Friday, 17 August 2012

Tami'z'h---A'z'hagu (Beauty!)

As you would have noticed, I have stressed on the letter 'z' (i.e ழ in Tamil). I think that of all the letters in the Tamil language, this letter is the most cool and difficult letter to pronounce. The shocking thing is, even some Tamil speaking people do not know the proper way of pronunciation!! I am proud to be a Tamilian mainly because it is one of the most oldest languages (I know its two superlatives!) in the world (found somewhere around the third millennium BC!) and also it is one of the few languages in India that stand on its own (:D), has its own grammar, vocabulary, structures, rules etc., I am really proud to say this, because "most" of the other languages spoken in India are in one or the other derived from sanskrit. The meaning of Tamil itself is beauty or "sweet sound". And the language proves to be so. Tamil is also recognized as one of the classical languages by the government of India.

The most important reason that I like Tamil is it is a rational language, contrasting to sanskrit which is lot more abstract. For example, there is nothing like "Blessing" (Aashirvaadham!). But many people think that it is a Tamil word. Other examples are punniyam, pavam, sorgam, naragam etc;. Tamil words are getting sanskritized. Until recently, I did not know that the real Tamil words for mother and father are "Thaai" and "Thanthai" respectively. "Amma" and "Appa" came later due to external influence. Yes, I know they are spoken in the rural areas and some of "us" might find it a bit weird to say it but that is the real Tamil. We have been changed in that way. The Tamil language is "rich" in the sense that it has many, many poems, lessons both prose and non-detailed, short stories that are both entertaining and informative at the same time. For example everybody would be familiar with the world-renowned "Thirukkurral" and its poet "Thiruvalluvar". There are many notable poets such as Bharathiyaar, Bharathidhaasan, Kannadhaasan, Auvaiyaar, Kambar (who wrote the Ramayanam in Tamil), Sekkizhaar etc; Then there are the "5 great big books" in Tamil which "should" be given a read (me too!).

The main message that I wanted to convey is that in the recent 6-7 years the language is undergoing serious contamination without our knowing. I put the blame partly on the government, our parents, educational institutions and of course the social networking sites. From the time we (yes! including me) are born, till now, we have been infused with the notion that English is required to survive/ to get a job (BULLSHIT!...There are countries which use their native language even in the professional level such as Japan, Germany ). But sadly, in India, English has been compulsory. Schools have made it mandatory to speak English in schools (of course there are Tamil medium schools) but when it comes to getting placed in a job, companies have made it a requirement. So there is no other go, we need to know, read, write, speak a little bit of English. That is acceptable. But .....bringing the English in our day-to-day that is not acceptable. We have the thinking that English is the 'cool' now-a-days. We hardly speak complete sentences without a single English word. If this trend continues Tamil might get lost. Obviously that would take a many, many more years from now. But it will happen gradually. Apart from English, due to many reasons such as immigration, Tamil also gets influenced by other languages in their own small ways. So friends, let us talk Tamil and preserve it. Stop with the 'Hi dude' and go with 'vanakkam machi' [:)]. Probably this paragraph is applicable to other regional languages too.

Another thing I would like to add; I don't know if I am the only person feeling this; but the bad words in Tamil has more emphasis, kind of strong and seems to be more don't know the word in English (:P)....lets say Bayangaram (ப ய ங் க ர ம் :P ) than their counter-part words in English. For some reason, I love the way auto drivers say these words. It is a guarantee that you will be blasted off if you say any of these words (:P). Such is their offensive nature. But readers, I am not encouraging you to use these words. Tamil is a beautiful language and lets don't spoil it [:)] .

Try this tongue twister: "வாழை பழம் தோல் வழுக்கி கிழவன் கீழே விழுந்தான்"  

As the famed Tamil poet Bharathiyaar said:

"Senthamizh naadenum pothinile Inba then vanthu paayuthu kaathinile".
- loosely translated as "When someone mentions Tamil nadu, it is as sweet as honey to my ears".

I sign off by saying-" THAMIZHAN DA! ".

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