Tag Archives: #creative

Student leadership &the annual magazine

Bringing out the annual magazine has been a pet project in my teaching career. I had not done much of work for the college magazine, when I was a student and I deeply regretted it.

Then there was this deep deep desire and longing to be a columnist, a writer and to have my writings appear in the newspapers of our times.

Since my efforts to enter Indian Institution of Mass Communication was squashed due to my lack of preparedness to answer questions with confidence in the interview round, I decided not to try again, no I was advised strongly against taking up this very unsafe career.

In the hindsight, I have no regrets about not having taken up journalism as a career but the desire to present and get acknowledgements for students efforts at expression perhaps stemmed from these thoughts and experiences.

Eversince I started off as a true blue English teacher, I rallied around the higher offices of administration, fought with management, burnt midnight oil at the printers in my endeavour to bring out the annual magazine.

My daughter will definitely remember sleeping at the printers or playing there with her toys, till the copy was being edited and ready to print. At Agarwal Public School, where I taught in 2002- 2006, I found enthusiastic support from the student community to bring out the magazine and the newsletter which we did diligently. I remember how the founder had once suggested that he could get a message from any film actor for the magazine and I had to literally refuse it staking my job for the sake of avoiding overarching bragging.

Well! later at Presidency School, Bangalore East, again I rallied my students and we prepared the sample quite a few times but somehow it never got the support it should have had, to see the light of the day. The student editors were disappointed to say the least!

At Presidency University, though I am not a part of the English Department, I was assigned to take up the task of bringing out the Annual Magazine. The students and the team of faculty consisting primarily of yours truly and Gopal Sir, brought out the first edition of the annual magazine feeling euphoric about the achievement. When the second edition had to come out, a new set of enthusiastic and committed students joined the students affairs department, which I was then entrusted to manage as Assistant Dean, and the efforts the students put in was consistent and topclass.

Infact, all the creatives, all the reports, the preparations and everything else was so well managed by the members of the students community who took any challenge with an unmatched enthusiasm and peformed every task with great finesse.

So the 2019-20 magazine kind of took shape but went through a long period of gestation before it could reach our hands.

When it did, it was something worthwhile to hold in hand, read and recollect.

The team who spearheaded the task included Sufiyan, Hariharan, Hannan and Sakshi and received lots of support from the members of other clubs.

Some skill sets develop better outside the classroom in the process of brain storming, organization, execution and introspection, so I am sure it must have been for the youngsters who pitched their efforts to make the students affairs a happening place.

A bit of encouragement and support can do wonders to the youth and can help them place themselves as accomplished and talented individuals in the society. We really need to get our youth engaged at every level in the society and that should augur well for our collective future.

University magazines and student talents

Of gratitude

To go back to studying when you are a full blown adult is not an easy choice. Yes, you take pride in having done justice to your parenting responsibilities, but you already are in that loop of EMIs and various other billing activities which tie you down, a caesura at this point is akin to harakiri, or so you think, or fear.

Then comes a mother’s heart calling out to you and saying, ‘ fear not child, do what you want for once, just do it’, and she laughs away all the fears saying ,’what are we here for?’

And a father who chips in,’ it’s not impossible, we are there for you.’

It is terrifying to think of the instability it brings, the staying away from work, even for a short time, the insecurities for someone who has prided on financial independence, yet, a promise looms and a hope and a cause calls, the call is persistent, deep, insistent, relentless and you cannot look away.

Then comes a message, a talk and an assurance, from someone I taught a good 2 decades ago, ‘I want to help you in your studies, just let me know’, it is just a word of promise but it lifts the spirits immediately, as if the universe answered a call, and calmed a fear, and smiled away a tear.

Years ago, I quit school teaching to move to the corporate, in need of a gainful employment, to pay the bills of course, again I remember how one of students asked, ‘What made you quit teaching? You would not have done that. You see, I am a corporate lawyer now. I can help you. Let me know what you need’. The words at that time brought tears to my eyes. I had expected such support from those in my immediate vicinity but there it came from a student again, who had just started his career.

I think of how the universe is assuaging my fears and holding out a hand, egging me on to a journey, whose turns I am not yet able to see.

Yet, it is true that there have been new opportunities and meeting with people who value my abilities in a slow, subtle manner that seems to be changing my universe in some ways, perhaps, a new horizon shines, a new friend or two waits, a new journey begins…

For the Ullysses in me, who wants to go looking after a sinking star, what could be better?

I now feel it won’t be difficult to find a school for Sunil to study, a place to work and learn for Chanamma, a place for me to grow as a writer and a student and to contribute to a cause so close to my heart…. perhaps that is what it is…..a place from where I can reach out and say to those I love and those who love me, here I am for you always…. I have everything to help you…ha, life… what learnings, what lessons!!!

Gratitude is all that I can think of…..