20. Army officer’s daughter
I am an Indian, a true Indian as I am born to an Oriya couple in Kolkata and have lived in 28 states in the span of 30 years. Kids like us are called Army Brats for many reasons.
I am from Odisha, a state in the Eastern part of India. However, I have never stayed in Odisha but I am an Oriya from the heart.
So, you may ask, where have I been? I have been all over the country.
My father was in the Army, a true olive green type, and was frequently posted to different places. I was raised all over the country as we would move as my father got transferred, mostly in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, J&K, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, i.e., to Northern states.
I have been to 28 states and have stayed in 17 of them for over a year. Wow! I think I can truly say that I am a well traveled North Indian.
So, you may ask, how did I cope with many languages?
I have always had a pleasant way around language and I adapt to languages very easily. I have never had any issues getting around people with different languages. For me, language is a mix of hand gestures, facial expressions, and sounds. A smile and a soft tone always get me the way.
My unique upbringing has taught me a lot. I can speak Hindi, English, Oriya, Bengali and Punjabi. I can understand all the north Indian languages like Marwari, Haryanvi, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Kuchi, and Assamese very well. Whichever place I have stayed, I was taught the local dialects slangs and easy sentences to get by pleasantly and it dwelled into a habit.
Author: Minakshi Priyadarshini