There is a certain kick that one gets out of doing things outside the sphere of ones normal roles at every stage in life. Normally we have an urge to fast forward a little to the future and try out the things that are a little beyond reach or forbidden. There is a fantasy about the freedom and happiness of adult life. We spend our childhood and adoloscence in such a hurry to get to this promised land. Then we actually reach there and realise there is no such rainbow there and what is worse, you know that the remaining years of your life will all be the same and there is nothing that you want to hurry into. And you wish you had lived your a life a little more slowly enjoying all those earlier phases. Tough to rewind and replay.So when I saw an opportunity to go back and be a student again, I decided to give it a shot and enrolled for a beginner’s course in French with alliance francais.
The classes started on Wednesday morning at Jyothi Nivas College. It felt strange to walk into a class room and sit on one of those benches twenty four years after passing out of college – but there was a comforting familiarity about the ambience – same type of benches, the platform for the lecturer and the large black board. Thank God, some things in life do not change! It is a different kind of experience to be learning from the alphabets onwards at this age, sitting along with kids who are less than half your age and where the teacher hesitates every time she has to address you because she doesn’t know whether to use your name or stick to the safe “madam”. Some of the girls charmingly call me “aunty” while the male students take the safe route by addressing me “excuse me!”
I look around and see the kids earnestly struggling with the pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar as much as I do but I seem to be getting a little more out of the whole experience than any of them. They are learning only the language but I am learning much more by just being with these young kids and observing them.

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