Tag Archives: school

A new Beginning

Today is First of January. The day everyone around the world wishes “Happy New Year”. Both 31st december and 1st January have always been unique even though they are not a festival. During my school days, when we only had Doordarshan, this was the only day when there were programs to watch till 1:00 am. In fact, entire family used to watch togather. I used to start asking for cakes right from 27th of december. My mother always found time to make one on 31st december. Generally the cake used to be ready by 10:30 pm and we used to have them at 12:00am. I miss those cold nights sitting togather with the entire family and having fresh cakes. With the advent of cable, different channels had different programs, so another activity of channel surfing got added to this day. Now as the day starts approaching we start getting invites for different events like fireworks show, DJ night, etc.

Another topic of discussion is RESOLUTIONS. This is the first thing that one asks after wishing new year. The biggest joke is they are made to be broken. On a serious note, we humans are never satisfied with whatever we have or are. We always want to improve. The concept of resolutions symbolizes this behaviour. We often set very high goals which require continuous dedication and sacrifice. Again most of us are too lazy to stick to it and so the resolutions are often broken within the first few days. This year I thought of welcoming the new year with lots of colors. It was too cold to go out and buy flowers. So I thought of creating my own flower. I always admired my mother’s ability to make beautiful things using crochet. So I tried my hand at crochet. After 4 hours of struggle, I was able to make the flower below.

My first colorful flower of Crochet

My first colorful flower of Crochet

I just wish all of our lives are as colorful as the petals of this flower. I was so happy that I also decided to make cake. This was another challenge as I had never made one before. Since its the new year, let it be a new beginning of my culinary skills (which need a lot of polishing). Below is the outcome of my effort.

My first cake

My first cake

The blurred face on cake symbolizes the unknown things that future holds for me in the year 2016 and that I will try to welcome them with a cake. Both these experiments just made my day. I hadn’t done any of these before all on my own. The best thing was I was doing it for myself. A learning from this is anything you do will be successful if you do it only for yourself.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

A new experience

Sight from my window on Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

Sight from my window on Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

Today is Ugadi(Telegu new year) and Gudi Padwa(Marathi new year). This was always a day of celebration in my hometown Baroda as well as in Mumbai and Pune. In school days, march was a month of tension as April used to be the month of final exams of the academic year. The classes used to be in full force with syllabus being completed for every subject. Everyday we used to be told to prepare for the exams by every adult we met, be it the teachers, parents or neighbours. Also the 10th and 12th boards would be going on. Hence the entire neighbourhood used to be silent. Still Gudi Padwa used to bring happiness and cheer. Some of us used to reschedule our new year resolutions to this day.

My best memories of Gudi Padwa are in Mumbai and Pune. In mumbai, I used to have a team mate Preeti. Due to our long working schedules we had become fast friends. Every year she used to bring Puranpoli for me on this day. In pune almost the entire city seemed to be decorated. People would be wearing new traditional clothes. The shops would be decorated. Sometimes the entire building would be decorated. Even in our software companies, ladies would come dressed in Sarees. There would be mails wishing everyone. Last year my maid specially made puranpoli for me.

Puranpoli

The month of march is really beautiful in Baroda(Vadodara), Pune or Mumbai. All trees are green and gardens are full of flowers. I loved to see the unripe mangoes(karies) hanging on the trees.This year I am in Baltimore and had a completely different Gudi Padwa. After a week of sunshine, it snowed. Hence instead of a bright I had a cold snowy Gudi Padwa making the new year a new experience. But then we all should have some unique experiences, thats what makes our life colorful. My work went smoothly throughout the day. Also 20th march’2015 is the first day of spring. Even google is celebrating it with a google doodle. I thank everyone who made this festival special for me.

I wish everyone a very Happy Gudi Padwa and Happy Ugadi.

The Christmas Tree

Christmas used to be a special occasion in school. We used to start preparing right from 1st December. Every class used to perform be it a play or a song before the school closed for Christmas holidays. The hall used to be decorated on that day. I used to look forward to see the Christmas Tree. Even as a grown-up I love seeing it. This year I was fortunate enough to be in USA in December. Hence as Christmas started approaching, it was available everywhere from Malls to offices. I even saw trees of different colors.

Christmas Trees in display

Christmas Trees in display

A white Christmas Tree

A white Christmas Tree

Some places had a decorated tree from first December itself. These trees gave a feeling of festive season.

A decorated Christmas Tree

A decorated Christmas Tree

The best part was visiting Washington DC on 25th December and witness a large Christmas Tree. It is decorated with lights of different colors. Although it was chilling cold, yet the whole scene was very warm with families surrounding the trees and the children happily playing around.

Christmas Tree at Washington DC

Christmas Tree at Washington DC

The Christmas Tree at the botanical garden had a small train running around it. This gave a feeling of Santa approaching. At another place a small village was created around it.

At Botanical Garden

At Botanical Garden

Train around the Tree

Train around the Tree

Village Surrounded by Christmas Trees

Village Surrounded by Christmas Trees

The whole ambiance was so beautiful and homely. It was also very peaceful as there was hardly any traffic. It was further enhanced by the Church bells ringing. I think this is the spirit of Christmas. To come together and spend time with your near and dear ones.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

Spell right or spell check

courtesy: 21centuryedtech

Today morning I came across an unusual thing. I was surfing channels like every sunday. As usual I didnt find anything interesting until I hit the discovery channel. There the Classmate spell bee 2014 was going on. I just loved the format of the show. It was a competition in pure form just like we used to have in school days. The host Soha Ali Khan did a brilliant job of pronouncing the words and putting across the questions. The participants did the unimaginable job of spelling out the difficult words.

This reminded me of my school days. We did not have easy access to computers then. Hence for verification of spellings we used to refer to dictionary. To avoid using dictionary again we used to memorize the word, it’s spelling, pronounciation and meaning. That exercise used to help us a lot in essay writing as we never felt short of words to express ourselves. It also enhanced our vocabulary. I remember raising my hand whenever teacher asked about some word which I knew. The appreciation from teacher after spelling it and the applause from classmates, still makes me nostalgic. Although we have so many gadgets to help us in writing but our freedom to write is somehow curbed because we don’t trouble our minds with learning new words.

Let us make it a habit to learn atleast one new word every week. We can then use it in our tweets or comments in social media. This will not only help us remember it but also enhance our language. At the end of today’s episode, the host said “Its better to spell right than to spell check”. I completely agree with it. Let us remember the spellings and gain the freedom to express ourselves without referring to any gadget or option like spellcheck. I congratulate Times of India and Classmate for organizing the Spellbee. All the best to all the participants of spellbee.

Exams!!!!!!!

The academic session in India begins in June and ends in April. The end of March signals the beginning of exams. This has more effect on human life than any season. The neighbourhoods become quiet and kids spend more time indoors. Most of them have tension on their faces. These days the competition begins right from kindergarden and so even the parents move around with a very serious face.

As a kid I used to become very scheduled during this time. Getting up on time, studying and reducing on watching television. Everyday when the morning alarm used to ring, I used to tell my lazy self, “Its just for a month and then you will be free after the exams”. When I see the kids today, nothing has changed it seems. The same tension, the same schedule and the same anxiety. The exams make a child realize the importance of being regular with studies. It also explains the need to take up the responsibility of one’s studies. At my home, there used to be a new tension after exams. My mother used to be a teacher. As soon as the exams used to be over, her paper checking used to start. I still remember watching television endlessly whereas mom checking for hours.

The only people happy are the ones who are in 10th and 12th grades. The board exams get over by march end and so does their ordeal. The 10th graders are the happiest as the first challenging exam is over. Consequently the multiplexes are filled with them.

To all the people having exams, just put in your best. All the best.

Third week of March

In my school days, the Indian academic session began in june and ended in april. March was the month of orals and inspection. This meant a revision of the final exam syllabus. It also meant ensuring all your books have been checked, are covered and in good condition. There were many of us who would change covers towards the end of the year. After this week none of us would lend our books as the final exams would start in April. This was the time to prepare the schedules, list out the weak areas, discuss with teachers and be ready to study for the exams.

The tension was more on the parents than the students which is the case even today. Recently I heard two mothers speaking in my neighbourhood. One was telling the other that their children really need to be fit now as the exams are approaching. Also the neighbourhood becomes quiet as the kids are studying. Even so many years after school, I can feel the exam approaching everytime the third week of march ends.

An event to remember

An image of december

Today is 23rd december’2013. The month of december always reminds me of snow covered roads with coniferous trees on both sides as displayed in the image above. The most memorable 23rd december for me would be 23rd december’1995. I was in school then. It was probably the last year I was going to spend there. My school was Auxilium Convent high school. Christmas used to be really special as we used to prepare a month before. Since 25th was a monday so the last working day before Christmas was 23rd. I was selected to be a part of the Crip decoration. I was to be one of the three merchants who visit after Christ was born.

We started rehearsing about 2 weeks ago. This used to be so exciting that we used to look forward to the practice times right from assembly at the start of the day. We used to enact the scene where the three merchants arrive after the birth of Christ. The skit used to start with Carols. These carols were so sweet that everyone used to be mesmerised. The house captons ensured everything was organized from the way the choir stood to narration of the event. As the day used to come near we used to start looking for designs for the crowns.

On 23rd december’1995, we started dressing right after assembly. I had borrowed a bright saree from mummy and prepared my beautiful crown with golden paper. After dressing up with the saree, one of the teachers used to draw the moustache with sketchpens. This used to be a challenge as we used to keep laughing due to the tickling sensation. The entire school right from first grade to tenth grade used to sit in the hall. The hal was buzzing with noise when the principle entered. The welcome address was given by the Head girl and then began our event. It ended with a huge applause. Each class had their own dance or skit after our event. We stood as part of the crip all through the event. The closure note was given by the Principal. After this we went to the nearby room and changed. Everyone was excited as we were going to have holidays till 2nd of january. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas and parted with “See you next year”.

These events used to be a window to knowing people of other classes. I had created many friends through such activities. I wish it were possible to have these kind of events in offices as they would encourage team spirit and again give everyone an opportunity to know others. As for the image, years later I got an opportunity to travel in Aspen and saw my imagination come true.