Small wonder

Sunita Giri 10:30 PM |

Knife - kanife, Know - kanow, Knob - kanob, Knock - kanock, Knit - kenit.

Some young girls were mugging it, in a rhythmic way, but in a bit loud voice, as children read; when they are in lower grades. These girls were asked to remember these words by their teacher, for tomorrow’s class.

Radha Pandey, along with her two friends, happened to be passing, these girls room, who were mugging it. Out of curiosity, she entered their room. Reeta Gurung, saw her first, so, she asked her, “what is the meaning of know ?”, she pronounced it, as Kanow. In Nepali, it means scratching.

She could not hold her laughter, but the other two laughed even harder. When they were done laughing, she explained the meaning of know, to her and after that, she also corrected them how to pronounce it.

Radha Pandey, was the student of St. Mary’s School, that is the reason, her English was far better than the ones, who were mugging the above words, as they used to go to government school.

“But why ?” Reeta asked, and then wondered “where does the ‘k’ goes ?” “It does not go any where, its just, you don’t pronounce the first letter; when you say it”, Radha responded.

“How come you know ?”, she wondered, while other just listened, with curiosity of a child.

“Oh, I just know this, because, I have already studied this in my school and I am in higher grade than you”, she said.

But then one girl asked from behind, “is that the ‘k’ is not in taking term with ‘n’ ?” Before she could say any other words, another question came from curious Reeta, “If the front letter remains silent, does that mean my name is pronounced as ‘Eetta’ ?”, which means brick in Nepali.


This time, all three girls erupted in healthy laughter and Radha responded, “No” for the both questions, wiping tear from her eyes, which was due to good hearty laughter.

“Then, how come you know ? when it remains silent and when it does not ?” Reeta was even more curious now, than before.

“Oh, for that you have to study and study hard”, she tried to explain as much as her 8th grade knowledge permits her to explain to any fourth grader.

“If we take Rita’s logic to omit ‘R’ from her name, then your name becomes ‘Adha’”, which means - half - in Nepali, Nirmala, said from behind. It amused Junkiri, and with that both girls started laughing again.

“What”, Radha asked with creased forehead, but this time she did not find this amusing.

Then onwards, it became Reeta’s greeting kind of question as and when she saw her, “Radha didi, why can’t I say, kanife and why it is said, nife only ?”

Junkiri, whose English was very poor, used to turn towards her and ask can’t you say “I don’t kanow”.

“Perhaps, it may work in your case”, is all she could respond scratching her forehead.

This naive questions, pulled them closer, than ever before.

2 comments:

Mutthuswami said...

Good post d! Helped to recall my childhood. Poor Reeta, my classmate since grade one. Proud to be in that huge and unique family.

bimal said...

if you add pine in the apple it becomes pineapple. if you wonder it becomes wonderful bcoz its the crazy language so far.

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