Ever cursed your child’s teacher because your daughter came home crying many days in a row for getting scolded? You feel tormented when the younger one comes complaining about temper issues her Hindi teacher has. You feel sorry for your daughter and her classmates. In the meanwhile, each time the teacher crosses you at school, she presents you her brightest smile. It’s a no-brainer then, the feeling leaves you perplexed and angry. “Couldn’t she pass some of it to the poor 6-year-olds instead?”, you wonder!

Days turn into weeks and then months.  Finally, it’s all thanks to an upcoming assessment that you bother to open the Hindi notebook to help your daughter revise. And while you expect alphabets only, the book is cluttered with alphabets of all shapes and sizes blended into the most difficult words a 6 six-year-old can churn.

And although it’s way past Chinese New Year, I find her book painted in red to highlight mistakes. But age 6 may be a tad too early to expect a child to come out with Hindi fiction, don’t you think? Nevertheless, you aren’t expecting any major shocks.

You begin your reading journey with utmost love and pride. Guess what, the very first sentence that meets the eye, shouts out loud, ‘टाटाजी अखबार पढ़ रहे है’, which is actually supposed to be ‘दादाजी अखबार पढ़ रहे है’ or ‘Grandpa is reading the newspaper’ (in English). The improvisation sets you cracking. You obviously understand the subtle difference between a ‘द’ and a ‘ट’।

On the next page more,
On the next page four,
Four words more!

टमाटर (tomato) has been written as टामाटर and पपीता (papaya) has been written as पापीता, दरवाज़ा (door) as दरभजा and गुलाब (Rose) has a confused ‘ऊ’; neither big nor small.

By this time you, can hardly contain any giggles while your little rabbit is staring away at you in utter confusion. She may have braced herself for some solid scolding coming her way. By the way, the score on dictation is 1/10, just in case you are curious. But the story doesn’t end here (पिक्चर अभी बाकी है मेरे दोस्त).

The best is yet to come. I am now restless and quickly flip to the next page. The minute my eyes meet the first spelling mistake, I die of laughter and find myself rolling on the floor. The better half who has been a silent spectator so far, cannot resist anymore and rushes to snatch that precious piece of Laughter Encyclopaedia from my hands only to find the effect contagious.

The single word responsible for a dip in blood pressure levels, ladies and gentlemen – पाठशाला (meaning school) misspelled as पादशाला!! (that literally translates to FART SCHOOL). With that, you rest your case against the Hindi teacher.

It’s about time you realized, there are always two sides to a coin. And rushing to make an opinion of anyone isn’t fair. You realize the plight of the Hindi teacher. If she started taking every child as lightly as you did, she’d have to keep an alternative career planned.

P.S. Some people are born to entertain. Would it be too much if I called myself the mother of entertainment then?

Notes to self: On the hindsight, it dawned on me, my daughter hears the words wrongly. She isn’t able to differentiate between ’t’ and ‘th’ and likewise. Time to work on her ears!