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,

Free Money Day?

Yesterday the 15th of September was the free money day.

When I heard of it I saw visuals of currency bill flying around.  So I figured I needed to know more about it.

The exercise was quite simple it was about handing two bills/coins to absolute strangers and requests the recipient to pass half of it to another stranger. The entire exercise was about raising awareness of our connect to money and bringing in a shift in the conversation of money.

As did this, it was quite interesting, I had to decide the denomination that I wanted, and guess what the choice that I made was the lowest bill available, which brought home the fact that I played safe.  I could not find 5 people to give the money away.

The various reactions that came my way was “why me?” one lady told me she found the entire conversation strange, so I cannot be part of the experiment. Some else asked me if the bill was fake. I overheard someone at the bank asking, the lady in the teller if I was off my rockers.

But what was more frightening is my own reluctance to engage with money, either giving or receiving.

Yes I have read Robert Kiyosaki’s rich dad and poor dad, I do understand that money is energy and beyond a certain level it does not really make a difference.  I also realized that somewhere from being the representative of energy barter, it has become something to horde, this has impacted environment, livelihood, food and climate and life style over all.

We are talking Farmer suicide loan sealing on one hand and urbanization and building of huge driving lanes at the same breathe. The issue here is the connect with the money.

September 15th is the day when Lehman Brothers the world’s Largest Investment Company filed for bankruptcy so it seems the ideal day to check our conversations with money. Which is why it has been declared the International Freemoney Day.

This experiment of giving money to strangers without strings attached seemed radical. I found that I felt more comfortable giving money to someone who I perceived was from a lower economic slab, but to give it equals was a huge block. And across sections, people got insulted, affronted, suspicious, people who told me that oh! Give it to someone who would need it.

Only one person accepted it with equanimity.

When a colleague of mine, asked me,”ma’m why the story or the explanation, maybe you should have just handed the money with the smile and said this is for you”.

Coming to think of it, why didn’t I do that? It also drove home the point that we have lost the ability to share that is both give and accept with no strings attached.

To the Weirdos in My life.

Weirdo’s are unusual people.

Though actually the word weird means, supernatural unearthly. Sometimes it is connected with fate, and sometimes it is a person’s destiny  in the context of Scottish archaic, or so Merriam-Webster  assures me, while in northern America it is an inform word that induces a sense of disbelief or alienation.

Guess there is a sense of weirdness in all of us, including life.  then we find someone who is also weird, and the weirdness of this person is compatible with ours, then we team up with them, and create a space of weirdness that is mutually acceptable and satisfying… this space we call it love… who yes sometimes even true love.

Alain de Botton claims intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone and find that is okay with them.

In my own space like being weird, the ultimate comatose state for me, is conformity, though it is inescapable, maybe I can continue to be a closet weirdo with the mask of conformity on…? actually we are a sea of ordinary people, almost 80% of us ordinary people, 15% of the rest are busy playing victims it is only 5% that rise above. Having said that, even the 80% of us have certain quirks, flaws or ingenuity that stands out. It makes that small ripple from being mundane and boring.

There is this innate otherness in me, call it a concept, an experience or a core belief, I know I started out as a weirdo, for a long while I stayed a weirdo, it took me, Landmark curriculum for living and Hypnotherapy to embrace my outsider-ship and see it as a strength rather than as a weakness. I just realized that made the unique person that I am. But then that also made me normal.

Today the 8th of September is the day to acknowledge the weirdo in us, and the other weirdo’s our life is blessed . those people who out there who inspire us to think outside the box, who remind us to be a little more true to ourselves, maybe we should give them a hug and acknowledge their presence in our lives.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels, The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Rob Siltanen

By the way Leo Tolstoy was born on this day in 1828, May his soul rest in peace.

The Informal Entrepreneur

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The Informal Vendor in front of GMC-Goa

When we were in college we enacted a play, called the Kathe-swamy or the Ass-Seer, it was a tale of a dhobi whose only friend his donkey dies, and dhobi buries the donkey puts a head stone on it, one day a drunken unlucky prince falls over it, from the next day onwards his fortune turns and sobers down to become a good king of a prosperous country, so he erects a mausoleum around the grave, couple of years later when the dhobi wants to visit the grave of his donkey, he is not able to do so, as is a bustling shrine now, with vendors and tradesmen in place.

This story stayed with me for many reasons, one thing that struck to me was the tradesmen coming up.  This tradesmen emerging now has shifted to hospitals, and bus-stations. They start off as small vendors eventually we find a nice bustling market, like the one in front of GMC. Years ago there was nothing there, and then came the houses which catered to the needs of the caregivers at the hospital. Slowly the fruit vendors, who updated themselves to vegetable vendors, the newspaper stall, the tea stall

Over the last three months, we have people who come with homemade breakfast, the quantity is fixed, so once the day’s batch is over the person just goes back. Something along the lines of the curry points, and chapatti points of Hyderabad, or the Sāmbhar point of Bangalore.

The enterprise has a low cost out lay and margin according to the vendor is worth the effort of standing there. I do not know how it works with the food and health department, but for the care giver at the hospital, or even the rush hour on the move person it seems to work rather well.

What was more interesting is the kind of people who had put up these points, they came from fairly educated background,  one of them actually came in a Maruti Van in which she had a garbage bin too, disposable plates, she would sit in the car and when done just drive out.

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The informal home grown vegetable and handicraft market Adivaram Angadi at Secundrabad.

Maya-Matanga The Vanishing Elephants

world elephant dayI have just come across a book in our library called the Mathangalila. Mathangalila, is Sanskrit text written by author Nilakantha which deals with the science of Elephant. The book talks about Asiatic Elephants, diagnosis and cure of illness that afflict elephants, use of elephant parts in medicine. Folklore round elephants.

Elephants are very part of our cultural ethos, be it Indra’s Airavata, or the panel of Gajalakshmi fanned by elephants. Or the story of King Udayana who could capture a elephant with his powers of playing the Veena. Most of us are familiar with the line up of dressed up elephants that happens on Thiru-Onam.

Laksmeesha and Subhadra were the two elephant calves rescued from nagaraholle and housed in Udupi. Visiting them was  a thrill for my daughter, but she was always concerned that the elephant was away from its mom, and that they was no one who could give its favourite food.

The story of the elephant and tailor, the story of the Gajendra moksha they are all there but with the destruction of habitat and extensive poaching Elephants are slowly turning to pictures in a picture book instead of live majestic creatures that roam the world.

Elephants are African and Asian. Fossil evidence shows that elephants of Sri Lanka were 5 tusks, and now they have shrunk to single tusk. The cost of ivory exceeds the cost of gold, so the greed has lead to poaching of elephants. Elephant meat and elephant skin leather are causes leading to poaching.

With the loss of forest cover the elephants are coming closer to human habitat causing destruction to agriculture and crops,

The world elephant day is celebrated annually on August 12th since its conception in 2011.  This day is dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants.  To share the knowledge of elephants and to ensure better care and management of captive elephants.  The African elephants are currently listed as vulnerable, as their population is about 400,000 while its Asian cousins  at 40,000 are endangered. Studies show that they are only 12yrs from being extinct.

The world elephant day is an international event conceived by filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest pictures and Sivaporn Dardarnanda the Secretary General Of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation Of Thailand.

 

https://matangalila.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/an-open-letter/

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A Xocolatl-Ode

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The chocolate country

There are some days, that deserve to be drowned at birth and everyone sent back to bed with a hot brandy a box of chocolates and warm energetic companion, today is definitely one of those days, for today is the International chocolate day, an observance that occurs globally every year. Celebration includes consumption of chocolate; it is believed that this year marks the 466th year since chocolate was introduced to Europe.

Lets face it, all that one needs is love, of course a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt, or to be precise goes a long way.

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food of Gods

Sometime back, I was at Starbucks, awaiting a friend, I was enjoying a chocolately cafe mocha, when I remembered reading somewhere, that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World, from the Spanish exploration of Aztec Cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, and the lifestyle marketing of Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.

There was a time when good behaviour or eating your breakfast on time followed with a bribe of chocolate, but today, breakfast is chocolate, we could begin the day with chocolate and end it with hot chocolate. A social scientist conducted an experiment where he showed a picture of chocolate cake with chocolate cake written on it, and asked the viewers to immediate word association. Majority of Americans came up with guilt, while Frenchmen came up with celebration.

The official name of chocolate is Theobroma cacao and Theobroma actually means food for the Gods. This flowering plant from the mallow family Malvaceae contains roughly 20 species of small understory trees native to the rain forests of central and south America.

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Quetzalcoatl- the wisdom God who gave the world chocolate

The history of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica, where fermented beverages made from chocolate existed right back in 1900 B.C..  The Mayans began harvesting chocolate in 900AD. The word chocolate comes from the Mayan word Xocolatl which translates to bitter water, which a was liquid made from cocoa beans, chilli pepper and water, the Mayans did not use sugar as there was no sugar in central America. This liquid was poured from one cup to the other  until a frothy foam appeared on the top.

these seeds were believed to be the gift of Quetzalcoatl the God of wisdom and the seeds were considered so valuable they were used as currency.

The exchange rate was

4 beans= 1 pumpkin.

10 beans = a rabbit, it could also get you a lady to stay overnight.

The xocolatl pronounced as show-co-la-til is made by removing the cocoa beans from the pod, fermenting it, and drying it. This is then roasted on a griddle until done, it then shelled and the seeds are ground to a fine paste. The paste is mixed with water, chilli peppers and cornmeal the resulting concoction is poured back and forth until frothy foam develops on top. This is then served in finely decorated earthen ware.

Xocolatl was the frothy drink of its day, like coffee today, and it would available all over the place, it was popular because of its healing properties. Cacao has great nutritional value, a lot of protein which strengthens a person and without sugar it is not fattening.

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xocolatl

When the Aztecs conquered the Mayans the Mayans had to pay tribute to the Aztecs with cocoa so that they would always have the cocoa, cocoa soon became the force of the Aztec economy.

Chocolates symbolizes as does no other food luxury, comfort, sensuality gratification and love.

How chocolates help the tough going https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/serio-non-serius/

Here is my favourite chocolate dish — https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/theobroma/

Here is a favourite movie of mine that revolves round chocolate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolat_(2000_film)

On Co-operatives, Hugs and UFO’s.

world UFO dayThere are reports of events that cannot be explained by natural  phenomena, or exploding outhouses and are known as UFO’s which is the official abbreviation for an unidentified flying objects, when we growing up in the med-school, UFO was the euphemism, for gravitational drainage of the middle finger, though I guess it could also stand for Uncommonly Fat Orangutans,

Can you imagine the orangutans – checking the calendar and congregating on the 2nd of July…  well…second of July is the World UFO Day. this is an awareness day, people get together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day commemorates the supposed UFO crash at Roswell in 1947. It is also the day to raise awareness of the “undoubted existence of UFO’s and to encourage the governments to declassify their files on UFO sightings.”

If you were to sign into meet-up you would find groups, of UFO enthusiast who are watching movies,  or watching the skies and clicking pictures of strange flying objects around. Never mind if they just the crickets on the move.

Then there are people who walk around with DIY UFO/alien life T-shirts

There people who have conversations and discussions on possibility of extraterrestrial life,

There are people who claim to have proof of the same.

Then there are people who do the simplest thing that is watch an UFO/Alien movie. For more log on to http://www.worldufoday.com/hug day

the 1st Saturday day of July which falls today, also has another  very interesting commemoration that is World Free Hug Day. This is a worldwide movement that began in 2004, when Juan Mann who was dealing with depression and loneliness landed back to his homeland in Australia. Some stranger hugged him in a party, and he suddenly felt uplifted. Juan Mann decided to spread some goodness by standing with a placard that said, “Free Hugs,” it took 15mnts, before an elderly lady came up to him and gave him a hug.

This signboard, guy Juan Mann met up with another signboard carrier Shimon Moore, who eventually ditched the signboard for a camera and recorded Mann. At a point when Mann was on the verge of giving up the  free hug crusade, Shimon sent him an edited video that said, “this is who you are” and Mann went right back to his crusade, teaming with Shimon and his band  Sick Puppies www.sickpuppies.net . 2006 he was on Oprah show, and 2007 he launched the open house project. Juan’s e-books are available on YouTube.

This about this one hello can change day, one hug can change a live and one hope can change a destiny. This however has not been well received in many places. One advise that Mann has for people who want to  go on this crusade, is check your local laws before you start. For more http://www.freehugscampaign.org .world cooperative day

If UFO day is about flying in the air, and  free hug is about spreading goodness, there is a more important commemoration, a commemoration that acknowledges the bonding of people, the airy ideas that got defined in the earth bound space, the 1st Saturday of July commemorates the international day of co-operative alliances set up in 1895 to  acknowledge and create awareness about various co-operative alliances that function to improve quality of life worldwide. In 1995 the UN decided to celebrate The World Co-Operative Day and The International Day Of Co-Operatives together. This worldwide event celebrated to increase awareness of co-operatives that function worldwide. It is also to strengthen the co-operatives and to extend and forge partnerships or collaborations.  The theme this year  is contribution of Co-Operatives To Sustainable Development.

The event is celebrated by

  • Translating and sharing the ICA message in the local language.
  • Newspaper and radio programs for knowledge sharing.
  • Exhibitions show casing various co-operatives.
  • Co-operative partnerships within the community to achieve economic, environmental and other growth.

If your community has done something along these lines, kindly share it with ica@ica.coop

images courtesy Google Images.