E for Engleesh

e for eenglish“Engleesh” – Yes that was the way I pronounced “English” a little less than 10 years ago. English was merely an examination subject to me; the one where I couldn’t earn the best marks by mugging alone. I was a nerd at school, the sort of database where my friends checked for answers regarding general issues.
I was schooled in arguably the best English Institution in the place, but what I excelled was in Malayalam, my mother-tongue. In a school known for its pomp and show, I was alien to the world of English-speaking parents.
I had put down my name for an English essay writing competition, and others fully expected me to win it, simply because I knew well about current events. To be honest, I did too! I wrote in all I knew, and probably used more papers than the others. But then I never knew it was not only your knowledge, but your language mattered as well. I was heart-broken. At the same time there was an elocution competition.I was disappointed by my abysmal performance. I couldn’t complete my thoughts, and was left searching for words. I was shocked by the way those students whom I never thought to perform well, doing far better than me. I had the knowledge, they knew the language. I was ashamed. I vowed to myself I would never participate again.
The same year, a class test. And I the topper of my class, scored less in English than a girl who keeps getting low grades in subjects. I am not one to fret over marks, but that memory stays fresh as it was definitely a surprise.
All the while, I kept doing well in Malayalam, my mother-tongue. I loved reading Malayalam books, and penned well in the language. I was a good speaker of the language as well!

About a year later, the Harry Potter frenzy had caught up with many in my school, but despite being an avid reader, I was ignorant of the fact as I never showed interest in English books. It was then that an abridged translated story of the first part of Harry Potter series featured in one of those nerdy magazines I read at the time. I remember being glued to it.

I didn’t know it then that my life had changed forever.

I asked my parents to get me the series, and within days, it was here.

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Though I knew the gist of the story, it was hard getting through the initial pages. I had to sit with a dictionary beside me and I found myself searching for words like Muggles and as I did not know about neologism then. I figured probably my dictionary was inadequate. However, I chugged on as I could, and by the end of the first book, I was a transformed self! You wouldn’t believe how much my language changed since Harry Potter. I don’t attribute it to reading Harry Potter alone, but it was certainly the torch which threw light onto the world of English for me. Since then, I became an English writer, speaker – not one to boast of, but not bad all the same.

In my final year of school, I was made to say a random speech in English, about my thoughts on the lesson. To my astonishment, I did quite well, which made me happy and proud. I never knew I had it in me to speak so well! I made a mental note that instant that I was going to participate in the upcoming English elocution. Being a student of this amazing institution, known for its excellence in English, and coming out of it with no credits in the language, would be bad. I decided to give it a try. I knew that my language was not at the same level than the others, so I began equipping myself. Some quotes, new phrases.. I found myself poring over a dictionary all the time. And the event day came. The topic was one in which I prepared on. I was happy. I made an excellent start quoting some famous poet, and spoke without much difficulty, and ended rather well. I was happy to have participated. I proved my worth. My friends said I did quite well. As I was the last participant, I couldn’t listen to how my fellow participants spoke. So I couldn’t judge myself. And the results. Teachers were vouching for their personal favourites, and I was alone by myself. I was not expecting one for myself either. I simply wanted to know who won. “Third place to No. 8, second place to No. 13, and first place to No. 19!!”, said the judges. “Who’s no. 19?”, everyone wanted to know.

Ahem, it was me folks!!

 

P.S.: Since then I abandoned my fears of English, and became confident in handling the language. And currently, I am editorial staff of the English-section (not Malayalam!) of the college Magazine! I handle both the languages now, but with so much ease. Confidence does a whole world of good!

P.S. 2: I know it is late for this, but Happy New Year fellow bloggers! Hope you have a great year ahead!

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Why social networks scare me

Yeah. They do.

Among the multitude of social networking sites, I’ve joined just one-Facebook. And a bad facebooker(is that the word?) at that. The only reason I have joined was to keep connecting with my family overseas and keep in touch with my old friends. Nobody gives a call now! They only drop messages or post in your walls!

So I’ve got what I needed, but there are extras I hate!

1. Those never-ending friend requests

From people you hardly talk to. Or worse from those you hate (and they may be knowing it too!). And even from people you don’t know from what place, no chance of having met or even meet in the future.

2.You are judged by your activity online

It’s no place to be for introverts like me. Introverts in the virtual world. In the real world I am a chatterbox. With a loud volume.

Speaking of which, I would like to present to you my classification of Facebook users.

Extroverted extroverts
They are as much a chatterbox in all worlds. They like everything, give in comments like Lol or Cool in every posts, and updates their status more often than they blink. Bring out laughs and chatter wherever they go.

Extroverted introverts
Logged in 24×7. Maybe they have nothing better to do. When seen real-time, only the choicest of words drop out of their mouths. If only they had that online courage in the real world! The banes of unlimited connectivity!!

Introverted extroverts
Prefers face to face chat than hitting away the keys. Virtual persona dull compared to who they really are. Must be keeping busy with better things out in the wild.

Introverted introverts
Akin to dead torrents. Even goes invisible. Acting true to their real persona. I have seen some truly great minds in this category!

3. Online fights versus offline fights
You never know how and when little jokes deviate into abusing and bad-mouthing. In real-life, you could try not to let things go out of hand, but here, God knows how to put an end. ‘Coz I’ve got the f###### right to freedom of speech! In real-time, you may juat miss that spot due to lack of timing. But time is at your service here to brew up that reply which hits the sweet spot! The very reason why quarrels lasts looong.
And these things happen right under your nose. If you ever go near to pacify, gone is your case! You learn to never repeat your mistake.

4. Your images are at anybody’s disposal
You never know who is gonna share your photo and where it finally ends up. Yet again, with unlimited freedom at our disposal, one can never be sure of anything. I personally have had experiences where my photos were shared and posted in contexts I could hardly have imagined. It mesmerises me how the powerful the human mind is!

5. Delete malfunction
An oft-discussed topic. How long facebook stores our personal information and images despite deleting them. I can never fathom the intentions behind these actions. And I can never get my head around those deftly worded privacy policies!

To sum it up,
I don’t digg facebook coz u never have any flickr of an idea on what your tweets might stumble upon that evades your(my)space with people linked-into you(r)tube of life!