When Rakesh Ranjan moved from Agra to Delhi, little did he know what was coming. The naive 20-year-old was unaware of the stigma associated with speaking in regional flavours of Hindi, and continued to speak in Bhojpuri with his friends.
Soon, however, he found himself trying to conceal his Bihari heritage, claiming instead to be from Lucknow, Varanasi or Kolkata. He tried to merge into the crowd of Delhi youngsters. Yet, as Rakesh says, “Ishq mushq aur bihari hona chhupaye nahi chhupta.” (Love, fragrance and being Bihari can never be hidden)
So unravels the story of Rakesh, the protagonist of NeoBihar and Nitin Neera Chandra’s satirical infomercial for “Kill Your Mother Tongue” or KYMT. NeoBihar is “an effort to bring high-quality, Bihar focused video content to various video platforms.” The video (above) is a parody of tele-shopping adverts – a “fictional capsule created for majority of UPites and Biharis who have for years tried to rub off (sic) their mother tongue.”
Meanwhile, Rakesh visits his cousin from Bihar, who is embarrassed and insulted when Rakesh speaks to him in Bhojpuri in front of his Punjabi friend, and calls him a “backward ganwar” (rustic). “You speak in English, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayali, but never speak in Bhojpuri if you want to get ahead in life,” says the cousin.
A chance for redemption comes in the form of KYMT capsules, which transform Rakesh’s life completely.