Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Catharsis Part-VI: No, I am a Bangali!

Pathetic is all I can say! Loud and clear. I am upto my neck with work and I am loving it?!! Something must be wrong with me! The 90% humidity and 40˚C temperature is not hindering my stride either... Well, that may be 'cause all the labs are air-conditioned. But still, I should be more loyal to my own attitude!

So I am enjoying lab, the people whom I work with, a lot. At home, in silico, I am what I always wanted to be (among the hundreds of other things), an editor in a brilliant Editorial team for a dream of a magazine. My two co-editors are the two most amazing and talented individuals who could only be complemented by the also-talented me (of course!). Sometimes three is the perfect match... Especially when there is one guy, two girls and the love that's always present in these kind of equations, is between the two girls. No better working combination than that!

But if everything is so happy-dovey, then why a cathartic post? After all irritating people are omnipresent, and the secret to happiness is to avoid and ignore.

Prior to our magazine with infinite number of minute details, in the two short weeks when we had finish most of the stuff, Neha (the creator, and my lady-love) and I escalated from our usual 30 minutes-average-a-day to a 50 minutes-average-a-day talking on phone. We could always converse in English but we are typical Indians, yaar! And no false pride either. So Hindi it is, interspersed with my English words when I trip. Obviously. I am actually not bad. Ask Neha. And Shrikant. (Even if he is a co-editor, he's too honest to lie)

Now get outta my house and enter my lab. Two of my seniors (only two) are non-Bengalis who understand Bengali perfectly, even if they don't speak it all the time. But we are a really friendly (a reason why some sects of Indians' attitudes baffle me) set of people... We will always try our best to speak with non-Bengalis in their languages. So, Hindi it is. Again.

Now what happens. In my lab, frequently we caught ourselves speaking in Hindi to other Bengalis. We had completed explaining our thoughts, six-seven sentences in a row, paused, looked at each other, wrinkled brows and exclaim in unison, "Why am I speaking to you in Hindi??!!!"

Like working on computer, any computer anywhere, any kind. I am a blogger, who blogs in English for heaven's sake! But no, I have completely associated computers with Hindi! Now I write Ds instead of Rs, and even though Guria WON'T ever change to Gudia, most others have. I actually have problems chatting with my Bong friends with English-typed Bengali words. I have to now, hmm, ahh, and then type! And Hindi? Waah, that's the Language Enabled in my fingers nowadays. Not a break in my stride while typing!

Even worse was my fiancé telling me, let us talk in Hindi since I am a regular at it nowadays, and then switching back to Bengali because I was too fluent for him!!

But worst of the lot was me absent-mindedly answering my poor Mom (who had said to a shopkeeper in Jaipur while buying shoes for the absent me, "Mera beti paanch naambar ka joota porta hai") - "Kya hua? Wahin pe toh tha naa!". My poor, poor Mom got so shocked out of her wits that she forgot all about the food I was not supposed to eat.


N.B. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: I am a hard-core Bangali. And the catharsis was to remind myself.

15 comments:

Neha said...

lol....but honestly, your hindi is superb..sachi me..:)

Gyanban said...

udi baba ortem. dheech ij bhery gud. omen raiting in ingraji.
tooly inshphiresonal !!

Rajlakshmi said...

hehehe lolzzzz at the above comment... ya ya I can see you are hard core bengali :D

Ritu said...

LOL at Gyanbaan's comment! Yeah Bengalis even the Poribeshi ones end up teaching non Bengalis the mishti bhasha

Lakshmi Rajan said...

First thing first, best of luck and enjoy the editorial works! I know how it feels to be an magazine editor when we got some amazing people around as a team! :)

Then about the language. Well, that is one thing that has taken my life as a typhoon. My mother tongue is Tamil and i have loads of malayalam speaking friends and I live in bangalore now learning the sounds of Kannada and when Hindi was my nightmare in my school days I find myself with a wife whose mother tongue is Hindi. Now I have made a kchidi of Tamil, Hindi, English, malayalam and kannada and mix everything with people and confuse them further :S and inbetween wonder like you said why am i speaking with you in this language ? :P

Harini said...

I am a telugu and my telugu is ok not great :P.

Bikramjit Singh Mann said...

Main punjabi
meri zaat bhi punjabi
meri boli v punjabi :0

I am punjabi and language too is punjabi , though nowadays its mostly english .. because GORE log dont understand punjabi .. which is good I can say anything :)

all languages are beutiful i think.. I jsut know one line in bengali
"Khava dava hoi gaache"- hope you understand he he he

:)

rsvblogger said...

I have many friends who are bengali and take pride in being so. You are no different. But its true that they have to partially lose their true self to live those who are not. But on the other hand it is not great to be so magnificently awesome in three languages?

pallavi said...

Awesome... and something that has always surprised me is the number of Bong and Mallu bloggers around :-))) Glad we use Angrezi as the medium of communication :-)

Sach! said...

LoL!
Been there done that.."from Punjabi to Indian" is what I call it :)

Dhiman said...

u know what in my school I had no. of non-Bengali friends and you know how its in Kolkata generally you need to speak Bangla so it was very funny to listen to their peculiar bangla ....but fortunately due those association with pure Hindi speakers and the second language in school my Hindi is "durust" as we say in Hindi :)

NesQuarX said...

Ha! Don't let your intellect and penchant for hard work fool you out of that squishy comfort zone that is bengali-hood!

sushobhan roy said...

hey guria i am a first time reader of ur blog.. I really like the way u have poured out your predicaments and the complexity of working in a multi cultural set up.. Really enjoyed reading it..:)

Debosmita said...

I am completely with you. In my group of five friends, 1 was Kannadiga, 1 Tamilian, 1 Bihari and 2 Bengalis (including yours truly). Almost all the time, we ended up talking in English or Hindi. My Hindi improved so much that now I do not make mistakes in gender at all ;-) And amidst all these, we 2 Bengalis talk to each other in Hindi!!!

In my Marwari law firm, I am usually summoned to read and comprehend any document in Bengali, and recently I was also asked to translate one into Bengali!!! I wrote the Bengali alphabets after sooo long! Truly shameful for me :-(

Alcina said...

Lol..
Aae lekha ta khub mojadar..shobche beshi ooe nicher line gulo :D

Sometimes i face similar situations and make a total fool of myself :P