English Vinglish -2

The festive navratri is over. Learnt a lot and loved a lot in these nine days. In my mind, I still relive my Dhanbad navratri days. All good private garbas were organized by the Rotary club , Jain Jagruti etc post these nine days. the festivities continued till Sharad Purnima or the full moon post navratri. We would not want to repeat clothes. just borrowed Mom and Aunt s sarees with the three blouses maroon, black and green we had stitched before Durga Puja. Women danced, men watched. Then it was our turn to watch while men danced to Garba tunes. Later there was a round of Dandiya where men and women danced together. We almost never got to participate in that as it was way past midnight and our men cousins wanted to drop us home. This was usually at a place called L.R.D in Shashtrinagar, Dhanbad. How much ever the late nights we had, we rarely slept late in the mornings. This time of the year, all my Bengali friends were in Calcutta  for Durga Pujo.

No facebook those days but we went to see all Durga Pujas. Later when my parents moved to Dhanbad, The Puja Pandal was outside our house. They would go for Pushpanjali and Bhog. Once I was working in Mumbai, going home for Durga Puja was not possible as I wanted to be home for Diwali. The vacations kept getting shorter with each passing year till I got married. Then we got no leave except the occassional bank holiday which the hotel deemed to give us. Indian festival time is very depressing when one works at Five Star hotels. There is absolutely no festivity whatsoever. We are so busy wooing the Christian Western nations that we only put up a Christmas tree and decorations. Why do Five star hotels behave like this? I wish I knew. This is all the doing of the our mentality and not the British rule.

For my daughter's birthday, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. The waiter Raphael was actually rude seeing us with four kids. While placing the order, I said we want a pizza with tomatoes, cheese and capsicum. He turned around and said We cannot provide that, you have to choose from the menu and ask for extra toppings. The underlying message was Oh You want such basic low level stuff. So there is no pizza Margherita at CKP. Raphael waiter tried his best to put us down. There was a wine or beer free with every pizza, which he wasreluctant to give us. Even after we placed the order, he did not ask if we preferred a wine or a beer. The red wine came in the end after most of the food was eaten and after two reminders. There is a serious problem with English speaking people from a particular region. They are preferred in the service industry as they have the basic criteria of knowing spoken English. Anyone who is a little simple or Hindi speaking is treated like dirt by these waiters. I am generalizing again but have seen it happen a lot of times. We speak to our children and their friends in Hindi. In these kinda places, if you and kids speak Hindi, you are truly downmarket and treated accordingly. The food was the saving grace. Children enjoyed their crayons and booklets. Thank God, they were not present to this class subtle polished rude treatment, the hubby and me were subjected to.

When I came to Sophia hostel, I could barely speak English,inspite of scoring a 90 in my board exams. I did not know conversational English though I was well read. I would say hairs instead of hair and was laughed at. I learnt from all my friends and hostel mates who were patient with me every time I switched to Hindi. It was something I picked up and how. Now when I came to Dhanbad, I was constantly practising my English on all and sundry.No one from our batch had ever been Bombay and it was a big bad city. I had cousins' friends and their sisters saying "Style maarti hai" ie Parul is showing off coz she now lives in Bombay. I am happy to say "Ab main faraatey maar ke angrezi bol sakti hoon" ie I speak English fluently now.


  1. This is in-fact real scenario about how people behave with hindi speaking fraternity...specially in big brand places...u hv written this very well Parul..Keep it up....AB

  2. Thanks, Arun. Happy you read , like and share.


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