Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Main Hindi Malun Nahi
Hindi is probably the most important language I should know after English and Tamil. Hindi is a pretty simple language to learn too. But to be honest, I suck when it comes to speaking our national language. I really want to learn it and people have offered me various suggestions as to how to learn it pretty quickly but I haven't made much progress. My dad learnt Hindi by watching Amitabh Bachhan movies (sometimes 40 movies a month (repeat shows included)). I decided to follow the path my dad took. I learnt a few words like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Mujse Shaadi Karoge and the like. I realized that using movie names in my conversations would make me look like a total nut-case and so I abandoned this plan. In December 2004, I bought a book in Delhi which teaches the reader Hindi in 30 days or so. I was really excited. I was finally going to learn when to laugh while seeing a Hindi movie! The book was quite informative but I didn't learn much. I was too interested in reading The Da Vinci Code which I had bought at the same time and I misplaced the Hindi guide. I learnt a little bit of Hindi when I had gone with my schoolmates for a North India excursion. I learnt to say "I don't know Hindi" in Hindi which is a really important sentence to know. I figured out how to haggle in Hindi but since I feel sad to deny shopkeepers their profit I never got to use lines like "Bees rupay nahi, Dus (I can't give you 20 rupees, only 10)" and "Kal Ho Naa Ho, bees rupay nahi, dus (There might not be a tomorrow, so can't give you 20 rupees only 10)". I tried learning Hindi as a third language in the eight standard. Unfortunately, my teacher was so awful in translating Hindi that I was busy stuffing my mouth with a hanky to prevent myself from giving a loud snort instead of listening in class. She would explain by using hand signals which was a good thing because her English was horrible. During a Hindi class instead of saying the word "worm" she said "warm" which really confused me as I wondered how a butterfly could a be a "warm" when it is born. Then she did it. The funniest thing I had ever seen. She closed her left hand and slid in the middle finger of her right hand into her left hand and wiggled it and started saying "warm", "warm". Everyone burst out laughing. Someone shouted out “Oh, you mean a worm" and we started laughing even more. She left the class in a fury and my Hindi knowledge is as it is now as it was then, pathetic.