Unlike most of my friends, I fell in love with English after I joined Infosys in october of 2004.During my third year of engineering at GITAM I wondered when most of my friends were trying hard to push tons of words in to their minds and were cramming wordlists for GRE and CAT kind of exams.But then I didnt find any reason for myself to join that junta. I dont know any standard English word.And my English was not bad.It was not good either.[ Forget GRE/CAT. At that time managing to get through engineering with distinction was a great aspiration for me. I did it of course] It is after joining Infosys I realized the benefits of communicating in good English.And it is then I started putting my conscious efforts to achieve that objective of mastering English language.
My approach and way of learning English is very different and unique.For me the purpose of learning good English has lot more to do than just to give some exams.I believed in the principle of repeated usage. I installed a dictionary in my office desktop.From the on whenever I encountered a new unknown word in any mail or poster or in some subject matter , I used to refer that dictionary.Thanks to dictionary softwares.You need not spend much time scrolling pages.Just type the word and get its meaning.If you keep on looking at the same word for over too many number of times, that word permanently makes its place in your mind.You need not again put conscious effort to remember or mug that word specifically.All I did is to refer dictionary innumerable times.That has been very helpful for me.
English language is like an ocean. Especially its vocabulary.It has vast vocabulary( ask the CAT aspirants.The makers of English section of CAT exam paper keeps on coming up with new words year after year.No clue where they find them) so I thought I should keep myself more engaged with vocabulary.As long as I am in office any unknown word is just a click away.But when I was at home, I was tired of scrolling pages in the heavy Oxford dictionary and I realized that I am spending more time scrolling the dictioanry pages.Then came the idea of Digital Dictionary [ It looks like the old generation CASIO Digital Dairy with QWERTY keyboard which people used to store phone numbers and addresses before the advent of mobile phones].Nobody is selling digital dictionaries in India.In every shop the moment I say digital…, sales people used to bring those outdated CASIO digital dairies with greater enthusiasm.After facing few such setbacks I decided to get it from US.Then to my rescue came my sister Usha and her friend Anjali to Trivandrum for their internship. And the point is that Anjali is an NRI and she was planning to go all the way to US and come back , all within a week span. See what a perfect oppurtunity for me to get DD.I thought God has sent them to meet me only to get DD for me and I capitalized on that situation.I still remember how I tortured her till she went to US and came back with DD.Carrying a DD is like carrying all the words with you.Its a very good gadget to own and use.It is enabling me to learn in a different way like never before.I learned many words with the help of that.Whenever I see a new word let it be on road or at railway station or on the huge sign boards used for advertising or whatever may be the place I can demystify the word then and there. Now I have dictionary at my office in my desktop, at home in my laptop and my DD will always accompany me on the go.
But vocabulary is just a part of English language.There are other areas with their own set of challenges like grammar which keeps on changing from time to time, writing skills are there to be learnt and of course reading and comprehending pages of print are other areas of paramount importance.Last 2 years have been wonderful learning experience and have shown significant improvement in me.Now I am now looking forward to enter these areas as well so as to keep my learning complete and meaningful.Writing this blog also is the part of my learning excercise.
While closing I want to mention few people who have helped and are still helping me in my efforts to improve my English language skills.First one to mention is my best friend Theja.His English is too good and see his blog to get thrilled.He has been very helpful and encouraging .He was patient enough to read my verbose and prolix mails, correcting them and suggesting the best despite his busy schedules.Everytime I talk to him few new words will be added to my vocabulary.Everytime he writes a mail to me it will bring new words along with the news.Next comes another friend Bhanu who always hits me back ruthlessly with the grammar mistakes I commit.Then comes another friend Sundar in his own style who suggests best of the books available for good read.I feel very much blessed to being associated with these kind of people. If you too have some comments please feel free to post them in comments section :-) After all, successful people and leaders are also known for their best of the best communication skills. When they talk everyone will listen, When they walk, everyone will follow. Its just a matter of time before I too become one among them.Just watch.