English Vinglish

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Finally, I have met a couchsurfer who can share my interest in Bollywood films! Last night, Suko (my Indonesian guest) and I watched a very “feel good” Bollywood movie entitled English Vinglish.

The movie revolved around an Indian mother, Shashi (played by Sridevi) who cannot speak in English. She experienced discrimination under her own house and was the laughing stock of her own family because of her inability to speak in English.

The plot started when the family received a mail from their relatives in New York inviting Shashi to cater her niece’s wedding and cook ladoos. It was a difficult decision to make because Shashi kept on thinking about her weaknesses.

Her adventure in New York was a bitter-sweet experience. She cannot dine out, she cannot comprehend signs and other “lost in translation” moments. Being exhausted with all that emotional noise, she enrolled for an English Learning Program and was able to learn English in 4 weeks. She was able to surprise her family during the speech she gave at the wedding:

Meera…Kevin…maybe you’ll very busy…but have family…son…daughter…in this big world…It will make you feel so good. Family…family can never be…never be judgemental! Family will never…put you down…will never make you feel small…Family is the only one..who will never laugh at your weaknesses. Family is the only place where you will always get love and respect. That’s all Meera and Kevin.

I see a lot of wisdom in the film, but for me, the greatest lesson I have learned is that the ability to speak in English (or any other language) will not define a person. It is not the ultimate goal.At the end of the day, love will surpass any language. At the end of the day, you’ll realize what matters most in your life.

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