Monday, 9 March 2015

Hindi is super cool too!

It took me months to get a decent job in Netherlands, despite my qualifications and work experience. Reason being, language barrier as it is commonly referred to. Meaning I was needed to know the local language, Dutch well. Almost 85% of the jobs need Dutch professional fluency. And the availability of 15% English speaking jobs in Netherlands, is considered high when compared to countries like Germany and France.

I didn't expect this at all before I found my countless job applications rejected in the very first round and the reason cited was 'a low Dutch knowledge'.

Whatever said and done I have grown to respect this way of the Dutch maintaining and preserving their language and culture. The power and respect they give to their own local language is commendable.

In the months I have spent learning Dutch, which at times seems absolutely illogical with a little too many exceptions for rules, I have grown to love Hindi language more than I did. It is so pure with set rules, mantras (symbols) and akshar ( alphabet ) for every sound. Many a times when I fell short of corresponding English alphabet, I used Hindi akshars to convert and remember the Dutch alphabets or words. I realised how simple yet clean Hindi language actually is.

However it is disheartening to see the importance of Hindi go down in a professional scenario in India. Imagine trying to bag a high flying job in an MNC or even an Indian organisation, without English fluency. Whether you know Hindi or not is immaterial. English is considered cool while using Hindi, our own mother tongue is given barely any importance. Though I have always liked Hindi I have to confess I used to think like this too. I feel compelled to change it.

Recent correction: Hindi is super cool too!

I would want my kids to speak fluent Hindi apart from Dutch, English and maybe couple of more while they are at it ! ;)

Each culture and country has some beautiful offerings and it is worthwhile to adopt a few from each don't you think!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I lost my passport and got a job!

I have many a times heard 'whatever happens in for good' and somewhere I am a strong believer of it ( not every single day of my life but definitely on most days). Recently I had an experience which strengthens my faith in the saying.

About 3  months back, sometime in December 2014, I lost my passport. Everything including my passport was robbed from the car parked in a parking ( not in Netherlands but some other country. Lets skip the name! ). I had a flight booked for Portugal in mid January 2015 but I could not take it anymore. You can imagine my disappointment and anger as I was being kept away from the thing I love and enjoy the most - traveling. But somewhere I just had one thought 'whatever happens is for the good.' Maybe some good was meant in this too I consoled myself. I told my father about it and expressed my disappointment and he repeated the famous words of Amitabh Bacchan ' man ka ho toh acha, na ho toh zyada accha.' ( meaning if what we wish for happens is good and if it does not then it is even better.' I felt glad he said it.

So I could do nothing but apply for a new passport, miss my flight for Portugal, carry on with usual life and most importantly try and take all this in with a positive attitude. 

Just recently ( about a month and a half later) I have got a new passport. Now when I look back at the series of events that have happened since then make me happy and thankful that I actually lost it back then.
  • I applied for jobs during the dates I was to be in Portugal ( Just like I had been for the last 4 months. Getting a job in Netherlands is far more difficult than I imagined). The interviews were spread across three weeks and guess what I got the job. I cant help but think if I had been Portugal I would have missed applying for this particular one which I was meant to get. 
  • My A2 level of Dutch classes got pre-poned from February and for the dates I would have otherwise been in Portugal. 
  • At the passport office I met two girls ( Indian and Indonesian). We got friendly and they have assisted me in my application. The process gained me two new acquaintances and I can comfortably say future friends. I would not have had a chance to meet these lovely two girls otherwise.
  • I traveled to nearby places over weekends and met some great people which I would have not met otherwise. Thus not missing out on traveling either. 
Did I mention here, the day I got the passport the next day I got the job and the day after that I booked my trip to Portugal once again. I went with a free mind and no tension of job applications which I might have had back in January.

My conclusion, accept the not-so-good-things that happen with an open mind and appreciate the good they too bring with them. My faith in 'whatever happens is for good' is made stronger. Not that I will not be disappointed at all when misfortune strikes again but yes this faith will just make it a little less painful and a little more acceptable.