe in. And I pride myself that I know hindi very well have taught my children very well, I read hindi classics also. we have very good literature in regional languages and I wish someone translates them in hindi or english.
    But I dont think mixing words is corrupting the language…this is the best way to keep any language alive and kicking..see in english they keep adopting words from different languages.

    1. Mixing words to enable to express certain extra feelings or words that can't exactly translate into English to retain their identity, is welcome! Mixing words just for the sake of 'style' is what I was referring to, in the story.

      Destination Infinity

  17. Very powerful write here! Although we take it for granted that we ought to know the international lingo and attach so much of importance to it, what saddens me is the gradual casting away of the native language which evokes more emotions and connect!

    However, I'm not saying that the use of English needs to be curtailed!

    The education system needs to be cognizant of the need for educating children so that they do not face a wall when out into the corporate world! But this emphasis will also need to be made along with sufficient stress on the native / local language too!

    It is one thing to use English and quite another to switch to another language while outside of work, for instance!

    1. I can speak in three languages other than English and can switch between them easily. We Indians have that skill as we are used to the multilingual patterns for a long time. But the thing here is, we consider someone inferior just because they can't speak in English. Even though they may be technically brilliant, they may not get selected for jobs at the big IT companies, because of their lack of communication skills in English. The only reason why language skills are considered more important than the technical skills could be – Nothing much technical is happening in those companies. I am also not saying that English needs to be curtailed! I am saying don't ignore the wonderful literature available in your local language/ mother tongue/ native language!

      Destination Infinity

  18. The story beautifully expresses the difficulties faced by a person who studied in her mother tongue when the medium of education changed to English after school. My parents too faced this to a certain extent since much of their schooling was not in English. Moreover, I was aware of the problems that my own classmates from rural schools faced in my class in college. Luckily for them, our professors were very helpful by repeating things that they didn't understand in Tamil and our college also held special English classes to help rural students. While that eased the difficulties faced by students from rural TN to a certain extent, students from rural AP still found it difficult as the most of our professors didn't speak Telugu. They had to rely on help from urban classmates from AP who studied in English medium schools. In the end, however, language proved to be no barrier for these talented students from rural TN/AP. Many of our best performers were students from rural schools and their success rate was generally higher. Kudos to the hard-work put in by them!

    While I hate the despicable attitude of some of those who studied in English medium schools to look down upon people from small towns and villages who are not so comfortable with English, I don't quite agree with the title and some of the contents of this post 🙂

    For one, English is not the language of the "royals" any more. In fact, English has ceased to be "English" quite a long time ago. "Globish" is the new global language! 🙂 Globish (written in the Roman script) is a simplified form of English in which simple expression is encouraged and the complexities and quirks of the language are avoided to a large extent. This is the default lingua franca of the planet now and in a few years time, every kid on the planet will be able to read, write and speak Globish with ease (though it will never be called that, it will still be called "English") and no one in India should miss out on this opportunity. Instead of trying to target English, it should be our endeavour to make every rural kid comfortable with this language that will be able to open doors for them in any remote corner of the world. In that sense, India is in a better position than the kids in countries where, say French (the old lingua franca of the world, though it never became too popular) is taught, like many Francophone countries in the developing world, or countries where English is not taught at all (like China). Why, even the French and the Chinese have warmed up to the new global language and are learning English (or Globish) with a vengeance. Even Latin American countries, where Spanish (or Portuguese in Brazil) reigns supreme, have realised the need to teach Globish to their children and English is a compulsory subject for school students in many Latin American countries now. Even in Morocco, where Arabic and French are the languages of instruction, English is a compulsory subject for school students. It would be foolish and extremely stupid if Indians were to discourage English!

    Another point is that English is the only language that can keep India united. Though it may not have the sheer numbers, it is the only pan-Indian language, and it is an Indian language, not a foreign one! Hindi may have more speakers because of the population of the Hindi speaking states, but it is a regional language that has the largest number of speakers, that's all. If Hindi is a national language, then all the languages of India are national languages, including English! There can never be one national language and many regional languages, since all languages are regional languages, including Hindi. If there is one language that is non-regional and has a genuine pan-India presence, it has to be English! As many Maharashtrians and Kannadigas have belatedly realised, it is Hindi and NOT English that is a threat to Marathi and Kannada. The unfortunate thing is that while they realise the threat, they are not able to counter it effectively. Thus, we have groups that use forceful means, like the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Kannada Rakshana Vedike (KRS) gaining prominence since the people are naturally angry with the marginalisation of Marathi and Kannada.

    Another thing to be noted is that English is never a threat to any language in India! IT NEVER WAS, IT IS NOT AND IT WILL NEVER BE!!! The best example is Tamil Nadu, as you yourself mentioned. One state that never faced issues of having to deal with groups such as the MNS and KRS is Tamil Nadu, since the people of Tamil Nadu realised long, long, ago that English can NEVER be a threat to Tamil. If anything, English has enriched Tamil and has acted as a window to the world (and the other parts of India). I believe West Bengal, too, realised that English has never been a threat to Bengali after some initial flawed policies of trying to discourage English. Due to the enlightened two language policy of TN, Tamil and English flourish everywhere. Even in tiny towns in TN, one can find bi-lingual signboards in Tamil and English and locals can read and write the English (Roman, actually) script with ease. Of course, rural students may not be able to speak English with ease as their urban counterparts, since they did their schooling entirely in Tamil medium, but English is taught right from the first standard to the twelfth (and beyond) as a compulsory language, so they are actually literate in both Tamil and English. The government of TN has realised the difficulties that students from rural schools face with spoken English, and is now concentrating on improving the spoken English skills of rural school students, as opposed to just teaching English as a language. For instance, there is a concerted drive by many Corporation schools in Chennai to make their students (mostly hailing from poor, working class families) comfortable with spoken English in association with well-wishers and organisations. This should be extended to all the government schools across the state and spoken English should receive equal attention as written English and teachers should be trained for the same.

    1. This post was not against English – It was against the marginalization of the local languages because of English by people who are proficient in that language. I studied in English medium with Tamil as my second language. Quite frankly, I have not read(regularly) or written much in Tamil ever since I left school. Of course, I speak in Tamil. What happens when you take a regional language off the economic/money-generating activities is: Even though people may like the regional languages, they may not concentrate on it. Heck, I read history, fiction, non-fiction and almost everything in English. And in the internet, I rarely visit Tamil blogs, forget contributing anything there.

      So, when you compare the above situation with a person in Germany or France or Japanese or Chinese, don't you think it is totally contrasting?? Aren't these people successful? Why do we need to equate professional success with a language? What is stopping us to translate the engineering curriculum, for example, into a regional language and encouraging research with the regional language (or Hindi) itself? The answer to this question is – we are hopeless when it comes to original research in technology and contribution (even in English) and we depend on jobs which require good English speaking skills – In other words, we have become the back office of advanced nations (in Exchange for some Dollars) because of our proficiency of English, which is not bad for a start – but for how long?

      Computer/internet languages rely on keywords, and programming can be done by any body who is familiar with the libraries. It is because of our proficiency in English (and the dollars) that we do not look beyond these back-office jobs that we get from abroad. A nation surviving on such back office jobs and BPO is good for the short term, but it could even break our backbones on the longer term. Of course, I can't put the blame squarely on English for all that, but I used the language to bring another important point that we are neglecting.

      And the title was intended to hurt those people who form classes with the language and think that people who are less proficient in English are of a lower class and they are higher class.

      Destination Infinity

      1. DI,

        I share your contempt for those who think they are somehow better than their rural brethren who are not-so-comfortable with English. That kind of stupid attitude irritates me 😡

        Yes, I too am involved more with English in the print and online world and don't read much in Tamil, other than the daily newspaper.

        I don't think we are dependent on jobs that require good English speaking skills, not at all! The IT and BPO sector is an important, but only MINOR, part of the economy. Major parts of the economy are agriculture, which does not require English, manufacturing industries of every kind (which do not require spoken English skills) and other service sectors which may/may not require English.

        IT/BPO is a highly visible sector in the metro cities, especially if you live in a city like Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India. Cities like Bengaluru (and Hyderabad) have gone all out to encourage the growth of one sector (IT/BPO) while neglecting others. And they would pay the price for it if they don't change course and encourage other sectors sufficiently. All sectors have to encouraged equally.

        IT/BPO is highly visible in Chennai but it is by no means the greatest contributor to the city or the state. Industries are an integral part of the landscape in Chennai and different smaller cities and towns in TN. While IT is the new and pampered kid on the block, diversified manufacturing industries have always formed the bed-rock of TN's economy and agriculture is an important part in irrigated and fertile areas. The Chennai region is a large manufacturing hub for automobile, electrical and chemical industries, Coimbatore region for auto parts and textile machinery, Erode and Tirupur for textiles, Namakkal for coach building, Sivakasi for amorces/fireworks/matches/stationery/small goods, Karur-Trichy belt for cement manufacture, Hosur is an industrial powerhouse despite its small size etc. It requires very little spoken English skills to work in such industries at most levels. A well-rounded economy spread out in all directions is what each state requires. This will prevent massive inequalities in income and overcrowded, badly congested cities that are on the verge of collapse.

        I believe Maharashtra and Gujarat, have highly diversified economies as well. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too have begun encouraging manufacturing industries after concentrating only on IT/BPO and Biotech and that is a very heartening sign indeed.

        Nobody in India is equating professional success with English knowledge, DI. It is only in small sectors where English is required, like IT/BPO/hospitality/tourism/airlines in which that is the case. I've met a man who is a successful multi-millionaire, an owner of a large textile manufacturing firm in Coimbatore, who speaks only in Tamil since he does not know much English. But he has several English speaking graduates and even foreign-educated engineers and managers who work for him. He never associated professional success with English knowledge and he is not ashamed of his lack of English speaking skills, why should he? And to top it all, he is a self-made man who built his industry from scratch on his own and did not inherit it from anyone.

        We cannot squander away the advantage that we have in certain sectors. The Chinese are a menace, who are looking to gobble up every sector in the world with their cheap industries that employ forced labour and pay very low wages. Without neglecting the service sectors, we need to build up our manufacturing industries and spread them out in areas where there are none and encourage agriculture at the same time to feed the huge poplulation that we have.

        The whole thing about being the "back-office of the world" is a silly, over-hyped and oft-repeated line that the worthless journalists of the "mainstream media" keep dishing out.

  19. I wonder how I missed reading this post. I must have thought it as a technical content post. I very much regret it!

    Writer, late Sujatha and his friends, have invented lots of equivalent technical words in Tamil for the usage of computer. It is so easy to recognise them, like 'min anjal' for e-mail (as you wrote here), 'madi ganini' for lap top…he was a very famous science fiction writer and he was using tamil equivalent words for most of the technical words. I learnt from one of his article about the computer, in my school days. I think his group is still there, creating new technical words.

    I feel guilty for not writing more tamil blogs. I have not created a separate title for that and I did not get much response, so the interest has come down. Like this, people who know English, think that articles written in English will reach more people, right? So one more person who know to write Tamil is shifting to English!

    The famous bookstore Landmark, did not have much Tamil books, till some years back. Now it has improved. We used to get Tamil books only in Higgin Bothams. Thank god, our Book Fair, in Chennai thrives in Tamil books. Tamil language has got lots of good writers, still and most of the households buy Tamil magazines…till now. My son said that he saw Ananda vikatan in an Australian Airport! My sister's husband is working in a Bank and they were shifting their house to Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Udupi, Mangalore and she has not yet missed even one issue of Vikatan! So, to some extent Tamil readers are still there, everywhere. But for how long? Tamil is a very good, rich language. Hope that it lives forever.

    I feel like replying to the comments also. You are doing a very good job at it, Destination Infinity. Thank you.

    I am a Kannadiga and I know to read and write the language, but because we are living here for a long time, my family reads a lot of books in Tamil.

    1. Language was one of the issues that I touched with this article. People seem to be very passionate in defending English – It seems that is uniting India! I hope it does.

      That was a surprise – knowing that your mother tongue is Kannada! I can relate to your situation – I was born and brought up in Chennai and my mother tongue is Telugu. Of course, even in my house they used to read Ananda Vikadan. Since I am very slow in reading, I have read a few articles only. In fact, there was a student journalist contest in Ananda Vikadan – where they selecting students to contribute articles in their areas and I missed that chance narrowly, in the last round. I am glad that atleast these blogs are there so that I can indulge in creative writing.

      Have you noticed one thing – If we write in Tamil, our style of writing is so different. Especially some of the poems people write in Tamil in the Blogosphere is highly impressive – It is as if that language was created for writing poetry. I felt that people (those who know the language) are missing such stuff. I find it very nice. I am sure that people are coming out with such stuff in Telugu, Kannada and all other languages in the blogs. It is people like us who don't read them! But I think we should not read them out of compulsion. I will put one Tamil poem and one Hindi poem that I liked reading in the other blogs – in this blog one day, and then people will know what they are missing!

      Destination Infinity

  20. You are missing something, Destination Infinity, by not reading Ananda Vikatan. They cover everything, serious topics (Gnani, Ramakrishnan, Sujatha (he was writing thrillers, fiction, naalaayira divya prabhandam pozhippurai, science fiction…what not), their film review is taken seriously, nowadays film gossip too! Junior Vikatan articles are taken seriously by Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha too!

    I would like to know the addresses of good tamil bloggers, if you have. Maybe I didn't try to reach out to them, enough. My time flies nowadays, with just reading limited no. of blogs. I am busy at home and do not find too much leisure time too. This hobby might be useful when I don't have much to do, in the future!

  21. Hi D I,
    The Story of yours is immensely readable, especially for people like me who have had situations like that on their way to English ambiance. People do discourage. Like I've heard them saying–In order that one is able to write in English, he/she should be either a Christian or a student of public schools! You retort with a counter question, was R. K. Narayan a christian? And another concept is put forth: at least one should have ethos of English around, you know. By the by, what on earth is this thing called "ethos of English" ?

    Thanks.
    Nanda

  22. that is one sound advice given by the senior esp to a person low on confidence & whose only drawback is not being fluent in the language of the royals.

    the last para was sad….Tamil is still doing great i must think. But the plight of Kannada is very sad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *