A student from Telegana sought permission to sing a popular Kannada movie song during the introductory session with the class. What followed was a raputurous applause from the Kannadigas in the class. When asked, they explained, ‘mam, his mother tongue is Telugu,still learnt a Kannada song and sang it in front of the class. We really appreciate this’.
In his address on the Hindi Diwas celebrations, President Ram Kovind encouraged Indians to learn each other’s mother tongue. An India where there are more common languages than just Hindi or English will any day be a better place to live in. More over, learning a new language is said to be one of the best ways to keep one’s memory power intact.
In a muti-lingual, multi-cultural city like Bangalore, the locals speak and interact with any one and everyone in which ever language they speak but to truly be a good citizen of the place you have chosen to live in, you should try to adapt and acclimatize to the local ways of living of which speaking the local language is of foremost importance. While the auto rickshaw drivers in Bangalore comprehend every other language, they truly feel at ease when spoken to in Kannada, even in broken Kannada.
What stops the outsiders who have come to Bangalore and made it their home, like myself, from learning Kannada is the ease with which one can carry out daily chores with a little help from hindi-english-tamil-malayalam-or a mix of everything else here. The locals are helpful and manage to know more than a language or two.
It was when I saw the true love the youngsters have for their mother tongue that I decided to put my heart and soul into learning Kannada. It is not easy but it is not impossible either. Many of my students speak Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada as well as Hindi and English.
The other day Sulagna who hails from West Bengal shared her story of how she used to be mocked for her way of pronouncing words in Kannada. Not one to give in in 2 years time, Sulagna mastered the 4 South Indian languages along with Hindi, Bengali and English.
If you are a movie buff, then,you have all the more reason to put in some more effort to learn new languages. The quality of regional movies is on a steady rise.
Among the many movies I watch on the recommendation of my students or my daughter was one that I happened to watch today, the Kannada movie -U -Turn. Apart from a compelling story line and convincing characterisation the movie is a must-see for its very relevant social message.
I remember how I had watched Rangitaranga, another highly watchable Kannada movie and was under its spell for quite some time.
Well, there are enough and more reasons to test your brain and try your hand at mastering a local language today, so go on, go regional!