Coming Home To Find My Mother Language
The driver bid me farewell as soon as I paid him for the ride and stepped out of the cab.
I saluted him in return and proceeded to the entrance of Charles de Gaulle Airport. The cab took a decorous U turn and sped towards Central Paris.
The air was chilly and despite the scarf wrapped across my face, the icy wind stung me hard. I had to bow my head against the cold draught in order to keep walking.
As soon as I stepped inside the airport environment became more livable. I heaved a sigh of relief.
People were talking animatedly in their native language - French. They used their language without any effort. For me, it was quite difficult in the beginning. I had to take six months of language classes to get acquainted with the basics.
It had been two years now and I found it hard to believe that I had adjusted to France’s cultural and linguistic differences within such a relatively short time period. It was indeed fascinating to interact with people of different social norms than mine.
But, as much as I found it fascinating, I was eager to head home, to my motherland, India. I haven’t been home in two years and my insides were bubbling with excitement at the prospect of meeting my family finally.
After so much waiting.
Two years. Not a relatively short time.
The announcement of the arrival of my flight caught my attention. I put my novel that I was reading inside my tote bag, and moved in the direction of Terminal - 03.
The whole airborne journey felt dull, and tiresome. Ten hours! If I was not heading home I would have jumped out!
When the plane landed onto the soil of India, I felt rejuvenated.
The moment I stepped out, the entire commotion of the airport made me smile despite my tired state. Everyone was talking in Hindi! My Mother Language!
Oh, how I missed it!
My ears, which were so used to hearing of “Bonjour,” constantly now heard the familiar and oh-so-natural “Namaste” - it felt music to my ears.
Yeah. My own people. My own mother tongue - Hindi and I didn’t have to strain hard to hear what they were saying. I could even discern what they were whispering to each other!
I found myself admiring the entire hustle bustle, the bickering between cab drivers and passengers and the bargaining of ladies with them. All these things, which normally used to irk me, now sounded pleasant and soothing.
Then after taking in the surroundings, I approached a cab driver, and asked “Bhaiya, Purani Dilli chaloge?” (Big Brother, will you go to Old Delhi?)
First words I uttered in Hindi after two years!
Hey, but I didn’t have to try hard to pronounce every word clearly, nor did I have to try hard to speak with the characteristic native accent. They all came naturally to me, as it was instilled in me from birth.
As the driver took me towards old Delhi, I chatted with him in my Mother Language - a task which I would have avoided at any cost under normal circumstances. I told him about coming here after a long time, and he shared with me his own experiences in using Hindi.
It was an unforgettable drive.
To truly realize the importance of something, one must part with it. Whoever quoted that was saying the truth in every sense.
As I had lived in the world of ‘mademoiselle’, I found ‘behenji’ pure gold.
Indeed, nothing could ever replace the root of our being, our Mother Language.
Note : -
Thanks for taking time to read this. Hope you enjoyed it! Do not forget to drop me a hello during your free time! Until I meet you with another story. Bye for now!