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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 06, Joint Issue 22 & 23: July-Oct 2021

Short Story

English — Katta Rajamouly

Dr Katta Rajamouly, Professor and Head, Department of English (S.H), Ganapathy Engineering College, Warangal has to his credit: The Poetry of Philip Larkin: a Critical Study, Learn English through Conversation, Grammar and Dictionary of Grammatical and Literary Terms. As a poet, he published 1080 poems in his poetry collections, Beauty in Variety, Cherished Cherries, Petals of Insight, Voices and Silences and Kavitanjali. He has short story collections: Post Gandhian Days, Thorns in the Path, Shadows of Realities and Naked Truths; and novels Rajarishi in Quest of Peace, Man-for Man, a Quest, Smart Child, and Troubles and Tribals. He can be contacted at


'English is an international language, world-wide language, global language or universal language,' said Mr. Akash to Mr. A to Z Shastri who is a great lover and staunch supporter of his mother tongue.


'I don't agree with you... English is a foreign language...It is not our language...' said Shastri.


'It has a got a lot of significance across the world and we should realize it...It is the language of universal importance...You should try to know it,' said Akash.


'You think like that...You feel like that...You dream like that...You  are unaware of mother tongue's importance. You and your-like are giving importance... undue importance to English...,' said Shastri.


'The state Government is giving importance to it now as the medium of instruction in schools even in the Government sector as it is essential for all purposes There is no doubt it...' said Akash. 


'Why should we be so much crazed with the spell of English when it is a foreign language...? Why...Why...Why...Why...?' said Shastri.


'We are not simply crazed with the spell of English.... We shall have suitable rewards by the grace of English...That is the unrivalled greatness and unsurpassed success of English... We should know that we are supposed to learn it if we want to achieve our goals,' said Akash.


'Is English necessary in India? Can we not live in India without English? Can we not play without using English? Why should we study in the medium of English? Did our fore fathers not live without learning English? Did they not study without English? Can we not have scientific advance and technological progress without English? Can we not cultivate land and have crops without knowing English? Why do you not agree to the statement of the most famous writer, Kommarraju Lakshmanrao that there is a clear-cut difference between the students studying in their mother tongue and those studying in a foreign language...? There is a glaring difference like the one between the babies to drink mothers' milk and those to drink servant-maids' milk?' said Shastri laying stress on his mother tongue.


'You may have a series of questions to pose...You are ignorant of the importance of English...,' said Akash.


'The sun arises and sets, and the moon waxes and wanes without having the knowledge of English. Nights fall and days fall without hearing English... Do they stop to do so if you do not speak English...?' said Shasthri.


'The sun and the moon are the witness of the fact that every one is wishing others "Good Morning", "Good Night", so on in English...Even the people of a little awareness, including servant-maids, are greeting others in English...All are calling their parents "mummy" and "Daddy ",' said Akash.


'I do not greet any one in English...I do not call my parents "Mummy" and "Daddy". I do not like English... its colour..., its taste..., its smell, its sound..., its flavour..., its touch...,' said Shastri.


'Even you cannot live without it...English has become a part of our life...We can't deny its importance...' said Akash.


'It is nothing for me...I can breathe air, drink water and have food without the knowledge of English...I can sleep with my life-partner and speak to her and all others without the use of English...,' said Shastri.


'It is impossible to come up...impossible to come up...without English. The sun and the moon are the real witness of the fact,' said Akash.


'I can make it possible...What is not possible...? Challenge...,' said Shastri.


Shastri was such a person. He was a man of challenges and stubborn nature. He did not like English nor did he like the customs and traditions of the English people, the Europeans. With all reluctance, he listened to others speak English sometimes or often. He very often found even ordinary people use English words in their speech. When he encountered all such situations, he convincingly advised all of them not to speak English at any cost.


'It is Inglipis...English is sometimes in the mockery of saying Inglipis... It is a foreign language...It is the language used overseas... Our chaste mother tongue is there for us to use for our communication,' said Shastri.


Shastri developed a grudge against English and the users of English. He practiced to live without the use of English. On that mission, he trained nine people enabling them to the extent possible not to use the words of English at any cost. He made all efforts to achieve his goal and conquer Akash in his effort. He took them to him to prove what he has promised, and achieve his goal set before him.


'These are my friends. They are the lovers of their mother tongue...only mother tongue... You can listen to them use their chaste mother tongue to express their ideas,' said Shastri.


'Very good...I appreciate your efforts...I call all the ten people of yours. Hello, it is Number one... You can speak on "money and savings". Let me listen to you...' said Akash with the sense of challenge.


"Okay" I speak on the topic...We can earn money by virtue of our hard work. We can save money in the "bank" for the future...for our children... We cannot keep money in the house... In order to open an "account", we have to fill a "form" in the presence of the "Manager". I keep my savings in it only. In this process, we get "interest". It is there for our investment and development; security and safety and so on,' said the Number One.


'You have used six words of English...The next can speak of entertainment and amusement...,' said Akash.


"Okay" I speak on entertainment and amusement. Whenever I feel boredom...I feel like spending my time in entertainment and amusement... I buy a "ticket" and go to a "cinema" with the "matinee"...  I enjoy the "picture". Later I have some "drink" and go home,' said Number two.


'You too have used only six words in your speech...Good...Next you can speak on "Your children's education",' said Akash.


"Okay" I would like to speak on my children's education...I sought "admission" for my son in a "school" by paying "fees". There are very good "Sirs". They teach well... My son is a good student...He got the first rank...He got "scholarship" for that.  About my son there was some news appreciating him in the "paper", a daily. I am "happy", said the Number three with a smile in his face.


'You have used eight words of English...Okay...Okay...the next comes and speaks on "dressing styles",' said Akash.


' "Okay"...I am "ready"...Now-a-days people wear "dress" as per the "fashion" of the day. The children wear "school" "dress" ...The have "dress code". Every school has some "uniform". In the "cinema" the hero and the heroine have their own "style" in their "dressing",' said the Number four.


'Congratulations...You have used twelve words...You are great...I welcome the next...You can speak on the "rules of the road",' said Akash.


"Okay"...We drive vehicles on the "road". In my travel, I found a spot that was dangerous for the vehicle running at a high "speed". Once a "cycle-motor" crossing the "line" and dashed a "bus". It was a big "accident". I saw a boy riding a bi"cycle" nearby. I found the "police" on "duty "at the crossroads to give a "signal".  We should follow the "rules" of the "road",' said the Number five.     


"Hearty congratulations to you...You have used thirteen words of English...Of course one word has been used twice...Yours is the highest score...Okay...the next one...You can speak on "elections"... Very easy topic for dear...,' said Akash.


"Okay"...I speak on "elections"...Every one is lucky to have the "vote" right...A man from our village got a "ticket" from the "TRS" "party" to be in the fray. He met all "voters".  He promised his all-time-help in getting a "loan" from any "bank". I went to the "polling" booth and the "Sir" gave me a "ballot" "paper". I voted for him and put it in the "box." His man at the gate said, "Thank you...",' said the Number six.


"Hearty congratulations to you...You topped all the speakers using fifteen words of English... Next, you can speak on the "social evils today",' said Akash.


"Okay..." The society is full of evils shunned and of ills cured. A single reformer cannot eradicate and a single "doctor" cannot cure the ills.  I do not like "ragging". It is the worst evil, the sin of sins. What is the "Government" doing? What are the "leaders" doing? When the "police" and the "court" are there, there should be punishments. As punishments are not there, the evils continue to exist and persist....' said the Number seven.


'Good...You, Number Seven, have used seven words, for you love English very much...I call the next ... You cannot speak on "computers" without using English...,' said Akash.


' "Okay"...I try to use the words of my mother tongue... I am ready to speak on the use of the "computer". It is an "electronic" "device"... The "data" is "installed" into it.  It has the "CPU" ("Computer" "Programming" "Unit") to start the computer. We have the "key-board".  First, we have to go to "desktop"... The "mouse" helps us to move the "curser"... For opening "windows", we have to "click". We use the computer for many purposes as it is the age of computers,' said the Number eight.


'You have tried not to use English words...It is impossible to tell about Computers without using English...You have used sixteen words... I invite the speak on his everyday activity' said Akash.


"Okay"... I am the "last" but not the "first" to participate...I wake early and go for "walking". I "brush" my teeth. I use Colgate tooth "paste".  I have bath using "soap". I "dress" myself. Then I have meals at a "hotel" sitting in a "chair" at a "table". The "supplier" is very polite to me. He supplies good "food". I pay the "bill"...I go to "office" everyday as I mind "duty". Now and then, I have "coffee" or "tea" only. After doing duty, I go to "stadium" or the "club" and play games... Later I go to a "cinema" or a "circus" or "pub". After having "dinner" I come back to go to "bed" after writing the "diary" using my favourite "pen",' said the Number nine.


'You topped the list of nine candidates by using twenty-seven words of English to speak of day-to-day activities... Congrats...' said Akash.


' "Sorry" I trained all the nine members to speak on different subjects in their mother tongue...It is I who "fail"ed, ' said Shastri.


'You have used two English two sentences,' said Akash.


'Right...' said Shastri.


'You have used one word...That is also an English word,' said Akash.


'Yes...,' said Shastri.


'Again you used an English word,' said Akash. All the members including Shastri used English words and Akash laughed loudly for about five minutes.


Shastri completed his degree in the regional medium. With a great difficulty, he secured border marks in English after his repeated attempts. The examiner might have felt that the answer script was of a wounded soldier. There were clear evidences of his copying in the answer book. He put the question paper and tied up it with the answer script. There was handwriting of someone else for the writing of all bit answers. In one of the answers, he copied the note: "For the rest of the answer, refer to the last but one page". He clearly wrote it by copying from his guide. Even the laziest examiner clearly understood. The examiner showed it to other examiners and all of them laughed at the paper. If there had been the student of the paper, they would have beaten up him like anything. 


When his friends got jobs, Shastri also applied for jobs. For all jobs, there was an examination in English as the main subject. They faced interviews to test their communication skills.


Shastri faced an interview. Interviewers were there to test their communication skills, general knowledge and subject knowledge. They were very particular about communication skills. Three stalwarts sat there to test all of them on those lines.


Shastri's turn came to face the Interview. He entered the Interview Hall with no confidence, as he knew some basic words with no knowledge of their correct spelling. He had a letter of recommendation with him to submit to them. That letter infused some confidence in him. That was why he walked briskly, entering the hall. He wished the interviewers Good Morning and all expected him tell all answers. He showed his resume along with certificates and the cover with the recommendation letter. The interviewers were strict and so they did not care for the cover with the recommendation letter. He introduced himself to the interviewers. They started to interview him:


'How do you convey the idea of the old, torn currency note?' asked the first interviewer showing it to him with a view to knowing the level of his communication skills and knowledge of English.


'This old ten-rupees does not walk on the road...very old note...very old note...a very old note...Not walk anywhere.., ,' said Shastri. 


'You should say that it is a counterfeited note or a currency note not in circulation...,'said the first Interviewer.


'I see...I see...' said Shastri.


'How do you start the Body of the Letter, the Message or the Communication when you write a letter to your friend...?' said the first Interviewer.


'I am well...I hope that you are in the same well...the same well...,' said Shastri.


'You should write not like that... What you said means differently...You do not know what your sentence means...You should learn many things to have command over communication skills...'said the first Interviewer, laughing.


'I see...I see...' said Shastri.


'Okay...When you have no need to fill anything in any column of your application form, what do you write...?' said the first Interviewer.


'Nill' said Shastri.


'Is it with double 'LL' or single 'L'...?' said the first Interviewer.


'With double 'LL' like 'LL' in 'fill',' said thoughtfully.


'It is not 'Nill' dear candidate... It is 'Nil'... said the Interviewer.


'When 'Fill' is right, 'Nill' must be correct...'Put' and 'but' are not pronounced alike in English. That is English,' said Shastri.


'Okay...How many letters are there...?' said the first Interviewer.


'Only a letter... a political leader's letter...' said Shastri.


'I am not asking about it...I am asking about the number of letters in the English alphabet,' said the first Interviewer.


'I have not counted them...,' said Shasthri.


'There are twenty-six alphabets in English...Is it right?' said the first Interviewer.


'What you say...right...right...,' said Shastri confidently.


'What I said is not right...It is not "twenty six alphabets"...but "twenty six letters"... Mind it...There are twenty six letters in the English alphabet...,' said the first Interviewer.


'I learnt... all of them...but did not count them... No necessity of the number...the Number ... no need...,' said Shastri confidently.


'Yes...It is a waste of time...a sheer waste of time....' said the first Interviewer.


When Shastri answered all wrongly, the other two interviewers were disappointed deeply. They did not feel like asking him no more questions on general knowledge and subject knowledge. All the interviewers wanted to tell him very openly,


'You are unfit to do any job...,' said all the three Interviewers in one voice.


' English...I... hate... I hate it... It is not...' said Shastri.


'English is very essential for career development... English is in use for all purposes... English is a universal, international, global or universal language...English is the language of universal communication. English is the language of science and technology...English is the language of competitive examinations...English is the source for securing enormous knowledge...English is of universal importance... English is for overseas studies and job opportunities. English is life...Life is English...You can't question its priority and supremacy...Mind it and get out...' said all the three Interviewers in one voice.     


Shastri did not get any job anywhere. He was jobless for some years. He approached Akash with an appeal to him, 'I want to learn English...I want English...It is my prestige question...izzath ka savaal...I want to learn it...' said Shastri.


'Good...You have realized the importance of English...,' said Akash.


'Yes...Yes...I want to learn it... I learn it...It is my dream...It is my only sole dream...,' said Shastri.


'After a series of failures, you have learnt some English by virtue of your perseverance. Failures teach man many things and leads him to triumph...It is a real success in life...' said Akash.


'Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes...Yes....' said Shastri.


Akash started to teach Shastri Grammar for accuracy, pronunciation for fluency and body language for decency. He took it as a challenge to learn it...He learnt it perfectly. He achieved his goal. He faced one more interview with the same Interviewers. When he spoke very good English and impressed them without any letter of recommendation this time. They were surprised at the enormous improvement in him to face the interview successfully. He came out of the Interview Hall with flying colours. His nine trainees learnt the secret of his success. They too learnt English perfectly and won their desired jobs. 


Shastri came to Akash with a constant glow and glittering smile in his face with the words of joys,


'I have got a job of my choice in the job mela,' said Akash.


'Congratulations...' said Akash.


'English is life...Life is English,' said Shastri with emphasis on English.


'The cloud shrouded was disrupted by the English storm...Your strong desire to learn English disrupted you glooms. That is your spirit...the real spirit of Shastri,' said Akash happily.


Shastri left the place singing a jubilant song loudly when his nine trainees joined him to sing the song in chorus.



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