Three songs that are significant to you.

Music is the essence of all beings. We find music and rhythm in everything that we do. The birds chirping, the water falling, the sounds of cooking…… there is music all around as and in everything that we do. Music is a great mood uplifter for me. I can’t imagine my life without music. I would probably shrivel and die if I was denied music.

I was introduced to music at a very young age and since then my day has started with songs sung by my mother and ended with her humming a tune. Strangely my mother never required a source of music to listen to……. no iPod….. no stereo. Sometimes she would listen to the radio as she went about her daily chores….. but that was about it. I was introduced to a rather serious form of music….. Hindustani classical. It was supposed to fine tune my voice after which I was supposed to have branched into Rabindra Sangeet. I didn’t go that far as to become a maestro but enough to understand the delicacy and movements in music. I simply didn’t have the commitment and discipline required for the training….. but music remained my passion. My choice of music is eclectic. I can be happy listening to pop or disco and be equally comfortable listening to a rendition of  Raga bhimpalasi.

I am an Indian so my choice of songs will essentially be Hindi or Bengali the language that I am comfortable with.  I love so  many songs that I am not able to decide which one to put up. The crazy thing is that the top ten on my charts keep changing so often that I really can’t keep track of it.

So I am going to go with my first song being my all time favorite. Its a song by Pankaj Udhas from the album “Aman” : Song is Abhi ghar na jana.….. This song gets me nostalgic every time I hear it. This song is something of a blast from the past that I have not been able to shake off till date. I don’t know whether it is the slow tempo or the lyrics or maybe the piano used as the main musical instrument…… the song always has me in a sort of nostalgic and melancholy mood. I remember when I first heard the song I was in college and I must have replayed the song a hundred times.  The song really has no significance just that it is a beautiful piece of music by a great singer that I had come to adore. The music is light and it is soothing to hear. The lyrics are meaningful and there isn’t much as far as instruments….. just a piano.  I am posting the video of the same. (Courtesy You Tube)

 

The second song that I chose came to my mind as soon as I read the post. It is a very strange choice of music. It is a bhajan by Saint Kabir. Why it was my choice I wouldn’t be able to tell…… just that it was something my mother left in some corner of my mind. My mother would often sing this song. More often than I can remember. It made quite an impact on me. (Courtesy : YouTube )

LYRICS

Maati Kahe Kumhar Se, Tu Kya Rundhe Mohe
Ek Din Aisa Ayega, Main Rundhungi Tohe…

Aaye Hai So Jayenge Raaja Rank Fakir
Ek Sinhaasan Chadh Chale, Ek Bandhe Janjir
Durbal Ko Naa Satayiye, Jaaki Maati Hoye
Bina Jeev K Shwas So, Loha Basam Ho Jaye…

Chalti Chakki Dekh Ke, Diya Kabira Roye
Do Patan Ke Bich Me, Sabut Bacha Naa Koi
Dukh Me Sumiraan Sab Kare, Sukh Me Kare Naa Koi
Jo Dukh Me Sumiran Kare, To Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye…

Patta Tuta Dal Se, Le Gayi Pawan Udaye
Ab Ke Bichade Kab Milenge, Door Padenge Jaye
Kabir Aap Thagiye, Or Na Thagiye Koi
Aap Thage Sukh Upaje, Aur Thage Dukh Hoye

TRANSLATION

Clay asks potter why do you knead me
one day it will be my turn to knead you
( it refers to the day when the potter will be dead and would be buried in ground).

Everyone who is born will die some day, be it a  king or a poor man.
one goes on a throne and another one goes with chains on its body.
Don’t harass the weak, there is a lot of power in curses.
just like a lifeless dhokni can melt a strong thing like iron. 
( Dhokni is a hollow cylindrical tube used to blow air in furnace to make it hotter) 

On seeing the grinding stone (which grinds the flour), Kabir cries
nobody can survive between the two stones of karma and family 
Everyone remembers god in bad times, no one remembers god in good times.
if you remember god in good times, then you would never have bad times .

A leaf  falls off the branch and is carried away by the wind
Now that they have got separated who knows when they will meet
Kabir says don’t con others and don’t get conned by others as well ,                
You cant con anybody and get away with it.

The third song is by Frank SinatraMy Way“. I love all his songs but this one especially for the lyrics. He kind of talks about my motto in life. I love the song simply because it is a very meaningful song and a very beautiful rendition.  I identify myself with the song and the way he has sung it. He has encompassed his whole life in the song. It is a beautiful composition. (Courtesy : YouTube)

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If you had the power to get somewhere where would you go right now?

Memories are tricky things. Bad memories can take us to a place where we are uncomfortable and unsafe……  whereas a Good and Beautiful memory can take us to a place where we not only feel safe but also it is something that stands out in the course of our life.

In my case some of my best memories are at the fort of Sinhagad,  in the outskirts of  Pune.  The winding lanes leading to the fort are lined with little yellow and orange wild flowers. So much that from far it looks like a carpet of yellow and orange. The low clouds touch your hair as you drive up the lanes. The cold wet feeling of having them over your face  is a wonderful feeling. Then comes the lovely trek up the fort…… Yeah it is tiring but reaching on top is worth every drop of sweat. By the time you are on the top you have the blood pounding in your ears. You stop awhile to catch your breath and take a small break and drink the cool clear water from the well and then look down to the beauty of the city way below you.

Everything seems so small and inconsequential at that moment. No problem or worry seems too big that it cant be handled. You feel invincible…… you can do anything. The moment of peace envelops you and you feel calm. Thats the feeling everytime…… every single time.

That moment when all the sounds in your mind stop and you can not really speaking hear anything, is what I try to capture. I dont really have any thoughts passing through my mind at that moment….. just a sense of stillness. Nothing seems to matter at that moment. I get that feeling every single time I have been there.

I havent been to sinhagad in a very long time now…… almost a decade plus……. now that I go back and calculate. Guess I have to rectify that before long.  With the industrialisation and IT boom in my city there has been a total geographic and demographic change in the city and the outlook of the people of the city. I doubt whether things are still the same….. or is it just me who has gotten older, bitter and disillusioned.

Sinhagad has been and will be for more years than any person living right now on earth.  Only people change around it.  A new generation looking for peace and solace like I did years before…… I hope they find it as I did and still do!!!

 

 

When I was ten and six

Lately all the posts in my blog have become nothing short of emotional atyachaar…. so I took a cue from NaBloPo and its daily topics for the month of June and this is the best topic that I could think of. If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year old self, what three things would you tell yourself?

If I had to go back in time and meet my 16-year-old self….. I would have been in the twelfth standard in St Mira’s College….. almost a purani jeans and guitar moment. Those days life was FULL up to the brim and very very interesting…. too interesting if I look at it from my Ma’s point of view.

At sixteen Life had:

Too much ambition.

New found freedom.

Lots and lots of laughter and giggling.

Experimenting with EVERYTHING.

Living and sleeping in jeans and skirts and wearing Dad’s shirts….. especially the ones he ironed the night before to wear to work….. which he absolutely hated!!!

It was the time for: Friends, making groups….. breaking them. Talking about boys all the day until you almost puked….. yeah that much….. and I did puke at the end of the day…… Each person writing a dissertation on their current love and the loss of past love!!! Man it changed very often…… used to have a hard time keeping track of everybody’s……. Flavour of the month.

Sixteen was also the era of getting proposed to almost every day with flowers, letters written in blood or maybe red ink, teddies and a wide paraphernalia of things…… usually fighting back…… slapping….. beating them……. eating flowers and becoming a walking talking paper shredder machine, specialising in shredding letters and cards into very very tiny minute particles and then blowing them in the air. Believe me the whole experience was quite traumatic causing me to stay indoors at home for days ultimately being thrown out by dad.

Bunking college and spending days in college canteen gorging on vada pavs and vada sambars or experimenting with henna designs on each other’s palms and hair styles (mine was a ladies college)

First time copying from chits in the surprise (or surprise for us as we were busy bunking) tutorials and then throwing shoes out of the window and then jumping off the window to catch the train….. the shoes first because that’s where the chits were. Using the window more than the door to leave the class.

Sitting in the last bench in class and singing songs or writing poetry or sketching and giving lots and lots of grief to the teachers.

Spending the whole of sanctuary sketching on each other’s palms or tying up two random girls’ dupatta with each other or braiding their hair together or writing notes to each other with the background music of Keshava Madhava or aye malik tere bande hum.

Bunking classes and running in the tracks to catch the 245 local and then alighting at Shivajinagar and then taking the return local back to Pune at 330 and then finally going home in the same local at 450…… our scheduled time.

It was also my first exposure to the world of electronics and telecommunication. My friend’s pa had banned her from making phone calls so we used to join wires and then make calls and then again replace the phone to its broken self. There were these one rupee telephone booths at Pune station which often malfunctioned and we could make free calls for hours….. we did not even have to insert a coin. It was like our own private hotline. Very often we used to have some person threatening another on the phone next to us…… usually had to with some girl. We also gave a lot of blank calls to all our dushman….. and sometimes to some of our could-be friends as well.

At 16 padyatra was the call of the day…… I walked and walked and walked and walked First from home to Khadki station then Pune station via tracks to Koregaon Park…. to college then to work in Camp and then from Camp to Pune station and since I was in marketing all over again everywhere. Considering that pocket-money was so less, auto rickshaws was a status symbol something I could not afford.

Covering our faces while going to the theatres to catch the movies…… lest someone recognised us.

At 16 I had my first job….. financial independence.

First love……. first break-up…… first heart-break!!!!

Read books and more books and lots more after that….. all kinds of them……. Sometimes even read more than two a day. Read my first and last science fiction and totally hated it.

16 was also the time for serious studying…… slaving over economics and accountancy…… what saved the day for me was Subodh classes’ 99 test series and French and English. I wouldn’t have scored above average without these factors.

At 16 studying was usually done in Pune University main building or lawns or in the Sanskrit section because nobody went there those days. My home would be full of my sister’s friends and lots of clutter for her impending wedding causing havoc in my study pattern eventually started studying with the radio in full blast.

16 was also the first time I went to sinhagad for the first time and instantly fell in love with it.

Age 16 witnessed my oldest sister’s wedding….. my first experience at event management….. loved every moment of it….. also witnessed a Bengali wedding for the first time in my life.

Me having some or the other issues and refusing to go back to college or stepping our of home and dad threatening me with dire consequences and repeatedly telling me the importance of education and importance of career.

16 was rebelling……. rebelling against everything and anything that came before me. Lots of screaming and shouting at home……. Ma and Pa getting lots and lots of grey hair. The only thing I spoke at home were: I don’t know, I didn’t do it, I cant do it, I wont do it, I am hungry…… anything else and Ma and Pa would have a heart attack. Eventually Ma started using reverse psychology to get me to do things.

16 was sleeping lots and lots of sleeping so much that Ma had to throw me out of the bed each day and Dad gave me a lecture on sleeping each and every waking hour even when I was awake eventually I decided if I had to take it, I might as well do the bad deed.

16 was also the time when Ma scrutinised each and every male friend of mine and froze most of them. Every Sunday along with the oil head massage I also had to listen to Ma’s speech on the virtue of women…… typical Sulochana and Nirupa Roy style…… well it worked….. it kept me straight.

16 was not worrying about weight and eating everything and doing everything.

If I had to go back and tell something to myself it would be……. Great going…… You re the best!!!!

I wouldn’t want to change a thing or do anything any differently for those days then made me what I am now and waise bhi do sixteen year olds even listen???

The Movers and The Packers

Its been such a long time since I actually sat down and wrote. One of the longest blog sabbaticals since I started blogging.

Life for me has been too unpredictable this last year and the last few months have been total roller coaster ride with Hubzz…. so much that we don’t even dare plan the next meal lest it goes awry again….. just taking life as it comes.

So many things have happened that organizing all the the events and putting all of them to a logical order is going to take a lot of time. For the present I am home back to Pune……. not visiting this time but we actually moved….. LOCK STOCK and BARREL. The dreaded 2009 ended with me totally uprooting myself from Mumbai….. back home to the land I was born and grew up……. yet strangely it feels so unfamiliar….. When I think of home these days, it is my home in Mumbai which i so painstakingly created that I think of. Here living in a rented apartment…. very close to Ma and all my family it seems different. Things have changed so much here. At times I have to remind myself that this is where I grew up.

On my short trips to Pune which usually lasted for a day or two things were different but actually living here is much more different….. you interact on a more baser level your entire perception is totally different now. So what was that that I longed to come to…… A MIRAGE???

Packing and unpacking has been a terror. The movers and packers truly moved my life…… they moved me to TEARS!!! My whole life was packed in 15 cartons and 84 packages. The memories of my life in Mumbai…… I haven’t counted!!! I have collected so much junk over the past decade both material and emotional that putting all that out of my life is going to be an effort…… the cleanliness and organizing freak in me is crying out with joy but also making me burn innumerable candles in all the ends not to mention my arthritic hands and legs which scream out now and then but now I have learned to ignore the pain. For me I just have to scream out and my whole family will be here organizing things for me…… but ten years on my own I am resisting the urge. I am finally kindof organized and even have internet which is the last stop at kindof organized.

The weather here is a JOY!!! I had totally forgotten what winter was all about. Its like an unending holiday. The first week I shifted I was wearing a sweater all day. Now I just smile…… I have longed for winter for years now I finally have it!!! In Mumbai it is only the one glorious hour in the morning that reminds you that it is winter and if you have overslept….. you have missed it.

It was very painful to leave my home. I had created it brick by brick and the last few years it was my haven and my joy. It wasn’t well endowed like the museum pieces we see in the magazines but it was cozy and most important it was mine. When the Packers moved out it looked totally bare and forlorn. I could not help but mourn about it. But the last year has taught me that looking back will only cause you pain. So I chinned up and walked out promising my home a better tomorrow as I promised myself the same.

Moving my bike to Pune was a JOY….. nope that is an understatement it was pure unadulterated BLISSSSSS!!! After years I again drove down all alone to Pune from Mumbai. Since I got sick just managing my hands and legs was an effort so driving all the way to Pune from Mumbai was pure bliss. It was like as if I got back my freedom and I could fly again……. nothing in life compares to the happiness I felt while tackling the ghats. I wont get into similes and metaphors but just that after years I felt that my clipped wings had its power again. Traveling in Mumbai locals i used to feel like the chicken in their coup before being slaughtered. The solo drive back home on my bike was HEAVEN like the flamingos. Of course I did have Hubzzz on my tail continuously giving me “INSTRUCTIONS” but since he was in the tin ka dabba…. alias CAR….. it was not difficult to lose him or the cell just not working :-D. I am a veteran at two wheelers……… I don’t need instructions!!!!

All in all the move is good!!! I meet Ma and Pa EVERYDAY…… and now I can celebrate all functions and festivals with my family. I don’t need to call my sisters just drop in on them. I spend quality time with Hubzz (his place of work is only 10 mins away unlike the three local train changes and two and half hours one way in Mumbai) and Parents and my sisters and nieces (I had forgotten what it was to be the youngest in the family) and most important I am HOME…… where I belong!!!

I love first rains

I love the smell of first rain.
the smell of damp earth,
the smell of thirst quenching dry earth.
A smell unique of its kind like nothing you have smelt before.

There is something about the smell of first rain
a soul stirring feeling of tranquility and peace
the smell of growth……  hope of a new beginning.

Rains mean the wait is finally over
the long months of heat of the earth is over
it marks for cooler days of wishful thinking for better tomorrows
it highlights peace and hope like the new blades of grass that sprout out overnight.

Rain brings back so many memories of the past
memories of driving on the small lanes getting your body and soul wet.
shaking loose my hair and getting it wet down to the roots
and arriving home all dripping in water
and then Ma getting me dried with a cup of hot masala tea.

Memories of standing in middle of a road with your tongue out tasting the water.
standing on the back of the bike taking on the rain full blast
getting drenched and then borrowing a dupatta or scraf or raincoat to go back home.
also recent subtle memories of sitting by a lake watching the rain fill it up.

Rain means Bhimashankar and Sinhagad.
the clouds touching the ground and the wet feeling of walking through it.
Rain means standing wet in a tapari and warming yourself with a chai and sutta
first rains are unique….. they are simply ultimate!!!!

sitting by the window as I watch the rain drops fall one after the other
I am filled with happiness and peace
Like first love it always puts a smile of your face

I love rains and I am glad that it is back!!!

Arranged marriages : now and then

I finally managed to embark on the task of getting down to writing the post on arranged marriages as I had promised earlier. All I can say is that my mind was previously preoccupied with other tasks and I felt I would not be able to do full justice to the post so I refrained from writing it earlier. It turned out quite long so do bear with me!!!

In arranged marriages ritual of seeing the girl is of vital importance because this is the time when the girl and the boy’s family actually meet for the first time same for the girl and the boy. Maharashtrians call it the “kanda-pohe” ritual literally because traditionally kanda pohe is served in these functions!!! We bengalis don’t necessarily have the jargon but we do have the ritual. This first-time-ritual is forever embedded in the memory of both the girl and guy all their life. These make for interesting stories I have recounted some of them from the memories of my mother, sister and myself.

I and hubby were at a certain place in Pune, when we met this man, his wife and kids. The man was familiar to hubs so they got talking. I found this man very familiar but could not place him in my memory. An older couple soon joined the family, on seeing the older man and Woman……. Bingo!!! I remembered who they were!!!

Flash back: Some years back before my marriage, my family was approached with this alliance for me from this guy whose parents, when they came to meet me/Kanda pohe, (sans the guy, which is why I was not able to remember him and which irritated me) the mother and father of the boy kept asking me about my job particularly how much I earned and how much I saved and my bank balance. I dumped the family point blank refusing to even meet the guy who was more interested in my job!!!

I came home and told Ma and my sisters whom I met and we got talking on marriages!!! Before I give you the whole recount, I have to start the story from a little before independence of India: Before Ma’s birth!!!

Did you know that eons ago in India small girls were sold in marriage and the boy had to actually buy the girl? Those were times when the ratio of boys’ vs. girls was very less. My grandmother and my mother’s pishi of whom I had mentioned in one of my previous post were bought by their husbands. No dowry was paid by the girl’s family. Girls were married off at a very young age. They were brought up alongside their husbands but were denied school education. They were schooled at home like both my grandmothers.

My parents came to Kolkatta after partition. Ma was very small then but Ma’s sister was a little older so she was married off in haste. In the crossover they were looted, plundered and the women folk were gang-raped. I have both my grandfathers saying on record that during the crossover they were stripped to their skin and every naya paisa was taken from them. The women in the family were smuggled by the Muslim neighbors/friends and put in the crossover train when it was safe. When they finally reached Kolkatta they did not have a paisa to their name. Initially my grandparents set up home in the refugee camp and after a very long time made a home and haven for themselves and their children.

The reason I gave you the background is to understand the socio-economic condition of the people at that time also the socio-economic condition of my Ma’s family.

My grandfather started looking for a suitable groom for Ma since she was in the ninth standard. My Ma’s cousin (paternal sister) was of the same age and lived next door, so the proposals that would come would first round up her house and then come to see ma, (the word I will use here is Window shopping) which was fine by my grandfather. Ma claims that sometimes she would give two to three “sittings” in a day, sometimes five a week!!!

The girls were judged on how beautiful they were – color of the skin features etc. The other benchmarks included their education, family conditions, creativity, of course music etc. These sittings would have the boy’s family – full family, sometimes even extended family, and friends, (sans the intended boy) come and ask the girl – questions (read physical examinations). She was asked to show her hair – to check for split ends and length, made to walk, to see whether she limped and to check her feet….. apparently some feet are supposed to be bad luck….. Don’t ask me which ones…… I haven’t yet got to that yet…… still researching on that, her palm was read, in some cases she was asked to produce horoscopes, which my grandparents never bothered to make so never mattered!!! OK this is the bombshell: in some cases the girl was asked to show her teeth……. Yes her teeth were checked!!! and all this time ignorant me thought only horses were checked for their teeth!!!

The oral questions (read viva voce) that were put to them were usually stuff about running the house, budgeting, cooking, creativity in embroideries, music etc etc!!!

In one such sitting Ma was grilled for hours by an old man and prospective groom and family who had come to interview. They had already grilled her through the education, music, embroideries and recite a poem segments. He asked ma:

Old man: “How much salt will be required for cooking a lamb (patha) for so many numbers of people?”

Ma had had it until then!!! She was really fed up and she confesses that she did not want to get married at that point of time (she was in college then) and she did not like the guy…….. so she asked the old man

Ma: “Patha ta kar moton – apnar na apnar cheler moton???” (How is the lamb like you or your son!!!)

Guess the attitude was present in my genes….. so when decades later when my parents were looking for a groom for me. (Yes!!! I was incapable of finding one for myself) I was confronted with a similar situation when the guy’s uncle and aunt who had come to meet me kept asking me questions about my career and hobbies etc etc for their nephew who was a “Engineer from Jadhavpur” and they expected a Probashi like me who was born and brought up in Pune and whose second language was Marathi (first being English) to know where Jadhavpur is and its importance in the national history of the country and its contribution to the economic growth of the country and world at large. I always thought that MIT and Harvard were the best and the Indian institutes of IIM and IIT were good and after that it was the REC’s and NIT’s.

Anyway the uncle and the aunt looked disapprovingly at me and kept saying that their nephew liked long hair……. I had had it till that time with them raving and ranting about the nephew and making me sound inferior so frustrated I said:

ME: “Is your nephew bald?” both were stunned and angered.

Silence!!!

Then looking at their confused faced I clarified:

ME: “I thought that he wanted the girl to have long hair so as to enable him to make a wig with her hair”

Well they rejected me!!! Thank God!!! Else I would’ve been bald and the Jadhavpur guy in question would be sporting my hair!!!

Ma’s cousin who lived just a few blocks from her was dark. Eventually when she got married, her father had to pay a lot of dowry to the family of the groom. She was weighed in gold and the gold was given to the groom’s family. After the wedding she was harassed time and again for her color. She took in the abuse for a very long time. Then one day when she had a lot and could not take more of it on one fine sunny and glorious day she said:

Ma’s Cousin: “Even if I am black/dark, my father’s money/gold is not”

Ma recollects that once a family of nine brothers had come to see her and her cousin and they spent a week at their house with their full extended family and friends…… The guy in question was deaf by one ear (he was struck by lightning). They rejected both sisters and finally it was heard that the guy married some colleague of his with whom he was working – love marriage.

My Ma claims that my grandfather would say that the amount of money he spent in kanda pohes/sittings feeding the people who would come, he could’ve financed one whole wedding reception.

My sister’s mother-in-law was the sixth wife of her husband – all other wives were very beautiful but died without issues!!! She was chosen because unlike her predecessors she was dark and not good looking. She bore her husband lots of kids but her husband died young……. paradox!!! She and her kids outlived him.

My aunt’s wedding is more fun!!! In her wedding her uncles who were Sanskrit pundits had made a claim that to get married to their niece; the prospective groom would have to win in a Sanskrit debate with them!!! and no I am not talking about the times of shakuntalas and swayamvars!!! Just some time ago!!! My uncle was lucky he had amongst his family some Sanskrit exponents and they were married!!!

In contrary to stories of yore, arranged marriages today are much better where a neutral place like a restaurant or hotel lobby is selected for the meeting/Kanda pohe ritual and the boy and girl are given an opportunity to interact. Matrimonial sites organize swayamvars and camps where all the families can meet and interact and decide. The total kandha pohe ritual is done with and the Waiter serves the tea and kandha pohe to one and all!!!

I kind of like it when all the details are in black and white and the families can be very practical and actually ARRANGE an alliance between two families!!! The details being filled out in forms and the prospective bride and grooms look through them and decide on the available alternatives. These days like classic cases of E-love the arranged marriages through matrimonial portals too are good wherein the guy and the girl can chat with each other decide on the amiability before they actually meet.

Whatever the options I am glad I am through with it. I absolutely hated it!!!

Made in heaven

Marriages are said to be made in heaven
To be suffered on earth
Although of boys and girls, there is no dearth
The combinations made by heaven don’t seem quite even!!!
Arranged by parents for convenience’s sake
Couples come together in the oddest sizes and makes.

The man who slogs for his family,
Gets a grumbling wife.
The man who lives for himself,
Gets a doting wife and enjoys life.
The innocent girl gets a wicked male
Her story, a continuous pathetic tale.

The man timid and meek,
Is paired with a malacious, howling shriek.
The mod chick lands up with a country lad
And the country lad with a fashion fad.
The female wrestler gets a bag of bones
And the weakling, a Slyvester Stallone

The list is unending
Don’t you think the Gods need training???
Shouldn’t marriages be made on earth
So that their makers may prove their worth???
Or do you think marriage is a gamble
Through which one has to ramble
Whether planned in heaven or on earth???

I love teaching as well !!!

Yesterday my blog did not have any of my favorite widgets (read music widget) working…… Man I was so depressed!!! I could not think so I just put up some very nice stuff that my friends had sent to me. But honestly I could not imagine not having music in my blog….. so much that these days I just cant do without Bryan Adams, Celion Dion, Kishore and Bethany crooning while I type!!! So I decided to install a standby just in case!!! specially with blogger going into mood swings worse than my PMS ones!!!

I removed a lot of widgets from my blogs thanks to my blog getting linked to sites which are not to my liking and my site got a lot faster. In fact yesterday without the music widget it was even faster!!! In my pursuit for knowledge as to what was happening to blogger I came upon some articles which said that some of the widgets were banned in some of the sites. I decided to take the intelligent route and decided to install an additional music widget by google!!! you just cant take chances these days!!!

Yesterday, I completed my stint of teaching English!!! I was completely touched and heartbroken…… touched by the love that my students showered on me yesterday and heartbroken because I would not see them again…… yeah for the exams but then it is not the same!!!

I had never ever taken teaching as an option in my career. I always thought that teachers are born but I was so wrong!!! My students made a teacher of me!!! I have to say that this was my second best job in my career after CASP!!! All my life I never considered teaching as a career option. I would sometimes dabble in corporate training and do some teaching in management college….. believe me it is not the same!!! They are poles apart!!! In management college, the environment is totally professional also at corporate training.

Here I almost felt like a mother !!! Just like in CASP, I always mentioned my wards as my kids!!! same here I always thought of them as my kids. I never ever felt like that in management college. It is more like imparting information to colleagues. This was exhilarating!!! I simply loved it!!! But then things that you love are like ice cream they have limited shelf life so they have to be savoured and it is to be remembered at all times that it is going to end soon.

Within a week’s time I knew all their names and also what each ones strong and weak points were. I always did like English!!! but I have to say in school I did not like the structured way it was taught to us. So did not take the conventional route of teaching English but a totally unconventional one wherein we just spoke – all of us and individually removed inhibitions that the kids had and we developed as a team!!! We also covered everything that the curriculum had!!! The kids really loved it and it was not straining for any of them. I have to say that D.Y. Patil college was really supportive of the whole thing. Had they interfered in my work I would have left!!!

I joined CASP (Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme) when I was in the middle of tremendous corporate politics and I was so fed up of it. I was heading the HR team at that time and management wanted me to get into the politics bigtime and play it the dirty way not only that….. within days I was also in midst of a strike and lots of other dirty stuff that I don’t think anybody would want to enter!!! I did it but I was so depressed that I did not want to continue working in HR. I put in my papers and was wallowing in self-pity when my best friend dragged me out of the house and took me to CASP. She was a social worker there and I was taken in for a three month stint. I loved it there so much that at the end of one year when they were going to renew my contract I had to leave on personal grounds!!! We were both apologetic, both CASP and me…… more me than them!!!

I looked forward to every morning!!! Going to the community talking to people about their problems….. being part of community activities etc. The best thing I liked was kids!!! I used to spend days just surrounded by kids….. playing with them, watching over their food, studies etc etc on a daily basis. 80% of my kids were HIV positive….. so I wanted to make whatever time they had left as happy as I could. It was a very nice experience….. CASP had given me to take my own kids so I had the liberty of doing just that….. and I was a success at that. I loved it there!!!

There was no politics there and if there was I was not part of it. My job was mostly in the field…. in the community and I saw to it that I did not get harassed by anyone and so I was happy!!! just like at D.Y. Patil!!!

Brainwaves usually come from unexpected quarters…… so did this one!!! This came surprisingly from Dhir who had once told me to go and teach kids!!! I thought he had gone nuts. But it stayed with me and when the offer came I agreed. I don’t think I would have agreed in other circumstances!!! but since the thought was already in my mind I simply said yes!!! So I think thanks are due to DHIR!!! thanks again buddy!!! I owe you big time!!! All in all it was another satisfying stint in my career….. so now I am going back to my beloved research and gymming full time.

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