Of Pride and Prejudice

You thought me quiet

And I wonder why

coz I was always loud, very loud!

a trombone playing incessantly in my head

a thousand loudspeakers

booming in my chest.

You thought me dumb

yet never have I shut my mouth;

Words

I use them well

sometimes to tell

sometimes to yell.

You thought me insignificant

And turned away

While a part of you

Holds me close

silent in your bones.

You chaffed me

You looked me down

But

I

Proud not yet prejudiced

Value you

Your follies and foibles

And will do so for ever.

Becoz

I

See

Beyond perceptions

I

See

You

Beyond myself.

Wait! did you just call me bind?

 

 

 

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Of Choosing…

Into the wilderness of thoughts

clashing,cluttering

the space, the mind

you add your share

at the click of a button

a whirlpool of ideas

sometimes regurgitated

sometimes new

reaching out to what is there

and what is ready to be made.

You add your bit

to mitigate the chaos

to deepen the yawning chasm

to reach out

to hold

and sometimes hoping to be held

then the gunfire

the word-fire

and some misfire

but reaching out

you stretch your thought muscles

to make sense

even though you are sometimes

senseless yourself, totally

but silence is not golden

not always, not now

so speak

so argue

so fight a duel of words

and express, express and express

so that you connect or disconnect.

It is a terrific world out there

what will be slain

what will remain standing

it is difficult to tell

but the tears of the mother

the agony of a father

the love of friend

the longing of a lover

the dance of a butterfly

and a croaking toad

shall always seek

a kinder world

so write,speak,argue

but don’t chose silence

against yourself,

the children of tomorrow

their lives ask of you!

 

Not sorry in sari

I love wearing the sari. Half the time I spend on the internet is spent looking up varieties and shades and styles of this grand-new-old apparel. The other day, my greedy eyes caught the sight of these beautiful fluffy and light leheriya saris on www.indubindu.com. I can’t seem to get enough of feasting my eyes on those beauties.

My eyes lurk, linger and stare uninhibitedly almost luridly at those pieces of fabric which look tender,exotic and traditional all together.Saris make me go green with envy, weak at my knees and frail in my bones, just one look at of these vibrant colorful fabric dancing in the breeze, the tassles, the designs, I am hooked!

I treasure with pride the Kosa silk saris, I would buy from https://mrignayani.com/ , those quaint little outlets tucked in the streets of Indore. It helped that the schools I worked in Indore be it http://www.apsindore.com/ or the www.dalycollege.org/    always gave us the poor hard working teachers an occasion or two to flaunt our sari collection. It was never a disappointment of course, with teachers  digging out the best and the most unique of their beloved sari collection to don on a special day or two. I am always in awe of the ladies dressed to kill in their exquisite saris on every excuse of an occasion, at the school that you just can’t help standing by to admire.

As always I am a little too biased to the good times I spent in Indore, so the famed Maheswari sarees, vibrant in colors and light in texture is always a favorite with me.

https://mrignayani.com/product-category/maheshwari-sarees/

But how can I forget what my good friend, Mrs. Aditi Ghatak would bring for me, all the way from Kolkata, the simple yet elegant Bengal cotton saris. The fact that ‘roll press'(a process in which the cotton saris are starched and pressed neatly) in those times was quite cheap and  I always had my cotton saris crisp and smart, even to my own surprise, as good as new. I still have them, most of them intact yes, as good as new! Aditi did bring for me a few of the traditional ‘jamdani’  cotton saris which are still as rapturous as ever.

While as a South Indian am inclined to love Kancheepuram saris, I prefer to keep them for weddings back home in Kerala, when mom insists that I put on a few pieces of jewelry so that the general public does not come to the conclusion that I am all broke and desperate!

I love to watch my elegant mom,aunts, friends and nieces draped in Kanjeevaram saris more than I having to do it myself. Yet, I do have some beautiful Kanjeevaram saris which give my middle class wardrobe a rather elite touch.

More than the Kanjeevarams my heart calls out to the simple Kerala Kasavu saris with a golden border and those ‘chungdi’ saris so popular in Palakkad.

The Kota cotton saris,the beautiful bandhej and leheriyas from Rajasthan are light and breezy bringing in sunshine straight into your heart. My heart yearns for the authentic mysore silk saris, the pochampallis, the very expensive, understated and elegant silk saris from Orissa.

I can probably go on about my craze for saris but I must mention the beautiful teacher I admired a lot when I was in fifth standard at Vignana Vihara in Vijayawada who was a serious inspiration to wear saris. It’s also true that my first job at BITS TACT INFOTECH PVT LTD n Calicut that required me to wear saris every day to work while riding the Kinetic Honda, made me incredibly confident about my sari draping and sari carrying skills.

My favorite teacher of all times, Dakshayani mam with her incredible knowledge of Malayalam literature and her ever friendly and loving way of dealing with us, her students was always rather simple in her dress, the sari casually draped, her ‘lakshmi vala’ the bangle with different forms of goddess lakshmi being her only style statement and her watch sometimes not working, conveyed to my young impressionable mind the importance of modesty and simplicity in dressing.

Every time I go to Calicut, I open my mom’s almirah and stand there secretly admiring her collection of saris, thinking of ways to make it even more drool worthy and come back having spent on saris for her and and for me, of course. And amma’s saris are for me to pick and choose any day. The other day amma insisted that we both buy chikankari saris of different shades and we both thought that it was a great idea.

I never feel sorry for having donned a sari as I am more than happy to flaunt it. To all those sari loving ladies out there, much love!

Sariyistically yours

adhyapika 🙂

 

Mindfulness in the classroom

Yes, it is so. It is always the classroom that seems to pull me up, throwing new light,opening new vistas, bringing in joy and making me experience living. Am I over emphasizing the significance of the classroom ? Perhaps, but for me the classroom means a lot, so much more than any other space I have experienced and I am rather proud to admit it.

I am moved, touched and infinitely blessed to be part of the journey of so many young people I get in touch with through the class rooms. It gives me goosebumps to listen to them share their stories with the rest of the class, opening up, some very intimate details about their lives, displaying  their own self- confidence and the trust they repose in me and the rest of their classmates.

Quite recently I was witness to an example of a singular display of faith ,when, as if moved by an invisible force, students in a class of more than 80, stood up, one by one, to share stories of their lives, their achievements without hesitation, with a unique and moving expression of trust in one another.

From stories of travelling from their far off home towns to the Bangalore, to overcoming gender prejudice at home, to making it to events big and small, and to reading news papers or giving commands in the school,  the class openly and freely shared experiences that made themselves proud of who they are. It was clear that these experiences were significant milestones in the lives of these young people.And not surprising a majority of those experiences of pride and dejection had something to do with their classroom, the school or the college.

As a trainer and a teacher, I  wonder if we who call ourselves educationists are aware of the supreme impact we create on these young people either positively or not so positively. Are we aware that we are somehow impacting them for a life time? Are we aware of the fact that what we say or do is going to be stored in their memories for an entire life time or may even be passed on to the next generation?

Mindfulness in our actions and our words in the classroom, in front of the audience we face day in and day out will enable us to be better at who we are and will most definitely, make a positive difference to the lives of young men and women we deal with each day. Perhaps more than everything else, in terms of the paraphernalia that goes with education today, the ac-fitted classrooms, or the swiveling chairs it is always the teacher who makes a classroom a dear place to the students.

The responsibility is huge, the pressures are too many, the rigors are too demanding, yet, carrying a smile and a kind heart to the classroom is not so difficult to do. Mindfulness in the classroom, sounds great, should be great to do too…

 

 

Some times cooking!

Sometimes cooking is such fun

to eat what is not healthy or may be it is

sometimes you just fry and roast

and tuck in with your fingers moist

sometimes it is not just the batter

it is the fun, the company and the laughter

that makes a gooey thing go classy and tasty

sometimes you just dip and dip

and go on munching lazing back on to the sofa

figuring out life and karma

sometimes its so much fun

to be cooking when she stands by giggling

the ooh’s and aah’s make life worth living.

 

Having come this far…

Having come this far

in our journeys so apart

shall we now sit down, friend

asked she, a bit hesitant, but not shy

age has mellowed and matured

a desire for companionship

a longing to sit down to talk long hours

and she who chose wisely

preferred a friendship she knew would be hers alone

amidst the clank of cutlery

screech of moving chairs

and the noise the music made

her voice was low and somehow lost

yet listening in, he,the friend, picked up the strains

of imaginary conversations of the past and future

and stood looking at her silently

then as if reading her mind

he picked up a book and nodding to her to keep close

shut out the noise, the thrill of action

in the corner made quiet by their choice

and silently turned pages, smiling to self

yet together in company, in companionship

grey hairs and willowy frames

had not dimmed the need for love and friendship

so it was, having come far

they decided to go further, together to the sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cow and me

Picture this!

a busy traffic junction on Hesaraghatta road

here in Bangalore

among the rush are men and women

of all hues, so am I in my rickety car

with me stands she

tall and proud

going back home after a search for her share of grass

at the traffic junction we all stood

the cow and us, she careful

of not disturbing the smart girl on the 2 wheeler

by her side

managing well, her horns and her tail

standing still, the red light was on

and when it turned green

we all moved ahead

and she the most dignified of all

walked ahead carefully

mindful of not bumping into the rushing cars and bikes

unperturbed by the noise or the lights or the horns

and we went home after a hard day’s work

she and I

the cow and me and the rest of us that day.