Adventures in Hindi Part 1: A mother-tongue fading behind a veil

For the past few months, I’ve found myself exploring language, specifically Hindi, in an office-chair adventure. What started me off were some stray comments and even more stray thoughts, and then the subject grew like Frankenstein’s creation as I obsessed with how Hindi is (or is not yet) used by various people on the Internet, in life, and so on. I hit blocks repeatedly as I couldn’t locate enough on the topic to satiate my craving for knowledge.

This post is the first post of a four-post entry, and while this series describe my “adventures” with Hindi, I suspect that my experiences would hold good other Indian languages.

But before I start, a warning. I’m not someone into culture and language and preserving stuff like that. To me, culture and language evolve with people and times, and while there is surely merit in preserving literature and nuances of less-spoken languages, I’m not involved in that. My concern with language–any language–is only to the extent that one person can speak or write it and another understand or read it.

What got me into this avenue of exploration was some volunteer work, culminating in an incident that made me feel I was a character in a comic strip, and the joke was on me. And a desire to break out of that comic strip.

Some background first.

Hindi is my mother tongue, the language my mother spoke from her childhood and also studied in till she switched over to English in college. But Hindi was not my first language; my mother wanted me to be fluent in English and pointed out that I’d anyway pick up Hindi from people around me, so why not give me a good foundation in English instead?

Read the full post here