I still remember my second class at YMCA vividly. It’s probably one of those classes that go so well, that you think about it all the time, especially at the end of those days when you know you have not done that good a job in class. But more importantly, I remember it because of a kid called Sanal, and his ingenuity. He has since left the orphanage, and this story is the only thing that still reminds me of him..
Anyhow, me, Ishan, Arjun and Andrin were teaching prepositions that day… As I wasn’t prepared (Yes, in direct violation of the MAD Bible), I played spectator, doing the odd correction here and there, while the rest went about their job.
After giving them a brief description and run through of prepositions, we decided to give them Malayalam sentences, and asked them to translate into English. The idea was to give them sentences that would require that they use the very same words they had just learnt.
It was working, and we were all having a good time of it.
Then, Andrin came up with the sentence “Ente purakil police undu” (The police are behind me) and asked them to translate.
Now this batch was really bad at stuff like this, but, to their credit, they did smoke their brains while trying to find the answer… Point is we got varying answers from “The police is my back”, and “The police across my behind” to “I police chase”.
We told them that once everyone had written their answers and revealed it, we would tell them if someone got it right, and if no one had, the right answer..
Apparently no one did..
Sanal was the first to show us the answer and it had some mistake, so we asked him to go sit back down, while we checked everybody else’s answers…
But, he would have none of it.. He sat there, thought for a while, and then came up with another answer…
He came running and gave us his notebook…..On his notebook was written, “I’m in FRONT of the Police.” :)
Now… We volunteers were all baffled for a second.. We had never even thought of thinking of it that way.. And, here was a 12 year old kid, who had flabbergasted everybody with the most simple solution..
And when we tried to rescue our faces by saying that it was not exactly technically correct, he wouldn’t give in . Adamant, he was.. So we finally gave in and decided to applaud him for his immeasurable genius in language appropriation… :D
Anyhow, it’s one of those moments that you carry around for the rest of your life…. I will never forget the moment’s architect or how much we laughed…. Come to think of it, it’s the cumulative effect of such moments that make me want to go back again and again, no matter how many bad days I have….