Monday, June 14, 2010

Adult Education - English Lessons

Team This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai

One fine day, marriage happened to me too. As the tradition goes in most of the Indian families, close relatives stay back for a day or two to know the new member in their family. And there I was, in the middle of our living room, with all the relatives surrounding me, looking excited and curious to know more about this beautiful and talented daughter in law (DIL). But the super excited person was my Aunt in Law (name withheld and relationship changed to protect her identity).

It had always been my Aunt in Law’s dearest wish to master the English language. She was in love with it more than she loves her husband. My entry was a bliss for her as I was the scapegoat she was looking for all along. There I was, the shy and obedient DIL, all set to win the heart of my Aunt in Law, agreed to take up the challenge instantly. Now I was her new English teacher, and she became my cook. Oops, I mean cooking teacher and in no time, we bonded over things like her love for English, family, recipes and experiments.

Once we happened to be in the kitchen together when she was preparing suji halwa (an Indian sweet dish). Pretty much engrossed in her cooking, she asked me to switch on the Jerox fan. There I was, controlling my laughter so hard that I almost started crying. Luckily her love for cooking didn’t let her notice my expressions and she again asked me to put on the jerox fan and check on cottage cheese that she had kept to magnet. Trying hard to keep a straight face, I gave her my first ever tuition minus the professor designation. (Sigh!) I corrected her two mistakes that she made in less than 30 seconds. Though in laws look very sporting when they propose that they want to learn something from you; but when it comes to pointing out their mistakes, then ahem! I would advise you to bury your wish of flaunting talent and create a good impression!

But I love to lock horns with trouble all the time, and at such times this lawyer suddenly becomes too honest for her own good, I told my Aunt in law that it is called as an exhaust fan and not Jerox fan. We marinate cottage cheese, magnate is a wrong term.

Ah, I still cannot forget that sweet killing look on her face followed by the murmur “Angrez chale gaye, Angrezi chhod gaye!” (British left, leaving behind English language). But her enthusiasm for learning the language took over the feeling of hurt ego saving my half cut neck! Each day I taught her a few words, and each day she forgot the previous day lesson.

With my cousin sister in law’s (SIL) wedding around the corner, our English lessons were forgotten completely. We were staying at my cousin SIL’s place on the previous day of the d-day. We were helping out the girl’s family with last minute wedding preparations. My job was to make the list of things we may require on the D-day. My Aunt in law was helping me out with the names. She asked me whether or not I had included albums in the list. A bit curious, I asked her for what purpose we needed the albums without adding that photos will developed at a later stage and albums will be provided for free (typical female mentality!). I was lucky enough not to have added that line, as she said that we needed albums to put cash in it to give to the Groom, Punditji and my cousin SIL!

And yes, she called albums – envelope! By Jove! Who would have guessed that now!

Now I am very well versed her fantastic English. We are back to our Student – Teacher mode, with me correcting her same mistakes. Album is still the envelope and vice versa; Happy Anniversary is still happy annisersary or annisrary or simple – Happy Marrij Day, vegetables – vejibels, school is ischool, last month, a year back or ten years back is still called as day before yesterday (I don’t know why) and such. Each day, I correct her. Few words she tries to learn, while few words have become from exhaust fan to “that” fan, or Neha wala fan! But yes, thanks to her, I have almost mastered cooking. She is a wonderful teacher for this once upon a time horrible cook.

After all, someone learnt something! The only problem is that the family considers me a fantastic learner but a pathetic teacher! Still things go on in our lives. It feels good to see her putting in efforts to learn the language. After all, one does not have to be a master of all trades right? I am very much happy with her slow progress.

Ok, let me be honest here. Imagine, if she learns English pretty fast and wants to join facebook, then what will happen to me and my status updates that have trivia like - "what is a jerox fan?"


  1. Ha ha ha, funny post!! You are right, it is indeed difficult correcting your in- laws!
    But I hope you learnt to make good food:)
    Nice post, enjoyed it:)

  2. ROFL...'Funtastic' post-office!!

  3. *goggle eyed* Would have never guessed the jerox fan and album! Such a darling post, oh and keep on being the bad teacher! How else can you share such wonderful experiences. All the best

  4. Hahaa, this is damn phunny!! I would want to see her post on FB! Good luck!

  5. LOL.. A very enjoyable post and wish it cud have been a bit longer.. Nonetheless will wait for reading more such experiences from ur side..:)

    All the best for the contest..:)

  6. ROFL! 'Jerox fan' is a keeper! And loved the contractions for Happy Anniversary! :P

    Good luck with BPL!

  7. Oh boy. This was an absolutely delightful read. I never stopped smiling throughout the post. Awesome Neha. Loved every word of it. Go Tigers.

  8. Brilliant, Auntyji, brilliant. So much more innovative than those learning English phrases by rote. And I totally admire the jerox fan...

    Looking forward to her appearance of Facebook.....Welcome !

  9. Hilarious

    I think you should get her to Facebook and such else !

    :) She would learn. And so would the rest of the world !

  10. neha....mind blowing post...well observed and a funny one...

    witing for ur next post..

  11. Whoooaaa cute in-law. She wants to learn!!! Jeroz fan!!!! Hahahaha

    I envy you for having to spend time educating someone everyday!! :-D

    Why dont you introduce her to tweeter and facebook? :-P

  12. ROTFL ROTFL :)) That was a damn hilarious post girl :) Agree with other, wish it could be longer. "Neha wala fan" was too much. Make her join FB :D I would really love to read her status updates :) Nice post!

  13. Can I add to your woes and say, it would be great to have her on FB! :D
    This was a captivating, fooony read, no one does it better than Neha, ever! :))

  14. @ all who wants her to be on facebook, I will make sure she does not add you or accept your request :P :D

  15. Starting my day with a 'ismile'... what a fun filled post, Neha!! :)

    Ah, teaching adults is not easy...
    But am sure these English lessons have enriched you in many ways! :)

    All the best for the contest!
    Cheers :)

  16. Nice read with humor coming out of natural situations with no artificial attempts at creating humor.I am reminded of a similar experience my mom had with a wealthy neighbor who wanted to learn English.

  17. O my Gawd...what a fun read :D
    "Jerox fan" was the show stealer :)

    Best wishes for BPL :)

  18. What a fun filled aunt. Namaste ji. Aap bade cook ji. And pls join FB soon, auntyji.
    Neha, that was fun

  19. hey Neha, thats not fair... i want u to get her on FB and accept all our frnd requests!!!

    that was one hell of a real... really hilarious...

  20. Hi Neha,LOling still yaar..
    Never imagined such stories could be 'cooked' up!
    Gr8 job..
    ATB for BPL super 5 round

  21. Witty and cute,tough to be both at the same time,still wondering howd u managd to be both :)

  22. @ Saroj, yeah, I make edible food now :) thanks :)

    @ Kavita, thanks for the mail too :)) love..

    @ Ritu, she was there to point it out..I didn't guess it the first time either :)

    @ Arif, thanks..if only (your) wishes could come true :P

    @ Sushobhan, thank you..more such experiences - as and when they happen, I will post them :)

    @ PB, thanks buddy :)

    @ Idlisambhar (I don't like vada :P), I wanted to create the moments sound fake many times right? thanks Tiger :))

    @ UK, thank you..those made up English funny lines are so cliched..since it is a true story, it sounds different :) No facebook please :D

    @ Kavi, facebook and such else - I will make her follow you - how does that sound? ;) ain't we still learning too? :)

    @ Mag(m), thank you, thank you :)

    @ Avada, thanks girlie..yeah imagine - jerox fan is neha wala fan! :P

    @ Insignia, please swap places with me! :P facebook? I think you don't like me anymore :(

    @ G, tu muje chane ke ped me mat chadha :P

    @ Shilpa, thank you :) the English lessons introduced me to a new language altogether :D

    @ TF, you dunno how much I loved your comment..I wrote this psot with this intention only..thank you :)))

    @ CB, thank you thank you :D

    @ Holy lama, she is very nice..but no facebook please :P

    @ Tavish, thank you :))

    @ Vibhuti, good to see you here..welcome to Neha's :) this is a real story btw :P :D

    @ Witty Jester, welcome here..thank you for your comments..cute post? how u do it? I did that too? :O

  23. Nice funny post Neha All the best for the BPL.. and the in laws masha allah WADHAIYAAAAN hon :)

    nice one neha.. ALL THE BEST

  24. Lol....jerox fan :D
    Fun post..yenjaayed reading it :D

  25. :) i hope i get a aunt in law like your's in future :) i appreciate the fact tht she does not have ego...and accepts her mistake sportingly

  26. So what was the comment we decided on, oh yeah-

    ROFL, LOL, LMAO, Hahaha, Hehehe... fantastic post :).

    On a real note, Awesome post... I too have a jerox fan in my kitchen. But i hardly turn it on :P. Jerox fan... makes me laugh so hard :)).

  27. i must tell you suji-halwa is my favorite .... can do anything for it :D ...

  28. See, as promised I'm lol-ing. ;):P

    Jokes apart, it was really a very jokey(dil-bole-hadippa style) post. :D Really hilarious! :D

  29. Lol...Aunty ne tumko khichdi banaane ko sikhaaya aur tum mazaak udaakar uska idhar khichdi banaati? :P lol...
    Nice post re...quick learners find it tough to teach, fact! :)

  30. Makes one relate :D:D

    Couldn't control laffin :P

    Very well written, Neha.. :)

    All the best.. :)

  31. Very funny.I can relate it back to when my wife went through a similar situation--it was funny then and is funny now.
    But,in the bargain you did learn some cooking.

  32. Hillarious!
    “Angrez chale gaye, Angrezi chhod gaye!”... ROFL, now I havent heard that in quite a while, I miss hanging out with people who think English is a curse :)

    From today, I shall officially call myself "Neha waala fan". After all didnt I tell you I WAS a big fan of this blog :P?

  33. hahahaahaha Nice post, such aunty add spice to our life..pleeej train her to be on FB...puleeeej All the best :))

  34. neha ji..really nice of u to suggest reg. yr friend in symbiosis daughter has joined MBA will be good to introduce them..thanks again for yr is better to correspond on

  35. All said and done, we Indians speak and pronounce English better than others.

  36. very funny
    typical Indian
    daughter in law (DIL)
    like it

  37. hi! Neha,

    thats hilarious, ur aunt is a character for sure, but these characters are found everywhere, and the best thing is they dont have that feeling of ignorance, so confident they are and thats really sweet of them as this post :)

  38. I am sorry that I am this late in reading your post on your blog. I read all the comments you received and I can't stop smiling :-) Proud of you, Tiger :-)

    Your real-life incident has managed to keep everyone in splits - looks like our mission is accomplished ;-)

    Get going! and keep your fingers crossed...

  39. Happy marrij day! Lol.. :D Beautiful!
    A very humourous post indeed, Neha. :)
    Had a great fun reading. Correcting mistakes is surely a tough job.
    All the best!

  40. @ Bik, thanks :)

    @ DC, thanks a lot girl :))

    @ Harini, you rock girl ;) thanks :))

    @ G3, on my face, yeah, she accepts the mistakes :P

    @ D-man, champ, I know that :D

    @ Nethra, thanks girl :)

    @ Sree, now that i didn't know ke quick learners find it difficult to teach..

    @ Manna, thanks girl :)

    @ BK Chowla, yes sir, I did learn something in return :)

    @ Merlin, aur kitna leg pull karega mera haan? :D I am totally for Hindi re..Angreji thoda kam prefer karti hu bolna..

    @ Pushpee, nooooooooooo, don't need her on facebook please :P

    @ Ramesh, thanks :)

    @ Haddock, this post is supposed to be a humorous one :P

    @ Sm, thank you :)

    @ RD, thank you..your comments always brighten my are very generous with words..thanks again :)

    @ Debs, thanks re..your inputs really helped..yeah, kept fingers crossed :D

    @ Karthik, thank you thank you :D

  41. Hilarious read, Neha! I hope your aunt wouldnt know the amount of fun we are having at her expense

  42. oops forgot to wish you!

    Good luck for the contest :)

  43. Apart from being very funny the post also makes a strong point regarding our obsession with the English language.

    A related incident happened to me a few years ago when I was working in Europe. I was talking(in English) to a fellow Indian when a German colleague came up to us and said "Angrez chale gaye aur angrezi chod gaye"(ofcourse, not in Hindi :P) . I felt like being slapped in the face and vowed to never ever talk in English with a fellow Indian.

    Also, I can guarantee you that your Aunt-in-law will ask you for accent training very soon :D

  44. ROFL.. this is really hilarious Neha :) :) nothing can beat a real life situation :)

    I am wishing that we will do great this time :)

  45. Kyumki bahu bhi kabhi saas banegi....then we ll see how you deal with nex gen ~ message from aunt-in-law.

    Who knows by the time your nephew or niece grow up to marry a French guy and he might say Merci - and you might say yes I am merciful. :-)

    Good post enjoyed reading it.

  46. Finally here :-) Just got some time today :-))

    As you already know, Neha, this was a really delightful read :-) You've treated the subject differently, with subtle humour, and something that every reader can identify with :-) I hope you win :-)