I was reading writer Mahmud Rahman's blog, where he discusses the language one chooses to write in, and its relationship to one's mother tongue. He approaches the issue from a writer's point of view - that is, the special problems that the writer faces when his or her mother tongue is different from the language that he or she chooses to write in. A fascinating topic.
That's a writer's dilemma, of course, but every time I write something in English - that, say, gets published in the Daily Star - something else bugs me: that the vast majority of educated Bangladeshis will not be able to read what I have written because they are educated in Bangla.
So for me, the big question is: who is the audience I write for? That is the basic question that I think many creative people must grapple with. In the subcontinent, Mulk Raj Anand and R. K. Narayan were the two early successful novelists in English - but look at what happened to Michael Madhusudan Dutta.
If you are a creative person, perhaps you have some thoughts? I have heard arguments that Satyajit Ray's Pather Pachali was really meant for a Western audience. But I have also read about Ray vehemently denying it. More importantly, can one argue that there ought to be a moral bias towards a particular type of audience the work of art is created for?
I have no confusion about who I write on this blog for. It is meant for our friends in the US, as well as anyone else, who is interested in the experiences of a returning NRB. As such, English is the way to go. But I also feel some loss at not being able to write as fluently in Bangla as I once did. My Bangla, as they say, "aRoshTo hoye gechhey." Something I want to fix in the future, definitely.