The Hidden Swan

I’m not feeling right. I’m
feeling crap. I don’t know how I look during these times, but I have a feeling
that I won’t like it much myself.

I’m
feeling crap because I can’t find, or rather, will be stopped if I find,
something constructive to do. I’m feeling crap because Microsoft Word takes
about one geological era to start up. I’m feeling crap because it’s almost the
hot season again. I’m feeling crap because no one comes here to read my stuff.
If you have, thanks.

I
wanted to tell you something I’d heard once from my Life Science teacher (we
called it Life Science then, not Biology. It became Biology in a later standard.
I never made it to Biology. I didn’t like it). This teacher (his name is Ajit
Sengupta) had interests spanning across a lot of fields, including advertising,
chemistry and linguistics. Oh, and Biology.

So
he told us one day about how these various different languages still bear signs
of having come from common origins. He told us of one of those signs.

The
English language and all the members of the family it belongs to were originated
from Greek. So was Sanskrit and all languages derived from it, like Hindi, one
of the official languages of India, and Bengali, my mother-tongue. I know a few
things about these languages, once having gathered content to build an elaborate
website on them. Don’t ask what happened to that project. Anyway, today Sanskrit
(which is slowly quitting existence) is far from Greek and its family, but Ajit
Sir told us of a surprising relic that still shows the connection between the
two.

In
Sanskrit, the word lupth (u pronounced as in put) means
‘extinct’ ‘hidden’ or ‘gone’ or ‘disappeared’. It’s an adjective. The word
hansa
means duck or swan.


When an aeroplane service first started in Germany, the aircraft they employed
in service were pure white, resembling huge white swans. When these aeroplanes
would fly into the sky and grow slowly smaller and disappear, they would look
like swans disappearing into the heart of the sky. In Sanskrit, the word that
could describe them was lupth-hansa, or the hidden swan.


Today, the German aeroplane service is one of the largest in the world, slowly
extending its network. These days, they’ve fused their network with the Indian
one, and newspapers and billboards are full of their ads. It’s called
Lufthansa
, and their symbol, the swan taking flight, still nestles in their
logo in every ad:

1Life.

<Ajit Sir was
diagnosed with cancer during the time he used to teach us. He outlived his
expiry date with gusto. I haven’t had contact with him since a long time ago,


but I think that he has finally taken flight.>

Advertisements

One thought on “The Hidden Swan

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s