During my schooldays, there were a few boys who spoke English at home,read Hardy boys.... I mean a very few. And there were some others who refered to their parents "Daddy" and Mummy" and that was all English they could speak.
I come from neither type . My parents were always amma and appa for me and I never read those novels. And I believe majority of kids were like me.
All the English I learnt, came purely from watching not Hollywood movies but cricket matches.
Ofcourse, I went to an English medium school. But then I had second languages of Hindi and French both of which I cannot claim of speaking fluently, inspite of learning them for 10 years.
It is one thing to read and write but "to speak" requires courage and confidence.
Thanks to Tony Greig and his Channel Nine for introducing today's young India to the language. The language that has helped to bring home a millions of jobs from across the seas.
The interest in cricket and the keenness to analyse the game, have forced people like me to increase the TV volume to follow what is being said by the experts.
After the 1983 Prudential world cup victory, all one talked about was cricket. If you didn't, then you are a girl that is reading my blog now.
To talk to friends during the recess, required full concentration from the toss to the presentation ceremony. From the pitch to the post-match analysis, every factor was explained. And explained with phrases and words that I never knew. Every game was an English lesson. To speak fluently means to construct sentences on the feet. This I learnt from the commentators.
"That ball bamboozled the batsman"; "He caressed through to the boundary"; "Pluck it from thin air; mandatory overs; follow-on..." are all examples of how easy they made it for us.
Metaphors and similis were used at will. I was learning all this while.
Imagine, other than cricket, all we got were sponsored programs in regional languages and Hindi.
Yeah, we were shown the regular "Sorry for the break" and that was all.
In school, it was "Yes miss, no miss, sorry miss".
At home it was "ikada raa naina or kamanaati seekaram vaa" depending on your mother tongue.
There was no better place for a kid where English was spoken or was necessary in the society. Nor were we any longer under the British Rule.
Atleast now we have the Cable that brings Star news ...
From today, if some one asks who my English teacher was; my reply will be Tony Greig, Ian Chappell... in different matches and not Mrs. Girija or Nalini Ravindran.