Smitha was sitting idle in her room. She was looking sad and upset. I wanted to ask her about it but she refused to talk to me. She comes from a small town. She speaks slowly in English and does not mix up with others. After few meetings she opened up and shared her problems with me.
Her classmates were treating her badly. She comes from a middle class family and not from a good convent school which produces students with heavy accents. This has become her weakness. She feels awkward in her class. Other students make fun of her accent without knowing her difficulties.After one year, exams were held and she scored highest marks in her class. Everyone was surprised by her performance. This incident gave me a chance to write something for those who always judge people by their education standards and speaking skills.
English is merely a language, a source of communication. It has nothing to do with the intelligence. Europeans, Chinese, Japanese people prefer to speak in their languages where as Indians have a habit to speak in English everywhere. It’s important to talk to foreigners in their language but it is really not necessary to boast off your speaking skills while talking to villagers. I find it very funny sometimes to see educated people behaving like this. They ill treat others who can not speak English.
Why do we underestimate others? Why do we judge people? Knowledge comes from interacting with others. When we meet with different people from other cultures, we learn and grow faster. It does not mean that British have all the knowledge. Americans hire Indians because they find us much qualified than other neighboring countries.
Neha is my neighbour. Her husband is convent educated. He feels ashamed of Neha as she speaks in Hindi all the time. He avoids taking her to parties. His big shot clients are not comfortable with Hindi speaking people. After all he is an industrialist who can not afford to lose business. Neha’s relationship is suffering because of this small issue. Neha has joined English speaking classes where she is learning to speak broken English. She is MA in Hindi literature but her poor English is the matter of discussion everywhere. Is this the right way to judge people who simply can not speak a foreign language to communicate with same Nationality? Why Neha is not allowed to speak in her own mother tongue? She got round of applause for saying Apple in English but she was being rejected for scoring highest marks in Hindi. Nobody is bothered to know about her choice. She is not comfortable in speaking a foreign language. She can perfectly arrange a party for her husband’s clients but she is never allowed to do so. Her Sister in law is an English teacher and this makes her life more miserable. Each and every time her grammar has been criticised by others.
“English Vinglish” was made on this subject. But we are not ready to accept a language as a medium of communication. We will continue to judge others on this parameter and make this a habit to the extent where others would feel ashamed of their speaking skills so badly that they may feel rejected and hopeless. I think we must learn to respect others capabilities and try to see good qualities in them rather than judging them on the basis of English. It’s just a language and not the measurement of intelligence.
Madonna, Ricky Martin and many others could not speak good English and this disability has not made them foolish. They have proven their skills and gained wealth as well as respect in this world. We must learn other languages to get more connected with rest of the world. Do not make it a parameter to play with other people’s emotions. They may get hurt by your behaviour or lose confidence forever. Let them share their knowledge with courage. May be you are lacking behind by not knowing your own language.
Make this world a reasonable place to live by not making yourself complicated for others. There may be many fields where you need to improve. Whenever you feel proud or over confident, look up to the sky and see the vastness of the Universe. Now measure your identity with the Universe. You will be surprised to notice your identity which is merely a dot in the ocean of galaxies. Don’t become a perfectionist, rather, become a protagonist whom people may admire.