Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kalpana - Beyond imagination

The word 'kalpana' in Hindi means imagination. But the word 'Kalpana' that I have used in the title doesn't refer to imagination but to a girl by name Kalpana from Gujarat who is beyond imagination. Students from 5 different colleges made their presence felt today in Bangalore to attend a session about ENTREPRENEURSHIP by Team IU(Inspiration Unlimited) and international inspirational speaker Mr. Sujit Lalwani. A large group of youth participated in this event and out of these there was one girl by name Kalpana who has an inspiring story to share with us.
Kalpana was enrolled into a Marathi school during her early childhood and had to study completely in Marathi. Then for her higher classes during schooling, she was transferred to another school that taught in Gujarathi. There was no option for her to study in an English medium school. After her schooling, she was sent to Bangalore to study in IKON nursing college to pursue B.Sc in nursing where the complete syllabus was taught in English alone. Indeed this was a big shock for Kalpana as she had to shift from regional medium school to English medium college all of a sudden absolutely without any expertise in English. However with the encouragement of her dad, she took up this bold step and entered Bangalore. This is just a brief introduction about Kalpana. To learn about how she managed through these language barriers let's see some Q&As;
How did you feel when you were transferred to schools teaching in different languages?
When I joined a Gujarathi institution to learn science I was very afraid. Then, I told myself that nothing is impossible on this earth. Even my dad encouraged me and I gave my best in the exams. Everyone around me was schocked that a girl from Marathi background had fared well in Gujarathi medium.
When you were trasnferred from Gujarathi medium to English medium institution, how did you face the challenge?
I almost doubted myself if I would be able to do anything but then consoled myself that now I couldn't turn my back on education and leave. I felt sad thinking that my dad would be disappointed to know that his daughter had accepted defeat. Hence I decided that I would put in my best efforts and learn. Today, though I make mistakes while speaking in English, I can understand English completely. I am even proficient in Marathi, Gujarathi and Hindi.
When you started practising to communicate in English how was your experience?
In our college, speaking in regional language is prohibited. So, when I used to speak in English with my Gujarathi friends they used to get irritated with the mistakes that I made while speaking and would ask me to stop speaking in English, but today the same friends appreciate me for the kind of fluency that I have mastered in speaking in English.
When you felt bad hearing to your friends' comments what did you do?
I used to cry a lot when my friends teased me. I have a habit of writing my daily dairy. I used to pour down my feelings in it. I blamed my dad for not enrolling me into an English medium school but my dad told me that I would be proud about him when I would be the topper of the class even in the English medium college.
When you were changing schools and college, your language medium was changing which upset you but because of that today you know Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, Nepali and English and you are a multilingual person today. How do you feel about it?
By learning different languages, I have even learned different cultures of which my friends are a part of. Hence I can mingle with all friends of mine very easily because of which I have many friends.
What is your one message to those who feel inferior while communicating in English?
Please don't think negative. Tell yourself that you will be able to do. Instead of thinking that things will not happen, give your best to make things happen. I gaurantee that if you try, you shall definitely succeed.
Who all do you want to thank for being an inspiration in your life?
First of all, I want to thank my dad about whom I am very proud of. He is the reason for my success today. In spite of low income levels, he is spending a lot on me and my studies and providing me all the amenities. Secondly, I want to thank that teacher of mine who encouraged me to go on the stage and talk to hundreds of people. Thirdly, I would like to thank Sister Devi who has helped me and my friends to get an exposure about different things happening around us and who has been a source of inspiration and encouragement for us always.

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