Day 28 100words100days What if Hindi were the lingua franca instead of English?

400 words, almost all of them my own. Thank you Ann May and Marv for your suggestions, whether or not I used them.

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If Hindi were the lingua franca, I’d be writing this post in Devnagri script. I could do that even now, but most people would not be able to read it. I’m considerate that way.

If Hindi were the lingua franca, schools would start teaching English late, and make it optional, and Hindi would be the medium of instruction everywhere. Words starting with W would not be common since Devnagri does not have a letter to represent that particular sound. Watt would be Vatt, the West would be the Vest, Wales would be Vales… you get the drift. Of course these changes in pronunciation would occur only if Hindi speakers deigned to use English.

Goans would not be considered weak at Hindi, and would all speak it as fluently as they do Konkani/English.

Nationals of Western countries would find it very hard to get jobs in the almighty East and Middle East, because employers would not believe that their first language could be Hindi, even if they grew up in a place that was primarily populated by Hindi-speaking peoples (reverse racism isn’t nice, is it?).

The people of the subcontinent would be content to communicate in Hindi and their regional languages and would not take the trouble to learn the ‘exotic’ languages of Europe.

To wish people on their birthdays, you would probably say janamdin ki shubhkaamnayein.

Shaktimaan and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi would be as popular worldwide as Heroes and The Bold and the Beautiful.

All the scientists in The Big Bang Theory would be subcontinental except for the token white immigrant.

Bollywood would be even bigger than it is. The aam aadmi still wouldn’t know Shahrukh Khan (to answer the question that everybody wants to ask). In fact the mango man (inside joke: please like if you got it) would be even less likely to interact with the stars because there would be billions more throwing vorldvide themselves at them.

Slumdog Millionaire, on the other hand, would not have created quite so much buzz.

Some hypotheticals I can’t take credit for: India would be a superpower, the INR (Indian Rupee, for those who don’t know) would be the currency against which all other currencies would be measured – only to fall woefully short, and people would migrate to India in search of the Bharatiya Sapna (Google’s translation of Indian Dream. I do not accept responsibility for its accuracy).

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Day 29: Write a letter to yourself in a past life.

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Day 11 100Words100days Write a counterfactual piece around some historical event

232 words this time. As it turns out, writing counterfactual history is much harder than I anticipated. It requires a fair amount of research that I just didn’t have time to do. Today’s trouble wasn’t a question of what do I write, but where in history I begin. There are so many factors, circumstances and personalities that contribute to making a historic or historical event. If you change just one, does the whole equation change too?

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It was early on the morning of the 19th of December 1961, in a sleepy little village in the north of Goa, Estado da India. The papers had just been set down in front of the newspaper shop, the headlines in Portuguese somberly declaring that Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, had agreed to sit down with General Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal, to discuss the fate of the Portuguese territories in India.

The international community had been surprised by the sudden cordiality between the two belligerent parties. They were unaware that the Governor-General of Portuguese India, Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva, had secretly negotiated with the Indians for months to set up the conference.

The meeting between the two leaders took place about a year later. In what would later be regarded as a landmark moment for in the movement for decolonization, Nehru suggested a gradual phasing out of Portuguese rule and the ceding of territory to India, to take place over 30 years. Salazar, after a great deal of thought, accepted the proposal. Both Nehru and Salazar grew in the estimation of the international community, because of the mature way they handled the complex problem of what to do with a few small parcels of land. Salazar did not follow this policy with the remaining Portuguese colonies because they were considerably larger.

In 1993, Goa became a part of India.

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If for some reason you find this post does not conform to your personal version of patriotism, I think you are reading the wrong blog. No apologies for being Goan first.

Trailer for Day 12: Write an article about women in stand-up comdey