Sunday, 31 May 2020

Student Speaks

To my second parent and much missed ..teachers and my second home and lost

Today is May 26, 2020. 
What was not 2020???
Today is May 26, 2019. 

I wish the calendar forgets what is the next number, just like I forget the  definitions in my science subject. I wish my parents become so attached to me in the next two weeks that they just don't allow me to stay seperate in a school for good 8 hours. ( That's difficult after bearing an inquisitive restless 9 year old boy like me for 50 days ...too
I wish the GHMC slugs more this time and takes two months more to finish the pipeline work on the school road. After all every parent would care for the safety of their child. How can they manage to see us struggling through those....dugouts? No....never!
Pheewww! No more day dreaming. Its high time I accept. The school reopens on 8th June, 2019. 
Well I am ok. Its just.. I had so much fun this entire month, doing crazy stuff with cousins, hangouts, flying to my dream holiday destination...that...that...this school notification was like a power off in the last min of the game. 

Can't it be like ...we don't have any! Why are we so good in imagining the unimaginable...the unstoppable..Better...shut it down...It will never happen! 
Present Day...

The sun rays filter through the Doraemon on the curtain, knocking my eyelids to open and begin my day. I wake up and come out to see the usual scene. Mom and Dad negotiating responsibility of home chores. I never knew that they too have a timetable...morning exercise..breakfast...home I too miss my timetable now. And for sure my timetable was way better than theirs.

I am staring at the calendar. Blank. The calendar does have a good memory. Days pass by but not me. I am right here since last 50 days....?...or more.  I have my school, my activity classes, library, playroom all within my home. Cool...?? Not really. 

I miss my uniform. It was so much fun to get ready with oily hair stuck to my scalp as if nothing can move it. A nice pleated, freshly ironed uniform, with knee-length socks, ID Card, shoes. This is a different matter that when I used to come back home I was unrecognizable. Ruffled hair, half shirt out half shirt in, ID card now flunged on my back, a threatening stain of curry near my pocket, shoes now looking half formal half sport shoes....everything displaced....but...shouting out the fun I had in these 8 hours at..School..

Our bright, open classrooms. Where to sit was like a daily question for us. First bench...too much attention and last bench..too much suspicion. No wonder, there was lot of demand for the middle (safe) benches. In such situations, friendship played an important role. I wonder why it was so difficult to keep quite in a library, why the lunch and snack break was so short? Why it was so difficult for us to walk in line while going to wash or hands before eating our tiffins? Why it was so difficult to resist my friend Nair's bisibili bhaat and forget my curry paratha. It was an art to manage big food morsels in our mouth, talk our heart out with friends and also keep an eye on our lunch supervisor who was in turn keeping an eye on us. 

Our time table rolled, and much..But every 40 min had its own story. The lead actor was you, our teachers. Our first interaction with you, used to begin with our standard salutation ringtone..."Gooooood Moaaarnnnnnnniiiiiiiing Teacher". 

Some classes were rocket, every single min I was looking forward to what's next. Some classes...well there couldn't have been a better lullaby for me. But still the energy that our teachers used to carry in the classroom, was contagious. We loved your scoldings, we loved your appreciation, we loved your mini threats too. How can I forget the way you used to walk in the classroom equipped with your tools and weapons. ( marker, pen, register, books, files, a much)! I remember how my allergy to Math made me almost most watched student in the math class. And how can I forget the PTM. The D Day! I never used to behave this well, unlike in PTM.  I just couldn't recognize myself on that day. But yes that was me, whose face said it all...." Ma'am, I am at your mercy, I promise to be good....just save me for the day...."

I do admit that I had drastic stage fear. I remember very well, my first news reading in the assembly. I realized it was easier to stand in the hundreds down and mimic names..Fatso.....Patla Papad.....Shinchan....Mumma's boy... What now? After 3 rounds of washroom and 10 mins of silence, I decided to give up, turned back and then....I find your hand giving me a pat and saying, ' common bravo, do you want to go without telling the world...who your are....?' That was it. That warm, courageous gesture of yours gave weight to my feet, cleared my throat and turned me again to face the audience. There was no looking back'am.

You were everywhere. Boarding the bus with us to the school, supervising us in the assembly, in the class, in our activity sessions, during lunch times, dispersal times, boarding the bus.  But now.. I miss you. I miss that one person, who is as good as my second parent. This endless Pandemic thing has changed my world. Earlier my screen time was like that precious slot of time given to me as a reward for completing my work on time. Now, I study, I play, I do my activities everything in front of that silver screen. 

I miss that  morning rush to catch my school bus and laugh my heart out with friends. I am fed up of eating from my own plate, not having anyone to share my paratha with. I miss you ma'am, your accent, your stimulating speech and your concerns. The roads are empty. The days are longer. The play park has been sealed and we are left to the mercy of mouse button controls. I miss eating your head out of my curious, silly doubts. I miss the patience and smile rendered by you, to a restless question bank like me. You never sulked, even when once I slept off in the class. 

Last week, the school did conduct few online classes for us. I was on cloud nine to see you and others. But that happiness too didn't last long. The classes were cancelled on day 3 itself.  Many parents and may be...including mine were not happy perhaps...the way these classes were conducted. But so what, at least I was beginning to feel normal seeing my teachers. I hope that the school comes back soon with some positive notification. 
I adored you, I made fun of you, I escaped you...but at the end I now realize how much I miss you. 

Did my wish of 2019 just come true......

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Teacher Speaks

Teacher Speaks
To my all dear students and well-wishers,

Our profession thrives with a motto to impart learning. We absolutely love our profession and are proud of it. 

Our day gets started when we start interacting with curious eyes and minds. The mischievous smiles, the innocent questions and also the 'not interested' look is what fills us with gratitude to be in middle of this. 

We miss you. Our classes are empty. The hustle and bustle of our workplace i.e. school is dead. 

There was a time when we used to not get a minute to settle. The commotion in the corridors, the popping question banks in the class, the opening and the ending bell was like an anthem for us. 

But now,  we miss that music, that chaos and the effervescent laughter while you all rushed towards your school bus in dismissal hours. 

We felt proud whenever you grabbed the concepts well and came out with shining colors in assessments. We felt worried whenever you were not able to do up to the mark and we wished we could get some more time to guide you.

The pandemic Covid-19 stuck and the first thing to be done was to ask you to stay safe at home....and not come to school. The session was suspended for an indefinite period. Subsequently we too had to wind up our things and go home. Our livelihoods got little impacted. Along with our profession, the incoming finance was also at hault. Now...we were at the crossroads of uncertainty. 

For the first few days, we felt blessed to have some free time with family at home. Slowly routine became monotonous. Being a teacher....always a teacher.  

To our relief, the school came up with an instruction to conduct online classes. It was a happy and a bad news all together. We were so happy to see you all after a long time. The thought itself charged us and we were in our best possible form to restart our class soon. 

But...for the first time probably we were not confident. With whatever system available at home we had to conduct the classes now..through a video conferencing app. Didn't know how to reach out to you, with all those worksheets, textbook exercises. We struggled a bit. But we soon found that this may be just another opportunity to leave our traditional chalk and talk method behind and upgrade us with new teaching tools. May be we goofed up too in between not knowing how to explain the equation to you on screen. It was difficult to keep upright...especially while the parents were sitting very next to you. But...we tried our best. 

Children...a lot has been talked about us. May be we are not efficient in handling online classes. We even heard about the management now screening for 'technologically sound' teachers. We are trying our best to meet their expectations. We dont want to loose you. Whatever the case might be, we have enjoyed mentoring and teaching you all immensely. 

May be our jobs are at stake. May be we will not be paid salaries. May be we are judged on our communication, appearance and presentation skills. May be your parents shift you to other school in anguish of having to pay fees for April and May. 

Still...irrespective of all the circumstances, anytime you come to us, we will be happy to teach you, interact with you, mentor you with a smile. 

I hope that we see you all soon LIVE once those bright open classrooms. For us,that is the normalcy

Till then...stay at home, be safe and keep learning new things. 

All the best!

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

A Mental Stigma on Mental Awareness

Health is Wealth'
Agreed. Probably this was one of the first proverbs we learnt in school. Later we applied too. Fitness and nutrition are now given due importance. We emphasize on clean eating, regular work-outs, our water intake and many more activities that can be done to keep us healthy. that enough? What about our internal strength...our self-consciousness and mindfulness..? Won't these all impact our health? They will. 
So here we are to share some light on 'Mental Health Awareness'.

The question is why are we so 'mindful' but not alert about the importance of mental awareness.

"Maintaining mental health is as good as maintaining a healthy body."
What's wrong in that? 

Good mental health should not be termed as an 'acceptance' criteria by the society. At the same time each and every individual should support the one who doesn't displays the optimum mental health. 
We still lack awareness. This is huge. Thanks to some famous celebrities who had courage to admit they too were once in a questionable situation. And what was that? It was depression. After that episode, there is one word that sums up  mental illhealth...and that is depression. 

Mental illhealth or a disorder is not just depression.  Every disorder has some precursor. Depression too doesn't comes all of sudden. There are many many factors that slowly put an individual on the path that leads to depression. If at all, we offer our help...our support at the starting point itself good it would be. 
But where are we stuck? And why do we fail to identify the precursors in a person before its too late? 

The Process
We are stil not open to come and admit our problems...our insecurities ..our anxieties and fears. It may happen with majority. When we share too or confine in the person we trust, getting an unfavorable response/ adequate response, may discourage us from opening our heart out. Failure to vent out can trap those anxieties that keep multiplying with time. A day comes when this showes its outcome in terms of loosing self control, feeling weak, unstoppable crying, shutting self from the world, erratic behaviour ( sometimes extremely happy and sometimes extremely sad). 
As the world knocks "Mental Health Awareness Week" across different countries, my urge is to address this issue and  focus on the precursors of depression along with the later stage. Let us make general counseling a norm in schools, colleges and even in companies. It will help individuals to be open and vent out their anxieties, get an unbiased and practical guidance. So in this process everyone is equal and has an equal opportunity to address their very inherent concerns in a sorted way. 

Smile....Stay Mindful...Stay Alert...Share and BE STRONG.

Veerangna Ki Awaaz

  VibzContentCart wishes everyone a very Happy Republic Day! वीरांगना की आवाज़  हम क्या शिकवा करे, क्या मन्नत करें उनसे जो किसी और पर मर मिटे...