The Joy of Conversing in Bengali to a Fellow ‘Bangali’
(This piece was first published on 15 August 2017 and is being republished in light of recent calls for ‘One Nation, One Language’.)
Bengal, a place of utmost historical relevance to every Indian. The British Raj etched itself on the food, culture and art of Bengal! But Bengali, the language that we speak, remained one of the world’s sweetest languages. Untouched, unparalleled, virgin! The language got its recognition with the great writers crafting their magic with it. To name a few – Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra and many others.
Today, unfortunately, many of us have made career choices that have compelled us to be on other shores, but Bengali to a ‘Bangali’ is a comfort language. When we meet fellow Bangalis, we forget the time, place or the objective and passionately crack into Bangla (much to the annoyance of other audiences). We passionately discuss movies, music or politics and find the best expressions only in our mother tongue. I take pride in being a Bengali and even if I cannot ace in Hindi, who cares! My parting question is: How many of the people who laugh at the Bengali-Hindi version, can speak fluent Bengali or shudh Hindi? So please folks, grow up!
Speaking one’s mother tongue is best expressed in the comfort of eating home-cooked food after a spending month outside your hometown!!
(This article was sent to The Quint by Sanchita Sengupta for our BOL – Love your Bhasha campaign. Sanchita is an ex-banker.)
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