Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tamizh makkal, Tamizh magalgal (Tamils and Tamil daughters)

Discussions about Tamil (the language) and Tamils (the people) like Periyar and Annadurai seem to abound currently in India because the question of national language is back in the limelight.

The Dhaka Tribune has an in-depth article on the history of Tamil language and the identity of its people.
Perhaps it is time for me to tell my thirsting-for-all-things-Tamil twelve-year old that her great-grandfather went to prison in the '60s, along with C. N. Annadurai, protesting against Hindi imposition. 

But then again, I will have to deal with questions such as 'why don't you and daddy speak Tamil like Tamils do?', 'why don't you think in Tamil?' and 'when are you going to teach me Tamil?'  Alas, no Tiger Mom am I. 

So maybe it will become time for me to tell her that I am just about busy surviving somewhere, somehow; that, if my thatha wasn't snatched prematurely from this world, maybe I will now be a Tamil in Tamil Nadu rather than a Tamil in oblivion; that perhaps, she, my daughter, will have more opportunities to live life on her own terms; possibly, after the meandering and lost generations in between, she will connect right back to that proud, hardworking, self-respecting Tamil whose blood and love for the language runs deep in her veins.

Yes, maybe it is time for a Tamil moment between a Tamil mother and her much more Tamil daughter.      

No comments: