Had the wonderful opportunity of being a part of a famed-Corporate-sponsored programme for students at Velammal Engineering College, Surapet, Chennai. I had Ms. Lauren (an alumna of Stella Maris), joining me in a day of wonderful interactions with the Engineering students from Civil, Automobile and CSE Streams of the College.
About the College: Surapet is all Velammal. Yes, the place has been literally under the spell of the Velammal charm. Be it the security personnel, who resemble the cops in uniforms and mannerisms, or be it the ambience of the campus - we both were simply astounded at the meticulous attention given to even the finest detail when it comes to logistic details and administration. Right from the line marking for car parks, to the highline paint marks with cateyes for the two-wheelers, any new comer heaves a sigh of great relief when they have a palpable assurance that their cars or two-wheelers are in safe h(l)ands. The whole place is CCTV monitored, and that adds to the assurance. Although the security staff are there in full throttle all through, they do not interfere with your parking or pester you with their goading and chidings! They just step in when you violate protocol.
The College boasts of rich and enviable Language Labs and students get the best of both worlds. All boys and girls were spick and span in blue coats, and it was a delight to interact with many bright faces through the day in the Training and Placement Building of the College.
One girl was the cynosure of our eyes, and she merited or attracted our attention with her graceful mannerisms and wonderful way with words. After her wonderful presentation, we both were so curious, that Lauren was prompted to asked her,
‘Dear girl, did you by any chance study or reside abroad?’
‘I was curious since, you have a wonderful accent!’
Oh thank you ma’m.
‘How did you get this accent?’
She smiled, and said,
Ha ha yes ma’m. I am from a village near Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. I took it upon myself to cultivate the English language, by regular strenuous practice. Daily after every one goes to sleep, I will open my little collection of good English reads and start reading it aloud to myself. I also listen to audios and videos of great/inspirational speeches in English, and try to cultivate the good accent that these great speakers have! My friend (calls out to her) is also with me in this, she said. Both of us, we encourage each other, and get back to our respective rooms and resolve to sweat it out with our English as well as with our Subjects of study. I’m happy I’ve found a good friend in her’ she added.
Practice indeed pays off!
Well, yes! it pays you richly!!! J