My parents never forced us to speak their mother tongue, although they spoke to us non-stop in it, they never expected us to reply. We grew up in America so it was only natural for us to pick up English as quickly as we did. We worked a system out, my parents would speak Bangla and we would reply in English.
Recently, I’ve realized that we’ve been deprived from a lot in life because of the fact that our Bangla is rusty. It’s hard to know that we’ll never know the parents of my parents, the siblings of my parents, simply because of a communication gap. You’re always moving forward in this life, but how do you know where you’re going when you don’t even know where you’ve already been? I feel like I’m missing this large backdrop to the portrait of my life, and everybody knows, artist or not, a subject without context is a lost soul indeed, somebody who could be anybody and anything, and never somebody who is one thing, himself.
And that’s why I have this itch in my body, in my brain, to learn as many words, as many palabras, as I can. I think it would be a great shame to lose out on a relationship simply because of the impossibility of communication. I have so much to learn from this world and its people, by sticking to a single language, I deprive myself from a large source of wisdom, of experience.
My mom’s always complaining that I’m never going to get anywhere by taking “so many” languages (I’m only learning 2), but I believe she’s wrong. I might not get anywhere in wealth, in job, but I’ll be able to get farther in this world, and farther amongst the people. I don’t want too much out of this life, economically-speaking, the single thing I do lust for is a greater understanding of this planet and this crazy species we refer to as humans, because I believe that somewhere out there I’ll find myself, waiting to be revealed by somebody else’s pain, somebody else’s love.