Part two – Mr. Joseph’s classroom
I was enjoying the tag ‘Master of English’ in the class and days went on happily for me, but my father’s quench to teach English had not finished yet. After the exam of seventh standard, he arranged an English tuition for me in summer vacation. Name of the tutor was Mr. Joseph Mathews; he was the teacher in famous English medium missionary convent school of our town. He was a Malayalam person and usually come to my father for repairing his car and bike. Initially, I didn’t like the idea of English coaching; first reason, I felt that I am the master in English and there is no need of any tuition as per my curriculum; second Mr. Joseph lived in posh colony of our town and I need to walk three kilometers daily to reach his home for tuition; last but not least reason, it was vacation time and all my friends were spending their days away from school and study, in just fun and play, so I preferred to joined them instead spoiling even an hour of happy period in English coaching. My father was not bothered about my first and third reason but he solved my second worry. He gave me his bicycle to go tuition. It was a traditional old black ‘Atlas’ cycle. I was able to ride it; however my feet were not reached completely on ground after sitting on seat of bi-cycle. So, this way I started to go tuition against my wishes due to my father’s strict order.
There were total fourteen folks came in Mr. Joseph’s English coaching class including me. Apart from me, all were from English medium convent school, the same in which Mr. Joseph taught. I felt very awkward at Mr. Joseph’s classroom as all folks were very well acquitted with each other there. Everyone talked in fluent English except me; everyone wear designer wear and came on stylish ranger cycle there except me. These things felt me inferior among them. I usually sit alone and silent in a corner of class room. I never tried to make friendship with others and other folks never showed interest in talking with me. Joseph sir tried to talk me in English but I was not able to understand him completely. Sometimes I never knew the meaning of complete sentence spoke by him and sometime I was not able to understand due to his Malyalam accent. Later on sir started to talk me in Hindi. Hindi sentences looked very funny in his Malyalam accent. Everyone in the class room smiled when he spoke to me in Hindi. Many times people make fun of our conversation in Hindi, after the class. Due to such things, I exhibited silent, shy, lonely and hesitant behavior there.
I was not able to speak in English like others there, but it’s not the thing that I never understood the English sentence spoke by them. Usually when those guys talked with each other, I fully understood what they were talking about, irrespective of the thing that I didn’t know the meaning of each and every word they used. It’s Mr. Joseph’s accent that was creating problem for me. Even sometimes I understood what sir told me but I never replied in English due to my shy and inferiority feeling. This tuition didn’t help me in speaking, but it did great help me to learn English grammar and vocabulary. Sir taught me deeply about Basic English grammar like article, noun, pronoun, verb, sentence structure that those English medium students had already learnt in primary classes. These indeed help me a lot to improve my reading and writing skills.
That tuition was forming a strong base for a bright future to me, but I was completely unaware about it at that time. What I was aware that I don’t have any friends there, everyone looks me like a backward villager people and I am totally wasting my time and my father’s money there. I went there every day, just because my father has ordered me strictly to go there. Every day, I halfheartedly ride bi-cycle and reached there against my wishes. I felt very bored, hesitant and lonely during the whole time I spent in Mr. Joseph’s class room. Sometimes I wanted to skip that tuition and go somewhere else during that time period but I never did that, as I scared that my father scold and beat if he caught me. Also, I heard from my mother that my father was paying a big amount for my tuition and I didn’t want to waste my father’s money that he earned by his strong hard work at garage. So these were reasons that brought my feet automatically in Mr. Joseph’s class room against my wishes.
I sit alone and idle most of the time in tuition and I was the one who was weakest in English language there (in fact very far from level and standard of others), but Joseph sir liked me very much. My silence was sincereness in the eyes of Joseph sir; he saw innocent in my shyness and he felt politeness in my hesitant behaviour. Most of the guys were in group there and did frolic a lot. Many times sir became very angry and scolded them. Sometimes he beat them by ruler also. But he never beat me like that, even not talked in angry tone with me. He praised my spirit to learn English as a Hindi medium student. But I must say this appreciation goes to my father as it was his spirit to teach me English; I sit there just to fulfill my father’s order against my wish.
I was going half hearten, sitting idle and silent most of the time; and doing whatever task sir told me to do there, till this incident happened. There was a girl in our batch at Mr. Joseph’s class – Archana. She was the most sincere and intelligent among all and Joseph sir gave her example to everyone there. She usually wore beautiful coloured flower printed frock; she had a pink colour ladies cycle with basket at front. Generally she put her bag with some flowers in the basket. I got totally flat on her beautifulness when she wore yellow frock till knees and ride pink bicycle with white flowers in basket. Her open curly hair and gorgeous smile attracted me toward her. When she spoke in English, I looked her like a villager boy looks angels first time in sky. I always tried to come early at tuition to ensure that she never looked me with that ruined black ‘Atlas’ cycle. I wanted to talk with her but my shy and inferior feeling blocked me in doing so. Unknowingly on knowingly, I was trying to impress her; putting efforts to make friendship with her, but like others, she also not even looked at me.
One day god had given a chance me to be noticed. On that day, Sir was explaining about the difference between subject and verb to me. After explaining, he asked me to identify subject in the sentence – ‘Donkey never speak English like human.’ I identified and answered that ‘Donkey’ is the subject here. While speaking I pronunciated it like ‘da-a-nke’. Sir corrected me that it not pronunciates ‘da-a-nke’, it is ‘do-o-nkey’. He put special stress in ‘oo’ pronunciation in donkey. But I was not able to catch him and spoke ‘da-a-nke’ every time. Sir corrected me three times there and then told me to pronunciate with him ‘do-o-nkey’ and I pronunciate ‘da-a-nkey’ every time. Whenever I spoke ‘da-a-nke’, Archana looked at me and laughed. I intentionally repeated same mistake many time on that day, just to see smile on her face. That was the first time she noticed me and I was very happy on the whole day due to that.
Next time onwards, whenever sir called me due to any reason, a lovely smile spread on Archana’s face. I was at cloud seven that finally Archana started noticing me in the class; may be due to any reason. I was waving in the imaginary world of fatal attraction for Archana till that day. It was 5th may and I entered in the class room. Archana was looking damn good on that day. Soon sir announced that it was her birthday on that day; sir congratulated her and told us that she brought chocolates for everyone on her birthday. Sir told her to distribute chocolates among us, and went inside to attend a phone call. I sit in a corner very far from her on that day. She started distributing chocolates from opposite corner. I wanted to hear my name from her lips so I put down my head in notebook and started writing something in it. I thought when she will come to me and see that I am busy in writing; she calls me by name and then I wish happy birth day to her. I was looking in the notebook but my concentration was totally on her. I got to knew from her footsteps and voice of people till where she reached. As she was moving her feet towards me, my heart beats was running like a wild horse. Soon she came to give chocolates to the person sit near me and suddenly I found that she changed her direction without giving me chocolates. When she finished with chocolate distribution, sir came from inside and asked ‘did everyone get chocolate?’ Everyone replied ‘yes’ loudly to him, but my ‘yes’ was not there in that noise. Sir didn’t notice my silence in the noise and assumed everyone got chocolate. Suddenly I heard a whisper from people there ‘ Da-a-nkey never eat chocolates like human.’ It hurt me badly when she didn’t give me chocolates but this comment totally annoyed me. It make me red hot angry and I felt like find the person who comment it and put a powerful punch on his mouth.
I felt lonely and bored at tuition earlier, but on that day, I felt hurt, shameful and disrespected also. A storm of thoughts and reactions blows on my mind – What these people think about their selves, don’t they know how to treat with people. It’s not a matter of just a chocolate; it’s a matter of respect. They don’t get right to insult anyone like this, just because they wear stylish denim jeans, ride luxurious ranger cycle, study in English medium convent school and I come in traditional shirt-paint on 1957 old Atlas cycle. They may be able to speak very good English but they are zero in moral science. But why should I blame to these people as they are already sick mentality people so what one can expect with them. Main culprit of all this is my father. Why he sent me there, doesn’t he want to see his son happy? I don’t have friends there; there is no as such need of such tuition in my curriculum; I sit like a stupid among these hi-class people there and above all there is a big difference in living standard and mentality of them and me. Why he want to make me like them. If he wants to teach such special English than he might admit me to any convent school; and if he doesn’t have money to pay big fees of convent schools than he should not expect me speaking, reading and writing English like them. I decided that I would not go English tuition any more now.
In the course of anger and emotion, I decided that I would not go to English tuition any more, but I didn’t have courage to say no to my father. I didn’t say anything to my father but next day, I bunked the tuition and went to my friend’s home near there. After that I regularly bunked the tuition; every day I went to my friend’s home at tuition time, there I played cricket with my friends and returned back to home at the same time when tuition was finished. This trick worked on both ways to me; it saved me from such torture at tuition and also, felt my father happy as he was thinking that I did attending tuition regularly in that time period. Days went on happily to me but I don’t have idea that soon my happy days were going to end with big tantrum.
Third and last part coming soon….
Link to third part – https://baramdekidhoop.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/insult-of-my-father-3/