very down to earth Saumya TandonThe actress who is also known to be an actress with an impeccable and impeccable command over the Hindi language exclusively spoke to Mid Day Online on the occasion of ‘International Mother Language Day’.
“Hindi is my mother tongue and I can proudly say that I am very good in and with Hindi language”
Hindi is my mother tongue and I can proudly say that I am very good in and with Hindi language. I attribute all this to my upbringing. The fact is that I was brought up in a very literary environment, a university campus in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh), I was surrounded by writers, professors from all over different languages. In fact, one of our closest family friends was Mr. Naresh Mehta, a Jnanpith awardee. Besides him, there were many poets in my city like Shri Shivmangal Singh Suman, Manu Bhandari and many, many more. Because of that kind of atmosphere, I have been listening to beautiful and soulful Hindi and Hindi poetry everywhere.
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“I was known as a kid in my town”
And that is the reason why I started writing in Hindi at a very young age. In fact, I was known as a child prodigy in my town. I used to go on various radio stations and used to recite poems. A publisher heard my poetry at a session and suggested that they publish a collection of my own poems. The name of that book was ‘Meri Bhavana’ (whose introduction was written by Naresh Mehta). Simple pieces and simple ideas form the essence of this book and the poems. My father, seeing my passion for poetry, thought that this was my true calling in life. But unfortunately I did not take it forward in my career.
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“When I came to Mumbai, I was very surprised that many people did not have proper pronunciation of Hindi language”
When I came to Mumbai, I was very surprised to see that many people did not have proper pronunciation of Hindi language. The local colloquial language in Mumbai was very different. I had a very pure unblemished Hindi, which I was very proud of, am and always will be. In fact, there are very few people in our Hindi entertainment industry who have a very good command Hindi.
“I was part of a children’s theater group called ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’
Looking back, let me tell you that, I was part of a children’s theater group called ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’ and I did that play in two languages - Hindi and Sanskrit. Although the play was originally written in Sanskrit, I translated it completely into Hindi. I feel very bad that Hindi literature is becoming extinct, in the sense that today when you go to a bookshop, you do not find many Hindi books. There are only a few people who read books of Hindi literature, including myself.
“I am joining hands with someone through whom we plan to bring back the gems of Hindi literature and celebrate Hindi language”
So I am joining hands with someone through whom we are planning to bring back the gems of Hindi literature and celebrate Hindi language. We will make a grand announcement very soon.