By Michelle D’costa
Mom said, English will take you abroad.
Gulf will kick you out when it has sucked
the life out of you. You must go abroad. At home,
Konkani is the language of shut doors because
in the world — English opens doors for you.
Our cousin has returned from America
with an accent that we
don't follow. His mother spills hot water
on his feet and out comes our mother tongue
that I don't follow. I still pick up crumbs
of conversations from under doors —
too little to regurgitate on vacations.
I have been labelled a "haughty NRI" who wants
nothing to do with her language.
Michelle is a Mangalorean from Bahrain. She has poetry and prose published in various journals like Queen Mob's Teahouse, Coldnoon, The Sunflower Collective, Guftugu, Vayavya, The Bombay Literary Magazine and more. She loves to interview writers and runs the ezine Kaani. Follow her writing and blog here.