31 October, 2020

The Hindi Lesson

The Hindi Lesson
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
EVERY evening, at a little after 4 o'clock, a bundle of Government press releases is delivered to my office. It contains invitations to news conferences, photo opportunities, and postage stamp launches held earlier in the day. At least I get to know what I've missed. But I can forgive the Press Information Bureau (PIB) this much. The package is usually addressed to 'Mr Andrew', and the thought that somebody, somewhere in the Government bureaucracy is on first-name terms with me is deeply reassuring.

Just once in a while a real gem can be found among the PIB offerings. It's about as likely as finding a rare first edition at the rummage market at the back of Red Fort. But it does happen.

It was courtesy the PIB mailing that I found out about the Government's correspondence courses in Hindi. One of India's best kept secrets! The PIB seems determined to keep it that way. The press release revealed neither which institution was running the course, nor where to turn for more information. Several months—and a major detective exercise—later, I managed to enrol....

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