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Good Sports: Learning Hindi During the Pandemic

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
October 2022
Good Sports: Learning Hindi During the Pandemic

The paperback edition of Viswanathan Anand’s memoir, Mind Master: Winning Lessons from a Champion’s Life, includes a bonus chapter in which the five-time world chess champion describes how he spent the extra time he had to himself during the pandemic. “I asked myself what I always wanted to learn but had put off for later,” he writes.

The answer was Hindi. He could speak several languages, including German and Spanish, but had trouble communicating with people in Mumbai and Delhi. “I found it strange because I wasn’t supposed to feel this way in my own country,” he writes.

His friend in Chicago, Anand Subramaniam, offered to help. “He took the job upon himself and we began having regular classes over Skype once a week,” Anand writes. “Thereafter, it was him helping me with my Hindi and me fixing his chess.”

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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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