BENGALURU: Lliving in a cosmopolitan city like Bengaluru, many outsiders get by with two common words — Kannada gothilla. While that’s changing with a growing emphasis on learning the language, two youngsters are taking a proactive step to help others pick up Kannada.
Arvind Krishna (26) and Aakash Athawasya (25) started a podcast called Kannada Gothilla in May 2021, because Athawasya wanted to learn the language. “We’ve lived in Bengaluru all our lives never having known the language. But recently, I’ve started feeling it’s important to know the basics at least, which is when Krishna started helping me out,” says Athawasya, a financial analyst, who met Krishna at an event three years ago. “We checked with our close friends and acquaintances who also felt a podcast would be a great way for them to learn as well,” he adds.
In an eight to 15-minute podcast episode, the duo covers conversations one can have with delivery executives, auto drivers, bus conductors, and police persons among others. They even highlight Kannada movies one can watch for easy learning, what each household item is called, what to say if your car is towed and general conversations you can have at the office.
“We release new episodes thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From May, we’ve seen an increase of 10,000 followers which has been growing steadily. There’s a pan-India and international audience as well,” says Krishna, adding that a woman from Ireland who was in Bengaluru until a couple of months ago continues to listen to the podcast. “It’s perhaps the on-the-go learning concept that’s attractive to people. The conversations we have been uploading are basic ones, used in daily conversations. It’s ideal for people who are working, studying or moving to the city,” says Athawasya.
The duo uses social media to add not just the podcast but also interact with their listeners. They feel that perhaps outsiders don’t make the attempt to learn the language because of “accommodating” nature of Bengalurens. “If you can’t speak Kannada, they speak to you in a language that you will understand even though they are uncomfortable in it,” says Krishna, who hopes that this initiative will help others experience the city like a true Bengalurean.
(Kannada Gothilla is available on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcast)