Have you ever been on a trip to any place in India, where you didn’t know the language spoken locally? How did you feel? How did you manage to communicate?
During my tour to Tamil Nadu, I happened to visit a small village. It is near the temple town of Kanchipuram. Actually, I went there to buy some sarees for my mother and my elder sister. I went to a handloom shop. The shopkeeper welcomed me with folded hands and wished ‘namaskaram’. I did the same. I said ‘sarees ’. He responded by saying “ilia’ or ‘Yella or something like that. He said something to the helpers. I could not understand even a word. Many new sarees of different colours were laid before me. I picked up one and asked the price. He raised three fingers—I couldn’t make out whether he was asking for three hundred or three thousand. A man who knew some Hindi saved me from the embarrassment. I paid six thousand and bought two sarees. Only then I realised that I was a stranger in my own country and I determined to learn at least one language that is spoken in South India.