Aug 26, 2014 at 12:36pm IST

Trigonometry in English suddenly seems like an alien subject: 11 problems only students from Hindi medium schools will understand

'You mean you didn't have any textbooks in English?' That's the first question most students in college ask their counterparts from Hindi medium schools. It is hard to imagine how someone read Mathematics, Biology and Psychology out of a Hindi textbook. How do they remember the definitions we learned by rote in our school? It is unbelievable how they did not mug up something as simple as 'Mitochondria is the power house of a cell' in their schools!

Have you tried reading a Physics textbook in Hindi? You obviously wouldn't be able to follow the terminology used. That's exactly what happens when a student from a Hindi medium school starts reading an English textbook. If you have attended college with a student from a Hindi medium school, you'll know they have all faced these problems.

Trigonometry looks like another language in the English medium book. For anyone who has studied mathematics like this, trigonometry in an English textbook looks like a science of the alien world.

College is a huge challenge. Every textbook is in the English language and if you’re a science student, the subject becomes even more challenging.

Suddenly everyone in India seems to know English. When someone from a Hindi medium school first enters college, the first thing they notice is how everyone seems to be comfortable with the language except them.

You’ll never be taken seriously which leads to inferiority complex. Mixing with the English medium school students becomes a huge problem. They never seem to take any of your suggestions seriously and often look down upon you and that’s why most students from Hindi medium schools suffer from inferiority complex.

The CSAT row affects you the most. While most students taking the IAS exam don’t understand the outrage, only the students from Hindi medium schools understand how drastically it will affect their scores.

Interviews become tougher. Since every interview expects you to be fluent in English you fail the basic test even before applying for a job.

Every exam is a fights at two ends – first the language, then the exam. While you were just beginning to understand the English language, the competitive exam throws another challenge at you. There will be exams that do not have a Hindi translation and you’ll be working doubly hard to ensure you understand the question correctly.

It becomes impossible to look for a job outside India. If you think of looking for a better job outside India, the major roadblock is the language. Every English speaking country expects you to know the language well.

Just because you studied in a Hindi medium school you are automatically labelled conservative. The world stereotypes you as conservative even before they’ve spoken to you about an issue.

Teachers will always tell you they are willing to help, but no one knows where to begin from. There is a huge divide between what you want to know and how your teachers want to explain it. There’s so much confusion that you may want to give up at times.

'You should become a politician.' And when all else fails, they’ll ask you to choose politics as a profession. You’ll have a degree and you won’t necessarily have to know the English language.