31. Neighbourhood wives - no common language
How did the wives talk/ gossip?
I am from Rajashthan and after marriage in 2012, I rented an independent house in HSR Layout in Bengaluru. I worked in an IT company then, but have since returned to Rajasthan.
The situation of tenants around me was so strange that even today, I laugh when I remember. Can you get this?
My landlord was a Kannadiga but he lived elsewhere. He chose me as a tenant from Rajasthan for the ground floor. The first-floor tenant was from Andhra Pradesh. The neighbour on the ground floor of the house to my right was from Orissa. The first-floor tenant was from Kerala. The neighbor on the ground floor to the left was a Kannadiga, and the first-floor tenant was from Tamil Nadu.
Each hailed from a different State. Is it not unique?
All were ‘family wale’, with kids. All wives were housewives and did not know English or Hindi. The husbands knew some English, so we could talk. However, the wives had a hilarious time trying to communicate with each other about cooking, gossip, children, movies, etc. Still, the housewives managed to talk in a few English words, and ‘sign language’.
You may wonder, did the landlord and tenants choose those set of houses so that the women could not chat away their time? I find this so unlike communities where people of the same community flock together.
Courseloka did not exist then, else they would have learned Indian languages, just to talk to each other and not feel isolated or lonely. I wish Courseloka had been there then.
Author: Ashish Surana