Why did I remember the dictionary lying on my table?

Why did I remember the dictionary lying on my table?

HARISH MONGA



Right from my childhood, I had a love for dictionary – first English to Hindi to know the meaning of a particular word and later on Hindi to English to know the exact English version for the meticulous word in  Hindi. You can use a dictionary to look up the meaning of any words that you don’t understand.

A dictionary is one of the most important tools during your time studying at a university. A good dictionary can help you understand your subject better, improve your communication, and improve your grades by making sure you are using words correctly.

Coming to the point as to why I still remember the dictionary used to lie on my study-writing table. I am still keeping a dictionary – Collins – with me and I feel it could still be helpful in this the digital world when either the internet is slow or you are not able to access it due to power off or battery down. 

During my childhood, I recollect, the newspapers in four languages – English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi – used to be thrown rightly under the main gate by the hawker early in the morning.  When I was doing my Diploma in Mechanical in the late 60s, interest was created to go through the English newspaper.  The very next day, I looked for the meaning of Tribune – the name of newspaper – as a curiosity.
However, after some time in the class of 16 students, one just taunted me on seeing the newspaper in my hand saying – Do you know the meaning of Tribune?  Have a bet of samosa and tea to all. Since I had recently consulted the dictionary, I instantly repeated - a bench or elevated place, from which speeches were delivered.  Besides, it has other meanings also like in France, a kind of pulpit in the hall of the legislative assembly, where a member stands while making an address; any place occupied by a public orator.

 I won and the whole class enjoyed.  This created an interest in me to consult a dictionary in the event of any new word or doubt. 

Frankly speaking, the other reason behind remembering my dictionary today is from the word – Hug – which meant - squeeze (someone) tightly in one's arms, typically to express affection – when an an appeal is being made for a social distancing in the wake of the pandemic Coronavirus which has spread almost in whole of the world and things like hugging, shaking hands and of course, kissing on the forehead – tradition in our culture – will be a thing of the past. 

Will those days be back? Will such gestures be a thing of the past? Will these words be obsolete from the future dictionary when not in use? Only the time will have the answer to these questions but so far it is definitely a shock for all of us.
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