Tuesday, 31 March 2015

In love with love

It never ceases to amaze me that English, which is one of the richest and oldest languages, certainly older than Bengali my mother tongue, and richer with a vocabulary of more than a million words compared to Bengali's 100,000; but English has just one word for love, okay two if you count affection. Neither of them are nuanced, neither of them indicate the nature of the emotion, the object to which it is directed. Clipped and curt and businesslike, it gives you the state of the one who feels it but no further details. In the Indian languages I speak/know, and in Arabic which I try to speak and know a little, there are several words for love. In Bengali, there is general love, there is romantic/sexual love, there is the affection felt towards someone younger, there is the love of a mother towards a child, there is spiritual love directed at a divine being. And portmanteau words, which are an integral part of the normal language, no neologisms there, yield unending variants: mother-love, brother-love, son/daughter-love, friend-love. Does this say anything about the speakers of the languages?  I mean, apart from the fact that Bengalis are dreamy navel-gazing idealists in love with love?

Last couple of months have just zipped by - the child went on his first independent, international trip with his class to France, and all my energies in the days of his journey and leading upto it were taken up with not unravelling with worry and spoiling it for him. He managed fine though he did not wear as many layers as I had required and entreated and begged him to.  Once he reached, there was no way to communicate directly with him, but I survived somehow.  Glued to the updates that his teachers provided.  

Also the alternative medicine didn't work, not an iota of improvement after 6 weeks of relentless and fussy doses of pills and restrictions, so went back to the regular ENT and got regular allergy medicine, which seems to be working fine so far.  Breathing in, breathing out.  What more does one need? Keeps it simple, the priorities, love it simple. Wonder if there is a word for that in Bengali?

Tomorrow, or rather in a few hours, the A-Z Challenge starts, and this time I am better organised about both the reading, writing and visiting.  I am not sure whether I should sign up with this blog too, I had originally thought I would, because then I could plan the ones on M-i-V and this could be completely spontaneous, I am a pantzer by inclination! But then again it might be better to wait for the third year to do that.  


  1. Wow! Reading this post seems like talking to someone from the Oxford's diction's management group. Sorry; in fact Oxford won't be having words as "pantzer" in their armoury. A great story by you can surely loft you as a great writer.

  2. Hi Nila - I didn't realise these details ... I know we have a huge vocabulary ... I was listening to something today, Stephen Fry's English Delight, where he talks about language and here they were discussing spies and intelligence ... and they were saying that so much was said without being said ... body language et al ... I don't know if you know of him, or these sessions - and can get them ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry%27s_English_Delight - the latest 25 August 2015 is the session.

    Good on your Pantzer and so well done for holding your nerve while your son travelled .. cheers Hilary