Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The two-language formula

While driving down from Belapur to the Mumbai airport today, I realized that the driver of the car was a cricket aficionado.

The 7th ODI between India and Australia was on, and he switched on the radio commentary. For the next 1-1/2 hours or so, the commentary alternated between Hindi and English, in 15-minute sessions.

What this meant was that, whenever the commentary was in English, the driver seemed clueless about what was happening, while I couldn’t make out the score, whenever it was in Hindi.

The whole experience left both of us dissatisfied, leading me to conclude that, if only one channel was available, then it might as well be entirely in Hindi. At least, one of us would have been completely satisfied then.

It is like the story about Gandhi losing one of his slippers, while boarding a moving train. He then threw out the other one also, reasoning that some poor soul would benefit by having a pair, instead of two of them holding one slipper each. ( As an aside, if all the stories attributed to Gandhi were true, he should have lived for 500 years, to have played a part in each one of them).

Coming back to the two-language formula. After I boarded the plane today, the safety instructions were, as is the practice, given twice, once in Hindi and the drill repeated with an English voice-over. Which led me to wonder, if the air pressure really dropped, will the oxygen masks drop down in two batches, one for the Hindi speaking and another one for the English speaking?


Primalsoup said...

Heh. I have wondered why does the captain only speak in English though. This, when he is doling out some useless bits of information on the temperature outside and some nautical miles blah.

Raj said...

primalsoup, good question. Maybe there are no hindi words for nautical miles and Mach.

Anonymous said...

hee hee:) nice post..

Raj said...

ashu, thanks