Earthy, caustic, funny and declining: Dakhani finally gets its due in documentary ‘A Tongue Untied’The language of the Deccan, famous for its humour and literature, has been relegated to dialect status, as filmmaker Gautam Pemmaraju finds out.
When people hear of Dakhani, they tend to associate it with the unique dialect spoken in Hyderabad, often understood by outsiders and locals as a form of hybridised Urdu. There are other associations with Dakhani too – ribald humour and wry social commentary; an idiom so earthy and direct that it might border on insult to more sensitive ears; philosophical reflections on human nature, as in the verse above.
Gautam Pemmaraju’s ambitious documentary A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani explores the cultural history of the language. The production began as a grant from the Indian Foundation for the Arts in 2012 to document the tradition of humour and modern satire in performance poetry. The filmmaker soon found that mere documentation would be inadequate.
People across the Deccan speak forms of Dakhani with regional infusions even today, from its northern reaches in Aurangabad, to Marathwada and Telangana, down southwards to the northern parts of Karnataka. There are a few Dakhani speakers in Tamil Nadu and north Kerala and in Hyderabad, there is even an entire news channel in Dakhani.
.. Continue reading: ‘A Tongue Untied’ -- See also dakhani.com