Hindi not comingOctober 15, 2008
Saying that my hindi is not good wouldn't be right. But it wouldn't be wrong either. I'm telling this because my hindi accent is...
I'm telling this because my hindi accent is perfect, but my grammar is a different story altogether. I'm not very strong in my tenses so i end up swallowing the last part of all my sentences. But then again, thanks to my perfect accent, people would listen to me rather than my colleague who had studied hindi das kaksha thak cause he said "awur" for "aur" which obviously qualified him for automatic unselection.
My hindi< i will be honest is only fit for haggling with the shopkeepers of Linking road and Colaba. And fair enough, I wasn't too bothered about it.
However when I was in Bombay the last week, I was strangely determined to take my hindi from the "bhaiyya iska price kya hai/woh redwalla piece chaahiye" to a whole new level. So in pursuit of shudh-hindi I decided the only way would be to interact with the bank staff with my crap hindi.
It was an interesting experience, thanks to relentless efforts in talking my unique brand of hindi the employees of the bank got inspired and started talking to me in their unique english.
One would think that this was hint enough to limit my hindi to the shopkeepers instead of making the bank employees' ears bleed, but no, this inspired me to take my hindi to greater heights, namely the 5th floor (investments cell).
I had to find out a couple of issues regarding the bank's investments for that quarter, a few matters regarding money at call and short notice, term deposits in other banks, the lot. The man who was in charge of it seemed hindi enough so I decided once again to execute my lingual prowess (or the lack of it)
Two sentences into the conversation, he had figured out what my standard of hindi was and after answering the first 3 questions in the same language he switched over to english. But me? Mein sirf hindi mein baath karthi thi. I didn't care about the wry smile on his face whenever I messed up with the genders and the "ka-ki-ke"s. I was on a mission. At the end of the session, his wry smile had turned into a full blown grin.
I got up - "thank you ji"
"What's your good name, madam?"
I told him exactly what it was.
"You're from Madras?"
"Haan ji" I said, in a way that would have made Amitabh Bachchan proud.