Remembering in English

This essay was published in Cafe Dissensus, 3 June 2015

Cafe Dissensus Everyday

Like Cafe Dissensus on Facebook.  Follow Cafe Dissensus on Twitter.

By Rashida Murphy

My paternal grandfather died when I was six years old but my memories of him are lucid and visceral, reinforced by old black-and-white photographs. Photographs that show an unsmiling man, short and portly, dressed in pinstripes and waistcoat with a fob watch looped around his waist. He leans on a stick and his rimless spectacles suggest short sightedness. Yet I remember laughter, deep belly-shaking laughter and energy; energy and robustness that defied the weariness I see in the photos. And I remember him in English, a language I am certain he never spoke.

So what is it about memories and language? I dream in two languages, sometimes three. With my siblings and cousins I spoke Hindi/Urdu (and still do, despite Hindustani not being my mother tongue), but our parents and grandparents obliged us to speak to…

View original post 651 more words

Advertisements

2 responses to “Remembering in English

  1. Thanks for posting, Rashida. And many congratulations on your Dundee Prize shortlisting. Brilliant result.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s