What can a statue at Rs 25 crore do for Kannada?

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji applauded the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana president G. Venkatasubbaiah for his forthright remarks.

Kaddi thundu mado haage helidrallo on corruption. He didn’t mince any words.”

Ajji, at his age and wisdom, he doesn’t have to hide behind niceties. In fact, being a lexicographer, he could have chosen any number of synonyms to drive home his point.”

“I am happy Kannada ruled in the City even if it was for only five days. People seem to have woken up after a deep slumber,” replied Ajji.

Howdu Ajji. I thought they did a mistake in not having a sammelana for nearly five decades in Bangalore. We had almost lost Bangalore for Kannada.”

Adu seri, Ramu. Bhuvaneshwari statue maadtharanthallo. They should erect ‘bhoomi thayi’ statue considering the enormous love and obsession our leaders have for bhoomi that is site-u, especially in Bangalore.”

Ajji had bowled an unexpected doosra, just like Bhajji.

Ha, ha adu nija, Ajji! Bhuvaneshwari statue will be similar to the Statue of Liberty in New York. Our CM has announced Rs 25 crore for it.”

“Your brother Suri had sent a picture of that long back.  A lady wearing a crown which had horns.”

“Horns alla Ajji, she wears seven spikes representing the seven continents and the seven seas.”

“Anyway, kannadakke kombu bandilva… that will represent our present seven Jnanpeeth winners: Kuvempu, Da Ra Bendre, Shivarama Karanth, Masthi Venkatesh Iyengar, V.K. Gokak, U.R. Anantha Murthy, Girish Karnad.”

Sariyagi heLde Ajji, it is indeed a great pride for us.”

“They will start with 25 crores and end up spending  somewhere near 250 crores.”

“That is a distinct possibility, Ajji.”

“Later, all sorts of temples will spring around this. Before you say Yenappa -Hogappa, duplicate temples of Shani Mahatme, Mookambike,  etc would have sprung up in the vicinity making it another centre for agni pareekshe and dosha parihaara. It should be a centre for Kannada and only Kannada here.”

Howdajji, there is always that danger.”

“Why can’t we have a  good Kannada library? Or a mini-theatre for watching art movies and documentaries in Kannada? Or a research centre for development of Kannada.”

Nija Ajji, this will help promote Kannada arts.”

“By the way, Ramu, how will outsiders and foreigners learn Kannada? Namma software Seethamma helthidru, in France, they use only French for all their daily transactions, it seems. She spent six months visiting her daughter, a software engineer. Seethamma rattles some kind of ‘butler French’ now.”

“Almost like your ‘Butler English’!”

Ajji ignored my comments.

Namma Airport-galalli, gandasara picture haaki ‘Gents’ antha bareethare. Naavu Englishinalle ‘Gandasaru’ antha yaake bareebaardu? Haage hengasina picture haaki, ‘Ladies’ antha bariyo  badulu ‘Hengasaru’ antha Englishinalli bariibahudu. After sometime I am sure they will start using the term.”

Howadjji! This can definitely work.”

Haage ‘push’, ‘pull’ baagila picture baredu arrow haaki ,  ‘thalliri‘,  ‘eleyiriantha Englishnalli bareyabahudu. Hanigoodidre halla. A drop finally becomes an ocean. We can start slowly and innovate. We can indicate by picture and write Kannada words in English alphabets to start with. Once people become familiar with lots of words, we can introduce Kannada letters. We all learnt Hindi after mastering Hindi songs!”

Nija Ajji.”

“Bangalore has great artistes and young enthusiastic students and engineers. They can create Kannada words through symbols in malls, cinema theatres, railway and bus stations, traffic signals etc. The Rs 25 crore should go for such initiatives. That is what Karave, Kannada rajya koota, AKKA, Thamma, etc should be doing to promote Kannada.”

Ajji, you are now hitting sixers like Sehwag for Kannada. Wonderful.”

Hodeebeku kano. If we don’t make efforts to spread our language, who will”

Noorakke nooru nija, Ajji.”