Saturday, 19 August 2017
He sat amidst the squalor. His house, with asbestos sheets as its walls didn’t have any window. But the windows of his heart were always open. He wanted to learn and his mother encouraged him to do so. His house though small was no less than a museum. Drums of various sizes were properly arranged at the entrance. The plastic bottles were kept in a big net. The newspapers and magazines were the only things which were allowed inside the house not because they were special but they were likely to be damaged by rains or the dogs that fought for no reason in the night.
This is how his romance with the letters in the print started. He had been to a primary school where he learnt to read and write in Marathi. So he would pick up Marathi newspaper and magazine and read out the stories in it. His mother would stand akimbo. His son’s reading had opened a new world to her. She had never heard these stories from anyone. The only stories she heard living in that ghetto were of women who were abused by their husbands and men who were drenched in liquor. His reading gave them a new purpose of life to both of them. They laughed together and tears voluntarily rolled down their eyes when they read a poignant tale. They read about the Taj Mahal and the Marina beach and visited both these places sitting on the words of print and using some imagination.
‘Aai what if I could read those English magazines?’ He asked one day. The English magazines always stood apart from their Marathi counterparts. Their pages were glossy and the men and women that featured in them appeared from another planet. Plus it contained pictures of foreign locations. ‘Wow, it would be indeed a great experience. I am all ears to hear those stories from English magazines. But will you please translate those stories for me in Marathi. You know I don’t know English.’ Gangubai told Nihar.
‘Aai where I know English?’ Nihar said and the dejected duo didn’t feel like reading anything that day.
Then one day Nihar’s eyes fell upon an advertisement in the newspaper. Just give a missed call on 8055667788 and learn English it said. Nihar borrowed his mother’s mobile phone. She worked as a domestic help and heer employer had given her his old mobile phone so that he could contact her. Nihar called the number and life changed for good for both him and his mother. They never thought learning English was so easy. Soon both of them began to read the English newspapers and magazines which they always wanted to read.
So if you have anyone around who wants to learn English please share this number 8055667788 and open the gateways to their learning.
“I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda”
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
With half pants full pants, Anand Supi transports us into the world of 1980s. He makes us revisit our childhood in small towns, when there were no gazettes and where time stretched endlessly like today’s TV serials. This isn’t a novel. But it is a collection of childhood memories. Slightly distorted, slightly incoherent, yet immensely enjoyable.
Today’s generation, which is born into abundance and where new things pour into the house at the click of the mouse, would never understand what a joy it was to buy a new mixer or TV set in the 1980s. It was a sort of celebration, for which the entire lane and all the family and friends gate crashed and the hosts happily absorbed them into their festivities like a sponge. Half pants full pants may help them imagine that world, which if not a global village, was a village family for sure.
The ten paise coins battered under the trains, the pee breaks, the rubber lizards, the early crude versions of reward points, Anand Supi gets everything right and gives the book some verisimilitude. If you are a child who grew in this time period read the book for it is nostalgic, if you are a child born in today’s digital world, read the book to know how was the childhood of your parents.