I have always loved words. The more I discovered them, the more they seemed to reveal themselves and I always felt and still feel like swimming through endless clouds, that continue to amaze and wonder me.
Words with meaning, sarcasm, irony and multiple other resorts it held, sometimes puzzled me. My first bewildered encounter with one of the big words was on my 6th birthday.
As is customary, sweets were distributed to classmates and class teacher on that day. Next as my friend and I entered into the headmistress’s room to handover the neatly wrapped diary that my parents had given me the previous day, she said,” Oh! Happy Birthday. Thank you so much and I hope this is not expensive.”
Expensive?! What did it mean? I had no other option in the absence of that knowledge than to smile and say, “Yes it was” and walk out sheepishly. The rest of the day passed by and as soon as my father came home, I told him what had happened. He then told me the meaning of the word and I gasped. I had enough sense to know that it wasn’t right to put price on gifts, when giving or receiving and I had done the same, that too with my headmistress! It was a horrible feeling of embarrassment and the first of many more to come!
Now-a-days I am having another encounter with words through the eyes of my niece. The other day she jumped as I walked in the room with my books, “I can spell books, you know. Ba-oo-kay,” she said breaking to phonetics. She is learning to spell with sounds and in almost every other sentence she breaks out spelling or other rhyming words, in turn making me smile and giggle or join in the spree of words.
I can assure myself that this exposure to it shall not die any time soon.