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The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hindi in unexpected places

I didn't know that a post praising peace would be controversial. I'm sorry, I didn't intend to get people riled up. Obviously, these are my personal opinions and they may or may not be valid or grounded in reality, but you come here for my beliefs and here they are!

Anyway, something light for today.

When I was at work yesterday I happened to glance at some engineering magazine that someone had brought in. It was laying face down so that I saw the ad on the back and I was so excited that I tore the back cover off and took it home with me:

That is Hindi! It says "Do you speak Matlab?" The best part is that I knew what it said immediately, instinctively, without even closely examining it. I just knew it. Just like that. What an incredible feeling. It is a very simple sentence, of course, but I take whatever little victories I can in language learning.

For sometime in the future I've asked my father to write a post for this blog. It will probably be a while because I did not give him a deadline, he's a very busy person. But I wanted to offer his perspective because, unlike me, he sees no difficulty at all in blending Advaita with Christianity. He also feels no conflict between being a spiritual man and being a scientist. I think he has a really great perspective that I would love to share with you all.


  1. Good for you, Aamba!

    I am waiting for my aha-moment in Russian. I restarted my efforts in learning that language after a decade long hiatus. I joined LiveMocha (I heard about it on your blog, so thanks to you!) and just love the way it works.

  2. Hi Aamba , Nobody will oppose peace. But In kali yuga , with Barbaric Islam and deceitful Christianity in action, if one wants to save his culture and belief - little bit of aggression is needed.

    “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” — Karl Popper, British philosopher

  3. Hi Aamba,

    "blending Advaita with Christianity" :)

    Read this ,

  4. I will admit, I do get aggressive in my belief and I'm the first to force Christians and Muslims to acknowledge the existence of other paths, but never violence.

    But yeah, it is very important to me that Hinduism continue and that the beautiful Indian culture not be lost.

    Thanks, Anonymous, I had previously read the We Are All Hindus Now article and this was an interesting take on it. I might have to write about that.

  5. Aamba, Nice to know you have Read Hilda ma'am's blog.She was my professor in Madras/Chennai.
    That Hinduism is different from Christianity or Islam is not the question,is it? how individual Christian or Muslim reacts to an individual who is a Hindu that matters.I have seen and have as friends christians like your Father.Hilda Ma'am is a good example.My Husband's Colleague and his wife are another[BTW,they are all catholics],I will feel eternally grateful for.But I have also seen Christians who are full of themselves and their religion who revile Hinduism like anything and who take umbrage that I ask them to stop."You are living in Darkness" was what I got as a response. The above evangelist's Daughter -in-law is the opposite in Character and behaviour;so i understand that a religion has only so much part in shaping our character and behaviour.I does not mean everything is based on the religion only.
    In India, the way they use religion to change the demography of an area,and the subsequent power struggle it leads to makes me suspect the Christian and Muslim Agenda.Amongst Hindus ,it is not done under the lable of Religion but under other headings-some times Caste,sometimes,Socioeconomic status,sometimes Mothertongue/native language. So that the Indian scenario in a nut-shell!.

  6. Ha! Living in darkness! It's narrow-minded and ignorant people like that who are truly living in darkness.

  7. Aamba,
    what is this ?

    "It's narrow-minded and ignorant people like that who are truly living in darkness"

  8. Oh that is for Sita's comment about Xtians :)

  9. So I have to admit - I like reading Hindi but I'm not always great, so when I saw the photo on this post I said to myself "I'll read that" and then went "kya aap matlab volte hain? 'Matlab' what? Do you speak means what?"

    And then I felt really silly because not only did I completely space it, but my husband is a geophysicist and spent four years of his life working with Matlab.

    But anyway. Congrats on the Hindi undersanding, and also on not confusing "Matlab" with the transliterated "matlab."

  10. That's awesome! I actually do the opposite. When I hear the Hindi word "matlab" I think of MatLab, the product and get myself confused :)