A collection of anecdotes by individuals, just like us, doing what they love
She continued giving lessons when she moved to Mumbai in 2012 to study Psychology. Her clients have mainly been expats who not only want to learn the Hindi language but also want to better understand the culture they are now a part of. Pallavi decodes the language by making it less intimidating through her unconventional, fun and easy-to-understand teaching modules.
What sets Pallavi apart from other Hindi tutors is the enthusiasm she brings and her unique teaching method. She chooses exercises that accompany every topic and makes the learnings as applicable as possible. Part of this method includes making students order their food, talk to their Uber and Ola drivers and sometimes give directions on the road in Hindi so that they get the basic hang of the language.
However, often people have misunderstood her profession. ‘I teach Hindi’ usually translates to her being a teacher, associated with an education board, dressed in cotton khadi and carrying a jhola or wearing a big bindi. On reclarifying that she’s an ‘independent language coach’ (as she calls herself) for foreign nationals, she is seen as someone with a ‘hipster’ job getting exclusive access to the glitz and the glamor of the ‘expat life’. Moreover, the general response to a young instructor is ‘isko kya aata hoga, isko kya pata hoga’ (What will she know?), therefore undermining her teaching skills.
Despite these preconceived notions, Pallavi looks forward to every hour of her teaching time. Besides the exposure to various cultures and the flexibility that comes with being self-employed, Pallavi feels this job has given her credibility as a human by greatly enhancing her strengths and rewarding her professionally, emotionally and financially. Some of her most proud moments include her students messaging her to tell her that they can understand the conversation taking place at the pharmacy they’re in or understanding what the cab driver is saying. Her passion for teaching has led her to students such as historian William Dalrymple and actresses Jacqueline Fernandes and Lisa Ray. Since 2011, she has taught over 650 expats.
In her free time, Pallavi enjoys watching stand-up comedy and listening to others speak, after her endless hours of teaching.
In ten years, Pallavi aspires to partner with foreign universities, get grants from the government and set up a language school specializing in Indian languages.
For now, she will continue to break the language barrier one Hindi lesson at a time.
You could also sign up for classes on hindilessons.co.in.
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