The Knight In Shining Armour

Posted: March 3, 2011 in About Me

One of my posts from another blog of mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the first three years of my life, I spoke nothing but Marathi, my native language. I didn’t know how to speak English.
I’d understand the language, but I never bothered learning how to speak it…my phrases were out of place and my grammar was terrible. My mother, a doctor, was highly distressed. When would her poor child learn to speak the language of the world? Would she be okay once she started school? My father said I’d come around eventually. I was just a toddler. But my mom, she wouldn’t give up. She tried to tutor me in vocabulary and grammar, about as much as a two year-old should know. But no, despite her best efforts, I refused to learn English.
In India, we have something called a play-school, which is like a pre-kindergarten. Two year old kids get to work on their motor movements and brain development while they have fun.
My mother enrolled me in one such institution in 1996, hoping that her Manu would get the hang of the language around other kids and teachers. The lady who ran the play-school, a South Indian child psychologist with a sweet smile, assured my mother that by the end of the year, Nupur would know how to speak English ‘pit-pat’.
In spring 1997, at the end of play-school, my parents went to Teacher for my annual progress report. My parents were delighted to find an all-round development in me, but it turned out that despite Teacher’s best efforts to get me to speak English, I hadn’t picked up a word of the language. Instead, Teacher was now well versed in Marathi!
My parents were worried sick, especially my mom. What was this child going to do once school started? Would they call them in to talk about their daughter’s sorely lacking English language skills? Or worse, would they expel her?
But then, as we were about to learn, we find a glimmer of hope in the most unexpected places. One day, when I was three, I was playing outside the nursing home my parents had set up a few months ago, and there walked up to me my knight in shining armour. The aforementioned knight was about three feet tall, and was dressed in a little green cotton dress with butterflies and flowers printed over it. She walked up to me and said, “Hi. Do you want to be friends?”
The chirpy little green-garbed knight, also known as Aashna, was a four year-old who lived in the building opposite the nursing home. She had a sweet smile and impeccable manners. And best of all, she spokeย perfect English.
I took a shine to her instantly. She taught the damsel in distress everything she knew…and the rest is history. ๐Ÿ™‚
All the accolades I’ve ever won for my poetry and my stories and my public speaking skills, I dedicate to Aashu. Thank you so much for being there for me throughout. 

P.S. Makes for an interesting dinner-table story, this. ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. Nice story indeed ๐Ÿ˜€
    We all have our own knights in shining armour, our own prince charming to wake us from eternal slumber ๐Ÿ™‚
    Soemtimes,they appear in the most unexpected, or the most dramatic way (queue in the orchestra ๐Ÿ˜› ). Lovely that you shared this little part of your life with us ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Vyankatesh says:

    Quite a story – to come a long way from a time when you parents must have been horribly worried about your English to being proud of your achievements.

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