What’s with the ‘-a’?

“Sorrow, suffering, dissatisfaction and all the manifold unpleasantness which are referred to by the word dukkha, are inherent in life” WTF, did I just read dukkha!!! These were my reactions when I read a book on Indian history, authored by a British historian and which surprisingly is a best seller. But wait that’s not it, there were more surprises for me. This book has mentioned Mahabharata quite frequently and in one such context the author tried to throw some light on a great warrior who is also known as Halayudha. Any guesses who this great warrior can be? Well I’ll try to make it a bit easier, spell his name as Halyodha. Didn’t ring any bells? Well hal-yodha means a warrior who fights with a plough, yes we are talking about Balram (rather to say Balarama according to the book). This made me wonder, what’s in the ‘a’, why do need to make Mahabharat to Mahabharata, a simple Ashok to Ashoka or even Asoka.

I have heard and continuously hearing criticism of various language scholars within and outside our country, never missing a chance in showcasing their knowledge of English to prove their eminence over so called common man of average intelligence. They always try to condemn current bestselling fiction novels and accuse them of degrading the standards of English literature and pronouncing them as cheap entertainment. So my question is directly to them, please help me understand that what does the narrator of a Discovery Channel documentary film means when she says ‘this is the story of life of Buddha’. What do you want us to take it as? Is she referring to life of a respected senior citizen of India, or she means Gautam Buddh. If she is referring to our respected senior citizen, then great! We can ask Oxford to add this word in their English dictionary. And if she is talking about Gautam Buddh, then please if you can’t write it so, at least spell it in a proper way. I know if you are an Indian scholar you must trying to figure out an explanation and ready to add a comment to my question, but wait, I have more in store for you which is going to make a serious dent on gross misconception of your sophist image. What difference do you find in Krishn and Krishna other than an additional ‘a’? To be honest initially even I was convinced that it was just my hatred with ‘a’ that was trying to prove that Krishn is always better than Krishna. But just before I decided to go for some introspection of my stubbornness to find an error where there is none, I thought “let’s ask Google”, and then…… “bull’s eye!” that’s what I said when I read an article. There isn’t just ‘a’ that makes Krishn and Krishna different, it’s even their gender that separates them. Yes, Krishna is actually one of many names of Draupadi (also known as Panchali).

So now when I am enlightened, tell me whose image should come in my mind when I read Krishna anywhere? Moreover, what if any enlightened author like me decides to write conversation of lord Krishn and Draupadi referring both of them as Krishna!

To all the common men who are reading this, I know this is not of substantial importance especially this election season. I mean, who cares whether we change Charak to Charaka or Sushrut to Sushruta. It doesn’t even vaguely affect our lives. But I am sure it becomes question of our prestige when some so called scholar or a NRI or any ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) to say comes to our backyard and say “Well you know what, in India people don’t speak English, they speak Engliss”. That really hurts, and what alleviates our problem is that we cannot even go and just slap on their face as there is a high probability that we must have had already mentioned our country as a land where likes of Mahatma Gandhi are born. So until we want to present a logical argument to them, let’s just say that – it’s a revenge of your karma 😉

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