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This World Hindi Day, I Am Going To Confess. I Don’t Speak Hindi Very Well But I Shouldn’t Be Shamed For It

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It is World Hindi Day people and we are celebrating by acknowledging the fact that not everyone speaks fluent Hindi. Hell, nowadays people speak so many versions of Hindi, I don’t even think most of us millennials have heard what shudh Hindi sounds like (FYI, it a little like Urdu and a lot like Sanskrit so practically impossible to understand). I have always felt like millennial Hindi is so much better anyway, it is so convenient and doesn’t use words that sound like they’re from another planet. Maybe it is just me who feels that way because if I am being honest, my Hindi isn’t that great.

I know how to read, write, speak and understand the basics but that is about it. You know every time I tell people this, they are very surprised and the reason for that is I went to a school that conducted havans and taught us Sanskrit till we were in the 9th grade. So, naturally, you would assume my Hindi must be on point, right? But nope, you would be wrong. I am not saying I am terrible at it. I know how to speak without confusing genders (thank god!), read, count to 50 (Meh), direct the rickshaw guys to my destination (Thanks to GPS, I don’t need to do that now), direct the Swiggy guy to my building (there is nothing more important than that) and of course all the crazy abuses. Side Note: Hindi abuses are the best, aren’t they? You always know a “desi” person by the abuse they pick, and it always comes straight from the heart.

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I remember my grandfather speaking Hindi and it sounded like most of the words he used were Greek. Damn, my expressions were always hilarious. I looked like that confused cat meme, but who can blame me? He used words like vachaal and vaishvik, it was torture. And do you remember that horrid poetry they would make us by heart in school? I have traumatized my teachers with my “amazing” pronunciations and spellings. Also, true story I once wrote an entire Hindi paper in the 6th grade and forgot to line the words. The only thing I have failed at worse is 10th grade Math.

I don’t know why I never picked Hindi up, I just didn’t. In school, I found it way too tedious, in college I had like three KT’s in the subject (I probably would’ve done better if I had just taken French). But I never felt as bad looking those mark sheets as I do whenever someone actually tells me my Hindi sucks or like changes their tone from normal Hindi to condescending Hindi when they speak to me. I mean I do understand the language, I was born and brought up here and this discrimination is kind of annoying. And I don’t mean to brag, but thanks to the amount I read my English is kickass, but I don’t go around throwing that in people’s faces, do I? Okay, hold up, I might be overreacting a wee bit, but you see my point, don’t you?

It isn’t right to treat someone differently just because they don’t know a language that well. I mean it isn’t like they know Gujarati and as long as I can speak the language of our brilliant Prime Minister, I am good right? Besides, no matter what you say about us, Gujaratis are ruling right now. Besides, did you know, Hindi isn’t even our national language? It is just one of the “official” languages. Don’t believe me? You know you are going to Google it. So, why do I get shamed for not knowing it that well?

Alright, so what have we learned apart from my miserable struggle with Hindi? We need to appreciate all the other languages as well (except when it comes to abuses because, in that category, Hindi will always take the cake) There is no reason to shame the people who don’t speak it that well. But let me be honest, every time I meet someone who is worse than I am, I do laugh. But hey, at least I am agreeing that it is rude.

I would like to learn it properly someday, but for now, I know all the Hindi I actually need.

Happy Hindi Diwas people and don’t discriminate, this isn’t America people!

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