The Art Of Language
Kumao, I say bowing deeply as I thank Saathi for something. He laughs. Dey, Kha, Saranghae. The words slip easily into conversation. My head is a soup of words in various languages at all times. I gush over the latest show I am watching to a friend and she says “They all look the same to me.”
We talk about how it takes time to slip into another world, get acclimatized and then realize the sheer beauty of that world. The conversation takes be back to my childhood immersed in the make believe world of the English countryside.
I talked English, walked English and, slept in English it seemed then. Apparently even my sleep-talk was random phrases in my adopted language. At home, Tamizh is all I heard but I couldn’t read or write it, denying me the beauty of its literature. I learned to read and write Hindi at school but had no exposure to spoken Hindi whatsoever denying me the rich beauty of its art. English was that comfort zone that transcended all parts of my life. I gravitated towards it for the worlds it offered me.
“I picked the petals, he loves me not
Something different bloomed” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift crooned into my ears as I imagined a blonde woman picking petals off a flower muttering he loves me, he loves me not. The power of the lyrics is that it instantly transported me to the classrooms of yore when the back pages of my notebooks had FLAMES crossed out everywhere.
This week I have been inviting music into my life after a long hiatus. I still am unable to pick up a book and read or pick up my unfinished manuscript and finish editing it. I have let it be, hoping the muse will return.
Between the shows I watch and the music that hums in my soul, a certain romanticism has taken hold. I smile a lot. I feel grateful for the passion and intensity of the life I have been though. Strong emotions leaves scars. Scars bring forth memories in a timeless loop. Things and people who brought me great joy and great pain are forever seared into my heart. They emerge as composite characters I create. They rise like ghosts in my head when I listen to music that reminds me of periods of my life. They linger in the shadows when actors on screen remind me of the heady days of youth.
Language is art. Language in all forms is love. Language transcends cultures. Language is all there is.
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