Thursday, February 26, 2015

For POETS UNITED Midweek Motif ~ Mother Tongue ~ Oh English To Be In England ...

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Mother Tongue

Going to UK Nottingham to be exact
was a dream come true really, in fact
excited to see Robin Hoods Forest n
 Castle and birthplace of DH Lawrence

 soon landed on historical Heathrow 
 expecting to see all English but was
 utterly surprised to see, many Chinese
no sounds of English but just Cantonese

well, lets wait and see...said Churchill...

waiting for passport I saw a blue turban
 uniformed figure coming walking smartly,
 suddenly he spoke
 'Kaur e, Kaure ,aj gaddi naiyun aani'
  Oh he was speaking pure Punjabi''

Oh am I really in England's London? I
was beginning to have some doubts, I 
looked around, late at night the lounge
 was empty, this being the last flight,

'Chalo chalo' '(walk) someone said 'Oh
 who is this speaking Urdu... now I was
sure I was on the wrong plane which had
landed somewhere in the Subcontinent plain

'Come up 'aage aao' I heard, glad to have
the green book back, slung one on shoulder
pulling the other bag, I walked judging the 
exit' all are going...this must be it'

Oh what a relief to see sonny who
smiled happily 'looks weak and skinny'
I thought but he smiled and smiled
his joy expressed without words, any...

Oh Salam how are you ...'kab se kharra
hun..waiting so was the wait 
the medical check..the Punjabi Chinese
 the Indians,from many a land...

I thought I was not really in England...

Oh Mom wait and will hear 
Punjabi speak Punjabi and Kashmiri
Paharri ...(.O wither my MA in ELT? )
Mom you will see the unity in diversity'

and so it was  a real reality
I was in London ...driving Centrally
street lamps glowed  gracefully, flashes
 of Sherlock Holmes came intermittently

I smiled thankfully for I knew I
could speak Urdu Punjabi Pahaarri
and English  I grew up with, I loved,
I found it was now 'Mother Tongue'
of All the Family....

Oh to be in England that Spring is here
''wait and see, just wait....


  1. This is a witty way to describe such a hub of humanity--and lucky you to have so many languages! Is English the Mother Tongue of your son--or is this another irony, English all over the world? Anyway, it is a delight to crosss the airport with you.

    1. Thank you Dr Family we should be speaking 'Kashur' language of (Indian held) Kashmir my birth place, but adopted language is Urdu in son's native language is 'Hindko Pushto (language of the Northern Province-by birth) English he learnt in school, people call him Italian (by looks) Oh Dear -this poem is about we are learning Pushto(language of the further North ) we speak read work in English gracious teacher gave me an NN (Near Native English recommendation) is English for us...I enjoyed this wonderful prompt...Thank you

  2. Heathrow described in language nutshell. I like it.

  3. It's great that you could speak so many languages. When I was in London, many years ago I couldn't ever understand English there. Ha. You wrote a clever poem here. And yes there is unity in deversity.

  4. ha...a fun read..really enjoyed :)

  5. Thank you Friends Myrna and Sumana...there is another 'language story I experienced during my stay..I had to look outside the window to confirm the fact of being in England...inside the language made us feel in the sub continent...yes the accent in places in UK is quite different..our neighbour had that ..bus' was boos' and 'pub' was poob....

  6. I do love this memory shared, Anjum. (Sorry I am late in responding.) Interesting how your 'mother tongue' seems to have changed. And there really is something about being in England, isn't there?

  7. I think it is truly wonderful that Britain is such a polyglot society, as highlighted by your witty poem. Language is so important for peace and understanding.

  8. Thank you Mary Thank you Vivinfrance ...your visit is an honor

  9. Nice read Anjum. Even here in NZ there are now so many from the subcontinent that often I walk into lifts and hear various languages being spoken. So much fun to hear them.