(A bit of) Straightening Up :)

Apparently, one post was all it took! I already feel like I’m back to blogging.

During my active-blogging-days, I used to go through each day, see everything partly through a blogger’s eyes. I used to always be open to wandering thoughts and ponder over how to write it out. Each passing thought or incident went through a sort of scrutiny, just in case it was something I could blog about. And, I seem to be back to that stage now. I keep thinking of what I could possibly blog about; I write down interesting sentences I build up in my head, jot down random thoughts; I observe people, places and situations much more closely. Do note that this happened just hours after my previous blog post. And, then, it struck me…I feel like I’m back on track. Almost, I suppose.

The past few months were much like a whirlwind of activities. March was my last month at school, as a teacher. And I was completely caught up with everything. Completing portions, spending time with the kids, finishing up the tasks. It was quite hectic but I didn’t really mind. Probably because I knew that I wouldn’t get to experience it again. April was more of a roller-coaster ride. I finally got to Bangalore (a place I’ve had in mind for the past two years!) and before I knew it, everything had fallen into place much more perfectly than I had expected to. I’ve almost settled in with the new atmosphere, place and people. Like any roller-coaster ride, I also had some down-times, instances when I was emotionally low. But then, I know it will pass (even though it seems to be taking its own time in doing so).

The only writing I did in the last few months was in my diary…the normal rant about incidents, emotions, day-to-day events, random thoughts. Even those entries were not regular. Still, I kept at it. For the sake of the joy and solace it gave me every time I wrote something.

A week or so ago, while writing out about the day, I realized that it had been ages since I wrote a poem. There was a time when I used to have books/diaries filled with poems and now, I can’t remember the last time I wrote one! That’s when it struck me that I hadn’t really been writing, in the true sense of the word. Whatever writing I did in the diary barely helped in keeping the spark alive. It felt like I had been trying to keep myself just alive, barely so…and not nurture it back to life completely. Like managing to stay afloat but never taking the effort to reach ashore.

So, now, I need to get out of the rut and..well, write. For real. 🙂 Thoughts and ideas are always welcome. (I could seriously use some help!)

What does writing mean to you? What does it do for you? 🙂 

 

Randomly Amusing

I’ve been away for so long that it almost feels like I’m blogging for the first time.

As usual, work’s been eating up most of my time and even if I want to blog during the weekends, I can’t seem to find the inspiration to do so. Although, there’s been no lack of ideas!

Work’s been going fine. Yes, it’s still tiring and leaves me with less time for myself and a sore throat. But there are certain moments of clarity that make me realize how much I love [the major aspects of] what I’m doing.

Anyway, this is going to be a random blah-blah post, about nothing in particular.

On Thursday, I had my first Parent-Teacher meeting. As a teacher. Right when I stepped into school, all tensed about meeting the parents, I saw one of my favourite teachers. It felt great seeing her after so long. She was surprised to know I was working as a teacher.  So, the evening started off on a good note. The meeting went well. I was, literally, gushing about most of the students, trying not to blurt out anything stupid that would belie my serious demeanour. Well, I admit I did have some moments of silly comments. But, on the whole, it went far better than I expected (and feared).

Talking about students, there were a few interesting, amusing comments I heard in class, which I wanted to blog about.

* As part of the special programmes put up for the school’s 27th birthday, there was a skit by some senior students, focussing on the rape-issues happening in India. That day, while having a random conversation in Class 3, I asked them if they understood what the ‘moral’ behind the skit was. A lot of them raised hands, volunteering to answer. Some responses I got were:

“Save the Earth!” (We had an Earth Day celebration two weeks prior to it; so maybe the kid connected both, hence the response)

“We should all be friends, not enemies” (Close enough, in a way)

“Save the girls!” (The kid had no response when I asked “From what should the girls be saved?”)

I just smiled at their reactions. How do you make a 8-year-old understand the concept of rape and the need to stop it from happening? Perhaps, it’s better to keep their innocent minds untainted by the malice of the world. Atleast for now.

Another interesting incident was –

In a particular activity, the students had to rearrange some jumbled letters to form words and then fill up sentences using these words. One sentence was: ‘This is the ________ where Krishna lived. (Hint – a p l c e) [Answer is, obvioulsy, place]

A kid came to me, saying he didn’t know the answer. I told him it’s easy, to try once more and read the sentence out loud. His reply: “Ma’am, I’m Christian (Krishna being a Hindu god).” I smiled at his innocent comment. I explained that religion was not the context and told him how to do it. But I couldn’t forget his reply. It still makes me smile. It will take some time for them to realize it’s wrong to consider religion as a basis of difference.

So, with memories of such seemingly-small incidents, I go on from one day to the next. Let’s hope it won’t take very long for me to come up with the next post.

Of Writer’s Block & Joys of Teaching

This is what I wrote in a mail to a friend: “I want to blog so badly. It’s like there’s so much in my head that I want to blog about but for some reason, I don’t feel that urge to write…or even when I try to write it out, I don’t feel satisfied. Like, I was typing out something right now. But I feel like it’s a half-hearted attempt… I don’t feel anything driving me on from one sentence to the next…after every sentence, I come up against a dead-end and I kinda push myself.  At the end of a paragraph, when I read what I just wrote, I feel like it’s not me, not true, not complete. Like I haven’t put myself into it, which is true, of course. ”

Maybe this is a kind of writer’s block, wanting to write but unable to do it. When I read some blog posts, I get reminded of how much I have to write about and how I keep pushing it aside for later. So, right now, I thought I’d just write out something to pacify the guilty voice plaguing me.

So, I joined as a teacher in my school…completed over a week. And, yes, I’m happy. I’m still not very used to the whole system and I keep talking to some colleagues to get a better idea of what I’m supposed to do. The tasks that come along with teaching and being part of a school system aren’t very appealing. But I love the experience of teaching. I love the rush of emotions when I’m able to successfully put across a topic. I absolutely adore my students. Yes, there are a few who get on my nerves and are difficult to handle. But that doesn’t make them less loved. I enjoy getting to know them, bit by bit, each day.

At the end of the day, I come home tired and drained, usually with a sore throat and a headache. But ask me how my day was and I’ll always tell you it was good. Because when I look back at what I did in those classes, I feel a sense of happiness I can’t explain. It was fun, yes. But more than that, it meant something to me…standing there and teaching them, even if all that they grasped from it was a single word. I feel so lazy when I think about the next day. But once I’m there, I have to admit I’m happy in a way I can’t explain.

So, that’s what has been happening with me. Enjoying the new experience while trying to learn the ropes of the system. And trying to overcome this writer’s block. Or whatever it might be.

 

 

A Not-so-Equal & Opposite Reaction – Part 2: A Letter to the Person who was Taught by “People who Didn’t Want to do Anything”

Readers, in case you don’t enjoy this as much as the other posts, I apologize. This is exactly what I wanted to tell the concerned person. I couldn’t have said it any different if I truly wanted to empty my mind.

 

Dear Person,

Well, I might not have enjoyed the time I worked at your company but I did find you a wonderful boss to work with. It’s a pity you had to ruin it all right now, right when I was about to leave with a good picture of you. Of course, I’m sure my dislike won’t affect you or your business. I’m just telling you what I have in mind, what I want to tell you.. The effect it may or may not have is irrelevant to me.

Getting to the point, so you tell me, “People who don’t want to do anything, teach.” And you couldn’t really give an explanation for that. Were you just trying to discourage me and make me see how I should be in your company if “I want to do something?” Or were you genuinely voicing your thoughts? Either way, I’m sorry to tell you, it was very stupid of you to say something like that, especially being someone so intelligent  and understanding. I’ve lost all the admiration and respect I had for you, which probably won’t matter to you.

Anyway, I’ve noticed that you speak very good English. I suppose some poor soul who didn’t want to do anything must have taught you the ABCDs…and then, grammar and how to string words into sentences correctly & coherently. Oh, and surely, there must have been so many other people in your life who didn’t want to do anything…People who wanted to do nothing but the worthless job of teaching you subjects like Maths, Science, History and many more. And, yeah, none of that is probably of use to you right now. I mean, who cares how to multiply when you have accountants to do it for you; why would you care to know if the Earth is round or if it revolves around the Sun; why bother knowing what/who made your country what it is now… Why would you care about the lot of other stuff that these people taught you?

I think I totally see your point. Who would take up a job like teaching except people who don’t want to do anything? Who else would be jobless enough to sit and teach kids just so they can be something in life, like you became?

Oh, and your children are probably being taught by a bunch of people who don’t want to do anything. Don’t you think that would be horrible – being taught by people who are aimless, who find joy in doing something so worthless? I’m sure your children probably want to be something in life…and they should definitely be taught by someone like you, who is something. But then, how could you teach? You aren’t one of those people who don’t want to do anything. Ah, well, who needs teaching anyway, right? Your children probably won’t.

I could go on like this, trying to (sarcastically) put across how some teacher(s) must have contributed to what you are today…how you could have ended up being nothing, how your children are also dependent on a bunch of teachers to become something in life. Someday, you’re going to realize it and I hope time helps you to correct your thought. Not just because I’m going to be one of those people, but because when you say something like that, you are insulting and degrading the teachers who took the effort to teach you just so that you could be something in life while they remain the same. And yes, you’re insulting yourself. Teachers might seem weird (who else would spend their lives helping others to be successful and stay in the same position themselves). But that definitely does not make them people who don’t want to do anything.

Best of luck for the life ahead. Hope it brings you more success and better realizations.

 

Yours sincerely,

Ex-employee.

A Not-So-Equal and Opposite Reaction

There’s so much that I want to write about. But, for some reason, I don’t get the words when I try to do it. I get it in my head, at times…while at work, while trying to sleep, at random instances. But rarely when I try to write it out. What disturbs me most about the situation is – it never used to be like this. I could get the words so easily and put my thoughts across in the exact way I wanted.

For a moment, I wondered if I’m losing touch. But no, I think I’ll know it if I lose touch with something so integral to my being. So, I guess it’s probably because whenever I’ve sat down to write, I have been too tired (mentally and physically) to take a substantial effort to write.

It feels so suffocating when you have so much in your mind but cannot bring it out completely. Which is the reason I decided to try writing in the morning, when I’m much more relaxed and alive than during the remaining part of the day.

So, I’m done with the boring job at Dubai. Finally! And now, I’m going to do something that’s been on my wishlist. 🙂

When I came back to RAK, one of the first suggestions I got (in terms of a job opportunity) was to join my school (my alma mater) as a teacher. I was told that I could, probably, teach English or something in one of the lower classes. I was very happy with the idea but kept that as an alternative and continued searching for other opportunities. Which eventually landed me in the boring job.

Since I have had enough of office jobs, I have decided to finally take up the job at school. So, long story short, I’m going to teach! I love teaching. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do although not as a long-term career. Well, I’m excited. Very much. Obviously!

While basking in this excitement, something happened last week. An incident (or rather, a comment) that infuriated me. And, you know, writing is the most effective (and paractical and satisfying) way of taking out anger, for me. Especially when the person on the receiving end is going to be my (recent ex-) boss.

The background situation: I was offered a permanent position at the place where I was working until Thursday. But I turned it down because I wanted to teach.

What happened: It was on Monday. I think. The Boss said, “I had told [the concerned person] that you could work here in the media section but he told me you’re going to teach.”

Me (beaming face): “Yes, sir.”

Boss: “People who don’t want to do anything, teach.”

Me (I don’t know what my expression was, but I think I tried to keep smiling): “Why do you say that, sir?”

Boss: repeats same line. Adds “It’s like that.” (Or something as weird as that)

“Oh, I didn’t want to do anything in life. So, well, I teach. What else would aimless people do?” :-/

And, from that moment, I’ve wanted to tell him a lot of things. When he said it, a lot of emotions crossed my mind – amusement (I wonder why he said that); curiosity (Why would he say something like that?); rage (Why the hell would he say that?); intense hatred (WHAT THE FUCK DID HE JUST SAY?).

I had a lot of respect, admiration and liking for this man. He is intelligent, very much capable, likeable, approachable…all that he should be in order to run a successful company in Dubai. But the comment sort of drained everything I had for him. I’m not judging him, I’m not saying he’s a bad person just because of this statement. He is still a good man. Just that I’ve lost my liking for him, whatever reason he might have to justify what he said. I tried to list out possible reasons, too.

a) He was trying to provoke me, I don’t know what for. Maybe to make me think my decision was stupid.

b) He just likes saying such stuff. You know, kill your happiness.

c) He was trying to discourage me (and ended up enraging me!)

d) That’s what he really thinks

Well, none of the reasons seemed good enough to serve as justification (to me, atleast). So, I have irretrievably lost whatever liking I had for him. And there’s a lot I’d like to tell him (yes, that does mean there’s going to be another post, very very soon).

How was your week? And if you have had similar situations, I’m all ears. Always am. (Even if you just want to go blah blah about something random!) 🙂 

Don’t you Miss my Blah Blah? (Please Say Yes!)

Please ignore the stupidity of the title. I can be really crazy, sometimes. And, dumb, at other times. 

I had a wonderful weekend at home, lazing around, watching movies, eating and talking to Ann. I did everything that I can’t do when I’m staying in a new place – sing out loud, play loud music, talk whatever I want for as long as I want, enjoy the familiarity that home always offers. It was almost painful to come back and get to work.

But, well, here I am, sitting in front of a system that gets super-slow every once in a while, bored of doing whatever I’m doing.

The downside of being here is that I’m alone. In a lot of ways, I appreciate the solitude, especially since it helps me learn to live by myself and take care of myself. But, when it comes to going out, having a meaningful conversation or wanting to see a familiar, comforting face, loneliness sucks! Like I wrote in a

I should use that line, sometime!

I should use that line, sometime!

mail to a friend, I have even lost my appetite because I HATE eating alone (does not mean I enjoy eating with strangers). Every day, I keep hoping time will do the trick, that things will change. Because I’m sure it will. Maybe today. Or tomorrow.

Anyway, another problem with new people is: you tend to hide (or atleast, try not to let them notice) the weird habits/behaviour or quirks you have. On my second day here, when I found out that one of my colleagues lives in the same building as me, I thought I’d have company to commute to work. I almost asked him something of that sort, then quickly dropped it. Why? Because he would come to know some of my quirks. [Awkward confession time…Man, this is difficult!] I’m strangely apprehensive about going down a staircase and look kinda weird while doing so. And thanks to my awesome lack of balance, escalators and electronic walkways are…umm…a tiny bit scary. Just a bit.

So, the thought of a new person noticing this was more than what I was comfortable with. Anyhow, today morning, both of us happened to be waiting for the metro, at the same time. Which, inevitably, means we came to work together. Thankfully, though, this guy happens to be a little too much into himself to notice my innocent quirks. Or maybe he didn’t find me interesting enough to notice (since I hide my awesomeness when I go to work; why invite all that jealousy to oneself?). Well, so, I guess everything’s fine; my secret is safe. 🙂

What makes blogging so much of a relief right now is the fact that I haven’t found a friend to dump my thoughts on have a proper, open conversation with. Until I do (and until I start talking some sense), I’m sure you wouldn’t mind listening.

Bottom line: quirks or no quirks, friend or no friend, life’s good. 🙂

 

New Girl in the City

Any time there’s a major change, whether it’s going into a relationship, getting out of a relationship, moving to a new city, a death – that usually provides a catalyst for an explosion of creativity.
– Lucinda Williams

So, the major change, in my case, might not have led to an ‘explosion of creativity’, but, I’m feeling a lot better than when I wrote the previous post. Well, inspite of my lack of interest, I took up this utterly boring front-desk job at an advertising agency in Dubai. The motivating factors? The thought of moving to a new city, meeting new people, exploring new opportunities, going through new experiences. And that’s how the move to Dubai happened. I work 5 days a week and come home to RAK for the weekend.

Even though my job is boring and least challenging, I like the fact that I have a lot of time on hand. I spend most of my time online, reading blog posts & news articles or replying to some mails. While the youngsters at my office aren’t very welcoming or friendly (in fact, hardly any of them talk to me), the older ones are quite friendly. It’s kind of weird; maybe, they just need time to accept me. Anyway, for now, all I need to keep me going is the prospect of exploring the new city and the experiences it has to offer. The absence of a good friend to talk to or confide in can be overlooked, I suppose. Atleast for now.

After moving in to a comfortable place to stay (with some friendly, sweet people for roommates), my first challenge was finding my way around, to and from work. You will be able to understand the horror of the situation, if you know how terrible my sense of direction is. I had to travel by metro (for the first time) and the first time I reached office by myself, I felt this intense sense of achievement. Like I had done something. Definitely not something difficult or unattainable;but something new, which is what matters to me, after all.

Of course, there’s the foot ache, slight neck pain (from sitting in front of the computer for too long) and the constant feeling of disorientation and being lost. Yet, at the threshold of each new experience, I sense a burst of zeal, because I’ve been yearning for it. Inspite of being a stranger, I love the way the city welcomes me, without being too intimidating. The people I’ve come across have been extremely helpful, even if it meant sacrificing a few minutes of their busy schedule.

Now, I have time for everything. Even with the 8-hour job, the travelling and everything, I have time to write, to read and time for myself. Maybe I had to have these new, strange experiences to get myself back to normal. And, of course, that would inevitably mean: more to blog about! 🙂

Kind of what I look like at work, minus the nail file, of course! 😀