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.

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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!

 

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…….

“Coming out” as they say!

“It is always the fear that holds us back from a truly different life. I guess we judge too soon.” This is the story of a close one who came out recently. And it was a different kind of coming out than what we usually assume when we say that phrase.

Meeting yourself is hard. Speaking to yourself is harder. Introspection with the “I am” self is the hardest. Humans are born imperfect yet narcissistic. We accept both. Oh well, almost! Flaws are deep-rooted. That needs a lot of mind mapping to understand how it all started. And that’s exhausting. On the other hand, being narcissistic makes us feel under control. You create your own barriers by applauding the liabilities. To keep up with the time you pull down others. To keep up with the time there is a constant need of appreciation of one’s physical ego. Both times when we are flawed or narcissistic, we fear time. We fear realities. We fear change. Much to the inventions and discoveries that has advanced thoughts and erased some, one thing that sits in our mind is the fear. Fear of the known. Fear of the assumptions. Fear of going against the conditions and embracing your truth. Fear of being happy. The mask or the facade that we carry along us everywhere is like an airbag that helps us consciously avoid happiness. It is when we embrace the idea of self-appreciation and the exhaustion together, that we can “come out”.

“The problem with our society are not the conditions but the multiple interpretations and misinterpretations of the same. I have always struggled. I am a happy person, you know. My definition of being happy is something that does not fit these conditions of the society. I like smelling flowers. I love ballet. I definitely love shopping. Does that make me any less of a man? And it definitely does not make me a woman. Sadly, there are a lot of opinions about the way I talk, sit, even worse, the way I rest my hands when I stand!

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I have always been a family embarrassment¬†because I never took part in sports, I will appreciate my sister’s love for make up and a lot more that does not really follow the norms. I am a man who appreciates and is attracted to things which are considered feminine. And that is not something wrong. Ever. It took me a lot of courage to say that to myself and believe it. I mean I have always been comfortable in my skin minus the label. But I guess, it has been a constant struggle as well. A struggle between self-appreciation and an imposed identity. This is in fact, the best gift that I got myself in years.”

It was quite an eye-opening rather than just a chillout session that we planned!

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.