I’m sure there are scores like me, who would be scribbling away in no time , if it came to one special subject that gave them creeps every time. For me, it was always Maths. I would shudder at nights imagining what I would do if I got a question mark, which would make no sense to me , at all? Mercifully, I somehow scampered by getting pass marks in Maths till High School level but in order to spare myself the agony, never took it up after High school level. As for my favorite Subject, well, that and the delightful teachers I came across in that subject ensured it was always the ‘English’ paper.
Since my very childhood, in fact as far back as on a preparatory level, I recall having got gilded copies of three fairy tale books and the beautiful illustrations and the fancy cosutomes made me hooked on to it. On could see me walking around the house perstering my adults to read from those pages 24 X 7. So fed up were everyone, that my Mom issued strict warning that I would have to read myself , were I to get any further. That itself, whetted my apette and very soon I could read those simple 3 or 4 letter word structures and string them into sentences.
Lo and behold! The moment I could read, an infinite vista opened right before me. Hundreds and hundreds of books to be devoured. Enid Blyton, Malory Towers, Secret Seven, Famous five to the Nancy Drews, Hardy Boys, Agatha Christies, P,G Wodehouses, O’ Henry, Leo Tolstoy to the innumerable European writers, to the English translations of most of the Indian authors, Indo- English Authors like R.K Narayana, Rabindranath Tagore, Ruskin Bonds, I read them all . Umpteen vacations I spent hunching before a book reading cover to cover with earnest concentration.
But my thirst for knowledge remain unquenched. I wanted to know more. I made it very sure, right from the junior School years to take my language papers with all sincerity and make sure my understanding of the text was complete and conceptual. It was an advantage to my eager mind that the Convent school that I studied in never laid emphasis on rite learning, instead awarded the highest regard for innovation and creativity and the initial schooling years helped me learn my craft with all earnestness.
Cut to the college year, the choice was made. I took my majors in English and then realized that the world I so far visited was such a narrow one. There was a far bigger world awaiting in which there was so much more to know about the language and the authors and I had a field reading books on Alexander Pope, Jane Austen, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy, Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Make peace Thackeray, Margaret Atwood, Albert Camus and so many others.
Each day since then has been a learning experience and even after completing my Masters and M. Phil in the subject, I am far from knowing even the rudiments of the subject. It has such a vast, exhaustive scope. But language is more about learning the subject and enjoying the journey than about knowing it and I am having a pretty good time.
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