He speaks

Listen:

he speaks Hindi,
melodic and suave,

earthy Punjabi,
salty-rich as saag paneer,

coastal Swahili entwined with warm Arabic.

He speaks Urdu,
language of dancing peacocks,
rosewater fountains –
even its curses are charming.

He speaks Gujarati,
solid, ancestral pride.

He speaks Sinhalese,
dramatic, rhythmic, musical.
Several words to choose from, for one definition,
depending on his emotion.
Richly poetic, laced with Portuguese.

Six languages,
full of melodies, colour, and spice.
Six ways of expression,
of thought.
Six minds.
Six different worlds.

Yet English
shrinks
him
down
before the sniggers of white men.

Sincerely,

Sandali’s Reveries

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