A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Mrs. Awesome

I first met her, bubbly, charming, easy to talk to, very comfortable to be with, and quite quite enchanting – all of this at the first time we met. Yes, I am a very accommodating person, but hesitant to be completely bowled over, as I was, by this young lady! No surprises there, because if you’ve met her, you’ll agree, and if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll look forward to it ❤

I have been blessed abundandtly I know to have sought, and got what I’ve yearned for; two beautiful girls, brought home as partners to my sons, by them. Yep, something got done right, in the way they brought themselves up – and I’m the one who gets to savour that! 🙂

Back to this gal now 🙂 Yes, one of them girls – Mrs. Awesome, says the keychain, she uses for the car. Well, her husband is Mr. Awesome (his twitter handle carries the same name – that adorable boy of mine – 😛 Arjun!) And this laid back, patient, fun person, who doesn’t get upset very easily, and instead is the even keel of many a rocky moment that even I have, let alone her family, is the subject of this blog 🙂 My elder daughter in law, Pratibha, Parukutty as we call her ❤

She is Mrs. Awesome, not just because of partnering Mr. Awesome (do ask him why he calls himself that, because this one is about the Missus 😀 ) –  but, over the past year, from her earlier birthday (LINK), she’s shown how much she truly is 🙂 The Awesome couple were expecting their second baby, and through it all, while Arjun had to be sailing, and be busy, she held the fort and sailed through her own pregnancy without much help, except in the last month since neither I nor her mother could be with her as much as it was possible earlier when they were going to welcome Naina 🙂 This time she was very much the Captain of the voyage ❤  One which brought home to us, yet another beautiful girl, Naira 🙂 mid May 🙂

By the end of June, she was already taking charge, and working independently with two children now to care for, mommying like a Boss! Duh. Just another day in the lives of this girl! 🙂 This meant, with Arjun being busy, that she had to drop and pick up Naina, from school, manage home and the wee one 🙂 Yes yes yes yes… all in a day’s work, and not really such a tough call for most women in India. I get that. Yet, for all of them women, and most especially Parukutty, I find it’s amazing they do!! Most recently, when Arjun had to go off for nearly one and half months on deployment to another port, she managed all alone 🙂 and extremely well too, seemingly without effort, though on occasion I was moved by her cheerfulness and remarkable demeanour ❤

Naina, you all know her 😛 , decided it was time to be like her dad, and one fine afternoon, when her mother was busy on a call, decided to heave a few of the containers from the kitchen over the back balcony – down to the ground floor, from the first floor they were in. Provisions done, she chose a few toys, her mother’s purse…. and we thank heavens that she did not attempt anything more 😀 Her father, as has been written in one of the  many blogs here that celebrate my kids had heaved a heavy steel iron, over the 4th floor window of my parents’ flat, in Mumbai, when he  was three and a few months – Naina was just the same age. Yep, in this case she’s her daddy’s daughter alright! 😀

Talking to Paru a few minutes after this happened, there was a hint of laughter in her voice, mixed with relief, of course, but she handled the whole thing way more maturely than i could ever have – Naina had been talked to, very firmly, and was told not to do that again. The little one went into a minor sulk, as was expected, but being her Momma’s girl too, she bounced back soon enough 😛

Parukutty figured out fitting the car seat, for Naira, the little one, and got her strapped in for solo rides with the kids! Like woah!!! I went 🙂 Arjun, remember, was away, and I’m happy to report that he’s just got back home a couple of days ago, just in time… for what you wonder?

…Parukutty’s special day ❤

Ta-daaa! As Nainu is fond of saying!

Happy birthday, Parukutty! Many many joyful and utterly haaaapppiieeee returns of the day, sweets! May your cheerfulness and quiet confidence, your energy and enthusiasm permeate and touch the lives of all who love you and all you know! You are indeed Mrs. Awesome, though and through! Love you very very much!!! Stay blessed, dear one!

14 October, 2017

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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 😀


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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 🙂

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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!

 

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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!


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Voices Spinning Webs

Night skies.
Diamond dotted darknesses.
Poignant, yet
Beautiful, holding
Brightnesses of infinitesimal joys.

Souls aching to meet
Reaching out through
Wispy strands of yearning…

Weaving, entwining
Arcing over synapses,
Bridging abysses of longing.

And the tingling.
O’ the tingling…
When a zinging thought
Meets, resonates.

In words, rusty…
Hidden too long. Unused voices.
Husky, hesitant.

Emotion does not hang heavy, here.
Instead, they anchor us.
Give us that scaffolding…
And our voices, from our hearts…

They build our world
Within our entwined hands.

Fragrant with wanting.

23 August, 2017

 


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Around You

How much of me
Would it take,
I wonder, at times,
To be around you?

Then I step back.
Slip out of my skin.
To look at me.
To look for you.

I’m there.
Minus me, of course.
Are you there?
That… faint shadow?

Your shadow – just there
Whetting my hopes
That today, just for this day
You will be more than that.

And then, when you call me out,
Ask, that I stay, be around,
I will, I will, spend my soul,
Just to be around you.

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10 August, 2017