Some English lessons!

Why am I reminded of that little wisdom someone shared with me a long time ago-that it takes only 18 years to raise a child? ūüôā

Having read one Famous Five, the 7 year old brat has declared that it is boring and ‘kiddish’ and that Enid Blyton is boring too. He’s asked me to give him something ‘interesting’ to read.

Some lessons he imparted the last couple of weeks:

Varun: ‘Madre (yeah!), do you know what ‘outlaw’ means?

Me: (?!!!) No, I don’t. Please enlighten.

Varun: An outlaw is a thief. Bad man. Do you at least know what it is to mug someone?

Me: (#$@#%#$^$!) Eh? No! Tell me.

Varun: Don’t know how you passed your exams in schools and college (rolls his eyes). To mug someone, is to steal from someone.

(Well, I’ve not been looking at the right places for lessons in English :/)

Me: That’s awesome da. Where did you learn all these?

Varun: From friends.

Me: Who are your friends?

Varun: Friends ma! You don’t even know ¬†F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You know¬†Ross, Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Joey.. Don’t know? Vyas’s favorite is Chandler but I like Ross.

(This is not happening! No! This is happening!)

I’d like to save the best for the last. Only that I don’t know the difference between ‘best’ and ‘hopeless’ anymore :/

Varun describes a scene from some program called ‘Community’ on Comedy Central where somebody spills a lot of wine.

Me: What is wine da?

Varun: It is the famous juice of Americans. Mostly made in 1968.

Why am I bothering with schooling when so much self-learning is happening?!!

When Peter Varun does a short U.S.of A tour…

…. he begins to think he has lived there forever. Even if it was just for 3 weeks.

The first noticeable change is the long drawl whenever the fella speaks.

1. Am caaaaameen (am coming)
2. I jhounch naaauu (I don’t know)
3. Am leeezneen (am listening)

…. you get the drift?

The best (so far) came last night when the daddy V played the usual songs at bedtime and ‘Kurai Ondrum Illai’ by M.S is one of them. Varun usually sings along though he doesn’t get all the words right. Last night however, he said this:

“Heiii Dadjh, I like only Eenglish songs. Styleeesh. Not theeze Ummachi Paats!–> Hey Dad, I like only English songs. Stylish. Not these Ummachi (Tamil slang for devotional) songs!

I ain’t gonna take’m to the foreign land any sooner!

Somethings never change..

…Like our endeavouring to learn Hindi for example.. When anna has made some progress (like really being able to discern Telugu from Hindi), can thambi be far behind?

To record the progress, here are some samples:

1. “Patti ke liye, AC ke liye, two minutes mien put”. (Patti insists on switching on the AC for two mins. The unsaid words include- despite the cool weather)

2. Mein door to out ke nahin. (Am not going out)

3. When the sis and I are deeply engrossed in a convo which is a heady mix of Telugu, Tamizh, Hindi and English, Varun seems to have ‘caught’ the shifts. That night – “Amma, Nitu and youuuu (thinking about how to string the remaining words into a sentence), Telugu mein or Hindi mien talk liye kya?”

Go figure!

Our ‘language’ trysts:

Knowledge upgrade pack from anna

The ‘big brother’ has imparted considerable knowledge to the younger sibling the past X-mas vacation. A sample of the addition to the little one’s vocabulary:

1. yelai, enna lei (a dialect of Tamizh loosely translating to – hey, what is it)

2. Sonnommule (see, i told you!)

3. annathe, enna annathe (what is this brother?!)

4. vaenaa, pichipuduve, pichhi! (I’ll rip you apart)

5. enthira. enthira, enthira enthira, enthiraaaaaaaaa,, followed by arima arima (no prizes for guessing this one)

6. ayyyo! potanda! (response to the center fresh ad on TV where the dad slaps the son)

7. aathaadi! (an expression expressing surprise! and even a mundane thing like a fan running when switched on, seems to surprise the two!!)

8. Aiyae, gummnnu iru (shut up)

Am unable to recollect few others like these. I have no idea from where he picked up these gems! I like only the ‘aathadi’ sound from this list! The rest? Well…..

Bolt from the Blue

I picked up Vyas from school on a Saturday afternoon as the school had declared it a working day to compensate for some holidays.He doesn’t run into my arms like the earlier years and thinks he is too ‘big’ for that now.

We were not even out of the school gate when it came.”Ma, what is fuck?”

I was sure I heard him wrong. Being the old-fashioned mom that I am, a typical automatic reflex was to do a quick 360 degree sweep and a reverse sweep to check if anyone heard him. With not enough time to work up an intelligent-sounding answer, I answered extempore- “Its a bad word. Where did you hear it?”. “Ma, I heard A say it. B and I asked him what it meant, but looks like he doesn’t know! ”

Too much dwelling on the ‘subject’ was not going to take us anywhere. So I decided to call it ‘over and out’ and said, ‘OK, you will not use it because its a cuss word and a poor one at that.. Not inside the school, not at home, nowhere! You get it? Probably A is not aware that its not right to use. Am I clear?”, trying to still sound cool. “Awright! But shall we just look up the dictionary? So I can go and tell the fellow what it means?”, he persisted and mommy was not impressed! “Pattu, there are many interesting words for which we shall look up the dictionary. Let’s not bother with this one.” My tone this time must have implied “PERIOD!” for he didn’t prod further.

I knew this day would come, but not this early!! I know you don’t seriously sit and prepare to dole out a nice sounding answer to the child, still…. He is not going to ask me when he’s older because he’d have figured it out himself and hopefully, will apply discretion and keep himself out of trouble. The language of school going children is liberally interspersed with profanity and that disturbs me! Every second movie, English, Tanglish, Hinglish, any-glish for that matter will have ‘shit’, ‘eff’ or any of its cousins in the script! And kids are famous for latching on to things that are tagged forbidden. Apples may be the only exception!!

Tell me how you’d have handled this your style please!!:-)

Random Dinner-time Conversations

Vyas: Amma, if Apram falls sick..

Me: Wait.. He is not sick. And will not fall sick.

Vyas: Listen! Just saying… imagine… if he is sick, I’ll go and meet him with a ‘Get Well’ card!

Me: !!??$$ Ok. Just because you discovered about a ‘get well’ card, you want a friend to fall sick!! Sick!!

Vyas: No. Wait. Am not done yet… When I give the card, Apram will say, “Oh! am terribly sick with Chicken-pox!” , to which I’ll reply, “Ok da! Stop being a drama King!” Fancy that!

So, its about the urgent need to put some recently learnt words and phrases to use!


Vyas: Amma, I have a question.

Me: I know! Shoot!

Vyas: Who or what is a ‘suitor’?

Me: Errr.. umm…. Someone eligible or suitable for marriage. Meaning depends on the context. Where did you learn that word?

Vyas: When I was reading – The Odyssey…(had got him an abridged version)

Me: So, who has suitors?

Vyas: Penelope. Ulysses is the suitor. Others are un-suitors!

Me: (LOL!) Ulysses is the suitor alright. But the others are not suitable enough..(I suggest)!

Vyas: (Shrugs). Is The Odyssey real? I mean, is it a real epic or imagination like Ramayana? Is Troy a real place? And what about Ithaca?

Me: Its a Greek epic. Not sure if it is based on a true story. Will find out. I think there was a city called Troy. Not sure again..

Vyas: So why are they calling it Trojan war and not Troy war?

Me: I DONT KNOW! I’ll read about it and let you know. ok?

Vyas: Forget it. Do you know Roald Dahl’s father’s name?

Me: I really give up!

Life would have been tough if there was no Wikipedia! Again, am not complaining:-)

%d bloggers like this: