Monday, May 23, 2011

The "H" Factor

I have lived most of my life in Ahmedabad. Despite what other people might say about this city, this city is my home, and I love it. I am also not well travelled. I've been to a few places in and around the country, but that's not 'well travelled'. Though I am in love with the idea of "travelling".. For the longest time, Bombay was the southern most part of India I had visited.

All this changed when I visited Bangalore for the first time. There were certain things about the city which fascinated me... people with *really* bushy moustache.. lots of posters/billboards with pictures of these men put up all across the city.. of course, not to forget the full size, and at times, more than 2 times the size, posters of men in lungi.

Now, these could be actors.. or politicians.. or their sons.. or both.. which is a funny thing.. cos just like how certain south indian films remakes in hindi are awful, and are viewed by audience in single digit, most of which are paid to attend the film screening so that they can give review through various mediums, a lot of actors in hindi film industry tried to ape the south superstars and got themselves elected. Unfortunately, that one decision spelled an end of their movie career while their political career never took off (exhibit A - Govinda)

And then there are the cowboy hats for the traffic policement. I mean, really, what's up with that! I know, I say that everytime I visit Bangalore, but then, its just not that easy to ignore it when you see that.. especially when you see two things together, like a moustached goon-like actors poster and the cowboy hat clad policemen.. all this while, a Kannada song is being played on the radio, where the female singer makes #haun-worthy sounds.. ensuring non-kannada speaking public get the meaning across.

But the most fascinating thing about the south indian cities is the love for the alphabet "H". It baffles me completely when they write Sekar and pronounce it as Shekhar, and write Bharathi and pronounce it as Bharati. Why? WHY? why not stick to phonetics? And why add the extra "A" to names like Sankara (notice the missing H too?) or Siva (again, missing H).. ? Reading the name Haris was the weirdest for me.. one H is missing.. while one H is already there.. so how hard was it for them to just add an extra H? On inquiring about it, some people told me that the language doesn't have the hindi letter "ta" and so, they write "tha". as in, Bharath instead of Bharat. Now, nothing against it, but I don't buy the theory.. cos if that's the case, why an extra "H" in other names?

I would've written more.. but I am sleepy now.. its past midnight, and a weekday, so must sleep.

Also, thank you for the love you're giving the blog, especially those who google nirwa mehta and reach here - special love and big kiss to you all :D

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