Reflections…..


***** Reflections that change only to become what they were *****

Today, I happened to have a girl’s outing with my mother. Nothing that resonates with the girl’s outing of current times, but this was purely shopping together, having tea together and, nursery hopping together. Realized how much this outing would have meant to my mum whose movements are restricted, given the delicate health of my father. So, while I had invited my son to this outing, he negated with a vehemence as he is averse to shopping of any kind! Also, today Sony Max is running a movie marathon of Jurassic park! Dinosaurs always have had an upper hand when it comes to son’s preferences.

So, we went about shop hopping in a mall. Did we buy? A Jenga set by an adoring granny for the grandson, a mother finally chancing upon the exactly right peach coloured top in some store (a colour which isn’t quite visible eveywhere) and, some chocolate pastries for the dinosaur loving human back home!

Had a chilled out session with mother at a coffee shop. She had coffee while I stuck with tea. While I was paying for the beverages, her eyes rolled seeing the amount for the coffee. She murmured…..the same coffee shop in Gujarat…it was half the amount! I sighed as I reminded her, that was about 15 years ago! However, I get her resignation at the amount we pay for stuff which is labelled fancy when the actual stuff isn’t exactly the elixir we are promised more often. Consumerism is an illusion, I tell you. A recent visit to a famous Ashram down south opened my eyes to the way it is played. You go with the flow to know why it works. Talking of which, there were two ponds, one for men and the other for women and the rules were that, we must bathe in those cool waters before proceeding to meditation hall. Beneath that orange robe, needless to say each was to be in his or her birthday suit (In Irish lingo – weebabby naked). You know when you constantly hear about how the waters infused with the Sun beams and Moon beams regulate every flow of fluids in your body, you tend to get drawn into believing everything you question normally. Trust me, meditation that day was a beautiful experience for me. However, the effect lasted till the exit and, then we all were back to square one – grumpy stressed out humans who remember every body ache that they could think of.

So, that is how consumerism works. It is like the spa you go to on regular weekends to feel good about yourself. The consumerism culture had just begun to bloom when I had just started out as a fresher in an MNC long back. And now, it is like a retreat that you fall back on when you don’t have much to do on weekends.

I remember in my growing years, mum had her group that indulged in kathas and bhajans. I have attended a few. Though I was never much into religious stuff, I wasn’t against them either. I loved to see women sing in a chorus and, all faults in sur and tal would get covered up. That is what I deduced from those instances of rendezvous – Together, we are a psi ball of cosmic energies. Also, as a family we would compulsorily visit the Durga Pujo pandals and, I would stand in awe as men and women took turns to wave the Dhunachi for the Goddess in a dance worship as the Dhaki drummers beat with a consistent vigour.. that is how a part of me loves festivals and traditions even though I am inherently passive to anything that demands me to adhere/change my tiger spots.

So coming back to what I began with, I have gone through the phases wherein I was infatuated with consumerism, at a time totally addicted to it for a long time until a phase arrived when I finally comprehended why the generation of my parents stood by “Less is more”.

That is exactly where I found my reflections now syncing with those of my mother as I realized how the filter coffee that mum makes is any day a better option to having the same in an over rated coffee shop. The same thing applies to the toys ans games that we often buy for children. People who know me and my home are aware that we don’t have a single toy exceot a few board games like jenga, Chess, Carrom, business game and Ludo. It is always a warm rush of euphoria when window shopping toy stores like Hamleys but then, the question pings…”what is its relevance in future?” And, I finally have come to terms with my father’s repetitive advice, “There is this thin line of difference between Needs and Desires that must be realized soon in life. It is as important for an adult as for the child.”

Our trip ended with a visit to a near by Nursery where my mother was in her most comfortable self..yes, she is self taught and her gardening skills are self honed and absolutely delightful as she had maintained beautiful garden in our earlier place… and though we shifted to a smaller accomodation a couple of years back in a city, her love continues as she has her own small beautiful family of ixoras, holy basil, oleanders and crepe jasmines…et al…

Sometimes, I wonder how much we all tend to accumulate without knowing how we will manage what we accumulate over a period of time..

It is a question that brings out who we are despite what we want to be superficially.
It is a question that we often avoid answering to selves as we desperately crave for approvals from cliches that we barely associate with..
It is a question that prods us towards taking the road less taken and yet, we often succumb to noises that discourage our verve to listen to what speaks from within.

Reflections, I believe often change with time only to sync again with the ones that we all began with.

Talking about reflections, there is more to it than what meets the eye.. and that is a blog for another day…

*****2019 – The year of many mouths and many ears *****


2019 was the year that made me truly comprehend why Noah’ arc was exclusive for animals. It is also the year that made me meet people like Noah himself. Hence, not my place to be mean towards my own tribe. Anyways, it feels a bit cathartic to write something after a very long time. Not that I had nothing to write about. But, at times the mind and the heart feel heavier than the soul and, words fail to walk the walk to talk the talk. That doesn’t mean lessons weren’t ingrained or, lessons weren’t retold.

Life is such a butterfly! It entices you with it’s beautiful polka dotted sunshine wings fluttering over cheesecakes leading you entirely on the precipice waiting for you to tumble over as the clouds beneath move away for the deathly fall. Call life all the names you want but, eventually it is an outcome of choices we tango towards and, consequences we seldom acknowledge responsibly.

Talking of which, the year 2019 was a roller coaster every bit.

It offered moments of delusion along with clarity.
It saw evil triumph and, perhaps would continue to see it triumph while killing hope for justice in a few as a few still carry on some, for a better tomorrow.
It even saw a few people burn bridges and, a few extending olive branches. Talk about expecting the unexpected here.
It saw many expectant parents squeal with joy on seeing the two pink lines while letting down many others who continued being torchbearers of hope and faith…”someday…..”
It saw a few break and shatter to pieces with all savings gone while, seeing an other few finally coming to terms with the life choices of their wards.

In a nutshell, 2019 worked in a binary fashion by giving the good and the bad news alternatively.

Somewhat I interpreted 2019 as the year that taught each one of us to stay grounded. Like to not be overwhelmed by any news is a test scored. It is tough not to feel overwhelmed. But then, feeling overwhelmed is a sign that we allow emotions to control intelligence and that is how the tables turn for the most intelligent ones! Trust me, I have watched the most inspiring lot have a nasty fall only because they thought they could buy time and fate shall comply.

Well, the old guns weren’t wrong when they said time is neither a friend nor a foe and, destinies are not man’s charter to decide whose goes how! Even Astrology is just a fate map. It doesn’t tell you about the destination even though it deludes you into believing so while it only gives you a map of the journey, a map which again is a possibility of one in a million contours…

If at all, I witnessed signs of cosmic presence which I surely did, there is this whistling thrush that regularly visits my backyard while I cook. I don’t remember the exact moment when it began visiting but, I began sensing it when it started visiting me on the front porch too while I sipped my tea or Horlicks. Each day. Positively without fail.

The other instances of cosmic intervention were when a course mate of the husband, family more visited us when we desperately wanted to cheer ourselves up while things weren’t faring well healthwise for our folks back home..and, yet again I felt nudged back to a better and greener side of life where I could just be myself recharging self with some good old memories..

And then, the recent one when we had visited Nathula, where I was blessed to have seen the mandir of Baba Harbajan… you see, faith doesn’t come when you are forced to have one. It comes when you see the trust of people in his spirit who guards the lives of soldiers battling nights where temperatures drop below -12 degs. Talk about God fearing and God loving kind. It is at 14000 plus feet, you understand that line of difference.

And, that is when you know for sure that God exists but not necessarily by the name God but in various forms of life that you see everyday but perhaps are top busy to acknowledge or, are too self obsessed to notice…it could be a clear blue sky and, you see people smiling and acknowledging you while you pass by despite you not knowing them or they not knowing you…it could be your child playing on the lap of Mother Earth as he carefully builds a shelter for earthworms….or, it could be the happy bunch of bananas hanging from the neighbour’s garden…waiting to be weaned off from the mother plant…or, it could be the million strands of mists that float on a full moon winter night kissing your face while you march up the ramp on the mountains…. it is just the unseen unacknowledged facets of everything around us that at times help us connect with our own selves…

And that is how the wheels of change begin….when we embrace ourselves better with a few improvisations without disturbing our core beliefs and values.. For, I have for most part of my life have had a severe aversion towards maintaining forced social graces since childhood. And, the past few years, especially this year have seen me adapt towards mellowing down the rigid introvert in me and, nudging me to open up doors into my fortress of yin and yang. Well, but then I am still a creature of habit and, the introvert will always have the upper hand nevertheless.

Hence, 2019 ends today paving way for a new year, a leap year.

Dear 2019, you weren’t good all the time. But then, not bad either.

Dear 2020, just a prayer to begin with…. BLESSINGS FOR ALL…SUFFERINGS FOR NONE!

Amen to that!

Inclusivity – The Necessary Evil.


I was in 2nd grade when I had joined a reputed Convent run school in the mofussil town of Bharuch, now an amazing city in progress.

I have a vivid memory of my mother getting the upper hand in the argument about the changing of school by wanting me to go to a convent school that was 8 kms away from home as compared to the school I was in, a school run by the firm my father worked in.

My father wasn’t quite ok with the decision about seeing the little kid travelling 16 kms a day to be educated in a convent. But, he gave in. And, it is this same man who put me in one of the best schools of Gujarat, about 25 kms away from my home when I was in 11th grade. Strangely, then it was my mum who tried against the decision but well, I am more like my dad and, hence swayed in his favour. Across my timeline spanning school and college, I have always been drawn towards – Understanding Inclusivity.

It has definitely taken me some time to gather this word – Inclusivity.

My vocabulary wasn’t as enriched then as it is now, which is in the obvious much lesser than what it ideally should be, given my lapse in reading over the past decade. For, now I am a mother and a wife, I get what my mother handled while I was growing. Like, isn’t it fascinating for a kid to get to see both sides of the life, one as a queen bee and, the other as a worker bee. Yes, we all are worker bees trying to gather honey for the mother queen bee called LIFE!
And, as I will always mention how I digress….but you see, I know when I do. So coming back to the entire concept of Inclusivity, I have to admit that I have always struggled within to fit even as the world has watched me fit like a glove wherever I go. Apparently, it is now as an adult, I have got the courage of a child with gay abandon, to write about this necessary evil called Inclusivity.

So, where did it all begin?

Let’s get back to where I began my post. I was in Class 2 when I had joined a reputed Convent run school in the mofussil town of Bharuch, now an amazing city in progress. I remember sitting in the last bench and, this tall fair girl walked up to me and, started bullying me with questions as to what I was doing in her class and, why I had come there. A second grade child then was not quite advised on how to talk and, what to talk. My parents were probably uber confident about my speech skills and hence, it was left to me on how I would want to react or, respond! I thank my parents for that lesson as everyone has to fight his or her battles by self only.So while the girl crassly asked me to get out of the class with her stooges in tow, there was this one dark girl with a beautiful smile who came and introduced herself to me as, I welcomed the first ray of inclusivity into my life. That girl today is doing wonders in another country. And, I am supremely proud of her. Cut back to the time then, I felt out of place, alienated and absolutely alone in a class of 50, adding to which I met a teacher who preferred a loud tone to the soft one (the latter I was used to).

I understood two things that day –

One, Inclusivity is a necessary evil.

Second, Tone is the Anubis that decides whether the person with the voice will be hailed or hell’ed’.

Apparently, I have kept both things in mind ever since. That said, I have felt the pain of not being included and, being a recipient of bad tone and, have been conscious enough NOT to inflict the same pain on people who cannot speak or stand for themselves. However, inclusivity hardly allows room for being good. Well, it is a tricky space wherein you have to let go off your individuality, your thoughts, your words, your emotions, your demons, your prowess and, sometimes a part of who you are. But then strangely, you can never let go any one of the above entirely for, what is us is truth! And, Truth is like the urge to yelp even if you do not want to, but you yelp by habit!

Yes, it is a struggle to keep the inclusivity alive for, people reside in a catacomb of lies they weave to just be a part of the larger picture, they assume will take them places. In short, inclusivity is like the fancy pair of shoes that won’t fit you but still, you want to wear them and flaunt them for that makes you feel accepted. Or perhaps, it is the tight corset that won’t allow you to breathe and yet, you would go to any lengths to just fit into it so that the world seemingly sees you in a better light. It is strangling to embrace inclusivity to that extent wherein, you reach a stage of no return where even the real you fails to recognize the vessel it was so comfortable in, at one time.
And, that stage bleeds deep.

If there are a few lessons I learned in life after a medical condition almost yanked me to Anubis (But my family got me back), two of them are these –
NEVER LET ANYONE ALONE IN LIFE, ESPECIALLY WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING THROUGH A ROUGH PHASE!
NEVER RAISE YOUR TONE. RAISE YOUR CLASS BY TAKING THE DIFFICULT PATH WHEREIN YOU REALIZE YOU, BY YOURSELF IS A ONE MAN ARMY!

Inclusivity is not the best bet! But, it can be a good one when you use it for VIBING HIGHER!
I read this at an eat out yesterday – “Your vibe attracts your tribe”
If you can inspire, you are already using Inclusivity the way it should be used.
Make sure you attract sane ones in life!
Blessed be.

Closures.


How important are closures to you? How badly do you seek them? How desperately do you crave for them?

Well, that want is painful. To begin with, we all want them. We seek them in places we assume we will find. We seek them in people who we think will understand. We crave for them because closures are like the rainbow bands that seem to make you feel at ease so that you can move on.

On a lighter note the want for a closure is like asking irregular blood pressure to stabilize instantly or, asking a toddler rather forcing him to poop at 7 in the morning only because you cannot miss the gym at 7:30 or, feeling most agitated when the maid doesn’t pick up your call and, you have called a dozen guests home and, you know not what to do except for seeking the answer to the “Why! Why, in God’s name, today did the maid ditch me?” Trust me and, trust the words from the tongue of every homemaker who treats maid like her soul sister – You can antagonise the spouse but definitely NOT the maid!

Anyways, digressing is a habit I am chained to. Moving to where I began with – Closures, it is like closing a door we never want to enter again. And, we all want to close it because we fear entering it again. However, do we all get closures in life?

I will come to that part later.
But before we discuss more about closures, an open question to the audience? Have you dealt with questions that were never answered, emotions that were never addressed or, fantasies that were never discussed? If you have dealt with them, you would know why mind is a juggernaut of complex troves filled with riddles to unlock mysteries you were destined to solve. Not that purpose of life is revealed too early but then, it is never too late to figure the purpose, right? And, along the trajectory of life, we stumble upon many doors that often begin as dreams but end as nightmares. Apparently, there are those doors too that first begin as nightmares and end up as dreams. Either which way, dreams are preferred to nightmares even though it is the nightmares that help us value the good dreams. And again, I digressed. But then, bear with me as I have a reason to take unexpected detours before touching the core – Closures!

Talking about closures, they are the biggest hurdle jumps for a man. For they are the only strips in life that make you value time as never before. Your want for answers leads you to all places, light and dark. You even feel destined to seek what you want. You are driven to close that effing door! But alas, the door just won’t close. Bloody door! Bloody draft of a door! Why won’t it close?

And, while all the energies get channelizing in closing the door, you suddenly realize that acknowledging many open doors would be a far better option than closing the one that just won’t close! That is exactly where the journey of a closure begins. Ironically.

So, coming back to the question – Do we all get closures in life?

A mother who lost her only child to depression? Nope.
A spouse that got betrayed? Nope.
A child that lost his/her parents in an accident? Nope.
A martyr’s widow? Nope.
A doctor who lost a patient because destiny favoured the 10 percent chance of fatality over the 90 percent? Nope.
A train that derailed because of a fault in the tracks that wasn’t fixed long back? Nope.
Closure – It is a word that haunts. But, it is also the word that builds the strong ones, innately kind.

Maybe, Life is not about seeking closures. It is more about knowing that closures will happen only when you choose to piece back yourself and, take the onerous task of rewiring yourself. Because, Life goes on. And, so will you. For your endurance through your tough times is destined to become someone else’s survival guide. That is for sure.

Closures are important. But not more than you.

Period.

*** Insecurity is a disease ***


Recently on my trip to home city, I saw a pet shop where there was this beautiful kitten, sadly a famished one staring blankly at the glass that had fish gleefully swimming from one end to the other. My husband said one word – Cruelty! and, heaved a sigh!

I agreed.

However, as sad it was to watch the kitten see its favourite food not only alive and kicking, but smirking and swimming pretty bravely on its face, I was also amused. For, after some time, the kitten turned its face away stoically.

I wonder how the kitten would have reacted had the fish landed between its paws. Would it jump up with exhilaration and, do a Frabjous Day? Or, will it just look away and, feel dead as the dead fish?

Who knows?

But then, if Life has taught me anything about itself, it is this in plain and in, no uncertain terms that,

“Nothing is yours truly if you try to possess it by force or, by command. What you wish for also has to embrace you with the same love and comfort.”

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And, that brings me to the context of insecurity. Go by definition, it is the opposite of security. How funny, no?

Break the word Insecurity and it is, “In security!”

Well, I wouldn’t question my favourite language’s quirkiness but yes, the word in the real world is surely supposed to be questioned and, how!

Having been a person who prefers walls first and bridges later, it has been a tiring struggle to ward off humans with the tendency to jump over the walls. It is not easy to explain to the world that boundaries are important. When I see people using their insecurities as a macabre tool to armtwist into doing their bidding, it makes me very very sad.

Sad because I see clearly how that kind of insecurity fueled dominance is meted through authority and position of power to extract good words, apologies and obedience is, on the contrary unhealthy by mind.

Insecurities drive people crazy. A slight deviation in action and, they are convinced that the world is out to get them!

Just like a grizzly bear that ought to get intimidated by just anything..

Talking of which, people with insecurities are the worst form of oppressors who use every trick in the book to create an image wherein they appear to have suffered much, an excuse for their sad behavior!

BULLSHIT!

THERE IS NO EXCUSE IN THE WORLD WHEREIN YOU HAVE TO BE CRUEL AND RUDE TO PEOPLE FOR NO DAMN REASON!

The oppressors do not even realize the damage they do on a daily basis to values, ethics and minds with their feudal mindsets. Say, you do a 100 good deeds and, on 101th, you back off because you are drained, you instantly are labelled an oppressor by the oppressor!

Usually THEY often suffer from a severe inferiority complex that stems from their inability to accept that there is still much to learn, much to let go and, much to accept with grace and, a pinch of salt.

Sadly, this breed is on rise currently.

As much as I hope my quota of meeting such breed is almost full, I do dread meeting them again. God help us!

Toxic people are real. And, insecurity is a disease, a mental one. God help them too.

Hope the wheels of time turn for good.

And, for all those insecure humans out there,

“You are just a small part of someone’s life outside your family, not the whole. People have better things to discuss and talk about. Not everything has to be about you!”

*** The Neutral Gear ****


Impulses are red buttons. You see the red colour. You know that red colour more often, signifies danger. And yet, you press them with 99 percent apprehension and 1 percent thrill!

Animals on the other hand do not side with red buttons – the impulses. They are instinct driven. They take the risk, a calculated one at that and, proceed with a 100 percent confidence. Like, a cat defending her kittens from a snake or, a tigress pulling her playful cub with caution from croc infested banks.

But, human beings are wired different. They more often fall prey to impulses than instincts. And surprisingly, humans weren’t impulse driven from the beginning. As children, they are more like animals. They have their own calculations on risks and probabilities. Like, I remember my son Arjun demanding snacks only from a select few at the age of three. And, he would simply refuse anything from any other person who he does not include in his circle of trust! Get the drift?

However, as adults the game changes. Adults are more often driven by emotions. Hurt comes first. Reasoning often is the guest that arrived after the ‘Baraat’ left. It is as though there is this particular gear that adulting phase rides on. In this gear, rules must be followed whether or not they make sense. It is a phase wherein we all join the race against time with no idea about where the road ought to take us to.

Coming to think of it, what is life’s agenda?

Earning money is a necessity. But, how much is always a catch. And while, the earning process, a necessity takes away a major part of our life, there are a million wishes, small wishes that silently die within. It could be as little as stopping the car and, noticing the Sun hide behind the clouds even as your meeting ought to begin within the next 5 mins. It could be as miniscule as taking a deep breath while your mistakes are being pointed out to you in public, with you knowing that this too shall pass. Or, it could be the familiar aroma of Maggi that a small food truck is making in the evening hours and, it makes you think….what was the Maggi man thinking when he envisioned taking Nestle’s profit bearer to new heights, while the laptop is constantly reminding you of someone pinging you from the other hemisphere about whether you have prepared the reports or not!

Oh yes, so many thoughts crowd the mind in those moments.

And, among those tricky thoughts, REGRET emerges the biggest chink!

Regret of how life could have been different if only one took the chance.

Regret of having missed the many small moments of joy in the pursuit of luxuries, loyal to none!

Regret of NOT having watered the passions of art within you…

Regret is worse than impulse. It stays and corrodes the mind while, impulse seeks more of it. Regret clubbed with impulses basically make you a hamster on the hedonic treadmill! The chase to arrive at the point of perfection, an elusive illusion sucks the energy out, leaving the mind drained and disillusioned!

But, there is one thing in it for sure, to take away.

LIFE breezes by, with no pauses.
TIME has always preferred flying to running.
STEREOTYPES thrive on crushed dreams and, unquestioned rules.

And, a life force needs massive courage to break through stereotypes, befriend Time with its Alice like charm and, take pauses even as Life continues to drive on. No harm in putting your slogging vehicle of life into neutral gear and think about where you are headed to.

Because, moments of clarity often come in the most inopportune times and, once the Eureka moment has arrived, then you probably have Time and Life on your side.

Stereotypes ought to die someday. That day is definitely NOT today.

But, Today could very well be the beginning of the end.

End of stereotypes.
End of regrets.
End of everything that you must unlearn.

#NarayaniInPonderLust

*** Moments to remember ***


#NarayaniInPonderLust

#JoysOfTeaching

It has been two weeks since I resumed my role as an instructor for Spoken English. With a batch of 23 enthusiastic women, here I am, falling in love with the language just like the first time when my fingers held Agatha Christe’sBy the pricking of my thumbs”

The reason I relate this experience with the ecstatic feeling I swam in, relishing my first ever novel is, the probability of what lies unknown shall remain unknown until we flip the page!

Life is one amazing riddle where you can take the assistance of every astrologer, Neumerologist, palmist and whosoever can solve the riddle! And yet, there will be a facet of it noone knows about.

The entire journey for me spanning from last year was something like that. I took the opportunity to teach on an impulse just to get away from a humdrum existence. And, the experience was a revelation, every bit.

This year however, the opportunity knocked before I could think about it. And yet again, I took it on a whim.

Somehow, the feeling of reading that first novel at the age of 9 flowed into me yet again as, I looked forward to a Monday of 8th July where I would be meeting with 23 women – women who felt it was meaningful to set aside two hours in a day to invest in learning the nuances of Spoken English.

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So, How have the two weeks passed by?

Well, I would say – it is just the beginning and, I hope to take it to the finish line with grace.

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That said, I do have an amazing time with my students. Unlike last year, this year, I have students from almost every region of India. And, it is kind of amazing to know them, their hometowns, their cultures and traditions, their hobbies and interests and, what not! But, all of them have one thing in common – they took a decision to enroll in my class with an aim to take away something productive from what I feed their headspaces with.

Like every new class begins with some ice breaking session, so did mine! And, it amazed me to know them through their life lens. Some had not opened up on the first day. Some opened up way too easily. And, some opened up slowly in the coming days. It was in those moments of listening to their perspectives, I knew why I enjoyed taking these classes.

I am drawn towards people who speak with no inhibitions. I love listening to women who have a thousand wishes in their hearts and, are somehow just getting through the day in their mundane routine with no complaints whatsoever. I am intellectually tingled when I see women who have just completed their 12th, are motivated to learn what eludes them.

Trust me, if you pay attention to the world outside the laptop and smart phone, the world ain’t bad. It is rather beautiful. And, my class of 23 make me see that beauty each day.

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So, while we are currently battling the ‘grammar’ tide and, making sure we are all aboard safe on the yacht of English, there were these few instances where the teacher and the students collaborated to learn something new. So, while I was teaching about the usage of ‘articles’, One of the students suddenly asked me a question I did not have an answer for then.

Her query was, “why do we use the article ‘an’ before words like honest, honest and honour?”

Could I answer? Nope.

I did remember of having cleared the same doubt that the son asked a couple of years back. Only I did not remember what I had answered..🙈🙈

So, while I was dismissing the class, I told my students –a good question! And, we both will work on it. You get the answer first, you share it with the class and with me and, I get the answer first, I share it!😁”

Apparently, they did try getting the answer. However, the usage of phonetics in English is like getting into a maze. No two sounds will sync when you assume they will! It was here I pitched in with what I comprehended.

It so happens that the ‘h’ in words mentioned is silent leaving the vowel O take the ‘sound’ lead. (If anyone can throw more light here on the topic, you are welcome to do so.)

And then, there was a second question that popped up on the next day from another student.

“In Hindi, we often say khana jhoota ho gaya. How do you say the same in English?”

And, I thought how little I knew the language I thought I knew. Despite having used the synonyms umpteen times, the word eluded me. Again, I told my class – “let’s take it as a home work and, come up with an answer tomorrow.”

The next day, we all forgot the doubt and, it was yesterday (2 days after the doubt was thrown to the wind), one of my students walked up to me and said, “ma’am, is the word contamination ok to infer the Hindi phrase of Jhoota karna?”

I was touched.

And, the deluge of synonyms flooded my head all of a sudden.

My mum used to say this all the time when I was a kid… about how a teacher is also a student in progress. I guess, this was that moment for me.

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So, as I sit and type away the words that are churning within, I ponder over the facades I carry with me. I usually take care when I have to speak. I am conscious about what I have to speak most of the time. With time, I have begun to trust patience more than impulses.

However, the two hours I spend as a teacher with these students, I am in my most comfortable self. No facades. No masks. No inhibitions whatsoever.

As I say this, I hope I make them feel the same way too. Perhaps, it is that bridge of comfort that makes the entire classroom experience unique.

These women are from different backgrounds. They have so much to share. They have stories to tell. They want to be heard. They need to be heard. And, every time I hear them speak from their heart, with something they relate to, their eyes twinkle.

Like I mentioned about predictions about future when I began this post, I have to admit I am NOT drawn towards the concept of Predictions. I am rather drawn towards the journey itself.

Essentially, even if one percent of this batch goes ahead and pursues their dreams, I will have one reason to believe that I did something right.

That said, this is just the beginning. And, beginnings are always tough. Let’s hope, ‘The English Yacht’ sails through with success.

Blessed be 😊