Norman Lewis' book with the same title, is close to being my Bible of the English language. My essential take-aways have always been the 'story' behind the word and the mnemonics he suggests to remember the newly 'learnt' words. I was a huge fan when I was t preparing for my GRE like any other South Indian Engineering student. Today I think it is safely stacked under my dad's wobbly table. It still fills in for a firm foundation, so what if it's not for a foundation in the literary world.
Children on the other hand use mnemonics like nobody's business. The best part - they do not know that they are actually using this technique. Just like the bumble bee. It defied the laws of aerodynamics, just because it never read about it.
So daughter dearest, has just returned with us from a trip to Himachal Pradesh. This is probably the first time she was 'aware' of what she saw.
Mango Trees and Papaya trees were of huge interest to her. Her particular fascination was with a certain Mr Buffalo and a Mrs 'Tow' (read cow). Every 5 mins, she'd say ' Buffalo chahiye' Chahiye is a word she uses after every noun. You need to understand that she is sharing some information regarding the noun in question and catch up with her. So through out the trip in Himachal, it was 'Mando Tee' (Mango Tree), Buffalo, Tow, Atshu (Akshu - her cousin) in addition ofcourse to 'dadda', Tatiya (Katya - her cousin), and Sidonie (her friend).
My father in law was the most doting of her. Following my father ofcourse. My father would never say 'No' or be stern with her. And she knew this fully well and took advantage of the situation many a times when Appa was around. I digress. So my father-in-law soon became her favorite person, running behind her, picking out the finest balls (read lemons), getting chased with a stick and you name it. He was a 2 year old in a 60 year old's body. He was her 'devotedly yours' person.
So when we finally came back to Hyderabad, she ofcourse missed him a lot. (Well, not the most - most would have been 'bui' - her aunt - my sister-in-law and Tatiya).
So whenever FIL called, we used to help her connect with him. 'Dadda' - both the relation and the mnemonic. She remembered. And did not need any more help.She took the phone off our hands and said 'Dadda!'. My FIL's joy knew no bounds. "Haan Princess", he said excitedly. " Buffalo", she said immediately. Ady and I could not control our laughter. Poor FIL did not know how to react. "Yes Princess", he said disappointed, from the place with the Buffalo. :)