English – In my life

I love English for two reasons. One, because I can express myself better in it. And two, because its a funny language. Also, it is probably the only language whose speech accent changes every few hundred kilometers almost everywhere in the world. In India, it probably varies with every person!

I took to liking English early in my school days, when I was in the 4th Standard (about 10 years old). I have to thank my teachers for making the lessons that interesting to me. I remember my 4th Standard English teacher Mrs. Samyuktha Devi, who also taught us History in the 6th Standard. I have no clue where she is now. Only thing I know about her is that she moved to Australia. Then came Mrs. Shylaja; she was a very good teacher too. Taught us English in the 6th Standard. The real passion for writing developed in me when I was in the 9th Standard when Mrs. Chandrika Ravikumar was my teacher. She was amazing. She requested for a special hour every week from the then Headmistress (Mrs. Leelavathy Gururaj) called the creativity period. We got a chance to showcase our talents during that hour every week. A few sang songs, displayed paper craft and we even had a play that we performed within the classroom. Oh, that was a lot of fun!

I wrote poetry and stories and read it out loud to the class. The poem ‘The little soul‘ was the one I remember reading out to the class and getting praised for it. 😀 And then, the story was titled ‘Mysteries of Vreen’ – which was very much influenced by my reading of ‘Secrets of Droon’ by Tony Abbot. I used to write a little for every week and it was read out in the class. A few months later, (after my 9th Standard) I stopped writing it; I felt guilty of copying the idea from another story series. Anyways, it did help me write better.

I did write more poems; some silly ones. And when I was in my Pre-University college, I started the ‘Warriors of Might and Magic’ (title tentative) which is yet to be completed. There was also a few other short stories and essays I wrote – which I hope to put up on the blog sometime. And about the same time, I started this blog, which at first was a collection of jokes and e-mail forwards; so not much of creative writing involved. But since about 10 months (see archives), I have changed it to my personal blog. And ever since then, I’ve learned a lot about writing too.

And that’s the history of English in my life. If you have such histories, do share it in your blog, or comment here. I’m sure some of us who studied English as our secondary language would have. 🙂

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To Chennai, Tirupathi and back!

It was a tiring but enjoyable trip. I left for Chennai early morning on the 9th of July by the Lalbagh Express and was pleasantly surprised when the train reached the destination at 12pm, 15 minutes earlier than it was supposed to. 😮 Not always do you get to see that happen! 🙂

Chennai is HOT! Its not just the temperature but the humidity, owing to its coastal location. I stayed there for two days, and since I do not know Tamil, had a tough time communicating with people there. I shifted to English when people did not understand my Tamil and gave me blank stares. It did not help much either. Anyways, another surprising fact is crow population of Chennai is not less than 10 times as that of Bangalore! Its crazy! I guess the sewage management of the city is the main reason.

We then went to Tirupathi. My 70-year old grandmother climbed the hills! Yeah!! We started early morning at around 3.30 AM and by the time we reached the top of the seventh hill, it was almost 10.00 AM. Wonder how she could muster all the strength from? I also met a few of my college friends from the Mechanical Department while climbing the hills.

And as usual, the shrine was thronged by millions of people, and it took 3 hours for us to move through the entwined queueing system and finish our darshan. Overall, the trip was an enjoyable experience. 🙂

P.S: This entry has been due for a long time. I came back from my trip on the 14th of July.

Another poem and a few changes

I’ve uploaded another poem that I wrote during my school days. This is titled ‘The Little Soul’ and is one of my few poems which are very dear to me. This was a poem which won me praises by the English teacher in my 9th Standard of High School.

Its about two kingdoms gripped by conflict. And how a little soul saved the bloodshed and stopped the war. Read it here: The Little Soul

The change is very inconspicuous, unnoticeable: I’ve changed my blog name to Sterex. Why? I probably don’t have an answer right now, but I’ll leave a cue: I might be moving my blog to a custom domain. 🙂 Anyways, that should in no way affect anything on my blog.

English – Writer’s License – Allegory

English is a language that comes with a lot of freedom. By freedom, I mean its usage can be bent according to the needs of the context or the writer. Though grammatically an error, the meaning of the sentence still holds. This is not limited just to poetry, but extends also to prose. One such freedom that a writer enjoys is the ability and his liberty to force his viewpoint on his readers. Whether the reader accepts it or not, is secondary. This form of opinionated writing inevitably finds itself a place, big or small, in all written works. For instance, when a writer says, “He was the tiger of the family, tending to and safeguarding it.”, the author automatically raises the your viewpoint of the subject to a newer level. This could be used in the negative sense too, when describing a villain. But that seldom happens; this is due to the fact that when you strengthen the villain in the plot, the hero gets more credibility once he has defeated the villain.

When the writer uses this style of writing through voice of his characters (as against a narrative), it is called as an allegory – an extended metaphor.

I found a passage in my Operating Systems text, where the author assumes the gender of the person in the context. Here is an extract:

A time-shared operating system allows many users to share the computer simultaneously. Since each action or command in the time-shared system tends to be short, only a little CPU is needed for each user. As the system switches rapidly from one user to the next, each user is given the impression that the entire computer system is dedicated to her use, even though it is being shared among many users.

Quoted from Operating System Concepts by Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin and Greg Gagne. (Topic 1.2.3 – Page 10)

Another interesting (but irrelevant to the current discussion, or is it?) quote from the same text. (Topic 1.2.2 – Page 9)

Idle lawyers tend to become politicians, so there is certain social value in keeping lawyers busy.