Let me start with an incident that happened some days back. I was with my friend (Let’s call her ‘A’) and A’s friend (Let’s call her Mandodra) in a cafe. The table was embellished with half-filled coffee cups, devouringly eaten food. We were casually chit-chatting in Hindi. Mandodra notices her ex-classmate entering the cafe. She waves a hello and beckons him to come. He came near us. All of a sudden, she started talking in English- in a fake accent.
Mandodra- Hey! Long time no see.
Ex-Classmate(Smiles)- Hello, Yes.
M- Howz you? What’s going on in your life?
The boy took time in replying. He was hesitant to reply in English.
M- Ok, samajh nahi aaya kya bola? Aati nahi kya itni bhi English?”
(You didn’t understand what I said? Don’t you understand English? )
She made faces. Then, she turned and asked for the translation.
M- Arey, yaar yeh Life ko Hindi me kya bolte hai? Yaad nahi aa raha meko.“
( Translation- What do we say Life in Hindi? I can’t remember.)
I was startled. If she doesn’t even know what life is called in Hindi what was she doing all these years? She doesn’t know the basic of her mother tongue. She did. She obviously knew the translation. Actually, if you failed to comprehend her next level smart mind, according to her, Knowing English is cool but not knowing Hindi is much cooler. Her ex-classmate was ashamed. I felt pity for the guy for about 2 seconds but then I realized he too considered English as a class that’s why he was ashamed, he could’ve confidently answered the question in Hindi. But he also wanted to broaden his shoulders by flaunting the perfect English. I still could not think of any way to escape so I gave a missed call to my mother. This trick always works. 😉
So, kids, that is how I met Mandodra for the first and the last time. 🙂
The English language is considered much rich, royal, classy than our own languages by our own people. A kid who has just started speaking is taught the English sentences before Hindi. Every parent wishes to admit their kid in an English medium school, Scoring bad in Hindi is fine, getting a low grade in English is shameful. Every one of us knows Alphabets and numbers in English and what about the same in Hindi? A few of us may know it. You’re considered educated if you are good at English and if you know everything in the world except for English, then you know nothing, Jon Snow. The young generation has become so much fascinated by the Western language they barely speak Hindi. They mock the person who prefers speaking Hindi. For them, even Hinglish is ok but Hindi is not. Every young person you see would be found listening to the English songs, watching the English movies. There’s nothing bad in doing that but it’s a shame when without even trying you rate Hindi songs, movies- lame. It’s not praiseworthy when they proudly say- “Yaar, Mai Hindi gaane nahi sunta/sunti.” just for the sake of looking cool. Then they are missing a lot! Some Bollywood movies are really not watchable, I agree but there are a lot of fine works which are never watched just because most people say Bollywood is lame, Bollywood is lame. There is nothing to be proud of if you’re a watcher of outside cinema. The English songs you dance on, if you translate some of them, they will sound as meaningless as some Bollywood songs you irk on. Translate Closer, Shape of you, Despacito and more songs you groove on. Doesn’t they sound like some party songs of our Indian Rapstars? But they are considered cool just because they think English is a classy language. It’s not our generation’s fault, by the way, this admiration for Western language was born a long time back. Some people just get influenced by the environment, they don’t build their own surroundings.
I have friends from over 25 countries. One day, we were talking about the languages. They all have their native languages which they very much respect. Yes, many of them belong to the countries that were once ruled by Britishers like ours. Some of them were not fluent in English. They were telling me how beautiful their language is. They even offered to teach me their language. Their captions, statuses, live videos were all in their native language. Knowing and being fluent in another language is a great thing, very much appreciable. But, it’s wrong to grade someone’s intelligence on the basis of their fluency in English. There are many Grammar Nazis in India. Some of you are maybe reading this now, and some may have been a prey of a Grammar Nazi some time. Why is there no Grammar Nazi for our Hindi Language? If “Terko”, “merko”, is allowed then why English has to be perfect? No one commits mistake intentionally if someone is wrong, try telling them in a nicer way. Insulting them, judging them won’t take you anywhere. This environment makes people ashamed of using The Hindi language. If people suffering from this malady of Anti-Hindi won’t get cured, Hindi will become a history someday and English will be given the status of our National Language. I am not in the antagonism of the English language, I am of course not. I am typing this in English. I watch English movies, TV series and I read English Novels. But I also am an ardent fan of Hindi. Like said by someone, English is a crush but Hindi is love. India is a country with beautiful and diverse culture. Every state has its local language. Speaking foreign language connects you with the world but isolates you from your culture, your language. Speaking any language is your whim. Insulting and judging people on the basis of what language they speak is not complimentary. You are free to leave the nation if you don’t respect the culture of our country.