It was 20 January 2012. I was in Delhi during my first ever trip to national capital. I was roaming around the select city mall and got into one tour and travel agency as I had some query regarding currency exchange. One of the 4 girls helped me and was clearing my confusions while I was surprised to listen someone speaking over phone in odia. One among the three other girls I spotted someone around 30, a pretty lady talking in odia. I was so happy and overwhelmed to spot someone from my state and I asked her about her native. To my surprise she took away her attention replying just sambalpur. I felt bad and I got the hint that she wants to avoid and I left the place. It was nothing like she was busy or had fear of senior authorities rather I could sense the reason and which was quiet surprising. I stayed in the city for 7days and I kept noticing behaviour of many odias as I encountered with many such.
In the meantime I have travelled across more than 15 Indian cities and collected lots of such experiences which made me write on such a subject line. However I have met people like Avinnash Nanda and Tejeswar Parida who was beyond my imagination in hospitality and Mr Rashmi Ranjan Parida you too..
Narrating my experience of how cynical and hypocritical our behavior is when we talk about our concern for the language and state in social media and in practice we lack and we suck a lot of things.
When I say we and ours it doesn’t matter where we belong to and where we stay; rather the fact what matters the most is by birth or by virtue of family or language are we Odia or related to Odisha or not ¡¡¡¡¡ I still remember I was sitting at my a business Park in Bangalore waiting for someone and a family staying near by was walking there and suddenly the little kid started calling her elder brother in Odia and the non odia mother scolded her threatening not to speak in Odia.
I am not very conservative advocating for speaking in odia only but yes the language must get equal importance in all sphere. I have attended many social and cultural programmes across places where people like to and they deliberately speak in their mother language. Thus you can easily get to see in telugu, kannada, tamil, marathi & Bengali speaking cities n States and in other places as well. And in odisha you have an amazing language which is adoptable like the sea. It consumes all languages in it. Be it Hindi and English with all those grammar less sentences we prefer speaking in Mixed language where the percentage of Odia will be like water being added to milk.
You tune in any regional TV channel and any random musical or page 3show you can’t understand. And if you don’t know odia you tune in any odia channel you can understand more than half of it. That’s the irony. Our cinestars, celebrities and those who speak at public gatherings prefer not to speak in proper odia. I remember there is a huge odia community in Bangalore who conducts Ganesh Puja in a grand way. I attended their celebration last year and the anchors were following the usual pattern and the language was borrowed from somewhere. It was not my odia language. And in the same city I attended Kali Puja festival of Bengalis where I found their language preserved and presented with much more respect.
Our techie are everywhere. But yet, odia as a language is yet to be globalised. No Google translator in odia. Though we have a good presence in wiki but the future of the language is so uncertain and our policy makers and so called government is busy taking credit on whose effort the language got classical status.
Respecting neighbor aunty is nice but ignoring own mother is shame. And we all are shameless people. April 1 as a day is to fool. And we are making ourselves fool by sharing our emotions in social media in numerous ways. But the very day the language is dying and we are hardly careful about it.
We keep fighting with Bengalis over many things. At least we should learn from them their love for language and culture. If you compare no of Bengali youngsters who have read Tagore with the same of Odias who have read Bhanja will be like peanuts. Like in odia we say ‘haathi ku Homeopathy’. Rather they must have read Chetan Bhagat or Any other novelist for that matter.
I also read CB and others, but my point where we are heading in terms of promoting our language. Forget what government does.. We had a govt and CMs who used to cry In odia and now a govt and CM who is crying in English but the state is prospering with RS 5 Bhata – Dalma.
Perhaps thanks to Mark Zuckerberg that many at least know we have our State’s birthday today. If this is the reason then I am ashamed of myself. I am ashamed that I have not influenced many or tried and failed. Whatever it is, I am bound to write my emotions here, at least I know some read my posts. If I would have written it in Odia may be many would have ignored.
Do we need a day realise the need of our language. If yes, then I am sorry. I am not proud to be an Odia.