Saturday, April 03, 2010

MAADI MAADBEDA (DON'T DO THE DO)

I am constantly irritated by the use/abuse of the word "maadi" in the Kannada language by urban colloquial speakers. For those who don't know, 'maadi' means 'do'. It makes me feel sad everytime I hear the word because it loudly rings the silent death of the language. No one needs to know the verb in Kannada anymore; just use an English verb, suffix 'maadi' and voila, the job is done! Stop maadi, Adjust maadi, Jump maadi, Dance maadi, etc.

And then, there are those who think they are cool and use the word even more atrociously like 'cool maadi' and 'have fun maadi', shattering whatever stupid grammatical logic that existed in the first place. But the award goes to this guy who screamed (in a crowded BMTC bus) - "Driver, back door open maadi!!"
Driver + back + door + open + MAADI!!?!

Aamir Khan recently said that he's ashamed he can't speak Marathi, his state language, well. That made me think - I've been in Karnataka for close to five years now, and I still cannot read/write Kannada or speak it as fluently as I would like to. When I landed in Bangalore, I began learning with a vengeance, but that enthusiasm gradually waned. I think about the reasons(excuses)...

1. I realised I could get around with my two-bit Kannada - with shopkeepers, autodrivers etc. Very few people speak pure Kannada, and colloquial urban Kannada (like most other Indian languages today) is junked with English words.
2. Also, knowing Telugu, Tamil and two-bit Hindi made me further lazy because knowing these languages covers most people in Bangalore.
3. Not having a constant practice-partner.
4. Most 'Learn Kannada' books are useless, because they focus on a pure form of Kannada that is not spoken anymore, or do not explain grammar very well.

However, when I don't know how to say something in Kannada, I use a different language. I don't do 'maadi or other funny concoctions.

Searching frantically for steely resolve.

11 comments:

Bhargav said...

Bangalore is a very welcoming place for non-Kannadigas like us. Modern Kannadigas themselves don't talk in Kannada anymore. This ensures that non-Kannadigas don't learn the language.
I try to speak in Kannada with my Kannadiga colleagues, and that has helped me in the last 2 years to improve my Kannada. I also try very hard to convince other non-Kannadigas to learn the language, but, they ask me why should they?
My ideology is "Be a Kannadiga while in Karnataka!", and that motivates me. Not for everybody else!

RK said...

Thoughtful post. But the "state of the language" can't be determined just with Bangalore, can it? I think all cities transform themselves to accommodate migrants.

subbulakshmistoned said...

Chill maadi and Enjoy maadi get my goat. Grr.

Alagar said...

HI! VINESH!!

I AM HAPPY TO KNOW THAT U HV STARTED BLOGGING AFTER A LONG TIME.

AS USUAL UR ENGLISH IS ROCKING.

PL KEEP POSTING.

ME- UR FAN FOR EVER

Manasa said...

Try "learn Kannada in 30 days". Its as easier as Spanish :P

BTW, Habba maaDi while u learn ;)

Paavai said...

Wow .. three posts in quick succession.. great going, dont vanish once again .. Paavai

Lydia said...

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Shruti - now making better butter said...

*reasons (excuses)*
wow! u accepted that those are just excuses. good boy :P

and.. I've been in Mumbai for 25 years and have even learnt it in school. But when I speak, it'll take me an entire minute to complete a 5 word long sentence :| with unavoidable grammatical errors. How some ppl learn languages wherever they go is beyond me :|
anyway, u chill maadi :P u have so many other languages to lean on

Shruti - now making better butter said...

err.. I was talking about my difficulties with Marathi btw :|

Shruti - now making better butter said...

btw.. did u play Pacman on google homepage?

Aarthi said...

Driver + back + door + open + MAADI!!?!
Ha ha ha... Hilarious...

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