A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Looking to the future …

… is the only way to go, this day. Merely resting on the  laurels of our recent and distant glorious past, and some of the questionable and deeply debated parts of our history too, cannot take us forward. It’s the norm. Cliche though it be, the answer is what the future represents, and what we have with us, to take this country forward. The youth, the children, but of course. They are the greatest strength we have, and yet the weakest link, if not groomed, honed, and melded, and forged with the steel of resolve, to do the right thing, to not be swayed by the innumerable wayside lures and shortcuts to life. Is that going to happen?

Any school would be that melting pot where it can at least take frail wings, and if nurtured and followed up, a certainty of the success will follow. And while we seem to focus only on three or four days in a year to do that… THAT… to surround them with the colour, noise, and festivity, so that they remember something, anything, I still believe there is a chance that some hearts will be forged with that resolve of steely determination.

Today in school, we had the Independence Day celebration, as usual. I went with a heavy heart, and the weather seemed to echo the pall of gloom in my heart, which was filled thoughts of the families of the crew of the INS Sindhurakshak. How does one celebrate when the Navy and the families of the crew who are missing are mourning? But, as someone put it succinctly, life goes on. And we move on, from grief to hope.

DSC00463DSC00461At school, the atmosphere of festivity was infectious, and through the light shower that continued during the flag hoisting, the children stood steadfast, without a murmur.

The activity for each child that day was to make their own tiny tri-colour to don, on their uniform. I was lucky and got three 🙂

The tricolour display I carried around :D

The tricolour display I carried around 😀

The top, a printout of the sort we wanted to make for our class, finger painting; the second and third given by my students – in fact the third one is finger painting. The venue for the rest of the programme was the major auditorium where a patriotic song competition, a dance and a skit were to be performed, apart from the usual speeches that children give.

It was then that the tiny spark of hope, for me, flickered into a flame. One I hope will be fanned into a steady fire of love and deep sense of duty towards our country. I do have the faith. I hope they find it too. As the next hour unfolded, I was able to take a few pictures and videos of the performances. A couple of them are shared here.

The youngest group, with their song impressed me, for the lyrics, which bespoke of the hope I nurture, that the youth, these very children hold India in their heart and their hands. May they find the strength to nurture too.

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I’ve only got a part of their song,  the lyrics that I created in the google transliteration page 🙂

देखो करम तुम्हारी
हर्गिज़ न डगमगाए

रस्ते बड़े कठिन है
चलना संभल संभल के

इंसाफ की डगर पे
बच्चों दिखाओ चलके

यह देश है तुम्हारा
नेता तुम ही हो कल के

तन मन की भेंट देकर
भारत की लाज रखना

इंसाफ की डगर पे
बच्चों दिखाओ चल

Translated to mean:

Make sure you never waver
While doing your duty

The path ahead is difficult
Tread that path with care

O children show how you can walk the path of Justice

For yours is the Nation, and you are the leaders of tomorrow

Keep up the honour of Bharat
With the gift of your body and mind
(By giving your body and mind)

O children show how you can walk the path of Justice

For yours is the Nation, and you are the leaders of tomorrow

Do excuse the translation which is at best a weak reflection on the powerful words of this song!

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The dance performance is by slightly older students, innovatively choreographing and enthralling the audience. With just a few days of preparation; the support of the PE teacher; ideas galore; creativity unlimited; favourite songs thrown in for good measure; there is hope for us, that the spirit is young, it is energetic, enthusiastic, and hopefully these colours will imprint in their hearts, for their country!I thought I had  taken the video, as they performed for the audience, only to find that I got carried away by the performance and forgot to start the recording. Grrrrr… I am SO mad at myself. The good thing was that there was still hope 🙂 (that word again!) and I got them quickly to do it again, immediately before they had to leave. So while it might seem a bit down,it really was an awesome performance!

And then, the fervour of ‘Go Back Simon’, with the youth of a long time ago, agitating against the Simon Commission.  Even though there was a bit of fumbling, the less than 10 minute skit sketched the entire period effectively.

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In the final count, yes, I do believe we have a future, and it is bright. However, till then, we have to deal with what we have, the best we can.

Jai Hind.

15 August 2013

It’s now a happy day. For some very special reasons too 🙂


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A Tribute; an Inspiration; and Optimism

This is an August month. 🙂 . That much I have already written about, rather endlessly, and made a tradition too, like the April month. But this is more than just birthdays, either of kids’ or the nation’s :).

A Tribute first, to a land that has seen much, groans under the weight of both, its population and it’s natives’ excesses, and yet exudes hope much like the lighthouse does, to lost sailors. The total contrast of its potential and its unexplored possibilities and the trauma of its existence continues to baffle many an Indian, not to mention the world at large. No matter how terrible things might seem, and are, in reality, I am proud to be an Indian. I just wish I had more guts and assertiveness to make a difference in my own small way. 🙂 Happy 66th Independence Day to Us. 🙂

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I’m in a profession that continually inspires both the giver and the giveee 😀 And this works both ways, from both sides of the traditional teacher’s table! 😀 It has always been a pleasure to take from each batch of learners that pass through the Classrooms, something precious, and be inspired 🙂 Even if, sometimes, you have not had the honour of being that particular student’s “teacher” in class.

Shilpa V Krishna, in 2007

One such sparkling gem has been Shilpa V. Krishnan, a woman extraordinaire. I write today with such pleasure about her, even though I have perhaps interacted with her only very very few times, even when she was in school. As a young student, and even now she is exceptionally talented – academics, cultural activities,

Her painting on display at NUS, 2005

painting, cartooning, clay modelling, being able to spell words backwards, and many other gifts were hers. Yet never ever did she carry on with an “attitude” of vanity, or ever shirk from displaying her talents. I’ve always loved that about her. She went on to study at NUS, Singapore on a well deserved Scholarship, (and the rest of the details I’m guessing at, because I have never asked her 🙂) met and married her Soulmate, is a committed professional, made quite a few short films, and a couple of feature films,

Mausams, which won the Silver at the Dhaka Film Fest

one of which has won an award at the Dhaka Film Fest, last year, I think. She and her husband are now expecting their first child (and you should really be inspired by this, too), and right through what has been amazing is her committment to maintaining rigorously a fitness regime,

The committed Yogin 🙂 Do read that blog of hers 🙂

which includes yoga, even during her pregnancy. I’ve shared a few pictures that I have stolen from her FB Albums 😀 (do excuse me, Shilpa! )

About two and a half years ago, when she discovered she had 1000 days left to turn thirty, she decided to write about one wonderful thing each day and so was born this:

Chronicling the 1000 days before I hit 30

Tomorrow, 15 August, 1000 days, One thousand beautiful days, many splendoured, coloured in the hues of herself, her dreams, aspirations, tiny joys, and huge happinesses… comes to be! And this is just to tell you, Shilpa, that you are in inspiration in ways you cannot even imagine, to this learner who pretends to be a teacher. You truly are AWESOME 🙂 God Bless!

(Dear Readers, don’t forget to drop by at her blog and read about the 1000th magic day 🙂 It’s here. And this wonderful gift from her husband, on that magic day )

Soulmates 🙂

How it started is here.
13th October, 2010 was when I heard of this endeavour and wrote into her blog 🙂 I love the comments section on this blog 🙂
That wonderful post on how she did yoga during her pregnancy 🙂
There was a time when I think she was wondering if she suddenly got directionless… and I had this to write in 🙂
Her little poem 🙂 Creative? You bet!

Flowing, fluent 🙂

I’ve been reading a lot of her posts, in the hope of finding and sharing these nuggets, and once again, I am overwhelmed by her perseverance, and her sheer energy and faculties. Not to mention her creativity 🙂 Way to go Shilpa! Birthday Wishes for the Magic 30, and for a happy and wonderful day, and year ahead 🙂

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Optimism. One of those die-hard words for me; considering I ought to have given up a lot of things by now, but suddenly I find myself  egging myself on, to push limits (mine and others :D) I wonder too, if that is what is making me singularly obstinate at times too; unwilling to just agree with another because… well, just because. And always seeking the gifts it gives, time and time again, when doors shut in your face, and the tunnel seems dark and long. It’s that firefly for me, always telling me, that no matter how dark it gets, there will always be someone or something to light up the moment, however small, or brilliant it be. Life, in other words, is promising. And there is a lot of it left, as far as things go, right now. The next moment, the next day, the next month… who knows. Right now, right here, life is happening. That, in itself, is a blessing. And so, is that energizing word. Optimism.

14 August, 2012, getting to tryst with midnight :), for
15th August, 2012