chapter
12 Pages

Introduction

At a critical moment in Deepa Mehta's film Fin, Sita remarks to her lover Radha, "There is no word in our language to describe what we are or how we feel for each other." To which language does she refer-Punjabi, some variant of Hindi, Urdu, or, more likely, some combination of all three? We do not know because on screen the characters speak English. In this metonymic moment, two things happen: English is disowned as "our language" (even though Indians have been speaking English fur two hundred years) and "our language" is framed as a catch-all unnamed Indian language that lacks any word for same-sex identities or relationships.