Tuesday, 7 July 2020

No King Of Nonsense

Updated: February 7, 2015 4:20 am

India That Is Bharat

SATIRICUS is feeling mortified. So long he has been arrogantly considering himself the unsurpassed King of Nonsense, with his royal right none to dispute. Alas, no more. The other day a certain celebrity writer surpassed Satiricus with a prize-winning piece in the papers titled “Bhasha bachao, Roman Hindi apnao”. Now Satiricus is an Indian, a Hindi aadmi, and while his mother tongue is not Hindi, he knows the language. But now it seems the language he knows is underdeveloped Hindi which he needs to develop into Roman Hindi. And there is a ready-made role model for this. For he recalls that the Roman (Catholic) lady who was the Empress of India till the other day, initially used to write her Hindi speeches in Roman letters. So maybe the call to ‘Roman Sonia Bachao’ has been re-invented as ‘Roman Hindi Bachao’. Anyway, for the benefit of benighted souls like Satiricus, this celebrity writer has very helpfully given an excellent example by way of a simple sentence ; “Waqt ke saath badalna zaroori hai.” Unfortunately even such a simple sentence is beyond this simpleton. For this ignoramus the bliss of Roman knowledge is still beyond his bird-brain. Take, for instance, “zaroori”. The first R in it is followed by two “O”s because the sound of this R is long, but when the second R is followed not by two ‘O’s but by a single ‘I’, does that mean Satiricus should hold his breath short instead of letting it escape, as he would have normally and ignorantly done? Then take “Badalana”. Are the A’s here all short, or should Satiricus stupidly think that the final A should be pronounced AA? Finally, suppose somebody’s name is “Chetan”. When it is written in Roman Hindi, should Satiricus pronounce the T in it as it is pronounced in ‘T’ommy rot? Again, suppose—just suppose, if you please—somebody’s surname happens to be “Bhagat”, should Satiricus perniciously presume that the T at the end should be pronounced the same way as in idioT?

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