Tag Archives: language

Conversations in the USA and discovering some freedom

This post is about what I experienced in the USA through interactions of people. I have met people from many different places here. And life is dynamic. I believe this is more so because of the state of studies that I am in where I have had some full time experience in India and then came back.
There is a sense of freedom. I heard  this from a young mother. She said that kids are free when they feel secure with the person they are with. The kids are otherwise very well behaved in front of everyone else. But, as they be with their mother alone. Then the hell breaks lose. This is said to be due to their sense of freedom. This is one thing that I , may be like many, feel here.
The best time of life is when one graduates and gets a job. Here, the most luckiest person is formed, who earns, learns life and enjoys freedom to do what they wish. This has happened to me twice. And I am waiting for a third one. However, even before that I felt the sense of freedom. This is somewhat odd. The way I feel looking at the leaf in the breeze, in rain, and feel timeless. That moment is priceless. That is made possible by this new found liberty. I am surprised and wondered how it can happen, when I am in a university studying for another degree.
My best guess is that this can be the result of knowing that there is an end to the program, not too soon. I earn part time, and live on what I earn. And also I do not have anyone to convince around. I can wear what I like and behave the way I am. I am answerable to myself, my studies and health are my responsibilities. There is no one to judge. And the better portion of it is that even at the part time work even though I am subservient in my student employment, I have the freedom to quit any time, and find some other similar job. And keep pursuing my academic interests. Converting time into money is made possible and made available to students in the USA. Even though I am a student and the work can be loaded on me, I am treated at par with any employee. I am treated equal, irrespective of my social status of being a student. Irrespective of my earning potential. And the demeanor does not change with my race or age or color or even the accent. This is great. I am not judged. And then I am free.
I am trying to figure out why I feel free. And what freedom means.
At the same time. Though I stay with folks from my native state, speak the same language and sometimes cook and eat the traditional dishes. They , I feel make their conduct not too different from what they were. In fact, many times I have felt that people from my place are extremely helpful and hold to their own mannerisms. This magically changes when they speak to someone who is not from my place. Strange people exist. This is especially true when the person at the other end is a fresh student , without any prior experience in industry from India. They have started their real freedom by being free with me!
This led me to answer the question, when do people grow up? I realized that this new belief regarding age came up. Age is in mind. Age is reflected in how one takes care of another person, people around us. This includes how we handle ourselves with positive impacts on people with us. This include how we care about others. This includes how one’s self is effecting the others by the least.
The freedom in the USA allows anyone to talk to anyone. This is directly related to the other person’s body language. And in general , I feel it is easy for people to start conversation in the USA because there is no discrimination. This is in contrast with people and conversations in India, where, in Tamil Nadu you hear being referred to as “Antha Payyan” (அந்த பய்யந்) in dialogues of elderly, “Sir” because of office staff and beggars, “da / de” (டா/டே)”by friends and people of similar age, and by name when an acquaintance girl addresses you in office, “Uncle” by small children, “Anna (brother)”(அன்னா)  by youngsters. I was not too older than 26 when I had the completed the collection of these titles.
And there was this personal joke, where , unlike the old system of giving the title of “Sir” , reserved for by the monarchy of some small country near the arctic, we as individuals rose to that level of royal heights to call everyone by “Sir/Madam”. In fact, in Chennai, I was advised to call the bus conductors as “Sir/Madam” to show respect. This has its own benefits. By the way , who does not like praise. That freedom from these tags and labels is broken when I enter the circle of natives (people from my place) in the USA. Again, I wonder why even younger people call me “Eda” in the USA, but never in India. But outside that, in the USA, I am treated as equal. At maximum the way people address diverge into “Dude” and in the boyish craziness “Hey Man!” no more than that. This was an interesting development. Thanks to my practice of calling people with the postfix “ji” to show respect. This is a versatile discovery from Hindi language. Where anything with “ji” is with respect. This wonderful because it works with names, can be added easily to any Indian name and applies equally well to any gender and any age. But, I had to stick with the “Sir” for a few old bosses. They may not respond to name +”ji” extension in a place , which is not mainly Hindi speaking. And this occasionally breaks out and comes to the tongue in the name +”Sir” form or even better just plainly reverent “Sir” sometimes in the USA. It is unfortunate and hard to throw that away.
As conversations are made simpler with a “Hi/Hey/Hello” instead of a formal way to grab another person’s attention and kick start any conversation – official or casual. It frees the mind to focus on the content than the intricacies of level of honor/respect in the words used. For this is a rule of emphasis in German , Telugu, Hindi and Tamil and many other languages.
Explanation of the titles, of respect, used in India to an American (USA) colleague, made me re-think what exactly each of these stood for. And why I used it ! And so , here is the blog post ,so that, may be one day; when I forget these usages, I can refer to this back then.
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in travel


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The Jealous Indian

Kaaviya Thalaivan is an old idea brilliantly shown in  a new way on the big screen. The jealousy of a man , how mystically it could be held for sometime and then shown with the thought of revenge, to kill, his fellow man, a brother equivalent, brought up by the same father, the same guru, the same school of drama, the same stories and incidences, only to grow the jealousy with it, to end one with the other, to end oneself in the end. The story is also projects a point of discussion for the discussion on lack of words in Indian language beautifully differentiated by the ideas of “envy” and “jealousy”.

The jealousy of  a person to another mostly involves a sense of revenge and intimidation that forces that person to hate the subject of jealousy. Why not be envious in the same instance, where there is also a possibility to be happy about the achievements of a person and appreciate it and then think why I could not be like that. This is a softer form of jealousy but without any enmity. It can also be argued that there is mild “Asooya” (jealousy in Samskrtam) that grows on and festers into the revenge-ful savage form that is associated with jealousy.The Hindi word for jealousy “Jalan” is very close to fire or burning and used so.

To be envious is a peaceful act, where one simply wishes to match the quality or skill of another. This helps to promote healthy competition. This in turn benefits both the subject of envy and the envious. This is an ideal form of emotion. But human emotions knows no bounds. There is always a wilder form. And thence comes the jealousy. Why Indian languages do not have an equivalent term form “envy” is mysterious. Are Indians by nature forced to have jealousy rather than envy. If that is so imagine such a large population dragging each other down because of this bad attitude, which later becomes a habit. It is not for joke that the story of Kerala crab (later scaled up and known as story of Indian crab was told). This is also a frequently told story in Indian speeches by teachers and politicians. Here, it is retold in my version for the record.

The story of the Kerala Crab

Kerala crabs are famous as a culinary item. I found a nice photo of one here.


(Image courtesy:

A foreigner from Britain found the crab being loaded in a ship. This was a regularly exported item to Europe. He had come a long way from his land to find how it is that they get fresh crab. The baskets on which the crabs were loaded were not covered. And he was surprised. If it was not covered then the crabs may come out and escape. How then will the basket reach full of crabs, as he has seen in his port-town. Then the loader explained to him. “Sayippe! These are Kerala crabs. It has mindset of Keralites. If one crabs climbs to top of the basket others from inside would pull it down. Like this no crab is allowed to escape beacuse of their behaviour, and you get fresh crabs to eat.”

The British astonishment vanished from the face and now it turned red and laughed.


Jealousy ingrained in this form throughout a sub-continent would be a surprise to a naive mind. This is but a working principle in this beautiful land of variety.


Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


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When it comes to discussing new.

Anything new is in relation to the old. I believe something is old by the time it is called new.

For example, I was thinking about languages of the world. Someone was so much interested in saying that Tamil came first and then came Telugu and Malayalam. Maybe! Sanskrit came even before.

I read this on Language Timeline for English and influence of the anglophone. Conquests and propagation of beliefs, invasions and forced conversions, trade and lingua franca extended the promulgation of the tongues of use today. For sankrit – Wikipedia gives a tree geneology and puts the Proto Dravidian languages leading to south Indian languages

That puts the end to confusion regarding origin of Indian Language atleast and the limited knowledge of the speaker.

People are forced to learn the language they speak at most times. Unless you were a born Robinson Crusoe, where you talk to yourself and the nature , you would have undergone the developmental efforts of learning. By this, it is understood that the language you speak was forced on you. The place you were born, your citizenship was forced upon you. At that stage were you could not choose among option, you were brought up in situations of so and so.

Thus a Saudi women cannot drive just because she was born in Saudi. How does a new born child’s adherence to rule of land be forced? Just because your parents had to live in the land were you were born?! Can we then choose among countries? Declare ourself of a different citizenship? Developmental efforts of marking boundaries and making countries, trade zones and strategic areas restrict this option only to the tribals. Some tribals (as mentioned in the Simhabhoomi, by S.K Pottekkatt) would roam around different zones, have crude customs and fearless attitude towards gun and machinery of the human advancement.

What advancement have humans achieved by differentiation, divisions, rule of the political class and monkeying of education that is forced upon one. In a sense freedom of free education would push one to the extent that the given freedom is a constraint. We can either enjoy the freedom or choose a different freedom.

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Pangu the bank; a take on language issues

We have a very peaceful situation in India were diverse cultures, languages,people exist in a single country. We are proud of that when in a debate. For, in a debate you have to put maxima of positives of whatever you are defending. In other circumstances, we tend, we become natural human beings with hard feelings.Comparisons come up, questions of superiority and sub-ordinance are argued. Then somewhere in between if we lose the heat of argument and take it on a light note, cool the ambience with a laughter, then one round of fight is considered to be over.

State bank of India is the biggest bank, they say so. They are proud of it.But it is just due to government employees and government transactions that it is big. But a fact is fact. When we come to localisation of names, SBI follows any other in places especially Tamil Nadu. Here it is the ‘Pangu‘ (when written in Tamil, it can be read as pangu), which intelligent Tamil script decoders will read as Bank. The crazy part is that the Tamil people constantly preach that other south Indian languages exist because of Tamil. Tamil is the oldest, holiest……… (add as many adjectives and objectives as you please) language. If needed it could be enforced to make use of the Tamil word for Bank, but that did not happen. And we guys, include Tamils were laughing at why the SBI calendar was reading ‘Pangu’. We laughed non stop for 5 minutes. Really seriously, funny. An orthodox Tamilian not withstanding even his language-mate ( people who speak the same language!?)  taking part in criticism sprang up. He said, “Tamilians speak the perfect English unlike other guys, especially Keralites. Tamil is the oldest language which is mother of all. The Kings of Kerala were Tamilians originally. Lord Ayyapa is Tamil, malayalees see Tamil movies, In many districts Tamilians are majority, Some of it must definitely be merged with Tamil Nadu, if not the whole of Kerala. ”

The next sentence I genuinely thought he would say “Even English originated from Tamil” (Already the Chinese link is established ! (Boddhidharman and the movie 7am Arivu ?!)

The Tamil guy on our side is proper Tamil unlike the other guy, a Chennaite, he said that he faced problems when speaking English because he has been trained in tamil. ‘ Ba’ and ‘Pa’ are same, there are three ‘la’ :- la, lla, and la (actually ‘zha’ as in Thamizh).

When the Pangu business was over we pondered over why any language should have the script to represent all humanly produce-able sounds.  If we take a refined language as Sanskrit , we cannot write Italy and read it as italy (were ‘ta’ stands out as hurdle), ‘zha’ was introduced in Hindi, but Northern guys of India struggle to pronounce. Considering all that we came to a logical conclusion that Malayalam has representation for almost all sounds, except ‘za’ as in zamindar, or zamzam the holy water.

For a language there are other considerations like it should have words to express emotions and things. English scores here. But there are multiple standards, American , British, Jamaican and what not!. Tanglish (refer Kolaveri) is another branch of  united English (the language).  Importing all the words avaliable in the world and having a script that is easily readable, that is specific sound for specific letter with no duplication or ambiguity, a language becomes better and adaptable. But putting a standard on it is like saying my english is better than yours because of so and so certification.

An hindi guy was studying technical subjects from a hindi book and I was surprised and shocked to see words like ‘padipath’ which means circuit. I had difficulty in dealing with this guy who wanted me to put everything in hindi, and excused himself that he couldn’t grasp english properly. This same guy was telling me later that in South India the usage of English in writing is wrong and he dwelled into the subtleties of the situation were ta, tha represented different sound when written in English and presented to a Southerner or Northerner. I tried to convince him that it is better to know the rule of land and then apply as required. Also, the old comedy story came to mind which I shared with him. I didn’t want to hurt specific Northerners so I omitted the name of states and said “When British ruled India thepeople had to sing the British anthem which begins as ‘God, Save the Queen”. When some ventured on and sung, it became ‘Shave the king’ instead and the other lot said ‘Same Same'(Actually they meant Shame). Listening to all these insults, the British left India and India became independent”.

The ultimate objective of any language is to facilitate communication. Those who fight over languages are tribal and barbarian. Those who see also see that there are people who use sign language and communicate and be happy and sad, the same as others do. Do you laugh at  them because their language was recently developed? because it looks odd to look at their actions? , like some old chaplin movie without any dialogue?

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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BEL walk in on 25 November 2010 at Bangalore for Apprenticeship training ; Experience

This is the advertisement of BEL they had put up in their website

go here for actual advertisement




On 25th & 26th NOVEMBER 2010

Bharat Electronic Limited, Bangalore Complex, is conducting “Walk-in-Interview”


One year under Apprentices Act.

General Conditions / Instructions: –

  • Qualifying Marks: For General/OBC Candidates – First Class and for SC / ST /

PHP Pass Class.

  • Age limit: 25 years for General / OBC candidates and 30 years for SC/ST/PHP.
  • • Candidates who have passed their examination on or after 01.01.2008 only will

be considered.

  • • No TA/DA will be paid to the candidates.
  • • Candidate should produce Original Certificates i.e., Degree Certificates or

Provisional Degree certificate, SSLC marks card for verification.

  • • SC/ST/OBC/PHP certificates (if any) should be produced for verification.
  • • Employees’ children should compulsorily produce the MEDICAL IDENTITY

CARD issued by the company at the time of interview.

Candidates who fulfill the above conditions only need to appear for the interview.

The results of shortlisted candidates and their induction / joining schedules will be

announced through BEL website ( only.

Canvassing in any form will result in disqualification.

Only Indian nationals need to appear.



They had this colourful way of advertising. Yes they have good advertisement writers, it seems. So we have nice government run companies in this country. While many look away after seeing the mention of Apprentices Act in there ,the name BEL sounds good, every guy wants to test his worth by attending the interview. In a city like Bengaluru (Bangalore) we expect Electronics engineers working in various IT/BPO companies to come and attend this interview. So when I go for attending; jobless that I am, I can expect either a crowd looking to get some experience in core field, with things that they have mugged up and vomited on hundreds of papers in the span of 4 years of engineering, few exceptions exist but they are exceptions OR I can expect very few jobless creatures who would go for anything respectable for their engineering degree under the sun.

So I was going to Bengaluru, the electronic city of India, of IT a hypercity, only later I understood that it was all a hype.

I landed there in Airavat an Air conditioned bus of note.  Airavat is a hindu mythological  creature , a divine white elephant of  lord of devas Indra, Airavata: had thousand tusks. Incidentally after misunderstanding between God Siva and Ganesa, Beheaded Ganesa got an head transplant, the head was donated by Airavata the elephant. Airavat grew another head.

I asked people about Jalahalli only to know that the place is pronounced as Jaalahallli(ജാലഹള്ളി,ஜாலஹள்ளி,) . Platform number 22 from the city bus stand, majestic, will get me to BEL. My usual tragedy worked, there were people in the bus going for the same business as mine. So no problem in finding out the Centre for learning and development. The guy I acquainted said that BEL took some 10  people each year for apprenticeship training. He didn’t know any other details. I told my CVRDE, DRDO walk in interview experience at Avadi Chennai. With a huge mob i half guessed that they may follow the DRDO’s way. But no there was announcement.

The Announcement said. “ Don’t rush, every eligible candidate will be given a chance for the interview. We are taking only Electronics, Electronics and telecommunications, Electronics and Communications. All others may go. The walk in interview is for Graduate Engineers for Apprenticeship Training. Only Rs2600 will be paid if selected, there will be no accommodation. The queue didn’t mind those. Now he announced some more. Only people passing above 1.1.2008 are eligible. Yeah! Cool English. Way to go man. We need exactly such guys so that more private companies of better people run business here and make the country better. Then he announced in a non-English language, probably kannada. So I told a native candidate in front of me, atleast you know what they are saying. He smiled.

And then there was some confusion, an official from inside came out and said “ we don’t want instrumentation guys, Electrical and Electronics guys just go back we don’t want any EEE guys. So there was a Tamil “Makan” (guy) an E&I engineer asking him that he should have mentioned such things in the advertisement. The official countered the argument saying that he could have contacted before coming, and he was not invited to come there. (what an attitude). The official continued “This is a Government institution, I cannot do anything”. The Tamilian went to another brown dressed guy. He spoke in Tamil and that official told him “ I don’t know Tamil and you don’t know Kannada, I’m sorry. He said “Sir, OK, then English”. The official was not ready to hear. Both were helpless in face. I waited. I wanted to get inside the gate atleast. There was repeated advertisement “PDC is compulsory”. What is PDC? It is Pre-degree certificate in Kerala, could be anything in other states of India. OK it was decoded as provisional degree certificate. Many didn’t have that. So they left. Others ignorant of this stood in the line. There were flying comments about BEL, the girl’s queue, why the officials talked to girls only though there were female security-persons.  And there was comedy on a fat security he was shooing, blowing his whistle and calling at the crowd like he was addressing a herd of buffaloes. “Pretty experienced, he must have never missed a buffalo in his life” was a popular joke. He didn’t hear it nor would he understand even if he hears because it was not in kannada. Apparently, BEL was Bengaluru Electronics Limited not Bharat Electronics Limited. At the gate I got confirmed that I, an E&I guy was not allowed to attend. In their words “We don’t want instrumentation guys”.They kept announcing “The result will be published at our website” .A few minutes before he was announcing the site as bel dash india dot com , finally he convinced himself that it was bel dot india dot com while actually it was bel hyphen india  dot com. You will find something in its not an “address not found” place. You can get address from net.

Yes these guys were narrow minded.  Knowing only kannada nothing “above” it (hehehe..:-)). But in reality I lost time, money and lost a chance to get interviewed. So the only other choice was to go round the city and be a tourist. I’d time till night to catch a reserved bus. So i went to majestic. Found some places.

The buses were apparently fully run by Government. I couldn’t understand the letters and variants of “…uuwu…” No English, not even a picture of bus at bus stop; What the….Do they think they are Japanese  to be proud of the language and use it to produce MNCs? Japanese make user’s manual in Japanese but that is Japan. Dear kannadigas don’t you understand that you are part of India, in records at least? At Majestic there are bus route numbers in English and place names in kannada and English. OK you have English, thanks to British for colonising you guys. I went roaming through the streets of the place. They have good footovers and foot-unders. There are cleaning personnel actively doing their work. Very unlike any government servants, the sweepers cleaned and  moved tonnes of soil spread throughout the bus station. Yes there was a lot of dirt, it will be a hardship for these people to keep the station clean. But ultimately  the Hon’ble CM and others will take the credit of making Karnataka what it is. The world has seen their worser than kindergarten assembly . You can find lot of youtube videos start here and watch the play (Kar “Nataka” ).


I found my white elephant turning and getting itself parked in un-numbered platform, that was platform 15 at kempegowda bus station (KBS), inter state buses com here,  reclining on the pushback I could only smile at my question Yed-ur-appa (a rough translation from Tamil -> what place man?


Posted by on November 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


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