Pricking The Ignorance Bubble

We look at the world through this thin transparent iridescent layer, thinking that everything we see has a tinge of color to it. That everything is just like we see it or want to see it.


We learn a lot of things while growing up and eventually begin to assume that they are as natural to everybody as they are to us; that everybody is aware of the things we know by heart; that everybody ought to know what we have always known.

How can they not? We somehow never get to the simple understanding that sometimes the most obvious, the most taken-for-granted thing could be the most alien for someone else. It’s a strange realization. A strange thing to digest. A strange thing to understand.

We live in a big big bubble — ignorant; oblivious. We look at the world through this thin transparent iridescent layer, thinking that everything we see has a tinge of color to it. That everything is just like we see it or want to see it.

I stepped out of this bubble with MAD, and saw a different world. A world I now think should be altered a little, should be made better, happier.

That day, I had my usual class with my lovely girls in grade 9. I was teaching pronunciations for some time, and I had realized that all the girls faced a challenge pronouncing words starting with Sp, Sc, St, Sl, Sm, Sk etc. So they would say “Ischool”, and “Ispread”, and “Isky”.

A few weeks back, I helped them all get all these words right, except this one girl who was finding it difficult to pronounce them correctly.

No matter how hard I tried to make her say the words slowly, she would unwittingly say them beginning with the sound “I”. While I was a little baffled at her difficulty in pronouncing something that was so easy and basic for me, that was also the moment when I realized that her tongue was used to it. This was what was natural for her. This was what she knew by heart.

It had been four weeks since I was trying to help her get it right, but I saw that she was getting a little embarrassed and intimidated in front of other kids who could say the words correctly. So I decided to not poke her too much, and let her take her own time.

But one day, I don’t know why, I was just really motivated to try teaching it to her. I thought, I should give it a shot again. So I began slow, helping her with the phonetics of the words, and guiding her through it. We juggled with the words one by one and every time she would try to wrestle her way through the pronunciation. I could see that slowly, she was picking up the rhythm. I waited and waited and in one magical MAD moment, she said “School”. Not “IsSchool” but “School”.

I had no words to explain the feeling. I almost jumped with excitement and clapped for her. I asked her to repeat all the words, and she just got into the flow. All words correctly pronounced!

The satisfaction, the silent happiness on her face was something one has to see for themselves to understand. It was inexplicable. Celebrating our little victory, I reflected on the entire process once again and that’s when I understood.

The bubble needs to be pricked. Not everything is natural for everyone; not everything is easy for everyone. The world needs to be explored and we can help our children discover the best of it. That, with a little effort, we can make a difference.

Saloni Chaudhary