Can you speak your mother tongue?

kolaveri di dhanush Heard the latest rage on the web ‘Kolaveri Di’? What is the most endearing thing about a guy who can barely sing, crooning into a microphone, in the most ridiculous way? The best thing about the guy is that he is being himself. In an era where people are ashamed to refer to their ethnicity, here comes a guy who croons a different tune. No anglicized rap, mind you! Its pure old Tamil + English, now famously known as Tanglish.

I adore this guy for the fact that he gives a I care a damn attitude. There are scores of people, especially among the South Indian community who refuse to acknowledge the fact that they are South Indians!! They prefer to talk in English over their mother tongue and may even indulge in cheap name calling a Madrasi guy, just to look cool. This comes from my personal experience where I have come across people especially from South India. They proudly accept the fact that they do not know their mother tongue and are not very keen to learn it. But they are dying to learn a  foreign language. How ironical!!

May be they are ashamed of being labelled a ‘Madrasi’ which is again a moniker for the entire South Indian community. But why? I fail to understand the whole idea behind this. And the very same people wouldn’t mind having ‘Kolaveri Di’ on their playlist! Then there are fake accents and attitudes to deal with too, but that’s a different ball game altogether. I hate it when people tell me that ‘we eat, sleep and think in English first’, huh!! Really? Since when did English become our first language so much so that even our songs are filled with crappy English lyrics!

Today’s generation is a confused lot. They hate to speak their own language but wouldn’t mind wolfing down a idli dosa. They hate all the customs and traditions, yet wouldn’t mind going hungry for a day to please the gods. And i am not targetting the younger lot of today. I have seen the older generation do the same thing. People who have been brought up on morning prayers and devotional songs sung by M S Subbulakshmi now find it boring. Everyone must respect their mother tongue because it is the foundation of one’s culture and moral values.

You may love it or hate it, but the Kolaveri fever has definitely caught on! For a change, Tanglish sounds way stylish and entertaining than propah English.

Englishisms- Learning from scratch

Ignorance cannot be bliss all the time. Today when I was surfing the net, I came across a question which set my brain cells ticking! The question went thus, “What to call that groove above your lip?” And I found myself scratching my head! I wondered why it never occurred to me before.  To satiate my inquisitiveness, I decided to Google it! (Who else!) And lo, I just tumbled on to an entire list which answered such seemingly simple questions for which no one had the answer!back to school

To say the least, I was thrilled to learn the new words and was nodding all the way, because the questions were so familiar and related to our daily routine in some way or the other. At times, we tend to ignore the minute things, wherein lies the greatest details.

So here is the list from Webster dictionary for you to enjoy. I am sure you will be amazed!

Aglet : the tag covering the ends of a lace or point

Armsaye : the armhole in clothing.

Escutcheon: a protective or ornamental plate around a keyhole

Ferrule :  the knob on the far end of an umbrella

Keeper : the loop on a belt that keeps the end in place after it has passed through the buckle

Lemniscate : the infinity symbol (I learnt this in my Math books !)

Liripipe: the long tail on a graduate’s academic hood

Lunule : the whitish mark at the base of a fingernail

Minimus : the little finger or toe

Philtrum : that vertical groove above your lip

Punt : an indentation at the bottom of a molded glass bottle

Tittle : the dot over i or j    (My English teacher never told me this ! )

Tongue: a movable pin in a buckle that passes through a hole in the strap to be secured

Vamp:  the part of a shoe or boot that covers the front of the foot

That was some real enlightenment and I am glad I got to learn some new words, although i would never address a shoe as ‘vamp’ ! :)