“Hattu Rupayi“, Conductor responded when I asked ‘Estu?” after boarding the bus. I was super excited to try my kannada and get a response. But now the trouble was to understand what hattu means. I flashed a ten rupee note to him and he grabbed it quickly and returned me a ticket in no time and moved to the next passenger. I carefully looked at the ticket to see it was written 10 in English. So I learnt two new words now. Hattu and Estu. I thought I will boast my kannada knowledge with my bengali room mates. We used to live in Behala (Calcutta) prior to shifting our base to bangalore.
“You know what Estu (ಎಷ್ಟು) means?”, I asked with an enlightened look.
My friend responded after a long quizzical look, “S2 is the bus number we used to take from Howrah to Behala”.
ooops I did not realize Estu can be interpreted as S2 so I helped him understand what I meant and we all had a hearty laugh.
This beautiful city Bangalore welcomed me and many of my friends, many from our college, my home state and many from all states of India with open arms, kindness, love and affection. We never needed to change the way we lived or spoke and could focus on only one thing. That is to get a job and live a life we dreamt. All these were easy and today after 20 years I have gone beyond what I dreamt and created many more dreams and achieved them as well but still do not hesitate to say Kannadq Gottilla (ಕನ್ನಡ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ) when anybody speaks with me in kannada. I feel this as my failure definitely but I fall in love with this state and city every moment I think what this city and state has given me unconditionally.
Like me millions of Indians have transformed their life, turned their dream into reality and created dream for millions back home. But when we gather anywhere we do not hesitate to complain about the traffic, roads, drainage, politics and many more without any guilt.
On this pious occasion of kannada Rajyotshava we should take a vow to learn Kannada and ensure our children learn Kannada.
I have started mine, what about you?
*Pardon any mistakes in my Kannada script as it was copied from Google Translator