Nanagu kannada gothappa :)

The first word that you learn when you set your foot in the sandal city: Gothilla (meaning ‘I dont Know’)
After 2 weeks: Kannada Gothilla pa!

After about 2 to 3 months your vocabulary to the Auto Man builds:

Left hogi
Right hogi
Stop madi

6 months? Its high time you started correlating words to your own language and start picking up the meanings. This applies to even food items that you get in the Special ‘Uduppi’ hotels.

For example, I learnt that ‘bisi’ means ‘hot’, while having ‘Bisi Bele Bath’

Karnataka is famous for its ‘bath’ items in the menu card.
My resident friends or the typical Mysorean friends told me that ‘Vaangi Bath’ was rice made out of ‘Brinjal’

Comparing, ‘bisi bele bath’ and ‘vaangi bath’ on a similar basis, I have come to the conclusion that ‘Vaangi’ is Kannada word for ‘Brinjal’.

I decided to experiment my new learned vegetable name in the vegetable shop. Sadly, I had a ‘Mysorean friend’ with me.

Me: ‘Ardha kg vaangi’
Translation according to me: ‘Half Kg Brinjal’
Mys friend: ‘What?’

I gave the analogies that I had derived.


Me: Blank!!!

My friend came back to senses after the peals of loud laughter!

Bang Friend: Brinjal is ‘Badhanae Kaai’, and not VAANGI!!!

Next problem arises with living and non living things.
One day I told principal ‘banthu’, my friend corrected me that its not like that. For living beings we have to tell ‘banthru’. If we tell ‘banthu’, it is for non living things like auto, bus etc. One day I had to arrange an auto for the principal. Somehow auto came but principal was not yet ready. My friend came and asked:
Friend: ‘yenaytu?’
Me: Auto banthu. Principal innu banthrilla
Friend: Laugh…. Its not ‘banthrilla’ Its just bandhilla.
Me: You only told na, for living beings you have to put R.
Friend: ????
Time passed and my comfort level in Kannada increased (which also increased my blunders in Kannada)
One gal was preparing for exam. I wanted to know the exam timing.
I asked: “Eshtne gandanige exam”
Gal: ?????
Me: I mean, at what time is your exam.
Gal: Laughter….. Sir, its not “Eshtne gandanige”. It is “Esht gantege”
(I felt both as same.) Me: both are same na???
Gal: Thumba difference ide sir thumba thumba different.

One day after a movie, I called an auto from Sangam theatre.
Me to Auto man: Bogadi hogbekku
Auto: aivaturpai aagathae
Me: Meter aakki (in a loud commanding fierce tone)
Auto guy continues with something in Kannada that I didn’t understand. I want to blast him back for his attrocity.
Me: Minimum 12 rs aagathae. Aenappa aivathu rupaya?? (In a more ‘am ready to fight you’ tone!)
Auto guy continues. I get the gist: If you want, come. Else leave (not get lost).
But then thats all the Kannada I know. So I decide to take another auto that stops right next to me. Auto started…. Not yet reached Bogadi. Meter shown 60Rs already. I knew he cheated me. I have learned that “putting meter” is not an economic way for a new comer. When auto passed Harsha bar (place near Bogadi) I gave directions.

Me: left thagolli bhaiyaa

Illae stop maadi.

One night I went to a road side canteen and ordered half rice and two boiled eggs.
Me: half rice, eradu mutte

(Rice with some black ball came. I was shocked to know in Karnataka eggs are black.)
Me: yenidu??
Server: muddhe sir
Me: Yenu????
Server: Ragi muddhe sir
Me: hello mutte chahiye baiyya, mudde kaadu.
(Still I don’t know why, that time Malayalam or Tamil didn’t come to my mouth. Telugu I have heard only in movies though.)
After that I pointed to the egg bowl, the person took two eggs from that and told.
“Idu ‘mutte’ alla “motte mo mo”.

I started eating with a satisfaction of learning one more word in kannada “motte mo mo”.

  • Jayanth Jagadeesh

    Thanks Mahesh for the interesting read.
    Keep writing :)

  • Mahesh Sarangapani

    Thanks a lot for the complement.

  • Karthik Kumar

    Kannadadha Kandha Chetta

  • Shilpa Hegde

    nice :)

  • Anonymous

    Nice to read such experiences… mutte thing was funny…. :)

  • Mahesh Sarangapani

    Thanks a lot friends :)

  • Lakshmi Krishnan

    lol!!! good one :)

  • venki


  • Chennakeshava Krishna

    :) good one..

  • hidayath razi

    Reminding my first days at Mysore.. The same Bogadhi 2nd stage North, near harsha Bar.. same fights with auto drivers… same meter cheating…

    Awsome writings buddy. Thanks..!