Monday, 28 May 2012

Baz Luhrmann = Down market!

Baz Luhrmann - he's so down market I tell you! Really! First he goes and puts Chamma Chamma in Moulin Rouge and now he makes a film with Mr. Bachchan! Does he not know that Bollywood is chee chee! The upper classes do not watch it...because they don't know Hindi! It's so down market! Eeek! And here I was really looking forward to The Great Gatsby! And now he's ruined it for me! Not just that, he's cut out the entire upmarket, globally travelled audience who may  have watched his film.

It's a fact, Indians don't know Hindi! That's why they never speak it. And they look down upon anyone who does (so I am constantly looked down upon! I speak it, read it, write it and it's my bloody mother tiongue! Shame on you God! Why did you do this to me?)

Honestly, bump into someone at the show of a Hindi film and they'll say,"Oh! I don't watch Hindi films. My friends dragged me to it." Find them dancing to a Bollywood number and you'll hear, "There's no decent music here so may as well. I actually like trance, lounge, house." (I'd like them to name a few tracks and artistes).

I act in The Vagina Monologues in Hindi! It's an award winning play and the Hindi version is loved by anyone who's ever watched it. We often have foreginers come to watch it, but we have more indians who say, "Hindi nahi janta." How do you converse with your staff? How did you get through school? Did you not watch Sholay?

Here's my question - how can people be so proud of not knowing their mother tongues? India is a gold mine of languages and cultures. The world loves us, and we look down upon it and deny liking anything Indian. I've never met a French person who claimed not to know French. The brits speak English, the Spaniards speak Spanish, Germans speak German...and a lot of them speak other foreign languages too. While Indians speak incorrect English, and Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi or whatever your mother tongue may be, gets ignored!
The foreigners  come here and learn Hindi, we learn French.That's a good thing, without a doubt. We need to know English if we travel even within our own country. And knowing languages other than your own is fanrtastic, but not at the cost of ignorance about our own culture.

I last week saw an episode of The Kumars at no.42 and, God help me, it had Sir Cliff Richards speaking Hindi! Oh the shame!

And now, Sir Ben Kinglsey has acted in Bollywood. But I guess that's fine. He doesn't know Hindi so he's only a little down market. And we do love the white girls who flock to our shores to dance around trees. We do like them!

So here's a list of truly down market, uneducated people...
Nicholas - he's French and has done his PhD in Sanskrit and speaks beautiful Hindi apart from French and English.
Mr. Tom Alter - not Indian, but speaks the language and even writes poetry in it.
Mr. Amitabh Bachchan - Speaks beautiful English but can speak Hindi! Mr. Bachchan - stop it immediately!
Dilnaz Irani and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal - they're Parsis, but you've got to see them perform in Hindi and Urdu!
Althea Kaushal - Mother Tongue English but writes Hindi films.
Dr Ashish Agnihotri - Teaches French at JNU, buts slips from French to Hindi to English to Awadhi in a heartbeat.
Advait Agnihotri - he's my 2 year old nephew - his mother tongue is French and Creole and father tongue is Hindi, but he already speaks all three. We don't speak to him in English. He'll learn that in school. Let him learn his mother tongues at home.
Akon - how dare he sing chammak challo?
The list is endless...and to it I add myself! I love Hindi - speak it perfectly and can even do many dialects. I understood the vows I took at my wedding even though they weren't in English! Botw, when you are part of the Hindi nahi janta brigade, do you take these vows without knowing what you've promised the other person? What if you just promised to commit felony? Imagine that! And I love Bollywood! I lve wacthing the films, dancing to the music and know quite a few dialogues by heart! And I've read a lot of Indian literature - in Hindi.

I hang my head in shame for truly knowing the rich nuances of my mother tongue. And I promise to forget it soon so I can join the ranks of the elite!


  1. Althea Kaushal28 May 2012 at 04:14

    So fabulously tongue-in-cheek! Let me also tell you that I was in Pop Tates yesterday, trying to have a beer in the what had effectively become a temple, owing to the several large screen TVs broadcasting the match, when the national anthem started and as if in unison, with minimal chair scrapes everyone stood up and sng along. Wunderbar! (er.that's German ;)!)

  2. Priya Varsha,
    Tumne is kadvi sacchai ko bade khubsurti se bayaan kiya hain. Jab humaare desh ke naami, prasiddh log hi angrezi ko itne sammaan dete hain, to aam aadmi ki peedha kya hogi? Jab tak woh angrezi mein likhna nahi jaanta, usse sirf peon ki naukri naseeb hoti hain.
    Likhte Jaon...
    Tumhara Mitr,

  3. Atta Girl! Kya baat, Kya Baat, KYA BAAT!

  4. Dr. Ashish Agnihotri , Wonderful Person and a friend. I was his student as well. We are in awe of him. Please convey my regards to him.

    Amrinder Kamal. (