Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mahan Gandhiye Mahan

Whenever this time of the year approaches, I am reminded of a song that has been my favorite song for many many years. 'Naam Iruvar' is a very good movie that was telecast several times in DD. It is such an old movie that most of the actors featuring in the movie might've died by the time I first saw the movie. It depicted good values and in general was a very goody goody type movie. The running time for 'Naam Iruvar' movie was 3+ hours but it felt more like a few years. There was a song every 2 minutes in that movie. As old technology and cheesy as the movie was it was certainly very endearing. My feelings towards Gandhi has changed over time from intense liking to indifference to critical to ' i don't care about having such opinions anymore'. But this song still remains one of my all time favorites


blackaccord said...

Its painful to listen to americans pronouncing Gandhi as 'GAN-DI'. It was nice to have a holiday on Oct 2nd during school days.. During college days wasnt the same as it was tough getting sarakku on Oct 2nd..

This song was good and so was 'Vettri ettu thikkum ettu''.. my fav was 'aaduvome pallu paaduvome'.. btw, nethikku matinee show ve innum mudiyalaiyaam...

Nappinnai said...

Americans pronounce the way we teach them to pronounce. Its a trajedy that indians americanise the indian names. There is no point in blaming americans. They pronounce my name correctly and I tell them the meaning of my name!

a:duvo:me: pallu pa:duvo:me is ma:nd ragam. Very nice.

Hawkeye said...


they pronounce it wrogly because indians are phonetically inaccurate in the way we spell indian names and words. And americans are more phonetic than british.

btw: you have a nice name. for a long time i thought Andal was referring to herself when she says 'nappinnai nangai...'.

Nappinnai said...

Hahaha....I caught you there. Why would anyone do self stuti? That's not allowed in Ramanuja's sampradayam. Nappinnai is the mediator between the jivatma and paramatma in SriKrishnavataram!
I hope atleast now you know the meaning of nappinnai! If not I will tell you:-)

Nappinnai said...

Bristish is phonetic??? Are you kidding. My dad says english is a prostitute and GB Shaw said the same thing in a different way. English is the most unphonetic language. BTW, my dad is too cool in English Lit.

You take tyrant and tyranny as an example. there is no rule in english to pronounce the syllables. If it were, both the words shoudl be pronounced the same way but they aren't.

Anonymous said...

aah, was expecting a gandhi-bashing post. MJ is ok, Gandhi is not. Hmmm.

Mandyam said...

the comment from anonymous is the stupidest comment i have seen in the blog world.

I said...

"maakan" instead of mahan.

Nappinnai said...

That's why Einstein said "only two things are infinite: Universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former".

It looks like many folks on the blog world have hatredness for logic!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful dance by the girl, whoever it was.


Sreekrishnan said...

Hawkeye Sir - Indians Have a very spashtam way of saying things which is precisely why you find the "Indian Accent". POint is how much you use your tongue, mouth and the Stomach to pronounce a word. [Read Sanskrit] In that way, english is not even defined. They use the lips ... thats it !

And some americans do make it a point to pronounce names properly, for example my Manager made me say my name twice or 3 times to understand the n.a.n, "Shree" of Sree... And he did pronounce Gandhi the way it is supposed to be.

I just told him not to think the English way to pronounce the name. THink of it native. he got the logic and now he can pronounce Manimegalai so well !

With all due respects to the man in question, He is among the batch of people who fought to solve a problem and gave us another !

Hawkeye said...


each language has its own phonetic system. as good as indians are in their own phonetic system it need not translate to expertise in some other system.

on the second topic - as i said i have given up having opinions on gandhi.

Nappinnai said...

English is a derived language and it is not phonetic. Forget about Mani Mekhalai. My russian friend can pronounce the unique "zha" of thamizh. I showed her how the tongue goes when that letter is pronounced. And she got it. Too much assumption goes among Indians that americans can't pronounce the name and so the indians themselves screw the names. EVerybody has a mouth and tongue. All it requires is a good teacher, a good student and little bit of practice. This reminds me of a real joke.

The Physicist Feynman met an artist and they had a pact. Feynman will teach the artist "Physics" and the artist will teach Feynman "how to sketch/draw". Feynman became a very good artist but the artist didn't pick up any Physics. What does it say? Artist was a good teacher but bad student, Feynman a good student and a good/bad teacher.

What can Gandhi do, if people around him didn't have the same mentality. Let the dead man rest in peace. My mother always used to tell "you do 999 good deeds and 1 bad deed, ppl will forget the 999 but will remember that 1 misdeed. That's the nature of human mind".

BTW how many indians are well versed in samskrt? Few.

Hawkeye said...


i don't want to interrupt. disclamer: the scope of what i said relates to blackaccord's comment on the way amercan's pronounced gandhi. to which i replied that the way we write indian words in english script is phonetically wrong. which is what causes them to prounounce it that way.

so what you say may be correct(i think i already made a post on it). but its a very different topic altogether.

sathyamoorthi said...

It is a very relevent point on pronounciation of names by Americans or the British. There has been a very systematic murder of Tamizh in the guise of driving Smaskrutham out of the state.The percentage of people correctly spelling the number 7 and suddham in Thamizh is in single digits. Watch the Thamizh channels news and serials. A very sad development indeed!!

Anonymous said...

I am so confused, why would nappinai's dad call English a prostitute?

I don't have any "hatredness" for English. Er...

So go ahead, enlighten us on the meaning of your name..........

Sreekrishnan said...

I was talking about pronunciation and that comes from what i say to what they hear. Not from what i write to what they think it is. On the latter, i accept you are correct.

its like an english asking who gave you the rights to use ZH for the sound we use for, when the entire world apart from Thami"zh"s and Malayalees do not know of that sound?

on the second question on the man, quite surprised to read this considering the post of the title.

My Oct 2 was
Hawkeye Post, Hey Ram Movie, and responses to the post !

Nappinnai said...

Hawkeye, my whole point is samskrt is highly phonetic and since English is a derived language, no way can you express samskrt(every syllable has a meaning unlike english) in english in a sensible way. English came much later. Samskrt is older than Latin and thamizh is as old as samskrt.

GW Shaw(playwright)left all his wealth to correct English Language as it has no rules and regulations. You can pronounce the way you want. If you think about english alphabets and if you remember the way they are pronounced, then in principle, it should be strictly applied to words(As they are made of alphabets). But it is not case.

I know little bit of German which is phonetic like samskrt. How you pronounce the alphabets is carried to the words. Period.

Since there is no "fundamentally" defining structure in English, my father(is an expert in English Litt) calls it a prostitute(po:rampo:kku lang in thamizh!).

I have some european friends, They pronounce our words correctly, because French, German,Latin,greek all have common traits with Samskrt.

Pronounciation is actually pronounced as "pronunciation". Why then, unnecessarily one vowel "o" sitting in the middle idle, remove it. That's why american english has removed certain vowels from words like "neighbor as against neighbour, color instead of colour and so on".

You get the point. There is no way to translate the thamizh "zha(this itself is ridiculous)" in any language as no other language has it(with the exception of malayalam)

When I hear British English, I feel they are in the restroom with some diarrhea/constipation problem!

I will write separately the meaning of "nappinnai".

Hawkeye said...

For a gandhi related blog , i have to say there is too much diarrhea, constipation, prostitution, porampokkuness etc..


Nappinnai said...

Anonymous and other "anonymous" anonymous!!!!!!!

Here is the explanation for nappinnai......

This word was coined by a:zhva:rs(South indian mystical saints) and its mentioned in many places in their thesis called "na:la:yira divya prabandham(4000 hymns)". But the samskrt equivalent is called "ni:la devi". Purusha suktham is the essence of all vedas and it clearly says "na:ra:yana" is the creator, sustainer, and the destroyer. HE is the husband of Sri, Bhu and Nila devi.

All the three proponents namely Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya of the respective doctrines advaitam, srivishishtadvaitam, and dvaitam have only used "na:ra:yana" shabdam in their commentaries for "brahma su:tram".

In thamizh, "na" stands for goodness. "pinnai" means who/that came later. "nappinnai" refers to someone who came after "someone". That someone is "sita". Krishnavataram is after Ramavataram.

There is only one God(you can call Him by whatever name you want and HE appears in that form!). In our religion we call that God as "paramatma". Then there is "sentient/chetana" and "non-sentient/achetana". Unlike other religions, in ours there is an atma even in animals and plants and even jadam(inanimate). I can talk about Veg and non-veg food here. Well that's for some other occasion.

In Jivatma category, there are 3 types. 1) nitya who were never subject to karma (ii) mukta who were once caught in the karma cycle but now liberated and (iii) baddha like us who are still toiling in this samsara and writing and quarreling/fighting over some issues on blog!.

Sita was also a jivatma but nitya category, so is nappinnai and above all a:zhvars who were baddhas once. But the a:zhvars were handpicked by Him and HE Himself spoke the scripture through the main a:zhvar "nammazhvar/shatako:pa". This azhvar is hailed as kulapati(head of the family) for srivaishnavas. I don't know about others, in my house he is.

In Ramavataram, sita was the mediator between jivatma and paramatma and nappinnai was in Krishnavataram.

Let me give you a simple example. You want to catch a female elephant. You don't send lion, tiger, deer, cow to catch it. If you do, it will be inefficient and will not work. The best way is to send a male elephant and in no time you can catch both! Paramatma took so many incarnations to catch these jivatmas. Jivatma is a property of the paramatma and they are different categories and HE failed miserably. Only few got liberated.

Remeber on one side, HE is the Judge of karma; on other side HE is compassionate. Its paradoxical. Which side is going to pop when the jivatma stands infront of Him like a murderer standing infront of the Judge. He needs some lawyer/public procecutor to defend him. That mediator in Ramanuja sampradayam is Mahalakshmi.

Sita asks Him to forgive jivas' sins; bhumadevi(a:nda:l)hides sins from Him, niladevi doesn't even know what sin means.

Krishna had to tame 7 rishabhas to marry nappinnai. HE tames it by breaking its two horns(papa and punya) and releases the atman rom the clutches of samsara and experience the bliss with paramatma. The 7 rishabhas are "garbha,janma,ba:lya, yauvana,jara, marana and naraka".

As long as you have papa or punya in your balance sheet, you will undergo this birth/death cycle. That cycle has to break in order to get liberated.

BTW, birth is the association of Atma with the body and death is the disassociation of Atma from the body.

nappinnai is a srivaishnava name and so i had to give you some taste of that sampradayam. Pardon me for a lengthy mail!

PS: SV sampradayam goes by atma which doesn't have caste, age, gender, sex etc. There are 9 types of worship. The final stage is called "da:satvam/servitude". SVs would always say "Ramanuja dasa or simply dasa/dasi". WHen the ego(ignorance that atma and deha/body are one and the same)gets destroyed/removed, automatically "servititude" develops and we treat everyone as our own!!!

blackaccord said...

I don't care if americans can't say my name properly, because its long and not such a common name.. It would be similar to me trying to guess a polish name and I know that I'm gonna be wrong the first time I say it.. I expect people to get it over a period of time..
Gandhi is very popular figure and people who are talking about him know a little bit about him... I brought this up in original post because I have a coworker who's a big fan of him but still keeps calling him 'Gan-Di' even though I've corrected her a few times..

Coming to the point where americans are being phonetically accurate, I've had arguments with my co-workers about the pronounciation of certain words... Example : 'Gross' is pronounced 'Grouse' whereas 'Cross' is pronounced 'Cross'. Why the difference ?

Guess I should continue referencing Arnold as 'Arnold Shivaji nagar'...

Nappinnai said...

Somebody asked the question. The answer is in the question itself. Thats the nature of the English language. When Gandhi was invited by one british lady for dinner, her son was given non-veg and Gandhi was given veg. The son didn't like his own plate and was after Gandhi's plate. As young, our mind is sattvic. But the lady didn't like it and she said "Gandhi, i don't want my son to be influenced by you". Who is the loser?

As long as women remain uneducated, the society will never change!

Mind is the culprit! May be you should read Gandhi's autobiography second or nth time! Gandhi didn't extricate himself in his book from those things that i mentioned in my article.

Its not bayangram, unless you wrote it in colloquial thamizh. Its actually bhayankaram. Thamizh and Samskrt have 75% commonality.

Nappinnai said...

Ok guys, lets change the topic.

You can't generalize just because one/some of your co-workers are resistant to change. Knowledge comes to theose who are in the receiving end.

We all come across different sets/samples of people. It can be good/bad. Most ppl, based on that small exposure, arrive at conclusions. One should always give the benefit of doubt.

Why do you mix up Austrian vs English? Austrian is similar to German. The discussion is only about English and the translating a particularly root lang like Samskrt. So why does Schwartzeneggar enter the picture I wonder. You have had some poor experience. In my case, I make sure they get it!!! Otherwise they will be having nightmares. For that they can as well pronounce the name properly.

Lets move onto another topic.

blackaccord said...


1) The discussion is about pronounciation of a name in English and not English Grammar..

2) My comment on Arnold was to poke fun at pronounciation of an alien name and nothing more..

3) I'm referring to my co-worker as an example and not the be-all end-all of my observation. I've seen it on TV on History channel as well as in news broadcasts, heard the same in Madame Tussads as well.. If Gandhi is so popular that his image appears on the Google home page, why can't they say his name right? I'm not asking people to say 'Mpumelelo Mbangwa' properly..

4) Just because ppl pronounce your name correctly or ppl in ur place make a good effort to learn saying your name correctly doesnt mean that every person is making the same honest effort.. In many places, ppl start with my name and then they say 'I'm not even gonna try the full name'... I'm not losing sleep over that because it's them who are admitting their inability.

To be frank, I don't know why I'm arguing about a person's name whom I don't even like..

Sreekrishnan said...

I love the comments more than the post !:P

Anonymous said...


Hawkeye has this great skill to post a pretty innocuous blog entry and generate some interesting comments.


Nappinnai said...

blackaccord's is tempting me to reply...So Hawkeye(is that your real name? Wonderful), please post it.

While you figure it out "why" you are arguing about a person whom you hate/dislike, I would like to pinpoint that grammar comes later. Without alphabets, what kind of grammar you're talking about? Grammar is nothing but a set of rules. It is similar to ga:yatri which is actually a meter. Non-vedic ppl think its some person as if they are expert in vedas.

Mind has likes and dislikes while intellect has none. It goes by pure reasoning without any "bias". It doesn't matter to me(for that matter, I'm guessing for ga:ndhi too)what you think about the man who was the main force in getting freedom.

If I were in your position, I would have tried my best(I don't know how you tried to explain to them) by giving an example of a "ba-rtender". They all pronounce the first two syllables correctly as "ba:" and then I would have told them to replace the "b" by "g". Then I would have showed them some nasal sound which is very easy for anyone. "dhi" is very easy as one would pronounce "the". Since I don't know your methodology, I wouldn't say anything.

Some ppl take ignorance as bliss. No matter who explains, their mind is blank. So one has to leave them to their destiny(whatever that may be).

One shouldn't have hatredness for anyone. One should worry too much about a person's views only if one is going to spend the rest of his/her life with that person. Opinion of the rest of the world doesn't matter.

Everybody comes and goes "alone".

Comedians like Stephen Colbert make an effort to pronounce the names correctly. One should have the natural flair to learn. If that's lacking, no one can do anything.

BTW my name is not nappinai but nappinnai.

Since you don't like ga:ndhi, you should have been, at best, indifferent to him instead of posting. Because you're wasting your energy and you can channelise that energy on something more productive whatever that may be in your life.

I love ga:ndhi. That's why I responded. I know my "why"...

Anonymous said...

lol.seems like the easiest way to stop the mokai is to remove the post itself.

Anonymous said...

Not to nitpick or join the fray, just a pet peeve of mine:

It's "alphabet", not "alphabets" unless one's referring to several languages.

*Leaving the discussion to join the sidelines*


Alan Smithee said...

Nappinnai should write in Desipundit. Perhaps even replace that moron patrix. Hawkeye gaaru, pliss do the needful.

Alan Smithee said...

Nappinnai should write in Desipundit. Perhaps even replace that moron patrix. Hawkeye gaaru, pliss do the needful.

Aala vidu da saamiyo said...

Magaaaaaa Mokkai. Worstu!!

Haakai...yethavadhu pannu baa. Write abt SBI officer or something. Itha madiri Gandhi pathi ezhudhi intellectuals aa attract pannathe.

Alan smitha...i agree about the separate blog. Maamis well versed in Sam;skrt (not Sanskrit..) deserve a separate one. It is beyond the intellect of many here, nor are they interested.

Alan Smithee said...

My previous comment comes of as being flippant. But I meant that in all seriousness. If one reads Nappinnai's writing, one embarks on a path to moksham. Reading feminist rants from ultraviolet or finding out what patrix has to think about chicago olympic bid is like scratching a peengaan jadi with metal fork.

Nappinnai said...

Alan Smithee, moksham is not for everyone. You can be happy with "I hope they serve beer in hell" and you can go to hell or whatever world/planet you want to go. don't write moronic stuff.

Sorry hawkeye man, adieu.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if anything else posted by you has stirred this much Shit. :-)


Aala vidu da saamiyo said...

Nappinnai on Oct 6th :

"One shouldn't have hatredness for anyone. One should worry too much about a person's views only if one is going to spend the rest of his/her life with that person. Opinion of the rest of the world doesn't matter"

Nappinnai on Oct 7th:

"moksham is not for everyone. You can be happy with "I hope they serve beer in hell" and you can go to hell or whatever world/planet you want to go. don't write moronic stuff."

Alan Smithee said...

Sorry hawkeye. I tried.

blackaccord said...

Indha topic innum close aagalaiya?

Venaam.. Valikkudhu.. Aludhuruven...

Anonymous said...

ooru vittu ooru vandhu greencardu vaangi pullakutti oda settle panra vazhiya paaru da vazhapazhathukku la potta yenna zha potta yenna urichu ulla potta seri. vetti pasangala.

Anonymous said...

The girl is Kamala Laxman,dancer.. seen in some Tamil films .. also wife of cartoonist R.K.Laxman.