Friday 16 August 2013

English Vinglish - What I Learnt!

I was watching this movie with Sridevi playing the lead character. She was playing a homemaker who did not know the English language and was made fun of by her family members because of that. Then came an invitation from her sister, who was living in New York, to attend her daughter’s wedding. The husband and children were to travel later, and Sridevi had to go alone. So off she went in spite of her fears and inhibitions.

I am not trying to tell the whole story here, but just setting the context to what I am trying to point at. I remember one scene in the movie where Sridevi was trying to order some food in a cafe. She was in a queue and as she approached the lady at the counter she was feeling nervous. The lady at the counter being angry did not do much to improve the situation.

She asked for something to eat, and she was asked what she wanted. She said “vegetarian.”

So the next question was something like, “What in vegetarian?”

She was given 3 options out of which she recognised one word – “sandwich.”

Then she was asked, “What do you want in your sandwich – cheese, tomato or onion?”

She wasn’t sure and finally managed to say, “cheese.”

Then she was asked, “Would you like any drink?”

She said, “Water.”

“Still or sparkling?”

By the way, most people in India wouldn’t know what “sparkling water” is. We know it as “soda.”
She was confused, so she said, “plain water.”

Now the lady at the counter did not understand. So she asked about coffee and gave 3 options, “Americano, Cappuccino, Latte.”

Sridevi said, “Nescafe.”

After a lot of confusion she ended up bumping onto another customer and some food fell on the floor. Some plates broke as well. She ran out of the cafe.

So, is it only about the English language? The basic words for communication were spoken. But still they were not understood. The world is getting more complicated by the day. There was only water, and now we have “sparkling water.” There was only coffee, and now we have “Americano, Cappuccino, Latte.” Sridevi simply wanted water. What she got back were multiple options and did not get the water.

But what I liked most in the movie was the motivation that Sridevi got to learn the English language. Instead of complaining and whining about the fact that she studied in vernacular medium, she joined a 4 weeks class to learn the language. We saw an inspired lady who put in a lot of efforts in spite of being in an unknown city and also with a tremendous amount of responsibility to help with wedding of her sister’s daughter.

Although this was only a film, there are quite a few people in this world who are as inspired and motivated to learn, improve and grow as Sridevi’s character in the film. If you can be one of them you could achieve all the success and happiness that you want.

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