Although ‘chennagide’ is just a word in Kannada, meaning “…it’s beautiful” but its more than just a word for me. Let me brief you on this. It’s quite strange when you are working in a new place and you are not aware of their local languages and what they speak about.
Thanks to an old friend of mine who taught me few common Kannada words. You hear a lot more words but understand only those few words when your new office colleagues speak. Although its been couple of years me residing in Bengaluru, but I am not being so fluent in comprehending fully about what is being said. I can figure out the topics or subjects that they talk about but cannot make out in details.
And one of such word that my colleagues use is ‘chennagide’. They might not be using the exact form of this word, but yes, they meant things to be beautiful of whatever they are discussing about.
Its quite funny to transcript their speech in my mind and it goes like…
dash-dash-dash- chennagide- dash -dash
where you don’t understand what they dash words means, but anyways you enjoy their company.
My new office colleagues are quite friendly having huge friend circles within different teams that they have been working together couple of years around. The favorite part of their generosity is that we all share our tea-time together.
So, we are around score of people sitting in our cafeteria, where we join two or more tables enjoying our filter coffee with snacks sometimes. We hardly speak anything that is quite common for all the people sitting round the table. The tea table discussion seems so big where everybody speaks of different topics. Few of them will be talking about the politics and the religious issues, few will be discussing on the news and other problems that the country is facing, few will be discussing about shopping and few will be discussing on movies and technologies. Its kind of quite strange when everybody in the group will be discussing these topics in their local languages and you quite of just listen them and enjoy your tea and when someone says hogona…which means let’s go…teatime is over. And one thing that is common on all their talks regardless of the topics is the word ‘chennagide’ or some form of this word (though they are more words common, but I understand only this word).
Sometimes I am also accompanied by them if the discussion is on news that is of my interest or if they are discussing about movies and technologies. But mostly it seems quite fascinating for me as if you have come to cafeteria and you are sitting on a couch and you are just listening to them as if you just came to watch a television where you just listen to what others are discussing. Similar to a television if you don’t like what they are talking about or if you can’t hear them as they are sitting on the far corner you just need to switch to a different channel, listen to a different discussion and enjoy your evening tea.
At times, I reminisced my tea-time in my previous organization where it was more fun to talk about our food, our attractions and crushes, love-lives and to mock our seniors (which is common across all tea tables). But what always is truly said that the past is past and enjoy the present. So, whatever my new office colleagues discuss, I try to indulge myself in their talks, indulge myself to them to make myself feel that I am not alone, and I am one of them too.
I enjoy their company, be it was for a few minutes of their talks or sometimes a little longer. Few of my colleagues would been asking me the same question for months that whether it’s boring for me to sit among them, whether it's been easy for me to understand their local language or whether I am enjoying my teatime or not. My lead would sometime help me in translating whatever they speak of and especially suggested to learn Kannada as quickly as there is a lot of humor and wits in their talks that I am missing.
Months flew apart and it was quite habituated to love listening to their talks and their languages and now I can comprehend few more words and became familiar with their ascent.
But now since it has been over fifty days of the nationwide lock-down, we don’t have any office teatime now. I hardly listen to any Kannada words now. Every word that I grasped is diminishing to void now. Truly in one sentence, I am missing my colleagues, my office days, my cafeteria and their talks.
I am missing those faces with smiles that would ask me the same silly questions about whether its boring for me to have tea with them. Pre-lockdown I had never realized the importance of these tea-time discussions but during the lock-down I am really missing them as presently I am just gazing through the empty world outside the windows and listening to the humming sound of the fan and not enjoying my evening tea.
There are a lot of words that I know but there is some heartiest feeling when I hear this word ‘chennagide’. I don’t know what’s the reason behind this because I am not so great in comprehending my heart, but I feel it simply signifies me that there are few words that you give more importance to your life, may be because they just don’t appeal to be good, may be there is something more associated with those words in your life. Similarly like there are a lot of friends and relatives that you know and they care about you, but just like the word ‘chennagide’ you choose few of such person be it a guardian, a friend or a mentor that promises most appealing to your mind and heart.
Anyways there are a lot of lessons that need to be learnt during this lock-down and this is one of them that I am missing these people and their talks which I was not so fond of during those days. So, what I suggest is always to live for the present and enjoy it. I never thought I would write this, but what else would you do when the lock-down gets extended as if some sequel series going on.