I studied Hindi in my earlier schoolings for 4 yrs, so I can read and write Hindi, however I can’t speak in Hindi at that time (2004). Though I worked in North India, I was unable to learn Hindi at that time, because of the Tamil guys who around me for all the 11 months. And I never bother to learn at that time, now also. All matter of communication made me to learn. Till the time I reach London, I never thought that Hindi will be casually spoken language among all Indians nevertheless of which state. Not only in UK, where ever in the world, the most common language among Indians is Hindi. I did realize when I start going abroad this same after travelling a lot.
Let describe about myself, tamilnadu and regarding Hindi. Tamil is the first language and English the second language in TNadu. Though capital of TN-Chennai, only a small portion of people learns Hindi in their schoolings, so they are safe when they move to other states or country. Being a remote village guy, I hear only there is a cricket match that too when the commentary is in Hindi.
I can’t only blame on Dravidian parties now for Anti-Hindi strikes during 1970's. The anti-Hindi parties, Dravidian political parties playing to the tunes in 60's. Now, not a single party wants to touch the subject. Was it a big hindrance to mainstream integration, yes of course? When talking about globalization, it is ashamed of not learning a national language. Still I can say, there is no need of Hindi in tamilnadu, until you stay. Else learn Hindi. Our states have been separated based on languages, I agree. Tamilnadu is literally separated by language. I indulge everybody to learn Hindi till the extent of communication. Bloody language is a just communication media, once you know the media is required, don’t hesitate to learn it. Local Business men stays in tamilnadu, however they need to talk to other language people once they come out of their state. I have seen lot many business people learned Hindi, so as the IT employees because of survival.
An interesting incident happened in Paris for me which really made ashamed that I don’t know Hindi, Punjabi either. Under the tower, people sell the toy towers, key chains and bla bla. I liked a Eiffel tower toy which is made up of Glass with sparkling lights, I started bargaining with an Afro guy for 12 Euros which Afro guy demanding to us to get it for 17 Euros. At the same time an India chap came with key chains and shown those chains, said something in Hindi, I got a word 5 (paanch), so I thought he is trying to sell those chains to me. I thought I am over smart and bargained with Indian guy to give 5 chains for 2 Euros. He said okay and I bought it still my wife is bargaining with Afro guy, that Indian moved for 2 steps and said with other guy that" samja nahi" yaar. I was confused what he is saying; how long a guy can act that he knows the language. Finally my wife bargained for 12 Euros and bought that tower statue, we were amazed that we got it for 12 Euros. Then that Indian guy came and said that statue is worth for 5 Euros that is what he was trying to convey to me in Hindi, by the time he acted to afro guy that he selling the chains to us.
Yeah, it is a simple loss of 7 Euros; however this incident impacted me a lot to take a ‘U’ turn to learn Hindi properly. Now I am able to read, write and talk Hindi fluently. This is my suggestion” learn Hindi, if you want to come out of the state for any reason”.