Tag Archives: India

Vande Mataram: One Day, Maa Tere Hum

When was the last time you saw the Independence day flag hoisting or Republic day parade, live, or on TV?

Me: I seriously don’t even remember seeing it in the news – later in the evening – for the last few years. 🙁

When was the last time you sung (or even hummed on) the national anthem?

Me: Well, the last time I tried to – I forgot/mispronounced a couple of words. 🙁  This was something we used to sing *daily* during the school & college prayer-time/assembly. Growing old, eh? 😉

Though these were a couple of the “symptoms” we used to proudly show-off to demonstrate our “patriotic fever” towards our motherland, they seem to have faded away in our past – drowned in our current life-style. We used to love pinning/sticking the Indian Tricolour on our shirts, T-Shirts, bikes, cars, doors, etc.; running & cycling around with the flag held high; and wishing everyone a “Happy Independence Day” or a “Happy Republic Day”. Nostalgic, aah!

These “symptoms” used to get us a “high” and were on “display” only a couple of days before the 15th Aug and the 26th Jan — Hence, I’d coined it as “One Day, Maa Tere Hum“… (Read it like: Vande Mataram!).

Sujalam Sufalam Malayaja Shitalam Shasya Shyamalam Maataram Vande! (Note: I didn’t Google for the lyrics; these were verbatim from my memory! Aaah!)

Whenever you have some time to spare (about 2-3 mins.) please read: http://me.enirav.com/?p=594
and post your comments at the site, after reading. Thanks! 🙂

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम् शस्यशामलां मातरम् वन्दे ।
Visit here and read it with its English meaning, I recommend. (Googled only now!)

The fever has lost its fervor and here we are, still high on patriotism, but bogged down with other things in life. A PH – public holiday – to relax, travel, shop, have fun; that’s what the Independence days or Republic days are meant for now. 😐

With the country completing 62 years of independence, what’s on your to-do list for this 15th Aug 2009?

Me: I plan to get up early and watch the Independence day flag hoisting with my 5 yr. old daughter, Stuti. It will probably be her first Independence day “celebration” – the reasons for which, she’s yet to learn & understand. 😀

Chak De… Chak De… Chak De India!

Jai Hind! 😀

Visit: http://india.gov.in/myindia/myindia.php

The Flag of India
The Flag of India

Indian National Anthem (Audio)

Indian Nathional Anthem (Video)

My south-Indian “dhosths”!

After about 6 years in Bengaluru, I am now well conversant with the English pronounciations & “Hinglish” spellings (i.e. Indian/Hindi spellings in English!). Never understood the *logic* and never got any satisfying reason about:  Why are English spellings of Indian words (Hindi, Sanskrit, etc.) spelt differently in south-India, so much that the words lose their actual pronounciations altogether?

Listing some of my observations here:

Observation 1:
South Indians graciously add a “h” (read as “hech“) in word spellings where its not required, and also unceremoniously remove it, from where its (actually) required.

  • दोस्ती (Dosti) becomes धोस्थी (Dhosthi) or दोस्थी (Dosthi)
  • शिव (Shiv – read the full ) becomes Siva (सिवा) & शक्ति (Shakti) becomes सक्थी (Sakthi)
  • खाना (Khana) becomes काना (Kana), and भूख (Bhookh) becomes  बुक (Book)
  • माता (Mata) becomes माथा (Matha) – and, in Hindi (& some other Indian languages), ‘matha’ (माथा) means head/forehead! Jai Matha Stores! (Yeah, it does store!) 😛
  • उमावती (Umavati) becomes उमावथी (Umavathy or Umavathi), and पार्वती (Parvati) ends up as पार्वथी (Parvathy or Parvathi)
  • My colleague at work, Umavathy [Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Mysore state], usually says “Bahut book lagee hai, Kana kaaney jaana hai“. And in response, I typically crack a PJ – “Kaunsa book lagaa? eBook lagaa?… Kana-Matra!” 😀 😉
  • Another “royal statement” by the Queen of Mysore is “Wo baag gaya!” for “Woh bhaag gayaa!“. And the PJ goes – “Which baag? Lalbaug, Cubbon Park or Vrindavan Garden?” 😛 😉
  • When my wife was hospitalized for her delivery in Dec 2003, I made sure that the hospital staff registered my wife’s name correctly as “Swati” (स्वाति) – and not “Swathi” or “Swathy” (स्वाथी)
  • When our princess was born, I again had to forcibly ensure her name’s spelling was recorded as “Stuti’ (स्तुति) and not “Sthuthi” (स्थुथी) or “Stuthy”/”Stuthi” (स्तुथी) in their register & the birth certificate issued by the hospital. Whew!
  • The same kinetic force had to be re-applied a few years later to the old lady who wrote our daughter’s government birth certificate, and yet again to ensure the teacher who registered her name in the school register, during her school admission in Apr 2008, wrote it right!

Observation 2:
Though I don’t approve the spellings treatment as described in Observation 1, I somehow don’t mind the additional “a” to Indian words, to allow the Indian alphabet to be fully pronounced (just as is pronounced in Marathi too, but unfortunately not in Hindi).

  • राम (Ram) becomes Rama (The is to be pronounced full, unlike the way its pronounced in Hindi, where is partially pronounced)
  • महेशहरीश & गिरीश (Mahesh, Harish & Girish) become Mahesha, Harisha & Girisha. (Here the trick is to pronouce the  completely, and not as शा)
  • Similarly with माधव (Madhav) – which ends up as माधवा (Madhava – pronounce the full )

Observation 3:
However, we all know – this additional “a” has  caused a side-effect.

  • Now people read “Rama” as रामा (Raamaa), and Mahesha, Harisha, Girisha & Madhava as महेशा (Maheshaa), हरिशा (Harishaa), गिरीशा (Girishaa) & माधवा (Madhavaa) – respectively.
  • We passed the कालिदास (Kalidas) road last Sunday evening – and on the signboard along the road, it was spelt as “Kalidhasa” (कालिधासा) road. Saw it for the first time, took me a few seconds to get it. 😐

Observation 4:
I’ve also been reading completely new forms of certain words. Well, truly speaking, this actually is the American form of English which has taken over the original British English.

  • Instead of “He hung himself from the fan” – you would read the books & newspapers (including the national ToI) publishing it as “He hanged himself from the fan”.
  • Instead of “The house burnt down”, its “The house burned down”.
  • As well as “He hurted himself…” instead of “He hurt himself…”

Please note, I am well aware of how west-Indians, north-Indians & east-Indians speak Hinglish.

  • I know how my Gujarati relatives “wrap” their favourite “snacks” (I’d better not give the Gujju pronunciation of “wrap” here; for “snacks” they pronounce it as “snakes” (स्नेक्स)) &
  • I know how my Marathi friends learn “कोम्पुटर” (Komputer) instead of “Computers” (कंप्यूटर्स) – and
  • I also know how some north-Indians send their children to “iskool” (इस्स्कूल) and not “school” (स्कूल).

However as you see, these all are pronunciation goof-ups only, and also pertain to individual treatment of the words.

Nevertheless, no offence meant to anyone, listing observations just for fun – nothing official about them! 😉

I have been learning and unlearning all these years… and will continue to do so! 😀

To conclude, my dearest south-Indian dhosths (friends)… See picture below – a token of our dhosthi (friendship) – (I shot this in Fort Kochi [Cochin, Kerala] in Oct 2008) 😉

“Yaaro yehi “dhosthi” hai; Kismat se jo mili hai” – Junoon
(See the video with English subtitles HERE and the actual music video HERE.)

"Yaaro Yehi "Dhosthi" Hai..." - Junoon
"Yaaro Yehi "Dhosthi" Hai..." - Junoon

Accepted Injustice

1. Dhanya, a 14 year old village girl, died on the way to the hospital. The valiant villagers who had saved her from drowning in the raging Cauvery waters, couldn’t reach the nearest hospital just 2.5 kms away in-time to save the breathless Dhanya, only due to bad roads. The Sunday ToI (Bangalore Edition) on 28th June 2009, reported the sad news on the front page – as this also highlights the sad state of roads, especially in rural India.

    1. Who’s accountable for the loss of Dhanya’s life?
    1. Can Dhanya’s family sue the PWD (Public Works Department) for the horrible roads, which were the prime reason for their girl’s death? It might be tough to prove the allegations in court (the way our legal system is) – but its become utmost necessary to atleast cause a ripple in the hopelessly lax government departments.
    1. Couldn’t there be some action taken against the authorities responsible to provide the basic “bijli, sadak aur paani” (electricity, roads & water) to the villagers?
  • 2. I had an accident on the 03rd of Mar 2009 at around 22:00 hours, when I was driving my bike back from work. I broke a couple of ribs (minor cracks/fracture, unsure if they can be called “hairline fractures“) when I fell down – as my Bullet, cruising at less than 30 kmph, did not make it out of a deep ditch on Adugodi Road, here in central Bangalore. The front wheel got stuck in the deep crater on the busy road and turned itself to my left, while I was thrown off the bike to my right. I was lucky that the traffic behind me didn’t run over me – it was slow too – and even that the 200 kg bike didn’t crush my right leg!

    1. Can I sue the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike), which is responsible for the state of the roads in Bangalore, and claim damages for my long suffering & excruciating pain? The ribs took a lot of care, a full two months to recover and caused a lot of stress & worry to my family too.
    1. Is it too much if I expect basic needs to be met, like good quality ditch-less roads in the IT capital of India? Why is the Indian citizen given step-motherly treatment for basic infrastructure – “bijli, sadak, paani”?
  • Yes, instead of cribbing here, indeed I can file a court case, and even can Dhanya’s family. But we won’t get into it. By not doing so, we save ourselves from a few years of court hearings, fat fees to the lawyers and some mental & physical harassment worrying about the uncertainty of the outcome of the case.

    There certainly is a problem with the terribly slow delivery of justice. The typical citizen avoids appealing for justice; and in turn supports the government departments & their employees in their fearless & careless corrupt growth towards “invincibility”. No accountability has induced a “who cares” attitude in them. For them, the death of a citizen is limited to an entry in the dead persons’ register, that too only with a valid death certificate. Period.

    Accepted Injustice” (is what I term this condition): We’ve accepted to live with injustice. 🙁

    How can the heavily corrupt and nonchalant government departments be sanitized? How can we sensitize the government employees towards citizen’s issues? Suggesting some action items:

    1. Implement serious accountability – linked to the salaries of *every* government employee. Parameters for the accountability need to be well-defined and strictly applied.
    1. Conduct regular, as well as surprise audits of each and every department to verify that the accountability is in force. The procedure of the audits can be standardized, so the audits can also be conducted by normal citizens – like you and me. The results of the audits can be one of the parameters for the accountability.
    1. The state Lok Ayukta departments (anti-corruption cells) need to be given more teeth. Any government servant implicated by the Lok Ayukta, should be immediately fired. He/She can never apply for, or join any other government department, ever.
    1. A stronger RTI act and vigilant proactive citizens needed too.
    1. Courts to have a single hearing & immediate judgement (fines) for cases against government departments. The fines ordered in the judgement should be deducted from the salaries of every employee in the convicted department.
  • We never know if these will *EVER* get implemented in India, and we are too small to make these changes happen, or influence them to happen. We sure can hope, though.

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

    So, do post your thoughts as comments here, and I will add the valuable thoughts to the list above – with due credit. 🙂

    Thank you!~