March 30, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: The English Lesson – Studying the Bard in Mumbai by Cherian Philipose

1 min read

In this essay, Cherian Philipose takes a walk down memory lane as he captures a beautiful memory of studying English in Mumbai, India with an inspiring teacher.

Setting: Bombay Scottish School, Mahim Bay, Mumbai, 1986.

A Year 9 class. 

The subject: English Literature.

There were about forty of us, in that classroom, on the ground floor, studying ‘The Merchant of Venice.’ We listened to our teacher; annotated our textbooks, and made our notes. Outside, to our right, a short distance away, was an old spreading banyan tree, with thick creepers that hung all the way to the ground. Many birds sat in this tree, and, in our classroom, their chirps, trills, and caws mingled with the sounds we ourselves made; the rustle of paper as we turned the pages, the scratch of our nibs, as we made our notes. When the teacher, Miss Bose, asked a question, several hands shot up with cries of ‘Miss!’ The teacher would pick a student, who would then stand up and answer the question. 

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