This post is to celebrate International Authors’ Day. It is being hosted by Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay. You can visit her blog by clicking here.
Recently I asked one of my cousins if she had read Satyajit Ray’s ‘Feluda’ as a kid. She nodded and said yes, “His writing in English is so awesome!” I was exasperated! Feluda in English? That’s like having mango milkshake with no mango and only it’s flavour instead. The only language that Feluda should ever be read in is the one in Bengali. More so if you are a ‘Bong’ yourself. She reasoned with me that since she never stayed in Kolkata she didn’t know how to read and write in her own mother tongue. It left me tongue tied.
I didn’t continue with the topic any further, but I asked myself if that was excuse enough? Isn’t one missing out on an essential if he doesn’t know his own mother tongue? I, for one, feel very let down when I see that. And yes, before anyone can say anything, I have started doing the needful with my child because she must know it for sure. She doesn’t have to venture into the ‘History of Bengali Literature’ or know all the intricate nuances of Bengali grammar; but she must be able to read the Bengali newspaper and write an essay in her mother tongue.