A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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First Day, First Show

Disclaimer 1.: All titles on this blog are misleading. 😛 😀

Disclaimer 2. / Apology/ Dedication : To Oliver Goldsmith, for stealing his notions, from one of his verses, a personal favourite: The Village Schoolmaster. 🙂 (LINK)
To Gulshan Gev Bamboat too, who is the resident Limerick Queen, of the comments section 🙂  🙂 (LINK)

This one is in the limerick form, or pretends to be. A hatke one at that. Rather silly and all 🙂

Here goes…

*****

They gazed and gazed…

(As thoughts, in words expressed, From her stormy, passionate eyes, raced)

Held them awed…

(Or perhaps, jaw-droppingly bored? 😀 )

All two hours spent, they exit, English Class, first day, Class ten, looking tazed 😛

10 April, 2017

Day#10 of #NaPoWriMo, 2017; National Poetry Writing Month, 2017

 

 

 

 


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Of pigtails and Pig Tales :)

There are certain days, certain people, and certain occasions, for who/which this rambler goes sincerely crazy. Otherwise, she’s just… weird. Yep, this rambler is certified… and she’s also oxymoron 😛
Like in the current flavour of the month (hers-movie wise), where I am at, this movie Moana, she (Moana)  asks her Grandma:
Moana: Why are you acting weird?
Gramma Tala: I’m the village crazy lady. That’s my job.
Kind of sums me up, you’d agree 😀 I’ve watched that movie, most of it, at least three times a day, from 25th of this month. 😛 So I know! And when you do too, enough times, and have a faint personal knowledge, you shall most certainly nod your head in total agreement. In fact, you millennials would probably go… tots bro!
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Ammoomma Monkeying around 😛

Chalo. But this isn’t about the rambler, though she wouldn’t mind wearing pigtails all over again.
It’s about a wee lass, her grammie’s, her Ammumma’s “cutie pie”,  darling, “kujikutty”, her momma’s “chinnooomaaaa”, her Arjun’s delightful daughter. Naina. Duh. 😀
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Pigtails Poser!

That “cutie pie” in pigtails, she’s turning three today. Woah! I tell myself. Three! Wasn’t it just yesterday, around this time I was pretty much worried as hell, because Pratibha had to stay overnight in hospital because of a “false alarm”? When I was all ready to fly across here, on 9 April, because the baby was due only on 11 April? And a few hours into the day, about 9.30 in the morning, I receive a call (expecting Arjun to tell me that Pratibha is back at home!) saying “Amma, a girl!”  It beats me how I found the will (rules and regulations notwithstanding 😛 ) to stay on another week, almost, finish the required work at school, and then head to Nainuland, to hold her in my arms, on 5 April, 2014. Sigh. Sigh… *Wanders off into those memories*… ❤ ❤
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5 April, 2014!

Three years of unmitigated fun, ever’growing love, impossible amounts of laughter, all kinds there are, and the omnipresent, omniscient worry and anxiety, that comes when you have every spare inch of your thoughts filled with a prayer for the well being of this tiny, perfect (and you’d do battle with anyone who says otherwise 😛 ) girl who rules your heart. (Every other member of my family is going to go ballistic when they read this – a certain one for sure, but then the subject of this blog is equally all pervading in her influence, so that voice shall also be concomitant to the views expressed herein 😀 🙂 )
Awesomeness needs no captioning! 😛 …⇑⇑
Not to forget the never diminishing sense of wonder and amazement, the sheer pride that threatens to consume you 😛 when you speak endlessly (yes, grammies are like that, they can’t stop once they start !!!) about every tiny facet of this beautiful gorgeous girl! No matter that she giggles and bursts into a riot of laughter to tell you “You’re sho funny!!!” as you try and gracefully eat spaghetti, saying, Ammoomma eating wiggly worms (laughing uncontrollably…) Ammomma eating wiggly worms” She can call you any kind of names, and you’ll beam with joy that is bundle is actually saying those things! 😛
Sample this. A few friends visited on Sunday, and the conversation turned to children speaking. There were toddlers present, ranging from 1 – 3 years old, and we began to speak of how kids pick up language, English in particular. Nainu has never ceased to amaze us with her range and recollection and her apt usage of the words. Apparently, she was using the word “grumpy” (gwumpy, as she says) with understanding. And her mother was saying, “Arre, I didn’t even know there was a word called grumpy till I was in high school!” Yeah. That sums it up for many readers here as well, right?
So how did she manage this? Exposure to language (my pet soapbox topic 😛 ) She, I do believe, is the finest example I could give you on how you could pick up a language if you surround yourself with it, on your own 🙂 She listens to nursery rhymes, and watches a few films, repeatedly, when she isn’t engaged in role playing with her army of toys, cycling around the house in her tricycle, reading from the tiny books she has, and watching videos of her favourite… wait for it….PEPPA PIG AND HER FAMILY!!! The movies range from Nemo, Tangled, Frozen, and now MOANA! (Those who’ve been in my class will now understand why I would recommend movies, quite apart from their sheer entertainment value 😛 ) Also, Nainu has perhaps picked up the linguistically strong genes from her father too! 🙂
Just a couple of days ago, she  received a set of her Peppa Pig toys, the entire family, consisting of  (yes, I know them ALL!!) Peppa Pig, her brother Georgie Pig, Daddy Pig, Mamma Pig, Granpa Pig (who’s grumpy sometimes 😀 ) and Grandma Pig. She took down her Elsa doll, a toy that moves on wheels, singing away “Let it Go!” , placed Peppa’s family on the petal like protruding bits of the doll, at the base, twirled it, singing Let it Go!!, and toppled the whole family to the ground! She did let them go!
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Naina and her Peppa Pig Collection! The Little one in RED is Peppa Pig!

She speaks quite clearly, my wee lass does. She speaks in English too! Which constantly surprises us, because no one has ever even tried to get her to sample the words and sentences. But she tries, on her own, right or wrong, and is quite oblivious to the joy, and the freak out sessions we have (duh. I have… 😀 ) when I hear her! Once in the car, she asks, Where we going? Once she’s had enough of the outing – Leshsh go home!  At play time, in her grandparents home, her Naani’s home, she asked her cousin to  come out, with a Lets go and build sand castles!  in the sand pit they had outside their home! I mean, Woah Woah Woah, not yet three and she says, sand castles?
The mystery was solved as to her acquisition of that when I was introduced to her Peppa Pig, finally, when I visited her last month. That’s a delightful family of yes, Pigs 🙂 Them brainy brainy creatures, cute as buttons 🙂 Complete with excellent, proper English, in an English accent. 🙂 These are kids (Peppa and Georgie)  who question, are curious, and equally naughty! She loves them so much, that when she was asked about her Birthday and what she wanted, she said Peppa Pig – and now she is the proud owner of a set of them figures, a couple of mugs, a backpack, thanks to Nammu Aunty, and a set of 6 small books! The happy birthday party theme? Duh! 😛
(Random off topic diversion – there had been a link, I shared on Facebook, speaking of how Peppa Pig shows create disobedient children, and cause … of all the things… autism! Cripes! How do people even write such things! Thank you Neethu and Rehan for telling me about it too!)
I hope the title is clearer now. I’m a fan of the entire clan Peppa Pig’s too! I love how stereotypes are broken there, how each of those films she loves has so much to inspire, about following one’s heart, of being cheerful, of having a loving family! It matters so very much what children read and watch, so much! And at this point I cannot not tell you how proud I am of her parents, Arjun and Pratibha, for keeping her grounded, and giving her her head in so many matters, letting her decide too, tiny tiny decisions… 🙂 A shoutout to another amazing person in her life, her Class Teacher from her Yellow Class, in Play School! Sheetal, you are a wonderful wonderful, empathetic teacher, who reaches out and helps foster that spirit of confidence in the tiny tots in your care. I know for certain that you shall ever remain her most favourite teacher in a long long long time. (Psst. I’ll tell you a secret – I’m jealous of how she so utterly  loves you, and even runs to you and hugs you, endlessly 😛 But I’m also glad that her impression of teachers will always be positive, thanks to you! The other teachers in her life have a huge image to aspire to, definitely! 🙂 🙂 )
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Naina and her Sheetal Aunty  – How a Teacher-Student relationship goes beyond … 🙂

 

Yes, I’m waxing poetic here, I know, but that is how this grandmother is. Absolutely, completely, uncompromisingly nutty… about her grandottie!
At almost 1400 words, I still haven’t told you ALL about her. An epic sized book wouldn’t suffice, as any Grandparent would tell you, when it comes to their precious bundles of joy! But yes, let’s leave some for the days and years to come, shall we?
(I heard that Phew!! Thank God, we’re nearing the end of the tunnel kind of sigh of elation  😛 😛 )
Naina. That’s who this is all about. My darling, My Sweetie Pie Naina. My Kunjikutty. Her birthday is today 🙂
Happy Birthday, my darling Nainu! May warm marshmallowy moments, and soft sweet and chocolatey (she loves chocolate 😛 ) dreams fill your realms and keep you sweet. May the craziness and naughtiness you have lead you on to be bright and independent. May the stories you hear and the stories you weave continue to enthrall and delight (she’s quite the story teller, and loves loves loves to have you read to her!  Or read from her own collection of books ❤ )! May the colours (and boy oh boy!! you do know almost ALL of them) fill your life with rainbows of feelings, each one precious and each one a journey to your own self. May you be blessed with good health, and this same sunny disposition! And may you continue to enchant us all and keep us loved and loving ❤ ❤
Psst… Thank you to her lovely parents too! Arjun and Pratibha, who’ve consistently given me parenting lessons, all my grandma wisecracks notwithstanding 😛 , for their patience and encouragement, and letting her have her head, or reigning in her over enthusiastic explorations, when occasion warrants it 🙂 May you continue to do your job just as wonderfully…! Blessed be!
Sigh. Sigh. I love you Nainu! Happy birthday sweeti pie!
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28 March, 2017
Birthday Blogs for Naina ❤
2015 (LINK)
2016 (LINK)


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No Fairy Tales, Please

… I’m a non believer. I couldn’t ever stand those saccharine love syrup stories of Cindrella, Beauty or even Sleeping Beauty. If you ask me, they deserved every bit of suffering they got. Really! Why is it that the people who seem to “suffer” by accident of birth, circumstance or exploitation are the ones held up for sympathy and denouement of their situation? Why about that Stepmother, or The Queen, or That Beast… Rumplestilskin, the Witch… they’d worked pretty hard for what they wanted, and we’ve only been told that this is what they wanted.

Yes, I’ve railed against many a “bad” character in the Fairy Tales, and enjoyed their comeuppance too, as a child, but as I grew, a bit older, and found that there could be stories for them being that way, I guess I became a turncoat, much to the irritation of my genteel fable loving friends.

You know there was this guy in class, who’d eye his juniors, the pretty ones (girls!) and devise ways to get an intro’ or corner them for a chat. My friends were out and out hostile towards him, poor guy! He was one of those on-the-verge-nerd+needed-to-get-a-life kinda guy. Obviously, there wasn’t much affection going around for him. Neither did the giggling juniors stay for enough time to be strung up for victory 😀

It became my mission in life, by then, that dratted turncoat I had become, to defend him.

So what, I’d tell my friends, he’s pretty Ok, and he’s not chasing you people!

Exasperated, they’d just give me murderous looks and walk away. I knew I was soon going to have to join him, for these friends weren’t going to stand for much more of this from me! I decided to find out what made him tick. Putting on my best face, sincerely, I caught up with him on the corridor, during lunch break. Predictably, he was lounging on the corner of the eighth grade classes. I wondered, instantly, when a teacher would notice him, and summon him for an inquisition.

Hi, I said, what’s up?

Nothing, he said, brightening up.

Your sister’s in eighth? (Deliberately, that one!)

He gave me a strange look, but his ears turned a bit pink. A cousin, he said.

Ah! I wondered, I’ve seen you here quite regularly, so I thought it must be a brother or sister. (I hoped he’d understand why I asked him only for sister 😀 )

You know, I think she’s absent today, he said suddenly, as he made to leave.

Quickly I laid a hand on his forearm, apologetically, and explained why I was there. Just to help. And wanting to get to the bottom of it. I was astounded at my own temerity. I mean you don’t really tell people you’re watching them watching others! Sigh. I really needed to control my own thoughts and words!

The shock on his face cannot be described. Yeah, he was shocked alright. You mean, you’ve been errr… observing me? His dumbfoundedness at the thought of himself being an object for survey had a tinge of pleasure I thought. Hmmmm, he went, speculatively.

I got the message. You see, I realize how this being a very patriarchal society (my English teacher goes on and on endlessly about it!), a guy being told this would certainly get interested in the one who asked him. Escpecially if that person was a girl. Me.

I stood my ground and said yeah, I have. So what? I’m only trying to help. D’you know people kind of say things about you?

What’s that to you, he was even more astonished.

Well, for one, what you’re trying to do must have a reason. I’m going to take up anthropology later, after school, and I’m starting my research now. Let’s put it that way, shall we? And boss, you’re creeping out a lot of people too! Why don’t you start making friends where there’d be people you could relate to?

He grinned. I wondered how many people actually would have spoken to him at all, him being who he was, and seen to be doing what others perceived him to be. Self awareness is a powerful too. (My English teacher again! She does make sense sometimes!)

I’m sure I’ve been someway responsible (I’m pretty high on self esteem – pun intended! Wouldn’t my teacher love to read that? ) because gradually, the stalker of Class eight became a good friend.

I stretched my arms above my head, my neck too, up and back, my legs out in front… joints creaking ominously from the time spent hunched over the table. Warm hands ran down and up my arms, reaching down then to cup my face, and drop a kiss, from the top, on my forehead. Done for today? One more chapter, I said. You know, I’m at the Class eight corner, just now.

Devil, he said, pulling me up. Let’s graduate from there, to your anthropology classes. Thank me for taking you up on your offer.

My proposal you mean. He rolled his eyes. You certainly are my Prince Charming, he said, quite clearly. Shall we now ride away into the sunset? Or the night? 

6 February, 2016, to 7 February, 2016

Day#6 of #RamblingsInFebruary – getting more nonsensical these days.

february ramblings

Serendipity, it would appear (and it is only now that I discover it, 😀 ) I wrote this (LINK) on 7 February last year. Day 7 there, and titled, wait for it… “Fairy Tale” Honest to goodness that is a revelation! 😀


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Serendipity

Apparently this is one of the most difficult words in English to explain. So, what does it mean? How ’bout we try and figure it out? That is if you haven’t figured it out yet. Errrmmm… you go. I understand. You don’t have the time, and you’d rather be told, so that you can go on to that other bit of reading you had to do; (or watch that episode of the serendipitous Once Upon a Time, which, incidentally I’m watching, yes, FINALLY. S01E04 done. Yeah. I got a wayyy to go, and don’t you dare tell me the story, most of which I already know, being that die-hard romantic. Serendipity. I tell ya. I had to watch it, and now is the time 🙂 ) Sigh. There I go again. So, no spoonfeeding, hence we try to unravel it 😀 What better than a wee story?

It was Aashna’s comment on Day#2’s story (LINK) that made me want to use it. The gleeful way she jumped at me, tugged at me and implored, in askance, that she be given space. Serendipity. Not Aashna 😀 (One of these days, I’ll probably be begging her on her space 🙂 )

Therefore, a new fable.

Serendipity

It wasn’t the first time Mishika noticed that whenever she happened to go to the Library, he was there, either just before her, or maybe a little while after. But then there were others too, and she couldn’t be sure. Now you, dear reader, must probably wonder why Mishika should notice only him? Ha! Indeed. Something there is that warms your heart, does it not, when you think that?

But Mishika wasn’t the sort to moon. She noticed a lot of things. The way that burnished leaf hung for days on the badam tree, late January, and how a multitude of butterflies of different colours came by the gulmohar trees, sometime in February. The distant pigeon, seeming aimless in their sudden flight, circling, to yet again come back to their perch just between the roof and the netting of the Auditorium. There was a keenness in the way she even looked at you.

Others looked through you sometimes, but not her. I had always noticed that about her. She saw. She noticed. She did not simply hear, but listened. And, that, he noticed too. That charmer, the sportsy, artsy, n’er-do’well rakish mop of deliberately ruffled hair shouted in wild abandon at who he was, a devil-may-care cuteness in the bland practised wickedness of his “look”. A bad boy indeed, was the assessment, many a time from many a teacher, whose misfortune it was to engage him in serious study. He gave elaborately devious answers, laced with subtle sarcasm, that quite went above many a teacher’s head.

I watched, sometimes in sheer joy, as some of them got their comeuppance, them “teachers”. There are times, you know, when some of them do get on their high horse, and their *&@*#$@ in a twist, when what they say isn’t implicitly “obeyed”! For Chrissakes, these are kids, I want to tell them, not soldiers on the field! But who’s to listen, and who’s to fight for them? Duh.

You know what they say about how good girls love bad boys? Cliché, perhaps, but then there was something to it. Mishika, dreamer, listener, charming, piquant girl, came up to me, all of a sudden, one day to talk. I’m easy to talk too, you know. As much as I love to talk, and watch, I do love to listen to those stories. And believe you me, everyone who comes, of their own volition to talk to you has stories within stories, that have wheels within wheels. We’d been on easy terms, she and I, but never had any confidences sprung between us.

Is it okay if I talk to you? She asked one day.

Uh uh. Sure, come sit by me.

It’s something I feel only you can understand, that’s why I wanted to give it a try, She said.

Okay, I said. What’s bothering you? Or should I ask who?

Oh no no no no no… she laughed, and then held that grin, that suppressed a guffaw. I imagined her mocking my earnestness- my inquisitive tone 😀 It isn’t me. It’s him.

Oh. Who?

You know, our in-house wannabe rake. That RDJ look-alike. Raksh. God! He even has the same letter for his first name! I’m positive he’s going to change his name to Raksh Stark one of these days! Giggling, that.

What happened to him now? Got into trouble with the Math teacher? He’s always needling her!

Well, not exactly. You see, we had group work the previous period. We’re in the same group, you know that, and I didn’t get back to my place because he began to sell me the idea of reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Boy! That guy knows how to tell a story, I tell you!

Okay. But what’s the errr… problem?

Well, he got asked by the Math teacher to report in the Staff Room where he was asked what was going on between me and him.

And…?

He simply guffawed, I believe, and said nothing. That laugh was the problem!

And…?

And nothing. You know, something’s going to happen between us. He isn’t the only storyteller around. Beaming, she left, just as suddenly as she came.

I wanted to call her back and give her a thumbs up. I resisted. After all, I was that nerdy guy in the class, one without the extreme feelings. Or so everyone thought. I just wished she would some day say she wanted to be part of my story too.

I still wish. Why?

I believe in serendipity. There is a world of meaning there, most of it built on hope.

****

Day#4 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings

4 February, 2016

This is Chapter ONE

Chapter TWO (LINK)

Chapter THREE (LINK)

(Thank you Aashna 😀 )


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Red October

Reader discretion advised, as this post is more or less a vent.

And no it has nothing to do with that wonderful film, The Hunt for Red October, though I must say that it has certain elements of despair and helplessness seen in it, but that film sort of ends well, and that is the hope with which this too is written, that on Sunday next, 1 November, 2015, I shall write of how the acid tests and the baptism by fire went.

October is at once a happy month, mid way, because it is a darling daughter’s birthday, but it is also a month where I tear myself up, lose a lot of hair, to pulling, and to stress. I’ve just come away from a very pertinent read on teacher responsiblity, and teacher health (LINK) and it suddenly came home to me, that YES! the amount of sleep teachers, these days, lose in this month has to be rather catastrophic. Really. I’m serious.

"We're popping bubble wrap because it's cheaper than tranquilizers."

“We’re popping bubble wrap because it’s cheaper than tranquilizers.”

So what causes this? Simple. It isn’t just lesson preparation, though that too is part of it. It is the pressure of grading end of term papers, computing endlessly to decode/encode grades. And no, it isn’t because, like the kids in class, we do last minute work. There really is a need to give of oneself during this month in a way that sometime, to my jaundiced mind, seems like way beyond sacrifice! (I warned you, this is a rant! Do feel free to continue reading 😛 ). Also the happy event of Open House – a free for all session of tirades, smiles, advice, complaints, appreciation, thinly veiled threats, between the stakeholders in the system – takes place around this time. I have a great time at these thingys, though I am sure this isn’t so with many of those in my fraternity. It is a period fraught with foot-in-the-mouth itis – by all and sundry. The takeaways from these sessions range from despair to howlarious laughter. More on that some-day. Back to the Red October.

stressed

What adds to this particular brand of torture, for “teachers” is that this is the season of “fests” – read inter-school competitions. Now, yes, while we have to help our learner group manage this alongside their academics, and let me tell you, they do it beautifully 🙂 , there is the added responsibility of supervising them, at practise, or if you’re interested, training them, monitoring them, mentoring them. This is just one part of it all.

The next part that I shall share has to make it known in no uncertain terms that even though the medieval forms of third degree are passé, they have evolved into other forms, especially for those who work in schools. The rack was one such device, which I do believe has found itself insidiously creeping into the system. While the earlier device was tangible and intensely physical in the way it inflicted suffering, I have discovered the the new one, or rather the revised one makes one spread oneself so thin, stretched in different directions, reaching out to responsibilities that are varied in nature, either self inflicted or generously transferred upon one. At certain points, one isn’t quite sure what one is supposed to do, but with the profound faith in oneself, and a power somewhere that will lead one onwards 🙂 one manages to do ’em all, with whatever degree of finesse one can. The degree of suffering varies, and is usually directly proportional to the level of involvement out of sheer interest or responsibility foisted upon one as a result of perceived or intentional interest espoused in certain areas. (at the risk of insulting your intelligence, I shall given you a simple example. You, as a teacher, like poetry, know how to type fast, are interested in Drama, and have a great interest in music. Western. Somehow or the other, along with the grading, report card work, you will also find yourself mentoring kids in poetry, writing, music and drama, taking class (ir)regularly, and end up with a some position in the conduct of the event. The thing is you love all this, do this, and therefore are spread very thin. The Rack, in action. )

"I'm desperate to hold on to our good teachers."

“I’m desperate to hold on to our good teachers.”

So why the rant? All of a sudden, the D-Day looms. The participants are ready. The schools gearing up. And on ground zero of the event (believe you me, if the event takes place in your home turf, it s no less than Ground Zero- the impact is inexpressibly traumatic 😀 ) the ones up front taking the flak are those in charge of the conduct of the competitions on Stage. That’s right. Stage Duty is a greater danger than Stage Fright. You can run away with your Stage Fright, but with Duty, you gotta stay put, face the fear, dig in, brave it out, and hope to God that you’ll come out of it, wits in tact. The frazzled, hassled, harried lines that etch themselves on your face are nothing. The real damage is done, within. 😀 😀 You’ve got ulcers by the dozen, and several hair roots on the head have sealed permanently. Not to mention the zombie like state that is going to be hard to recover from 😛

It’s going down, this week. Want a ringside seat to the drama unfolding? Come on over, the CBSE Kalotsav, in our District takes place at the end of this week. 28, at our sister institution, 30, 31 at ours. 🙂

stressed5

I got cookies. I will buy chocolate. And I hope it will rain. This is directed solely at the young lady who knows the lines mean something, to her and me 🙂 One of our recitation sessions.

Well, I’m a survivor, and I know that all my colleagues are too. So good luck to us, as we host the show, and to our participants, young prodigies, each of them, for a fine show to put up, at their moment! Please do hold them in your prayers and wish them luck! Go on, bring it on!!

25 October, 2015

The delightful cartoons all belong to their owners, and have been taken from a google search on stressed teachers 😛