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.


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!

Friendship too has theories!

Facebook is dying, naturally. Everything that begins has to end. That was what happened to Orkut. It is what is happening to Facebook.

I had been losing interest in Facebook when one of my friends started this secret group. Here all started posting photos and comments teasing each other which we would not normally post in public. It soon became a hit, and word spread around. Now, more friends wants to join. I really wanted them too to be part of the fun, hence I added them. But the admin, another friend of mine, doesn’t want to make it open for them. I felt sorry for them.

Obviously, the radii of friendships greatly differ among people.

Friendships are an integral part of human life. As with any other thing, experts have put forward views and theories regarding friendship too!

1. The Alliance Hypothesis
We make friends to side with us in arguments. The more we have on our side, the more stronger we feel!
Ooh! That sounds like we’re in for a fight!

2. The Familiarity Hypothesis
The more familiar we get with the person-the more we see him, the more we know him – we get closer.
That would explain the alphabet segregation I observe in schools and colleges. The closer persons are in the roll list, the more probability they are together in classes.

3.The Similarity Hypothesis
Classic “Birds of the same feather flock together”. No further explanation required!

4. The Exchange Hypothesis
One befriends another looking at the rewards of being in the relationship. Ugh! I hate the very idea of this!

Research says that alliance hypothesis is the best explanation for friendships.

Interesting!  I thought friendship was an unconditional love and liking for the other person, no matter what side of the argument he takes. Didn’t we all learn that we must expect nothing out of a relationship, and here’s the research, telling us we don’t do anything simply out of concern!

Study mode on: The choices?

Come exams, and the whole college goes silent and students into a hustle. Syllabus has to be looked into, question patterns assessed, time tables made for revision and re-revision….and most importantly, pages to be pored over !!! Essentially things are the same for all, but the habits of people vary widely.

Here’s a categorization of people according to the methods opted for study..

1. The typical: Brooding book worms

These are the ones that come to mind when you say studies or exams. Seems they were born to study. They’d be seated for hours in front of the book, and you wouldn’t see them even if you walked past. So still and silent.

Could easily transform into a vampire. They possess the basic characteristics: You would have gone for hours and they wouldn’t have moved an inch from the place. Most of them retreat to their nests, and wouldn’t see the daylight till the end of the exams.

2. Buzzing Bees: Droning devotionally

Commonly associate themselves with the phrase “I’m tensed!!” And you hear it five times every hour if you go anywhere near! Not that you would, for they read aloud in a monotonous drone, like a buzzing bee. You feel like a drill is boring into your head.

Usually no soul is seen in a ten-mile radius around their place. For obvious reasons!

3. The walkers

These are seen in plenty. Particularly on the night before the exams. They go round and round the place-probably walk more in an hour than they have done the whole week.  Serves dual purpose: mind workout and body workout!

They are the ones that need to rest most, as it’s not only their minds, but their bodies are sore as well!!

4. Birds of the same feather learn together

Commonest mode of study found in a residential facility like a hostel.  Involves division of labour and sharing of knowledge within the group. Helps to keep morales high and nerves calm. But has the potential to become a nuisance to persons around owing to noise.

Beware! The situation can easily flip into a chat center if precautions are not taken!

5. The vanishing candidate

Unlike most others who stick to a place to study, these “phantoms” can be found everywhere. They move from place to place depending on the time of the day and the kind of subject. The less interesting, the more they move. They can be found by the window now. The next moment they are under the tree. A rare find. Their life gets hard when most places are permanently occupied and there is no new place to shift.

6. The ghost whisperer

They probably evolved from the buzzing bees. They read, but not aloud. You can hear noises, no words. Chiefly, it’s their ‘s’ and ‘t’ that is heard aloud. Gives off vibes of somebody talking behind your back.

Ugh! It’s an awful feeling!

7. The auditory learners

The rarest kind.

Learning is a visual, auditory and tactile process. These seem to give their visual element a rest and put in all energy into trapping sound waves. Makes you wonder if they were audio receivers in their past life! They cannot learn unless somebody is teaching or reading out aloud. Put them alone and they wither away!

Generally seen messing around the study groups.

So where do you belong?