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 on 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.

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!

 

Labor love

Let’s just say…..mid week offs are a surprise that we wait for. Labor day. Wednesday. Hump day. Weekends: we all know what adults are fond of doing. Rather want to do but mostly get stuck with running errands. Sundays are for getting mad and try to believe that it’s Monday the next day. Mid week offs are a little

different. Especially for the on schedule people who’s life revolves around the company laptop.

First of all, even though we know it’s an off day, we have to constantly try and remind ourselves that it’s an off day. Everytime we do that there’s a little spark in the eyes. It’s a planned deja vu!

Second of all, we think of all the favourite things that we like to do. We picture ourselves doing that. Like I pictured myself writing this blog. But if you are a person who’s quite aware of this satisfying thought, you know you’ll end up being lazy (the reason why I chose to write before going to bed); staring at the ceiling, sinking into the feeling that it’s an off day in the middle of the week.

By the time, the rejoice session is done it’s late in the afternoon. Now you wanna get ready for a dinner at your favorite restaurant or watch a movie. Suddenly it dawns on you that the bank is closed. The labors want to rest. It’s not pay day!

It’s such a hard truth of life. The feeling of not getting paid on the first day of the month. Like you have got no option but live your life in denial that it’s yet to be the pay day of the month. What becomes harder is even when you have a decent money left in your account, you’re mentally struck by forced poverty. Sometimes, we become impulsive and decide to spend the rest of the money in the account by buying things we absolutely start regretting the very moment we decide to purchase it.

In this entire time we forget to process that it is a day to celebrate work without working. The other days you build up an organization from desk to desk. So take some time out and feel precious. Be content! Overcome the feeling of hard luck with hard work in mind. Who knows may be you actually end up enjoying the day without doing anything and you find it productive!

Have a blessed day.

For the 9 to 5 clan!

We play so many different roles everyday. In addition to the the usual gender roles of being a daughter-son, father-mother, sister-brother, wife-husband and so on, we play a very challenging role; being ourselves. Now you might think it is another blog  on self-empowerment. Like seriously, I am not that enlightened. No way!

Often we talk about how busy we are in our lives that we do not have time for ourselves. We also say that we are never busy, it is all about priority. So now you see how we do not give importance to ourselves. Or rather, we think like that. If we carefully look at our daily schedule, most of our time in the day is spent at the office. Be it a corporate job or your own business or may be a start-up. We are likely to spend more time chasing our targets and building our performance skills each day. In the process, we get exhausted. That zeal you have when you start a new thing fades and you resort to just doing it for the sake of it. We start to forget why in the first place we were looking forward to this new job. The excitement is lost somewhere. Our perspective gets limited and we start to think that life sucks. We start to compare our lives to our college/school friends and think they are living the awesome life. Au contraire, who knows the other party might think the same!

Because we create the exhaustion for ourselves, we tend to stay less happy and somewhere we start faking it. If we had a good day or rather a productive day remains a question. Now there is a strong bond that we make with the exhaustion. Eventually, we give explanations to ourselves that we cannot take out time for ourselves to unwind. The fact is it is your life. It is your time. Nobody has taken it away from you. Its non-negotiable that we all have bills to pay. But do not make it a point to reason out why we go to work in the first place. There was a reason why you took up that work. At it is the solution to that reason. So keep uplifting your thoughts by loving your job. Once you do that, there will be a time that you will realize how wrong you were when you thought that you have no excitement in life. At one point you will stop faking and actually start to love life. You will start being that positive yourself that you used to be. Treat your work days like your first day at the job. Rejoice every moment that you dedicate for it. You won’t have to create a make believe world of “I love my job” anymore.