When I first moved to
I loved everything about the place. The cosmopolitan/ progressive outlook and
the abundance of fresh minds. It was a huge relief to be able to wear anything
and not be judged professionally or personally based on that. And thanks to the
sudden exposure to myriad cultures, living in Bangalore Bangalore
also involved being treated to particularly entertaining wondrous accents of .. Where
school could be "ischool", one could be "wohne", college
was "kholl-age", sit was "shit" and "bhaiyya" ,
"machan" and "maadi" (as in enjoy maadi) became part of the
vocabulary of a northie and a southie. I am wondering if Kolaveri and Saddah
Haq have joined the youth lingo yet.. India
But one small thing did irritate me to no extent: the loss of the vowel.. Where Mahabharata became Mahabharat (sometimes mah-bhart), where a guy named Shiva automatically became Shiv, and Rama - Ram, the meaning of meaning itself- artha is now arth and the most annoying – in conversations and mails I suddenly became Keerthna. Bullshit!
Thinking back, in 80s/90s
North India had still not lost
that vowel. Mahabharata still had that last 'a'.. And arjuna and duryodhana had
not yet lost it too.. Well my only proof is ofcourse the Doordarshan, but Gopi
grew up in the north and he does say those vowels were surely alive in the 80s.
My theory is that the death of the vowel is due to de-sanskritization of Hindi with the onset of heavy Urdu influence in Bollywood music. Hema Malini and Sridevi uttering Urdu words was nothing short of an "ouch" but then, beloved effeminate Bollywood heroes crooning those popular with Zindagi, Mehbooba, Intzaar was also an integral part of growing up in urban
. And I did dig 'ashiqui' and
'mohabbat' (compared to simpleton 'prem' and 'pyar') growning up. And pain, if
not other emotions, is best expressed with abundant use of Urdu words.. India
But why kill that last vowel???!!!. Killing the beauty of Sanskrit vowels in a Sanskrit word is as sacrilegious (to art) as emasculating those statues in St Peter's Cathedral (yeah I saw Angels and Demons yesterday).
Would be interesting to research and find out the story behind the dead vowels.. What do you think?
I am also wondering if the onset of UP and Bihari lingo in Bollywood will see the revival of the lost vowels..
And I still like to be called Keerthana, with all the vowels intact.