Something is undeniably amiss. That coastal flavor coming down from ages this part of the world is slowly going away. From the time spent in childhood playing with kids in the neighborhood of families hailing from East Godavari to the associations made in college. That definitive zing. Those crazy conversations learning the Yaasa. The attachment built with buddies from Bhimavaram or some place we knew was in Andhra. It is sinking slowly, albeit conspicuously.
The lazy days spent with friends who would put on an act of a film star, making fun, creating a scene, strutting like a Megastar. Throwing punch dialogues and reverse counters like witty jesters. We are so accustomed to the musings and mannerisms of our pals who hail from the coastline. These individuals were and continue to remain important and unique. For the sake of splendid memories.
The Yaasa is just a summation of their roots and origin. But yes, it is rather special. For one, we cannot quite talk close to that accent. And there are more than one of them. Tanuku, Thuni, Vizianagaram, Rajahmundry, Amalapuram, Bapatla. Friends who hail from these places and came here to study, work and made their destiny. We had only one major thing in common. Telugu.
Most of us have one friend who will hail from Andhra and will have the Yaasa. Their dialects are varied. But are uttered in style. Buddies from there will make sure you are taught a little or lot of that slang. And its addictive in its own way. You would want to wait and catch up with them and show off few of those learnt phrases in the coastal slang. Over a coffee. In a bar over beers. At home over a weekend.
The memories cherished with folks who spent a brief period of their life with us, discussing their plans, aspirations and future – the talks will be cherished forever. Some of them went and joined the brain drain movement, while some of them stayed back to plant their lives within the country. We still catch up every once in a while over phone or Skype – And then, those mesmerizing phrases carrying Yaasa keep spurring out. The topic would be one and only one – is there any difference after the divide, in the real sense?
While there are no answers to such questions, the conversations have never changed. The bonding remains to be the same for some of us, hailing from working class and striving to put the food on the table. The spirit of togetherness thankfully remains in tact, despite the evolving geographies and outlooks outside.
The call to split was not called for by most of us. Yet, we shall live with it. It feels very strange that a call made to Vizag may now be not a local one. But the attachment to the place and people we know there will always be raw and unconditional. They miss us too, whether living here or elsewhere in the world – the curious case of Yaasa stays and connects all of us. Still.