Resuming my seat?

1. Yesterday, one of my students raised her eyebrows at the following usage in the chapter ‘The Snake and The Mirror,’ English NCERT reader for class ninth:

“…Then I resumed my seat…”

2. Instead of going at length to search through engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find out further examples which allow such usages: I told her based on my better judgement that it was an unusual and creative usage since it was rare.

3. The thing with language, culture, literature and life is: there are laws and there are exceptions to laws. There are laws governing exceptions decipherable by few of us but they’re there. In general: if you’re accepted by community at large and become popular: your usages and exceptional behaviour is accepted and then becomes a trend.

4. The logic might go like this: if they‘re doing this it must be something BIG. The usage upthread would make an examiner deduct marks of students. As a matter of fact: in our school days we were supposed to reproduce answers as verbatim as possible. If you took exceptions even in subjects like maths and science: you had to pay heavy prices. Even today: the prestigious school where we studied has teachers who dictate randomly structured answers which don’t follow strict standards of Grammar and they’re supposed to copy and paste those in exams. Grammar, syntax, laws, culture and their evolution are strange- therefore let me resume my seat and I hope you would resume yours until we can.

Theka, thela and aap!

1. One of my earliest childhood memories is related to my great grandfather reading a newspaper one morning. I must have started learning Hindi reading for he decided to test my skills. He was wearing glasses and reading it in the drawing room of our grandparents’ house where we used to live. Since he chose to test my skills for reading the title of the newspaper: it’s obvious that such tests hadn’t been conducted before. There’s no way to produce any corroboration for what my exact age was.

2. I read it aloud using the image on the front page, just below the title . I had only begin to read when I saw that image and thought it was an easy way out. It wasn’t. I read ‘Naav Bharat.’ Naav is a synonym for boat in Hindi which was there in the image. He immediately corrected me saying “Nav not Naav.” Nav in Hindi means new and Bharat is for India. In my very first test of reading I was cheating. Using an easy way out with the imagery available. The late old man was barely literate used dialect of Hindi prevalent in his region.

3. In another such event my parents were residing besides the aforementioned house in a rented room and I once visited my grandfather. He took me in the house and then as I was talking about my father he used a word which was new to me. To indicate that he didn’t feel responsible for my father- he said “Hamne tumhaare baap ka THEKA nahi liya hai.” It was obviously used only to tease a young child.

4. Theka was too much to interpret. I had heard thela. Thela was a moving vehicle with six wheels. Biggest vehicle on road. Thela is also used for wooden four wheelers pushed by peddlers. As soon as he uttered the word- an image of a truck was created in my mind. It stayed as one confusing word thela/theka, until I knew better.

5. Thela or thelo is also used as a verb which means: to push. That’s why hand pulled or pushed wooden vehicles are called by that name.

6. I sing a poem for my kindergarten student. This was learned a very long ago by heart. The story in the verse has to do with an old woman who buys a big pot to trick lions and tigers on path:

Image courtesy: Twitter and Google.

7. As soon as I speak the 11th line: “Usme baithee budhiya aap,” the kid gets confused about the usage of word aap. It means by herself here. He has only been accustomed to the usage of word as second person pronoun used with respect. He asks: “are you insinuating that I am the old lady who sat in the pot?”

8. Abruptly ending a post which was about language:

Unsuspecting masses!

Sanchalit or Sanlalit?

1. Big poster. Big cutouts. What for? Education. Distance education. Just below the name: in-your-face SANLALIT course is the Hindi heading for courses offered in distance learning :

There are five categories offered. These courses help you advance your career in education business.

2. Elementary education offered in Hindi is enough to teach the difference between Sanchalit and Sanlalit. It’s a typo. The question arises: an institute offering these courses mounts a poster worth 15000 rupees at many locations: why do they leave such errors?

3. What actually happens in such institutions is not hidden from anyone. Why did the editors team let this poster go out? Is it being careless or smug or following the trend set by today’s Hindi newspapers and political leaders?

4. Below the image of director: Sanchalak which means Conductor or Director. Why not Sanlalak for Sanlalit courses?

5. Here’s a song to celebrate:

6.

Chaska Chai Ka!

Another cafe located nearby. Machine is there but never used. The boy took holiday recently. It’s relatively quiet. Only place where elaichi tea is offered for ten rupees. Coffee is for fifteen rupees per serving. They also hesitate to serve an individual, obviously for time and effort put doesn’t give good returns. Mint tea is there on the menu without actually being given out. Manpower lacking. Machine shut down.

7. I was struggling with machinery for a while recently. Dogs were howling the night before yesterday and someone died recently. Howling of dogs usually is not a good omen. Now candidates for elections for local wards are out from all major political parties. Some of these people are going to become richer by virtue of rich gets richer principle without there really being any change in the shape of events or current state-of-affairs. You should feel fortunate to see their exalted faces in their humblest of days, afterwards they rarely descend down from their utility vehicles.

8. One of my friends: a positive thinker who appreciates the world at large for obvious reasons went as far ahead to say that current DM was letting the wild expansion (hijacking) of his bungalow go back to what it used to be. I thought he might be true because he’s in the circle where people often get to hear ethical discourses from his excellency. The result actually was: broadening of highway on the other side of divider without giving upon the expansion by his excellency. I was dead right in my assumption: as usual my positive thinker friend was using gossip mode in hyperactive imagination. These people, when they’re two or three of them start appreciating eachother with terms like cultural icon, maharaj, dau, this or that: obviously because life is good for nothing and we should continue to add value by being poetic for people around us.

9. If politicians have taught them anything: it’s to never discuss ideas where they had spoken something which was grossly inadequate. Loudly speak on issues where you can and leave the rest to unsuspecting masses.

Of Names!

1. This article is inspired by Dainik Bhaskar’s article about village names in Madhya Pradesh state in India. Images are also courtesy of Dainik Bhaskar- Hindi daily. Links are given below:

https://dainik-b.in/EqcIjt2mXqb https://dainik-b.in/download

Bhainsa: Ashok Nagar, Ishagarh.

2. The village above is named Bhainsa. It actually means a buffalo: a male buffalo. It immediately reminded me of Buffalo, New York State, name of which surprised me at first when I heard in a movie.

2443: Saali: Badwaani: Rajpur

3. It’s written as SALI which is pronounced as sully but the Hindi name transcription should be SAALI. Saali is female version of Saala: brother and sister-in-law. Actually these are rarely used in their proper context: most of the times they’re used as swear words. The whole business revolves around this mentality:

Since women are a burden who are grown to be married off to another clan to help them grow and don't really contribute much into the family of birth: the family of marriage of women always has an upper hand on the other family from which they take the loan they owned. Thus Saala and Saali are actually swear curse words often used lightly over hard swear words which have reference to male and female reproductive organs. 
Hastinapur: Gwalior

4. There’s a Hastinapur in Gwalior Madhya Pradesh India. Hastinapur name in itself is a very popular place name since it’s been used as the capital of India in the epic of Mahabharata and usually points to Delhi India.

Hastinapur literally means City of Elephants. Elephants symbolise giants or persons of renown: in the context of epic they’re Kauravas and Pandavas or royal people.

5. The article also details names like Hathnee(female elephant), Galti(Mistake), Maafipura(The place where maafias reside), Udaypur and Gorakhpur(In Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh ( you might already be aware of Chhatarpur in Bihar and Delhi states)), Vrindavan and Hastinapur in Guna district. Nagpur and Agra in Indore district and Ramgarh of Sholay movie fame is in Burhanpur of Madhya Pradesh though actual Ramgarh where shooting for the movie took place is located in Karnataka near Bangalore. The article details many other peculiar names but some of them stand out with: Langoti(loincloth) and Choli(blouse) for example. Haldi(Turmeric), Soda, Chaumau, Azgar(python), Sandal, Charkha, Makdi(spider) and Atoot Bhikhari ( Unbreakable beggar!)

6. Luvkushnagar in the Chhatarpur district was renamed to have names of sons of Rama from epic of Ramayana. Previously it was named: Laundi: it simply means a lady or girl or their reproductive organ. Singular.

7. Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh India got its name from the root Chhatra which symbolises an umbrella or protective shield wielded by warriors like Chhatrasal the ancient king of this place. It’s similar to the shied of captain America!

8. Bugmau is a village name which can be expanded to mean: bug Mau. Like bugbear.

9. The article in Dainik Bhaskar also states that there are 55000 villages in 52 districts in Madhya Pradesh India.

Watch “Timeline of Rulers of INDIA (1526-2020)” on YouTube

1. Night before yesterday, in a discussion intended to address the issue of partition in India before its independence, holding Gandhi to be responsible for losses then and now, one of the interlocutors began with this line of reasoning:

“Mughals had already ruled for 800 years.”

2. If this video is based on certain facts: 1526 AD to 1674 AD is only 148 years. It actually took me a while to bring him to a reasonable ground where he was willing to agree on a figure of 300 years. Why does our imagination exaggerate things especially in case of religion? It’s upto you to think at present. I intend to keep this article based on data available online, verifiable by anyone with an internet connection and a smartphone.

3. As one of the comments observed: son of Indira Gandhi is named Indira Gandhi in this video. Might be poignant but would be registered only as a technical error.

4. It must be noted: using umbrella term ‘rulers of India’ is actually invalid for people represented to be working on behalf of East India Company or Republic of India post independence. It’s what creates an image of Modi or Chouhan being sovereign rulers of state in the mind of youth and it’s grossly mistaken notion.

Eh?

Pundit Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh India

1. As I was reading an article on beach it occurred to me that the way it’s pronounced in Hindi is beech which means middle. The Sanskrit word contributing to pure Hindi would be Madhya. Madhya contributes to madhyam, maddham(mild) etc. In a way it’s true that it defines ‘the wet sand between water and land.’ The word might have been brought by ships which came exploring India for I am unsure about its origins. Middle part between vast waters of ocean and land is illusory for you don’t know where one ends and the other begins.

2. Tsunami and deluge. Tsunami sounds like it’s a word with ‘su’ prefix to nami which means name. Thus tsunami would translate to Hindi as ‘something which has a good name.’ Noah’s arc.

3. Noah is the name of a neighborhood dog barking from rooftop. I was reading about Noah Webster’s groundbreaking work for American English language. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were inventors and statesmen who had to master almost every department of living in their days to make it worth their while and a few centuries later people thought they were universal geniuses, polymaths and so on. Some people were at some places at some times and they were recorded as significant causes for certain changes which were taking place. This made them heroes or villains of their times.

4. Eh? In the same book, in the same chapter I read a bit about how distinct Canadian English language is. So far I was under the impression that ‘eh?’ was originally a British usage.

Mug!

5. Tea in red earthenware tastes different from the tea in led glasses and it tastes different in chinaware.

Forehead forrid got rid of lot of ids.

For head heads along shores of reason!

Resplendent chores resonate.

Ate very late ait it ain’t tainted candidates.

Dates gone through rough terrain rain.

Sedate see date sea seed deed mead enneadeaneedeinnuendoubtincturemnantennamesakeratosisisiestabaniditestamentationoumenoesisomercuriallohistoricitylightsimsummummerbonermuremburgermanemoneonoununthelessonoonomatopoeiaitingentryennobitamarinderfurorteutonicussuctionorwaygianniversaryoursuresowonincompoopooperandindinabulationowheretowithalamustardentistrystitmeanswhatitmeanswerinematodensemesnescafelinefelicitylightswiftightwaddlepatenetsukeynoteemingdynastylustrousudorifictionoisenamibiamberserkierkeguardenmarksmanshipwreckedeckierkegaardurockrasterlingastronomicalculusumplumugwumpunterrafirmamenthollonovembermudaldantianictitatemesisonatammyosemiteparkouroustaboutoutiffinnishinbonetzahummingbirdswordswardebturfulcrumuttermitenthgatengentryonderratapatanamnameowlowlifencesernebraskamikazephyrodentistrystutahattahamburgermannahannahunchopinchinchinatihullabalustradeleteriousufructsimcardoorwaywardennearmarkedofficecoolooccludenowinsomentholoninzaturtlensecarticleonasmeraldaldampsonoshoguntiedinteger

Bonus track:

Thanks for the memory,
Of sentimental verse,
Nothing in my purse,
And chuckles,
When the preacher said
For better or for worse,
How lovely it was!

6. Attention span of goldfish is greater than human attention span.

Psychology section: UNWFP Free Rice game.

Like dreams that which has no beginning or end has no middle either!

Unknown

Twelfth of June!

1. Yesterday, I left in time to capture some images to be used to compose this article.

2. I got a call from a friend before I left. He wanted to meet casually but then took me to a barber’s saloon where he got shaved while I insisted to walk in stadium. Thus my twilight was spent on a bench watching traffic police giving challan receipts to violators near Ambedkar statue.

3. The stone outside the badminton hall of Pundit Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh India is worn out because of passage of time since its inception. It was inaugurated on Twelfth of June in the year nineteen ninety four by chief minister of Madhya Pradesh state Digvijaya Singh. Now it’s difficult to identify if it was on second of June or twelfth of June as the number one is illegible. Synchronicity: it was a Sunday on the day of inauguration of the hall. It was a Sunday yesterday as well.

4. My inclination to often write about this hall stems from my early boyhood memory of visiting stadium and this hall with Lallu aka Aditya Dwivedi. He was elder to me and introduced me to terms like Stadium/Pavilion. It took me some time to clearly comprehend the difference. Recently I read a tweet from Tendulkar where he used term pillion. This word is similar to the word pavilion in structure but means a rider accompanying another. I used to be a pillion on bicycle driven by Lallu bhaiyaa. He used to eat only a bit between two rounds to stadium and mimicked Kishore Kumar very well.

5. The last image is GI iron alloyed poles to be installed in place of old ones which used to act as goal posts for football game so far. In a ceremony held to inaugurate some scheme by chief minister of Madhya Pradesh India a heavy tent was pitched and poles were uprooted. Two pairs now rest before Gymnashium Hall and East Side pavilion stairs. The installation has been pending with the risk of any animal or youngsters falling in those four ditches.

6. Tenders have been invited for renovation of floor plan and other activities inside the badminton hall. There have been many discussions, petitions and publications for the same before an official visit from a UGC committee.

7. If I failed to find out what RFS stood out for it’s clearly futile to try to find out the meaning of acronym AKV on one of the poles.

8. I am listening to music. Unchained melody was discovered when I watched 1990 movie Ghost and then I found that it has many versions.

Unchained melody: https://open.spotify.com/track/2qhASBzpbFhPRtrnZ5lLnz?si=qceJXE6ZQjemmSL1Ar4MWQ&utm_source=copy-link

“…And time goes by so slowly…and time can do so much…” Alex North and co. Righteous brothers.

Alex North and Hy Zaret

9. Here’s a Tohu to celebrate twenty eight years of badminton hall stone:

Battledore Dumbledore,

Adore adore!

POonA Pune Juna June!

Jejune junebug bugsbunny hunny!
Jejunemesisaltarrastasisisamayamamotorollambastellarkspurupturedragonfalonolanameinsofferinglenookierkeguardentistrystigmatamarinderpestoonsimulacrassashytonotorietycoonoonomadmonishingoonameinkamfowlomonsooninzapplentilousyllogismiasmantidbitihasanguineptitudeuteronomyantrashindigoannamannahamatenthomasedonaitickinsiesmicosineffectincturestivectorsororityinnuendolittlenneagrammatonnagemmatrialsomeshugasconadefinitionomatopoeiambicicinoutoutheloutshoutaboutsproutsnouthousenescencementationaganamanamericanopyratestestanentingentrystintelligentomologisticsv

The Story of English!

The Story of English
Background

1. I am reading this book by Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil. Just completed reading preface today.

2. It was in my cellar with couple of old journals. On August 20th, 2009 I entrusted fifty books to my sibling along with many journals in Bhopal as I was planning to move to Pune for a job in an IT firm.

3. Later, I burnt away all the journals except some which were eaten away by termite. Collection of the books was meagre. It was not reflective of what I actually read during four years of college as I was a member of British Library in Bhopal. I was lazy to visit library regularly. I preferred reading articles on websites in a nearby internet cafe. It was inception for Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia: always in dire need for funds these days. I found it to be a wonderful source of information. I kept reading criticism which refused to regard it as an authentic source of information in debates. I began frequenting discussion forums like The Couch and Mad Philosophers on internet. They were a help in those days.

4. I don’t remember where I found this book. I either bought it second-hand or from a book fair as I used to visit them sometimes. Now as I rarely read any books I think it would be a good idea to read it. There’s a Whatsapp group which was created with an intention to discuss some ideas and new books but all we do over there is to share some jokes and news.

5. The rate at which this language evolved and grew in vocabulary is in itself a miracle. We engineering students; well most of us, had no idea that this language which created nightmares for us had a very humble database at the times of Shakespeare. Preface emphasizes this fact.

6. If you need any first-hand observations which compare it with any other languages of national importance: take Hindi. Constant abuse and misuse of language is one of the facts highlighted in day-to-day life. Hindi dictionaries were rarely bought and sold in the decades I grew up in this country. There’s almost no effort to preserve the language and improve it as literati did it especially during Indian struggle for independence against British. You find misspellings and inaccurate grammar in Hindi newspapers with most powerful circulation. You find the same in campaign slogans for religious, political and educational movements. No wonder this lack of discipline is merely a reflection of attitude of Hindi belt. Bengali and Tamil speaking regions have treated their language with much greater discipline and care.

Academics of Sumit Chaurasiya!

1. When I returned from Vrindavan, Mathura in July 2014, I had no career plan. I had taken renunciation. I tried to go back but couldn’t. Maternal grandmother and others recommended that I teach kids but having seen how government teachers actually operated I had developed a certain degree of resistance for government service. I tried teaching in a private school where corporeal punishment is a norm. I gave that job up. Since then I took tuitions and it became only means for my meagre sustenance.

2. Only student I am teaching at present is not upto the mark. He’s enrolled into standard ninth in a private school. His father, who got only middle school education is a janitor of the stadium in this city. His mother is uneducated. Some help was received by two elder siblings one of whom is good at sports. He also wants to excel at sports. Their family runs a fast food stall everyday to support itself and two brothers share their time to run the business. Sports, business and lack of educational environment leaves little room for my student to stay motivated and perform better.

3. It’s only by chance that I was selected as his English language coach. I found this job to be unrewarding because it was very low paying. It didn’t result in further jobs. He didn’t show much progress despite all the work put in to educate him. I found after first few classes that he was at best at the level of class fourth students-unable to read and write either in Hindi or in English.

4. Many such students got general promotion due to Covid. Even if there was no Covid they are promoted due to pressure from government to maintain minimal literacy rate in this state and country on paper.

5. All his time is devoted to business and sports which are going to become his career. He’s producing more wealth than I have ever produced in the last eight years since I quit serving in the temple. It’s not going to be otherwise. They can’t pay me like previous subscribers because of their limited income and I can’t really motivate him to work harder on academics. Thus: a student qualified to study only in class fourth is studying in standard ninth and it’s going to be so. It can’t be helped.

6. I have been working hard to keep the early morning classes punctual. The family being an Indian family has no sense of timing or punctuality. The kids are lost in daydreaming most of the times. Father tries his hard to maintain discipline but being overloaded with work to maintain stadium and university work he also has his limitations.

7. Previous students had their limitations too and they taught me a good deal about the education business here. Willing to teach in any private school here is like slavery for a meagre sum of three to four thousand rupees for eight to ten hours of work whereas nine thousand rupees income is criterion for people living below poverty line. I was supposed to rely on family profession of teaching after renunciation thanks to ailing mother and controlling father. It’s absolutely hopeless here unless you know grovelling flattery and servitude to falsehood.

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