Of girls with only one tree!

And continuing the saga of the battle between Hindi and Chennaivaasis… (people of Chennai).

Scene : A school. An exam hall full of students either busily scratching away on paper with their pens or scratching their heads not knowing what to scratch on paper!!

Q1. Please write a story (in Hindi) based on the series of pictures below. 

The pictures depict a little girl on crutches and a series of sad events – the child being left behind as all the other kids run down the hill to play, the child looking sadly on etc. etc – you get the picture?

And so, our 13-year old student of Hindi (likely to remain so for a very long time, going by her mastery over the language so far, i’m afraid!!), Gayatri, has a brainwave – and writes a story – a very moving story about a little girl with only one leg who gets left out in the cold all the time… no one has the time to help her catch up… she has no friends and so on and so forth. She comes out of the exam hall looking very pleased with herself – the examiner CANNOT but be pleased with such a tear-jerking saga! As she compares notes with a friend who’s also done the same exam, she casually asks, “By the way, the word for ‘leg’ in Hindi is “pauda” right?”!! Pauda? PAUDA??? Pauda is a plant! So here we are with an examiner scratching her head trying to figure out what the girl in the story is doing hopping around on a tree, not able to run coz she has only one tree, feeling sad that she can’t join the other kids in the playground coz she has only one tree??!!!

Thankfully, not all foreign languages have had such a disastrous history in this country! For instance, look at the Hindi word for ‘tea’  – “chai”. Originally from the Chinese “cha”, chai today is recognised as a common Hindi word all over the world!

One of my favourite teas in the Moroccan mint tea which I learnt on a TV travel show and have completely fallen in love with!

MOROCCAN MINT TEA (makes 4 cups)

  • Tea leaves – 2 tsp (prefereably Orange Pekoe or any fragrant tea)
  • Mint leaves – 1 handful
  • Sugar – 3 tsp
  • Lemon  – 1/2
  • Boiling water – 5 cups

Rinse the teapot out with hot water and drop in the tea leaves. Pour the boiling water in and let steep for two minutes. Open the lid and drop in the mint leaves. Shake the pot and let the tea brew for a further two minutes. Strain out, add sugar and juice of half a lemon. Serve hot.

And if you’re writing a Hindi exam and have to translate this – the phrase is “Morocco-wali pudina ki chai”!