Friday, August 20, 2010

Only English

When the 'English only' rule
Was enforced in school
With a fine levy
For slipping into the mother tongue,
With a foolscap as added penalty
Many of us went dumb,
Spoke in gestures,
Resorted to notes,
Found we couldn't chat with friends,
Struggled to find equivalents
For every day words,
Simple messages like
"Bring the book tomorrow!"
To a classmate
Took a while to string together.
We looked forward to the closing bell
And when it rang, we burst forth
Like water from a barrage
And unleashed the words
We were born into
In a delightful torrent
And spoke and spoke as if we had found our voice again.


P. Venugopal said...

intense. how it chokes and chokes. you have brought it out with real force.

Balachandran V said...

I ditto Venu. I too was choked and choked and about to die when the bell rang!

Prabhakar said...

I still feel choked when I have to speak in English. Mabe it was that school experience.