My mother Tongue is Malayalam and I am super proud of it. I am proud of the rich heritage this language possesses, the amazing and awesome literary feast that it has to offer and I am in awe of the extremely talented, legendary writers of Malayalam. I am immensely proud that in spite of being born and brought up in Delhi, I can read , write and speak the language fluently, the credit goes to my Parents , grandparents and my school, Kerala School, which taught me the language, the teachers who encouraged and instilled a sense of pride and belongingness in us with regard to our mother Tongue.
In school I have won many essay writing competitions in Malayalam, and I consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to read some legendary, outstanding literary works of Late Shri Takazhi Sivasankara pillai, he was awarded the highest Literary award of India ‘janpith’ for his novel Kayar (1978) (I have also had the privilige to meet him when he visited our school in the early eighties) and the Late revolutionary literary figure Late Shrimati Kamala Das, whose works were no less than fireworks and many more such eminent writers of Malayalam and their excellent work.
I have immensely enjoyed reading every bit of Malayalam literature and till date is a big fan of Malayalam as a language, as a medium of expression and the naturality and ease that it has, every region of Kerala has a differet tone and tanor to it’s speech but wherever it is spoken, however it is spoken it is the most charming and melodious language to my ears.
Though I am so proud of all the above, I am also ashamed and feel guilty that my children, though they are small now do not have the same attachment to this language, my elder daughter can speak , the younger one just won’t relent and in spite of my parents speaking to them in Malayalam only (they spend maximum time with them in a day) she just refuses to speak though she understands the language. I think it is our fault, I should encourage them and speak more in Malayalam at home rather than the ‘Mandi’ (Malayalam+Hindi) and ‘Manglish’ (Malayalam+English). My elder daughter likes to read and I have tried telling her many times that by not learning to read and write Malayalam she is losing out on an ocean of extra ordinary literary works and masterpieces of literature of this beloved Language.
I have made up my mind to take this up as a task this year and make my children learn and love their mother tongue and respect it as I do. I am thankful to my parents and the wonderful teachers of my school who instilled this feeling of respect and love for my mother tongue in me and taught me to read and write and speak it fluently because of which I am able to savour such literary spread.
Long live Malayalam and may it see many more wonderful and outstanding writers in the years to come.