I was desperately waiting outside the English Department office for my turn to come. It was my viva for a dissertation in MA English. Exams, in whatever forms, always bring anxieties on us. Unexpectedly, the viva session was not bad. I was able to defend my thesis. Teachers looked satisfied with my answers as well as my research work.
An MA in English, for me was a dream deferred. Giving up my study at TU in the spring of 1998 (Then, they used to teach old course), I traveled to UAE in search of greener pastures without knowing what life could be.
When I came back to Nepal after 4-year hiatus in 2002 October, my disastrous English accent was little improved, thanks to the conversations with English/American and Indian customers and my mostly Asian colleagues at Dubai Airport's McDonalds outlet. Back in Nepal, I hastened to join MA (this time at RR Campus). I found out that the syllabus has undergone a sea change. Now, an MA in English stumbled and managed to dabble hitherto unknown Derrida and Foucault, Creative Writing and Non Western Studies. Whether we were prepared for such contemporary and theory-laden course is still debatable, though.
This English phenomenon, on a guy who learned his A B C D only in class four, who passed his SLC from a Nepali medium school, came from a background of Brahmins who considered English a "Cow eating Language" (Gai Khane Bhasa), obviously takes me down the memory lane. Since when did I become an Anglophile? It must be the years of love-hate relationship with this foreign tongue.
But, when I read the best of English writing coming from 20 something ladies, armed with boarding background, ready to dazzle their male friends with mastery over this language, I can only lo and behold! Namely, fellow bloggers Abhipsa and Zade (in other words, A to Z of English). Three cheers to them, before I turn self-congratulatory. I wonder how they learnt this difficult language. Did they learn it in their mothers' womb? Or, did it come to them like music to a musician, song to a lyricist? When did they mug up all the phrases and diction? I, for one, still find myself a slow learner. The spellings you never master; the idioms that make you idiot and the meanings as varied as people's name. Ah, English!
Last Sunday morning, as my teachers complimented me for excellent thesis, I was elated but unsure of what to make of it. It was an outcome of almost a year's hard work. I did a lot of writing, re-writing; my most Saturdays were spent in front of a computer which made my friends suspicious that why it was taking so long for the thesis to be completed.
My thesis on American writer Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening talks about how its protagonist Edna, frees herself from the clutches of patriarchal society at the turn of twentieth century America. I too am awakened and freed from my college-going experience. But, only to be chained in another cycle of learning, studying and writing, that I would like to do till the end of my life.