My life story

Some says, it is orthodox. Some say……….

Patriarchy.

Way of life.

Destiny.

Well let us just add some positivist touch to the stigma, shall we?

I will rather choose to call myself getting redefined while I accept society. Well, I don’t know who exactly started the whole concept of letting either of the genders to take control of the different societies around the world. But I do know, you make yourself look weak the moment you use the low key propaganda to spread empowerment of any sorts. I also think “it takes two to tango” and “there is no smoke without fire” !!

As for me, my roles kept changing with time. So did my plans. Priorities? That is a good question……you see all our lives we look for scopes and places to feel secure and happy. It just different people and places that we find both at different phases of life. That pursuit keeps getting layered with selflessness and attachments with every new responsibility……may be that is when we feel trapped and think LIFE SUCKS!

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When I was a kid, I was happy and attached to my people who got me colors, dolls and candies.

The ones who would sing me songs and tie my hair…..

When I was a little older my plans changed. I had more friends to laugh with……I learnt to feel the breeze on my face in a moving car…..learnt to love the rain and it’s smell……

Time comes when I feel secure with the person who is happy with my curls, lips, curves and hips…….sometimes, not always.`

But hey! I still have some aspirations which are unsettled. Some unfinished business that cannot be done…….with an occasional heavy heart, I move on…..

Now I grow as my little ones do…..As I grow, this personal journey of finding happiness made me think; what if there are no priorities but only harmony? What if these different phases and different layers of responsibilities are the ways to my happiness?

So now what do I do with the rest of my life?

It was Diwali 2017 that I questioned my existence. After the long flashback, it was quite impressive to take pride of the list of accomplishments. Well, it is not exactly how I planned or rather prioritized things, but hey y’all, I found happiness.

I found pride.

Fulfillment.

I found my life story worth sharing…..

I am a regular Indian housewife. The one you see in Bollywood films with a sweaty face, frizzy hairdos, wearing Sari or preferably a “maxi” if it is a hardcore household scene. I am mostly found in the kitchen with a spatula trying to strain the perfectly deep fried Poori out of the boiling bubbling oil. I am often the last person to go to bed and the first one to wake up in the morning. Yes, it is not frustrating but it is rather very satisfying to help my family get ready to head out for the day.

And that is not a maid who does the chores. Sometimes, she is the one who gets my aura better than my relationships living under the same roof with me.

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I am a working woman. I am just not salaried. But I get to lead the household, enjoy perks of motherhood and freelance with my gardening skills too…..Now doesn’t that sound independent? Beyond all the stigma, propaganda and society, it is me who found that little loophole and found ways to embrace self-reliance and I am exactly how I look in my photographs, content and happy.

Too fresh to fade

It’s not loneliness. May be it’s just my unaided pile of desolate emotions. I don’t know…….sometimes it’s just the thoughts in my head that are so loud that I can barely hear the noise of  the world around me. IMG-20190913-WA0044

Silence has a voice too- very few can hear it. I listen to it. There is laughter. There is tantrum. Anxiety. Pain. Separation. Every time I walk into my thoughts, glimpses of those memories play hide ‘n’ seek with my reality.

The morning alarm goes off. It is yet another day. I get ready for work, eat breakfast, avail the affordable commute, sign in to work. As I sit in my cubicle, the world around me is a big blur. Sure I do participate on and off, but it’s all just a big pit of mindfulness and political dynamics that is just way too disturbing for an already disturbed mind of mine. The time seems to function way too fast. I’m never able to catch it. A little less respectful, a little less polite. Indifference, may be that’s the word. May be it’s just a phase.

It’s every night when I close my eyes away from reality, I see even more clear…….IMG-20190911-WA0009

Days of being abused; not thrown but used.

The days I can’t undo……

May be it is not delusional to create illusions around myself. You see, people are always better in imagination. They make me believe in harmless possibilities. After all these years of growing up with violent memories and deep rooted mental scars, shifting in and out of reality in my head has become quite fluid. It not madness, its just another escape tool. Very much like listening to your current favorite single on loop.IMG-20190911-WA0015

To the world, I’m a regular adult. To me, I’m still hiding under the bed trying to get away from what is now, a dreadful memory too fresh to ever fade…….

Denial!

I saw this man at my cafe today. I keep seeing so many people come and go and grab their orders. He was different. He had this unusually perfect man lips! I could see a spark in his eyes when he looked at me.  It was weird at first, but then I realized, it was the smell of the fresh brewed coffee that made him look around the place with that expression. He moved towards the counter.

“Good morning! How are you today?”, the barista always had this obnoxiously hyperexcited way to greet the customers. I mean relax Kevin! He will buy our coffee. Don’t be this extra!

“Depends on how soon I get my coffee.” The  man replied with a straight face.

I literally had my best laugh of the day.

Kevin went aside to brew the order after MY MAN paid for it. I was busy doing my own thing, when Kevin suddenly pulled me out from my service station! I was literally excited and nervous at the same time. Given his daily behavior, it was not something I will consider spontaneous. He tickled me with a pen. Well it seemed smooth given how close we were to each other that no one could notice anything wrong. It was our little secret! It felt right. Well, atleast for sometime…..

“One large Americano for Daniel?”, Kevin almost screamed.

The man with perfect lips took me off the counter and read his name. Oh boy, the tickle was wrong…..like every other time!

He scoffed as he read his name. “DENIAL? Huh?” He did not bother to wait for Kevin to answer anything and made his way out.IMG-20190918-WA0001

Well, as for me, I brought him happiness as he took the first sip pressing his perfect lips against mine. He opened the exit door to head out. The chill of December was shielded by my warmth while he had that manly grip on me. I found my short lived life’s pursuit! 

 

 

 

 

Mystic and old

One alley. One story. All I could do was not to spare a chance to walk through the ones that caught my eyes.Walking along with Gau Mata like passer by. Pausing to catch the glimpse of the local Brahmins pass while chanting age old mantras. Witnessed Hinduism by the ghats and Islam in the hood. Meanwhile sightseeing took me to Sarnath among other places. The whole experience vibrated peace. That is how Varanasi treated me for a 3-day trip. Ideally, it is week long trip if you want to really have the much talked about mystic experience of the city. But my ESL life could only squeeze this much break for leisure travel off the work travel schedule!

The aura of the Ganga aarti kept the entire stretch of the ghats lit with a hypnotizing belief that time is always under construction and life is building upon it. Hundreds of people gathered everyday to witness the one-hour long ceremony of showing gratitude to the Ganga. The exciting part is when you realize how all the priests are in sync with each other while performing the rituals. It was so beautiful to watch how so much of effort is invested in empowering human beliefs.

Just when I started to sink in that feeling, it was the moment when I came face to face to the only reality that makes us live the entire life in denial- Death. Manikarnika ghat; it is believed that people who are cremated here receive Moksha or salvation. This riverfront is always seen with fire burning the Hindu dead bodies at all hours of the day. It was one of those mind numbing moments when you are so close to an absolution that you don’t know what to feel. It all seemed too real to be true. Like I landed in a period drama movie set!

Tasting the local food is always a delight of any place. However, as I explored more, I discovered it is a city which is a home away from home for people across the globe. Besides gorging on the heavenly Kachori subzi, cruncy jalebi or scooping rabdi from the cute little pots, I could also spot cafes that served international cuisines with authentic arrangements. Be it a German bakery, an Italian bistro or Oriental food, it took me by surprise! The best however, was the lassi. After a heavy rush of strange numbness from the Manikarnika encounter, I went to this much recommended lassi shop, The Blue Lassi. I have no idea how it got the name, but they sure churn the best ones. Their selection of flavors and styles of preparation left me in awe and definitely pulled me out from the strange feeling to vacation vibes once again!

Spotting Aghoris on and off were confusing moments. I was not sure whether to feel scared and look away or stay fascinated and stare at them. With their creepy sense of fashion, Aghoris drew attention no matter what. Being almost naked in public or covering the body with human ashes felt plain normal for them. Using a human femur bone as a walking stick or wearing human skulls around their necks seemed perfectly fine. Their calm attitude made them seem even more mysterious. It is a different world!

I was always fascinated to hear different travel stories from the people who ever visited this old city. What I feel now is it’s even more fulfilling to see what you hear about a place is so mysteriously true. It was one vacation that I would love to repeat yet again. Such was Varanasi through my eyes!

To all my favourite people!

One of the best things that happened to me this year was my job as a TESOL trainer with the Asian College of Teachers. Now this is quite a big deal for a baby-faced woman like me! IMG-20180720-WA0013 I mean being a teacher trainer where you really need to balance the easy-going attitude with a equal assertiveness is quite a job in itself. Teacher training is anything but way different from being just a teacher. Training a class full of teachers or aspiring ones from different age groups, social and cultural backgrounds is amazingly interesting. And I get to travel places. Like literally, meet teachers from different locations, conduct activities, assess their skill developments, etc., while I get to hop around different cities and try to discover the local ways. The whole program is a 3-weeks long process where we try to understand the requisites of a successful facilitator who would like to teach English as a Second Language. That includes a whole lot of new age teaching methods, brainstorming theories while learning tricks to develop the four skills to comprehend the language- listening, speaking, reading and writing. In between the teaching practices, I make it a point to call for little celebrations. This not only makes the class shake off their anxieties but also lets the all of us to bond well. IMG-20180709-WA0022

Every batch has its own story to share. Each lot of trainees come with their amazing set of ideas and experiences that makes each program a special one. Usually, the batches consist of ESL enthusiasts counting to a minimum of five to a maximum of twenty. It sometimes do get tricky for the fact that there are people from different age groups. Some are freshers trying to travel and teach. Some are looking for a job switch. Some are retired ones with decades of work experience trying to settle with something different from what they have been doing for years. IMG-20180922-WA0011The experienced ones are often the expat teachers or teachers from that specific locations who sign up for the program for a professional upgrade. Some sign up for an extra certificate to add to their curriculum vitae! The list goes on. So as you can see there are quite a lot of different energies that come together for 3 weeks.

Going to different places and training teachers has its own perks. Firstly, it’s a different culture. I go to train the teachers on how to teach English as a Second Language. In the process, I get to learn the local lingo of that place from the teachers. That’s quite an exchange now! The lunch breaks usually become the perfect excuse for me to try the local food. IMG-20180620-WA0009Sometimes even home made, if any trainee decides to bring their own food. Fridays are usually wrapped up with assignments to be completed over the weekend. But much to the tensed faces, there is always a hidden happiness as we often plan to meet either on a Saturday or Sunday. May be for a movie or may be, just out and about the town. Or may be some local attraction. That’s how I kind of end up with way too many guides taking me on a tour around the cities!

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The farewell…..

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Lunching and touring before we resumed class….

 

Breakfast meet before class!

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I believe life gives us way too many chances. We are too busy complaining to understand the signs. The signs to grow, think and become a better person. To nurture the ability to see the world from different perspectives while I keep adding chapters to my life. And that is not the end. Meanwhile I train, I learn so much.

The social and cultural knowledge is just a teeny tiny bit of it. It only gives me the strength to think that there is a whole wide world beyond my world in my head. It gives me a chance to grow and feel the existence of different ideas. Someone rightfully said that there is no end to learning. If only we learn to see the world according to the changing air around us, it will be the best gift that one can present himself or herself.

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Happy holidays!

Oh well it’s December! Few days left for Christmas and to celebrate yet another New Year. As the world gets busy with the festivities, I am here travelling, training and reminiscing my festival. My city during Durga Puja. Now, the dates are not the same every year but majorly, they fall sometime during September and October. It’s quite a week-long festival with each day having its own significance. Skipping the mythological backdrop, if we come to the new-age views on the festival, its is more than just worshiping the Goddess. Mostly, you might think I’m trying to talk about the whole idea of wearing new clothes, eating all the possible delicacies and not missing a chance to hop around to visit the marquees where the Goddesses are celebrated. Or may be, the fact that festivals let you come together with family and friends to celebrate. It is more than that.

Every year on January 1st, Bengalis look up the dates of Durga Puja. It adds meaning and a chance to look forward to the year ahead. It marks the occasion of many things. For some it means to happy for leaves from work and go see their families. For some it is to plan and buy clothes while there is a sale way prior to the festival so that there are more clothes on their set budget! For some it is an experience for the first time. A first after getting a job. A first after getting married. Or started dating. Or an addition in the family. Or after they parted ways. For some it is about planning a getaway around those days with their loved ones. For some it is a first without family. And for some it is the last festival.IMG-20181202-WA0073

There is always something old and eventful (if not life changing!) about those days. This is the thing about festivals. Keeping aside the togetherness and the celebrations, it keeps us rooted to ourselves. Our inner self. The bustling streets speaks to a lot of our silent thoughts. At one point through all these, we try to find reasons to believe that the world is a good place to live in. It takes us to those lanes where we used to be way different from what we are now. How things changed. Good and bad. How your decisions and choices made you surround yourself with your present reality. How you have fallen in and out of love. How we thought we will not be able to move forward in our lives without the presence of something and someone.How the definition of festivals and holidays kept changing with time and plans. But here we are now, counting days to let go and gather new hope.

We human beings as we age and things make to start sense, we grow three faces. the first one is what we try to project ourselves to the world around to continue being the social animal. The second one is what we try to make ourselves believe about what we might be or at least wish to be. The  third is the one that is  the most honest face and the one that we avoid and hide from ourselves. Our inner self. Every moment of our lives the second and the third faces are fighting numerous wars to find that winning spot in our minds. Like you know the times we look at ourselves in the mirror and we think we are ugly. But if you look deep down it is not the face. It is the lack of feeling content of what you have and being jealous of others makes us look ugly.

It is just like the festivals. The first one is like all the celebrations that we see around us. The ideas of  indulgences change with the time to fit in. What stays with us are those little moments of reminisce where we found happiness for something which did not have a facade. That is just like the third face which now struggles to keep up and stay as a stronger memory than the new ones which are more fresh.

Everyday we keep disguising our needs with what the world wants to see in us. For that we keep counseling ourselves into thinking that we are valid. We fight the social stigmas and shaming by tricking ourselves into a standard idea of perfection.  At the end of the day, it is just you on your bed. The deep breaths before you fall asleep. That little moment of silence in your mind before you doze off. That is when you find your inner self with an answer that if you are happy or not!

We are just few weeks away from yet another year. Yet another time to indulge into celebrations. In the midst of all these let us try to do more things for that third face. Let us just promise ourselves that we will work on ourselves for a happier heart.

Happy holidays!

As Shakespeare said…..

“Seeing is believing.”

Believe what you see.

Your mind sees too.

Your mind sees dreams.

Believe in them.

We talk so much about dreaming big. While kids and their ideas of what they want to be when they grow up are always given attention, little do we understand that these are mere reflections of the lessons learnt in school. Lessons supported with pictures help them to inspire. That little thin book with a picture of an astronaut or a pilot or a doctor gives a new path to those kids to take the first step to dream. To think that he or she can be the person in the picture too. He or she can save the world too. He or she can set a goal. Yes, people it is all about how we picture ourselves that helps us to set goals.

Goals are nothing but your intuition that makes you feel that you can take a stand for your decisions or ambitions. It can be anything. From what you plan to do for a living to daily routines. Everything that you feel strongly that you will want to achieve is a goal.

I used to be quite a social person in my college days. Then I started working. I was still that same butterfly. One who loved being loud and going to parties. The melting make up. The sweaty shiny party dresses (shorter and tighter the better, of course!). The booming music vibrated till all the water from my brain was sucked out and gave me the infamous hangover headache the next morning.  Well it did not matter much then. I was proud of myself, instead. I mean I was the queen bee, hello! 313261_163230623764134_722157495_nBut much that I loved the life I had back then, there were few things which I loved more than all of that. At the back of my mind I always had different plans for myself and this part of my life never tallied with any of my plans. I tried to look for reasons of this dissatisfaction but to no avail.  

I still remember I was in the United States. It was the summer of 2011. I was in Maine. Oh! How much I love that place. The rocky coastline, the Atlantic chill and not to forget the food! I traveled to Maine to visit the village of Ogunquit. I am in love with that part of America. The county feel is too deep to get over it. The suppers by Perkins Cove, the Capriccio festival, the summer beach, the cutest little gift shops, the tempting lobsters and I can just go on. I went there and again played my social butterfly card quite generously. Since I planned to stay there for the entire summer, I had to find ways to live my nightlife with the same zeal. Soon I made friends over there with a high school couple who were locals over there. They introduced me to few of  “my kinda” people and in few days of moving in the new place I was on a roll. Weekends were definitely like what we call now LIT AF!! I started meeting even more people and made my own little kingdom there. Life was good. Awesome!

On July 4th, I went out for dinner in some eatery in the downtown area with my new friends. As we left, we thought of taking a walk a little ahead the downtown area. The weather was promising as hell. It added to the celebration state of mind. As everyone was busy chattering and ranting about their bosses at work, we came across this really old building. It said Free Memorial Library. I have always been a huge Harry Potter fan. As you can clearly see the architecture, it took me straight from the muggle world to the Hogwarts dorms. I just had to get in there. Few of my friends also joined. The rest walked towards the beach. The library goers decided to meet them in a while after we checked the new found spot of real fantasy. And my my, was it a dream? Yes, it was.217748_104242936329570_4830967_n The inside of the building breathed Gothic architecture from all corners. The tall  shelves, the lofty ladders to reach the topmost shelf, the thick Renaissance furniture, the smell of the books. The place had so much of history. It had its own timeline that had so many stories to tell. Suddenly a sign of peace hit me hard. It was a different feeling which I could not unfold for sometime. But it was definitely something that made me visit the library almost every alternate days for the rest of the summer I was in Ogunquit. 

 

The books made me feel pleasant about my life. There was not any hullabaloo or exchange of unnecessary ideas. No hangovers, no headaches. No loud music, no loud talks. Neither did I judge nor was I judged by people. I realized may be this is what bothered me so much. If I am not part of the crowd, the crowd will judge me and I will be left alone. May be the feeling of isolation scared me from doing things that I actually loved. To read. To write. To stay motivated. It was a revelation!229020_104243079662889_3131602_n

I was floating like a fluid body with insecurities and no affirmations. Even after I realized that I need to get rid of my bad habits to focus on my life, it was not a matter of a moment. Let me tell you, the whole shift from that person to this person who is writing the blog took seven years to overcome something which I did not even like to do. Too much of letting yourself loose becomes an addiction and it really does not help to stay motivated. You become lazy to stay motivated and actually look for one goal. From the time I realized that party season is over, I made it point to revamp my thoughts completely and work towards a better life. It was my goal. And I can now proudly say that I achieved it after seven years. There were times when I had no idea what am I trying to do with my life. I cut off friendships and later feel horrible about it. I started to avoid association which did not lead me towards my goal. Sometimes I gave up and went back to the way I did not want to walk again. With the guilt in my mind, I shook off my urges to let that airhead version of me go away. Years went by but I did not let myself forget those seven months that made me realize the type of person I am or I should be if I want be fair to my life. 

This might seem like just another motivational story that we come so many times nowadays. I am not trying to motivate or convey any strong message. My point is I kept believing what I saw in front of me from the time I had the library encounter on the 4th of July. I kept seeing myself in a position where I will have time to do things that actually makes me happy. Read books. Write articles, stories, etc. I had to get back to my old self which I was in my school days. I made my conviction even stronger by going back to the journals that I wrote as a teenager. I read through the pages to remind myself how I  always wanted to have a strong voice and engage into public speaking. It reminded me of how I see myself as an author when I grew up. Going back to this good past triggered my conscience. It made me believe in who I am and how I saw myself standing in my life eventually. debo1.jpg

You see this is the exact marketing skill that companies use to sell their products. Industries are flourishing and flocking based on this simple thought. What you see you believe. So it better be a sale-able sight enough to push those exact buttons that makes you need and want that product. And from a life’s perspective, you should always place yourself in that exact position in your mind where you want see yourself. That is like an affirmation to yourself that you can get what you want. 

It’s very basic and not a very rare thing to do. Keep surprising yourself everyday! 

 

 

Life is a ticking timer…

Humans as we say are social animals. We are sucked into this whole galactic feel to please people with a intention of security. Family, friendships, marriages and so on, each relationship has its own vibe and aura. We are all running after these bonds we share because it makes us happy. The shoulders are right there for us when we need them. That peace is not material and it can never be measured. Our world revolves around these beautiful set of amazing people who makes the existence worthwhile. We start taking this existence for granted thinking they are here to stay. And then  a time comes when we grow apart. School’s over. College’s over. Jobs rule our weekdays. Priorities change. Happens all the time, right?

Now if you look into it carefully, out of so many people we meet, only few we remember for the rest of our lives. Good or bad, we cross paths and the memories are unforgettable. We crave for the memories and the thoughts take us away from reality at times. It is so interesting to see that our human minds at times start dreaming so hard that it makes us extend those memories into our unfulfilled or unfinished wishes or promises. It makes us regret the reality. The different lives that join with our stories are sometimes not stagnant. But the depth of bond comes in disguise of attachments. Once the ties are non-existent we start  looking out for options to fill that emptiness. This insecurity makes us look for alternatives and that is when we make superficial choices. This applies for all. Be it a best friend, a parent or a lover. And then comes some other kind of relationships which are special to us but beyond any explanation. These are the evil sweet ones which makes your day for reasons known only to those whoever shares the bond. The inner jokes, the amazing match of thoughts, it is just so damn positive! Finding alternatives to these ones are sometimes never possible.

So as I write this, I cannot help but wonder, why do we even look for an emptiness filler when the void can never be helped? The attachments we share with each person are all different. With love it all grows. We stay because the other one sharing the bond listens to us or does not mind to stay with our imperfections. With time what we do not realize is that when the bond becomes a habit we become control freaks. Now that we are comfortable with the relationship we try to change the dynamics according to our perspectives. Sometimes we call it sacrifice and sometimes this become a tool to sabotage the attachment. Eventually, we start finding the bad in the relationship and we create drama episodes for ourselves! I mean, like why? Are we not paying for Netflix already?

If that person is really a special one and in the long run you will be happy no matter what, why will you even think of ways to get rid of the bond? They made a mistake and repeated the same thing and you got trust issues? Or they stopped listening to you so you just wanna make your life like a social media handle and block that attachment forever? We say “there is no smoke without fire.” All we do is see the smoke and ignore the fire. Rather than finding ways to stay away or finding flaws why not we look into the times we were actually happy and laughing and found ways to keep it alive? I mean yes, there are times we wanna run away from abusive or attachments that question our dignity. This is justified. But this is not the case all the time. Is it?

Hold on to the attachments because time is life!

From the personal ESL file

It has been quite sometime that I have been walking on the ESL avenue. English, is not a language, its business, its lucrative connections over the world makes it as popular as money. If you Google, you will find random surveys where they say there are more speakers of English as a second language or a foreign language than native speakers. As a matter of fact, I still doubt the numbers. There is a constant need to upgrade once proficiency in this language for better survival. Population is ever-growing and so is the demand of English. Be it a job, a new school/university, student exchange programs in native countries, you know what’s your #1 priority. Countries with colonial pasts, now majorly thrive on tourism and if that tourism can also connect them with the powerful language, it just serves the nation with a better dream. This is one such angle where ESL teachers get to actually enjoy the whole idea of “travel and teach”. That is just one perspective. However, let us now discuss what it takes to be a good (if not successful) ESL teacher. With my miniature experience as a ESL teacher trainer, here are few of my observations:

    1. We have to carry around our ECG always- empathy, creativity and generosity. Language is the barrier, so you gotta understand that even to crack an unbiased joke, ECG is absolutely necessary.
    2. A lot of times non-natives complain about not getting jobs. What most of us do not understand is that there’s something called pronunciation and by that I mean, the sounds of English! It is unfair, I know, but you cannot deny the fact that people do not wanna take classes from someone who doesn’t sound like a speaker of that language; if not completely, but almost. May be that’s how the whole idea of near native/neutral accents became popular. People, we know we are not natives, but if we still want the job, we gotta work it out!
    3. Grammar is not restricted to only the generic terms and activities. What about……vocabulary and their usage? Their synonyms and antonyms? Collocations? It is about the understanding the best possible ways to know the differences in applications that make communications proficient, if not expert? See what I did there!
    4. Classroom management. Well, well, well…….from the moment you step inside the class, this button should be active in your mind controls. The age of your learners, level of comprehension, cultural background, ethnicity and community, and so on essentially contribute to a positive learning environment. Facilitating the fact that the classroom belongs to them more than you. If you are the typical “travel and teach” ESL educator, or aspire to be one, remember that you are the alien, they are not! Your personality should be adaptive.IMG20190924095810
    5. No certification is bigger than your dedication. There are various TEFL/TESOL/TESL in-class and online programs that are available in the market. Do not confuse the certificate as a confirmed ticket to get a job. It is a skill not a passport. As interesting as it may sound, the ESL industry is full of ambitious and determined educators/facilitators. With changing times, the demands keep changing as well. So, it is extremely important to be dedicated to your arena and keep yourself updated with the latest teaching designs.

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Happy ESL life!

  1.  Your lesson plan is your willingness to connect. It is when you can deliver the lesson plan in English and keep the cultural context in mind, you will know your major work is done right there. You will be a favorite teacher if you can blend local references to set the tone of your topic. Everyday will be a success if you keep yourself away from grammar translation method and replace it with effective materials and teaching resources to connect the lessons better.
  2. Age and level of your learners have got nothing to do with intelligence. Body languages are universal and gestures play a key role in ESL classrooms. Use them wisely and rationally!

 

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Learnings and laughters that mattered

We all want a 15-days long vacation where we can be whatever we choose to be. The whole idea of being home away from home, packing the best casuals and flashy outfits. From escaping into fun-a-thon of relaxation to clicking the best Insta-worthy pictures. It is a mental picnic of frolic, culture and indulgence. Of course decadence is summoned according to the budget!

It was my second visit to Pune. The first time was a wild plan few years ago that ended in nausea. This time it was more sensible. Work trip you know. As heavy as it seemed, I guess with lesson plans I have started to apply the anticipated problems section in my life as well! My biggest back up was this diligent and amazing support, Rutuja. She made my life easy.IMG20190616152841-01

Pune holds quite a lot of history under the rug. It was all about time when I got to experience, well, parts of it. I checked in the city on a Saturday. Just a weekend away from a completely new batch of TEFL aspirants. Rutuja and I planned to use it to our advantage before the pressure got on us. We went to visit this famous fort, Shaniwar Wada. It was built during the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra. Well, it was extended, fixed and renovated over time (just like our judgmental feelings!) The huge doors with spikes, narrow staircases, carefully planned  ventilators were quite interesting to understand. A whole lotta science and architecture!

After the history tour, we went up to Juna Bazaar to explore antiques. Oh my my, it was a long stretch of market with fresh smells from the old times! You ask for anything, and they had an antique for that (till you believe they are all antiques and not junk that is polished to look old!). It was worthwhile. Just be a little careful with handbags and purses. Few passer-bys will be really interested to find out what’s in your bag! Tulshi baug, MG Road are other major markets to hang around for pretty and fun street finds too.

After one week of rigourous enthusiasm to learn the psychology of language learners and how to deal with them, few trainees along with me planned for a day getaway to Mahabaleshwar. As the heat welcomed the party, we went to do the darshan at the Shiv Temple in Old Mahabaleshwar. We went up to the Arthur’s Point where we were hugged by floating clouds  and a warm, wet chill. The walk was mystic! After a couple of hours of “girls just wanna have fun” we drove down to the market area. Mahabaleshwar market has a lot to offer. From Kolhapuri sandals, wickerworks, unusually warm blankets, light weight happy jewelries to amazing cream cups at Bagicha (a must visit), it’s a paradise to for all the impulsive shoppers like me.IMG20190622161059IMG20190622160720IMG20190622150706

As we drove down to the city, we stopped by the Mapro garden for a farm fresh experience. We hogged on some of their freshly produced sandwiches and pizza for din-din. The affordable jams, juices, syrups, jelly candies; you cannot buy enough! It was a major weekend to look back for loads of awesome memories.

They say if you miss out on something, then there’s hope to always go back. I missed checking out the Aga Khan Palace and the Okayama Park from my bucket list. The pilot Pune TEFL program will surely be missed. Not only for the wonderful travel in and out the city but also for the learnings and laughters that mattered. My batch of this 12 enthusiastic ESL teachers. The 3-weeks journey was a memorable ride. Here’s hoping to another one soon!IMG20190701145836