My mom was practicing architecture in Los Angeles, California, right when my dad got accepted into a Cardiology Fellowship program at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital. Resulting in my mom moving with him to Chicago, and sometime later I was born,
So by no fault of my own, I was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
I did my schooling up to 6th grade in America and naturally developed an American accent.
When I moved to India in 7th grade, I was hit by a torrential wave of Tamil and English in a thick Indian accent. Now, coming from America, where English is their first language, I could have chosen to come off as all high and mighty and condescend the Indian English.
But no, just like how I developed an American accent by no fault of my own, these people had an Indian accent by no fault of their own. What right did I have to look down upon these people just for the way they spoke?
But since I moved here nearly 6 years ago, people have bombarded me with jokes and insults about my way of speaking English. So much so that I’ve developed a sort of stutter. I get caught between subconsciously speaking with my American accent, and consciously trying to speak with an Indian accent and I’ve developed a minor stutter in my speech which is starting to really concern me.
Tamil is the native language of almost everyone here in Chennai, and it’s my mother tongue as well. I went for a couple of Tamil classes in Chicago and so I’m able to stumble my way through basic sentences.
I actually love speaking in Tamil. I don’t know why, maybe because it’s a much more passionate language than English?
My Tamil is pretty bad…… but for an Indian-American, it’s pretty good! Yet people mock the way I speak and go as far as telling me NOT to speak in Tamil. These are the same people who’s English I find absolutely hilarious, yet I don’t mock them.
I wish that people would grow up and realize that language and accent don’t matter. Listening to someone speak in a different accent is actually a privilege as it opens you up to a new perspective on how people communicate.
Anyways, I’ve got a test on Neurology and Angiology tomorrow. Ciao and thank you for listening to me vent!