Friday, April 28, 2006

Losing our national soul

Bush on the national anthem in Spanish comedy:

"One of the things that's very important is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul,'' the president exclaimed. ''One of the great things about America is that we've been able to take people from all walks of life bound as one nation under God. And that's the challenge ahead of us."

Now I know why we Indians lost our national soul. Because our national anthem is in Bengali.


Falstaff said...

I suppose. Though a true Bong would claim that if you leave Bengal out of the picture there wasn't that much soul to lose in the first place. Also, are you still allowed to make disparaging remarks about Bengali - isn't it now your mother tongue by marriage?

Veena said...

Falstaff: Yeah, it has been claimed. "You mean the rest of the country has a soul?" was what was asked.

All the more reason why I can make disparaging comments about the language. I am doing this all out of love of my "mother tongue by marriage" you see.

MockTurtle said...

Hey, come on now. You know I hate to agree with Falstaff, but we Bongs ARE the soul of India, just as you Tams are the brains (Although, of course, there are a lot more Bong Nobel laureates than there are Tam)

Patrix said...

Bongs are the soul and Tams are the what about the others? riff-raffs? :)

Tabula Rasa said...

veena, patrix:
my history teacher from school comes to mind -- "thi brahmins are thi brains of society; thi kshatriyas are thi arms, thi sudras are thi lags, and thi vaishyas, they are - bete just - thi bally." [cue grin and circular rubbing motion]

Veena said...

MT: Spoken like a true Bong. And more Nobels? Really? Are you counting Mother Teresa here? C'mon.

Patrix: You mean you don't want to be the riff-raff?

Tabula rasa: So if I have a pot belly do I get classified as a vaishya? Maybe thats a good way of sorting people into castes.

MockTurtle said...

Veena, regarding Nobels for Bongs and Tams. Mother Teresa became an Indian citizen in 1948, so I'm putting her down as a Bengali. I believe that makes it 3-2 with Bongs in the lead.

Veena said...

MT: If you say so. But really, she was an Indian citizen alright but does that make her Bong?
On the other hand, Chandra isn't Indian but he is def Tam :)

Tabula Rasa said...

so if we went that way, would you be for or against reservations?

(btw -- the pedant in me [ouch] is itching to point out that you just confounded correlation with causation. sorry.)

Veena said...

Tabula rasa: Correlation causation all terms we don't understand. :)

If the reservation is for food and if vaishyas get reservation, I am all for it. But I guess it wouldn't work that way since vaishyas anyway have pot bellys, so I guess I am really against it.

Tabula Rasa said...


make reservation -> order food -> pot belly = causation.
pot reservation -> order veshya -> make belly = co-relation.

no reservation = a patchy indian.

see, easy.

scarecrow said...

American:Spanish :: Indian:Bengali
the analogy doesn't holds....-)

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

The National Anthem is actually in Hindi. The original was in pure Bangla, which is so close as to make ne'er no difference (both so close to the Sanskrit roots)

Can't help pointing out that so far, every Nobel from India has had a Calcutta connection. Right from Ronald Ross. (withdraws discreetly before the barrage starts)