Saturday, October 31, 2009

Loving the languages !!!

All around me I see people speaking in different languages and it makes me only more curious to learn new ones... even as Ajju struggles to settle down at Mumbai, one of the main reasons being lack of fluency while conversing in Hindi and thus in turn resulting in failed attempts at making new friends that age , a tiny thought kept nudging through my head... Even though we have quite a few Telugu families around, I have noticed a couple of kids who can't even speak one word of the mother tongue. As we go ahead with our lives, is it not our duty to keep our kids aware of our roots? how far does the concept of speaking in mother tongue at home work these many families actually think it to be important to bring up the kids exposing them to our real cultures, traditions and values? The fast paced cosmetic life seem to have taken over us so much that at times we fail to notice that we have left behind our true identities and personalities.

I remember learning to read & write Telugu in school as a second language in spite of being in English medium. I remember my granny teaching me to read & write Tamil at home grilling into me the importance of learning extra languages. Hindi and English had also become an integral part of our school lives by then. When I moved to Chennai, I could not help but thank my grandma for her farsightedness and it made so much of sense to know Tamil being in a state that is stuck in regional feelings. Here I also found my new friends from the neighbouring state of Kerala and I've got to mention this is one language I will probably never be able to read or write as it sounds so complicated. It took me few years to understand the dialogues as a whole and even more time to learn to utter few meaningful words without making my friends feel embarrassed. Did I forget to mention about my husband being born and brought up in Kolkatta which somehow makes him feel like a Bengali at heart always? ....through the years, as we made rounds of Durga Pujor pandals and Bengali sweet shops and restaurants... and also visiting Kolkatta couple of times, somehow makes me long to learn this mishti language. Being in Bangalore for the last 10 years had added Kannada to the family along with bits of slang picked up from my son's friends.

Somewhere during the course of time, I made it a point to ensure that my son picks up all these languages and puts them to use with appropriate people. When we moved to Mumbai some 4 months ago, it only increased my excitement that eventually I might end up picking up some Marathi for myself while my son kept trying to come to terms with French which sounds even stranger every time we open the school books. I have got to admit that he ends up giggling at the weird sounds that come out of me when I try to learn French from him... I am loving it !!! :)

P.S: I also did manage to hire a whole bunch of German speaking people for my earlier work assignment without knowing one bit of German. :)