I started writing love poetry when puberty launched its well-timed and vicious attack. Till about barely a month before that, I was a virtuous school girl who blanched at the thought of boys, but all of a sudden I was overcome by the desire to write poetry on them, and everywhere I turned I found a muse. I was sure this would not go down well with mother –for one, she made a career out of keeping a close watch on me (which led me to make a career out of appearing glazed-eyed-innocent), and she also would not appreciate my having weird thoughts about boys). Nonetheless, I had to write, and write I did.
I wrote extremely trite, nauseous verses about snowflakes floating down and settling atop pine trees (pine! I hadn’t even seen one then), and lovers walking hand in hand and exchange of stolen kisses. I used to collect these fancy letter pads and had a huge stack of them; I wrote my poetry in a dazzling white letter pad which had a peacock feather design on the bottom left hand corner. Peacock feather -> Krishna -> Love -> Radha – all hunky dory and served to add fuel to the hormone burst already threatening to swallow me whole.
Quite prolific I used to be, wrote much. Once I made the cardinal mistake of leaving it out and as I got back from school I find mother livid with rage and thundering, “Where did you get these dirty songs from? Did you write them?”
“Erm… Is kissing dirty?” a thought was planted in my head then, but I digress.
I told her that it’s the lyrics of Carpenters, “Mummyyy, I am collecting song lyrics. Che che, how will I know how to write song lyrics?”
Mother suitably mollified, I set about strategising on “How to Hide Stuff Right under Parents’ Noses.” And I came up with a cipher which I used quite extensively to write my journals and poetry. The experience was very rewarding and I even started rudimentary exploration of made-up words because I couldn’t be bothered with my cumbersome cipher which was basically just substitution of alphabets with symbols.
The language was never born, but I understand the joy that a language brings to the soul.
I heard about Pig Latin a few years hence and was tickled by the simplicity of it, I haven’t heard anyone use it in conversation yet, but it’s quite popular as I’m led to believe. It’s just about transferring the ending consonant sound to the beginning of a word and adding “ay” to the end of the word. So “Pig Latin” will be “igPay atinLay.” Simple wimple.
“Tintin in America” features this tribe called Arumbaya who speaks a language of the same name. It is perfect phonetic cockney and it was a joy to read. When I read it first, I didn’t know it was cockney, but I knew it was disguised English. My favourite bit used to be “Naluk,” which means “Now look.”
Elvish, which is so extensive and by no means a trivial language, was made up by JRR Tolkien purely for personal enjoyment. I wanted to learn the language, but my extreme laziness is a force to be reckoned with and laziness won. Elvish is a group of languages, Quenya and Sindarin being the primary ones. The languages constantly evolve and therefore there is no model to gauge them against for accuracy, which means that Quenya may never be spoken “accurately” though I’m sure people try.
Esperanto, on the other hand is conversational and is supposed to be quite useful for communicating among people of different nations who do not have a common mother tongue. I heard about this very recently and I am inclined to believe it might be like Urdu or Sanskrit which other ancillary languages draw heavily from. Esperanto developed from the other languages rather than the other way round.
Lobjan, is also a culturally neutral, unambiguous spoken language.
I’m sure it would be much fun to learn all these.
If life/time/laziness/discipline permits.