During the first few weeks at school, I was beginning to learn cursive writing that was mandatory there.
Most things seemed new to me; right from the sophistication, confidence and élan the girls had. It was nothing like what I saw in my previous school where we were mellow and shy.
The girls of my class would make fun of a certain girl whenever she spoke. She had a perfect English; but with an accent. I did not understand why the girls made fun of her. One day, she was reading out some text in the absence of the teacher; when some girls in unison started mimicking her. At first, she ignored, then she started crying and finally yelled at the class "You Idiots!". That was when I understood; it was her accent they were making fun of!
Few days later, I learnt that her accent was 'normal'. Normal here means the way a south Indian would pronounce and speak English. That was until the summer holidays. Everything seemed to have turned upside down once the school reopened after vacation. She came back with an accent! I inquired if she visited any foreign land for such a transformation in those 60 days. Girls who stayed near her house told nothing of that sort happened. And none of us knew what led to the transformation.
Jasmine continued to have this accent until our end of school. I do not know if any symptom inflicted her; the way they show in movies!
Well, what reminded me of Jasmine and her accent was when today; at work. Couple of my team members and me were expressing the challenges of holding meetings over phone with Americans. The East Cosat slang was different from West Coast slang. Its tricky to be talking to a stranger over phone, and to be talking to folks with a strange accent of yours is still tough; and the other end has a stranger slang is more a challenge. A colleague then mentioned that during one of such calls; she put her phone on speaker when I was talking. Her husband thought that I was a foreigner (I think she meant a Westerner) after hearing me speak, because of my accent.
Now I don't know when I transformed the way Jasmine transformed :-)