Learning Languages

Learning a new language means our “Dimag” or the brain has to work more! It is a good exercise for the brain. Especially if it is a new language which you have not heard of while growing up. The brain has to deal with complexity in making sense of the writing  reading and pronunciation patterns. This is supposed to make the brain stronger.(Universal fact: Good exercise increases strength!) It increases memory, problem solving and thinking skills. It also increases concentration. Multi tasking becomes easier!

Look at it the other way round. We may have been used to multi tasking; and pressures demanding high levels of concentration, due to the environment around us. By external factors; the environment changes. Our brain is suddenly unoccupied.. bereft. Now this may be good as a pause, but remember exercise is necessary. So we need to add that challenge for the brain. I believe learning a “foreign” language, a language we have not been exposed to much, will help us.

Learning a language was always on my list. With some time on my hands, I decided to pursue it. And I started with Spanish! It is the second most spoken language in the world. There is also enough material available online to study it on our own. And I am sure as time goes by, I will be able to practice my skills.

And here it goes.. it is a bit strange as to way the genders and verbs are expressed in different languages. Even in India , with a plethora of languages, people get confused with agreement of genders with verbs! In my current early lessons in Spanish, I am struggling with hamburguesa (hamburger) being a la (feminine) and a sandwich being an el (masculine) ! The vaso (glass)  is un/ el and taza (cup) is una/ la. Azucar (sugar) is a he and Sal ( salt) is a she!

Well yes! that’s a challenge for the brain right? I am actually enjoying it. It is also a creativity exercise for me as I try to associate them with stories of my own! e.g Its the men who are sweet(azucar), and the women who are salty(sal) and zesty. The creativity and the brain exercises are definitely increasing the strength , capacity and alertness! I will be writing more of my journey into Español as I course along further. Till then,







What is so special about a Blue Jay for me? 

While growing up in Bhilai, In the central parts of India, sighting a BlueJay bird was supposed to bring luck and good fortune. In those days when we had different ways of whiling away our time, such stuff meant a lot! who told us that, and why, I do not remember. I just loved the blue color of the blue jay. Try as much as I could, I could never replicate it from my watercolor palette! The sighting of “Neelkanth” , as we called it, was supposed to be auspicious on Dushehra festival or last day of Durga Puja

There were many other species of birds to seek and sight. The Bastar Mynah on our lemon tree which could mimic any sounds we made! The migratory birds which would stay a day or two in our area. The long tailed white ones were the most common. Some exotic  colorful birds would fly across in summers. Once we had an injured big white bird in the courtyard. The courtyard with the guava trees and lemon tree was our shortcut to climb to the rooftop! It was out of bounds for us all, till it healed and flew away in 2 days.

Back to BlueJay. The blue jay birds have a specific type of call… but can imitate other calls too. They are also supposed to have quiet, almost subliminal calls which they use to communicate to each other in close proximity. Males perform acrobatics during the mating season, giving it its Indian name of Indian roller! The Indian roller is the state bird of Karnataka, Telangana and Odisha. Blue Jays are highly curious and are considered intelligent birds. They have strong beaks. Their food varies from hard nuts to grains and insects. They are known to be territorial birds.

It is my fascination for the Blue Jay’s  shades of blue color and the mystic nature of its sightings in my childhood. Apart from it, certain associations with it in my adulthood has made me dedicate my blogs to the Blue Jay!