Sunday, January 28, 2007
I am in Mallappally, 30 km south of Kottayam Kerala, for a family wedding. This morning we had been to a nearby village called Karukachal. As we were buying vegetables, two persons, in a car, came to an adjacent shop to buy chicken. They were speaking Hindi and new not a word of Malayalam, only a smattering of English. I was surprised to find that the lady at the shop did understand a bit of Hindi. My father-in-law explained that the scene was changing in Kerala. Many people, especially shopkeepers, can understand not just English but Hindi too. One reason is the commercial interest stemming out of increased tourists coming from the north. And, the other, the exposure to Hindi serials on TV.