When I read that Write Tribe (a wonderful blog for bloggers) is organizing a Festival of Words, a seven-day blogging festival with the theme Seven, I was tempted to participate in it. Actually all the blogging challenges and prompts by Write Tribe tempts me, but the procrastinator in me always wins over the temptation and I ended up writing Haiku only. This time too after the initial temptation, I convinced myself that I cannot do it. But then, last Thursday when I had a relaxing day at office, I gave in to the temptation and jumped in. The cobwebs developing in my blog warned me that if I wanted to be back to blogging, it’s Now or Never. Incidentally, my first Blog anniversary is in September (WordPress has already wished me anniversary in July, when I had just signed up. But my first post was in September !). And when I look back I have only 27 posts in last 1 year. Ya, I know I don’t have to give any more proof that am Garfield’s twin sister. But guys, it does not apply to reading blogs. I had taken up URC (Ultimate Reading Challenge) in July when almost all my favourite bloggers were participating in UBC !
Now, coming back to the theme Seven, I have a bitter relationship with the number seven. This number has given me so many embarrassing moments. I did not want anything to happen in my life on 7th or at 7 a.m/p.m. Wondering how a number can hurt a person? Well, I am a Malayali and I can’t say the word seven in my mother tongue correctly. Can you smell the trouble there? In Malayalam Seven is ‘Ezhu‘ and since childhood I have been pronouncing it as ‘Eyu‘. The word ‘zhu‘ (as far as my limited knowledge on languages goes) is found only in Malayalam. The same happens when I say other words with ‘zh‘ like ‘mazha‘(rain), ‘puzha‘ (river) etc.. But word ‘Ezhu‘ is used more frequently. You may ask, what’s the big deal if you can’t pronounce a word right. Exactly, what’s the big deal ? That too when the meaning does not change if I pronounce it ‘zha’ or ‘ya’.
But there are some who don’t think so, and I call them family! They just wait for me to utter the word and then they sing in unison ” aval ezhu manik ezham mayilil poyi ezhu vazha pazham vangi mazha nananju puzha kadannu vannu” (she went at 7.00, to 7th mile, bought seven bananas, drenched in the rain, crossed the river and came) replacing all the ‘zha’ with ‘ya‘! My parents and siblings were very particular that my husband and family-in law know it as soon as the marriage was fixed. It doesn’t stop there, my relatives- in-law and neighbours- in-law also know it. My uncle advised me to take it as a challenge and learn ‘zha‘ by practicing it every day and I did give it a try. But I realised it would be easier for me to learn Greek than say ‘Ezhu‘ in Malayalam! So I gave up. And now I have “whatever” attitude towards that word. And recently I feel people don’t pull my leg as much they did earlier, may be they just lost the fun in it or the hope in me 😉 Now to teach my son all the Malayalm words with zha in it is my Raj’s duty 🙂
For non Malayalees, you can hear how ‘ezhu’ is actually pronounced here. (Watch at your own risk 🙂 )
Singer Shreya Ghoshal, pronounces ‘zha‘ more clearly than me! You can hear how beautifully she pronounces “kizhak”, “tozhan” etc.. in this song.