| 2 MINUTE READ | on unexplored and uplifting roots
My great grandfather migrated to Bombay in 1928. The English language was what enabled my grandfather to help his family escape the grinding everyday indignities of poverty. Neither my father nor I ever learnt to read or write in our own mother tongue. As a young boy, there was a certain misplaced pride in this native inheritance of the vestiges of colonial power. In college down south, I was referred to as the boy who washed himself with the waters of the river Thames.
But India is the land of Sanatana Dharma – the eternal and universal way. For those who earnestly seek to understand the purpose of it all, it is impossible to escape it’s influence. As I rolled through the waves of my own story, this sacred ambience accumulated to fill me in a manner that was both soulful and synchronous.
Culture speaks through a multitude of branches that make civilizations endure. Their lasting resonance is borne from being nourished by the same roots from which all things arise. However disconnected I was from my own mother tongue, living in India made it inevitable for me to seek out the source of my own existence.
But every once in a while, I am reminded of the raw power of one’s own native language. It’s ability to capture the inchoate voices of the heart and return us to our own unexplored histories. On a recent trip to Goa an old Tamil song played while we drove in the dark – across a bridge spanning still backwaters. Surrounded by the thick calming ambience of tree cover. It is a tender love song about surrendering one’s heart so utterly that even the spaces where it lies lost are entirely forgotten. It moved me in an indescribable way. And reminded me of the limits of a language we use that is not our own.
Sharing a cover version of the song below. It is the magic of love and music that connects with us in ways that are transcending – taking us to places within that we may have long forsaken.
This post is dedicated to my wife Shalini, on the day of our 19th anniversary