Seeds are sown
Seeds are sown
… 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 ❤
14 October, 2015
… 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!
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… 😀
2-5 September, 2015 for 5 September, 2015.
… either way, whichever, however you look at it, you could say it was quite a day 🙂
Long Post Alert. It’s 1600 words plus, and yet, for me it isn’t enough. That says it all 🙂 Read on at your pleasure, if you so wish ❤
The DAY was one that surpassed others of the same kind by being most overwhelming, in a manner I have yet to experience. The days to the run up were way underwhelming, if you can grasp the meaning of the word (first heard in the film, “10 Things I hate about you” starring a young Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles 😛 ) – but it being the August Month, it is always appealing and something to eagerly look forward to, like the March-April Ariean Month 🙂 Last year, and the year before that, this day, sorry The Day, was rather special too. Outbursts of spontaneous, excited surprises waited in store. Fond love etched itself in numerous creative ways – be it in words, pictures, actions, songs and so on and so forth.
Having successfully arrayed before you the well known unsubtle distractedness I’m prone to these days (along with coining words leftrightandcentre 😛 ), I know I owe it to you to tell you where this write is going. It’s travelling back, a few days, to a day that I shall find hard to live down, or live up to, for that matter. A day that came on sunshine wings, and poured so much joy, frosted with pixie dust, all aflutter … errm, yeah, right, I AM waxing poetic aren’t I? It’s a fangirl moment here – thinking about how a Cinderella must have felt with the glass slipper sort of day. Except it was way better. Still not getting to the point aren’t I? Sigh.
So this is how
the Day The DAY went. Expecting a call at midnight, as has been the norm, I went to bed the night before, but slept right through pings from the phone. Wakey wakey early enough, and I find an SMS from an unfamiliar number, which is identified 11 messages later. Sigh. So much for a good start. A couple of happy phone calls later, I’m ready for school. It’s a Thursday, and the next day is a holiday. Much fun.
Understatement. Way more fun. In the tense first period, I got asked to leave class, by my own kids 😀 A first definitely. A barely polite, urgent requirement it was, apparently. I barged in impatiently a few minutes later to some rather outrageous scenes 😛 A boquet, a cake on the teachers’ table, a ‘U’ shaped container, made by an artistic girl, containing gifts, cards, a birthday cap, a singing knife to cut the cake, and snow spray. Well. Well. It was a blast! To song and many wishes, a song, a speech, and much shared cake, laughter and a general letting down of hair. Well yes, it was their teacher’s birthday, and this celebration, apparently had been cooking for a bit.
It speaks of the RAW at work in the Intelligence Unit, in the class, and, as I later discovered, other classes. 😛 The next class, I did not even have to get to, before random kids came up to shake hands, offer pens, as gifts ( I do NOT have any of their papers to grade, pliss to note 😀 ) – the RAW there too was well informed. It has so happened, that a couple of years ago, this year’s 12th grade kids, sneakily discovered that The DAY was that day, through alert eyes of their siblings of friends, who happened to be on my list on Facebook. News like this really does not matter, usually, but then I discovered that indeed, I am that eccentric oddity, who HAD to be noticed 😛 😛 And greeted.
So the next year, last year, more kids, particularly, my very own 😄 (the 14-15 batch – the Number 47, remember? ) had this session of pastry cutting, giving me an awesome watch, and generally making me feel special 🙂 Lovely hand-painted card too, from their seniors, the ones who started it the previous year.
But this year, Boy O Boy! It certainly was different. It felt as if somehow the universe at school had conspired to make my day. And me in a ‘koora saree’ as a colleague put it – an uninteresting saree, to put it mildly 😛 – to not celebrate myself 😀 ! Well, to get the highlights of the day, it went spiralling upward, after the fist period. Every class I went to, songs came my way, cards, and wishes. A young lady from Class 7 (I have just gone there once, this year, to tell them to keep quiet 😛 ) came during the lunch break, clutching 3 red ink pens, for me, she said, wishing me very solemnly. Despite my telling that she oughtn’t to have spent money like that, I could not persuade her to take them back for herself. I took one, and told her the others were a gift back 🙂 What a sweetheart! The day was filled with such moments. There were kids, with knowing smiles on their faces, simply walking up to this ogre to shake her hands, and offer wishes. To be sure, I felt rockstar popular 😛 😛
The first lot of kids who started wishing me, a couple of years ago, were back with their painted card and pictures framed. Oh my! Beautiful beautiful wishes and creativity with it 🙂 And the littlest of the lot, whose classes I visit, made tiny paper earrings with quilling paper, and instructed that I wear it, as and when I had a saree to match 🙂
It was barely afternoon, when I was spirited away to a corner of the school, by urgent calls for help there, by *a teacher* , according to the students, when my former AK47s were ready and raring to go with guitar and song and the pastry again 🙂 along with a beautifully illustrated card, in the form of a story 🙂
And then, with yet a couple of classes to go, song and cards later, we come to the special class that evening. The lesson was Subject Verb Agreement. You know how much of agreement there is, usually in a Grammar class, especially with a Grammar Nazi taking that class. Ten minutes into the lesson, I could hear rumblings, and murmurs, each time I turned toward the board to write something down; it was clear indication as to a plot brewing, but how it would unfold was anybody’s guess, for me. Well to cut to a longish story, it began with a young pert lady coming up to me, with her workbook, to ask a doubt (it never happens 😛 ), and me asking her to get back, so that she can ask from there, as it could be a general doubt that the whole class, maybe, had, but she doesn’t go back; instead she opens the book to a particular page wherein is tucked a sheet of paper which says “Happiness is… celebrating your teacher’s birthday…” That stumped me. You see, we need to go back a few hours, when I had class, with the SAME lot, and they never uttered a SINGLE word 😀 So had this entire party planned out. They then burst into songs, English, Hindi, Malayalam; did a kind of Mexican Wave thingy, holding up A4 size sheets that had a letter or punctuation on it – which went to the effect – “We love you teacher, and you will remain in our hearts forever” – something more too 😀 Overwhelmed is a word that does not quite cover what I felt, as I did that afternoon, the whole day, in fact. But it still was not over. Each child came up to me, with a hand made card that I accepted with good grace, though by now I was beet red 😀 They, thankfully did not bring cake. They had chocolate – three slabs, which I broke into bits, and fed each of them 🙂
Taking stuff home required that I make two trips to my car, with my arms laden with cards, posters, notes… 🙂 A tiny bouquet too. ❤ Opening the cards later, I was struck by the one made by the Master of Irony in one of our classes. A simple minimalistic card, a Happy Birthday, nothing else, and on the back cover were these profound words : “Insert deep meaningful verse here” You could say I had been had. 😛 I loved that card as much as I did the semi album of my life they had compiled, along with the kind of warm affection they concluded my day at school with.
But yes, more than the “loot” as I call it, the day had to do with an outpouring of affection; a day that began really quietly and sombrely for me, with no expectation, but for the previous years’ kids coming to wish me (I know you guys 😛 ) and songs and handshakes. Bas. What unfolded was a mega private show, that spilled into the corridors, and brimmed over with love. That, that, made it special.
I’ve yet to have a birthday party of my own which was as long and as awesome as I had that DAY. 🙂 It’s going to be the last of ’em too, with the thoughts running down the corridors that it’s really not ok to spend so much of time and effort into these things, when it’s just another day.
Not this DAY, this year. This will be forever etched in my ❤
Thank you to all you magical people, who pretend to be kids at school, for us 🙂 You make me believe in Miracles and Fairy Tales, though I never really stopped believing in them- you strengthen the feeling that it takes a child to lead you to the door of your own truth 🙂 ❤
Thank you. Infinitely.
Finally completed on 22 August, 2015, having begun a week ago, almost 🙂
A slash of Red –
Bled the paper.
Its flow stemmed
By harsh slanting
He’d scored too
Way below par.
He looked up at her
The murder of his
He did agree
But mourned the
Stymied in lines
All black and blue, now Red.
But, by Jove!
By the Good Lord
(who he trusted no more)
He’d play God
And create a new one.
A free phoenix
That would rise
No matter what singed
His feathered flight of fancy.
A quiet, quelling, murderous
Through the screen of lowered lashes;
He turned the bleeding page;
Took up his sword
And marked a bold stroke
Murder Most Foul
Etching in heartfelt angst
The travails of a blunt knife
Painfully keened and quickened-
To finally rise to its intended glory.
Realizing, in the crafting
(an unwelcome truth 😀 )
How it led right back
Finding himself, he saw…
The knife sharpener, and the sparks
That lit her eyes.
23 June, 2015 and 12 July, 2015
How some writes come, scribble themselves, then pause, till you find them and solve the riddle they pose for you 😀
When you look out, what do you see?
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