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broken english

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

This is the start of a tragic story.

In a land amidst the high peaks and valleys,

the sound of bells rang through the streets.

Voices arose: speaking in familiar tones.

As the children rose, the tones we could once trace so well even with eyes closed,

began to drown in vowels and jargons

that had travelled from the west and in the centre of civilization,

it had settled upon its nest.

Thus, begins our story.

Our mother tongue began to slip away:

leaving room for the english language to comfortably colonize our history and pave our way.

And so, we narrate this tale in a language that we know

but one that we cannot call our own.

The elders began speaking broken english,

stringing words together to form sentences that they spoke in mixed tones;

While the younger ones, we were told-

we must learn to speak the language for if we don’t,

the rest of the world would forget who we were.

We rushed to master the art of speaking and writing in accents foreign to our home,

Our own home began to slowly fade away as the language our ancestors spoke was moulded from conversation to mere scriptures that we store.

The value of a language somehow became monetary.

The highest value held by the English currency;

it lured on the pinnacle above us all.

The words of the west loomed upon the rest

and there we held it until this hierarchy seeped into permanency;

our mother tongues- saturated with thick accents that don’t belong to us.

Until one day,

our native tones were not just forgotten but looked down upon:

for broken english was no longer the norm.

The language at the pinnacle was the only one to master.

The rest became long forgotten dialects buried in sand like seashells on the shore.

The waves of the words we speak clashes against it

but the language we once called ours remains in quiet isolation,

weathers into sediment;

until all we have left of it is preserved in traces .

Until all we have left of it

no longer remains.

  1. kriesha pradhan

Cover Photo Source: Columbia Daily Spectator



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