Kolkata trip was excited for me….I planned to visit many selected places of this city of art, culture and of course the Rashgulla, the sweet which carries different touches of flavors. If I will not visit some art exhibitions in this city, then my trip will not be worthy enough to be here for long 21 days. It is said that in Kolkata, if you throw one stone in the sky blindly, then it will fall down either to an artist or to a singer, for sure.
But I could not manage my time on this first day to roam about the city, because of the classes which went on definitely over my head. By attending those classes, I came to know one thing clearly that I know nothing about the so-called Topological Vector Spaces. But still I have some thing which can be shared with you people, some true concepts about the people, some unexpected thoughts which they carry at every moment.
Before landing at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, the person who was sitting by my side started to get introduced with me. Within that very short period of time, he collected enough informations about me….my profession, my home land, my residence at Mumbai, my home town, my career, my schooling and lastly my mobile number which he saved in his mobile set with my name and of course had given his own also. He was working in ONGC, Mumbai and now he got transferred to Sivasagar ONGC, Assam, one month back. His family is still in Mumbai and he had to make the frequent visits to his family. So definitely he should be curious about his new job place about which he had already got some concepts….the concepts which truly touched me.
He asked me whether any body in my family working in ONGC or not…..when I replied that some people were there at ONGC from my family also, then he told me that in Assam, most of the people are in ONGC rather than in other professions because of the local demands!!!!
I got surprised about his knowledge on the Assamese people, whose talents and intelligence are not only in some specific field but are scattered at different areas also. Still he said that maximum number of the Assamese people got absorbed in the oil sectors rather than in the other fields. I was speechless on his view points about the intelligence of our home land people.
Before arguing with him, we landed at the airport….we proceeded to our own destinations with our luggage. As per my plan, I went to the pre paid taxi booking booth to book one taxi to my destination. Because ISI people themselves suggested me to take one pre paid taxi whose fares might be higher than the local taxi, but would be a bit safe and comfortable for new visitor. Accordingly I said my destination as Dunlop Bridge, ISI campus….the counter people replied me in Bengali and asked my name, whether “ek jon Lok” or not and then suggested the necessary things in their language which I might not understand….but they used their mother tongue, not other national or international languages.
Anyway, accordingly I found my taxi, but luckily with a Bihari driver….otherwise I would have to try the language in which I was not comfortable myself, on my whole journey. It was a pre paid taxi, but still the Bihari driver charged me Rs. 50/- extra…his logic was that he had to follow the different route from the airport to my destination, because the original route was closed due to the Rath Yatra, started from yesterday. Ok, fine…..it’s Kolkata after all, we had to follow the rules which they asked, other wise things might go wrongly.
While I reported at the ISI, Guest house, the reception people started talking with me in Bengali again, since they could recognize me by my name that I was from Assam. Hello!!! Excuse me…Assam has its own language….the local language is not Bengali there. Still they continued talking with me in Bengali, though I answered them in English or Hindi. Their logic was that in Assam 50% people were Bengali and Assamese and Bengali were very similar languages in their way. So why don’t you people talk in Assamese??? Assamese is not a dependent language on Bengali…it has its own dignity.
I faced the similar situation at the Bardhaman also….it was in 2008. We went there to attend one International conference…but interestingly the convenor of the conference talked with every Indian delegates with Bengali…he was not worried about the opposite side whether they could understand his language or not. He simply shared his mother tongue with every one, if they had some problems they could ask the same queries with some other persons also. Till the end, he did not use any other languages to communicate with the participants except at his own seminar.
My senior got angry with him for his attitude…he said that it was his misconcept to accept his mother tongue as the International language which must be known to every one!!!!
Local language should not be used in that way that the outsiders get irritated in hearing their mother tongue. This situation is not only in Kolkata, but at many places in and outside India also. South Indian local people do not want to communicate with the outsiders in other languages. If they can speak in those languages also, they use their own language which become very horrible to get communicated for the outsiders….just like the Russia, France, Japan and other countries where the local language get the first preference in communication. If you land there for long-term, you have to learn their language, other wise life may become difficult to survive all around there.