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How I learnt Hindi?

Personal Jottings
In my last visit to Baromuni I found the whole family of Bina Didi had left for US. She was my first and memorable Hindi Teacher.

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

In my case, my command over Hindi has always put me in a different league while I was in school, in college and even in job, though with a tinge of conceived and un-conceived reasons. It was due to prevailing common perception that people from northeastern states are not “good” in Hindi. In school I was told many times, “Rishi, tere baton se lagta nahin, tu northeast ka he.” And I took this complement with pride.

And in my initial college days in Guwahati, the complement turned to curse, overnight. We Hindi-speaking bunch of students were like fish out of water and were least approached by juniors. A Great slap slammed on all of us! Our participation in the college activities were nil as we were not able to understand (forget converse) in the Assamese language. The conversation stagnancy resumed till we were burdened with studies in the third year and we carried the batch “SENIORS”.

We the Hindi-speaking group started acclimatizing the new environment, say re-learning, with the Route Numbers of Guwahati buses. “Oh! The Assamese numerical ‘1’ is similar to Hindi ‘1’, and even ‘2’ is…,” were our bizarre and amusing reactions amongst us.

Hindi came to my rescue in cutting the ice of my first job in a satellite channel at Guwahati. The experience in the television channel ironed out any deficiency left in the language. The sound engineering played with the language increased my confidence by many notches.

Life is rolling fast and sweet moments have started diminishing, the role played by Bina Didi of Baromuni, her parents came new next to our mother’s house, in the formative days of my pre-school learning, teaching me letters, words and sentences of Hindi, is something that I will say has made a solid base of my career and in my life.

In my last visit to Baromuni I found the whole family of Bina Didi had left for US. She was my first and memorable Hindi Teacher.

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