A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


6 Comments

Milestones…

…aplenty, for her, who makes anything seem absolutely doable. From the time I’ve known her, this is what has been my greatest takeaway. From experience of being one, and knowing ever so many, young people are easily distracted and perhaps cannot focus enough, and for the “enough” amount of time to be able to find success or satisfaction in what they do. She has always been a source of inspiration, motivation and perseverance for me, personally, for she is all that. Focused, and “enough”.

Today, and most especially over the past three months, I bow down to her absolute (I know I’m using that word much, but at this point I have no other word that comprehensively says what I want to 🙂 ) indomitable self in achieving milestone after milestone, and staying grounded, humble, and the fun person she is. It ain’t easy, but with her, she knows what she is about, and if not, she knows how to ask what it is about! Can’t beat that combination, no?

Neeti, from the fun person you are, to the grounded and wise daughter to this Amma, the giggling gal to the one who said to me, comforting me when I thought my heart would break, having to leave you and Ash and Bowie when you needed somebody there, Amma, there’s probably something more important that you are required for, there, maybe. Let’s look at it that way? I am and always will be proud of the innate grace and maturity you carry, quietly, and yet with that thread of determination, that underscores your commitment and sense of service; the way you give, and give of yourself in time, and generosity of spirit… Oh so much, so much!

May life lean towards infinite kindness, love, and joy, all the more, now that you are holding within your arms, your universe – your boys – be it Dhruv, Bowie or Ash – and may this day, and year get better with each passing day!

May your days be blessed with the gurgling laughter of little Dhruv, and the joy that wagging tails bring, most especially Bowie’s! May your workplace and home complement each other, and may your littler bois be good, for you! May the partnership and love of your own partner be more profound and pronounced, as you share of yourselves with each other.

May you be healthy, find peace, especially when you need it 😀 , and get lots and lots of sleep, unexpectedly and expectedly! 😛 May life sing songs of love that move you to blessed tears.

May you find the infinite blessings and grace of God.

Happy birthday, dearest Neetikutty. Better than the best, may this one be that 🙂

30 August, 2020


1 Comment

Achcha, Bahut Achcha!!

Glossary:

Achcha, in Hindi: Good; Bahut: very, extremely

Achchain  Malayalam:  Father ❤

If you’re a regular here, part of that infinitesimal number, because I need to be a better host 😛 , you know by now where we are heading. This time, too, you are important, almost as important to the Bahut Achcha Achcha that this blog celebrates 🙂

My lion cub (indeed I do refer to him as such, even now, though he is a puli – lion – through and through!) now has cubs of his own, and there is no greater sight than that of him and his partner with their cubs 🙂 Cubs, plural, you ask? Yep, that’s how the ball rolls in our family. Offspring are just so, be it the fur kind, or the human kind 🙂 Between his last birthday to this one, he and his lovely partner have two! Achcha, bahut Achcha!! 🙂 I know you know that is as cheesy as it gets, but that’s the way this blog works. Cheesier the better, for us, all around 😛

Today is his day – 3 August; the Blog Tradition here is one that has survived, amongst many troubles this year, and as with my other bachchus, this one now takes its due place here! And how! From being the Ammakutty, and never smiling as an infant, never being comfortable with anyone other than the closest family, he’s a metaphor for all things joyful, funny, friendly and out and out helpful! Also, he is now a parent.

People speak, and share, all the time, of how being a parent shall not change who they are, deep inside, and maybe it is true to a certain extent – but parenting as such brings out the best resourceful YOU, IMHO. Most often, young parents (especially the Indian variety 😛 ) have the support of extended family during that time – a bit before the arrival of the wee one to a lot later. This year has been a roller coaster that isn’t giving up giving us a ride we never asked for. But, we are on it, and ride we must, isn’t it? And so it came to be that they welcomed Dhruv into our Love, without the least hesitation of going it by themselves, since help from extended family was hindered by the pandemic! So helpless,were we, yet prouder than even at how these two young parents did a beautiful job of it! Each day is a blessing, to be taken one at a time, is it not? I have learned so much of that, from both of you, Ash and Neets ❤

When Bowie, the first baby arrived, in October, last year, the excitement was so palpable – daily stories, the cutest videos of this entirely adorable pupper and them two parents! A few months down to June, 2020, Bowie is now the Elder, with a wee one to join him – Dhruv! Their Achcha and their Amma be the best too! Today, watching them all while virtually cutting the cake, I could not help but wish I could hold them all in this ginormous squishy hug! Dhruv, with his cooing and wee smiles, Ash and Neeti looking so good together 🙂 Bowie wasn’t there, unfortunately, but we’ll catch up with him in the evening 🙂

 

 

Ashwin, my dearest Chots, you are wished dearly and infinitely, this day – you are blessed, you are cherished and loved, loved so very much! Please know that, every single moment, even if sometimes I forget to tell you so 🙂 These be my wishes, dearest dearest Chotu

For every cloud that that blankets you, I’ll pray for cleansing rain, dissolving your nuggets of pain, bit by tiny bit, so that all that’s left is you, your love and sweetness and the falling rain…

For every moonbeam that reaches down to you, that you cannot see, I’ll wish it ribbon-like, to trail and wind about you, unravelling the magic that never leaves…

And when you ask, without them pesky words, I’ll simply point to the stars, in the darkest darkness, and tell you, that the fire there, is never distant; That’s what I carry as benediction, as faith, as a constant unfailing reminder… Of love, maybe unexpressed, but ever enveloping.

Happy birthday, ende chotukkutta ❤ you Daddy Cool!!

3 August, 2020, the redefining year 🙂

The Years, Before, the Blog Tradition held these:

A few footnotes ( from the previous year’s blog!):

This one from here in 2012, and damn, that is what, 8 years back?! Woah. I am rather proud of myself, and will not hesitate to say it, today, for me

Right, before I go ga ga all over again, over my Lion Cub, I do want to share those “traditions” 😀 . It started in 2009, with“The Right Age”, the went on to “For My Little One” (incidentally he’s a few millimetres short of being 6 ft tall   ), to when he flew the coop, in “When Nestlings Fly”, and Metamorphosis and settled in with “Pride”  in 2010 and 2011, last year. And here is where he tells me it’s no fun doing something unless your mom says NO. So it is 3 August again, and, as my kids in school say, “his happy birthday”!

Earlier (and later )Blog Tradition blogs for Ashwin, each year, are here – Click on the year to be taken to that blog 🙂

2009   2010 2011   2012  2013  2014  2015   2016  2017  2018, 2019

 

 


4 Comments

“Prime” Time

The blog titles here are totally inspired. In the cheesiest, wackiest, and unapologetically clickbaity ways. Dang it, I need readers, more than any of those online pages that anyway we’ll ALL visit, however blatantly or clandestinely 😛

In my defence, I must say that this title is about the Prime time of a well beloved offspring. If you’re new here, may I suggest that you read on? If you can’t go on with only so much, it’s perfectly okay to take a rain check. 😀 And regulars here,  the countables-on, I know they shall read and be kind. But, errr, let’s not dawdle, shall we? 😛

He was a you-may-not-even-LOOK-at-me baby, for what seemed the longest time, for Us. His parents, brother, a couple of his grandparents, of the full set he had, a couple of others he considered “friendlies” (I’m totally into the Designated Survivor series on Netflix, so you’ll have to put up with clichéd language here 😛 ), a baby that people so wanted to carry and cuddle, but one who would not co-operate with wishes. No Sireee! And then, somewhere round his 4th birthday or so, he decided to take charge and begin his journey as that cub who would take his Designated Place in the Social Jungle 😛 I can’t help it, the Designated thingy is overwhelming, and I’m glad I got that title already put there, or else even that would have Designated as part of it – who knows it still might infiltrate 😀 )

From that gwumpy baby to the young man he became through his high school and senior classes there, to being called “Smiling baby” (as a Senior in school, by one of my dearest colleagues there!) – it’s a classic textbook organic growth of a personality, and even today leaves me open-mouthed in admiration. (Yep, I’m like that – I like to look at my offspring and wonder where the heck they got that chutzpah!) I know, I know, I’ve kind of gone overboard before, about this one, (and the other one 😀 ), but I can never do that enough. That’s why we’re here again today. Kind of the day that his mother gets her blog back, and the words from the muse spring, that has been running dry for the longest time. Talking of him (and the Sun Child ) always makes me happy, and proud, for they’ve beaten those paths that they lead right now. Every single step. I’m merely their loudest cheerleader, with a free-style dance that no one would / could follow, or maybe even approve – you know, that balter- sidestep I do 😛

Happy birthday Ashwin!

Today he’s celebrating his birthday – in his happy place. Literally. A place he and his lovely partner aspired to, dreamt of, and worked to build. No one could be gladder that I, (except them, no one – we could have duels on it, and I will fight tooth – the few I have – nail – fast growing ones I have – and hair, the 5,689 strands I have! 😀 ) – but then today, I do not want to fight. For goodness sake, it’s the weekend, I’ve had a long week, and a longer one to come, and this is my window of peace! But yes, I’m his biggest fan, maybe I’ll share that with his partner Neeti, wonly, and maybe one more person, but that is it!

Ashwin, my Little One, you make me laugh every single day. You make me cry too, a lot, with the generosity of your words, your love, your unputdownable wacky witty jokes, with all that love that burgeons in my heart for you. You are precious, you are light and love, personified. I cannot begin to tell you of how PROUD I’ve been each step of the way you’ve journeyed, to this moment. And how, no matter what, I ALWAYS WILL BE.

Cannot sing this enough, for you – “You raise me up” in the soulful voice of Josh Groban.

Gosh. I do love you so. Happy birthday, Chots. Prayers and blessings, for today.

May the odds be ever in your favour.

3 August, 2019

Earlier, on this blog, for him, celebrating his birthday:

A few footnotes ( from the previous year’s blog!):

This one from here in 2012, and damn, that is what, 6 years back?! Woah. I am rather proud of myself, and will not hesitate to say it, today, for me

Right, before I go ga ga all over again, over my Lion Cub, I do want to share those “traditions” 😀 . It started in 2009, with“The Right Age”, the went on to “For My Little One” (incidentally he’s a few millimetres short of being 6 ft tall   ), to when he flew the coop, in “When Nestlings Fly”, and Metamorphosis and settled in with “Pride”  in 2010 and 2011, last year. And here is where he tells me it’s no fun doing something unless your mom says NO. So it is 3 August again, and, as my kids in school say, “his happy birthday”!

Earlier (and later )Blog Tradition blogs for Ashwin, each year, are here – Click on the year to be taken to that blog 🙂

2009   2010 2011   2012  2013  2014  2015   2016  2017  2018


1 Comment

The Done Thing…

… out here, is to be predictable, 😀 and do an anticipated write on an honest-to-goodness-you’d-expect-me to-write day. When you’re finished reeling from that piece of hyphenated nonsense, you’d have figured out where you are, and where I’m still not. At. (Yes yes yes, I’ve heard that yada yada yada thingy about ending sentences with a preposition, but that doesn’t stop me from stretching that to acceptable vs unacceptable forms of language usage, you might have heard of. There. I tell ya, there is something immensely satisfying about thumbing one’s rather busybody nose at things. Sigh.)

So yes, we come to the anticipated part. A blog on teachers, teaching, learners, learning, on 5 September, each year, since we recognized the ultimate teacher in Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, statesman and scholar, and an ideal to live up to. (Dang! that preposition hands over the abyss again!)

It’s expected, yes. (Do take a look at the years paraded at the end of this blog. If you manage to wade through this riff raff of words. Better yet, hit Ctrl+End, and look at them years, 2010 – 2015 -no I don’t expect you to read anything more than the hatke blog titles – yet another predictable feature of this space  😛 ) I missed last year. So I’ve got to make up two years’ worth.

We’ve covered the anticipated, expected, the “day”, or rather the reason for it, and now to the honest-to-goodness part. I’ve been pretty much confessional in the 2015 wala post. I need to go a step beyond with this one. Something weighs heavy on this heart, and it needs sharing, to ease it. Or maybe, in the long run, add to it. It shall come, as it is meant to.

Teaching is a vocation. Duh. A noble profession. Double duh. A selfless service to humanity. Duh duh…cough cough cough. It’s been said enough times, that saying it anymore takes everything away from even the etymology of them words. When is the world going to look at teaching, “teaching”, if so, as a profession also? If indeed one looks at the entire idea of having “professional”qualification, and having to take endless tests at different levels to “qualify” to “teach”, then it also follows that one should try to look at the whole situation with  the objectivity of other professions.

Yes, there is more of heart here, perhaps, and a delicacy to the process and progress both organic and linear, in teaching, since we deal in live material, but doesn’t that, in turn make the entire exercise more relevant, and therefore enforce the need to be more professional? Yes, you are now going to tell me about Doctors, Nurses, the Services, the …. do, please continue to enlighten me. Of the entire list you bring in, I hope you realize that “Teachers” are perhaps the most over-worked, and least recognized. Except of course, on Teachers’ Day. And I assure you, one is deeply thankful for it. I kid you not. I am. And I am not being sarcastic. I look forward to this day, because that is when the naughtiest child, as always, ups the most studious, in voicing them wishes. Every danged year. Trust me. 🙂 And I love that. Oopsie. I digress. This post isn’t about me, it is about what is expected.

When you work with live material, such as young hearts, young minds, passions unbridled, potential yet to discover, bushels hiding shining lights, can one even imagine the pressure brought to bear on this one individual, in a class of 30 +? I’m being Utopian here, for most classes in India, except for the exclusive schools, have 45+. I actually have a class this year with 60+. Forget the numbers though. In a class of even 10 children, this one individual in to monitor, administer, counsel, guide, grade, “discipline”, instruct, be a role model, recognizing each individual student’s unique set of gifts, burrowing and digging deep to discover it early enough in the teaching year and fan the gleaming embers to a fire by the end. What usually happens is that the teacher’s tale is on  fire. I’ve been there. It’s a similar story in many places. (No, tale is spelt correctly 😛 )

And yet this individual soldiers on. There is this verse, so called by Henry Van Dyke, that is fished out at will each year to celebrate a true teacher. It goes like this:

The Unknown Teacher -Henry Van Dyke (1852 – 1933)

I sing the praise of the Unknown Teacher.

Great generals wins campaigns, but it is the unknown soldier who wins the war.

Famous educators plan new system of pedagogues, but it is the

Unknown Teacher who delivers and guides the young.

He lives in obscurity and contents with hardship. For him no trumpets blare, no chariots wait, no golden decorations are decreed.

He keeps the watch along the border of darkness and leads the attack on the trenches of ignorance and folly.

Patient in his duty. He strives to conquer the evil powers which are the enemies of youth. He awakes sleeping spirits.

He quicken the indolent, encourages the eager and steadies the unstable.

He communicates his own joy in learning and shares with boys and girls the best treasures of his mind.

He lights many candles which in later years will shines back to cheer him. This is his reward.

Knowledge may be gained from books, but the love of knowledge is transmitted only by personal contact.

No one has deserved better of Republic than the Unknown Teacher, No one is more worthy to be enrolled in a democratic aristocracy, ” King of himself and servant of mankind ”

 

We don’t have these “unknown” teachers much these days. In the times of social networking, the slowly crumbling walls of convention and the easeful way that both learners and teachers interact outside and inside the classrooms, thankfully this unknown soldier now has a platoon from within the peer group as well as from amongst the live culture she deals with.  I sound like a broken record, I know, but I must say it – I know, I’ve been there too!  😛 With great crumbling of walls comes great glasnost, which in turn brings freshness of the spirit, but also blurs lines and either side, teacher and learner, overstep boundaries. Happens all the time. Some are “too friendly” or so they say, some are “too lenient”, or so they say. And those who have always been consistent, unchanging, get short changed. This is because change is the reason for progress. And change is needed. The acceptance and openness that change brings is what changes us for the better. Understanding this is perhaps the most difficult thing.

And finally, there has always been this thing that teachers have been, are and will always be a “partial” people. Partial to the studious, partial to the courteous, respectful of learners, the vocal, in terms of healthy interaction, maybe partial to those who speak, write, “behave” well. And once you are seen to prove this as true through your behaviour, as understood by a series of gaffes, misuderstandings, these come to stay and you get labelled. Duh. That’s one blemish that all the bleach in the world will not remove. No use saying, like Lady Macbeth, “out damned spot” – you have already become Lady Macbeth, who murdered the aspirations and dreams of some young ‘un, in the hope of seating your favourite as the chosen one. But then, that’s the thing about life too. It doesn’t stop, for either party. It goes on… maybe a bit more disillusioned by life, maybe, maybe, but nothing stops that relentless ticking onwards, no? 🙂 I’d be the first to admit that yes, such people do exist, and enough readers here would identify with it. However, there is this small detail of generalization, and most often we tend to throw the baby with the bathwater, in a manner of speaking.

So to all of you soldiers, in this game, The Game of Teaching, remember, if you get that Valar Morghulis, your response is, D.U.H. … Valar Dohaeris . That’s what is expected. That All men, read teachers, must serve, even at the cost of the inevitability of not being able to live.

But you know what? I’ve this anagram, deeply personal, that a friend had given as a life saving strategy. FTS. I love being where I am, profession-wise, and if I had to go over the years and be asked what I’d change, I’d still opt to be where I am. That, by itself, tells you, that learning, which is a part of teaching, and teaching itself, is all of the above, and some, and pretty much something I’d want to do again. Amen, is all I’d say. 🙂

That said, let me wish each member of the profession, the support staff, mentors, coaches, life gurus, every person who has touched your life in some way and helped you learn some danged lesson in life by commission or omission, a fruitful day 🙂 May you all touch more lives with the goodness of your being. May your learning never cease. May those who learn with you be guided by you onto paths that call to their hearts. May you instigate curiosity, temper their souls with a sense of adventure, shake the stupor out of their limbs, and make them want to scale their own aspirations with a zeal they never knew they had. Just show them that they can do it. They will. Then. That, you can be sure of! (yippeee, 1500+words, and a preposition to finish it off! 😛 )

5 September, 2017

Earlier posts on Teachers’ Day. Click on the year to be transported therewards 😀

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

P.S. References to GoT’s Valar Morghulis and Valar Dohaeris are universal in nature, and to be seen as a deliberate attempt to spice up a rather dreary blog. Thank you, if only you read it to pooh pooh it 😀


5 Comments

These are a few of my favourite things…

… about her, this DIL ka tukda (piece of my heart 🙂 ), an awesome Virgo girl, (LINK) partner in crime to the Lion in our family 🙂 Now you know how he flourishes! All because of this young girl, and the way she’s taken him by the hand and walked beside him, having got his back, being the guiding light, the one who fixes him too, and loves with all that she has, in her heart ❤ and soul 🙂

14706840_10154329945770376_4342717729691363815_o

Yes, Ashwin, HER! Happy Birthday, Neeti!!! 

As intense as they come and as fiercely loyal as they are, this one all of that and more. My DIL, my Neetikutty, an alter ego of all my quirky self too!Be it movies, the fun ‘ideas’, and the love of books 🙂 Both of us ‘hatke‘, me more, though 🙂 She too strives hard to ensure I stay that hatke! The perfect daughter a mom could have!

I know I’ve spoken about her too, a LOT, on this space, over the years, but what you love and admire about a person ought to be said enough times, I guess, and then some! And so it is with her too…

…like you can call her at any time of day or night, and know you shall hear an answering voice, even in the dead of night. Sometimes even your best buddies don’t, can’t do that!

….when life throws a spanner at you, you kind of reel, in slow motion and yelp and curse, right? She smiles, grabs it, puts it in her tool kit, to use, for tightening a few loose nuts around her, primarily her partner’s 😛 😛

… her sense of style and being able to carry off with grace and elegance, even a homely (hehehe Neeeettiiiiiiii 😛 ) sweatshirt and pants 😛 😛 But really, she’s just plain gorgeous!

….the way she can focus on what needs to be done (yep, I can, you can too, duh! but how long do you stay with it???!! Gotcha!!! 😛 ), and does it!

…. those Time Management skills! I’ve learnt a thing or two from her, about incentivizing (the self, people, the self!!!) and actually making it work! However, I’m still a work in progress! (pun-DUH-intended!!! 😀 )

… her ability to see the big picture, and then heck! join in the fun of circumventing it! The goofiness of a good laugh, thumbing one’s noses at such things… I love that about her!

…her deep deep devotion to those she loves. I still need a few lessons that a way! I’m still learning, as we all are, I know 🙂 But you know how it is, how it comes easy to some people more, over the others? She’s one!

… her generosity of her heart, her time, her work, and yes, her bosses do tend to take advantage of it 😛 Much as that is tagged as a no-no these days, it is something just as refreshing!

This, up  here, isjust a wee bit of what makes that gorgeous, zany, passionate gal who’s my darling Daughter In Law, my DIL, an echo of my own heart – and she celebrates her birthday today!

Happy Birthday Neetikutty! You’re a goo gu’l , you are!!! (remember that awesome night we dragged down the beds onto the floor to watch Eliza Dolittle??!! It was the best!!! And yes, I am a goo gu’l too!!! ) Here’s wishing you life’s best, with love, laughter, warm sunshine, romantic rains, stunning rainbows, and all the colours and passions of life to add to the masterpiece of life you are making, as you journey onward! May the Brush strokes of the powers that be, be gentle, healing, loving and soft! Live life Quantum Size, my dearest daughter! There’s no one else I know who deserves to!

I love you, Neetikutty! God Bless, always!

 

206378_10150174069594585_4717546_n

My fav. pic of you 🙂

30 August, 2017

More, for Neeti:

A Goo’ Gurl She Is!

The Queen of His Heart!

Here’s wishing another dil ka tukda, Keerthi Gautham on her birthday too! Another girl who makes me wonder at how these beautiful souls manage to rise above the things life throws at you, take it in their stride and march on oblivious to it! Lesser souls would pause to catch their breath, not these Amazons of the heart and spirit!

A wisp of clouds in the sky takes her fancy, and her camera’s and she brings to you the most wonderful of pictures, words and stories she creates… our girl on Cloud No. 9! Uma, (her blog is HERE!) you’re wished a wonderful day today, and the best of times ahead too! Big hug!!!

Happy Birthday, you gals, Neeti and Keerthi and Uma!! I love ya’ll!