July 6, 2011

Barriers...

The party had begun.

He was there, as always, the first one! They could trust him.

Finally, he had won their trust! Step 1-check!

Some thought he used to do all this to fit in. Probably, he did.

He had made every effort to make himself feel at home. He was desperate to adjust to this new culture. He had started to enjoy the cuisine too, though it was very different from his native one. Effort, some more effort, and I will be a part of them, he used to tell himself. His efforts were genuine and he honestly enjoyed their company and was eager to learn about their traditions. Sometimes, he would vouch for their viewpoint even in their absence, among his own peers.

Progress

Why was he so desperate?

At first it was forced and unavoidable circumstances that pushed him to an unknown territory. But later it turned into an experience. Spending your life with people who have been brought up in a culture alien to him was exciting. Of course, since he was the “different” one, he had to make the efforts.

But language, his biggest nemesis! The people were very nice and they never let him feel like an outcast. They made the process easy. He started to pick some words here and there, and like a two year old trying to speak his first words, he tried to make some sense. Most of the times he didn’t, but he kept trying! He would try to jump in some conversations hoping he wouldn’t make a fool of himself. Well, only sometimes he didn’t!

The party had started to gain momentum. Drinks were being served and there was light music. He was with his gang!

Yes, it was his gang! Step 2-check!

He looked around in a moment of solitude. There were happy and smiling faces. There was fun, frolic and laughter. He didn’t understand why were they laughing but he smiled in his own space. Language is significant. It’s one’s pride and identity. But for an outsider, it sure is a hindrance! Culture, cuisine and traditions are easy, language is a big one! How is one supposed to be a part of someone else’s life if he can’t understand them 90% of the time? In happier times, it goes unnoticed. It’s the times when you want someone close to you or you want to be close to the people you care about where this becomes suffocating.

Fitting in-it’s all an illusion, a big and dreadful illusion!

He realized he might not fit in, forever, but he enjoyed the illusion.

Somebody called his name and asked why was he away and what was he thinking? Other one pointed at a girl and winked! He laughed and showed the beer he was carrying towards them!

It seemed as if the illusion survived one more night!

Until…

They started another conversation in their language and he missed every bit of it!

Barriers, damn barriers, he thought, still a long way to go!