I was born unilingual. After a year or so of staring at whoever came up to me and uttered 'tcktck' or 'Heyo there chweeeeet baby wassup?' it seems the revelation about every Indian's freedom of speech finally stuck the li'l ol lemon, and thus spake the baby:

Sadly, my folks werent that savvy enough (it was in the days of Windows 3.1) to understand that i'd said, with a large effort, that I'd BE RIGHT BACK.

By the time I'd got to LKG the vocabulary had greatly increased and I was capable of a few coherent sentences in Tamil. And no, the puns hadn't gotten in yet.
Once in playschool, I immediately was aware of the fact that none of the kids, save one or two, actually knew to speak!! LOL and I was pretty proud of being to only one who could speak the language, until life, as they say, introduced a bat to my face, and (recovering) I realised it was another species which spoke Malayalam. #Awesomeness
So in the fourth year of life I was Tamil-ready and Malayalam-ready (Vista-ready came much later but by then I knew much better. And Eveready is a battery, dumbass).

Somewhere around this time we were also taught a string of nonsensical sounds and letters going somewhat like this: "Yaay bee, see, di. Eee effigy! eh chai jaykay LMNO Pee...", looping from that last word LMNOPee again and ending in a solemn "Ex-wife Zed", followed by a moment of introspective silence. Had I been older, I'd have called it a total WTF silence, as in WTF are we learning? (Sadly that was outta question since WTF was part of the syllabus and thus not part of everyday language yet).

Fast forward to class three. We get introduced to this strange language called Hindi. What looked like lines and (familiar to us southies) squiggles all seemingly suspended from one omnipotent line drawn atop every word. I gave the language a one in ten chance of surviving for a year, what with all that need for support, and hence never took it seriously. As it turned out, I got a one in ten for my tests. It had to recur a couple of times through the year, and then the Konkan skybus project came up. By then I thought stuff hanging from lines had to be taken seriously, and therefore the beloved national language had to stay :D (Further reading: Civil engineering. Building-structures or whatever keeps proving that point too, in a less patriotic way)

By tenth, Rashtrabhasha had gone (being reduced to an elective) but the Mathrubasha stayed, along with that yaabee see di thingy we now knew to be the grand old beloved-of-Shakespeare, lover-of-Milton, taught-by-a-funny-guy English. 'Mathrubasha' was supposed to mean the language of mom in malayalam, but in tamil 'mathrai' meant a tablet, so I swallowed all its phrases and idioms like pill, and regurgitated them colourfully on the board exam paper, for a mindblowing 88 percent :D #EPICawesomeness

Finally, to college. Quad-lingual, da! Whatay awesomeness allede? English is here, Tamil lesa appidi local groups-la irugudhu, ha Malayalam illathe pinne? Aur kuch hindi bhi yaar. Albeit a very mix-n-match form of the four:

1. Retardedspeak: This is the name I give my struggling (and usually vain) attempts to butt into a Hindi conversation and do the 'while in Rome..' act. Usually results in me getting LMAO'd out or ends up being totally kickass (my getting my posterior kicked). For example:
Hindi dude 1: Abey yaar vo staffie hai na? Chootiya saala vo mere ko blah blah blah.. Aur kayi kaam hai assignment, record..
HIndi dude 2: Mere ko bhi yaar..
Me: Eh.. ahem.. Mujhe karne do. (trying to say, 'I have two jobs to get done')

*two HDs falling on the ground and laughing their goddamn asses off while I scoot before I start laughing. Someone says, "Sambhavame you gay, you gay" (due copyright to kevin for that one) :P

2. Manglish: Spoken rather offhanded.ly, careless.ly and a bit.ly consciously. As in "WTF man!!! Aarengilum aa my*inittu onnu pottikku. Chumma avidirunnu aalkare desp aakkuva. Sonofabitch." Includes novel words like thallu, kallippness, despoy, verumm. (meanings will take a new post in itself)

3. Tamanglish: Evolved because my Tamil is corrupted with Malayalam and I have to make conscious efforts to prevent sentences like "Ente akkaavinte vittile kadhavine ongi chathi", if I try to speak Tamil. And Malayalam is corrupted with English.
Usually involves liberal use of words like Macha, aliya, monay (and other family-relation-speak), plus long stretched exclamations like Daaaai and Dooood dudedudedude. (As in "Dududude.. check out the chick at 9 o'clock!)

4. Broad-house: Unlike what it sounds, this is a style dedicated to two people: My buddy Brajesh and PG Wodehouse. (Before you start makin up jokes on the first part of the former's name, I'd like to say that half his class and probably the whole of the ladies hostel calls him that, so you're late). Also, this language exists only in txt and is not spoken (for obvious reasons). Sometimes consists of archaic swears or ones like 'u dilapidated dick' or 'u drunken gravedigger'. Its familar, one sentence consists of fifty six words or more, packed into comprehension with the help of commas and semicolons, or even the occasional colon; including maximum use of words and phrases like blighter, old-lemon, wassup old bird, etc: the prime significance being, over txt msgs this sounds chuckle-inducing, but over speech nobody attempts this until he or she ('she' being a rarity) is drunk and completely plastered.

Self explanatory.

5. Panjaara-speak: (As the name suggests, its a sweet one) Used usually when talking to nice girls. More than usual use of 'da' (the male to female 'da'), sweetie, nice, yuppie, hehe, etc. Its rarely used in my case, but I know people who can use it very very efficiently :P People who blast their way down the humble 2000 free msgs balance in a single week :P

6.English: Spoken rarely.
7. Malayalam: Spoken rarely.
8. Tamil: Naah
9. HIndi: Dont even think!

Appo sheri, njan publish-atte, kai valigithu.. Adios and shukriya buddies :)


Gautam Sasi said...

Thalley..kalip post macha..d captions wer kickass(yea..worth kicking ur ass);)..aur saale yeh to tera recent tyms ka sabse accha post hai..;)

Brajesh said...

mwaney verumm kickass crazy aayirunnu.. a neat wrap up of our hybrid lingua franca:)
Ps:i aint an authority on classifyin d extent of rubbin salt in deep wounds type activities,but if i had my way,tat jab at me would beat its nearest competitor for the coveted title by a mile n and a half,without doubt;)hail wodehouse:)

Srivardhan said...

spaariyallo, u old top! Also,

9. Telugu/Sanskrit: Spoken, esp. while in a fit of rage, using words and phrases from the lyrics of thyagaraja krithis, to intimidate onlookers and make it sound as though u're cursing for real! :P

(Believe me, yeh to ek dum chalta hai.. i mean, nannukanna dhalli, na bhagyama.. entha nerchina, entha joochina.. ithey sangathiya nanna izhuthu vidu.. conclude dramatically with 'summa athuruthu le!!') :D

Sriram said...

@gautam: Fortunately some ppl are better at Hindi :)

@Brajesh: Sorry for kickin ur ass buddy :D Your comment is a tribute to broadspeak :P

@Srivardhan: LOL How abt "Bhandureethi Kolu"? Sounds classy :)

Looks like everyone went multilingual over the comments section :P Which reminds me of this by Calvin.. They're trying to figure out how to fix a toy airplane and he says, "YOu gotta be tri lingual just to read the instructions :(" :D

sruthy said...

boy.......... i loved it, awesome yaar........
keep goin.........thumbs up:)

sruthy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

wowow...u gotta come here macha..u'll know wad lingo is...after comin here, ive kinda forgotten wad english is..eg...vuy da (tam version of "why da"_)...
then there's always gawd-level, pack-level (those two are antonyms btw..)

So bro, dont even get started on substandard lingo wherever iitians r around... ;)

Anonymous said...

and there's always gult: (telugu)
1.cheppu mama- tell uncle (as in 'wassap macha')

2.theeskuna, theeskura : get it

3. nte : dunno wtf it means but it sure is pack-level annoying to hear it 24*7 wherever u go..

..goes on n on..

Sriram said...

@sruthy: Thanks for the (unilingual) comment :P

@deepthi: Boy I'm not speakin abt that at all.. YOur iit language even had a separate thesis done in itself isnt it :D \m/

Anonymous said...

yeah..talk about it...i believe we can score better in MNC interviews better, straight outta school, rather than after coll...my vocabulary has really gone to the dawgs...can't speak a single sentence without using atleast one pack-level word not listed in the dictionary.
The only true english word that survives in the campus is none other than.............

hollowmaniac said...

Adi mwaney, motthotthi dyesp post.

Ellam kondum kalip thannaliya muttan kalip. :)

pinne, bro, twas an awesome read, as usual.

Njan enthengilum parayunnathinu mumbe thanne njan enthuparayumennu ninakkariyavunnathu kondum,njan enthu paranjalum ente basic opinion towards your post ninakku decipher cheyanulla amaanushika kazhivundaayathu kondum, njan onnum parayanilla.

appo sheri, sulaan!

The Blue Indian said...

Aaila! You ought to be too vella to think of all this yaar!

(See, I can manage 4 languages in one sentence!)

You forgot two more languages used extensively by you-

1. Chatspeak - with BRB, ROFL, LOL, TMI and what not!

2. @twitter_speak - Self-explanatory. Missing this is #FAIL

Sriram said...

@deepthi: Ayyyo.. Namichay!!

@nitin: Man you sure made it sound like I'm some psychic. Then again, u neednt have commented at all, did ya? :P

@karan: #cluelessButInterested Ahem my man, what's vella and aila? Igneous rocks? :D

The Blue Indian said...

Aila! = Marathi interjection meaning Oh My God, made famous nationwide by His Holiness Lord Sachin in this Pepsi ad many years back.

Vella = Tamil word referring to a person having no work, used among students all over India and beyond. This word has recently replaced the more popular Hindi equivalent - "lukkha"

Sriram said...

@karan: Thanks for the enlightenment boss :)

Anonymous said...

"Its familar, one sentence consists of fifty six words or more, packed into comprehension with the help of commas and semicolons, or even the occasional colon; including maximum use of words and phrases like blighter, old-lemon, wassup old bird, etc: the prime significance being, over txt msgs this sounds chuckle-inducing, but over speech nobody attempts this until he or she ('she' being a rarity) is drunk and completely plastered."

Capital, capital! :P

"There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature."

— Guess who. :D