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A language problem at home

Visiting Mumbai after more than 20 years, I could have been visiting a foreign land.

As I landed in Mumbai's International Terminal yesterday, the humidity, dust and ancient taxis, roads and other systems were a shock even for me. There have been changes but I could have been in a time warp on that drive from the airport to my client's office in Malad. Ancient taxis built for midgets jostled for three-wheelers (auto rickshaws), motorcycles, cycles, people, thankfully no cows, and posh foreign cars. There were very posh high-rises standing cheek by jowl with shacks hosting little shops.

What I was most surprised is my inability to find the right words in Hindi to communicate. At the best of times, my Hindi (or Marathi or Gujarati) wasn't anything to write home about but it was harder this time around. English has always been my first language but I never had much problems communicating in my native languages of Bengali or Hindi but I was surprised at how bad I was this time around.

I'm sure the words will be back.

Trip to Mumbai – day 1

Exhausted but pleased