My Home Is a Multilingual Country

Amma reads Sanskrit from the left hand side page

while Appa follows the Tamil script on the right.

Each of them chants out the same words

with the same devotion, but

the shapes of the letters contort differently for each.

They are two opposing poles

who comprehend the world differently

but find middle ground

while expressing themselves out loud.

Amma reads Sanskrit from the left hand side page

while Appa follows the Tamil script on the right.

Both of them hold tightly the strings that bind the book,

keeping intact the multilingual tradition

that holds together our home.

And two ancient languages of India

find solace in my home,

while outside

they are used as armour

against each other.

If only people saw what I see;

that it isn’t a battle between north and south;

it’s a push and pull,

a give-and-take compromise –

a marriage –

the left hand Sanskrit page

and the right hand Tamil one

walk hand-in-hand

to keep the book together.

Amma reads Sanskrit from the left hand side page

while Appa follows the Tamil script on the right

and I?

I listen to both;

unable to make out any difference

in what is released into the air

and into my soul.

Saranya Subramanian is a 21-year-old student of English literature at Ashoka University. Find her on Twitter @ButIWantPasta and Instagram @saranyalolz
Featured image credit: Reuters