A Bigg task

By R Chitra Published on Oct 04, 2017 03:50 PM IST

Whatever the 100 days of Bigg Boss has done or not done for the people of Tamilnadu, it has made one immense contribution: It has added a word to the Tamil vocabulary. And the word is TASK.

Yes. The word is being bandied about by everyone who has watched the show even once. Even my maid complains that I am giving her a difficult ‘task’ when I ask her to do something! You see, it is no longer ‘work’. That has been the reach of this reality programme.

It must also be conceded that the other reason the word has found its way into everyday use is because of the Blue Whale Game. With the media and police shouting from the rooftops about the dangers of the game that involved carrying out certain dangerous ‘tasks’, the word came into collective usage. Mention something that has to be done at home and the retort from a reluctant member of the family is - this is as difficult a ‘task’ as in the Blue Whale Game.

There may be purists who argue that Tamil is already saturated with English words. Common people find it difficult to frame a single sentence in Tamil without leaning on an English word. Rather, in everyday life, English is interspersed with Tamil words.

I have no complaints with that. Tamil is already full of Sanskritised words and the addition of English words should only help it grow and not die out.

This brings to mind an interview I did of former Tamilnadu Minister Tamilkudimagan (who was responsible for all the shops in the city having their name ‘translated’ into Tamil).

The interview was on the subject of making Tamils accept their own language. At the end of the interview, he asked enthusiastically, "I can speak pure Tamil without mixing Sanskrit words. Would you like to listen to it?" As I was already running out of time and was late for office, I said ‘no,’ without thinking. This is one of my eternal regrets in life. I often take myself to ‘task’ for missing out on a good opportunity like that to listen to Tamil Tamil.