Monday, November 28, 2011

Talk Bangla Talk

When I returned to Kolkata in 2008, one of the things I loved the most was the luxury of speaking and being completely understood and responded to, in bengali.....This is kolkata, after all.

For quite some time after that, it would take me by surprise and I’d feel a childish elation each time, I spoke to a taxi driver, a passer by, in the bank, at the movie hall in bengali....what fun. (Except Inox Forum where everyone stubbornly sticks to English...).

This was almost like the fun and the thrill that even the smallest of conversations in french would bring to me, when I was in France! Except its been three years that I am back and yet, cabbies, bus conductors, auto drivers, shop assistants will speak to me in Hindi. Even if I reply in Bengali, they will try out their best hindi on me!


sankarshan said...

This is something I've been noticing for over a year now. Folks tend to do a first response in Hindi and then the usual "Kolkata English" before being rigidly steered towards Bengali. On days I want to be malicious I continue with the charade, mostly, it is annoying.

Perhaps I don't look like a person who can speak Bengali.

And, it is nice to read your now-frequent posts. :)

Sukanya C said...

Well hello there! I have missed your comments on my blog...

I guess I will console myself by saying its the Delhi Effect ... I look / sound like a dilli walla! But the english in Forum and the like is a work condition I think...which is sad. We used to pride ourselves on Bengaliana ...

sankarshan said...

Heh ! I keep track of the posts and unfailingly lament when the frequency goes south.

And, reading up on your way of spending the Pujo had me shaking my head as to why I decide each year to visit the Pandals. Of course I do comment that "this year was the worst, remember last year..."

I've seen the forced English bits at South City and have cringed as well because a conversation in Bengali would have been so easy. I guess the demographic demands English. Although that doesn't explain why the Taratolla-Sakherbazar auto drivers would converse in Hindi.

Sukanya C said...

About the will happen to you to naturally...wait for it! Glad to know you r still a visitor on my blog.

Read if you will

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