When all the scholars were finished – nobody else was ready to take the challenge, seeing the fate of the fifteen most prominent scholars of the court – Kalidas appealed to the man, “I could not participate today because you did not invite the poets. You invited only the scholars. It would be a great kindness if you can come tomorrow again and give a chance to the poets.”
The man was more than happy. He said, “I can go on continuing as long as you want. Poets, singers, musicians, dancers, theologians, philosophers…anybody. I can go on coming every day.”
The next day Kalidas was standing in front of the gate with the whole court and the emperor. He asked them to stand there to receive and welcome the guest. They said, “This is not necessary,” but he said, “This is part of my strategy – you just stand here.”
There were at least a hundred marble steps leading to the palace, and as the man reached the upper step, Kalidas pushed him. He slipped on the steps, rolled down, and started shouting. Kalidas said, “This is your mother language!” – and the man had to accept that this was his mother language.
“But,” the man said, “this is not right.”
Kalidas said, “There was no other way – either love or fight. It is something that cannot be managed superficially.”
I told the story to Dr. S.K. Saxena. He said, “The story is perfectly true; it is my experience. I have loved many women, but it was always superficial because I could not speak my mother tongue. I could not say how much I loved her. And to say it in a foreign language was simply a translation; it was not the original.”
In the world there are thousands of languages, and nobody is willing to drop his own language. The only way seems to be that everybody be allowed to have two languages.
One is the international language – and English is perfectly right for it. It is more contemporary than any other language. Every year eighteen hundred words are added to it. No other language has that. It goes on renewing itself continually with the times. It seems right now to be the only language which is still growing, and the future needs a continually growing language, growing in all directions so that it can be very comprehensive.
But it cannot fulfill the need for a mother tongue to everybody. So everybody should be taught two languages from childhood. Every person has to be bilingual. And the gap can be bridged if both languages are brought in from the very beginning. It is not that one first learns the mother language up to a certain age and then starts learning another language; then the other language is never going to have the rootedness which the mother language has.
Any efforts like Esperanto are going to fail. They are arbitrary. They have taken everything good from this language, from that – eclectically. But a language has an organic unity which is missing in Esperanto.