We Punekars pride ourselves in having the most fluent Marathi that can be heard. True to the saying- Marathi asavi punekarasarkhi, our Marathi is unique. Grammatically fluent, flawless, and purest form of Marathi can be heard only in Pune. In other places, English words have English meanings. In Pune, English words have Marathi meanings. It’s a foul if you talk more than 5 words in English at a stretch. You talk like that and you are branded as a person from “convents”. Not that Punekars are not fluent in English. If we want, we can speak world class English. But usually we reserve this for showing off our brilliance on the world stage. Punekars are not scared of languages like Marathi, Sanskrit, for these languages are in their blood. Before a Mumbaikar may realize what is being said, a true Punekar has cursed him in fluent Marathi about 10 times. This fluent, purest, stinging, and hurting (kamit kami shabdat jastit jasta apamaan) is a peculiar characteristic of Sadashiv Peth. People from outside have this notion that if you go to Sadashiv Peth, you return insulted in some way, and you don’t even know it. Yes. As Punekars, we are proud that we can do that! And the fact that we do that in Marathi adds more gloss and class to it.
As good as his Marathi may be, the Achilles heel of any Punekar is his Hindi. Every great person has a weakness. A Punekars weakness is his grasp of Hindi. Being advocates and lovers of Marathi, Hindi does not come naturally to Punekars. His Hindi speech is riddled with Marathi words, which brings about a comical effect. As a Punekar, we are aware of this limitation of ours. But we hardly care. It’s our approach that if you are in Pune, you have to speak in Marathi. If anyone asks a question in Hindi or English or French or for that matter any other language, we reply in Marathi. Probably it’s because of our fear of talking in Hindi that we resort to Marathi. But yes, Punekars are scared of conversing in Hindi. Unless that Hindi is used to describe historical developments. History brings about the best in a Punekar, and language does not become a barrier. Ask a Punekar to tell the world the stories of Shivaji, then forget Hindi, he will even tell them in Tamil, Telgu, any other weird language flawlessly.
But Hindi. Puneri Hindi is comical. Rather the way we speak it, we make it comical. (Yes we like a laugh!) I don’t have to go beyond myself to prove how bad our conversational Hindi is. Here are a few samples of me talking Hindi:
“Arre e!! aisa mat karo tum… kidhar bhi rang dalo, mere doke pe mat dalo”
“Tumhe Shaniwar vadaa kaise jate hai pata nahi hai? Idhar se saral jao.. Bajirao road ayega.. udhar davikade valo..phir vapas saral jao”
“Aho, pishwi vala doodh do.. sutta mat do”
“Saral Saral bolo na tumhe ye karna nahi ata”
“Idhar kachra mat dalo. Agar tum idhar hi zopte, to tumhe kaise lagta?”
“Arre aisa situation ana nahi chahiye. Haat var hote hai!”
"Woh ushta kharkata sab ekatra karo aur kachrapeti mein taak ke aao"
“Are Pune mein jaisa rastyachya bajucha khana milta hai, waisa Mumbai mein nahi milta!”
“Pune ke dukaandaar 1-4 baje dukan band karke kulup laga ke ghar jake masta aram se zopte hai.”
“Tum amarathi logon ko Sadashiv Peth mein nahi ana chaahiye. Hum log tum logon ka tomne mar mar kar haal kharab kar denge!”
"Bhaiyya jaldi jaldi samaan bharo, mujhe aaj solid ghai hai"
These are just a few extreme cases of bad Hindi I remember. With me there must be a thousand other instances where people tell me to stop talking in Hindi. Ask Ravi or Divya for these- they may tell you more about my bad Hindi!
Nevertheless, I do not care how my casual spoken Hindi comes out to be. I am a Punekar and am proud that I can speak shuddha form of the language.