In school, I had a love-hate relationship with Hindi. I opted to pursue Malayalam than Hindi, as my second language, at college. As fate would have it, my civil service career was to be in Hindi heartland, where every nook and corner has its own dialect, its own sweetness and nuances of this, intriguing language. Awadhi, Braj Bhasha, Bundelkhandi, Khariboli, Bhojpuri et al..
Tulsidasji’s SreeRamcharitmanas, the Ramayana in Hindi, is an outstanding classic, revered as a gem of devotional literature as well as the epitome of poetic mastery. The narrative, the rhymes, the play of words, the simplicity, and the wisdom - are resplendent with unparalleled beauty.
And slowly, as my confidence in the language increased, I realised that this beauty was accessible to me too : a gift so precious, that it was worth travelling thousands of kilometres to the land of its birth, albeit in pursuit of a career in public service.
This book Useful for Leisure Read.