My acquaintance with the language of Csoma!

Well, I wonder how many of you can understand the title of my post. 🙂 Frankly speaking, few months ago I could not have pronounced this name ‘Csoma’ properly lest know him. This is the magic of learning a new language. This post is about my journey of learning Hungarian language and the way it changed me a little, little by little.

download (1)I had no reasons to join this language course except for the fact that I was free and so was this course. Hell yeah! Sounds weird? Of course in today’s time a free language course sounds fishy. Why would they do that? Don’t they have enough students to learn their language? Or maybe nobody wants to learn Hungarian. Questions like this were banging in my head when a friend of mine helped me in getting enrolled for the course. My stars can’t thank him enough for this gesture of him. I hope he reads this. 🙂 Okay, so my first class which happened after around five days of the commencement of the course. Sigh! I hope you understand the pain of missing a language class, that too the elementary part, like missing Ka,Kha,Ga of Hindi class.  Chuck! I was trying to be funny. Okay, so coming back to my first class, as I entered the class, I was shocked to see around hundred students (of all age group). Like students more than my father’s age. I liked it instantly. Prior to this, and I must admit that to my reluctance, my father and I learned Italian together. He somehow couldn’t give his exam but this made me know him better and his zeal for learning something new along with his struggles of remembering things. Anyway, coming back to the first class again (I have this habit of deviating from main topic) 😛 So, amidst all the students who were attending class from first day, I found myself lost in the pronunciation of the ‘magyar ábécé’ (Hungarian ABC). After that I wasn’t very regular with the classes but I kept trying learning it, missing some part, and then again picking it up from the next lesson. I didn’t made much friends at that time, I didn’t talk to anybody much. I came, attended the class, and went home. I don’t know that even after all this irregularity what kept me glued to this class.

imagesSo apart from my irregularities of classes, I was always regular at least with the events organized by Hungarian Cultural Centre. I hope the cultural people don’t read it. hiding face in palms I love exploring places, meeting new people, knowing about their culture. So attending events was like satiating my soul by knowing about their culture through powerpoint presentations, their music, songs and dance. And then of course snacks followed by events was like ‘icing on the cake’. Food makes a Punjabi happy! 😀  I have been to many events organized by various embassies but I found people here at this embassy very grounded and humble. Always smiling, talking to everybody, clicking pictures together and yes how can I forget mentioning Mr.Wilhelm’s (the director) wife preparing finger licking Hungarian delicacies for us. I mean who does that?

Okay, so this went on for two months and after that I didn’t attend a single class for around one and a half month. I messaged our professor that because of my father’s health I will not be able to attend the classes for some time. Meanwhile lot of things happened at cultural center. The venue for class got shifted, the cultural center shifted to the embassy.

downloadWhen everything got settled at my home, I rejoined the classes. Everything was changed this time. From hundred students to just fifteen were left. Now, I started talking to fellow students. They helped me in coping up with the syllabus. Tanár (teacher) helped me in understanding the lessons that I missed. Events were not happening much but this time I became almost (I was still missing some classes) regular with the classes. I now knew what kept me glued to this course and not leave it in between. It was because of our professor Ms.Margit Köves. Her patience and sweetness encouraged me to keep attending the classes. Wondering how? Well, as I said that I wasn’t regular with the classes so I didn’t know much of the things in the class but then she was always patient and never scolded me for not knowing the things. This motivated me to put more efforts to understand the things. She is from Hungary. No, I absolutely didn’t want to point out that she is not an Indian teacher. winks 😀 You got my point right! Right?

I also want to mention names of few fellow students whom I grew fond of and will miss them. Ramesh ji, legöregebb student of our class, he always reminded me of my father and our times together in Italian class. Gopal Ji, legvidámabb (most cheerful) student of our class who always made us laugh with his wittiness. Inderjeet,  úriember (gentleman) of all students who always made efforts to arrange food. wide smile Food makes me happy! Anjali, legfiatalabb (youngest) student of our class. She is also a student of Italian at Delhi University. Aman, a sportember(sportsman) who was always keen on learning. Sen ji, our fondness over Tagore connected us well and he found his forty years old friend from his school days who happens to be my neighbor. World is so small! Prashant ji, who was always keen on sharing knowledge of his field with me. Then there were Karan, Vinay, Manoj, Indraneel, Rehan, Sukhvinder ji, Vasundhra, Nisha and Divya(I hope I remember her name properly) who I didn’t talk too much but then it was a lot fun with all.

Now all those questions that wandered in my mind about free classes were answered or may be at least I understood them better. So conducting free classes is their way of promoting their language and connecting with people. What a noble thought! Human connection is something that today’s man craves for. We hook up to our smart phones for hours but we don’t like talking to or making connections with the person sitting next to us. I’m glad that I got an opportunity to join this course that not only opened up my mind and tuned it to accept the culture of another country but also made me rejoice the human connections with all the fellow students and our dear professor.

Oh! And I almost forgot to tell about Csoma, pronounced as ‘Choma’. Sándor Csoma de Kőrös was a philologist and the author of first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book. He was called ‘the foreign pupil’ in Tibet and was given the title of Bodhisattva by Japan in 1933. His journey in the Himalayas has intrigued me and I’m keen on learning advance level of Hungarian.

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Beautiful Goodbyes!

I want to grow old with you
I want to die lying in your arms
I want to grow old with you
I want to be looking in your eyes
I want to be there for you, sharing everything you do
I want to grow old with you

Her phone played this song from her playlist when she was struggling to concentrate on her studies. Her mind wandered back to the day when she shared this song with him. Good old days! It was just five months ago when Kabir confessed his love for her. She had thought herself as the luckiest girl on this planet. Showing him her favorite things, reading to him her favorite stories and poems, going to her favorite restaurants, eating her favorite food, making him listen to her favorite songs; she showed him her naked soul. It was the first time she opened up that much with anybody. Though they started on a condition but soon that condition seemed like a past and he himself said, “Zafu, every time I meet you I get more attached to you. Just the thought of us not being together frightens me. I just want us to be together forever. I love you!”. “I love you beyond this universe”, she would say back. Whenever he used to think of separation, his eyes would be filled with tears. Zafirah was strong but one thing she couldn’t do was to see her loved ones crying. She used to hold his hands and say, “hey! I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. Okay? And I’m going to stay forever, till eternity. We will wait for each other’s parents to agree to it. Okay?”. She meant it, every single word. She knew her parents will never allow her to do this but she has always been like this. She knew what she wanted in life. Kabir was more than her wish. Kabir was her life. She once told him, “Kabi, within very less time you have become as important to me as my parents”.

In spite of all this togetherness and happiness, there was one thing that constantly kept her worried. She was elder to him by six years. It’s just six hears, she would say to herself. Kabir will take care of it. Trust him, believe him. Within last six months she has indulged herself in lot of self-talking.  She was a rebel from heart and she always thought of doing things differently. She has led her life on her own terms with the principles and values given to her by her family, her father and mother.

Amidst all this there came a very tough time on her and her family. Kabir was there, all the time. She grew more close to her. From good morning messages to goodnight kisses, they shared each and every moment of their day with each other. They were irresistible! She hated going to malls but she planned her every meeting with him in a mall thinking it’s him who is important and not the place. She had travelled world on her own. Her favorite place was amidst mountains. She always dreamt of having a small house there. But she thought she could live anywhere on this earth as far as Kabi is with her. She was ready to sacrifice her dreams for him.

It was different now.  They had decided to part ways. Kabir’s mother didn’t agree to their relationship and he wanted to end it. She was broken! She kept quiet. She didn’t say anything to him. Just two words, “I understand!”. Actually, there were things which she never understood. Not that why his mother didn’t agree or why he ended it but something else. It was something else that disturbed her.

After few days of last call, he finally called her up to meet him last one time. Reluctantly, she got ready because she herself wanted this to end on a sweet note. She wanted to keep good memories of this relationship. She knew that Kabir had already moved on and she was a girl who would never force anyone to stay in her life. She was loving, humble and kind but she was also very stubborn.

IMG_20180501_133840_518Finally, they met at a restaurant in CP. No holding hands, no hugs, no kisses; just a formal hello. Hiding her tears behind her smile, she asked him about his family and he asked her about her parents. There was an awkward silence. She still thought that Kabir would hold her hand and say “Zafu, let’s run away. Everything will be alright after some time”. This was just her thought. Kabir then broke the silence by saying that “I’m sorry. I feel guilty”. His voice wasn’t trembling. There were no tears rolling down from his eyes. Her mind drifted to his words which he said few weeks back with tears filled in his eyes. She was confused. Her heart was in a dilemma of trusting to what he said earlier or what he was saying now. She had been a good listener always. She kept listening to him. He just had one thing to say that we started on a condition. Condition, that if our parents will agree then only we will get married. She had lot to say but she wasn’t able to bring words out of her mouth. She kept listening. When Kabir was done saying whatever he wanted to say. She took a deep breath and opened her mouth, “But ma never met me, Kabi. My age cannot make me less good or less kind. My age cannot make me a bad person. You could have at least made her meet me. This way I would have thought that you made efforts to keep the relationship. You moved on very easily. I once told you that I was like a bridge on the river that stayed and you were like a passenger who crossed that bridge. My words were true. I loved you, Kabi. And a part of me will always love you.”

She then asked him if she could drop him to the metro station for one last time. He agreed to it. Before he could get off from car, she released her seat belt, turned towards Kabi, gave him a tight hug, kissed him and said I love you. She wanted to cry out loud but she controlled herself. He stepped out of the car, came near window and said “I loved you too. I’m sorry”.

It was a beautiful goodbye for her. Unfortunately, it was just in her mind. He never called her up to meet. He never made an effort to at least protect the friendship they shared. I’m standing by my words even after you are gone.  I once promised you to give my words and I’m doing it even when you didn’t stand up to your promises.