The trauma of being forced to learn English is played out painfully in this small town classroom
English was part of our curriculum from Class 6 to Class 11.When we were in Class 6 we learnt how to spell the word “car”. What happened was that the teacher said we must learn the spellings on a list of words, and then asked the class monitor to test us all. Some of the words were infernally long and there we were, in one voice, the entire class, cramming spellings. Then, when the class monitor stood up to test us, the master made us shut our textbooks.
Those who spelt a word right could sit down, but anyone who got it wrong had to stand in a corner. I was the first to be tested and was lucky enough to be asked the spelling of “car”. In a fit of excitement and over-enthusiasm I cried: “C...a... – car, car!” Instead of completing the word by saying “r”, I completed . . .