Thinking in one language, dreaming in another.
My inner voice communicates with me in gibberish, often yammering along even when I’d rather wish it would just quiet down. The realisation sets in, I’m thinking in one language, communicating in another.
The voice in my head, the voice of my dreams, and the voice that I use for my verbal expression takes on masks of its own; forming characters stretched of different personas reflective of different images I present of myself.
In moments of solitude, I’m arguing with myself; this internal monologue which bleeds out, spills onto the ground — and dammit I can’t get it together.
I curse a lot more when I speak in English, My voice gets a little squeamish when I talk to my parents in Urdu, My colleagues find my accent changes as does my personality as I shuffle between languages trying to get a hold onto which part of my social spectrum I swing to.
I speak Urdu, yet I’m unable to read or write it.
I think in English, write in it, and the only method through which I can express verbally myself.
Yet I can’t for the life of me understand, how this verbal divide came to be.
I’ve known people who yearn to learn another language, French is popular; even considered sexy.
Yet the only sentence that I can relate to is “C’est la vie”.
My friends wish to learn Mandarin and Cantonese, because they think it’ll help in business opportunities.
Frankly, I’d just like to get a grip on one language for now. ’Cause it feels like with time I seem to be losing my grip on my mother tongue, and it’s not socially acceptable for one to be so cavalier; but I do believe my language isn’t my identity.
Somehow in this society, it was a representation of reliability; but as I look around even people around me don’t seem to identify with the mother tongue anymore — it’s Language and it’s their Identity.
It’s Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Gujrati, and a hundred or so other languages that have come to crumble a nation; already so divisive.
So when I’m asked, what language do “you” belong to — I’d rather just nod and smile for now. Pretend I’m deaf and a mute, observe as cultures clash over this futile pursuit.