You learnt your English in the UK from English-speaking people. I learnt it in fits and starts from Hindi/Punjabi/Bengali-speaking folk in India. It was not a surprise that you were only 10 when you took it upon yourself to start correcting my English. All the time.
“Saagar, please would you close the vindow?”
“The parent’s meeting is on Vednesday. No?”
“Where does the best Vite Vine come from?”
You would be all over the floor. What was funny? These were simple questions. In Hindi, there is an equivalent for ‘v’. None for ‘w’. The sound of ‘w’ is learnt. I learnt it and can apply it to everything except nouns. Must be a genetic aberration. I had a huge sense of achievement when I made you laugh, given my sense of humour was nothing compared to yours.
Other words that I spoke wrongly were – rebel (re-bell), adolescence (a-doll-essence) and such.
Sometimes I knowingly uttered incorrect sentences, so you could correct me, playing with your predictable pleasures.
“Bought a really nice t-shirt today.” you said.
“Not ‘what colour’ Mamma. It’s ‘which colour’.”
‘Ah. Right. What colour?’ I asked again with a crooked smile.
Rolling-up your eyes, shaking your head from side to side.
We’re in lockdown at present, Saagar. Long story! I can’t help thinking how fab it would be to have you home. We would have so much time together to try new recipes, to exercise and laugh, play carom and do some gardening, relax and watch funny cat-videos and so on…
Time … tic-toc, tic-toc … gone forever.
My mind plays silly monkey-tricks with me. The rascal. I watch it. Holding my own, I am not getting carried away with it. I am being the witness (vitness).
You are here, with me always.
I love you.