Sunday, March 27, 2016

Withering Heights


I was 19 then...a fresh research scholar at Vizagh with loads of cash in my empty pockets. 

There was this Hindi film running in Leela Mahal maybe. It was titled Navrang.

I saw it all of 12 times in a month. Understood not a single word of spoken Hindi but was humming its unintelligible songs.

I don't think I can watch that movie for one minute now...I understand Hindi.

I turned 65 in 2008. My son showed me the movie Great Train Robbery on the screen of his PC:

I loved every screenshot of it. I didn't follow a single sentence of the dialogues. I still don't. But I would love to watch it again on the big screen at home.

When I was 12, I read Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. Could get the gist of the story but not the meaning of most words.

I turned 65 when I read his Huckleberry Finn printed from the PC. Read it twice over and loved it and thought I got the meaning of its crazy dialogues.

I then read his Following the Equator same way. But it was easy to read and follow.

I loved reading particular the massive Webster. I would pull it down from the rack in search of some obscure word and get lost for a couple of hours browsing it and forget the word I was looking for.

I thought I knew the meanings of most words in English that I find in newspapers and most novels.

The other day I ordered Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. And opened it with relish.

And found that I have to consult the dictionary for at least 2 words in each para.

Fortunately my son gifted a smart phone the other day.

So I lounge on the single sofa Sailaja gifted me...with the bloody book in the right hand and the phone in the left (for opening the Free Dictionary).

I feel humbled.

Don't know the meaning of a simple 4-letter word like 'trig'.

The consolation is that the Cambridge English Dictionary also doesn't...

...Posted by Ishani


1 comment:


When we were young, we were fond of Hindi movies, for simple reason that they were in Eastman Colour and big settings with songs and scenes showing foreign cities etc. though we could not understand not even a single word of Hindi.