I am about to complete 1 year in Hyderabad. Still I don’t find myself qualified enough to write a post about how to get along with this place if you are North Indian.
Well, the term I just used now could be misleading for you. So let me clear your doubts at the first place. By North Indian,I didn’t mean people from North part of India. North India means everywhere except south, be it West Bengal (east) , Madhya Pradesh (middle) , Gujrat (west) and so on. For people, if you are not an idli-dosa-sambar person and you are comfortable in speaking in hindi, you are North Indian. Now you might have already started disagreeing with me but a few months ago I also found this dumb. But with time I kind of figured it out-what people say and what they really mean.
When I came here, every local people would start talking to me in telugu first and every single time I had to interrupt them saying,”Sorry, no telugu”. If our conversation carried on a little further, they asked me about my home and mother tongue. Surprisingly many of them didn’t know that West Bengal is actually in the east and we speak in Bengali (although we like to speak in broken and grammatically incorrect hindi too 😅). This happens when you miss the social science classes.😑
Our cultures, food habits are so different that sometimes it seems that I am in a different country. Though my mother tongue is Bengali I don’t remember exactly when I learned hindi. That’s because I used to watch hindi shows a lot and I still do. Now coming to “telugu”, I clearly have no idea how to deal with it. There are no common words or similarities between telugu and the languages I know. It’s necessary to understand at least a bit of the local language people speak in. In my workplace there are basically 10 types of people- people who speak in telugu, people who don’t. That’s not a big deal as most of the formal conversations,meetings take place in English only. But when it comes to lunch time, an interesting gossip or group chat in whatsapp you are going to be a loner if you don’t understand telugu. This would not be the case if your group has 30-40 % people like you or there is a bunch of people who don’t want to make it awkward and boring for others. But if none of this happens even then also you can’t let people leave you alone questioning your existence. You gotta make the first move if you really want to survive. Language will not be a barrier when you start making friends, discussing ideas and spend time to understand people. Nice people are everywhere, but it may take a while to find them.
In this context, I want to share an incident of last year. I was looking for some aloe vera plant so that I can get some gel out it ( it’s a very effective thing for skin). I prefered the natural gel which I could easily get at home. In Hyderabad, I looked everywhere for a regular source of aloe Vera leaf. Finally I found one in my neighborhood. But it was for decoration or something else. I waited for sometime outside the house where I found the plant. Suddenly an elderly lady came out of the house and I pointed to the plant asking for a leaf. We had no common language but she understood and asked me to follow her. She took me to a place where there were plenty of the aloe Vera plants. I still remember her affectionate gesture while I was leaving.
I wished to write a few commonly used phrases in Hyderabad but I can’t. My maths tutor was right. I’m dumb. That’s why I can tell you only one sentence in telugu. But it’s a great one. One can use it as both question and answer (the title).
Meaning of the title : no telugu? / u don’t understand telugu.
P.S. : please excuse my phone’s auto correction mode. Thank you!