Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sri Madhav Deshpande on modern Puneri mothers

Institutions in India such as urban schools and the English media routinely discriminate against non-English languages (two previous posts here and here). These biases percolate down to the public. Sri Madhav Deshpande, Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor who was born and brought up in Pune, has lived in the U.S. for more than fifty years (i think), and visited it recently, had this to say in a recent verse on mothers in Pune:

बालो यद्यपि मे सुहास्यवदनश्चिन्ता तु मां बाधते ।
आइ आईति स वक्ति मां, न तु पुनर्जानाति ए-बी-सि-डीम् ।।
आङ्ग्ली यस्य न गर्भत: सुविदिता, किं तस्य भाग्यं भुवि
न स्यात् सङ्गणक:, कुत: सुधनता, भार्यां कुतो लप्स्यते ।।

"Though this boy of mine has a smiling face, I am still worried. He calls me A-I A-I (mother in Marathi), but he does not yet know A-B-C-D. What is the fortune of someone in this world who does not know English from his state of embryo. There will be no computer, no good money, and how will he get a wife."


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