Sunday, June 19, 2011
With time, ‘city’ life is getting tough. Especially in a ‘fast’ growing nation like ‘Hindustan’ – popularly known as India across the globe.
In such a situation, being and remaining calm might just feel awkward. Well, understandable. Because how you hit or go super hit, as a person, depends entirely on the heat, hype and hysteria that you can generate and emit off your character through your expressions. And that is ‘ATTITUDE’; in short ATTI.
Probably the joystick for you to do and get more (i.e. ATI or OTI) unlike a humble, mortal and morals and morale based species or being called Human.
Now what is this ATTI comprised of? Ah, it may have a million factors of a billion defectors; whereas one of the prerequisites in ATTI is ‘Accent’.
In case you are wondering, why not a Volkswagen Passat or something else instead of an ‘Accent’, please take heart, as this ‘Accent’ has nothing to do with Hyundai. So don’t get hassled with the issues like class, model, mileage, maintenance, servicing, spare parts, etc.
To drive the ‘Accent’ with full of ATTI, which I’m talking about, all you got to do, is know English and speak in that language. Not like a Hindustani or Indian but like a Brit or an American!
And, when I said, “Knowing English,” I surely didn’t indicate towards any ‘knowledge in English’. Since, to say and exclaim things like ‘believe you me’, ‘you know why I know’, ‘luv ya’, ‘oh yeah’, ‘muah’, ‘yo dude’, ‘wow’, ‘kewl’, ‘OMG’, ‘bestest’, etc., there is hardly any need to challenge education or secure ‘100% cut-offs’.
I’m sure you can certainly do much better without knowledge, if you know how to drive your ‘Accent’… turning, twisting, tempting, and titillating it on your tongue.
In addition, occasional shoulders-shrugs, smirks, tongue-in-cheek smiles would be more than ideal as ‘body-language’… duly complementing your ‘Accent’.
Just as a flashback: My mother always used to say ‘recharge’ – until she passed away – whenever she would actually mean to say ‘research’. I agree that was a real ‘Accent’ disorder on her part and tremendous fun on my part to pull her legs, instantly.
But later on, after she had been driven to heaven by her own ‘Accent’, I understood research is recharge only. As if the non-stop opportunities of recharging one’s education, energy, excitement and expectation… to keep experimenting and learning new things in life for greater knowledge and higher cause.
Ask a Bengali like me to call anyone whose name is ‘Ajay’. Invariably s/he will call ‘Ajay’ as ‘Ajoy’. Reason enough for a non-Bengali, if s/he is from North India, particularly from Delhi and NCR, to split into laughter and mock the Bengali (or should I say the Bong) who uttered ‘Ajoy’ to address an Ajay.
No wonder that in the mockery, an interesting and creative point was missed out. That every ‘Jay’ pronounced as ‘Jai’ is a WIN which entails the ‘Joy’ of glory. And who’s ‘Ajay’ is a perpetual winner, so he deserves to be called ‘Ajoy’ (i.e. A Joy) beyond just ‘Ajay’! Basically, it’s an acute example of how ‘natural humour and fun can be killed by plastic scorn and ridicule’.
Strangely, and of course bull-headedly, it’s an Indian most of the time who takes a dig at another Indian in case the latter fails to drive her/his ‘Accent’ properly!
How does it matter actually, and factually, if someone pronounces ‘sure’ as ‘shore’ or ‘she or’ but is still able to communicate that s/he means ‘sure’ for sure? Why on earth a person needs to drive a low ‘Esteem’ for self in case s/he couldn’t or can’t drive an ‘Accent’ into her/his speech? And that too, in her/his own country where English is nothing but a foreign language.
Just curious to know, if any Indian could dare to rebuke someone like Maradona for his nonexistent English! While I named Maradona, I actually didn’t even feel like including an infinite number of other professionals, performers and achievers who attained more than legendary status in their own fields without speaking ever in English.
In fact, till date, as the Indians, when we can’t afford to think beyond our respective labels of Delhite, Mumbaikar, Kolkatan, Keralite, etc. and can’t even afford to speak in any other Indian language, but our mother tongue, with 100% precision… shouldn’t we be ashamed of ourselves, a bit, while we get so fussy about someone else’s English and her/his ‘Accent’?
Practically, while we tend to indulge in the hyper awe or take immense pride in the Brits or the Americans’ superlative standard of Accented English, we perhaps just forget that we also speak, everyday, every time, everywhere such an Accented Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujrati, Tamil, Telegu or Bengali… earning others’ awe and admiration!
Plus, make no mistake that it is Bengali – a 100% pure Hindustani or Indian language – that’s been nominated as the world’s one of the sweetest languages, scoring much above Accented English for that matter.
Also, the National Anthem of India is recognized and rewarded as the world’s best National Anthem which is in Hindi only.
Hence, it’s wise and prudent to understand and appreciate that English is just yet another foreign language which may require an ‘Accent’, but if that ‘Accent’ was missing while we talk it’s just fine! For, that ‘Accent’ is not going to turn anyone of us ‘James Bond 007’ or ‘Batman’ or ‘Alice’ (in Wonderland) from Jamal Bhai or Mr. Batra or Alisha (in blunder-land).
In case you think so; modestly, then you have been suffering from a colonial hangover a way too far, which needs an immediate cure. And that remedy can easily come to you, if you stop taking yourself too seriously on ‘Accent’.
Remember the shoe polish definitely helps your pair of shoes sparkle, but to help you walk in them to a great distance, it’s the shoe-soles – the soul of shoes – that matter the most over any polish or cream.
In life, only destinations are accountable irrespective of the fact whether those are pre-destined or post. The bottom-line is you got to reach there. Either in time or on time at least.
For that, your journey through the life… facing, controlling, empathising and enjoying various experiences… is very crucial but not the vehicle by which you travel.
After all, it’s really important to locate the real purpose of your living i.e. your destinations in life and visit them one after the other… so as to liberate yourself Fearlessly, Refreshingly and Creatively as ‘Ek Saint’ who lives and believes in ‘A Calmer You’.
PS: For this piece, I sincerely owe my inspiration to Sonal Kalra – Editor, HT City at Hindustan Times, Delhi; to her Sunday column ‘A Calmer You’; and to her article ‘Haamein Toh Accent Ne Maar Diya’ dated June 12, 2011. However all the views expressed here are my personal ones and I bear all the responsibilities of the same. If anybody was hurt by them, I’m sorry and extremely apologetic! If anyone is happy, I’m glad too! And finally, I have never tried to demean or denounce the importance of English as a language for lives.