Youtubers say outsiders have it easy without Kannada

A quartet of city-based techies, identifying themselves as 'Kannadigas' (Kannada-speakers), have been running a long-time YouTube comedy channel in the hope of attracting more outsiders to the language.

Making an appearance at the Bangalore Literary Festival on Saturday, the troupe, who calls themselves 'Namdu K', said they understand the city has become cosmopolitan, but questioned why its transformation has changed the nature of what it means to be a Bangalorean. 

"Man, being a Bengaluru Kannadiga is hard work," began Sundeep P C (31), a part-time software developer and a full-time member of the troupe. "Most of us have to know at least five languages." 

"For instance, to deal with my barber, I have to speak Hindi. While conversing with my manager, I have to either speak Telugu or Tamil. In the evening, when I try to get a snack, I am faced with pidgin Hindi, Rajasthani and some languages I have never heard of," he joked, adding that non-Kannadigas have it easy.

"Those guys manage everything with just two words: 'kannad gothilla'. I don’t know what is Kannada, which itself is wrong." 

The correct usage is 'Kannada gothilla', Sundeep clarified, adding that this regressing of a word and putting it in a different place happens all the time.

"For example, take dosa. When did this quintessential southern dish become a dosa? It is actually a dosae. A vada is not a vada, it is a vadae. Somehow, that missing letter 'a' from the word 'Kannada' has migrated to food items, too," he said.

"Forget about dishes, even people change," added Rajath H R (31), another member of the troupe.

"We have the actor Deepika Padukone. We were happy with her. Now, she has gone to Bollywood and become Deepika Padukon," he said.

Appealing to non-native Bengalureans to learn the language, the troupe explained that even picking up a few words brings monetary benefits. 

"If you hail an autorickshaw driver and ask him in Hindi if he is going to Koramangala, he might charge you Rs 300. But if you tell the driver the same thing in Kannada, and then add the word 'anna' (brother), he is liable to lop off a hundred rupees," said Subbu Hegde (30), a member of Namdu K. 

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