I’ve always been fascinated by the routines of people I admire. Especially what makes a writer tick.
And since I’ve always been fascinated by the author Salman Rushdie I googled to find these gems.
There is undeniable pride for me, in the fact that he’s of South Asian ethnicity and more than mastered the language of the coloniser.
I have a complicated relationship with the idea of colonisation, being an Anglophile. Most wouldn’t consider me a native speaker when they look at my name, or see me, a brown skinned Singaporean. When they think native speaker they still think white and that just seems unfair as my mother tongue Tamil is not my native language either.
In fact, as a child I spoke English more as the only person in my family who spoke in Tamil was my grandmother. On top of this both my parents could speak Malay but sadly I wasn’t able to pick it up, again from lack of use. So I don’t think you can blame me for being more comfortable in English.
I dream and imagine things in English, so I can’t see myself having any other native tongue. I even translate everything from English when I’m trying to learn other languages. At the same time I’m proud that I’m naturally fluent in Singlish, a language that connects all locals.
I take joy in the fact that there are writers like Rushdie who elevated the English Language and expanded it with a style of his own.
More in this interview: about the English Language