After settled down in Mumbai, the first thing we enjoyed here was to speak our mother tongue without any second thought. Because here no body understands our language, so whatever we want we can speak any time at any place. I really enjoyed here talking in my mother tongue sharing all my secrets at public place also…..regardless who were there, what they would think about me. I discussed comfortably quite a few personal matters with my mother over mobile while I was traveling in AC buses. My husband was also quite comfortable in sounding some Assamese romantic words when we met at public places…because there was no question of getting ashamed or getting hesitated in sharing some affection in our mother tongue.
That day also, we were on our way after our daily office hours in an auto. We started talking our very personal matters inside the auto, because we were damn sure about the auto driver to be a non Assamese fellow. We even discussed some thing about the driver also. But when we had to take our turn towards our residence, I asked the driver to take the left turn. But he replied me in my mother tongue that due to the broken road, he had to turn it towards right!!!! We became speechless for a moment…I could not believe my ear…what I was hearing. My husband asked him politely whether he was Assamese or not. He was an Assamese staying here in Mumbai for almost 10 years. Interestingly he was staying nearby our residence, but we met him for the first time. I kept quiet for the moment and tried to leave the place at the earliest….because whatever the exclusively personal things we were discussing in his auto, that could never be discussed in front of any one!!!
Few days back, I have read one article about the Sarojini market, New Delhi. That article was about two Assamese ladies who were bargaining with the shop keeper against their stuffs. In their conversation, they used one Assamese phrase with their broken Hindi. But still, the shop keeper understood the meaning of the Assamese phrase and replied them appropriately. The writer was noticing the whole atmosphere. When they left the place, he asked the shop keeper what was the meaning of that phrase. The shop keeper answered it correctly also. The writer got surprised how one Delhi based shop keeper could understand the meaning of an Assamese phrase. Then he replied that there were lots of Assamese people he met who came to the Sarojini market throughout the year. Among them, most of the Guardian type people did not know Hindi properly, so they used the broken Hindi using some of the Assamese words and phrases, which helped him to learn the Assamese language easily. He even told some lines in broken Assamese with the meaning. The writer got surprised about the curiosity of their language learning.
Exactly, since the brain drains are mostly to the capital of our country from our home land, the guardians generally visit the place with their kids. Visiting Delhi will not be complete if you miss the Sarojini market or the Palika market or the CP. In Delhi, I experienced the usage of my mother tongue at almost all the places. Because at my stay at Janak puri, wherever I went I found some Assamese people….students, fashion designers, employees or House wives. I was there to visit the Department of Science and Technology office, Saket, but roamed the city almost every day with my cousins and friends. I liked to spend my time in Dilli Hut, where I found one stall representing our Assamese culture.
But in Mumbai, very few Assamese people are here. Students do not come here because of the expensive Mumbaiya life styles. Those who are staying here in Mumbai are those who came to get settled down after a hectic struggle life. I never met any Assamese people in the shopping malls or in the trains or in the buses. That’s why we became Bindazz(care free) in speaking our mother tongue.
In Banglore also, I found quite a few Assamese people. I still remembered the moment when I signed at the Register book at the Main Gate of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramongala, for my entry to appear at the Interview for my Woman Scientist-A fellowship, the Security asked my name twice with my title. Then they came forward to meet me and to ask about their home land from where they were away for almost 2 years. I got surprised to meet my seven Assamese brothers as Security personnel at that Institute. I was sitting at the Interview waiting room for my turn. Suddenly my name was called saying that I had a call at the intercom. I got a bit tensed also, who might be there at the phone at that time…I could not get the idea. But to my great surprise and pleasure, I received the best wishes from my Assamese security brothers for my interview. That was the first time in my life, I became quite confident for my achievement before entering the Interview room. I was happy to meet my Assamese brothers in an unknown place for me.
But my Mumbaiya incident gave us the lesson not to speak Bindazzly our mother tongue in the public places…because who knows who will be enjoying our conversations. When, we visit our home land, we try to be more conscious about our talks, because every body understands us at our places….
Have you ever faced such type of awkward situations in your life????