Where do our disciplinary concepts come from? What are the processes by which they begin to garner particular associations and take root? In what ways do language policies enforce and thicken associations (and by extension inequities) and why is it important that we educators seek contexts whereby our default understandings of concepts and their terms are challenged? These questions form the backdrop against which the present localized discussion about the ‘English-cosmopolitanism’ and ‘vernacular-parochialism’ correlations are to be understood. Drawing on different kinds of ethnography data gathered in divergent contexts (in the same general multilingual geographic space in India), I shall argue that connections between these concepts and languages need to be constantly rethought and challenged, as they have crucial implications for all language educators and researchers. Doing so allows us to bring in grounded explorations around English and the vernaculars, and laminates existing scholarship in multilingualism by bringing in the political issues of equities, communities and civic engagement.