Hindi Head Out

Do you feel? Is ignoring by Indian while country’s language is the root of the nation helping to represent their culture and tradition—blogger Dhruv Singh who blogs at https://kalprerana.blogspot.in/

Excuse me… who the F***k says that hindi represents India? It does not.

How does Hindi represent the Tulu culture can you tell me.. please? Why am I being forced to learn the language?

I go to the Canara Bank at Santa Cruz Goa… which is a small village, the village consists of Konkani, Portuguese and Kannada population. The bank staff have replaced and majority of the staff are from the Hindi-belt there are two staff members who have been here for at least two years, they have got the rest of the staff to speak hindi… the customers struggle and communicate in hindi, this person sprawls on his chair and is conversing to the Canara bank person in Mathura — to the day they do not speak a word of Konkani — would the when people cross the vindhyas not only are they asked to speak hindi but to speak whatever the dialect.

I walk into corporation bank at Manipal again it is a Konkani, Tulu and Kannada terrain, the manager Mr.Patni has been there for two years, there are only two out of the dozen staff who are cowbelters yet the entire bank speaks broken Hindi to accommodate them, while these uncouth slobs cannot learn a word of Kannada, Tulu or Konkani. This to me is arrogance. I now understand why people want to shift to post office account or a bank like HDFC where at least English is spoken, so we do not have to put up with rude Hindi person.

Would the canara or corporation bank dare put an employee who cannot speak Hindi to the Hindi belt?

Telecallers, not only call you at odd hours, but they rattle of in Hindi without having the damn courtesy of finding out if we know the language. When you ask them to slow down or repeat, or ask them to speak a language you can understand they use obscenity, this is the great Hindi culture that you are talking about. The call centre person at for Ola Cabs in Bangalore, which by the way is the capital of the Kannada country, says she cannot understand Kannada, so this caller who wanted an car should speak to her in Hindi because this great woman has come from the north. Oh! Yes, the call centre connect to the ambulance had the same problem.

I remember the early congress slogans would be in Tulu, today everything is in Hindi, when Hindi enters the arena it is like a weed liking the local language, with the local language dies the history and the ethnic identity, instead of celebrating Onam, we are wished happy vamana jayanthi, instead of woman letting their hair loose with jasmine strings, we have women covering their head. Over than a hue and cry is made of Hijaab.

Look at any Hindi movie the south Indian woman is shown as loud, crass the worst one is the one by Rohit Shetty not only does he portray the south as uncouth, with ugly men and loud garish women is absolutely maddening.

Talk to taxi drivers of Goa, they do not want a customer from UP-Delhi because they never pay the fare they always underpay.

With the advent of Konkani Railway the Wednesday train that arrives from Bihar-UP brings in the migrant male worker who is so steeped in his Hindi culture, they have infiltrated into every class 4 employment, they join in on temporary basis, again their inability to speak anything else has holds the coastal community to ransom we are forced to learn Hindi, with the Hindi-man comes his mentality independent woman to him is someone, who he can make lewd comments on, he thinks they are prowling for attention from men, it is sickening.

With star and zee networks entering regional channels, we are forced to watch the vernacular translations of Hindi serials, these translations are bad, the values and ethos do not belong to the vernacular culture, and issues are not relevant. Which is why many of us subscribe to online channels on YouTube, whenever I give a public talk on media awareness, I bring it to people’s notice and tell them where the alternates are available.

At the end of the day Mr. Singh Hindi is as alien to me as English, I choose English over Hindi as it is a language that my grandparents taught me, they did not teach me Hindi, I learnt Tulu, Konkani, Tamil Kannada and English by the way I do speak Hindi, I have read enough of Hindi authors right from Tulsidas to Bacchan, Nirala, and MaithaliSharan Gupta, but if you demand I speak Hindi I do not. And once again HINDI IS NOT THE CULTURE OF THE COUNTRY, IT IS NOT THE LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY, it is Language spoken by a minority population of Majority non Hindi speaking population, Hindi can go Up…the…okay I shall curb the spontaneous word comes and up the pole.


I am angry so I refuse to apologize for either my thoughts or my language,


gokarna (1)
distance mangroves

Yesterday being  Ganesh Chaturthi, we decided to drive down to Gokarna.

I have no pictures of either temple or the surrounding, for I was lost in memories of the two which visited years ago.

The legend has it that Ravana the Lord of Lanka, carried the atma lingam of Shiva, fearing the consequences of this, the deva’s decided to take it back from him. When Shiva gave him the atmalinga the condition was it should not be placed on the earth, for the moment it was placed on the earth it would take root.

Enroute, Ravana needed to ease himself, but placing the Atmalinga on the earth was not an option. That was when Ganapati appeared as a young Brahmin boy and offered to hold the linga, just as Ravana began relieving himself, Ganapati called out him. The condition the boy Ganapati had placed was Ravana was to return by the time he called him thrice.

In quick succession Ganapati called out two more times, then placed the lingam down on the earth and vanished, Ravana tried his best, to uproot the linga, but his efforts were futile the only thing he achieved was distortion of the lingam to the shape of the ear of a cow. Hence Gokarna.

When we were working with Nagananda play, with dialogue ,”hey gokarnanatha” I placed my place geographically in southern peninsula, but interestingly Nepal has a town with the same name, on the banks of river Bagmati , the Gokarna Aunshi that falls on the new moon between August- September is the an important event when sons honour their father, and if the father is dead then the shraddha is performed.

Like I mentioned before my first visit to the town was years ago, it was a sleepy town, with the temple and the Kotitheerta pond at the center, people came down to perform the final rites of their departed ones. Particularly if the person who died was young.

One of the Brahmin houses would host the people till the rites were over.

This time round the time has changed with Goa getting flooded with tourists, the hippie and the Indian junkie crowd has moved down to Gokarna. Spiritual vendors have put up their spa’s with yoga, meditation, and massage thrown in. not to mention the availability of Marijuana and hemp.

The temple premises are still clean, unlike Udupi, or any temple up north. Most temples have the system where the money from the hundi goes to feed people, and for other social activities, while the sarvajanika annaprasada is handled by Venky’s—yes the chickenwallah.

Maybe we can now look at more relevant things to donate to the temple like that contraption that allows the recycle of plastic, or the contraption that uses bio-waste to create fuel. Those asbestos sheets used to keep the pradakshina path dry could be replaced by solar panels, though the very purpose of connecting to the nature is lost when we cover the walking path.

Anyway its interesting to see how we appease the gods on our terms without putting ourselves out of our comfort zone.

gokarna (2)


Salute the Slytherin.

snakeOn World Snake Day…

“Slytherin!” shouted the sorting hat. The boy was not happy to be joining the table, of silver serpents though it could his stepping glory to being invincible. —JKRowlings Harry Potter series.

Snakes, are mysterious, terrifying, ambassadors of vice, propagators of victory they are beautiful and scary and an important link in biodiversity.

This reptile is honoured on 16th July through The World Snake Day. Though the origin is obscure, given our fascination for snakes it is legit that we give it a day and honour it.

It is celebrated both in the virtual and real world. Snake lovers rejoice in their common fascination. This was launched in 1967 at a Texas snake farm and debuted into the pop culture in 1970 through a song by the famous rock band the Ramones. Its tourist appeal has gradually grown and has become a must stop destination for road trips in this region.

NGO’s involved with snakes, environment, biodiversity capitalize on this dedication to create awareness programs about snakes for the general public. The snake day contributes to the conservation of this misrepresented reptile. Snakes are found everywhere except Antarctica. About 1/4th the world snake population is venomous and they would rather stay away from human contact.

Despite of being glamorized for snake charmers, and as a snake-territory India is home for four venous snake species.

Snakes are part of every mystic cult and religion. Snakes play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodents and pests. For a while there was a fad of having an exotic snake as a pet, but this leads to the species becoming endangered or being introduced to a new area by mistake causes an upset in the ecological balance.

The snake day could be a great time to introduce people to dealing with snakes and snake bites. India has four snake parks, the best being the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park at Katraj Pune. Where 22 species of snakes, including Indian Rock Python, King Cobra and Russell’s viper. There are about 150 snakes in the park. The Park conducts awareness programs during Nagpanchami to stop the ill treatment of snakes.

The Parassinikkadavu Snake Park at Kannur is a snake researcher’s paradise and is 2kms off the NH17, this park houses, the spectacled cobra, King Cobra, Krait, Pit Vipers, and Python. The park conducts live show where trained experts play and interact with snake so that various myths about the snakes can be eradicated. It has been proposed to start the snake venom laboratory here, to cater to research.

The Guindy National Park houses the Guindy snake park. It has a collection of snake species such as King Cobra, Pythons and Vipers. It was formerly known as the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust.

The Bannerghatta Snake Park 21km away from Bangalore, houses the crocodile park, the Butterfly Park and the Snake park. For those who are not comfortable with snakes the Bannegatta Snake Park also has elephant rides and other adventure activities.snake2

The snake day dedication is about honouring diversity, for diversity is the survival factor for the community itself. A community of hundred million species can survive anything short of global catastrophe, within that hundred million will be thousands, that could survive a global temperature drop of twenty degree – which would be lot more devastating than it sounds. Within that hundred million will be thousands that could survive a global rise of twenty degree. But a community of hundred species or a thousand species has almost no survival value at all.

images courtesy Google Images.

Karavali– to–Konkan

ಕಡಲಾ ತೀರದ ಹೊಂಗೆಯ ಮ್ಯಾಲೆ ತೆಂಗಿನ ಬನದಾಗ
ಕಡಲಾ ತೀರದ ಹೊಂಗೆಯ ಮ್ಯಾಲೆ ತೆಂಗಿನ ಬನದಾಗ

Last week-end our road trip was to Udupi and back.

Some things that I always revered along the coast before the development guys destroy it I think it is prudent to share it.

Gangolli bridge
Gangolli bridge

The coast of Tulunaad is intercepted with rivers and rivulets joining the great ocean. The confluence. One also sees the confluence of culture here.

ಕಡಲಾತೀರದಹೋಂಗೆಯಮ್ಯಾಲೆತೆಂಗಿನಬನದಾಗ… the memories of sitting on the river banks in the blazing summer sun, with our feet in the water of a parched river, grandmothers and great aunts chiding about the same seem so far away now

The fading insignia of  Mysore wodeyars
The fading insignia of Mysore wodeyars


I remember my grandparents saying travelling fromTraasi to Mangalore, meant an entire day’s journey as every bridge had to crossed by boats. These bridges were built during the lateRaaj period and early independent India. The Ensign of the Mysore Kings is embossed and asTulunaad, or thenDakshina Kannada (Present Udupi) was part of Madras presidency the bridge work was done by British companies based in Madras.

Ratayatra at Chitrapur
Ratayatra at Chitrapur

The outpost at Mirjan was given to the Arab traders, by the kings of keladi; the Arab traders settled or had second homes along Bhatkal to further north. The population here is a mix of local fisher folk and the Arabs. This is also the strong hold of the Chitrapur Konkani’s where the Konkan gradually begins to blend with karavali. The People of the terrain to almost Hangarkatte speak dialects of Kannada that is rich in Persian influence.DSCN8076

One of the stories we read in the children’s magazineChandamama was the story of the sculptors from Orissa how they were the finest. The story spoke of a sculptor whose son outshone him but when the boy realized that the man who he had displaced was his father the boy sacrifices himself by jumping into the pond. (The cynic in me calls this suicide) but the halo of artisans from Orissa has stayed on. These sculptors are now invited to carve for the newer temples that are been constructed.

artisan Kasinath Jena at work
artisan Kasinath Jena at work

Kasinath Jena is one such sculptor. He had fundamental training at Orissa in his community. From there he landed in at a quarry , where he fine-tuned his art. He says what he learnt new was the art of polishing and finishing a sculpture which is not the part of traditional sculpting.Kasinath has migrated north search of work is now in…. carving sculptures for the Gokarna temple. He says the best stones come from Karkala and that he is being commissioned for a lot of work along the coastline.

Honnavara Bridge
Honnavara Bridge
Carving of Hanuman by Kasinath Jena for Gokarna Temple
Carving of Hanuman by Kasinath Jena for Gokarna Temple

Changing times and over flooding of Goa with domestic tourists sends the tourists further south to the rural towns on the Karavali belt.  The younger generation that is more enterprising has converted small family homes into tourist homes in sync with the Karnataka tourism rural tourism concept.

More Traveller’s Tales at http://www.carconnect.in.

The fort at Kittur

The Emblem of the Desai's of Kittur
The Emblem of the Desai’s of Kittur
Entry to the fort

Choral Ghats are duly crossed we traverse through Belgaum town, unfortunately we did not really stop to see around Belgaum, and shot out to Kittur that is 30kms away on the new high way. For me this is a dream come true.

Enroute we did cross the summer Vidhana Soudha an abridged version of the Vidhana soudha in Bangalore, well let us talk about it sometime later. When I have actually explored it.  This was the day I finally got to pay homage to a woman I looked up to. Who fired my  pre-teen imagination with valour and strength.

Cannons at the entrance
Cannons at the entrance
watch tower
watch tower

ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡಿನ ವೀರ ರಮಣಿಯ, ಗಂಡು ಭೂಮಿಯ ವೀರ ನಾರಿಯ …   probably something that most Kannada kids of my generation sang in their bathrooms. Maybe some of us even picked up an Amar Chitra Katha that had the story of Kittur Rani Chennamma, the High school text books even granted her an acknowledgement in the History textbook when talking about Thackeray, they don’t mention the other queens like Keladi Chennamma, or Abakka Devi, a watchman’s wife Obavva has become a folk legend and her existence is overlooked by the historians as the “academic historians don’t acknowledge her” anyway that is not what I am writing about.

dinning hall to accommodate 1000 people
dinning hall to accommodate 1000 people

As we entered the town we asked someone the way to the fort, the way he directed us was really funny, turned as if to running parallel to the car, and told us” ಇನ್ನುಯಾರ್ಗೂಕೇಳೇಬೆಡ್ರಿ, ಸೀಧಾಹೋಗ್ರಿ, ಪೊಲಿಸ್ಚೌಕಿಬರ್ತೈತೆ, ಓಳಕ್ಕೆಹೋದ್ರೆಕೀಲ್ಐತ್ರಿ.” That roughly translates to now don’t bother asking anyone for direction just go straight ahead and you will enter the fort. This was exactly what it was.

durbar hall of the Desai
durbar hall of the Desai

The legend of Chennamma, she was born in kakati of Belgaum district in the year 1778, Oct.23rd died on feb.21st 1829 that was the well before the 1857 rebellion. To the Kannadiga, she is the beacon of the resistance to British.  Chennamma was born to Desai Kakati family she received training in horse riding, sword fighting and archery.

niche for a lamp
niche for a lamp
sections of the fort
sections of the fort

She was married off to Raja Mallasarja of the Desai family and had a son. In 1824 she adopted Shivalingappa, after her son died and declared him the heir to the throne. The British did not accept this and decided to annex Kittur. The Queen Chennamma and her lieutenant Sangolli Rayanna tried to repel the British leading to the destruction of the fort, capturing the queen and she died in imprisonment.

Lord Elphinstone who was in charge of the Bombay presidency under which Kittur came had turned down the plea of Rani Chennamma, the British were out to confiscate the treasure and jewels of Kittur, then valued at 15 lakhs.  The British attacked with a force of 200 men and four guns mainly from the Madras Artillery. Amatur Balappa a lieutenant of Chennamma did manage to kill the collector and political agent St.John Thackeray. Sir Walter Elliot and Mr.Steveson were taken hostages; the negotiation was their release against cessation of war.

section of the fort
section of the fort

Chaplin did not honour his word; the war continued with reinforcement coming from Sholapur this time round the sub collector of Sholapur who was the nephew of Thomas Munro got killed. Rani Chennamma was ultimately captured and imprisoned in Bailhongal where she died on feb.21st 1829. Sangolli Rayanna her lieutenant continued the war, but he was captured and hung as was her lieutenant Gurusidappa.

bathing ghat
bathing ghat
shilabalika's at the fort
shilabalika’s at the fort


ಹಾಗನ್ನಬೇಡಿತಾಯಿ, ಕಿತ್ತೂರುರಿಂದಆಂಗ್ಲರನ್ನುಕಿತ್ತೆಗೆಯದೇಈಗುರುಸಿದ್ದಪ್ಪನಿಶಾಂತಿಯಿಲ್ಲಾ.

Modern Rani Chennamma?

This was the promise Gurusiddappa made to Chennamma, today the town of Kittur honours her Queen by dedicating the festival of Kittur to her. The festival of Kittur or Kittur-Utsava happens annually in the month of Oct. From 22nd– 24th.

Lieutenant Sangolli Rayanna. (15th aug.1798-26th January 1831)

The warrior from the Kuruba community was born on 15th august 1798. He was the chief of army of Kittur during the rebellion of 1824.  He mobilized the people to form a guerrilla type of war. As the British found it impossible to capture him in an open combat they used treachery to do so. He was captured in 1830 he was executed by hanging him to a banyan tree 4 kms of Nandagad in Belgaum on 26th January 1831.

Queen of all that I survey
Queen of all that I survey

Gurusiddappa and the Siddi warrior Gajaveera were the leaders of the war along with Sangolli Rayanna from 1829-1831

The village of Sangolli honours its son, by dedicating a community hall to his name, and a temple in which stands the statue of Sangolli Rayanna flanked by two wooden weights believed to have been used by him.

the conference room
the conference room

The fort at kittur is a little off the national highway between Pune and Bangalore. This fort shot into prominence in the first decade of the 19th century when it was ruled by Desai’s. It is believed that the fort had multiple levels and had a hall where 1000 people could dine at a time. What remains in the ruins, are the observatory, the well organized waterways, a well planned bathing area. Cannons from the armoury. The structure of moat is still visible. The temple of the village goddess is intact and so are the watch towers.

fort view
fort view

The fort also houses a museum maintained by the archaeological survey of India this museum was inaugurated on  Jan.10th 1967 by Smt.Indira Gandhi. The museum houses local artefacts and the remnants of the house of Desai’s. The person effects of the Desai’s like the shields, swords, maces, laces are housed in this museum. The shield was carved from the shell of a dead turtle.

an relic from 1800 a tree in front of the museum
a relic from 1800 a tree in front of the museum

The museum also has relics from the Chalukya and Vijayanagar period. These sculptures are depiction of daily life of the period in addition to the spiritual ones. The excavated sites also show sculptures of Buddhist and Jain pantheon.  Inscription stones of ancient Kannada lipi and pre-modi lipi are also seen.  Some major artifices are

The anandatandava sculpture.

chalukyan artifact
Chalukyan artifact

The 8th century Mahishasura mardhini who looks so alive and as if caught in movement. The idol of the 23rd Thirtankara, the tombstone of Warriors  called Veeragallu, and the Mahasati kallu. Medieval metal inscriptions and coins. Contemporary paintings are all part of this museum.

at the entrance of Kittur Archeological Museum.
at the entrance of Kittur Archeological Museum.

The authorities of the museum very diligently maintain the museum premises, photography is not allowed as it could damage the artefact.

The silent bards, of long forgotten heroes, it is as Kittur sings… ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡಿನ ವೀರ ರಮಣಿಯ, ಗಂಡು ಭೂಮಿಯ ವೀರ ನಾರಿಯ …   ಚರಿತೆಯ ನಾನು ಹಾಡುವೆ.

More Traveler  Tales at http://www.carconnect.in.

Photographs courtesy Jahnavi Koushik.