It was my maternal grandfather’s habit to make the grandchildren read to him by turns during the pre-lunch hours when he lay down for a while. One day I was reading to him from the Malayalam newspaper when he stopped me at the word ‘shushruusha‘.
Shu-shruu- sha, he enunciated to me.
Shu-sruu- sha, I dutifully repeated after him.
No, he said, shu-shruu-sha.
I listened intently and went, shu-sruu-sha
This went on for some time with me not getting any the wiser and also getting tenser for not getting it right after so many tries (I was 12 or 13). My grandfather was one of those strict persons and could come down heavily on you for shortcomings. But surprisingly, that day he gave a short laugh and told me to move on to the next sentence and I let out a sigh of relief.
It took me years of puzzling for the right answer to suggest itself, almost on the lines of a ‘revelation’, and when it happened, it was all I could do to stop myself from shouting ‘Eureka!’ and rushing out of the shower like that fellow from the distant past.
I had all along been using the ‘s’ sound and not the ‘sh’ sound at all. Sheesh, how could I not have caught on?
©Shail Mohan 2016
Day 7 NaBloPoMo 2016
Ha ha ha 😀
At least you finally figured it out. I tried to learn Mandarin and ended up calling my mother a horse. 🙂
Rofl. Now I can’t stop giggling at this hilarious outcome.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest and thank you for the laugh 😀
Sh for Shail, but for her Granpa, she couldn’t score
Thankfully, he didn’t her, as expected, gore
Now repeat after me
At the count of three
‘She sells sea-shells by the Spanish sea-shore’!
Haha. that ‘Spanish’ in it would have done the trick.
Traci York said:
Funny how the brain works some times. Congrats on finally figuring it out! 😀
Yup, funny! And thanks, lol 🙂
Rekha @ Dew Drops said:
Reminded me of my Amma’s Ammavan, a Sanskrit Scholar. My vacations used to be beneath the kitchen stoves till he was home. I am 37 and he is 98 now. But I still can’t stand in front of him and talk. 🙂
I can so relate to that 😀
Sandhya Kumar said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSqwfhYAoxs I used to ask my sons to repeat ‘she sells sea shells on the sea shore’!
Lol, I remember that from childhood, ‘she sells sea shells on the sea shore’ and a few others. Just listened to the song too 🙂
Shailaja V said:
So cute! But that’s the beauty of growing up, right? How much we learn in hindsight.
Right. 🙂 Usually I was the one who got the honor of reading the English paper out to him, but the Malayalam ones just a few times 🙂
Travelcraft Journal (@TravelcraftJrnl) said:
There are so many times we aren’t hearing others correctly – even when we’re really listening! Did you grow up speaking Malayalam?
Yes, to both 🙂
Parul Thakur said:
Ha ha! This was cute. Not pronunciation but there are Hindi words that I have always pronounced as a heard. Which makes it funny cos I know how they are written but as a habit. I say it like a 8 year old 😉
Oh, I think I have a few Mallu words that fall in this category! 😀
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Lol, this is very true. I actually was speaking Hindi to a friend a while ago and didn’t realize what I said was translated differently. I said something like “I am a good girl” and ended up saying “I am a lot of girls” XD. He burst into hysterics XD
That’s really funny. Wish I could have heard you 😉