Year 2011, train from Nice to Antibe, France.
As the train sped along the Mediterranean Sea and i watched the blue of the water with amazement, two women walked in to sit next to me. Obviously French, the women chatted non stop. Not a word was spoken in English, just quick paced French that i could make nothing of. That memory has stayed with me.....i think mainly because it was a very happy day. The sea does something to me, and speeding in a train towards it i could feel that excitement mount inside me...
Year 2011, Lucknow Railways Station.
As i stepped inside the railway carriage having just bid a tearful adieu to my parents, lips quivering and ready to burst into tears any time now ( I cry and bawl my head off like a two year old each time I leave my parents. Yes, even now. Stop rolling your eyes!) I saw two women who seemed to be friends occupy the birth opposite to me. They chatted the whole night. Very little of the conversation was in Hindi. The few words they spoke in Hindi made it very clear to me that they were fluent in Hindi but chose to converse only in English. That memory has also stayed with me, because i noted that the women did not converse in Hindi at all.
These are not isolated incidents. When i travel outside of UK, particularly in Europe, I see people embracing their own language. They speak and write in their language and are proud to use it as much as is possible.
In India however, it is the in thing to speak in English. It is almost as if conversing in English labels you as someone who is high class maybe, sophisticated....i don't know. I know I was probably part of this while I was living in India, but being outside has given me perspective and appreciation of our culture. And hence this post.
I have also seen how proud other nationalities are of their culture and with our culture being so much richer than most others it is a shame that we do not become champions of it.
More aware of this, when i travel to India now, i make it a point to speak in Hindi as much as possible. So what then sometimes happens is a conversation in two languages. I speak in Hindi and the person in front of me replies in English.
I wish that would change. While i do not think I that i would do justice to writing a book in Hindia, maybe when i go back to India next, i will pick up a book written in Hindi.
It is time to give my language more credit :)