Unforeseen, Unpleasant and Unexpected….. that’s the way of LIFE !!

The time indoors in these unforeseen circumstances has prompted me and many others to introspect few things. As a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason, my mind is bombarded as to what is this pandemic trying to teach us humans. Is this a wake-up call in the 21st century amidst the entire world where people simply knew each other on social media?

Remember our childhood where holidays and Sundays were spent on terraces, playing in neighbourhood and we were free to go into each others’ homes. Everything had vanished because we never had time for our loved ones in the real world, but spent hours on social platforms following, liking and trolling people we had never met. We failed to give time to our families and loved ones, couldn’t pursue our interests on the simple pretext “ I DONT HAVE TIME”. We have enough time on our hands and nature has given us an opportunity to do everything and please ourselves and loved ones. Did we need a suffering to give time to our relations and ourselves ? Think ….

In the wake of  Janta Curfew this Sunday and PM Modi’s appeal to assemble at 5 pm to express gratitude to every single citizen of the country who is risking their life to save millions. To my pleasant surprise, not one, two and three but the entire neighbourhood emerged on their balconies and ramps as a heartfelt gesture to thank. Sadly, the occasion is not a pleasant one as the world is in the tight grip of COVID-19. Shortly after the evening passed by, the social media and news was flooded with numerous videos of people, celebrities, politicians, richest and who not chanting Vande Matram and Chak De India filling the air with oneness and unity. A beautiful reminder that WE, INDIANS STAND UNITED AND WILL FIGHT IT OUT TOGETHER.

How many of us remember the last time when we spent time with our families sitting at homes? Most of us will have to struggle hard to recall, if we ever did it in last few months or years?  The ideal way of spending holiday had changed for us. Packing bags for weekends to hill-stations or spending free time on shopping sprees and flocking at eateries had become the new norm. The change is welcome and it was thrilling to see Indians spending on themselves and recreation. But, not at the cost of compromising with your families and loved ones. Did we need a pandemic to remind us that it was important and crucial to spend quality time with our family?

Another News which caught my attention was that air quality, in the countries under severe lockdown, had improved in last few days. That’s nature’s way of giving us a jolt that climate change needs to be dealt seriously. Why do we need odd-even plans in a place? We must learn a lesson from this and act on it in the long run.

There are lakhs of people who are struggling to provide one meal for themselves and their families. Be it daily wagers, labourers, household help etc.

I humbly appeal to do a bit for the needy rather than shunning them out of the society by out casting them in lieu of something for which they are helpless and not responsible. The future is definitely uncertain and worrisome. Let’s learn from this and ponder on the values of our parents, grandparents and ancestors.

I hope that the worst is over and the suffering comes to an end. I wish everyone good health and prosperity in the time to come.

Baisakhi to Christmas—-where are the takeaways????

For last few years, Indians have been gripped by the fever of Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, and eventually New Year Celebrations where almost everyone makes a resolution (which merely lasts 24 hours). It’s good to see the festive spirit and people basking in the celebrations spreading the cheer around. Waittt …it doesn’t end here … Black Friday sales, lucrative online offers, hefty sales and discounts which run throughout the year …!
My concern shouldn’t be misunderstood as I am not against following and adopting the so called ‘Western’ culture. What really startles me is the fact that more than half of the population indulging in celebration are not aware of the significance of these special festivals and occasions be it Basaikhi, Lohri or Boxing Day..!
For instance, take Christmas we wear Santa Costumes, exchange goodies, spend lavishly decorating homes with Xmas Tree….how many of us know the history of Jesus….teachings of Christ…!
Have we ever wondered to reflect on them ? Do we know the exact name, place of his birth which is flooded by millions of followers. I am talking about the holy town of  Bethlehem which recently introduced an App to manage the inflow of large number of visitors.
We, Indians celebrate the largest number of festivals and rituals across the world (also Holidays). Yet, when it comes to the values of humanity, compassion, service, altruism, pro social behaviour…do we stand anywhere…!
We leave people to die on roads dreading to offer helping hand…contrary we use those same hands and that crucial time capturing videos of the dying cops, common people, mob lynching and thoughtlessly circulating it on social media.
Our heads bow down in shame…!
Millennials and our so called young generation are said to be spendthrift when it comes to enjoying their vacations, holidays, travelling and investing far less in gold (which has never happened in Indian families who saved gold for next seven generations). Yet, I was aghast to read few days back that Millenials are the MOST STRESSED generation. Ironical …need I say it ???
Celebration in the name of any God, Religion, Region is welcome provided it matures our thinking and  keeps us all united.
Celebrate Diwali if you can light up the smile on someone’s face who has seen the dark days of poverty.
Celebrate Christmas if you are courageous enough to spread the goodwill and warmth as teachings of Jesus tell you.
Ring in the new year with cheer and roar if you are considerate enough to bring and be a part of the change where we are hopeful of 2019 where there will be less or No bloodshed, where one will not wake up to the newspaper with headlines of horrific and brutal crimes inflicted, where there will be fewer old age homes and where we don’t need mushrooming ‘Art of Living’ centres to find peace in our lives…..Peace is within us…! Find it there ..!
Hopefully my millennials will don their thinking hats to do something concrete about the unfortunate situation in our country.
I leave you all with a thinking note before you ring in 2019 with your loved ones…!

Sending tons of good thoughts and positive vibes your way !

WISHING YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS and BLISSFUL 2019…!

To all my English Teachers who were influential in shaping lives of many !

Dedicated to every single English Teacher beginning from Kindergarten, stretching upto College and University who always left a deep impression with their flawless English, impeccable dressing sense. Young girls like us always looked upto them as our role models for their elegance. And young boys were always found waiting for these lovely ladies ready with an excuse to just strike a dialogue with them !!

In last one year, I have been fortunate enough to meet my old teachers whom I had no contact with after finishing my education. But deep down in my heart they were always missed and their picture perfect image frequently crossed my mind.

Their conduct, their love for language, the permanent marks etched in our memories always encouraged us to take up teaching as profession. The power to influence young minds for a better tomorrow is beyond words…and I feel that I (for that matter, we the teachers) have a larger responsibility of shaping up the upcoming generation.
All my dear English teachers made classroom learning fun, narrated stories making them sound real and lively, nurturing us with their warm touches when needed the most.!
Their charisma of being the perfect teacher who encouraged every child to do better is rare to find; so strong that it not only influenced our minds but also touched our souls deeply. Their ability to connect with each one of us with the perfect usage of words was not something usual.
I, do owe them gratitude for largely shaping my life and giving me a direction of where I am today.

Importance of Sex Education

Gender equality, child abuse, personal hygiene, violence against women…. We discuss it all..But….

 The sensitive yet most important issue of procreation, which keeps the world going, has been swept under the carpet for long. The reason why parents, teachers or educationists shy away from talking about it openly and creating awareness is unreasonable! 

 The alarming rise in incidents of sexual abuse is largely attributed to the easy access to digital world. High risk behaviour among the youth has made them more vulnerable.

 But are we behaving like responsible adults? In fact, sex education should be on the school curriculum as it is an integral part of one’s life.

 I still believe that instead of youngsters, it is the adults who are more reluctant to discuss and take the queries of the growing adolescents when their bodies undergo the biggest overhaul and upheaval. Not to miss out, the impact of such things lasts the whole of one’s lifetime. Lack of awareness about one’s body fails to develop a comprehensive understanding of oneself. Both incomplete and little knowledge is dangerous as it is bound to create misconceptions. 

 We all in our little capacity must spread awareness among our young minds that are our future. 

 It is the call of the times to the parents, teachers and teenagers out there. Discuss the relevant issues with the teenagers at the right time demolishing the wall of hesitation and bridge the gap not only between two genders but also two different generations. Consequently, it will make one comfortable in one’s own skin and a responsible human being! 

Kadak Indian Chai ‒ A must-have for winters!

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This “Chai pe Charcha” is dedicated to all the people out there in the teaching profession for who better than them will understand the magical effects of Indian Tea..!

It sounds more stimulating than its taste..! The love for KadakIndian milky tea is prevalent since ages..! The amount of refreshment it brings to the Indian population is unparalleled.
Whether it’s about beginning the day, taking a much needed break from study or work, or pampering oneself with steamy chai with some added spices during this rainy and winter season, love and magic of tea doesn’t match with any other beverage..!

This reminds me of the train journeys undertaken in childhood where we will wake up to the “chaigaram chai” slogans in the morning and would be forced to get up and quickly enjoy that dose to get into the mood for rest of the day !

Come winters and count the number of cups we have it during the day…does it really give you the warmth or much sought after kick to fight this lazy weather..!

Assam, Darjeeling or any other; the effect of tea is universal..! Yet to see a nation where tea is the reason (or Bahana, to be more precise) for gossip sessions, socialising (not to forget– Chai pe Charcha). That’s the reason the brewing joints- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, United Coffee House, or T-Point, to name a feware burgeoning in number. And how can we miss the tea stalls found at every nook and cranny of the Indian streets spreading the fresh aroma of this celestialdrink..!

Tea is undoubtedly the favourite drink among teachers (my colleagues) across the nation. This quintessential beverage makes us feel geared up, rejuvenated, back in action and much more after the “mid-day cuppa chai”. Easily available tea and coffee dispensers may provide us with immediate shot but the wonder of “adrak flavoured chai” boiled till its rustic aroma fills every corner is exceptional. Tea is an integral part of “our community”; has any meeting, discussion, party, et al been complete without this elixir? We, the teachers, are more excited than students to hear the melodious bell for tea break; not because of some free time, but because of the magical drink placed in hot vessels/flasks, waiting to be poured in cups!

I am sure my readers will be ready for some adrak chai by now ..!

Happy Tea Drinking!

To all the Cheerful Canines…..!

Reading the heart-touching story of a dog named Malu, who followed a pilgrim for 600 km journey, I couldn’t refrain myself from writing and dedicating this blog about my ever growing love for canines. My love for dogs know no boundaries, as it’s simply not restricted to the Dachsunds, Beagles, Poms or Germans…. rather it is an extra mile for my mongrels and stray dogs who fill the vacuum with their aura of friendliness.

The eagerness with which they greet you is unparallel to any species in the world. The contentment of purely feeding them with small morsels of food can’t be put across in any words. Their wet nose, the marks left by their paws, their furry tails give me sheer joy and I am convinced that these four legged species need us more than our fellow species (humans) need us.
I am quite sure that dogs are better role models for us rather than we, the humans setting examples for each other. Don’t they love us unconditional and selfless, which is unlike of human beings. Canines don’t expect anything in return. They forgive and forget their masters even if they have been left alone for long time, unattended. We, humans take pride in holding grudges against each other and eventually become retaliating in nature. Canines spread love, warmth, loyalty everywhere. Dog lovers will agree with me. (Non-dog lovers must check out those puppy eyes oozing with love).
Animals have a more and strong sense of belongingness in their eyes. Observing them takes away your exhaustion at the end of the day. My dear dogs cannot speak, yet they have the most powerful expressive eyes. Any idea of what they wish to convey ??? Well…I have been able to make out that all they ask us to do is to spread love and be kind and humane……
We may be educated but truly lack the values of being a good human being. Observe these beautiful creatures around us for few moments and you will understand that there is somebody who needs you.
Don’t wait to get a pet home by paying thousands of rupees….Instead, have the courage to adopt the one who is out there on the street, to give homeless a shelter, who looks in you as his owner.

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Irony of the beautiful gift called Life …!!!

I dedicate this blog to ‘young soul’ who taught me how to live, taught me how to appreciate this roller-coaster ride of life and above all fight against the odds with a smile.

‘One of the goals of education should be to teach that life is precious”  – Abraham Maslow

Ironic, unpredictable, weird, unexpected, more dramatic than any piece of fiction ever written. The words may not sum up the life we are endowed with, but I’m sure my experience of few years will surely motivate my young readers.

Make each day count. Feel blessed and grateful for being alive in this world. Why we appreciate and thank God only during our visits to orphanages, NGO’s and social service camps. Instead thank almighty for the shelter you have, for the education you receive, for every morsel of grain you eat.

This world around us is full of jealousy, hatred, anger, negative. My dear readers, spread love, happiness around in abundance for it may change someone’s life, brighten up someone’s day, lit a smile on someone’s face who is waiting to be smiled back at. Believe me, the world needs more of that !

Don’t get disappointed if you didn’t score well in exams. Give it a one more try and see you will come out shinning. Learn to wake up and fught with the situation. Never give up as Ernest Hemingway rightly said, “Man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Because defeated is the one who stops trying.

Try, try and keep trying. The world will be yours one day ! Fight it as long as you have the spark to ignite the fire.

My last piece of advice for the future sitting in the classrooms. We owe every single to our parents. We can’t pay back in any form but the least what we can do for them is to do whatever gives them happiness, what brings a smile on their faces. Do something for your parents who not only bore you but do everything for you unconditional and unasked.

Salute to all the parents for giving us this wonderful gift of human life !