Logbook of an Unknown Artist | Paintings Of Animesh Roy

Logbook of an Unknown Artist | Paintings Of Animesh Roy

Art of Animesh Roy Please keep in touch with my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/animeshroyartist Still Life with plate o...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tea At Flurys...

Tragic-comic dependence of English Language in India!!

The issues relating to language is very close to my heart and it make me feel at time very frustrated.. especially when I see students here in Europe and then in India... the pressure of studies which we keep harping in India is an altogether alien subject here!! Students don't have any tension or ever commit suicide here and my inference is because of language!! They study/understand all their subjects in their mother tongue... Not like we do.. so they understand better and don't need to do any रट्टा (to memorise/to mug-up)!! We don't understand the subjects.. we mug up the answers and in exams just vomit it out!! Many students would be heard proudly proclaiming that they remember or know nothing as the leave an exam hall... all they had stored in their head has been flushed!!

Our study is all about रटा... because we don't understand the medium of instruction ie English... like I remember being taught history, geography, social studies... sciences when I was still a little boy in English and didn't follow anything... and was always considered a weak student etc.!! Once I was explained in Hindi or Bangla I comprehend all but then again how do I write the explanations/answerer in good English?!! So we go into the whole new process of learning a new language (English) and as we all know it gets tough when one has crossed a certain age... and also its not a language one can pick up from others.. I mean English is not spoken among children while they are outside their classroom... in the parks and play grounds... we speak our mother tongue etc... like I didn't know a word of Hindi when I landed as a small boy in a small hill town of Kumaon..and within months was speaking in Hindi/Kuamoni.. but English took many years..to master.

This affects our studies in all subjects... and thus no thinkers, poets, scientists (where is the time to think..when all those fat books have to be rattofied (mug-up).

The Japanese, the Germans, the Pols, the French (not to mention the Americans and the English!!) all, I have observed learn mathematics, sciences etc. in their mother tongue... and see the kind of people they produce... not the 'order' taking or the call centre idiots !!!

Tea At Flurys... You will need to speak in English here to be served!

I was recently in my home town Calcutta after a gap of over 20 years and went to have tea at Flurys on Park Street.. the waiters all came up to me with a big "Good Morning Sir" etc. and started to speak in broken English... I answered in Bangla.. they kept replying in English!! When I complained to the manager about this.. he sheepishly answered..

"Hee-hee you shee saar you have come to the reshtoorant na, shoo.. blaha balaha etc.!!"

Next to my table came and sat a very middle class Bengali bhodorlok couple, and started the process of 'ordering' a cup of tea etc in broken English.. and the waiter taking down and offering his expert advise... all in equally bad English... Both continued this facade for some time in very bad English!! Once in a while the Bengali bahdorlok would whisper to his wife in beautiful Bangla about the 'order' !!

To explain how he wanted his tea and some cakes took a considerable time!! By this time I had lost all my appetite and the nostalgia of visiting a childhood place!!!

Imagine this is happening right in the heart of the capital of Bengal... a language spoken by over 300 million (could be much more.. if you just see the population of Bengalis world over) !! (Population of France 65 million and spoken by about 500 million worldwide, total population of Bangladesh and West Bengal is about 240 million!! I didn't include Tripura, Assam, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Burma etc!!!

Now imagine the same scenario in a city like Warsaw or New York, London or Paris... in a tea/coffee shop!! Will it be possible that the citizen of these places will be heard struggling to place their order of coffee or tea and cakes in an alien language?!!


Why do 99.99% of Indians (only in Indians you will see this peculiar trait.. I haven't notice this among others nationals) post English as the 1st language they know on their Facebook Profile and their Mother Tongue as the last?!
And sometime if they know more languages like a 'foreign language' viz French, German et al. and some Indian languages viz. Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Bangla, Sanskrit..

Be sure it will be listed in this sequence:

"English, French, German, Hindi, Bangla, Konkani, Sanskrit" !!

Sometime it is so pathetic to see how we cling to 'English Language'... and then the list can read like this:

Languages known: "British English, American English, Indian English...." !!!

Maybe we are still struggling to get out of our days of repressions under the English rule...
A very relevant video on this by late Rajiv Dixit here:


or listen to this audio version by Rajiv Dixit

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