Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fear of F

Rather I should say ‘pear of F’ :)

If you are still wondering about the topic, I am showing rarest of my courage to reveal one of my biggest weaknesses (assuming atleast some of you don't know about it already) - my inability to clearly pronounce the words involving letters ‘p’ and ‘f’ and rather using them interchangeably. I also had the problems of stammering and other pronunciation issues initially but somehow overcome them over the years to a large extent.

I think the P-F syndrome (as Ash describes it) is really quite unusual problem. As of I know everyone from my village and also couple of surrounding ones have this problem. Most of them are lucky not to realize that they are having this problem. It would probably be a good idea to do some research to find the depth and breadth of this problem, historical and medical reasons for the issue. As per I remember I realized (or made to realize) about this problem only in my second year of engineering. Since then I have been fighting against it but never really managed to take control over it. 

In the first year of engineering Jags used to come to me (and to Dinga who also had same problem) for learning C programming. At that time we weren’t aware of this and always used to pronounce ‘if’ as ‘ip’ throughout the course. Jags was trying to control his laughter all along as he couldn't dare to tell us fearing we might stop helping him. In the final year lab exam, I had to share my viva with another girl. The examiner was one of the most beautiful ladies in our college (including all the students). For one of the questions, I thought I had answered correctly, but strangely both ladies started laughing continuously for about 2 minutes putting me through one of my most embarrassing moments of the life. She tried to stop her laugh, but couldn’t and stopped the viva in the middle. I still don’t know the exact reason but have a strong feeling that it is one of my P-F syndrome blunders. I am generally good at hiding my weaknesses.

That reminds me of another incident which happened in 9th standard. As I said before I had stammering and other pronunciation problems, but some how got rid of them partially. Till my 10th standard I was very good at debates and speeches and haven’t lost many competitions outside (none in our school). In 9th standard I had to participate in one such competition and the topic for elocution was ‘health is wealth’ in Kannada. The elocution went pretty well for me till the end, where I had to complete it by saying ‘ಹಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಉದ್ದಾರ ಸಾಧ್ಯ' instead I said ‘ಹಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ ಮೂತ್ರ ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದ ಉದ್ದಾರ ಸಾಧ್ಯ’. Everyone in the hall started laughing and I had to sit in a quiet place avoiding the laughing eyes at me. Luckily our teacher was not there in that room, so later I told him that the results are fixed, so I didn't get any prize though I have done it well!

It is close to 10 years since I realized about this problem and started living with it. My friends still make fun of me with every possible opportunity and I  also join them making fun of myself. Though I am trying to cure this, I have never really shown any interest in understanding the problem and its pattern. It seems to happen quite randomly and the more attention I give, the more strong it becomes. So I am learning to live with the problem and waiting for it to go on its own. I  might have problem saying ‘floppy’ but they are anyhow obsolete now. And I don’t have to say ‘pluck the flower’, ‘physics’ and similar words every day. I have also decided not to name my children with any name having 'p' or 'f' in it. So it shouldn't be a tough job for me. One interesting thing I have observed is that this syndrome is actually contagious. Over the period I have noticed people who used to tease me have also become the victims occasionally. 

One thing that was bothering me for a long time was why it took me so much time for me to realize about this problem. And why some people don't laugh at me though I make these mistakes repeatedly. I got the answer recently by one of my friends, which really made me think. He simply said 'I generally don’t make fun of anyone having a physical disability!'.


Destiny's Child said...

good one Saty....its a thoughtful blog.

ahimsavaadi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhijith said...

Ha ha good one. One more thing my analysis of the problem is anyone speaking kota kannada has this disability. I have heard so many pebrauray in kota & kundapura :-)

Sathish said...

Thanks D, A and C deleted.
@A, I am planning to do some research on kota people this time when I go home...