Bhuwan's Ramblings

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sehwag proves his ICON status

309 runs in 292 balls with a strike rate of 106 for over 8 hours … Virender Sehwag not only put India on top in the 1st Test match with South Africa, but also became only the 3rd cricketer to score a triple-ton twice in Test cricket after Don Bradman and Brian Lara.

Scintillating Sehwag on his way to the fastest triple century in more than 120 years of Test cricket!

PS: It was funny to see that The Times of India had to get this report from Reuters ... they couldn't find a single correspondent to actually be there at the stadium! I thought cricket is something for which all media groups had dedicated correspondents.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hindi: My first language?

The French-speaking say: Comment a le vous?
The Spanish-speaking say: Como estas?
The Portuguese-speaking say: Como vai?
The Hindi-speaking say: How are you?

Sounds awkward?
Does it really?

It is amazing that whenever I have seen two persons with the same native language interact (be it Spanish, French, Italian or Chinese), they automatically shift to that language; except for native Hindi speakers! Even though Hindi (and its dialects plus Urdu) is the world’s third largest language, it is the only language in world’s top 10 languages whose educated and economically forward persons prefer to converse in English rather than in their own language.

It’s interesting to note that the second Indian language in the top-ten list, Bengali, follows the same trend as its international counterparts. Then why is it different with Hindi? Is the colonial rule still haunting us? Why do Hindi-speaking people lack confidence in their own language even though it is slated to become the second largest language in the world soon?

Maybe this is why the first/native language is called the mother tongue, a language used by our mothers!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Indian Parliament House

I had never seen this spectacular view of our Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) before ...

(click the pic for a full screen version)

Friday, March 07, 2008

English: An Indian Language

Surprised! Even I was, at first glance, but when you think deeper it does not sound as absurd. A language is characterized by the way it is actually spoken and India probably has more number of English speakers than the English-speaking countries (primarily Britain and United States). The biggest implication of this is on the usage: grammar and vocabulary. This impact can be realized from the observation made by Professor David Crystal, one of the world's foremost experts and author of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, that the future version of Global English would have a heavy Indian influence.

There has been a major shift for the English language in India, from a predominantly British-style elite version to a more indigenous-style everyday version. Rapid globalization has seen the impact of this change spread across the other parts of the world. What I find interesting is the similarity of the languages in ancient India, where Sanskrit was used by the elite and Pali (and Prakrit), a local version of Sanskrit, was used by the masses. We can thus draw a parallel in human behavior and evolution of language between ancient and modern times, which can provide leads to research on development of languages.

For people, especially Indians, who have been very finicky about the ‘correct’ usage of the English language, I have the following message: The British raj (on English language) is over.