Main tho Gaya Na?

Id Ka Chaand | 26 Jul 2004, 11:18pm

Taking cue from a post on 'Wildhydgirl', I was inspired to recount a few incidents where the flavour of the Hyderabadi language( yes!! I dislike calling it a dialect) was brought out to a great extent. This incident occurred when I was a student of Deccan College of Engineering and Technology(DCET). What !!! you guys never heard of DCET, what a pity !!!! well here are the incidents and the conversation.

INCIDENT: It was the end of the first academic year and we were at the 'WORKSHOP' (carpentry,smithy...) for our final exams. The first shock was when we had to pick up a sheet from a pile of sheets and that decided our final examination exercise !!! Welcome to the lottery system in academics. I got the second shock when I found to my horror that my exercise was 'Smithy'. I never lifted a heavy hammer before and I saw only photographs of an anvil prior to that day. The reason, my instructor asked me to forego smithy exercise during the year as he thought aloud in his inimitable style, "woh, nai aatha exam mey !!!!". Evidently I was annoyed on that day and expressed my sad situation to my instructor.

Me: Kya saab, Smithy nai aatha boley, ab dekho,main tho gaya na?

Instructor: Aree, smithy aaya !!!Hmmm.. theeereee( Theory) aathana, jaakey likho, main aathum, pandhraa(15) minat mein.

Me: Teek hain, ab tumhaarey bharosey, fail hogaya tho complain karthum

Instructor: Aree, merey pe bharosa rakho bhai !!!!

I am off to the smithy workshp, and I am done with the theory, but me and my partner are clueless about what to do with the cylindrical iron piece. We were supposed to shape it into a hexagonal cross-section.

After 15 minutes..........

Instructor: Likh diye, ittha jaldi, Tiger nikley thum.

Me: Ab kya karna bolo saab. Arif ku bhi nai maloom kathey kya karna bolkey.

Instructor: Iraine Peece (Iron Piece) ispey rakho (pointing at the anvil), Hathoda lo aur tokthey jao. Thodey dher tum tokho, thodey dher uney tokhthaa, bas ithna ich karneyka hain.

We dutifully carry out 'instructions' but the 'specimen', was a mangled iron piece with not even a remote similarity to a hexagonal cross section and it warranted serious medical attention.

After 2 Hours.......

Instructor: Tokhey ?

Me: hau !! par kaisa kaisa ki niklaa.

Instructor: Aree!! kya kardiye yaaron, mera ghussa poora ispey nikaaley thum

Me:(worried) phir kya saab, pass kartha external examiner

Instructor: Kya baath karrey thum !!! apney kaalej(college) ke bacchey kabhi fale(fail) huey ? kaisa fale(fail) hothey thum. Yeh lo jaakey do !!

Saying that he brought two pieces of iron carefully shaped into a hexagonal cross section. Well, that's how we learnt smithy.



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Superlatives that Exaggerate

Id Ka Chaand | 22 Jul 2004, 7:34am

This is truly a 'supremely contentious' topic that needs people's utmost attention ...well I guess my readers have already got an idea of the syndrome I am going to write about. Yes, it is about the seemingly needless exaggeration and hyperbole that most of us use in our day to day conversation.

 Here is a sample of the superlatives that most of us tend to use. 'Awesome' is probably the most abused word currently. We exclaim the word 'awesome' for anything from BMW to Bamboo sticks. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why we would call something 'awesome'. Thus the listener is left with no standard by which she/he can assess, how good something is.

 Another word that is 'great'ly abused is the word 'great' itself. The dictionary meaning goes as follows: 'anything that is remarkable or outstanding'. But, in today's context, anything from cooking 'moong dal' ( Pulses)to organizing a moon-mission would be accompanied by the superlative,'great'. Great !!!!!

 Here is a another much maligned word. It's abuse has attained 'legendary' proportions. The word is nothing other than 'legend' and its  grammatical variant-'legendary'. Apart from the word's rightful association with the works of some eminent people, most of the times it is associated with anyone and everyone.The media helps to fan the flames by encouraging its rabid usage. Thus a new kid in the block with no apparent achievements, will be a legend without much ado. I don't mean it elevates her/him, I mean it undermines the worth of the word. If a historian asserts that ' Alexander the Great' is a Legend. It should impart  to the reader about the stature of the man who has been described by it. Symbiotically the word derives value from the stature of the men it describes. Thanks to our liberal usage of such words, if one has to reconstruct Alexander the Great's true stature one would have to say," he strides like a colossus amongst the greatest of legends". It is also a sad reflection of dilution of such impactful words more than the greatness of 'Alexander the Macedon'.

 It also talks of a society with impatience. People want to be well-known with relatively simpler achievements. Anyone with a bunch of sychopants becomes a legend of their times.When people of the stature of Gandhi, Bhagat Singh,Subhash Chandra Bose and Sir C.V.Raman are open to scrutiny by generations, it does sound preposterous that lesser mortals should be called legendary people at the drop of a hat. At best they could be distinguished achievers of their respective fields. Let us keep it so.

 There is an urgent need to use superlatives only when the achievement is superlative too. We can start the change from cricket commentaries, where words as 'great, tremendous, fabulous,fantastic, and sensational' are often used for ordinary achievements on the field. Atleast, there should be a screaming disclaimer that- "only a fraction of the enormity that the superlative conveys should be attributed to the events that are described".

 Some might argue, it will make the world a boring place if everything is stated as such. I agree, but definitely hyping every single thing takes away from singular achievements. One needs to show care to distinguish between the 'greats' and the 'distinguished'.Let us therefore begin to put in a 'Herculean effort' to achieve this 'Monumental Change'....oops...I mean...let us just 'stem the rot'.

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