Kannada and Hindi are harsh sounding languages to the uninitiated. To add to this, Hindi and Kannada speakers gesture wildly and shout whenever they speak together; no matter the subject. Not being able to speak either language, I can merely observe the volume and the body language. Whenever our driver pulls up to someone on the side of the road to ask for directions, it is easy to let my imagination run wild:
You there by the side of the road. You are a piglet!
Sir! I am a Muslim! Call me anything you like, BUT DO NOT CALL ME A PIGLET!
The shouting and gestures have now reached a fever pitch.
YOU ARE A MURDEROUS PIGLET!
YOU BE CAREFUL! I’M A BUTCHER BY PROFESSION; MY HAND SLITS THE THROAT OF THE COW!
HA! I AM CHRISTIAN! YOU MAY BUTCHER THE COW, BUT I EAT IT. AND I EAT IT IN THE POOJA ROOM! WHO IS STRONGER? THE ONE WHO MERELY KILLS THE COW? OR THE ONE WHO EATS IT?
NOW YOU’VE DONE IT! OUR FAMILIES SHALL FEUD FOR THE NEXT SEVEN GENERATIONS!
Then the smile and wave to each other. Wrenzo turns to me and says:
He says we should take the next left. It is across from the police station.