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The term ‘bebaak‘ means ‘frank‘ in English. This is a common term used in Hindustani (as Hindi and Urdu are commonly called). The word bebaak has a Perso-Arabic origin.

This is Narayan K. Choudhary, professionally a linguist and otherwise many more things. I am currently a research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Besides a graduate degree in English literature from C.M. College at Darbhanga, I have done Masters and M. Phil. in linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. aslo from here.

My areas of academic interests are Computational Linguist, NLP, AI, Language Documentation, Language Typology, Language Formalisms and Applied Linguistics.

There is something special about my village. Or to say that it was. I have been brought up in the village environment where I got all the kinds of environment a child needed to grow up as a man. All my schooling up to 10th standard was in this village, except for a brief stint at Jamshedpur, now in Jharkhand. So, the village boy is still there in me and I love to be with him.

So what is so special about my village- POKHRAM. It is very big for a village and the social life here is really very challenging and demanding. It has a population of about 35 thousand and plays a very important role in influencing neighboring villages on several matters. However, it is not surprising that this village is inhabited by very many un-educated and farmer class people (a common feature of Bihar or India, no?). However, education and higher education is penetrating deeper with the new generation. The only thing it boasted till recently was its autonomy (i.e. the no body interfered in the affairs of the village happenings. Who heard of the Govt. then?) which has been marred as the people stand divided after some incidents when the outside forces (i.e. the Govt. bodies of course) intervened and broke the legacy of real autonomy.

Sharing the common features of other villages in India, this village has also witnessed the exodus of its young and energetic people to major cities in search of other better hopes. Especially during the 15 year jangal raj of the RJD under the leadership of Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, the people here got hopeless and migrated to several other places. Some even started saying that they do not want to keep any connection with their country of origin.

My village is basically an ‘upper caste’ dominated village and more than 75% of its populace being caste ‘Brahmin’. These Brahmins are basically farmers with or without arable land. There is a great bond of brother-hood among the villagers and a healthy competitive feeling, which sometimes also gets awry (where there is love, there is hate as well, nah?). Even those who have land are not very happy (you know why, don’t you?) and their children are also leaving the village in search of a better pasture.

This village has a history that can go back to three hundred years. It is said that the village was inhabited first by one Vasudev Jha. Once he was travelling to take a bath at the Ganga river when he stopped for the evening at the place where this village is situated. It is said that he understood the language of the birds. He heard two crows talking that the place was very fertile and the progeny of the person who established a settlement here would flourish. Vasudev Jha thought over this and later brought his family there. And indeed, his progeny has flourished!

The geographical location of the village is also very beautiful. The nearest city is the Darbhanga city, situated some 45 kilometers north-west to the village. The village is surrounded by two rivulets, one is a tributary of the Kosi and the other is a seasonal river. Both of the rivulets define the name of the village.

The real name of the village is ‘Paushram’. It is made of ‘paush’, a synonym for the Sun in Sanskrit and ‘aram’, meaning ‘rest’ in Persian. So the real name of the village ‘paushram’ means ‘a place where the Sun comes and takes rest when it gets very hot and tired’.

For the diversity, this village is very diverse in its population distribution. There are people belonging to almost all the ‘castes’ and there is also a small population of Muslims.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ainura
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 05:59:10

    IMPRESSIVE blog!!! Well done!!!
    all the best,


  2. Словари
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 15:52:13

    I have compared the meaning of the English word “frank” and its translations in 3 other languages (Russian, Ukrainian and German). I must admit that different cultures define different attitudes to its meaning. So, be frank and be multicultural!


  3. Bikram
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 19:27:55

    This is the first time i visited your blog and really liked the description of your village. I never knew the meaning of your village. This is really nice. Let me tell you leaving one’s home is the saddest thing one can do and it feels more bad if you witness the exodus and for what? just for roti? It reflects on the condition of state and lack of political will power.


  4. neetu latant
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 11:03:39

    really interesting
    like ur way of telling about village


  5. zoya gautam
    Nov 09, 2009 @ 21:37:07

    Hi nk (choudhary } ,

    ‘bebaak ‘ reminds me of an old ghazal [ sung by mukesh ] ~ ” meri bebaak tabiyat ka taqaza hai kuch aur ”

    more as this dialogue moves on ,

    good wishes ,

    zg ..


  6. Marta Fernandez
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 23:49:44

    I am deeply saddened by the passing away of “Bo” in the Andaman Islands. I hope that there are voice recordings of
    her songs, and utterances.

    I expect that my fellow anthropologists have done a documentary of this great relic of humanity.

    My sadness is still here..from the destruction of the Baghdad Museum..but this tragedy touched me deeper because I did not know of her, and if I had –I would have sacrificed to assist.

    Best wishes
    (My website is private due to the network it is in, and the marketers who ply their trade there.)


  7. Max Immelmann
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 06:44:44

    Ditto, very sorry to hear of this Elders passing and with her the legacy , knowledge and roots of a very ancient culture. This is happening everywhere around the world. Unfortunately, usually places that had been” impacted” by Western European contact, the results were always devastating and predictable.

    Like the poster above, it would have been nice to meet her, apparently she had quite a sense of humor.

    May she rest in peace


  8. B
    Apr 30, 2010 @ 04:16:02

    Hello Narayan,

    I had some questions on endangered languages and the UNESCO red book. I could not find your mail address. Could you please let me know your email id (or email me yourself)? Thank you.


  9. Amitabhvikram
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 09:50:05

    The description was really wonderful. Do you still find Vasudev’s sons and great grand son/daughter in the village? Anyway I do believe in myths and village folk culture.


    • nkchoudhary
      Aug 22, 2010 @ 18:47:47

      Hi Vikram,
      Good to hear from you.
      Yes, of course the progeny his great, great grandsons and daughters populate this village. Me being one among them. 🙂


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