Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is it all about English Vinglish?

This question has been boggling my mind for quite a few days. Is English a global language? Is it globally accepted or just forced on the worldizens (citizens of World)? Very recently we had been to Paris and what a magnificent city! Rich culture and so much of history. Almost every monument narrates you its story. A promenade around the beautiful architecture depicts that how progressive human being were! In this world of technology where only mini robots are created now..yes aren't we all kinda robots? Our addiction to technology which is taking us away from little pleasures, killing our creativity is a matter of concern. It was during the evolution of human beings that first pictures were a form of communication followed by sign language and then perhaps so many languages evolved. So coming to the point - What is the harm in being proud about your mother tongue? Is it quintessential that we succumb to English? Frankly if you don't know English your IQ isn't changing or it doesn't mean that you are dumb. Probably on an international platform you might be unable to express yourself, your views but I guess with so much advanced technology language can't be a barrier anymore. Well coming back to Paris, the Parisians are proud about French. I experienced that some of them prefer French first and then English. Did you know about a saying that 'wrongly spoken French is English!' We Indians are very much at ease with speaking, writing English rather in many families English has taken over their mothertongue. It is a personal choice but practising English should be an individual's choice and not imposed. I have also seen that your status can be linked with your knowledge about English. Some Indians strongly relate sophistication to English knowledge.

How and Why did English emerge as a global language?

Hate it or Like it, an unwritten law is that English is a global language. If studied deeper then there are reasons behind English taking over the globe. It all started with Britain ruling more than quarter of the globe and colonization strongly influenced propagation of English. All the official matters were dealt in English during their rule and even when they left, English had creeped in the education system and took over as an official language. In a country like India where more than 1500 languages are spoken, it is difficult to have one language as a National Language. Though Hindi is widely used in all government offices but there are states who have Hindi aversion syndrome. So in India English has flourished more than any other language in unison but we should not forget our mothertongue. 
Later English widely spread due to US as all the softwares developed were in English. So basically English is favored more due to technology. Imagine if the softwares were in Chinese...would Chinese be the global language? Probably not due to Mandarin being a difficult language to learn. The easy grammar that English has makes it more popular, lesser words so more preferences.

A Proper Balance

I am not against any language and every language needs to be respected. I would love if my daughter AS could learn all the languages on the planet! This is just impossible. At home I speak with her in Marathi and KS in Hindi. KS being a punjabi munda doesn't know fluent Punjabi and we do feel bad about nice it would have been if AS knew Marathi, Punjabi, Hindi and English which anyways she will pick up at school or while growing. On a positive note knowing more languages is so beneficial, keeps your brain active. I know 5 Indian languages and can read French (understand a bit) which is so useful. I can easily connect with people due to this. Frankly there should be no aversion for any language. It is the duty of mankind to preserve all languages and being a multilinguist adds to your personality. We met a Romanian woman in Paris who is settled in Canada. She knew French, Romanian, German, Croatian (related Scandinavian languages) and American English. She also said that Americans expect that everybody should speak English and if they can't then they aren't developed. This attitude is growing more and more, hence I say a fine balance is required. My Aai (mother) flew to London from Mumbai all alone. First time in flight and that too international. Knows to read and write English but basic and simple as she did all her schooling in Marathi. I was so worried about her whether she will make it all alone. And yes she did it! I am so proud of her as she proved that knowing English is not THE thing. She is an example to many in our family & friends now.

Finally it is not all about English Vinglish. If you don't know to speak fluently or write correctly then don't feel inferior. You learn till you live so keep learning and keep living....


Monday, June 16, 2014

My Daddy BESTEST...

My Daddy you remember the advertisement which had this solid sentence that was so catchy and I remember the sentence? I can almost feel the pride, experience those goose bumps when I think how blessed I am to have a FATHER like my PAPA. It is always a mother who is closely associated to the child since birth and she gets all the credits of bringing up the best in the child but the secret efforts of a father sometimes go unnoticed. I am witnessing a father's feeling towards his child only due to KS and the fantastic doting father he plays to our AS. Father's day is just around the corner and I would like to take this opportunity to pay an ode to the Men who have evolved as fantastic Father's. Focusing on my Papa and Aadhya's Papa....

AS and her Ajoba - moment to cherish forever
Whatever good in me today is only because of these men (including my Brother RJ) and I can't thank them enough. Papa, in our house has always been very soft, never too vocal, more of a friend to me and RJ. He always tried and still tries to give us the BEST. I still remember how as kids we made him sleep between us and then kept on moving his neck in order to have him faced to both of us turn by turn. He was the one who always assisted us to the loo, to the kitchen whenever thirsty at nights and never ever do I remember any crinkles on his forehead. An extremely religious person and a god fearing human being he gave us the right education about our values and ethics. I won't ever forget that he fasted for me only because I could pass in Mathematics and when passed used to perform a pooja at Raghvendra Swami's temple....such has been his love and support to me. He always believes that a person with values like honesty and simplicity can be successful in whatever he undertakes. Extremely hard working he has set an example for us that life is never a cakewalk and there are no shortcuts.I still remember the day when my Aai told me that he sobbed for a month after I got married and was no more a part of his family (traditionally and culturally). Lots to share but inadequacy of space...I pray to God to bless him with good health and happiness always. Love you Papa....can't really stop my tears rolling....

Together they make every moment special
Moving on to Aadhya's father KS - we are proud parents to AS and this journey till now hasn't been easy. It has been enjoyable only and only due to KS and his fatherly instincts. A 21st century father who spent nights reading books about babies, their health problems and changed her first nappy. He was so elated when AS was given in his arms...just like a kid with a new toy which he has longed for! Holding her in his arms and teary eyed when he kissed her forehead I knew he will be a fantastic father. I always feel that his fatherly instincts are sharper than my motherly instincts. The way he cares for her minutest requirements leaves me spellbound. Whenever he is with her it has to be physically and mentally...he gives her his 100%. Never ever he loses his cool on AS in whatever situations ...I can't be this cool. Looking at him when he is immersed in playing with her makes me think that my Papa too must have done the same for me! Whether be physically, financially or on any fronts he always wants the best for KS. I always tell AS (though she doesn't understand) thay she is lucky and blessed to have a caring fathet like KS. Looking for new food recipes for AS, reading and literature survey about vitamins for kids are a few examples that define a 21st century father's concern in KS. On behalf of Aadhya I wish him lots of happiness and good health..I know he is waiting to listen to Aadhya wishing him very soon.

Every daughter has a role model in her Father. No one can ever touch that place.

A concoction for a father from his daughter....

You taught me to laugh and I knew what happiness meant,
You taught me to walk and I knew what trust meant,
You bought me gifts and I knew what pampering meant,
AS celebrating her first Father's day with beloved Papa
You taught me to drive and I knew what friendship meant,
The small little everythings you did for me,
At the cost of sacrifices for thee,
If life is a sky with twinkling stars,
You 'Papa' have been my invaluable star...rather Super Star....

Let's say together...My Daddy BESTEST...cheers..:)

Ajoba's special moment with his grand-daughters

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Drawing a THIN LINE

There has always been a debate in my mind whether Globalisation has been a boon or a curse! To be more specific for India. I don’t have neither any values in percentage or nor any proof about it but I do feel that it has changed the way the society thinks now. The more harmful is the influence of ‘west over east’. India is blessed with diversity and has still is the oldest civilization. A secular nation with different religions and I believe it happens happily. The very strong base of our culture be it any religion has always been a ‘family’. We are emotionally charged and seldom practical, I am no exception. I always put my family first and I am proud about this. So coming to the point, in this era of globalisation where we explore that anything and everything can be a ‘career’ which has played a crucial role in the upliftment of Indian Women. Any art or skill from Cooking, Sewing, mehndi art, knitting art, making Rangoli, Dancing can be a profession now. I have many friends who give lessons based on their expertise and are independent. Not everyone has a perfect qualification to go in a job and more than this the Indian Woman sacrifices her career to be with kids and family. She compromises on this front by maintaining her own identity in any small way that could also support the family economically. These Women are often neglected under the limelight of other successful Women – who make it big. An Ode to this Woman in the background who does everything in the favour of the family should be given. 

Recently, I had lunch with my Indian colleague’s wife SM, a very attractive, smart and talkative (just like me) female. This was our second meeting and very soon we were talking about everything under the sun. She told me how she left her job after they had a baby to look after him and enjoy motherhood dutifully. Now as their son is grown enough and about to join a school she desperately wants to get back to work. I absolutely know how it feels when you were working and busy once upon a time bubbling with confidence that could win the world for you. A maternity break for every woman is very difficult to overcome and I have gone through this. One has to overcome mental, physical, unknown inhibitions, fears, jitters of going back to work. Going back to work is primarily for a burning desire to doing something for yourself as you know you are worth it and secondly but most importantly financial independence! Rather I would say these days it is more of financial independence. SM and I agreed on this aspect. However loving and caring husband one has why does every woman/wife feels the need to be independent financially? We both laughed out when we unarguably agreed on one thing – Happiness is when I buy/shop for my stuff and pay through my debit card! I guess that you too are smiling now…hold it…isn’t that true? There were times when KS (my husband) would lend me his debit card (during my PhD) but I never felt like spending or shopping using his card. Was I egoistic unnecessarily? Probably it was an immature streak in me which has completely changed now.

I still remember as a child when I used to see my Papa withdrawing his salary from the bank when there were no ATM’s or these debit cards and one had to wait in a queue with the token until being called. He very religiously use hand over the salary to my Aai (mother). She would keep the bundle in the ‘pooja ghar’ for a while and then lock it in the cupboard. That bundle used to be my Aai’s responsibility. She would manage the monthly expense in that certain amount. Like every middle class family we too had a budget and a bill book where she recorded every single paisa spent. I never saw any awkwardness on her face while she used Papa’s salary for any expense. The money belonged to all of us, we were so happy and there were no terms like ‘my money’ or ‘your money’. Everything was OURS. I think when Aai could manage that why can’t I? Is there any harm in being ‘ambitious’, ‘independent’? Actually most of us forget that being ambitious is a thin line between being ‘ambitious’ and ‘over-ambitious’ or ‘independent and overly-independent’. A family is closely knit only because each of the members is dependent on the other for some or the other reason. If every member is over ambitious, overly independent then is there any need to live as a family? Why would one come home for? This could be one of the reasons for disturbed marriages. 

Is it not very important to draw a thin line between certain issues in order to maintain a family life? Having such unimportant thoughts, false assumptions reflect badly on your personal life. We should preserve our tradition of living in joint families but with a change. Every member should respect each other, no discrimination on any basis. There is no harm to say sorry and amend matter instead of stretching which is just like chewing a tasteless chewing-gum. Human beings are social animals and we should stress more on living together as we can preserve our culture and pass on the good to the next generation. I don't say everything from the 'West' is rubbish but only absorb 'GOOD'. Don't allow it to take you over.

I don’t want to sound like an old-fashioned, over preachy Aunt but I am old-fashioned who hopelessly believes that Old is Gold!