It happened when i was a kid studying in Hindi medium school, We know to speak only in Hindi as it was our mother tongue. One day, during the English class, our English teacher wrote some thing on the class blackboard, it was a word spelled “S I R”. My teacher said that whoever read that word properly he/she will get a chocolate. There were 32 children in the class, they all pronounced the word “S A R” , “S E R”, “S E R”, “S E R”, “S U R”, …….and then i got a chance to pronounce the word. i made my mind to pronounce like “S I R”. with more of combination of “ae” in the middle of the word. The teacher was little excited to watch me, as it sounded the actual word. then the teacher appreciated me by clapping his hands, then followed by other class students in clapping their hands. that incident made me a ” An ENGLISH GIRL “ in my village.
After that incident, i was called for every activity using English language like writings, speakings etc. there will be my name(Zoha) listed in their call, who became the most famous girl for speaking in English. But no one knows that was butler English(broken English to refer it properly) For most of you, it may be a common story but its about a school where teachers have to fill children’s like garbage, with all the four sections in one class room and had got drenched most of the time in my class room during rainy seasons. Regardless to the condition of the school, education in my village is the biggest dream for most of the people.
Year passed, one fine day, we had the English Medium school opened in our village. After seeing my better academic scores in fifth grade, my father told me that he would admit me in that English Medium School. In-spite of my father’s interest. I was little worried about the school fee and said my father that the school fee would be very high to pay and we might not afford to pay the fees. And he gave a firm reply that there wouldn’t be any fee for just visiting the school, that showed his interest in making me to pursue my higher grades in English Medium School and i was very happy to visit the school on the day.
I got ready immediately after that, my mom helped me to dress well.
After reaching the gate, the security welcomed us by opening the school gate and took us to the principal’s office. Where i met the School principal with inheritance. He ask me lot of questions in English. As my papa knew only Hindi language, being local guy born and raised in that region, he knows only Hindi. But i started to anticipate for the principals questions with the few English words that i knew. I replied with words like “for, what, why, is, okay, are, name it, this, no, yes…” .
And after some time, a boy Harsh came in to the principal’s office. He started to speak English fluently like a native English speaker, his rhetorical ability inspired me. Meanwhile i peep out of the window, there i noticed some students are riding horse, there were stable in the school and in another window i could see the school students playing basketball in the under construction ground.
After seeing all this… I thought myself that i should do my schooling in such a school.
After my summer vocation, my English life started. seeing a new face in the class room students started to ponder, some used to ask ..what is your name?, Where are you from?… I couldn’t understand anything because i was just an English girl from a village and there the common language is English, all the subjects were taught in English, the rate of speech was very high where i couldn’t understand even single word in the class. Teacher also started to teach us in a fast way english and start to call one by one in front of the blackboard.
I couldn’t understand their English and their writings 😦 . But i was terrified to be around them. Like everyday other day, it became my daily routine to to my new English medium School. As the language was a barrier to mingle with other students i felt bit lonely and my days in the school were with out interest in the class, i kept looking outside most of the time and left my school in the evenings.
Later i became the same story, i couldn’t coupe up the class and my fellow students. On one fine day i broke out, started crying as i couldn’t contain my emotions on my inabilities, then i decided to tell this to my mom and dad. i was very clear that i can’t continue in the English medium school. I was able to convince dad but i couldn’t convince my Mom, she said that she would speak with the principal regarding this issues and would get support from the class teachers and students. Then, i didn’t denied her words and i thought i would continue my school.
And the very next day, i had the same loneliness, felt isolated and nothing has changed in the school. But in the evening i happended to meet my school principal. He was cool person carried simple all the time and spread it to other who ever meets him. such a contiguous simple he had, He asked “what was taught today in the class”, i stood without answering his questions. Then he asked it in Hindi, ” aaj kya muskil tha?”. He understood that i was not comfortable in the school and said i could help you to improve your English if you cooperate with me ill mentor you in the evenings after the school time. i relented.
From then on i go to his office in the evening he used to teach me English from the scratch. He conversed with me in English and made me to answer in English, if i answer incorrect he would correct me and my English coaching continued for long time till become familiar with the language. Later, he sent me to a district level speech competition, i participated in it with lot of struggle in my mind. i was able to present my speech in the end. i felt very glad that i was able to speak in front of huge crowd.
I continued to do such practice every morning and evening. And what had been tough on some day then become much easy for me to understand and speak without any mistake. I felt comfortable to speak in English and had no problem in understanding subjects in the class. Eventually i won first price in Hindi speech competition. On the stage they asked me speak few words about the competition, i thanked every one who were conducive in make me to achieve that price. It improved my confidence, i felt like a new Zoha, a new life, a new happiness.
After some month my principal left the School and we never met again. Honestly i don’t even remember his name. but i still remember the question he used to asked me “What was tough today?” and “What was easy today?” .
All he had done to teach me is one thing in life “TO LIVE LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME“.
Many say “ Life is about finding the answers“, and “what if you do not have the right question?”. If you see your friend giving up on something, then just ask him this question “What is being tough today, might not be the same tomorrow“. Then like me anyone can learn “English” and Thank everyone for the time effort to support you.
Written By:- Ravindra Gupta