The Memoirist
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The Memoirist


Want To Make It Big As An Online Writer? Make Your Sentences As Simple As Keanu Reeves

English lesson from my teacher

Photo by ThisisEngineering on Unsplash

Have you met someone, long-lost, on Facebook? A friend or a colleague?

How about a teacher?

After twenty years, I found one. The best English teacher I ever had.

An Oxford laureate. Her love for teaching brought her back home.

I was an ICSE student. Hence, a fondness for fanciness was deep-rooted.

Mutual admiration was a certainty. Or maybe not.

“Flowery English, I see!” She remarked on my essay.

Along with a B-.

She hated the flamboyance more than the content.

A bittersweet war ensued.

My sentences kept getting complex. Scores plain.

It was time to talk.

She: “Have you read Malgudi Days?”

Me: “I don’t understand.”

She: “It’s a simple question. Have you read Malgudi Days?”

Me: “No, I haven’t. It’s not in the curriculum.”

She: “Get a copy from the library. See me once done.”

One hundred fifty pages done in 24 hours. I still didn’t understand the point.

She: “What do you think?”

Me: “It was interesting.”

She: “What did you like about it?”

Me: “All stories had a message.”

She: “And?”

Me: “Simplicity. Easy to read through. Definitely, not as complex as Hamlet.

She: “Good. Here’s your next assignment. Re-write any one of those stories. No sentence more than eight words. That’s all .”

Me: “But…”

She left with a cheeky smile.

I couldn’t complete the assignment. It was impossible.

I saw her after a week.

Her response? A self-righteous smile. It pierced through my heart.

Then, she handed me a draft.

A story, re-written. No sentence more than eight words.

The title read The Doctor’s Word.

How fitting!

Anyway, something happened last night.

I was with her on Facebook Messenger. I shared my recent work.

She: “Ugh! Depressing.”

She: “B-”

She: “Next one, no more than eight words, okay?”

Before I could respond, I heard a commotion.

It was a familiar voice, the significant other.

“Wake up! It is time to log on.”

Realizing what just happened, I knew. It’s time to complete the assignment.

So, here it is. Finally! No sentence more than eight words.

I hope she comes across this someday. And it makes her proud.




We publish memoirs, personal essays, and fictional memoir. Creative stories unpacked from the nostalgic hope chests of our lives.

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Gaurav Jain

Gaurav Jain

I have three TVs, two cars, and one wife.

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