Monday, October 12, 2015

Languages

This is a story I never tire narrating. How I learnt one of the languages  I am fluent in.

When I was a small boy, there was a friend of my mothers who would drop by each day and they would chat - right within my earshot. Day in and day out, for an hour, they would chat in a langauge - that was not my mother tongue. And over a few years, guess what - I knew the language like the back of my hand. A few words were exchanged with me - but I am sure that was not it - it was just hearing two people interact that I learnt an entire language.

And then I realized that I was able to understand any two people who spoke that language. From then to people to movies to songs to conversation was an easy leap.

This process intrigues me...the human process of learning...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The cab driver

Recently,  I happened to take a cab and got talking to the driver. The driver connected with me because I was fluent in his language. And we got talking.

The driver, for his age, all of 23, has probably attempted more things in life than someone twice his age. He runs a mobile shop and one more thing (which I forget). He has driven trucks, has a heavy vehicle license, a commercial driver licence and a license to drive explosives. He is a head of some actors fan organization. The guy has shifted to Bangalore less than a year ago, learnt the language, knows the roads of the city (the GPS helps) and is such a great communicator - one wonders what he is doing as a cab driver. While he arranges for supplies for his shop, he has invested in a vehicle and drives it to make money while he does it.

Needless to say, the guy will not be a cab driver for long. He will go on to do something else for sure.

Now, the thought I got after hearing him was that the guy is uneducated (by commonly known standards of education). But in terms of worldly knowledge and street smartness, go getting ability - the guy will beat many an educated person by a long long margin.

This is somewhat of a recurring thought - about how education makes us reduce our risk taking abilities as opposed to increasing it.

The more we are educated, the more we won't take risks - in general. And is there a way to make education do that to you - make you more confident in yourself so you can take more risks - like some of our best institutions often do...

Developing thought...