Monday 21 February 2011

Nightly English practice advances forward one question at a time

If I walk home from the office any time between 5 and 6PM when it is still light I am met en route by a bunch of the nagar’s kids. They seem to spot me from a long way off and then all I hear is my name resounding and lots of running feet. The oldest goes to tuition between 6 and 8PM in addition to a  full school day and the youngest is a toddler of preschool age. There’s usually about 6 of them, all keen to practice their English with pre-rehearsed questions “What is your father’s name?” “What is your mother’s name?” “What is your grandfather’s name?” “What is your grandmother’s name?” “What are your sisters names?” “What are you brothers’ names?”   I have  to remember what I have made up and keep consistent. Early on, after the look of complete bewilderment when I said I did not have children, I became never married – just an easier explanation all round! I also invented brothers and sisters, just to give them answers to their questions. So now I have to remember that my brother in law and sister in law are now my brother and sister, my best friends are now my second brother and sister etc.
Every time it is the same questions! Nice as it is it does get monotonous! But they all get to ask and are all answered. Then just when you least expect it, Vikram inserted a new one tonight “What is your favourite game?”  Stopped me in my tracks it did and I had to think fast – playing cards was the decided upon answer – pretty safe, known in India. Received with head wobbles of agreement. Theirs? well of course cricket for the boys and badminton for the girls.  I’m taking guesses on the next question, when it will arrive and who will ask it!

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