A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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A Talent for Being Oneself

… is an amazing gift to have!
And that in itself, is perhaps, is a talent that ensures everything you do in life, you do with great contentment, in the confidence of being who you are, regardless of what anyone else wants you to be.

She’s got that gift. This girl, this lovely young woman, this precious heart, who has come to me, a daughter and a friend and a sister, and more than that, just being herself, beloved and loved.

Chronologically, it has been just over four years since we’ve “met”, but you know how it is that with some people, you “know” them the instant you talk or meet! It has been the same with her, and the other daughter I’ve welcomed into the family 🙂 The knowing, ah! the knowing.

Marriages, even between communities in the same faith, with similar backgrounds are minefields- heck! within the community too, “love”/”arranged” wala… no exception 😀 , but this lass, as I have already mentioned, along with her lad, has not let it change who she is, or changed others for herself. I find this ability of hers, in managing to be her, no matter where she is and with whom she interacts, to be the one wonderful defining quality that makes her so her 🙂 ❤

Pratibha, meaning the talented, the gifted, the light … my dearest daughter in law, celebrates her birthday today. Another precious year awaits, filled with much love, laughter, happiness, good health, hers and her loved ones’ 🙂 , much baby talk, sweet nothings and days quite breathless, and some with the quietude of peace and stillness (though with Nainu around that would be premium 😛 )

Dearest dearest Parukutty, you are loved so much by each and every one of us! May God bless you abundantly with the freshest and purest of things that life can offer, with slices of tang and spice and sweet to relish along the way!

Happy Birthday Darling girl! Stay sweet, chirpy and YOU, always!

Loads of love and hugs, Amma ❤ and the brood at home – Appus, Parus, Kutts, Mia Mommy and Kunju, Changaru, Ammini, along with the extended family of Naana, Naani, Ammai, G’mman, their kids ❤

Happy Birthday Lady in Red!

Happy Birthday Lady in Red!

Let life be that dance you'll ALWAYS want to do! And yes! Got a lot of the kids in there :D

Let life be that dance you’ll ALWAYS want to do! And yes! Got a lot of the kids in there 😀

14 October, 2015

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Keatsian Sleep – Haiku

😀

Drowsy numbness shuts

One eye, closes the other;

Lullaby or no

😛 😛

10 September, 2015

So sleepy, but felt like doing one for this space too, to celebrate the day, life, writing, and finding words when they come as startling pieces of sheer magic 🙂 ❤


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I Love You

Once upon a time there lived this girl, who walked with her head in the clouds, her feet barely on Mother Earth. The world was kind to her, in that she rarely tripped, or even met with an accident. A silly, foolish girl, no doubt, but one supremely confident and buoyant, solely dependant upon herself for her own entertainment, and support 🙂 The kind who smiles gaily at dogs, cats and kids. Who stops for a bit of hopscotch and a game of marbles by the park. Who reads poetry aloud, to the birds in that park. Who talks to the peanut vendor, and corner shop grocer. My kind of girl. It wasn’t her looks, hair blowing in the breeze, or the crows feet crinkling the corners of her eyes, the absolute “young”ness of her smile, spontaneous – it was her love, of life, and every breath. You did not have to speak to her to know her kindness.

So. who am I? Just a foolish lad, so in love with her, ever since she stumbled in so cliched a way, into his life. Carrying, don’t hold your breath, a few baskets of flowers, to deliver in the apartment block where my mother lived.  😀 That I turned a stalker, to simply fill my life with her beauty was a given.

Ingredients for the mushiest of stories, ain’t it? And me the Mush specialist – such a sinner against gender stereotypes. I’m a writer, by the way, who does them dime a dozen romance novels, where everything goes wrong, except the ending. I love you  is me, and what’s more, I believe in each and every story I write.

So you can well understand my predicament, when I did not have to woo her; she was unwooable, as adorable as she was. She had to need me. And she did not. How can a man not fall in love with a delight like that? How? You probably have the same answer a lot of my friends have – that it’s entirely stupid of me to have fallen in love. With the unloveable. Duh.

So here we are. I wrote them stories, she delivered flowers. She became my world, and I barely inhabited hers.

I had to do something proactive, to spur a direction to the one sided romance – shake up the impasse I had reached.

Nothing like taking the bull by the horns, I wince, as I think. A bull, for heavens’ sake!

To take that bull, sorry, the young lady by surprise, I decided to ambush her as she walked to the park that afternoon, book in hand. Joining her from behind a conveniently placed gulmohar tree, whose flowers I distractedly notice have laid a red carpet at our feet, I smile at her. She smiles back, cheerfully.

What are you reading? 

Oh, Rabindranath Tagore. It’s his “Gitanjali”.

Ah. Soulful. I was feeling the feel by then! Make me thy endless lute…? Flute? I seem to have forgotten. Near hysterical laugh, quickly suppressed.

Oh! How wonderful! You know his verse?

Well, “Where the Mind is without Fear”, is the extent of it, though a hazy memory of the first verse lingers in the essence of the lute? Flute? I was finished, for sure!

She read aloud, right there, in the middle of the path:

“Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.”

And then she paused. Looked at me. Simply looked, and smiled a slow sweet smile.

Come and sit with me, she said, and if you like, I’ll read some more.

Thank you. Please, I’d love to listen… 

She read, and endless was my pleasure. So bottomless was the depth of the love, for her, that surged within.

I love you, I do.  I whispered, somewhere between her reading, content that I could say it, and to her. It suddenly did not matter whether she heard it, or would respond. It simply did not. For I did, and at that moment, that was all I needed to do.

ilu

23 August, 2015 / 6 September, 2015

Apparently there is an “I Love You” day, supposedly, allegedly 23 August. I received a forward that day, with instructions to send it onward to a number of people within so much of time, else be prepared for bad luck… yada yada yada. I sent it back to the self same person (who shall not be named 😛 ) that many times 😀 Then began this… but it kind of petered out sadly. Today it became my mission to finish it. Don’t like to leave unfinished drafts. They niggle and nudge and do not let one be 😛 So today, this one wrote itself out. All credit to the forwarder and the write – not writer 😛 😛

Image courtesy Google search for “I love You” 😛


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The Ogre turned Teacher

… or so the Ogre thinks 😛

Long, sometimes confessional, post alert* That’s bound to get readers in, for there is nothing more tempting than confessional confetti candy, even if it be spicy enough!

At the same time, I must admit that this has come about after an interesting conversation I had recently with kids who had been in my class, or their siblings had. Insightful as always, you know, talking to them kids, and listening, for a change 😀

It began with one of them saying how her sister remembered me from the Primary School – my “beating” so to speak. I had to grin sheepishly.

As with how it has been with very many from my profession, I too used to use either my hand or a wooden scale (a sharp tap below the knee, on the calf) in my own formative years as a teacher. That, combined with my deadly stare has made me a terror. As I told this young lady, it certainly isn’t something I’m proud of at all. I wish I had not, for I knew, even then, I hadn’t a need for it. Still, that is the way  it has been. Probably the first few years there, in the Primary, I did use corporal punishment, till one day I was summoned by the kind-hearted, extremely humane Principal we had back then, who told me of a certain young girl (who was NOT, by the way, at the receiving end 😛 ) being “scared” of me. Gopalan Sir was circumspect, understanding, and gentle in the way he told me of this. And that was the turning point. It finally came home to me that all those thoughts I had while using the scale, or my hand, the discomfort of it all, needn’t have to be at all.

They say it takes a kind word to transform an ogre. For me, even though these days I am still an ogre who roars 😛 , Gopalan Sir has been that catalyst. He is someone I admire for his rational view, his endless patience and empathy, his love of all the members of his school, student or staff. It has been over 13 years since he has retired, and we meet quite often at school meetings, or weddings/functions in and around the city- each time it is with such affection and respect that he is greeted, by me and all the students (former) and staff.

Since that talk with Gopalan Sir, the extent of punishment served by me to the kid/kids is to decorate the wall, as I put it, joining the child with it 😛 (to stand against some corner or wall 😀 – and I’d be standing with the kids for the entire duration 😛 ), for corporal punishment is indeed against all things humane. I have been privy to a lot discussions on the same, from the fraternity, and from the stakeholders of the system, primarily parents. There is a sense of having “lost” something, for many, these days, without being able to “beat”. While I may seem to pontificate (and how ironic is that, coming from someone who was guilty of the same before! But you know what they say about reformed ogres and rakes? 😛 ), one thing is clear: very many, both parents and teachers in schools alike, are of the opinion that for discipline and learning to take place, there has to be a fear factor. That is to say, if the student is suitably afraid of what you might say / do, they will “study”. The sad thing? It works most of the time. Ask kids why they study a certain subject obsessively! To counter this is another school of thought – the Love factor. This one works primarily from liking and loving the kids/ learner group. We know how well equipped we are with that!!! Easy to say, but rather difficult to do. Instead we mouth things like – they have no base, such a* useless, what’s the point when you smile they sit on your head and will not listen to you evah… yada yada yada…. 😀 I speak of what I hear, and know, dear readers, as you all too must be aware!

However, in all of these situations, there is a learner group, we know, who is waiting to do just that if you allow them to, at their own pace, however that might be, even if it is not to your liking!!! I have a questions/ranting here!

  1. How many parents would in any way encourage their kids to become teachers, these days?
  2. How easy it is to pick holes into the fabric, hard woven, by either parent/teacher of the learner in their care!
  3. How many teachers are there, who love what they do? And the learner group with it?
  4. How is the larger system addressing the situation of the marginalized group in teaching, eulogized once or twice each year?
  5. Finances are just as important, but then teaching is to be seen as a noble vocation, and no matter what remuneration you receive, don’t you DARE think of perks, just the noble vocation!!! 😀
  6. Thankless job it is, say many! You now get it from Management/HMs/HoDs/Students/PARENTS – only you are there for you. Why should you take the risk?
  7. Oye! I’m here to “teach” – you learn, understand? I cannot be bothered by what’s going on in your home! Or, if you are concerned, it can become added stress when you involve in a domestic battleground, and your heart bleeds, most especially for the child, when you feel helpless.
  8. Teaching? That’s easy peasy? Who’s going to do the endless grading? The marklists? The organization of the Zoomabastically Phantastically Amazing Awesome Cultural/ Physical Education/ Management sponsored / Inter-ballistic School stuff? I mean the “gombetitions”??? Multi tasking is only one tiny tip of the deadly iceberg called teaching!
  9. Yeah yeah yeah! Shut the effing up is best, because once you voice your opinion, you get to market it, manage it, plan it and implement it. You see why many will be silent???

Sooooo… as Nivin Pauly goes, in “Bangalore Days” it ain’t just the consideration of the student population of which there is still a deliberation as to whether the situation is to warrant a explantion of such underrated aberration and dingolification of things without a least notion… you get it?

Yes, I’m still an ogre, but I shall tell you which kind. As a young lad in class 6, gazing horrifically when I confessed my true nature of being (ogre… duh!) said, Teacher! NO! Seriously! Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, Ah! Like Shrek? Laughter exploded in the class! I joined and said yes, now, a bit like Shrek, because I don’t eat kids no more 😛

And finally, if there are those who read this and know of those who have been at the receiving end of the corporal punishment I had, in the Dark Ages, doled out, please convey my apologies for the same. I have, not much, by way of memory, but certainly those kids would 😀 If it were to make a difference to way I had been, this is the one thing I would most certainly change about the way I was! To my own two kids too 🙂 ❤

But. Would I want to change what I am, and how I am? Nyet. Nahin. And emphatic No. For being with the learner group has given me something I know I’d never, ever, ever, EVER get any place else. A sort of affection, that is hard to come by, esp. if you’ve been an ogre or no 🙂 ❤

Happy Teachers’ Day to everyone who teaches, mentors, guides, coaxes, persuades, nudges, niggles one to learn something, each day, or whenever possible! The world progresses because of such people!

********

“Teacher” Tattle covers most of the 5 Sept. posts here 🙂

Last year, on Teachers’ Day: LINK – and at the bottom of that page you can see the posts from the previous years 🙂 😀 Sigh. No escape, I tell ya 😛

P.S. Added here is an album of scanned images of perhaps the best bio ever, of a class and it’s class teacher. Made lovingly by my previous class (of the AK47 fame 😀 ) So you see, even Ogres have their redemption, when they reform. Other than Shrek, ie 😛 😛

Click on the images to see the writing, which is awesome, as awesome as the art work, which, if I am not mistaken is Harigovind’s? The ideas, of course, are…. I know whose all… 😀

1. The Cover page

1. The Cover page

2. The Fairy Tale, errr... begins!!!

2. The Fairy Tale, errr… begins!!!

3. The Hook!

3. The Hook!

4. The Plot Thickens!

4. The Plot Thickens!

5. Allusions galore -

5. Allusions galore – “obviously” – had to be!!!

6. The not-so-forever-after. Obviously!!!

6. The not-so-forever-after. Obviously!!!

7. The Amazing Likeness, in the fantastic close, to my AK 47

7. The Amazing Likeness, in the fantastic close, to my AK 47

2-5 September, 2015 for 5 September, 2015.