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:


Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.

Issac Asimov, The Fun They Had, 1.12.1951

1. As I was narrating this story to my student Sumit- it occurred to me that this sentence, in the very first paragraph, was unusually long for a children’s story.

2. Was it written for children or for adults as a fiction was my first doubt.

3. The quoted sentence is in the reported speech format. I recalled how I used to wonder if narration portion of English grammar which was practiced in the standards eighth and ninth of our school curriculum of English really mattered all that much. After all: you’re supposed to tell your story. What difference does it make if narration uses the first person or third person for the subject?

4. Margie’s father once said “When I was a little boy my grandfather told me that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.”

The Fun They Had, Issac Asimov.

5. It’s difficult to convey meaning of sentences for students like Sumit who never had good help with English which is a second language for them. Despite being a standard ninth student his reading and writing abilities place him somewhere at standard fourth or fifth of academic achievement. Consider narrating this sentence to such students. They seem inextricably elaborate and complex.

6. For Sumit:

6.1: Margie’s great grandfather told her grandfather about a time when all stories were printed on paper.

6.2: It was in his boyhood.

7. It’s obvious that narration loses all imagination with cut-and-dry approach of explanation used in 6.1 and 6.2.

8. It’s where you need to understand that this story was originally penned to be published in a children’s newspaper in the United States of America.

9. Now look at the layers of narration subjects within this one sentence:

Sumit being the listener of this story hears his teacher. Issac Asimov tells it to his teacher that Margie was listening to her grandfather who was listening to his grandfather.

10. There are seven subjects already involved in the elaborate scheme of things as you read this. Otherwise there are only two or only one: you!

11. In mythology of Bhagvata Purana there are many such exercises for imagination with multiple layers of narration and storytellers accompanying listeners. I didn’t appreciate it fully until I watched some movies like Rashomon/Inception/Suraj Ka Saatvaan Ghoda etc.

12. Asimov is credited with the invention of robots and compact disc in his stories much before the technology arrived on scene. It so happened that when I first taught this lesson to a CBSE student in 2020 it was during Covid lockdown. She had to attend classes online. It was almost the future author imagined in his fantasy in 2157 AD.

13. I stressed on how 2157 was exactly 300 years after mutiny of 1857 against British empire in Bundelkhand in India. After about a century republic of India was established with constitution elected assembly in operation for making law and executing it. Two centuries after that(actually 200 years after Asimov published this story : he imagined appearance of fully computerized education system.)

14. As with simulation hypothesis arguments related to AI and emerging threat to humanity similar to depicted in the 1990s movie Matrix: it’s true that in many ways the third decade of this century proved that Asimov placed such technological advancements much far ahead in time in his imagination than they actually happened. I think he would have been surprised by it if he was alive.

15. Asimov was founder of MENSA: a non profit organization which promoted education for highly gifted. Asimov himself reportedly had an intelligence quotient in the excess of 200.


Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh India Sunrise 28.05.2022

1. It’s pronounced saale-rate-us. For Hindi speakers: it’s akin to challenging someone to rate your enterprise.

Saale: your brother in law. Usually considered to be an abusive word if not used at its exact place. Why? Sisters are loans, burdens and getting them married off to another family is akin to load-shedding.

Rat: Rat is pronounced as rate. English. If it was Rat: in Hindi it would be a challenge to RAT on you. That’s akin to telling your top secrets to another party.

Us is us. United we stand. We.

2. Saleratus is baking soda.

What a strange word for Sodium/Potassium bicarbonate.

Sale. Rat. Us. All three components are meaningful.

3. Tohu: is a verse form invented by me.



1. Prayer calls from a mosque nearby. Penultimate.

2. Bats were flying as a man was clapping and calling them out.

3. Anuradha Paudwal’s vintage devotional songs in background.

4. A few people conversing. I was told that this township had nine lakes or waterbodies but none of them were preserved as pure sources of water.

5. Temperature dropped a bit and some relief from unremitting heat.

6. Jockey since 1876. Amar Redymade. Why letter ‘a’ is missing from this advertisement?

7. GoA.

English Hub!

Well begun is half done!
Ganesh Colony!

Rate list. Is mask needed why?

1. I am teaching ‘The Snake and The Mirror,’ a chapter from National Council For Educational Research and Training.

2. As I am writing this post the student is working on his writing assignment.

3. Look at the first picture in this article:

True Advertisement!

Honesty is the best policy.

A. Hindi text heading translates to:

Only center for spoken English.

Irrigation Colony Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh India 471001.

This is completely FALSE information. There are many institutions which are doing the same thing.

B. Center of Spoken English:

Center For Spoken English? Might qualify? The way Hindi is usually translated into English, we are often confused about whether to use of or for in such cases.

Needless to say: an institute which is so careless about its advertisement board- isn’t going to be of much help for your Grammar.

C. Class teaching? Grammar?

D. Preparation for competition.

Not erroneous, yet, for competitive exams is better suited. Such advertisement boards like everything else are created with pressure. Pressed about space and expenses.

E. Creation of I.A.S.

Fresh Indian Administrative Servant(s) are created here.

Like Pradhan Sevaks, they’re created servants in the image of an idol but end up being kings and queens of their domains somehow. They remove discrepancy in land disputes as their bunglows keep growing in size and shape.


Marvels of Hindi, English and Engineering!

If Indian Railways was a lady-she was buying a stairway to heaven.
Pledge: “India is your country, all Indians are ur brothers and sisters.” Original sin is to flow.
Bahna/Batna::Bahana/Batana–Hoefflin’s analogies. Buy yourself a coffee if you can read this one!
Graffiti 2
This abandoned tower houses junkies. Look at the spelling: hight/errection.
Before you go up!

International Museum Day 2022

After shower!
Before shower: standing like a dinosaur. Can you spot the cosmic serpent pointing to the Aries?
I use two hundred rupees only once every month. This gives you a good idea about how sound I am economically.
Spring: Romance and education.
Autumn. Philosophy and beauty!

1. Most of the stones in the Pundit Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium were inaugurated in Autumn and Spring.

2. Strangely: one of them was inaugurated on June 12th 1994. It was near solar equinox. It was inaugurated when Sun rays are scorching.

3. Badminton hall stone is the one I am speaking about. Players here not only get injured physically time to time but also face extreme heat in evening.

Just observe how ‘construction’ is written. My analyses would be focussed on Hindi and Style: you need not worry too much about the red tape!
12.06.1994: Summer. Pain and injury.

4. Astitva:

4.1: Yesterday I saw two accident sites.

4.2: Today I again saw dogs eating grass.

4.3: It’s International Museums Day.

Chinmayananda. Radhakrishnan. Lajpatrai. Tagore

Coins in the order of number of years invested in the release ceremony:

A. Swami Chinmayananda’s birth centenary. 2015 AD

B. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s 125th birth anniversary. 2015 AD

C. Lala Lajpat Rai’s 150th birth anniversary. 2015 AD

D. Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary 2011 AD

It’s obvious that three of them were contemporary. 2011 movie ‘In Time’ is one of my favourites these days.

4.4 It’s where morning classes are being conducted at present:

Divide and rule: part university, part sarcasm!

4.5: Yesterday’s keywords:




What kind of enigma would have all its cgrades or cigarettes open in its creation(s)?


As it is.

Asti. Va.

It’s a difficult-to-read word for my student. There are two letters which represent lightweight syllables. The formula I discovered today was not empirical evidence for the development of Devnagari/Sanskrit but, still works in this case. Matra means volume or quantity. Matri. Matrix. Maria. Mary. Half letters carry forward to advanced full letters.

Good News?

Chhatarpur edition of Hindi daily reports drastic reduction in market rates of vegetables!
Improvisation? No. The ward has serious issues.

Only student under my tutelage has been working on Maths, Hindi and English.

His handwriting is improving.

Key difficulty areas are:

Alphabets: He can’t write English alphabet. Believe it or not. Confuses ‘d’ with ‘b’. He’s 14 years old. Studying in standard 9th. Hindi medium.

Maths: Can’t do maths because can’t read Hindi. Questions are in Hindi. If you feel downhearted as soon as you start reading– chances are : you can’t grasp the problem and can’t solve it either.

Take a recent example: he was given an assignment to work out fourth, fifth and sixth questions from the first questionnaire of chapter fifth: Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry. He wasn’t able to identify if the solution was available in the guide. It was an open book test/assignment.

Reason: can’t differentiate between headings and sub-headings. Can’t differentiate between questions and subsections given in roman numerals.

Help: I offer my assistance. I work hard with students only to find parents and guardians who ask me to use corporeal punishment instead of getting to the core of the problems.

I am charging five hundred rupees per month for maths and English for home tuition because their economic situation is not very sound. The child needs constant reminders to work, to be punctual. He’s often sleepy because four to five hours per day are spent in supporting the fast food corner where he works with his elder brother.

My assessment: after having spent twenty days with this student: I feel he needs more time to study. Instead he seems compelled to work in his family business to support his family. Though he’s studying in standard ninth in a Hindi medium school: his reading and writing abilities indicate that he’s supposed to be in standard fourth or fifth at most.

For the last three to four years he didn’t attend school because of Covid. No online education either. Now having gotten general promotions through standards in school he’s like other average kids with learning disadvantages simply because Covid is not recognised by syllabus designers.

This kid is going to pass all exams until higher secondary because of goodwill and then work either through sports quota or as a chef to earn his living. This is how it works here in third world countries.

FYI: he makes more money than I do every day, every month, every year if you compare last ten years of earnings simply because I have mostly been unemployed in the last decade.

Create your website with
Get started