By Mahruaii Sailo
It was one of those days when you laugh hysterically on so many things. My dress, the rickshaw wallah, my friend, her cranky cold and mood and Hindi.
I went to the National Convention which gathered to discuss a topic, “Countering Fascists and Defending the idea of India”, (sound interesting, na). Yes, I was trying to get the best out of it but only that it turned out to be quiet a disaster (for me :-]) as every speaker chooses to use Hindi. (It was ironic as almost every speakers throw the line of India being diverse in culture and language and I thought that is why English is an official language here)
How can you do this to me? I was furious. Don’t you know that this is an attack on the minority itself? I came from the remote part of India where Hindi is as scarce as the oasis in the desert.
You see, I once called up a police officer in Delhi while investigating a story, he said he does not want to talk to me as I use English! “Hey, Please, stop there! You didn’t realize my deep desire to speak good Hindi only that it was not within my grasp. India is my motherland and I am an Indian. Does being born and raise up in an isolated part of Hindustan denied me of this right? (I will call you again and you better be polite)”. Hena? I am clapping for myself. Atta girl, way to go, move on.
In some of the stores I went, I was stared at like an alien! Yes, I know, I know I don’t have the same nose and eyes! It may not be as beautiful as yours but I have my fundamental rights as a citizen to carry myself around and about.
Do you know how difficult it is to learn a second language after you reached a certain age? Again, those having the opportunity to have an intense course for some months on Hindi will be from the west with plenty of green dough backing them from home. I applauded for them. Only I am asking humbly to have a better consideration for those who does not have any means to be a better Hindi speaking person.
Believe me, it is a hard life in Delhi without Hindi. On my way to the Convention, for example, the rickshaw wallah hiked his price and took me around for a lengthy period of time so that he could charge an extra amount. So was my German- American friend facing the same problem which was a little worse than mine as you give in like any other time in the rapid firing of words.
Then, to sit dumb founded like a really silly guy in the Convention when you cannot make out a thing uttered, was no good joke. In fact, it was a sad plight, considering the energy, effort and money spent and wasted.
A day like this happened to every people. I was wearing this silly dress which accidentally exposed more that it intended on more than one occasion and as it kept disturbing me, my main objective, while talking to anyone become pulling up the neckline higher to prevent an extra exposure of things . Yet someone at one time was kind enough to tap me on my elbow to gesture that my electric red brassiere was peeping out its beauty.
The stuffy nose and deep coughs of my friend does not elevate me so much nor was her cranky mood. Seeing her hair all dishevelled and exclaiming a pathetic “O I need a man to hold me now” when her boyfriend was pulling away from her, does not set the matter aright so much either. Oh! Poor baby!!
It was one of those days when all heads shook on you. Look! We asked a dozen rickshaw wallah to take us back home only to get no’ and more no’, the nearest one saying to yes’ explained to us the meaning of our area- “peacock” and after doing that fled off like a crazy man. But I thought everybody loves peacock and peacock are beautiful. Aren’t they? My head is spinning now.
Like a vagabond, we dragged our tired feet along the street to get a bus with my shoes hurting me like crazy but laughing so hard that I almost pee my pant.
Thank you very much; it was enough to make my day.