Most of us in India are used to knowing more than one language fluently, English being one and a native or a regional language being the other. Some of us who grow up shifting after every few years, learn more than two languages. I reiterate my point here, we learn more than two languages. This learning does not comprise knowing reading, writing or comprehending the language well, it could just be knowing any one of the three verticals well.
I just came back from my critical writing class today, where we had to give feedback to our peers on the reflection pieces which were written after reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘In Other Words’. The book was written in Italian, a language Lahiri learnt, simply because she loved it and wanted to write a book in it. Assuming that I and only few more people in my class would have troubled minds, being familiar with more than four languages, I found out that knowing even two languages could be difficult after a feedback session. Our mind speaks one language and tongue another depending on the place we are. Parents might speak the native tongue, teachers speak the professional tongue and our friends delight us with colloquial.
How much control does language have in the way we think and act? Which language helps us to reflect deep within us, our thoughts and desires?
Several voices talk lout loud within us, (some in our heads, some around us and the others in the hearts), and there are some, which we barely listen to. The feeble ones are the powerful voices, which we keep hearing again and again, yet choose to ignore. One never realizes its importance, because it is not loud enough. The loud voices are not even ours, but someone else’s whom we hear and choose to follow.
How often do we dump the feeble voice, which possibly can be our own, trying to convey just the right choice, which makes us happy instead of making the people around us happy?