Sunday, 20 February 2011

No manjhe naahi

Time: 11:30 pm

I'm on my bike w/family. Cops doing their drunken-driving-check routine. I was clean, so didn't have much to worry about. One cop stops us, comes near. Of course he doesn't have the breathalyzer. Gets kissing distance to my face, and asks


My bravado of having nothing to fear turns to adventuresome. Mustering up all of the 3 and a half Kannada words I have learnt, I decide to give it a shot. And utter one of them.


Cop sniffs; grins a bit, shakes his head, and walks away.

I immediately realize what I just said. And ride away without telling the wife what (really) happened.


Kannada speaking readers have got it. For the rest, here's what it is.

In Hindi, the word for "No" and "Don't want" is effectively the same - "Nahi"
XYZ liya? Nahi.
XYZ chahiye? Nahi.

Same with Gujarati. "Na" does it both.

Kannada, however is more like Marathi
'No' is 'Illa' and 'Don't want' is 'Beda'
Just like 'Naahi' and 'Nako' in Marathi.

Now, when I (try to) speak a few words of Kannada, I always try to overlap what I know with a language I really know. The decrypting language I used to use was Hindi. Since that night, I changed it to Marathi.