On telangANA telugu

Ramakrishna S. Pillalamarri (pkrishna@ARL.MIL)
Tue, 4 Mar 97 17:26:42 EST


Recently Juvvadi Ramana referred to somebody who would remark to him, 
"Telangana vaadivaitenemiti, telugu saahityamlO kuda interest  
choopistunnaavu"

That of course has the implication that chaste telugu, and an interest 
in its literature properly belong to the denizens of the "Andhra" region, 
and a Juvvadi Ramana or a Ramakrishna Pillalamari, or a Tirumala 
Desikachary is an exception to the rule.

Which doesn't take into account how the various fringe areas of AP 
(as all such areas of all states) have been influenced by the language/ 
customs/literature of neighbouring states. This is seen in the Oriya 
influence on Srikakulam telugu (as is sometimes manifested in this 
medium by one of its foremost exponents, brahmaSree pAranandi 
lakshmee narasimha bAv), kannaDa influence on anantapuram telugu 
(perhaps we could ask for a sample of this from sadAnanda), Tamil 
influence on Nellore & Chittoor telugu (dunno who among the membership 
is from this hallowed region) and so on. Which leaves the people in the 
heartland (is it?) of Guntur, Krishna and a few other districts to 
"claim" the authenticity of their language.

Telugu in telangANA districts has of course been influenced by Urdu, 
because of the government, kannaDa and maharAshTra because of the 
then composition of Hyderabad state. Yet, in the heartland of telangANA, 
in the districts such as warangal, kareemnagar, ... a variety of telugu, 
purer than what many people from Andhra (the word is used here to 
distinguish this region from telangANA, it is not meant to convey that 
this region is no less telugu than telangANA is no less Andhra; perhaps 
we should the erstwhile "movie distributors' nomenclature", such as 
naizAm, circar and ceded districts!) use nowadays. Words such as 'eruka' 
for memory (prahlAda lists 'Atma lO nerukayun' as one of the nine paths 
of bhakti), 'ErpaDa' for comprehension ('elli raNamme gUrcedavo, yErpaDa 
delpumu kouravESwarA!' concludes the famous 'celliyo, cellakO' poem) are 
still used in telangANA area, even as others find these 'amusing'.

I can probably list some more of such words. My 'Andhra' cousins thought 
words such as 'manchi' (as opposed to 'bAgA'), 'doDDu' (aot 'lAvu'), 
'pOtunnA' (aot 'veLutunnA'), 'calla' (aot 'majjiga'), 'nallA' (aot 
'pampu' or 'kuLAyi')... a bit funny. Of course, in my last visit 
over there, I found that the regional variations are getting less 
pronounced, getting mixed-up, ... Probably the influence of Television. 
If so, why didn't Radio and Movies have this influence?

There are two aspects to telangANA telugu that make it sound different. 
One is the abundance of many 'acca-telugu' words, words that have lost 
their currency elsewhere. The other is the presence of many words 
borrowed from Urdu language; political/legal/social..., such as dastaqat, 
vakAlat, lashkar, parEshAn, jaldee, ... The two strains are different, 
especially in the interior places. Growing up in Secunderabad, my telugu 
had fewer of urdu words mixed in it, than that of people from the 
neighbouring city, Hyderabad. Perhaps a similar difference is present in 
the telugu of say, kareemnagar, and adilAbAd or mahbUbnagar. Someone from 
those areas ought to comment on this aspect.

Oh, the dig by Tata Prasad about me being a 'gunTur chilli' is because 
a) my parents were from tenAli (and its environs), and b) that I still 
retain a capsicum-preference that keeps me in constant search of 'hot' 
food, travel with a bottle of hot sauce, and generally get frustrated at 
pretty bland food served everywhere (including the Pillalamarri 
residence!)

Ramakrishna "nEnu mulkee naitE mee kenduku parEshAn!" Pillalamarri