My accent is my heritage,
An ode to my village,
My accent is the unwritten biography of my tribe,
My accent is a tear on the cheeks of women,
Who sacrificed so that I could succeed.

Forget about tweaking it,
Changing it,
Or faking a foreign voice.
My accent is my lifetime achievement award.

My accent is a melody of my childhood,
My accent is a pillow that helps me sleep.

My accent is an ode to my ancestors,
Who survived droughts, floods and wildfires.

My accent is the lightyear
That measures the distance between where we started,
And how far we have come.

My accent is a leaf of a banyan tree,
Rooted to its soil.
My accent is the success story,
Of my illiterate parents.
My accent is a tribute to jowar roti,
That my mother packed in my dabba.
My accent is the fabric of a bandhani saree,
That my grandma wore on Diwali.

My accent is the one thing,
That I will pass on to my little ones,
Because that’s something we did not beg, borrow,
That’s something we own.

In a world of sameness,
My accent is my identity,
My originality,
My individuality.

My accent is an evidence of our existence.
Do not tell me to change my accent.
As individuality is anyways, a scarce resource.

If I could personify my accent then
I would turn it into a crown
and wear it on my head.

My accent is my pride.
Do not sell me a story,
That says otherwise.

Janvi Sonaiya is a journalist based in Gujarat. She writes on taxation, politics and social issues.

Featured image: ARUNAVA MONDAL / Unsplash