Friday, November 27, 2009

Bend it 360!

MBA- the premier professional course that teaches you analytics in business management. Now I don’t have a business of my own or any use whatsoever of the degree itself but… I still wanted to do it. Why? No reason at all. Ae-wai!
And in spite of resistance from other parties, I managed to convince them to letting me have my way. That being done, the form was filled and the fee paid. Between me and the exam there was just one glitch….8 compulsory classes that I needed to attend to be eligible to write the exam.

Initially, 8 classes didn’t seem like much at all. All that I needed to do was attend 3 lectures in a day (They were of 2 hours each….That, I didn’t know!)

Now I have lived in Chennai for the last 4 years and can understand a decent amount of Tamil….come here…go there…do this…do that….ye sab I can manage… but when it comes to understanding Economics and Accountancy in Tamil, my limitations give way….Essentially, its an English medium course, but the lecturers being over- enthusiastic want to be more ‘expressive’. At least that’s what one lecturer told me when I couldn’t answer a question she had asked, and on explaining to her that I hadn’t understood a single word of what was spoken in the last two hours, she said….. ‘Ayyo!! I want to explain properly that’s why I talk in Tamil. Why didn’t you tell me from first only ma. Na rumba sorry!’ Hmm….its ok aunty!

After two days of staring at the playground and drawing aimless designs in my notebook, when I couldn’t stand the torture any further, I decided enough was enough and as soon as the next lecturer entered, I told him to be so kind as to talk in English.
Any normal person would have complied…but naa ji naa…this guy instead of heeding to my request, started shooting questions which were of the following nature-----
1-Why don’t you understand Tamil?
2-Where are you actually from?
3-Where in Mumbai do you live?
4-What language do u speak at home?
5-Why don’t you know Marathi then?
6-Where are you living in Chennai? (complete address)
7-Where do your parents live?
8-After completing your MBA, will you go back to Dammam?
And if the question answer session itself wasn’t enough, he went on to tell me that he had been to Mumbai 2 months ago (with the exact date!!! Hello what am I going to do, by knowing that???) and saw the Taj Hotel and Gateway of India. ‘Have you seen it? Do you have relatives in Mumbai?’ ………All this he said at the top of his voice in front of an entire class of roundabouts 60 students! I hadn’t made a single friend in all of those 3 days and now he had blown away the minutest shred of a chance I had….needless to say...everyone hated me….a girl even said… ‘These NRI’s, what do they think of themself?’…..in Tamil…assuming I couldn’t understand….but unfortunately, thatttt I figured word to word :(

When the nosey lecturer finally got underway teaching his subject, it was in one hundred percent Tamil!!!!....I was purely dismayed. And to think I had staked my entire reputation for this! Mental note- Next time just shut up!

Never before in my life have I felt so unwelcome in a place. Never before have I not been able to make friends….of the few people whom I spoke to, they talked to me in English giving the impression like I was being accommodated…with the best intentions, I don’t deny….but all the same it was a compromise. And never before have I felt so helpless for being in an alien land whose people I didn’t like and whose preferences I didn’t share.

Bottom line- As a total misfit in such an environment and with 3 more classes to go, I just hope the degree I get at the end of this adjustment period is actually worth it!

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