“Chalta hai k jaino”

|Author: Jaspreet|

“Chalta hai k jaino” is a phrase I see myself using more and more. Meaning “Are you gonna go or should I leave?” My interaction with the auto drivers has changed a lot since day one. Going from 150 rupees a ride, no matter the distance, to using the meter, I have come a long way with getting around the city without getting ripped off.

Hindi seems to be a common tongue that I can use to interact with the drivers and other locals. Since learning Hindi in school, I never thought it would come into this much use. Like many of us know, most schools around here teach three languages to the kids in school: Hindi, English, and a regional language. Not only have I become more comfortable speaking Hindi, I feel that I’m becoming more open about my thoughts and see myself being vocal

with the locals. It just seems normal to speak Hindi with everyone. My only regret is that I didn’t watch more Bollywood movies to prepare for this adventure. Every day seems to be a learning opportunity, and it gets that much more exciting when I have to use my broken Hindi to get through to the locals.

While it is nice to be able to communicate with everyone, I have also seen the magic at work while seeing my fellow students interact with the locals. I sometimes ask myself about how I would have been able to get my words across to people if I didn’t have Hindi and boy, have I been surprised. Every time I go out with any of the other students, I learn that they don’t need a common tongue to get what they want. If anything, people seem more inclined to help when a foreigner asks them something. Seeing people connect on a few words they know and understand, the beauty of talking to strangers doesn’t require knowing the same language.

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