I was an NRI for more than half of my life, so it amuses me no end when I see new NRIs conversing in a language they mastered recently. I never found the need to talk to other Indians in Arabic when I was in Bahrain or Dubai so I do not really understand why there’s this new trend of showing off your newly acquired language skills to fellow Indians. And I have noticed how it's mostly prevalent among Indians in Europe.
Picture the scene in Queen when Rani (played by Kangana) visits her relatives in France along with Vijayalakshmi (played by Lisa Haydon). They are conversing in their mother tongue when all of a sudden their relatives decide to talk in French, quick to quote that they are now taking tuition classes for the same. Now shift your focus to Rani and Vijayalakshmi’s expressions. Do you see them going “Wow”?
Of course not. These were the exact set of expressions I and my classmates shared back in school when our Indian-born French teachers used to chat with each other. That of amusement.
French sir #1: "Ma femme est si paresseux"
French sir #2: "Toutes les femmes sont les mêmes"
French sir#1: "Mais elle cuisine bien"
French sir#2: "Oui"
Students: "Do you think they are bitching about us?"
It’s totally understandable though if it’s a local you are interacting with and you NEED to converse in this new language for them to understand. But it’s not always the case. On Facebook itself, I see so many changes not just in the language used but also the name. I saw one “Maya” become “Màya” and a “Meenakshi” become “Mènaxi” as soon as they landed in Europe. And the worst part is, I am not even sure how their names are pronounced now.