The New Yorker magazine (subscription required) gave me my latest opportunity explore my nerd-like love of studying other languages besides English, my native tongue. The Oct. 8, 2012 edition of the magazine has a long article by Ken Auletta about the Sahu Jains, who control the Times Group and its parent company Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. The Times Group of course publishes the Times of India, the country’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, as well as many other media properties.
When I opened the magazine, I saw this picture:
The script above the words “The Times of India” caught my eye. It looked like the letters that people use to write Kannada, the Indian language spoken primarily by people from the southern state of Karnataka and its capital city Bangalore.
My Indian friends have assured me beyond all reasonable doubt that it is not novel to write that India’s liquor sales stop by law on Gandhi Jayanti, the national holiday celebrating the birth of Mohandas K. Gandhi. What was more interesting to me was a note that I read online on Tuesday from my friend Anoo Bhuyan:
“Today at a supermarket, I saw that the entire freezer section was covered in newspaper. A sign on it said, ‘Due to Gandhi Jayanthi,’ non veg not for sales.” (She was in southern India, which accounts for the “h” in “Jayanthi.”)