In February 2009, a Twitter user called @popelizbet issued an apparently historic challenge to someone called Colin: she […]
By Martin Rubin MAY WE BORROW YOUR LANGUAGE: HOW ENGLISH HAS STOLEN, PURLOINED, SNAFFLED, PILFERED, APPROPRIATED AND LOOTED WORDS […]
”Is English really an Indian language?” Does this need a debate? Many believe it does not, for English […]
English is the language of business and science. The government in Rwanda, and many people in Tunisia, prefer […]
By Devraj Kalsi
When parents admit their child to an English medium school run by the Catholic community, the primary objective is to instil in the child discipline and moral values, gain access to the best environment to gain proficiency in English, and develop a liberal mindset that prepares the young mind to face the challenges and complexities of the modern world. The pupil is told again and again that he is here to imbibe the best. But as the young impressionable mind enters the teenage years, the school authorities find an irresistible opportunity to start talking about issues that should not arise inside a secular campus. The missionary institution, though it behaves secularly as much like any elected government in the country, ends up vitiating its professional pursuits with personal agenda.
Although I learned to see God as a more amiable persona in the Catholic school, it wasn’t too long before I realised that this was the beginning of a subtle crash course to preach the merits of their religion. My first awakening happened when I was told to love God more than fear Him. Usually, in traditional North Indian households and many others perhaps, there is a deeply ingrained, though flawed tendency to view the creator as a temperamental dictator who can turn your life upside down any moment. His power is something to be feared all the time.
Here was the first opportunity to view the Omniscient as someone who has created me to enjoy his creations and I should, therefore, be fond of Him all the time – just like a friend to reach out to. From the ivory tower, the creator was brought down to my level – just for me. I did feel an urge to share dreams and desires and wishes without nursing doubts that He would deny those to me. God himself became a temptation for me. The relationship with Him developed along friendly and compatible lines; I saw Him as user-friendly because human qualities were given priority and the complexities and conflicts between believer and provider had been fairly rationalized and sorted out through prayers and monologues.
Aiyoh! What has the Oxford English Dictionary gone and done now? In its September list of new words, it […]
Born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, Bernardo Carvalho worked in Paris and New York as a foreign correspondent for the Brazilian daily newspaper ‘Folha de Sao Paulo‘ in the early 1990s. His 1993 debut, a collection of stories entitled ‘Aberracao,’ was nominated for the country’s most prestigious literary award. Nove Noites (2007) (Nine Nights) and Mongolia (2003) are some of Bernardo’s most appreciated works.
The reader is not a ‘customer’
Bernardo in his 40-minute lecture revealed and decoded a number of factors and aspects that govern authors’ method of writing, and dictate readers’ choice of selecting books. Unfortunately, today, the ‘market’ defines and decides what kind of literature to be ‘sold’. “Literature should travel well. It must mean more than business.