Archive | April, 2007

A play in progress

27 Apr

 Our school is celebrating ‘annual cultural mela’ on the 1st of May.My friend and I chose a Hindi one act play and modified it to suit our requirements. We re-wrote some dialogues ,added a few characters(as we wanted more kids to be a part of the programme),made it more  girl student -oriented and changed the ending to make it more attractive .

Its storyline is: Two kids want to be allowed to go to the school   picnic.Their father has refused to spare  the  money. They discuss the options and decide to go on a hunger strike.The tug of war between their hunger  and the various culinary carrots dangling in front of them is hilarious.After overcoming several temptations the poor kids are hungry and tired. now they can take it no more and they succumb to gulab jamuns when no one is around.Ayan sees this and…The grand parents who have come on a surprise visit  save their day.

Now even as we re-wrote the play we had the main actors in our mind.

 In fact it took a lot of effort in persuading one of the ‘stars ‘ to act. Ayan-all of 8 years wanted to be in a casual costume.We promised him that he could be himself. We changed the name of the character to Ayan. He signed the contract!!He is a natural-so we didn’t mind the ‘cost factor’!

The next obstacle came when Vismaya,one of the other lead actors couldn’t slow down the dialogue delivery. Even as we tried to improve her, Shweta_2 took over the direction.She was our narrator cum prompter.Her tips were so good that we gave Shweta-2 Vismaya’s role and enjoyed sitting back in our chairs. The rehearsals are a dream come true. Megha and Sh are so natural that they modify the dialogues, suggest movements, rearrange props ,advise the other minor actors on dialogue delivery and give ideas for smooth entry and exit.They both are about 10 years old.Unbelievable-but true.Whenever we feel that somebody is having difficulty with a particular dialogue/action M and S start their suggestions.We have given them a lot of creative freedom .This has resulted in the play running to 12+ minutes from an expected time of 9-10 minutes. Now we have had to curb their directorial tendencies so as to keep to the allotted time!

During the course of the play Ayan gets to lick the paani of paani-poories ,eat besan ke laddoos,pakodaas and gorge on gulab jamuns!And poor M and Sh are mere spectators–well almost. The expressions on their faces when Ayan eats and describes the taste is worth an Oscar or two!!

Ayan does the eating and gloating part beautifully. We tried to bring in tomatoes for the practice sessions. he forced his mother to buy the real Gul.jamuns.He has been large heated to share the left-overs with the salivating characters at the end.he was the one who suggested that the GJs should be cut into two for easy popping in and talking simultaneously–anubahva -janya-gnana-I guess.

Children continue to amaze me with their abilities even after 21 years of ‘learning’ experience.

By the time the play is over I would have earned an honorary diploma in directing from AYAN-MEGHA-SHWETA academy.


My efforts at toondoo

26 Apr

Kids these days


25 Apr

Most( out of the family) relationships in this world come with an expiry date.

Such relationships are easily understood and digested by most people.

But there are some which are pidilite relationships. Though there are no strings attached to these they seem to go on even on an obstacle – ridden track .My relationships with past students is a typical example of this type.

Each year I make special relationships with about 40 kids and their families. The year passes. People move out of coverage year and the  network becomes weak. But not always. Parents  and children sometimes come back to the same place after yet another transfer.The spark of recognition when one meets them again is that of 1000 volts!

We often meet as old friends. The tie is now not of teacher and taught.There are some kids who stay as a part of our lives even after 15+ years.

A teacher’s life is forever youthful .As a teacher ,I would like my kids to grow out of my need .They move to 6th standard and most of them gradually outgrow the need to connect to me on a daily basis. This is normal.

When this doesn’t happen , I am confused. There is one little girl Sweta who understands only attachment. She is extremely sensitive , thoughtful,very helpful and friendly.She has become a sort of a ‘trishanku’She is not  been able to adjust inthe new class as the kids have been shuffled. Nor is she able to come to terms with her new classmates ,teachers and teaching methodology.

I have tried several methods to help her face the reality that she can’t be with me always.Some have had  partial effect,some -none at all.She walks around as if I have wronged her by not following her to the next class.My friends who teach her have also been very patient and loving towards her.Progress has been very slow.She is jealous of the kids in my new class.She feels that I won’t like her henceforth.Her  parents are also trying to make her see light.

I hope God soon gives  her the knowledge that a little bit of detachment should be seen in all attachments.


20 Apr

No funds for poor ,landless farmers.

No funds for hardworking defence personnel,

No funds for scientific research,

No funds for infrastructure development,

No funds for destitute senior citizens,

No funds for afforestation,

No funds for wildlife conservation,

No funds for augmentation of drinking water supply,

No funds for enhanced power generation,

No funds for elementary schools and their teachers  😉

No funds for maintaining huge stadiums already built,

No funds for allowing growth of poor but talented sportspersons..

All these can wait till we get more funds from World Hundi.

Remember we belong to a poor country with a huge population..

But we need to host extravagant shows and so we have to make allowances for it somehow .Such shows will make our sportspersons work harder  and acheivements will be seen in the next century.Who says so?  Our great forward thinking sports administrators have this divine vision.

As they say in Sanskrit: RUNAM KRTVA GHRTAM PIBET


19 Apr

He was the first person I met when I joined the school where I am working about 20 years back.

His smile and wit, made me feel ‘at home’ that day.The added bonus was-he was  a Kannadiga too !!

As time passed, his other  qualities came into light.He is a wonderful human being first,then a superb teacher and then a fantastic artist.He teaches the lessons of humanity by demonstrating it at every curve in life.Be it a case of birth or death in his huge family of friends,Shiva meshtru is present there lending a traditional touch.If someone is hospitalized, he/she can be sure of   a witty and dependable companion at the bedside.

He has helped his friends in times of need to such an extent that they are now part of his family.

His humble beginnings have given him a great sense of perspective. Though his parents were not educated,they have given him a rich inheritance of culture.They were forced to discontinue his education for lack of funds .His thirst for knowledge made him  work as an agricultural help .He accumulated just enough money to join the high school which was 6 kms from his village.Come rain or shine he would run off to the school .Most often he went on an empty stomach.He would skip the last period of games so that he could reach his village before darkness descended.

Seeing his plight, a distant relation of his took him to another village.He had to look after ‘minor’chores in the farmhouse in return for a high school education.No job could be skipped in that bull-breeder’s house. The bulls were reared for money. It fell on puny Shiva’s head to bathe them and feed them.He did it with so much love that those beasts tolerated only him in times of illness or trouble. Animals too understood the “shiva” in him.

He first started drawing using a charcoal during his visits to the fringes of the jungle to graze the cattle.He later went to Mysore to study fine art. He worked as a teacher in Banummiah’s High School. He joined our school later and worked there till his retirement about three years ago.

As a teacher, he is wonderfully patient with kids.His students have won several national and international awards.

He too has won several awards and exhibited his works at prestigious galleries.

His children have come up in life.One is working as a lecturer in Bangalore,and another as an architect in Austalia.

He hasn’t changed at all. He now comes to school on a part-time basis and teaches kids with the same enthusiasm  he showed 20 years ago.

Be it a national festival,sports day or a cultural evening, stage setting is always by Meshtru.The flag post always needs his touch-even after his retirement!He has worked withMaster H,so he is a master in building a stage.

His punctuality,devotion to duty and enthusiasm leaves us stunned.

Shiva Sir has shown commitment beyond his call of duty. Even when he had gone down to Bangalore on a sabbatical,he came here to help us put up a wonderful cultural show.He is a live example of commitment and simplicity.

‘Meshtru’ andre evare.

Sir,nimgage koti namana.


14 Apr

800px-rock_dove_-_natures_pics.jpgI am sorry I intended to trouble you,dear co-tenant in our biotic community.

Photo courtesy:WIKI

I am guilty..

14 Apr

We are living in  an area infested with pigeons.So much so that all the exteriors are sporting layers of pigeon excreta.

The birds no longer evoke symbols of peace or love(–kabootar,ja ja,ja is something still on our lips for a totally different reason, though!)

They are noisy and garbage -causing birds. They fight and their feathers are lying all around the building.

This much was  tolerable… but now they want a place in the interiors also. They are very people positive now.They don’t mind entering  and littering the house even in your presence. 

Our kitchen has a low window and it was here that I started finding feathers.  😦

I saw what my neighbours had done. They had tied branches of a Jujube tree to their balcony so that the pigeons don’t mess it up.

I too placed an order. My woman Friday,Kasturi supplied one in no time. I pushed it out of the window.I tied it to the grill so that it hung outside the window.I hoped that this would act as a deterrent.

The boss of the house(my son ) was upset.He kept lamenting that I was going to kill the pigeons.He didn’t bother to look at my bleeding hand which was pricked by the thorns at n  no. of places.I too was upset.

I went for a survey of the building and realised that the bird preferred the bathroom window as a fly -in theatre/rest. It merely sent out ruffled feathers (pun intended) in the direction of the kitchen window when challenged by its rivals.

Now I came home and closed the bathroom ventilator window temporarily.I planned to put up a NO VACANCY  board.

My son saw this.He was angrier. He told me that I had no rights to get the pigeon’s house vacated. No amount of arguing that it was just a resting/entertainment zone convinced him.

I finally convinced him by saying that the ventilators of our other bathrooms were still available for the flying tenants.

I removed the thorny bush,causing more thorn pricks to my hands,and guilty pricks to my heart and soul.    😦

I am tolerant to these noisy,unclean intruders but not when they leave their plumage in my food!

I am guilty of having tied a thorny bush-for a short time and having closed a window(there was no nest there).

Sorry,Columbidae    family.