Writing With His Mother

From my friend Dhruva Ghosh‘s social media updates, ‘My mother taught me how to write’:

I remember she was helping me frame an essay about winter mornings and one of the things that I learnt was to weave in details into lore casually. I wrote, amongst other things, about the earthen cups in which one has tea.Today, as we have a quick conversation over the internet, she tells me about her morning, and she weaves details into lore casually.From somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Cyprus, she writes.
-“It’s raining outside, the ship is rolling a little. I am going to get myself a cup of coffee.”
-“Why don’t you go to the deck with your coffee?”
-“There’s a cold breeze outside.”
-“Accha. Sit by a window, then.”
-“I do that most of the time, and read books; I brought a few books along.”
-“Which ones?”
-“Bengali stories, and poems of Jibanananda Das.”

At this point, it strikes me that Ma learnt to read Bangla for the first time in big, block letters, from Tagore’s Sahaj Path (সহ্জ পাঠ) at the age of eleven years. Before that she only knew how to read and write English, which is a relatively restrictive language. She did well, by comparison.I guess that the treatment of language and language itself are different things.



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