8 years back when I moved to Bangalore it was merely out of necessity than anything else. I had never stayed away from my parents or my home even for a night, so when this job meant I had to move out to a different state, I had no option but to take it on. For the naïve me back then, this city was nothing but hardships. Partly I am to blame for it. I made no attempts to befriend the change and then, there were so many issues I was forced to deal with on my own. Our memory plays a huge role in how we perceive a place. Based on my first few years at Bangalore, it was not a very good feeling.
Every time I went home to Chennai, someone would ask me playfully if I have learnt Kannada. What followed would be a long stare and how I don’t plan on learning Kannada, for I wanted to flee Bangalore. Life however had different plans. Before getting married, I tried my best to move back to Chennai and was literally heart-broken that it didn’t happen. One of my friends then told me how I would begin seeing Bangalore in a different light when I have someone I love next to me. I brushed off that comment as silly but how true it turned out to be! With S moving in with me, I started exploring the city more falling in love with it one bit at a time.
I soaked in the new traditions I learnt for every festival. I learnt new recipes of delicious local food, both cooking and savoring. Still I made no attempts to learn Kannada. There is absolutely no disrespect for the language or culture but it has been more of a convenient practicality. We live in a locality where Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi are well spoken, so we can easily get by talking either one of these. This was my easy way out for not learning a new language despite staying here for almost a decade. Last year I decided enough was enough and joined a 2-day Kannada class at work. For the next week or so, I practiced many words from the class hand-out but duly forgot all about it very soon.
One thing that stops me from actually conversing in Kannada is that I am super conscious. I know for a fact that my pronunciation is not correct, it shows that I am trying too hard and then I can’t seem to find the smallest of words at the time of need. I can infact read Kannada, what with the script being so similar to Telugu and can understand 80% of it but when it comes to talking, I am falling behind.
Wonder how my parents learnt Tamil in their first few years of moving to Chennai from Andhra! I so want to speak Kannada but somehow these classes are not working out for me. I don’t get to talk much to anyone in Kannada both at work and outside. What should I do?!