A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for November, 2009

Where I struggle to learn

Posted by Pepper on November 19, 2009

I knew I needed to work on learning the language, but I think I always took advantage of the endless Tamil-Telugu conflict going on at their end. I mean I know I have to start at some point, but what can I do until they decide? Bah, these people never stop arguing about which language I should be learning. ‘Telugu!’, say his parents. Its the mother tongue. So what if its adulterated and not the original version of the language. No, learn Tamil, says Mint. Only that will be of use to you. Since most people in his family speak Tamil anyway. Not Telugu.

And so I just let go. Until I realised I was taking advantage of the situation and not learning either of the languages. The issue from their end is never going to be resolved. That I know. Does that mean I never bother to learn? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I try and pick up the basics of the language at least? Wouldn’t it please his parents as well? Of course, which language it would be continued to be a mystery.

I decided it was high time I let go of the lethargy and start learning from the books I had purchased. I picked Tamil for two reasons. One, I didn’t see any point learning the pure Andhra Telugu that the book would teach me. They speak a dialect, or the adulterated version anyway. And two, my heart tilts towards Tamil. Because its Mint’s preferred choice. And honestly, I wanna learn the language to be able to talk to him, to share stuff with him; stuff that is lost in translation. Getting to that stage will take a very long time, but I need to begin somewhere. Right? With those thoughts, I picked up the book, and that marked the beginning of my struggle.

‘Learn Tamil in 30 days through English’ the title says. Within the first 4 days I had all plans of filing a law suit against the publication and the author. Yes, I was all willing to engage in legal proceedings to seek justice. How can they get away with such a deceiving title?

To learn a single word in the language, I had to first master the script. Learn the alphabets, the vowels (kuril and nedil). The consonants were another story all together. In the book, every word that is taught was written in the Tamil script. So I couldn’t read it unless I knew the script.

I decided to try learning the script by myself. Very daunting task, I say. At first glance, a cluster of wiggly circles and ill defined squares stared at me, making me feel almost dizzy. I picked up a book and tried copying the different patterns and teaching myself the sound. But it was an exercise in vain. I couldn’t manage to retain a single thing in my head and my book looked like it had drawings of different wiggly serpents coiling and spiralling in strange ways. My heart sank. I realised this was never going to work. I couldn’t for the life of me memorise those letters and their sounds.

After ten days or so, I gave up. Without any guilt, because I think I tried my best and it wasn’t working. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for a good teacher. I am looking for someone who will patiently sit with me regularly during an allotted time and teach me the basics from scratch.

Until then, I am thinking of other ways to learn the language.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 5 Comments »

W.A.L.S

Posted by Pepper on November 18, 2009

I chuckled as I saw this piece of news. A national campaign called W.A.L.S?? Lol! It stands for Women Against Lazy Stubble. More about it here.

Seriously though, I often find myself asking Mint to go shave! What’s with this ‘lazy’ excuse? I prefer a clean shaven look any day. Not the totally smooth look, but that hint of a stubble. I quite like that. But then again, definition of ‘hint of a stubble’ varies.

I really dislike the unshaven, or the ‘lazy stubbled gruffy look’ as they call it. But what I totally detest is the moustache. That I just can’t stand. Shaving takes about 5 minutes. What is the problem then? Like this article says, ‘access to an all-India survey that reveals how the secret to winning over a babe and your boss lies in spending 5 extra minutes in your bathroomThe article also speaks about the importance of a clean shaven look in a professional set up.

I totally agree. If I were the boss, I’d definitely be more impressed by well-groomed and clean shaven employees instead of sloppy, lazy employees with unkempt beards and stubbles. As a woman too, I pass my verdict. Heavy stubbles and beards are so not attractive. I am now one of the W.A.L.S.

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Its finally over!

Posted by Pepper on November 14, 2009

The Masters. All this while, I only felt relief. But today, I held the paper that said, “Dear XX, The Postgraduate Board of Examiners congratulates you for successfully completing the Masters programme in Human Resource Management…”, and that’s when the first ray of warm happiness made its presence felt. I am happy it is over, and that I won’t ever have to do it again.

I really worked hard. I hated the system. It forced me to spend hours in the library, with my nose buried in some journal. I hated doing the reading and the research and writing those long papers, essays and reports.

It was a tough time. I hardly had the enthusiasm to cook for myself, and not enough money to eat out. So most days, my meal consisted of cereal dumped in milk and nothing else.

I remember walking back home once, after my seminar. It was about 7 pm and I did not really want to go back to an empty house. So I decided to sit on a bench in the park for sometime, although it was freezing. After a few minutes I realised I was hungry, but did not have enough money at that time to buy something for myself. Speaking of money, I didn’t even have enough to pay the next month’s rent. Calling dad was not a very good option. My acads were a huge mess. I had tons of assignments piled up. I sat there cold and hungry, staring at the darkness and worrying about the depleting money, my grades, my piling assignments and everything else. And as I sat there, wondering about what I should do, it started snowing. I don’t know how long I watched the snow flakes fall in the darkness, but that was one time when I felt a crushing sense of loneliness.

When I think back, I feel really happy I sailed through those tough times. My post grad taught me a lot, a lot more than knowledge restricted to books.

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