It’s 3 am in Barcelona, the phone beeps and the WhatsApp message would be, ‘How do you say, Stop here to the auto driver’. It’s 7.30 am in India and the WhatsApp teaching and learning group becomes very active with lessons, doubts and discussions through Kannada Gottilla. I rememeber when I was a kid, I was always so fascinated by my kannada teacher at school. She always read the best kannada literature and always narrated stories. I always wanted to be her !
Growing up in a kannada household, you take for granted that the people around you will know the language. Until I came to Engineering little did I reallize that more than half of my classmates didn’t speak kananda and few who spoke conveniently changed to the language the other spoke. I was shocked, more than teaching our language we tried learning their language and appease them. Well it’s not wrong to learn a language but I always believed that it’s important to learn the language of the land we stay in.
A simple query by the founder of this awesome team for bloggers, made me join this wonderful team of passionate people teaching kannada. I always knew nothing can be achieved by forcing people to learn the language, but it’s important to build an easy infrastructure for them to learn. It is well structured plan with text lessons, audio lessons and a monthly live class at MG Road Metro Station. The queries range from simple conversation to the most complicated poems.
We have innumerable requests for us to teach kannada, few wanted to learn for love of the language, few for their children, few to speak to auto drivers, cab drivers and yes there was a request where a girl wanted to surprise her fiancee by learning his language. Love makes you do crazy things you know :P. Until this time I have never seen such an open minded team where everyone’s suggestion are respected, well that’s why it’s running for 2 years and many more years to come. I made few wonderful friends,few I have never seen but the interactions are very much limited to kannada and it’s lessons.
A typical student would defnitely want to ask a lot of questions to teacher. Our students have been picking our brains constantly making us look back as to why we learnt the language this way, few cross the limits of saying it’s not like my language and please change it. But I now understand the anxiety because I am learning a new language spanish in Barcelona, I am much more anxious than someone teaching me. It’s basic human tendency to learn faster, clear the doubts now. Due to time zone differences the messages do come at odd hours,sometimes in classes and weekends.
Sometimes the queries are funny brings a smile on the face, sometimes too typical or rather sometimes to just put a sarcastic smile on the face.
The kannadagottilla teamhas about 4000 students learning kannada, about 30- 35 people in each WhatsApp group along with 3 mentors teach kannada every single day. The student spends about half an hour every day to learn from namaskaara to sentences. It’s a beautiful journey everyday. But is it a cake walk ? No ! There are arguments, discussions on what to do,what not to do and few on the responsibilities. But 16 mentors know that kannada is bigger than any of us and nothing can take a front seat other than that.
Teaching kannada was a dream come true for me. Ignoring comments on your WhatsApp for you look good,your DP is good and I also work near Marathahalli, shall we meet ? is a great satisfactory measure in life to do. I once told my kannada teacher I wanted to be like her, she said you score well in Mathematics,this is not what you should do. Also she said that kannada as a language will not be interesting to learn from few years down the lane. Now even after studying engineering, working in a MNC, studying masters in engineering I am always a proud kannada teacher. I will be working somewhere in future but what is the constant thing in my life is being a kannada teacher.
Thanks to all the kannada teachers who made my life beautiful and of course the legendary kannadagottilla team for making me live my dream.
Jai kannadambe 🙂