Skip to main content

Featured Post

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Learning the local language


When we first came to Bombay, the biggest challenge we faced was the language – we knew English, Hindi, Tamil, and a smattering of the other south Indian languages, but Marathi was truly an alien tongue then. And to add to that, our school had already started teaching Marathi, so I had to catch up too! We soon realized that the language was not all that hard to understand or to read – it was after all, not too different from Hindi, and thankfully the script was the same, but speaking was another matter altogether. Everyone in our vicinity insisted on being nice, and spoke to us in Hindi, even when we asked them to speak in Marathi so that we could learn the language.
That included our maid, who preferred to speak in her broken Hindi rather than listen to our broken Marathi! I stumbled through 5 years of the language in school, scoring well enough in the written exams, but not learning to speak a word, thankfully shifting to Sanskrit as soon as I got the option! That ended my tryst with Marathi for the time being, but I soon faced the language barrier again when I started commuting to college at unearthly hours of the morning and had none but fisherwomen for company in the buses and trains. That was when I learnt to speak at least a few words of the local language, since they couldn’t speak anything else! By that time I had lived for over 10 years in Bombay, and was too ashamed to admit that the language was still alien to me! It was after my marriage that my fluency in the language actually improved, when we started wandering around the interiors of the state, visiting temples, beaches and forts.

If you are wondering why I have been going down memory lane suddenly, it is because the issue has come back to haunt me, in the form of Samhith, who doesn’t know a word of the language, and refuses to even try to understand! We live in a predominantly south Indian area, where even the shopkeepers and maids speak perfect Tamil, so he can speak better Tamil than Hindi! Of course, for all practical purposes, English is his first language, and being in an ‘International school’, he has French as his third language (second is Hindi, thankfullyJ). With all these languages, he scarcely has any interest in Marathi, which is not surprising, considering that he hardly ever hears it spoken!

And then, a couple of weeks back, we attended the Kala Ghoda fest, where Pratham books launched one of their new books – ‘My Unforgettable trip” by Milind Gunaji. The book relates the fictional tale of the author meeting a ghost as he travels around the various forts built by the great Maratha king, Shivaji. I have read a couple of his travel books earlier, and have admired his detailed knowledge about all the places in Maharashtra, and naturally I was keen to attend the launch. As for Samhith, the prospect of getting a new book will make him come anywhere with me! While he was interested in reading a book about Shivaji and his forts, what we didn’t expect was that Milind would choose to speak in Marathi!









The book has been released in three languages – English, Hindi and Marathi – and thinking back, it was quite natural for him to choose to read the Marathi version. Unfortunately, while most of the kids there were certainly comfortable with the language, there were a few who were bored enough to either interrupt with frequent questions to their parents , and even one who decided that the puppet show was more interesting, and left midway! As to Samhith, you should have seen the look he turned on me as soon as the book reading began! Knowing that I wouldn’t leave in the middle of any talk, he sat on calmly right at the front till the whole session was over!

Of course, I then had to get him a copy of the book in all the three languages, for sitting through the programme, but it was certainly worth it, for he now wants to learn Marathi too! He finally seems to have grasped the fact that learning the local language is important, and that it is also useful to know as many languages as possible! We have returned from the fest with an armful of books – some of them in basic Marathi – to read during our vacation!

As for the book, we read it on the way back in the train, and it was a truly enjoyable tale. Milind has woven an interesting narrative with details of the forts, something which Samhith enjoyed. The concept of meeting a ghost was what he loved… and made the story fascinating for him.  I am sure that when we visit the forts, he is going to remember the incidents described in the story. I wish there were more such books which bring history to life, and bring our heritage closer to our children. 

Comments

  1. wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, Marathi Jokes in Marathi Language

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t

Kabini Part 3 - After the Rains

Visiting Kabini in peak summer, we hadn’t bargained for the rains, which dominated our three days at the Lodge. While animal sightings were understandably lesser than usual, seeing the forest in the rain was an interesting experience in its own way. However, as we headed back into the forest for our second and third safaris, we hoped the rains would let up, and allow us to see more animals! Winding jungle paths