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Inked Tapestries: Beautiful Words in Regional Languages (Part-2)

Let us dive into the world of worldly wisdom once again and explore the ingenuity of some more Indian regional languages.

Flapping high over the entire land of India with its exquisite and magnificent wings spread all over, the angelic and beauteous bird of language is one that captivates universal attention. Filled with aesthetics to the core, and mellifluous words language is not only the medium of communication for individuals but a communion of hearts too.

MEITEI

regional languages

Acting as the mode of communication for roughly 1.5 million Manipuri, Meitei is the soul of Manipuri heartland and a proud member of 29 d other distinctive ethnic gatherings of Manipur. The honour of acknowledgement as a ‘scheduled language’ was bestowed upon the language in 1992. A well reminisced fact is how Manipur became the locus from which all languages of Tibeto-Burman family spread and broadened. This too did complicate the tracing of Manipuri languages’s family tree.

At a time when Manipuris were angry, at a time of grief, when the wounds of war were still raw, before the pain of subjugation by the British had subsided, the princess of Manipur became the wife of the enemy.

 MK Binodini Devi

With a plethora of laurels and accolades, including the Sahitya Akademi award, the language of Meitei comprises such excellent writers such as Kshetri Rajen, Jodhachandra Sanasam, etc. One eloquent word is Atiya (sky), which paints a picture of the never ending sky of the Meitei literature that has no boundaries restricting itself. 

MARATHI

Descending from the grandeur of the Maratha warriors is Marathi. With a literature spanning the entirety of Shivaji’s reign and his successors’ exploits, Marathi is of utmost interest to scholars of modern History. The intrigues of the Maratha court, the pompous ascents to battle, and a brave dynasty’s reluctant surrender to Company rule prior to commencement of a new era in our shared history, all find mention in Marathi tomes.

The Marathi word Aai is a beautiful encapsulation of all that language is: a mother who nurtures your deepest fears in the tongue of your heart, in whose lap are you cradled from your very first breath, your first love.

ORIYA

Oriya is the principal official language of the Indian territory of Odisha. It possesses quite a few languages such as Mughalbandi /Coastal Odia, the standard tongue and language of education in the state. Oldest of the Eastern components of Indo-Aryan family, Odia was conceived  from Ardha Magadhi Prakrit. Albeit tracing itself all the way back to the 10th century CE, Odia was in practicality undefined from Bengali until the 11th century. 

From a bud of the evening a flower opens its petal in the dawn. The world sees the bud of the last night smiling with nectar on its lips. No one observed the diligence that was needed for the opening of each petal.

 Pratibha Ray

Revered writers from the womb of Odisha language include Manoj Das, and Sarojini Saaho, who have contributed their lives for the growth of their child, Odia. Khusi i.e. happiness in the Odia script delineates the river of happiness that one can submerge in during the course of one’s lifetime by just engaging with the literature of a tongue of speech. 

PUNJABI

The unpolished edge of Punjabi rolls off the tongue like newly-mined gems of the yore, beckoning the speaker back to her roots. Carrying along a sense of regret at never being opportune enough to learn the language of my heart, only so far can I go with pride over my accent. As if a faint trace of memory this accent from the land of the five rivers, percolates into my Hindi, and together the two dissolve into the larger flooding of English.

When the body perishes, all perishes; but the threads of memory
are woven with enduring specks.

Amrita Pritam

Two generations before I was a thought, I was removed from my mother tongue. Hindi became a step mother in the coming decades, but was again abandoned for the lure of English so coveted by our education system. This is perhaps a rite of passage for most of India: so lost have we been in the ethos and pathos of nation building that the glue of English has slowly become a web of intrigue. One beautiful word from Punjabi is Jhalli roughly translated as ‘lovable idiot.’

SANSKRIT

regional languages

Of all the rivers of speech that flow into the heart of the ancient land of Bharata, one possesses such dignity of age that the essence of Indian-ness down to every drop takes genesis in its literature: Sanskrit, the wise old grandmother. With age her regal beauty has only enhanced.

The mind of age is like a lamp whose oil is running thin; One moment it is shining bright, then darkness closes in.

Kalidasa

Giving due regard to the seniority of Sanskrit, the constitution gave it a due position in the constitution with the hopes of preserving its antiquity in modern day. It is one of the 6 classical languages of India. A beautiful word here is Tilottama translated as ‘perfection down to every atom’, a perfection of letters that built up into words of esteemed beauty; words that got passed down as heirlooms to other languages of the land.

SINDHI

regional languages

In India, where Sindhi is one of the languages recognized by the constitution, there are barely 2.5 million speakers, including the two speakers of the Kachchhi tongue living in Kachchh, on the Pakistan outskirts, and networks slid from Sindhi-talking outsiders who had left Pakistan in 1947–48 and who are generally gotten comfortable Gujarat and Maharashtra states. As an aftereffect of the verifiably disengaged circumstance of Sindh in the lower Indus valley, Sindhi is recognized inside Indo-Aryan by numerous semantic highlights of its own.

Mother, those who truly think of the beloved do not weep or say anything…

Abdul Latif

Eminent Sindhi writers include Moti Prakash,  Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Beg  who have enriched this language with their notable contributions and filled the threshold with uncountable prizes. The word, Abnaasi (everlasting) sings the poetry of both joy and happiness that a permanent residents in one’s life.

TAMIL

regional languages

Sari is Tamil waxing eloquent: a perfect summation of the pitiful year past that we have survived together. Translated as ‘okay’, it gives a sense of us being ‘just fine’ in the aftermath of 2020. Thus, I include it here to symbolize a collective victory over the forces that swept us along in a tide of melancholia with the pandemic, political turmoil, a string of natural disasters, and an immensely public grief hovering over-head. 

Though our Mother’s age no one can compute, alone on Earth does she shine, forever in virgin bloom. Three hundred million her faces are, but all of them throb with one vibrant life. Eighteen are the languages that she speaks, but animating them all is only one thought…

Subramania Bharati

2020 was the year when ??? became a cry of hope, a weapon against the nation-wide spate of mental disorders. ‘Okay’ is a word that continues to give us hope and make us believe that everything will be fine. It would not be impertinent to say that in this manner the timelessness of Tamil burned rutilant across the turbulent history of the Nation and once again gave us hope. 

TELUGU

Lording over the languages of the South is Telugu’s firm self-conviction. There is no shortage of literary eminences here who boast of the dizzying heights of linguistic aptitude soared by Telugu in good natured professions. While the Southern banter over which language possesses the crowning glory of the peninsula is beyond the scope of our discussion, what we do bring you is Thodu Telugu for company: for it is the language of one’s birthplace that stands by when all else is swept away.

If you ask why a work in Telugu: I am Telugu and King of Telugus… by speaking Telugu you will know that of all languages Telugu is the sweetest!

Amuktamalyada by Krishnadeva Raya

Called variously ‘sundara Telunga’ by Subramania Bharati for its uniquely lyrical words that all end in vowels, this ‘Italian of the East’ once received hearty praises from the mouth of Rabindranath Tagore himself!

URDU

regional languages

Urdu has the tastefulness of French, the convention and function of the English, the pleasantness of dialects like Bangla and Japanese, and the lyrical sweetness of Italian. Regardless of bits status as a new dialect, the absolute, most extravagant bits of writing can be found in this language. Phonologically, the Urdu sounds are equivalent to those of Hindi with the exception of slight varieties in vowels. Fairly younger as compared to the wizened old voices on this list, Urdu possesses all the beauty and vigour of youth.

The respectfulness in this language (known as tehzeeb) makes it beautiful.

Kamal Saigal

The beauty possessed by Urdu has been mesmerising individuals for generations now, and can be deciphered in its collection of awards, especially the prestigious Jnanpith accolades. Ruhaaniyat which means soulfulness, encapsulates the entire nature of the Urdu language in a nutshell. 

Thus fall the curtains on the stage of Indian diversity. We certainly hope that our endeavour has been thrilling.

Why not give yourself a shot and learn what some words from your language would sound like in any of the aforementioned regional languages here?

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Feature Image Credits: Pinterest

Himasweeta Sarma
himasweeta@gmail.com

Samya Verma
samyasverma.work@gmail.com

Author

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.