Me and My Hindi

Contributed by: Kamzason Hangsing
Dated: 29th August, 2013

Hindi, what is it? It made me want to drop-out of school, because I could not understand anything of Hindi Grammar. It made me turn my back on Delhi University because I had to take Hindi as a compulsory subject. My journey with Hindi had been quite a scary one. Does it scare me still? I don’t think so!

I learnt Hindi by watching DD and Metro Channel. I never knew watching TV could have helped me in this aspect. I learnt to speak Hindi after being laughed at when I got enrolled in Kendriya Vidyalaya. I polished my Hindi in the land of the Tamil (which hardly speaks Hindi) by conversing with my friends hailing from different parts of our country. I could say the journey was not as easy but to keep our hopes alive, we tend to say, “after every dark night there comes a bright day”

Never have I ever dreamt that a day would come when this journey of learning Hindi could come in handy. It has helped me to build relationships with the people around. Having said this, do not be under the impression that I speak fluent Hindi.

I speak funny Hindi. Lucky that nobody takes it in an offensive manner, which even I have never and will never intend to do… or maybe it looks cute to see a small eyed and a long haired young man speak Hindi. Even after conversing in Hindi, I would still be asked if I speak Hindi, quite strange but funny. Better is to know that despite how broken my Hindi is, they still manage to understand the “bhavna” behind my words.

Till date, KHEL sessions with the children have been the most joyous moments of the day. Having said this I still find it strange how I manage or I rather say how the children manage to bond with me, especially when I cannot even speak proper Hindi, that too with children from in and around Lucknow, where people are known for their Hindi. Keeping all these logic behind, my Hindi, so far has rather helped me connect with the children, which I had never imagined would turn out this way.

Children will laugh when I misplace “tha” and “thi” or “ka” and “ki”. They will giggle when I use words which have a meaning other than the one I had intended to mean.  In a way, all these have (so far), fortunately, served me and the children well, as they have helped in breaking the monotony and have a few seconds of laughter. In other words, my Hindi makes these children happy :D

Whenever I cannot find the words that I have to convey, as they see me struggling for words, many a times they would help. The look they wear on their face whenever I struggle for words, it makes me imagine as if they saw me getting drown in an ocean but were unable to help as they cannot swim, which made them to just stand and look at me and wishing me to swim across the ocean and save myself. They were empathetically communicating with me, attentively waiting for me to find the right word. In one way or the other, my inability to get the right words at the right time has helped me draw the children towards me and grab their attention. There are also children who (if I may assume from their expression) seem to think it is sweet of me trying my best to help them understand life’s values and principles, or life skills with my paralysed Hindi, when the whole world does the same with world-class expertise. It really is an awesome experience to receive such expression.

After all these things happening to me, it makes me think how our weakness could actually become our strength… Indeed, it’s a blessing in disguise…me find the words.