Updated: Jun 27
Story by Anshuman Singh I grew up in the village of Kaushambi. There was only one English medium school in the entire district. And these teachers spoke only in Hindi, with the local dialect, Avadhi.
However, English was the language of the world. It is the language of success in India. The world was moving towards speaking English, and I was left far behind, because of things not under my control.
English textbooks were the only source of English for me. I used to read them 4 to 5 times, out of interest as well as a desperation for success.
I worked hard and got admission in IIM Indore, into a 5 year integrated course after 12th standard.
Since I was naturally a shy person, I always faced a problem approaching people. Plus, people usually introduced themselves in English when they first met. Also, most of them had English TV series and Hollywood movies as a topic of discussion.
However, I was left out of many kinds of social activity.
I was lucky that I found some people who spoke mostly in Hindi. They became my best friends and my source of support.
Then, it was the time of the year for club selections.
I really wished to join the Literary Club since it had always been a source of relief and escape to me, to pen down my thoughts in the form of poetry, in my mother tongue.
However, when I went for the selections, all the questions they asked were related to English. They asked me what books I had read in English, and judged me based on that.
Literature = English Literature, apparently. It was a sad revelation.
If I would have known that it was an English literature club, I would not have applied. Rejection from this club lowered my confidence a lot, since poetry writing was very close to me.
After these selections, I stopped writing poems. It was painful.
In the English class in college, the professors had a bias towards those who already had a good background in English. Also, when professors having a foreign accent came to our college to lecture, I did not understand a word.
I used to go back into my cocoon in loneliness. It seemed like the place where I was born was somehow determining where I would end up in the future.
However, I did not give up.
To cover up for these obstacles, I worked really hard, and put my entire energy into studies.
To learn English better, I watched a lot of Hollywood movies. I also gradually started interacting with people who were good at English, out of academic reasons at first.
I always subconsciously thought that these people who spoke English would be rude to me if I ever approached them. But I was wrong.
A lot of misconceptions in my mind were cleared.
Towards the end of my college life, the job interviews terrified me. However, they also built my confidence a lot for the coming years.
I was finally able to score a job as an Assistant Manager in Marketing.
Hindi is not an inferior language, as it is subconsciously considered. And, even though I was from a backward village that only spoke in Hindi, I had found success.
I published my collection of poems in Hindi in March 2020. Something, which was always very close to me.
Village is a community that hasn't seen change since ages. Now when I visit my village, I feel like I have broken out of the cycle, to live the life I always wanted.