So R has her Hindi exams today..And she has to write all the swars ..for the non initiated, it means writing the a, aa, e, ee, o, oo..till ah…the other bit, ka, kha, ga, gha, are known as vyanjans…
Anyways, so the girl is telling me the swars loudly..
a, aa, e, ee, o, oo, Ru..and then RD butts in ‘ Its Ri, not Ru’
I look at him and say ‘its Ru’
No, he says, its Ri..
R looks between the two of us as if we are playing tennis and the ball keeps going from one player to another, and finally says ‘Baas, both of you, its Ru as per my teacher’
I give RD a triumphant look.
Thats because your teacher is a Gujarati…its Ru in Gujarati, In Hindi its Ri..we say Rishi..not Rushi…
Of course we say Rushi, I tell him…
and then R agained looked at us exasperatedly and said, Oh both of you, its fine…
But we wont leave it…I mean, married for 7 years and end an argument without settlement..not happening folks!
anyways, so I call up the mater.
Amma, I tell her..hmmm she says
a, aa, e,ee, o,oo…Ru or Ri..?
What, what, what she says perplexed at my lack of introduction to anything..
Arey Hindi Hindi, I tell her
oh she says and tells Ru
All this on the loudspeaker
RD is upset that his co-Calcuttan has not supported him
Amma, he says, you have been influenced by the Gujarat culture…
Eh? she says…
And I butt in, see see..its Ru, its Ru
By now, the guy is furiously searching on his mobile phone to prove his point..
It is Ri..there is no doubt on that..
Gah! I tell him…
and then Appa, the ever diplomat comes on the phone to says well, you can call it either Ri or Ru..I think it depends on the state from where you are…
Gah! say both RD and I together (We are united on that one eh?)
by now we have cut the phone to Goa, R is half asleep and we are STILL arguing..
Uff…amma, appa, says R, I dont care, ek minute both of you, I am going to say Ru because thats how teacher has taught it..it be Ru or Ri..chalega okay? and I dont have to speak, I have to write
Ah! well, but we need to get it right eh?
Then I remember I have a colleague who has been brought up in Meerut..which means he will get it right…I first thought of calling Smita but she has spent some time in Ahm, which means RD can accuse me of calling co-pseudo-Gujjus..so I refrain from calling her..
My colleague agrees with RD..he gives me a triumphant look…I have to accept defeat 😦
Until, the man I married is sweet enough to show me this link
In Sanskrit (ऋचा) the pronunciation varies based on the geography and native language of the speakers. Hindi speaking populace would pronounce the Sanskrit word as “Richa” as opposed to Marathi or Kannada speaking populace. Both the ‘Ru’ and ‘Ri’ pronunciations are correct and are regional variants. In Maharashtra and Karnataka, the letter ऋ is pronounced ‘Ru’, whereas it is pronounced ‘Ri’ by speakers of Hindi. The Hindi script is identical to the Sanskrit script.
So, the argument settles finally after more than an hour’s fight..
R is bugged by now, and I am not sure what she is finally going to pronounce it 🙂
Imagine if a single letter can create such havoc in the R household, how awesomely interesting are our fights on bigger issues eh?