All this while I thought I had forgotten how to write in Malayalam.It had been ages since I had written anything in my mothertongue.
Although I did my schooling from an English medium school, I had Malayalam as a compulsory subject till the 8th grade. On top of that I took it up as my second language for the sheer love of my native tongue and the sheer hatred of Hindi! Till my higher secondary education I literally played with Malayalam words to better my language skill. I used to feel empowered when I excelled in Malayalam and people said the language was one of the most difficult languages to learn.
I wrote letters to my paternal grandparents and my cousins in Kerala in Malayalam. When Ma communicated with ammamma,who lived not very faraway by writing notes in malayalam,I used to contribute something in those notes from my end too just for the fun of it.In school I participated a lot in various essay-writing competitions, most of them in Malayalam. So,there was never a dearth of opportunities for me.
Once I finished my higher secondary it was the end of the ‘malayalam-writing-era’ for me. It was the Queen’s language all the way. Thankfully I didn’t stop speaking Malayalam as my parents were very particular that no language other than my mothertongue be spoken at home. Since we subscribed to quite a few malayalam magazines I didnt stop reading also.
With the advent of the internet,the situation was even more grim.There was no way I could write letters now. I had my yahoo id active and I was raring to use the medium to be in touch with all my folks. So I just let go of whatever little chance I had to stay in touch with writing in malayalam. I was never a literary person ,hence no inclination towards professional writing.So that chance too bit the dust.
After all these years,although I spoke fluent Malayalam,I was convinced I would have forgotten how to write in my mothertongue. But when my mother asked me to make a list of all the items that we’d be needing for Namnam’s vidyarambham, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I could list down all the items purely in malayalam,that too without any mistakes! What a sense of achievement it was!
I will soon be going back home where I will be so busy setting up my house that I’ll be resorting back to typing in English to save my time. I’ll have to seriously tell ma to give me more opportunities to write in malayalam till the time I’m with Amma& Achan