They pretended to understand me
I am a Hindi speaking North Indian from Lucknow and moved to Bengaluru in 2006. I am okay now, but I remember one incident from my early days here.
I had to change my motorbike license registration to a Bangalore one. While getting that done, I felt a lot of pain, as they say in Hinglish, ‘bahut pain hua’. I had to go to the RTO (Regional Transport Office), collect and fill up the right forms, and enquire about the process, timelines and cost.
However, I was not able to communicate properly as people spoke mostly in Kannada. They did not really understand me fully and correctly. Sometimes, I thought they pretended to understand and nodded their heads, but had not understood anything. This was because their knowledge of Hindi and English was not as good as mine. The language in government offices is Kannada which they know very well. Eventually, I reached a point of total confusion and despair, and I had doubts about everything.
Finally, I gave up in sheer frustration and I hired an agent, which was an extra burden on my pocket. If I had known Kannada then, I would have handled everything myself and saved the fee of the agent.
When there is local engagement to get work done in Bengaluru’s government offices, there is a potential problem.
So, my sincere advice is, “Learn Kannada as it saves you time, cost, effort and gives you peace of mind”.
Author: Ravi Mishra