ಚಳಿಗಾಲದ ಆತ್ಮಾವಲೋಕನ- ಭಾಗ 6
ಚಳಿಗಾಲದ ಆತ್ಮಾವಲೋಕನ- ಭಾಗ 6
ಬರಹಗಳನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೇಶಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 31 ರಿಂದ ಒಂದು ವಾರ ಕಾಲ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗುವ ಈ ಮಾಲಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಗಮನವಿಟ್ಟು ಓದಿ. ಕನ್ನಡದ ನೆನಪು ಮಸುಕು ಮಸುಕಾಗಿರುವ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಗೆಳೆಯ ಗೆಳತಿಯರಿಗೆ ಓದಲು ಹೇಳಿ- ಸಂಪಾದಕ
ಸಂಜಯ್ ಮೈಸೂರುಮಠ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು
It is quite easy to forget about all this and get on with life as if none of this matters at all. Its a little more tough to live believing in the value in protecting ones culture and identity which has been handed down to us from the past generations. I do not believe in forming organizations and making a hue and cry for a week and forgetting about it. I believe more in a quiet private revolution, and that the only change required is internal. For the past one year, I have been taking the following measures to improve my Kannada. Change should be gradual and natural and not forced merely due to a feeling of obligation. A little bit of discomfort may be inevitable in the initial stages, but soon it will become a habit pattern just as speaking in English has been so all these days.
Use it in your daily conversation. Once you are observant of what you say, you will notice as a typical Bangalorean like me, that you can only speak adulterated Kannada. A good policy is to speak in pure English while speaking in English, and pure Kannada while speaking in Kannada. Use of adulterated language is doing injustice to both Kannada as well as English. There are so many common English words for which you will not know the Kannada equivalents at all! If I take my own example, I would need a lot more time if I were to write this very essay in Kannada. (I am saying "you" only for convenience, it applies to me also). It is necessary to frequently update your vocabulary by some means, e.g. making a note of some words and at the end of every day, look up those words using an English to Kannada dictionary and remember to use them next time. Alternatively, you can also ask your friends without any hesitation, without considering it as demeaning at all. One thing is it may at first seem awkward to speak in pure Kannada. Once we patiently and persistently free ourselves from our own social conditioning, surely a day will come when it will be seen as awkward to speak in an adulterated language.
Another aspect is that when there are a group of people, and a few are non-Kannadigas, then it is considered as bad etiquette to speak in a language that they all do not understand. If you look at the root of this opinion, it comes from the West. In the West, people feel highly intimidated if somebody is speaking in a foreign language, because they speculate that the person is speaking something against them. So this is quite valid under many circumstances when you dont know the other person well. But when the others are your known friends, who trust you that you are not taking undue advantage of their lack of knowledge of the language, and you know that they are not feeling terribly left out, then you should not hesitate to speak in Kannada. This should be entirely dependent on the situation; it should not become a blind rule to speak in a common language all the time.
Encourage others to speak in the language, but be sure to never carry it beyond a point where they are not comfortable. Leave it entirely to their interest. An extremely important point is that when they try to learn, do not laugh at their attempts and ask them to stop saying that they are killing the language. This is a common and grave mistake committed by many Kannadigas.
Read a Kannada novel. There are some excellent literary gems available if you look for it, many of them have won national acclaim. Start with a simple one, and one thing is most important for a person who hasnt read Kannada for years - patience.
subscribe to newsletter - Kannada Sahitya Parishad publishes a nice newsletter
Kannada daily newspaper - the well established one is Prajavani, the more recent one being Vijaya Karnataka.
Check out and bookmark these sites depending on your interest:
- http://www.thatskannada.com [they even have a daily email newsletter]
- Kannada web log! http://www.kamat.com/econtent/kannada_blog/
- KannaDa Saahitya PuTa http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~kulki/kannada/kanindex.html
Install baraha, write to relatives in Kannada instead of English, and even save as HTML or a JPG image. Its also good fun to experiment with Baraha Direct; this allows you to type Kannada into a Word document straightaway.
All call centers or other interactions to customer services like banks, mobile phones, etc have to be provided in Kannada as well as English. Remember that they are dealing with your money, you are their customer, and you have every right to demand that they speak to you in your own language. E.g. I was happy to speak to Hutch in Kannada, and they spoke really well. If Kannadigas always use only English, then they will surely phase out their Kannada support.
So what if it is a five star posh restaurant. If you feel that it is undignified to speak in Kannada, and you have to speak in English just because of the posh ambience, it means you are only a victim of social conditioning. Break free from this past and go ahead and order in Kannada, and if the waiter cannot speak it, let the hotel management get you another waiter. Often the waiter even though he is a Kannadiga, insists on speaking in English to retain the "dignity" or "international ambience" or whatever of the place. It may not even be his fault, he may be trained to do so, by his manager who for all you know would probably be a "high-class" Kannadiga too. Remember that you are not eating there free of cost, and they doing you any favor by allowing you to eat there.
Read jokes in Kannada, thats a good way to start. Listen to some drama cassettes by Hirannaiya... they are just too good. Recently even Mimicry Dayanand has also produced some good quality humor in Kannada.
Listen to more of Kannada songs, there are many excellent melodies. Beware that there are also many drab and meaningless songs, especially from recent movies, which seem to be made out of some desperate attempt to make money. Do not get biased against the language itself by generalising based on a few such songs.
movies and tv serials
Watch Kannada TV serials and movies. If possible, share your ideas on how they could be improved. There is no dearth of Kannada channels e.g. Udaya TV and E TV. I used to think theyre only limited to boring (to me atleast) family drama serials based on a few occasional times I surfed through them while switching channels. But after a few more attempts at different timings, I was really bowled over to witness a wide range of very good high quality entertainment programs to suit a variety of tastes.
Say Namaskaara instead of Hello when you greet answer the telephone, atleast from home.
Download Kannada mobile ringtones for your mobile, for example from http://in.search.yahoo.com/mobile?sk=Kannada&cat=107
It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of never dividing people into categories like Kannadiga and Non-Kannadiga. I am strongly against making people uncomfortable in any way because they do not know or are not interested in learning Kannada. The term Kannadiga used in this article is inclusive of not just people holding a domicile certificate, but of anybody having any interest in learning Kannada as a beautiful Indian language, or whose mother tongue is Kannada. If you identify yourself as a Kannadiga, then the only change that is required is in you and in you alone.
Language after all is nothing but an expression of ones thoughts, hence there is nothing "wrong" with speaking in English. But regular usage of Kannada has a more personal touch, as you are bound to discover with joy once you develop the habit. Let us make a gradual, effortless effort towards purer Kannada!