Marathi Matters

Mi Marathi Shikte*. I swear. I have finally started learning the language with full gusto. In the past, there were half-baked attempts which eventually diverted into other, err, more interesting ventures. But I daresay, learning a language with a purpose can be very interesting. Now, why I am suddenly going the Marathi Mulgi way is another story…

See, my unabashed advocacy of Pune is no secret. Just in case you have a doubt, go here and here. I love almost everything about the city – yes, even the scantiness of the airport compared to the capital’s luxury lounge. I get security checked, cast a glance at the lonely Popcorn Seller and the tiny Snacks Counter which has over-sized packets of namkeen and over fried pieces of bread pakora. And then, I cast my glance firmly to the boarding gate. The lesser the options available, the more I save on cash. This is certainly not the case back in Delhi where the mere quantum of options available (from books to food to clothes to accessories, to say nothing of time since I am an early checker) makes resisting temptation difficult. But I digress…

So I was saying, while Pune charms me no end, there is one little thing which sometimes makes me feel awkward – my not knowing the local language. The rickshaw walasΒ instantly assume you are an outsider and several of them may attempt to take you for a ride. It happens to me too, but that is before they realize I know the route like the back of my hand. Then they are half scornful, half frustrated. Or so I read from their “so much for these dratted non Puneikars” look. If you don’t speak Marathi, be prepared to miss out on several inside jokes, a first-hand reception to traditional ceremonies and heartfelt acceptance in the beautiful Maharashtrian city. I know, I know. Perhaps it is just me. I have this overpowering urge to ramble off in fluent Marathi so they know I am not just a Delhi-ite intruding into their city. Instead, I am a Delhi-ite who is wholeheartedly in love.

The lessons have started. I have bought myself a fun Marathi primer courtesy this. There are some online lessons bookmarked in my browser. In the coming months, R and I plan to take out time – no matter how little – to progress a step a day. Β And yes, any help in this regard will be hugely appreciated. You see, when the time comes to settle down in the city for good, I hope to be able to carry on a conversation about the weather, vegetables, people and places. All in spotless Marathi.

*I learn Marathi

33 thoughts on “Marathi Matters

  1. Pingback: The Annoyance of Not Understanding the “Common” Language at Work | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I spent 2 years doing my MBA from Symbi Pune. PUne is very very close to my heart. Couldn’t speak a word of the language but it didn’t deter me from trying to get as many cultural insights through Marathi friends.

    • Ditto. Pune is very close to my heart as well. That is the prime reason I want to learn the language of the city. Cultural insights from Marathi friends sound super. I must try to build up on that. πŸ˜€

  3. Been surviving in Mumbai without Marathi for 3 years now πŸ™‚
    But actually learning the langugage isn’t a bad idea at all. Online lessons, is it? Are they effective?

    • Hmm. I wonder, is (knowledge of) Marathi more of an asset in Pune than in Mumbai?
      I am not too sure of their effectiveness yet, Ashwathy… πŸ˜€ but I would say a yes at least for the basics. There are a couple of very good websites which offer language courses.

  4. Good luck with that πŸ™‚ I have learnt the local language here and it definitely pays a lot to do so πŸ™‚ More than everything else, to see the glow on their faces that someone has taken up the efforts to be one amongst them πŸ™‚

    • Exactly! I would love to see the surprise and joy on the faces of the Puneikars I know, when I can speak good Marathi. Plus, knowledge of a new language is always an asset. πŸ˜€

  5. Oh the ever persistent language. My college seniors tried to give me a tough time by saying that if I wanted to be in the college, I might as well learn the matri bhasha, or else I shall miss out on all the fun you referred to above. My simple reply was, my matri bhasha is HIndi, and the day you people learn to speak that properly we’ll discuss this again. But, yes, if you love the language, go ahead, in India, the more languages you know the better it is πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha ha… that was a wonderful answer, Rituparna! Cheers to that. πŸ˜€ I completely agree with you. Every language is rich and precious. Moreover, memories are associated with every aspect of the language we grew up speaking. Amen to your last sentence. Always good to learn a new language (especially when you love the city that speaks it)! πŸ˜€

  6. Mala new languages shikhna avadte, thats why me pan marathi shikhto πŸ™‚
    Tu pan shikh, then we’ll practise with one another πŸ˜‰
    My reason is marrying a mahrashtrian who is pretty sad at the language himself!

    • Sounds like an awesome plan, DI. Mi raazi aahe! πŸ˜€
      Ha ha… multiple reasons, one objective. I like your stand on this – sometimes learning a new language is fun for and in itself, rather than for a cause.

  7. I’m thinking hard whether I have heard anyone speaking Marathi..
    Ring me up soon.You talk in Marathi and I will talk in Malayalam.It would be fun(Disaster? :P)

    • Whaaat? Don’t you speak Marathi? *see T Shirt* πŸ˜›
      Oh yes, Bhavia. Your plan will surely ensure disaster. πŸ˜› But it might be a good way to get you to commit to a party or two. Hmmm… πŸ˜›

  8. been in pune for almost 3 years now and I have just reached to the level of understanding marathi a bit. hope you can teach me when you are proficient in it πŸ™‚

  9. oh so nice.. u r so ready to accept the new city.. but there is guy in my office who keeps comparing hyderabad to vizag and pisses of all localities.. i always want to tell him accept or leave the place.. anyways.. happy learning.. πŸ™‚ teach us also few words..

    • I know, A. Some people really get on your nerves, especially with all this regionalism and communism and what not. It is precisely to counter the likes of these that I want to learn the local language. We can belong to another city but speak in a tongue you do, what say? πŸ˜€

  10. Ah Pune and Marathi. You know, Deboshree, I learnt Marathi in Pune. I didn’t learn it in Mumbai or Lonavla (other places in Maharashtra that I have stayed), but Pune. And that while too dealing with the college and university administration. I never get a chance to converse in Marathi in Mumbai, but the moment I step of the train/bus/taxi/car/bike, it’s like a Marathi switch comes on. πŸ™‚

    And when we meet next time, mee tujhashi maraathi madhe bolnaar. Nakki πŸ™‚

    • A Marathi switch! That sounds super. I wish I had one too. πŸ˜€ Lets hope that I too can follow in your footsteps and learn Marathi as soon as I can. And yes, when we meet, I have my fingers crossed for a conversation in fluent Marathi. Mi Marathi shikte, you see. πŸ˜›

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