Kannada illla

Song for the mood: C-A-T Cat, Cat maane Billi - Kishore Kumar

illa means nothing, in Kannada ... I mean it does mean something ... it means "nothing". Whatever.

My knowledge of Kannada doesn't go beyond 15-20 words and a few sentences, which is quite evident here. So when I was at the receiving end of a harsh abuse, in Kannada, I did the only logical thing to do. I made a dumb face.

The story starts after the Megadeth concert on 14th March. I made my way back to Majestic bus stop, at around 10:30pm, since there was no direct bus from Palace Grounds to Electronics City. There's an unwritten rule that I was made aware of some days back, and that is, "When in doubt ... go to Majestic". Well, I finally got a bus that comes to Electronics City, only after running around for half an hour around this huge bus stand with no people around.

Ok, I am tall. Tall enough to not stand in a bus for the fear of putting my head through the roof when the driver hits a bump. To my utter delight, this bus had a much shorter roof, nice! So I stood in the doorway, a couple of steps lower than the floor of the bus passage way. Someone had a problem getting in, and he didn't spare a heated dialog in Kannada for me. I was too tired to even tell him that I don't understand Kannada. Then Mr. half-drunk got in, couple of stops later, that is where the fun started. It was due to him that few people couldn't get down, but no, according to him it was due to me. I was way too disinterested to pay attention, but Mr. I-had-a-problem-earlier decided to cash in and, well, he pressed Mr. half-drunk to carry on the scolding.

So, now I was being scolded, in Kannada, by two somebodies who in spite of the retarded look that I gave them, couldn't figure out that I wasn't understanding a single word of what they were saying. But, Mr. half-drunk was more resourceful (I guess he had one drink less than what I thought) and, lo and behold! His took off again, this time in English.

"Where ... (burp) ... where do u want to go Haaan?"
"Electronics City"
"blah blah ... then ... ermmm ... go inside! Don't trouble us" (trouble? us?)
"I can't. It's not tall enough for me to stand there..."
"No ... go inside! ... something in Kannada"
"I don't understand Kannada"

If you are new to Bangalore, well, never say the sentence above, trust me. Because, three more people jumped in at this, so now I was being lectured, for nothing, by 5 people. The fact that I can't speak Kannada, could cause this, was ... appalling. I was disgusted, frankly. When I couldn't take it anymore I gave a really cold stare to one of them ... he immediately kept quiet. I felt then that I should've done that much earlier.

Thankfully the conductor intervened, on my behalf. Mr. half-drunk didn't stop at all, however. His lecture continued till he got off, 20 minutes later. He shouted at me, in Kannada again, and what I gathered from a hindi speaking bystander later, it was some bad abuse. I still don't understand the point of him exercising his lungs, shouting at me, for over 30 mins, when I didn't understand one single word of it. Well, ignorance is bliss, as they say, it made no difference to me!

The stuff continued till I got off at Electronics City, it was public ragging. Mr. half-drunk left, Mr. I-can-talk-better-nonsense took his place. It made no sense to them, whatsoever, that I couldn't understand anything coming out of their mouths. I don't know if that is ridiculous, funny or just sad :-)

I preferred keeping my mouth shut (not completely true, but close enough!) Well, what would you have done?