The city of Chennai brings to mind the tamil language fanatics, with whom I’ve grown up, studied together, worked and interacted with all through my life, in Chennai.
Everybody used to talk only in Tamil and Tamil alone. Of course, there are various slangs, in different parts of the city.
In and around Mylapore, are the Saivaites, conversing in their specialistic Iyer dialect.
Around Triplicane, are the Vaishnavites, with their Iyengar styled dialogues.
The Royapuram side are known for their Hindi speaking crowd who are desperately trying to talk in Tamil. But it will be only Tamil.
The fisherman clan of this city have their own slang of tamil and the working class of people, another slang.
Beyond all these are the tamil fanatic people, who speak in wonderful old classical tamil. Its a treat to hear such speeches in classical tamil. The younger generation of today are finding it difficult to understand this classical tamil. But, once you put in your mind and learn it, the joy derived in listening to such wonderful tamil, is like music to ears.
But, now, after I’ve comeback from the urdu-telugu speaking Hyderabad, I am in for a pleasant surprise.
I had been to the nearby electrical shop to buy some CFL for my home. The salesman was from Rajasthan, speaking in wonderful tamil. And the moment, he came to know that I can speak to Hindi, he was very happy to converse in Hindi with me.
Same situation at Adayar Anadha Bhavan – the wonderful place for snacks, tiffins and sorts. But, surprise of surprises – all the sales people were from Bihar and starting conversing with me in Hindi. Actually I got super service, there.
The other day, I had been to a nearby branch of Ratna Cafe. This Ratna Cafe is one of the oldest hotels in Chennai, started first in Triplicane. I’ve heard stories of ppl buying Sambhar only in buckets to drink it – even though you think its an exaggeration, its the truth. Such is the taste of sambhar, here.
And at Ratna Cafe too, I met a few ppl who are from North India and working there at servers. My God, they were awesome pleased to hear me talk to them in Hindi.
It is certain that those ppl from the Northern India have learnt tamil, to be a survivor in Chennai.
But one thing hit me straight – Arre !!!! Chennai mein hindi chalta hai, yaar !!!!!
Thats a great step forward for the city of Chennai and it can be the advantageous side effects of the booming IT industry and a great moving crowd.