A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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The Chronicles of a Class

… or how we got our Nine days of Fame, thanks to Deccan Chronicle 😀

I know. Sigh. Trust me to get all cheesy, even about something as wonderful as getting appreciation, state-wide, well actually Nationally and Internationally when you think of the number of readers we reached out to, via shares on Facebook. That’s why I laud the social networking sites, while I still fight the engaging way they never let you go.

Cris, the awesome writer of this article, made such succinct beautiful sense of a rather long and garbled out-of-focus rambling, in answer to some wonderful questions she asked, during our ‘interview’. I must thank her for her patience and for her ability to sift through all of the rambling and come up with the required 250 words. And what do I say of Harish R Varma, the instigator of the interview, and therefore the write? Certainly creating and taking forward the creating of Happy Days for as many people as he could 🙂

(Click on pictures to enlarge and see in full resolution – as full as can be 🙂 )

 

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(The above was written in here, on 11 July, just before the World Cup came to its fantastic close 🙂 – and here I am, on 19 July, catching up with the many things that have happened since )

The Article, published in The Deccan Chronicle, on 3 July, 2014, in their Classroom Page, which is a space for news on/of/ from campuses across the nation featured my class and me! All thanks to Cris and Harish 🙂 A shoutout to both of you wonderful people. You have brought joy and sense of achievement not only to the famous 47+1 but also to their families and the school! God Bless y’all 🙂

You’ll find that the content is self explanatory. And for those who do wonder at my having played the WC anthem of 2010, I have shared a picture, a screenshot, I think, taken by one of those kids who did remember, Vaisakh, where he has highlighted the relevant part 😀 I cannot tell you what joy that brought! The comments that followed are soul food. Thank you to each of you. (Click on the picture to enlarge, and read)

The Article – highlighting done by Vaisakh

The poster competition, referred to, in the article also brought good news for the class. We received the First Prize, a shield, which proudly adorns our wall 🙂

 

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The First Prize for the Poster Competition, on FIFA World Cup 2014, rests proudly in our Class!

So, what brought us this fame? It was these expressions of creativity, mainly, that I had shared, along with my crazy football updates, most regularly on Facebook! When I asked my class, and the other classes I go, if we could update our Black board, or any other space in class with information and pictures, the immediate response was a resounding yes, from X’D’ – MY class. However, the next Monday, when I saw the uninspired writing of JUST the highlights, my face fell, and I certainly did mope 😀 I did sound disappointed too, and told them that it was OK, and we’d stick to whatever they could 😀 By the afternoon, when I was invited back to the class, there was a sea change, a transformation of the wallscape, where collage was taking shape, and the greenboard assumed festive colours. We were in Samba Land 😛 There was no turning back! And since the publication of that charming write up by Cris, the rest as they say, is History 😀

We did Rock the Samba, all the way down in our Class!

We did Rock the Samba, all the way down in our Class!

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The Collage slowing taking shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Completed! The Collage!

 

sheild The Architects of the Poster  poster1  After the reading of the Article at Assembly!

 

The 48!                                    The Poster Posers!             The Creativity!                 And the Joy! Oh! The Joy!

But, it does not stop there. No Sireeee! X ‘D’ does not believe in doing things by half-measures, and they certainly measured up in performances in the Cultural Fest which just concluded, but most especially, they are Masters of the Cliffhanger 😀 How? Ah! Therein lies the tale!

Gurupoornima was observed in school, on 11 July, 2014 – to mark the day for oblation to our own Guru; both, teachers and students, paid their respects in whichever way they could to their own Gurus. That day, more than Teachers’ Day was  a revelation! We had ‘paada puja’, led by our own Principal, Dr. Manoranjini, who honoured her Guru, the Chief Guest for the occasion, in the morning session, followed by students’ performances of both dance and music, tastefully done. It must be mentioned here, that this session where the paada puja, the washing of the Guru’s feet, and then paying obeisance with a ‘namaskaram’ at the feet, does not come easy to anyone, these days. Especially in public! So, it was truly inspiring to have the School Principal lead the way for all of us, teachers, and students to do the same, only if one wished to. This was done in full view of the entire gathering in the Auditorium, so that it transferred the sense of humility one felt in the presence of something far greater than ourselves. Respect.  No compulsion there – but we did, to those whom we considered as our Guru! It was a liberating experience too, to have been able to set aside one’s ego, and prostrate at the feet of those we did consider as our Guru.

So, what does this have to do with my class? Ah! The absolutely creative and mischievous lot they are, they did not wish me AT ALL, but looked suitably dumb in the first period when children from other classes came in, wished me, and even shared cards and sweets 😀 ! My class? Not a quiver of emotion. Deadpan. Puzzled I was, but did not say a WORD. Except at the end of the first period when I told them accusingly, that they did not even WISH me 😀 They smiled. Serenely 🙂 🙂 That was clue enough. The cliffhanger. I was there, but did not have time to wonder what exactly they were upto, for much work awaited, in planning duties for the upcoming Cultural Fest, due to start immediately after the weekend 😀

Last period. Lots of work. And two of my students come, terrified expressions, to tell me another girl in class has injured her leg when the desk fell on her leg – possibly a fracture! I dropped whatever I was doing, and rushed, heart in my mouth, directing one of the two to rush and get the PT Teacher. I reached the Class door, which was shut!

The penny dropped. I stopped. Looked at this other girl with me, who, incidentally, was trying hard to maintain the terrified expression. The smile, the mischief had started leaking through the frown 😛

Gingerly, I pushed open the door, and what do I see, hear, but an electric guitar strumming (our own George Mathew, ace guitarist at it 😀 ), along with Vivek on the Triple Drums, belting out, with the class, WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU! Oooooh! Ooooh! I did a Susmita Sen expression, (when she received her Miss Universe Title) – the jaw dropped, round eyed, happy, overwhelmed expression! And my heart started beating at normal pace once again 😛 Well as normal as can be, when you’re overjoyed! And then it raced again, my heart 😀 I was sure that the class and its Class Teacher were going to be hauled up for the racket emanating from the class! Shushing them down (duh! What a task! ) I went on to thank them – but no, it was not done yet – the Smart Class was switched on with a lovely message 🙂 Cards awaited 🙂 Shared below 🙂 And a lovely gift too! Sheepishly they said they wanted to surprise me, that is why they stayed mum all day 🙂 And boy oh BOY! did they ever!!!

I promised them a blog, to attempt to capture the sense of gratitude I have for them, for their affection, the sense of conspiracy I feel most times, with them, in all our endeavours 🙂 X “D”, you are the rock, not me 🙂 So, as the cliche goes, Rock ON! 😀

Shared here is their creativity, and that of the students of other classes, particularly Class 8’B’, 7″D” and 6″B”, along with cards from a certain lovely young lady in Class 12, and others from classes I do not go to, this year 🙂 All, all of them very very precious souls 🙂 Thank you, each and everyone of you. Stay Blessed!

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The Cover

 

XD card

Awesomeness from X D

 

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Collections of pure blessings from the kids!

Meanwhile, The Chronicles with this class will most certainly continue, you can bet on that!

Earlier, they have featured here,  🙂
And yet another awesome X D made a farewell memorable, here
Last years’ X D, when they were in Class 8, featured here 😀 (I bet you people did not even know, right? )

Comments are welcome, dear kids 🙂 If you cannot see the comment space below, click on the title of this write up, and it will follow. All you need to sign in with are your name, email id 🙂 The email will NOT be shared.

20 July, 2014
*Phew* Under 1600 words. Just. 😀

Lol! I just learned something. When you write X and D, without a space you get this XD ! Oh my!

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36 Comments

A Dream Peddler Extraordinaire – “Love, Loss & Acceptance” through my eyes :)

This one has been writing itself a long long long time 🙂 Since about March this year! I hesitate to call it a review; let’s just say it is my perspective of Shail Mohan’s debut publication, an Anthology of her verse, titled “Love, Loss & Acceptance“.

“March??” you say, almost horrified that I attempt such a task all of nearly six months later! Ahem. Errrmmm… yes. I hang my head in utter despondency. You see, I did so want to do it earlier, but well… I got busy with stuff. All kinds of stuff that terrify teachers at the end of School year, and stuff that terrify parents when their offspring is about to get married. You do get the picture don’t you? My excuse is watertight! 😛 😛

Sigh. No, it really isn’t. But we’ll let that be, won’t we Shail? I know you understand, and that is what matters finally!

Disclaimer: This is not a book review :D. I don’t do book reviews, because I really do not know how to! I give them as assignments, and am impressed by the kids who do it so easily 🙂 But me? I’m terrified of them. So please do not take me to task over the mechanics or format of the genre ok? This here is intensely personal 🙂
Alert: This is going to be a LONG post. Be warned 😀

“Love Loss & Acceptance” by Shail Mohan is a collection of her verse. It has three sections, one each for Love, Loss and Acceptance. About 58 poems in all 🙂

The front and back cover, designed by her son 🙂

It has that touch-it-as-tangible-as-it-can-get sense of achivement for anyone, who has dreams to peddle, muses to satisfy, who revels in the myriad expressions of the one emotion that encompasses all – Love; whose acceptance takes one beyond life; whose loss is perhaps the ultimate in agony that borders on an ecstasy.

Right from her little verse to her muse:

Each flower, each leaf
all the prickly thorns
I lay at your feet,
with the same emotion 
and devotion 
of a love celestial…

her offering is so unconditional, so complete, and you know right then, you are in for a treat!

LOVE

Having been an “English” student through B.A., and subsequent courses, and even now as a supposed Teacher (learner more like it 😛 ) I’ve been fascinated by poetry more than prose; the way poets string emotions, intangibles, and thread them, weave them with such dexterity and honesty – to tell a truth, or embellish a lie. No, contrary to the norm that in order to appreciate poetry you need to have an in depth knowledge of the form, from Chaucer, to perhaps Bob Dylan, or even Eminem, one need not be (and I must confess that I am NOT) a “well-read” person, not in that sense! I love what experiences any verse gives. And I say all of this to underscore what Shail’s verse means to me. I love the way she thinks (the way I see how she thinks, ie! ), how she transforms her thoughts into the tangible quality of her verse – and makes it as delicious and palatable, allowing us to gorge on it, as “Melted Chocolate” ! 😀 (Page 20). That one has to rate as of my favourites in the book! You do actually melt into a puddle of sheer mush and chocolate! Loverrrly!

On a different tangent, there is the déjà vu I sense, most times in her verse: this on “From Afar”

Who are you stranger?
Have we met before?
Why does it seem
I have known you since long?

And when I read “The knot“, I am overcome by a chill. Still, that too is Love!

And the poignant note continues, this time staccato as well, in “You“. Love hurts, and heals.

Sand in my shoes” is a perfect fairytale – one that plays out each day, I know, for a lot of peope! I so so so love this poem!  You must absolutely read that one, if you haven’t, yet! (Psssst… go and get the book, asap, if you haven’t, from here:

Flipkart

Infibeam

Indiaplaza

It’s worth it! )

And there is more: “Dreams“. Sigh.
Stolen Moments” Sigh. Again. (a few new lines/into an old story,/already published...)
The last poem in this section “Ultimate Freedom” (Love), is perhaps the most touching of all, for me. Love is there, limitless, yet bound and finite – what more can suffocate? It is a bitter sweet reminder that love is passionate, it is warm, but is also possessive, and seeks to bind.

LOSS:

Where there is love, you can be sure loss or heartbreak enters the picture sooner than later, writes Shail. There are twenty different ways in which she portrays the utter loss of, sometimes, a feeling, a person, a negation of all that has been, of love, in what ever form it had chosen to be…

The coldness of loss sets in right from the strange sadness that envelops one with the first of the poems here, “The Search“, searching for the reason, and not finding it! Loss, isn’t that how it is?
And then the pain pours out through “Echoes“, showing its tenacity in the next poem, “Frail Spontaniety“.  “Captive Love” is yet another, where utter loss just does not let you be!

Aren’t we always promised so much by Love? And while many do get most of it, somewhere down the line, the hand that held yours, suddenly slips slips away! You walk the way, alone. “I have been there before“, that is what it speaks to me of.
The Wilted bloom“, along with the theme of Love goes on to consistent form in verse: a noun+verb combination in each line. And that too, without seeming unnatural! No mean feat that!
When pain gets very intense, it becomes deadweight and frozen. “Frozen Tears“, quite starkly brings one this experience.

When a person writes in the first person “I”, a reader tends to make assumptions 🙂 and then is intrigued by possibilities! So also with “Don’t Come Closer” – I know I connect so very much with this poem! 🙂

ACCEPTANCE

Acceptance most times is indeterminate in its honesty. Sometimes you do accept because you have no choice. Sometimes, because you understand. Sometimes because you want to, and move on. The many overtones of that one ability is what Shail brings to us here. There is poignancy, there is despair too, but there is an honesty in all of the verse here that touches deep. The pleasure that love has been, and though now not there, still there exists an optimism in meeting with Love again. “Broken Bits” speaks that way, to me.

My love, please tread softly
Don’t step on them harshly
The broken fragments carry
Dreams I held closely.

And “Baubles” , precious notions strung together! In “Time to go” I find again, the pain and the acceptance of the loss:

though I still love you so
and it breaks my heart
it is now time to go
my sweetheart

There is gentleness too; the quiet hush that cloaks a steely pain- how easy it is to leave another bereft. And how endless is the pain even in its acceptance! “Beneath the tree (acceptance)“:

Beneath the tree
by the gently flowing river
Where you left me to move on
I stand my love…

As with any kind of savouring, I have left the best for last. My absolute favourite in the entire collection has to be this one: THE DREAM PEDDLER. And that is why I have appropriated its title into the title of this post too. This poem literally, figuratively comes alive all shimmer and gossamer texture, sweet and sad, in its brilliant concept itself!

As always, Shail is stickler for a good proof read copy, and this book is that, right through. Her sense of rhyme is impeccable, and natural. Choice of words, perfect again! I know she can take any set of three random words, and in an instant weave a verse for you to enjoy. Metaphors and similes, not to mention vivid imagery, these are her fine tuning tools! Such is her talent. Such is she 🙂

For me, Shail is a dream peddler 🙂 I have said so, in the introduction to the book I was asked to write. I am deeply honoured by that Shail, and I do want you to know that, yet again 🙂 . Thank you too, for a personally autographed copy! That is one to treasure always! The first book I have, personally autographed by its writer 🙂 It’s already 1400 words long, but then, WT heck, I’ve got a disclaimer in place; and I had a wonderful time writing it out too… a lot of it scribbles with pencil and paper, on writing pad, and her book itself, and some that came pouring out of the keystrokes 🙂

Thank you Shail! And now I am looking forward to your book of short stories! That promises to be just as, if not more wondrous!

14 September 2012


8 Comments

Can I, Please…

Ungrammatical I shall be
For I am not concerned with 
Semantics
Rather the antics of 
A Drama Queen
She Lords, she Laughs
She dictates, she deigns
To condescend upon lesser mortals
The toss of her mane, and 
Ubiquitous sniggers
Irreverant to tradition, but
Oh yes! Loyal to fastidiousness 
Drumming up 
Strumming up
Stirring up from 
Her cauldron wild and wanton wiles
To fox, feign and frighten
Wilder yet the melodrama
(Though why it be called mellow drama
Confounds me yet…!)
When outfoxed, stared down
And talked to, for a change!
So, O Queen, Can I, please
(and grammar be damned!)
Laugh at you?
28 July, 2011
Seriously erratic today 😀
(Pssst… can you see a smiling smiley? I cant… 😦 – I can now – 30 July.. :D)


5 Comments

Closure

As with Kundera’s

Unbearable lightness of being
So with the openness

That begets such heaviness
I face blankness

The vastness of a suddenly vacant consciousness
The vanished vanquished vanity
Of an arrogant artful me
All knowing I was
Oh How I Was

Till this dot of time
A Period
To punctuate a life that flowed
Unhesitatingly, unbeknown to lightness
Of heart, Of feeling, Of being.

Lighter of my excess emotional baggage
I sag. Not lift.
I lag. And drift.

Seeking closure. That which
Will never be, seeing that
I could never
Never
Never let you go.
Ever.

19 January, 2011
Online. Assaying antithetical presumptuous nonsense 😀


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Vindication!

Ah! You said I couldn’t!
And that you wouldn’t

Share in the losses if any
That’s a laugh, and you know it.
I’d have dared you, had I the
Tiniest inkling, what more
You laid in store for us!!!

Still, I shall be generous
As I stand vindicated.
No matter how hard you tried,
Fortune, sheer luck, was on our side.

And try as we may, to ignore
Somehow, it still grates sore
That what we could have been
Is a fraction less than what we have just seen.

What matters, finally
Is just this.
It happened. As it should have.
As it did.
As we did.

Period.

20 November, 2010