Thursday, November 24, 2005

Marathi-baana

Someone emailed Mitrauk group, about whether should speak to our kids in Marathi and whether it is really important.



My emotional rambling argument is here. I don't think I answered his question in any significant way, but my opinion is all there in full-force



I think it is not important just to speak the language. I converse with family and friends in Marathi, but when it comes to expressing ideas, or thoughts or arguing an opinion (to differentiate from normal or daily chit chat), most of us fall back on English. If not completely, atleast, the most important/operating words are in English. (Picture kaay superb hota, Mi tyalaa etiquettes cha study karaylaa sangat hota, Language var control naahi)



What we have of Marathi is just basic grasp of the language. And I wont say, this basic grasp of language is enough to keep us bounded to Marathi identity. May be we are just hanging on to the last vestiges of Marathi-banaa.



When we lose a language, we lose everything associated with it progressively. How does one appreciate bhondla, bhaktisangeet, santanche bol. How does one understand Mahonar's poetry. But it would be difficult for us to do that, when the meaning is lost. When meaning is lost, the interest is lost. The quest for knowledge continues, but the we turn to things foreign. There is no one to blame, just coz the setting we are in. There is no incentive for knowing your roots.



Humour is the most delicate manifestation of mastery over the language. So, quality of humour is marred if you dont know the language inside out. In India, most of the Bollywood writers are non-Hindi speaking (most would be Punjabi now speaking English off-work). So subtle sense of humour has never been the mainstay on Indian celluloid or idiot box (we are just masters of farce and pjs). Humour or not, the current output in popular media (tv, films, books) is sub-standard and we are more pushed towards far superior English alternative.



I am not arguing against English or anything. I just think, we are too well versed in it. We are too well prepared to take on the world. This command has come at a cost of local language and identity and I resent that, we don't do anything about it.



It could be helped. Read more Marathi stuff. Make sure you get Marathi books from back home. Atleast identity your vegetables, food, masale, in proper Marathi.
Use askhalit (I hope thats right) Marathi as much as possible (avoid calling mobile Dhawnibhramanika or some such).


Only Indians mock other Indians who speak shudh bhasha. We should be ashamed to do otherwise.
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