Creative company

You just need two to tango! Seriously, the annual exhibition at Daly College, Indore was our time to unleash our creativity.

With Aditi at my side, I never had to look further for support.

Once I said ok, let’s get a pot, a clay pot, we can do something.

‘Chalo, chalo,’ says she and off we go and get a clay pot.

Then to the carpenters at the college and get a wheel to put the pot on.

With a scholar’s hat on it, our exhibit was ready.

Then I suggest, ‘treasure hunt karein’, ‘chalo, chalo’, says she.

We rush to the carpenters and they craft a little castle. To reach the castle and get the gift, we arrange many hurdles of vocab tests, word origins, phrases and what not. Lo! there is a rush at our site again.

Once it was ‘The Mid Summer Nights Dream’ that caught my fancy. A little blue box with shimmering lights, and some the support of students, we did exactly that.

A mega television box with film posters rolling on, to the grammar tree, our ideas always engrossed us so much that we often forgot lunch.

But when there is good company, work is so much a pleasure, so it was with my dearest friend, Aditi at Daly College, Indore.

Creative Companion

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Taka dhimi Taka JaM, Jam

‘Learning can happen anywhere,’ I reason.

‘What is the need to go?’

‘Here or there, how does it matter?

I gulp the uneasiness in my throat and laugh.

It is difficult to let the bird fly when all you want to do is to hold, hug, hold closer.

‘Little bird, little bird, don’t fly away, not yet, not now’.

But it is true that life has to go on and separation is inevitable.

The little bird has to go, build a nest and make a home.

A new home.

Where you being yesterday, can not make house in tomorrow, so said Rumi.

Hmmm…

Such is life.

Such is living.

Yet hope, keep the hope of love, of belonging.

And says she…

‘Now you don’t need me no, hun!’

‘Adopt, it seems, adopt!’

‘You are mother of all children, that child, this child, her smile, his talk…oho’

‘Ha..ha.. boyfriends also, hun…. What life!’

‘Outings also’

‘hun’

‘Yappa, plans!!!’

‘I want to see where all this goes, how far’

Rolling eyes

Pout

‘Don’t say you are busy, when I call, woman! hun!’

Silence!

Then taka dhimi taka jam

and a purrr!!!

Mentoring

So, what is bothering you?

Is it the work, the overload of it?

The lack of clarity in life ?

The lack of love?

Or too much of it????

Tell me.

Long talk…………………..

Ok, in all this talk you never talked about yourself.

Do you see that?

Are you not important to yourself?

Yeah, of course, why not?

I am most important.

Hmm. Good. Think it out.

We will talk again.

Oh! ohk!

Actually, I am cool, super cool, really.

Next week then

Bye, remember to be your best friend.

Ohk! I am already I am.

Ohk!

Bye, for now!

PS: Overhearing

Set the bar high, watch a miracle happen – Classroom Tactics

Years of working with young people has taught me a lesson or two in dealing with them and bringing out the best.

I have realized that the mistake we do when we interact wit young people is that we underestimate their strengths and abilities. The cascading effect of our observation and feedback on the person’s performance as an adult or a teacher leaves a long lasting impact on the individual and then the class.

What. then is the best way to go about in training or teaching?

Set the bar high, really high.

I really mean this. The last semester we had a course on Design Thinking for the students. Students were supposed to work on projects of their choice in groups of 6-10. As the groups set out to work, I said, ‘This very classroom in which you are seated now, has witnessed some very good presentations by your seniors. In fact, there were times when I was propelled to my feet out of sheer enthusiasm generated by the excellence of the presenter. I am sure you can do that too maybe even try and out do your seniors.’

As the days went by and it was time for evaluation, I was more than impressed when the students carried a huge apparatus to the classroom. They had been working on it for weeks together, they said. They met after class hours, pulling themselves out of their comfort zones to bring out a miracle.

I was staggered in surprise and shock and was absolutely speechless.

What could I say to such ingenuity, to such a show of sheer grit and hard work?

As the students carried the working model of a car to the class, they said that everyone on the corridor wanted to know what is that really?

It made them feel proud they said.

You really pushed us to outdo ourselves, mam, they said simply.

Surely, it was not me but their team spirit and enthusiasm that won the day so much that I was compelled to propose the idea of hosting an exhibition of Design Thinking and Team Building and the enthusiasm it created in the student community, re-emphasized to my mind the thought that the higher you aim, the higher you fly.

To the sheer strength of spirit and joy of creative inquiry, three cheers!!!

classroom creativity

Pocket Empowerment and Okhai, An ultimate fashion destination

So empowerment must be something that is huge, intangible, takes years to happen and has a governmental sort of sound to it…some abhiyaan may be.

But true empowerment I discovered recently pocket sized or pocket shaped.

So what can a pocket do to empowerment?

First and foremost, it sets your hands free.

Secondly it takes weight off your shoulders.

Thirdly, it keeps you free of that great impediment to female swinging of the hands, meaning the shoulder bag!

Yeah truly, many a hand has been tied for years to a stupid bag that carries the most useless and much lost kind of items.

I can’t tell you how delightful it has been for me to be able to put my hands into my own pockets and pick up a pen, a coin or a debit card.

Voila! life has since been happier and lighter and to my some times naive mind, fashionable even.

So all the Kurtis I have been splurging on in my annual season end sale kind of shopping have been pocketed in style.

I want pockets in saris that wonderful anciently fashionable feminine attire, and pockets in kurtis , in skirts and pants and dress and yes, just everywhere possible!

Now is this too much to ask!

So, my favorite find of recent times has been Okhai for everything from its name to, its style, to what it says it stands for. So Okhai dresses, it is, stealing the heart and stealing the show, pockets, beads, cotton and all.

https://okhai.org/pages/about-us

https://okhai.org/

Where as the claustrophobia of the ubiquitous Jeans as a comfy fashion garment seem to wear off, the refreshing floral designs on cotton in flowing forms empowered with the pockets seem to beckon.

So, look out for Okhai! and say hi!

ARE YOU SICK? How to unsick?

Not really.

Sick, how funny?!!!

When Anu reached out to a friend, seeking some company and comfort,

She was asked, are you sick?

In the hindsight, thought Anu, it must be a certain kind of sickness, to

seek and not to be heard and to seek again.

Funny!!!

It has been a fun journey so far.

She looked at life through the prism of an observer.

She thought of life and its many turns and somersaults.

Her inability to socialize and have new friends and her meaningless

clinging to the few , she thought she could count on.

But why?

Well, said Anu, I am like this, ‘sick!’, ha…ha…ha…

There have been times of wanting to give up.

Of just packing up and disappearing into the unknown, some third

level…just like that.

Sometimes Anu said, it is the inability to communicate and the

incapability to be understood.

Sometimes, it is merely claustrophobia of life situations….inability to

breathe freely.

Sometimes it is acute loneliness, a global phenomena, yes, but a very

personal experience.

Then work, just work to forget pain, and then pain and the cycle endlessly.

But also the learning, the growth, the change, and the many joys of work.

Anu looked at herself and found the distance she travelled has had a telling effect on her and

smiled.

Because the world is in pain, worms, birds, animals, waters, the very air is

in pain, such pain that even the skies can’t assuage them.

In such pain, amidst such suffering, what is one man’s sorrow of not being

understood, it is nothing against acute hunger of so many children.

So, relax, you are good, Anu told herself.

You are very good. In fact you are fortunate.

Very fortunate.

Cause your blessings far outnumber your grievances or would your smile

stay so long?

Just keep up the smiles.

Much is yet to be experienced, including the finer emotions, the nobler

ones, the crux of all life and living.

Many roads await a traveler quaint and curious.

Many stories wish to be retold.

Many souls await the reaching of a mindful listener.

So keep the hope.

The universe has been demanding, a ruthless teacher, relentless in her

teachings and that has helped. How beautifully it has changed you.

So be grateful.

The struggles have made your soul more beautiful, helped you to judge

less and be kinder and more compassionate.

So find your strength in expression, in deeds, in words.

Life helped you shed quite a lot of inhibitions.

It taught you that self reliance is worthy and appreciable.

So strengthen self.

To travel, to meet new faces, to have fun, to write and to read.

Even to build, to hold and help.

Because you are capable, loving and kind.

There is hope for you, love for you, wealth and the sky for you.

Trust me, life is just getting sweeter, like the proverbial gooseberry,

the bitterness is over, it is time for saccharine sweetness.

So reach out and embrace the many adventures of life.

Besides, you got to love yourself before you loved anyone else.

So splurge in love, in tender care, and share happiness with the world.

You will have great company.

Great joys await you.

As does great work.

Go girl, live your life.

Love

Lekha

PS: Friends, mentors, many foes, never, none! Beautiful life.

Settled! Eh!

Anu hates it when people ask this question.

The last decade unsettled her every which way.

Running from pillar to post, counting on ways to meet the ends.

So, she ran from job to job and home to home and relishing the fact that ‘ I am so compatible, see!’, marveling at her own adaptability in between her low, ‘tear shed’ and ‘heart break’ times. One thing she noticed is that the heart that trembled and the thoughts that muddled, cleared after she sent a few SOS here and there randomly. Some times there was help or a cheerful ‘hi’, sometimes there were none, but the expression of anxiety helps and a path does show itself.

Whenever, she sat down to take a breath, life whispered, ‘Here’s the new challenge! Go get that’, with almost an evil laughter.

So, when storms gathered threatening to submerge her , she put on her armor, wrote a few things, shed a few tears and rasped ‘here I come!’.

‘Oh! so it started like this, and now you are here., look at you!

;Oh! so you earned this much, and spent all, tsh, tsh.

‘But this girl, she is yours, wow, congratulations.

So, you are still smiling, how is that really?!!!’

Packing bags at landing at her home with a cry for help was never an option, so there she stood, as storms gather, clouds darken, she knows for sure a hand or two will reach out, most importantly the armor is intact and can stand a few more battles, so why not?

If spice is what life offers, take it and make a sambhar, aur kya???

Besides in the game of life, who ever settled, really!!!!

Soul (Dis)connect & impending change

It does amuse me to think of how souls are connected to each other despite our many differences and our distances. So, when the grumpy superior taunts, teases and almost insults, I look at her, most amused at this sudden outpouring of powerful emotions, is she aware of what she is thus exposing? Does it augur well for me? Do I now have to renew the resume and restart the search?

Perhaps it is a good omen, perhaps there is something bigger. And well, what about karma, isn’t karma supposed to kick in and reward me for unparalleled good deeds?

Well, I know them to be so, I thought a bit unsure as I mulled over it longer.

What oil rich countries now need the service of a classy, trained, patient and wonderfully skilled charismatic English teacher? What wonderful adventures await the charming soul in such travels?

What great institutions are suffering, being deprived of the enlightenment that this humble at times slightly arrogant individual alone can provide?

What MNCs are waiting to unload treasures from their coffers to the good skills and great abilities that this wonderful person can alone provide?

What sagely wisdom now awaits the mighty pen of the mightier writer?

What casts/pod or otherwise have now to be shared in the clouds?

Is this now the chance to ‘influence’ and turn an ‘influencer’, maybe?

In a world of’ unique you’, ain’t I the only one with no replacement?

Perchance there is the possibility of her founding a grand institution, one that helps and heals and stands by women? How mightily noble does that sound?

What noble soul albeit rich in heart and kind shall now manifest to lend a hand,( knights in armor are still female fantasies!!! despite feminism the truth of life is that the man gets it all, so better get the man and then get all, right?)

Whither the winds of corona dost thou steer my ship???

The idiosyncrasies of the mind are relentless and allow me the humor to stand apart and look at this phase of my life, thinking this too shall pass……

Until such time Cheerio!

Friends and dreams- of Pursuing alternative therapy in kerala

So, I catch up with a friend on a whim, and lo, the girl who rarely has time being busy taking care of everyone else, picks the call and we talk for straight two hours. For the two hours , the smile that stayed on my face made me at once sad and happy, sad for how we have missed talking for long and happy for how we enjoyed this catching up.

My sweet friend was always enterprising and energetic. Her cheerful giggles and laughter was her hallmark then, when we were in college and now two decades later, I am happy to hear the same chirpiness in her voice.

Being self driven, effusive and full of life, she always longed to do more. She tried her hand at running a boutique which was quite popular given her sense of fashion, outgoing nature and enterprise. Yet, the past few years, she has been a student of alternative medicines.

Her shift to alternative medicines started with her mom’s untimely death, being the youngest to two brothers, she was her mom’s pet and this incident shook her badly.

What started as a cursory superficial interest in acupuncture, yoga, Dorn therapy and so on got her in touch with some of the brightest and best minds in the field.

She also became quite popular in her area, where people the locals turned to her for solace and some advice.

When some of her friends, her family turned to her for suggestions on’ ‘how do we do this’, ‘what is happening to me’, my diligent sweet friend tended to them with care.

‘Perhaps this was my call’, she said smilingly, ‘I never wanted to learn anything about English, really!’, she chuckled.

When her loving husband built her the clinic she so wanted in front of her home and also joined the same course out of his love for her, she says, ‘life has indeed come to a full circle.’

Recently, she did fall sick and badly too, when I called her, she smiled,’yeah, I am alive, good you called me!’.

She talks earnestly of how alternative therapies are looked down as some ‘mumbo jumbo’ and how allopathy or the so called, ‘English ‘ medicine always gets an upper hand.

In fact, it is patients who give up hope on ‘allopathy’ , who go scrambling for acupuncture, Dorn therapy and more.

‘Someday you should talk to more people, maybe even teach, and come online and share your wisdom with world’, I insisted. ‘If he is ok, I will,’ she said and went quiet.

Stay cheerful, dear Sof, there’s many who will thank you for bringing joy to their lives.

I have personally experienced the benefits of a bit of care and love, and some so-called, ‘slow therapies’ in my life but Rujuta Diwekar, the now very famous dietician made a scathing remark on our blind trust of experts and equally blind distrust of traditional foods. ‘If the doctor prescribes a medicine, you will take it without question, but when your mom or grand mom tries to convince you of the benefit of turmeric milk at night, yoga or say, the ubiquitous ‘kaada’, that miraculous cure for sore throat, you resist, but why?’, she asks. Well, she is right. Our fear of being not so progressive and cultured, perhaps of being called jingoistic, stops us from appreciating the ‘mumbo jumbo’ of alternative therapies, which have been around for centuries!

A demonstration of Dorn Therapy

Ps: Grass is grass, till you learn to name it, or realize what value it has!

Living to learn

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