Dr. Genady Shlomper came to Allahabad both as a tourist and as a person with purpose! He was here to attend a function organized to mark Hindi Divas on September 14. I could not be part of this function since I had to attend another event organized in a different city. As a result of that I could not meet the professor at this event, but next day I got an opportunity to meet him. It was a hurried affair since he was about to leave for Ayodhya. Anyway, it did not deter me from asking some interesting questions. Interestingly, it was a memorable experience to seek an appointment with a foreigner in my own language. The few minutes of talk over telephone in Hindi to fix time for the meeting was an unique experience.
This time too when I met someone from foreign land I noticed remarkable simplicity. Right in the beginning he confessed that he is no big guy! True, he might not be a celebrity but you need not to be a celebrity to enjoy a dignified stature! Speaking about his love for Hindi he stated that there was no emotional reason to learn Hindi. He embraced this language because he found it to be useful in scheme of things about to unfold in future. The market is growing and more and more job opportunities get concentrated in Asian countries. Therefore, it’s always going to be beneficial to learn Asian language instead of learning European language! It appears “Capitalism” has proved to be lifeline for Asian languages languishing under weight of English!
Speaking about the influence of Hindi in Israel he said that it’s not very commonplace to notice Hindi speaking person there. However, in modern times there is always a greater space for assimilation of newer ideas from other nations and people in Israel are not hesitant to fall in love with Hindi! On a different note, speaking about the specialties of Allahabad, he said that he found nothing fascinating about it! The only striking thing about this city was confluence of three rivers at Sangam area! Hearing this I was but compelled to ponder about one of the ills of globalization: That it’s fast making cities across the globe to lose their uniqueness! All cities are simply becoming clone of each other!
This brief meeting ended in few minutes but it gave rise to so many ideas as food for thought. That’s the plus point of being in company of academicians!
P.S. :- Dr. Genady Shlomper is a Hindi Instructor at Tel Aviv University, Israel.