Today is the Hindi Diwas.Supposed to be celebrated with a plea to speak in Hindi for at least this day.Ironically,due to a number of reasons not far to fathom,I write this in English.A language often blamed of depleting the Hindi awareness and base.There are misunderstandings on both sides.And as happens with everything else,it's the radicals on both sides who cause them.
There are people who think that Hindi is the language that villagers speak.Or rather fit to speak.Eliminating those double standard ones who still listen to songs and watch movies in Hindi,we are left with ultra radicals who connect hindi with everything vile.Movies,songs,pathetic serials and media in this language add to the woes.And sadly this is what makes up the perception.The wonderful literature that's been written figures nowhere in the arguments.Because people don't read them.
There are people on the other side who consider English to be the leftovers of the British empire.A thing that the Britishers should have taken along with them.They publish mouthpieces,talk and force upon their agenda of pure Hindi.However impractical that may be.
The situation is that Hindi is dying among people like us,the very people who are going to run this country tomorrow(whoa,that's lofty!).With Hindi as the national language.There is no problem in talking in english or watching only english movies and listening to english songs and reading books.The problem lies in detesting Hindi as a language,based on the perception that it gives through poplular media,culture.It's far deeper than that.
My knowledge of Hindi literature isn't too much beyond the school curriculum.But whatever I was taught,I enjoyed most of the parts.Still remember some of the favorite poems and still can talk about all the other stories,plays,essays that came up.What I liked most was the reading sessions with dad,where he would read parts of books he found enjoyable,for us to appreciate.That worked well for English literature for I read almost all the books he ever read us from.But unfortunately couldn't go through the Hindi ones,which now I think I must.
There is so much to connect to while reading in Hindi.None of the church spires,fashionable avenues,strange menu items,uknown festivals and other such small things that become sometime hard to imagine.That's for someone like me brought up in a strictly middle class family in a sleepy semi town.Hindi literature has it's own joys;of familiarity if you may say so.But unfortunately for most people the touch is lost when we are out of school.Then comes the false sense of Hindi-loving by quoting from the movies and humming the songs.This is not what Hindi means,this is an aberration.
I don't watch Hindi movies(no not that many english movies either,just not the movie buff),hardly ever listen to Hindi songs (mostly becuase they almost exclusively with love,desire,longing,separation and similar stuff).I read whatever I can lay hands upon,and that's almost exclusively English.But that doesn't mean I'm a Hindi-basher.I talk in Hindi as much as I can,that's not just to hide my poor speaking skills.I read in Hindi as much as I can,that's the least I can pledge continue doing this Hindi Day.
The English radicals may think I'm a villager (used in a derogatory sense!,imagine) to do so,I don't care.The Hindi ones may think I'm just doing this to gain sympathy (who does that??).Again I don't care.Let them both remain in their delusions of supremacy.
Me? I'll just continue soaking the best of both worlds.As I see them.