Entrepreneur Shraddha P Kumar enjoys the intellectual stimulation teaching Mandarin brings to her life.
The popular Beatles song A Little Help from My Friends, plays in my head as I listen to Shraddha P Kumar, Founder and Chief Faculty, Yellow River Chinese Academy (YRCA), talk about how friends have been an important part of her journey, right from her initial interest in Mandarin to the entrepreneurial plunge.
Although she started her venture in July this year, her love for the language goes back to 2002, when a close Taiwanese friend got her a Mandarin textbook with an audio cassette. “She laid my foundation for the language by teaching me the phonetics and the five tones,” shares Shraddha.
Though her friend returned to Taiwan, Shraddha continued to study the language. “As I was not attending a class and there was no teacher to push me, the learning was initially slow, with many stops and starts, but I started enjoying it as I got deeper into it,” she reminisces. When her friend visited India a couple of times a year, she would use the time to clear her doubts and practise conversing.
It was only in 2008 that she found herself a teacher who could teach her how to read and write the characters.
Shraddha, who had given up her job to give her children undivided attention, says, “Mandarin was a godsend at a time when I was in need of intellectual stimulation.” Although she had continued to teach classical dance, it was Mandarin that came to her rescue.