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Updated: Jun 24

Naatu Naatu wins the Oscars for the Best Original Song! Reason to rejoice, India ! And extra reason to rejoice, folks from Telugu land, for the song is a Telugu* original!

And, for folks who do not know Telugu, here is a quick post to learn it super quick (from the Ambling Indian Archives).

A trip on Telugu... It is one of the most difficult things to do -- to teach my family, hubby and kids, belonging to the modern 21st century Hinglish* speaking generation to speak in traditional Telugu. Not that my own Telugu is great, but I do manage to get by. Sometimes, it gets quite amusing to watch their bewildered expressions turning into frustration, when they stand by and take in an incomprehensible telugu chat, moving at the rate of 100 miles per hour from my telugu side of the family, also called the Gultis.

And so, ever so often, every New Year, every Telugu New Year( Ugadi), Diwali New Year, we all resolve to learn and speak in Telugu every day, only to forget it the next day. For new year resolutions are made to be broken , right?

Even if we remember, once in a great, great while, the conversation is a non-starter. It goes something like this. Me saying "Ekkada unnavu (where are you)?", and my mum promptly replying “Ikkada (here)”. And the kids and the hubby, the target population of the question, choose to ignore this completely. When mom is not around, it may go like “Emiti chestunavu (what are you doing )?” and the reply, a stark silence from the walls and others in question. Since it is so difficult to get a piece of attention from this generation anyway, they forever flitting from one screen to the other, getting anything back in Telugu is going to be a doubly difficult task. And so, I almost gave up and resigned to the fact that, so what if they did not understand their mother tongue, they could at least get by with their father’s (tongue that is) and sometimes speak it in stilted baritones. That is the only thing that should matter anyway, as the father is the boss of the house. (He does have the mother’s permission to say so). What can the kids do...poor chaps, having to study the subject at school and then take tuitions from the neighbour, Mrs Gupta every other day. It is too much of an overload for six and sixteen year olds (whatever…!) All was almost lost, I thought, until this blog came about .The story goes like this. Mum was trying to publicise my blog with older members of my Gulti family, K.R Uncle and others. These are the people who have not touched an online screen since they were born. And who still prefer to trade shares on a minute by minute basis by phoning their brokers, based on a deep distrust of anything to do with technology. (Reminds me of the IIT professor of a very ancient variety, who was terrified to touch a computer lest he catch the virus that had infected it). So, on a phone call with one such uncle, she went “Blogulu chadutava?”(Do you read blogs?)

Blogulu? -- I had struck gold! Because now I realised, Telugu is really easy. Every word just has to have a “u" at the end or an “ulu” if it is in plural, and an “aa” if it is a question. Most words that we need belong to the world of modern gadgetry, and therefore, are being borrowed from English, which the kids are superfluent at, and which could easily be translated into Telugu. So we started off with

Blogulu", then went on to “Bookulu”, “Cheppulu (chappals)”, "Fridgu", "Cupboardu" and moved on to some questions like “Rooma?”, "Shelfa?”, these being the most often used words in our house, as they forever needed tidying. It now became downright easy to bark orders at the kids, and easier for them to understand, as they could dissociate the “u” and figure out the word super-quick, even faster than they could reach the expert levels of Temple Run and playstation games. "Easy peasy lemon squeezy!”, they gloated with delight. We are now becoming quite fluent at it, almost using the language on a daily basis , for mundane things like “Milku”, “Pillowlu”, “Chasmalu”, “Uniformulu”, “I-podu", “Benchu", "Pencilu” etc. Now there is hope where there was none. I had almost resigned to the fact that my kids might end up speaking Malayalam** the most, as they spent so much time with their Mallu** friends. They knew 1 to 10 and full sentences even. Even Hunny the Hubby from the Hindi heartland has latched on to this sweetu and simplu concept, so much so that we are sailing away on “Telugu-Lu-Lu Land“ every day. Try it yourself, it is really easy! Regards,

The AmblingIndian - The New Aam Aurat, a common woman of India, by Aina Rao

About the amblingindian -

"As I amble along Indian lanes,bylanes, gallis and mohallas, there is so much that excites, intrigues , tickles and even irritates me. Is there anything to be done about all this? Absolutely not... just revel in the confusion, enjoy the chaos that is India. Nonetheless, a germ of an idea starts to grow from somewhere, and there is a rush to put it down on paper..maybe i will just add a small tweak here, a little quirk there, all practical ideas for India.. and this blog is born... Enjoy!​​"

Get the fun book- Ambling Indian Diaries, a rollicking tale across India, and a top 10 amazon humor title here :

By Aina Rao, author and creator

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* Telugu: one of the many( 22 +?) languages of India, commonly spoken in South India

** Malayam: language spoken by people from Kerala ( also known as Mallu)

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