Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a word that contains a silent letter.” Choose a word that contains a silent letter and use it in your post, or write about words with silent letters in general. Enjoy!
I do not remember how we learnt the spellings when learning English in school. Even now I wonder who had made the rules about the spellings. There are so many words in which certain letters are silent like walk, talk, island, scene or scent and so many more. What is the purpose of those letters? I do not know but they add a certain beauty to the words. In the present scenario the SMS language has spread its tentacles far and wide. Words are spelt as they are pronounced and have lost their charm. My paternal grandfather was a teacher, he taught English and Mathematics. I cannot bring myself to use the SMS language. If I try to modify a spelling, I am sure I will see him shaking his head 😊.
For him education was very important. He very nearly did not have it. He had to discontinue his studies after primary school as there was no high school in his village. Due to some important changes in the lives of his parents, he could continue his studies after a gap of some years. He was much older than his classmates. While in high school he understood the importance of education and studying hard. This was in the second decade of the 20th century. In 1978 he remembered many of his teachers and wrote about them in his memoir. One of his favourite teachers was from his primary school. My grandfather went to see his teacher whenever he came to his village. Some of his teachers in high school were Mr Pillai for Kannada and Mr Maben for Mathematics.
Atmaram Shastry was the Sanskrit teacher who was liked and respected by all students. He had a special affection for my grandfather and was disappointed when he did not select Sanskrit in 5th form. The teacher’s words to my grandfather, “Sanskrit is the language of the Gods. Hindus are not Hindus if they do not have some knowledge of it.” My grandfather agreed to take Sanskrit as an optional subject. Both teacher, and student were happy. Later Mr Shastry went to Madikeri to join another school. My grandmother was from Madikeri. Whenever my grandparents went there, my grandfather made it a point to visit his teacher and seek his blessings.
A few days ago, my cousin came across my grandfather’s school leaving certificates and mark cards in his father’s files. He shared photos of them. They are more than a hundred years old and precious. I am reading To the Letter: A celebration of the lost art of letter by Simon Garfield. It is a fascinating book. Pliny the younger wrote a letter describing the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. He was 17 in AD 79. Now letters have become history. But still blogs and emails give an account of our daily lives.