Thursday, September 01, 2005

Something to say...

My pevious blogspot got infected and I lost my blogroll links. Neelu got a new one for me, and I painstakingly added the links again. You wont believe the extent I went to get a couple of lost links- I had to track them for hours from another blogger list- but eventually I got those back.

It was Krishna Jayanthi the other day- when I asked the elder girl who comes for tuitions what was special abt the day- she told me it was Krishna’s B’day- and she seemed a trifle disappointed that I did not seem to be doing anything abt it- no celebrations nothing- but then as usual we got all the b’day goodies from the friendly neighbourhood- and I sent them back “puttu and cherupayar kootaan” ( rice and grated coconut steamed rolls with green gram curry).

In the morning I accompanied my Vallyamma ( MIL) and her gang to their friend’s home for a puja- We all sang devotional songs- and got some more goodies as prasadam. Some of them sang beautifully and with devotion I may add, where as there was this maami who sang loudly only to submerge melody and others voices- devotion was farthest from her mind-

I have been having this excruciating back ache for the past two weeks- not continuously tho- just now and then- and while it bothered me, I was like in the depths of anxiety, agony and worry. I mean I have this smattering “knowledge” of allopathy and ayurveda and this really loooooong list of maladies which I kept ticking or scratching according to the whim of the hour- and when the pain subsided, I was so relieved, I had been watching my little student demonstrating the various “asanas” that she had recently learnt- and almost envied her flexibility and agility…I caught myself wondering once while in the clutches of a quite agonizing spasms of pain, whether I would ever be able to regain my agility. I realize it is not always enough to feel young especially when one’s muscles and bones refuse to co operate. It is when one is unwell, when the simplest of movements make one wince, that one realizes the value of being well and without pain-

The other day, the older girl gave me tough time with her Sanskrit pronounciation. I believe that a language’s beauty lies in its correct enunciation. And I would make sure that she got it right- I made her repeat the sounds again and again- and she has improved considerably since last year. She has finally begun pronouncing Bihar as Bihar and not Bigar, Neha and not Nega, Maharashtra and not Magarashtra. But last week, she was not getting the consonants + vowels right and here I was, the epitome of patience- something which my own kids have never witnessed- repeating it over and over again…but she just could not get it right- ka, kaa, ki, kee, ku, koo.. but she would falter repeatedly with kay, kai, ko, kow- both in the written and reading forms- Finally I lost it- no, no I did not resort to corporal punishment- I’d never do that, but I think my voice and expression could be worse. I just told her that I could not teach her anymore, and that we would stop the tuitions. Anyway she cringed in fear, tears lurked in her eyes and I relented… but I was exhausted- I could feel the throbbing in my temples, the nerves tightened to knots in the back of my neck- and I was totally washed out…
I spoke to her mother soon after she left and told her what happened that day. The mother assured me that it was fine, and that her daughter needed a tinge of fear instilled in order to be motivated to study- I was not too happy with the situation, and the girl’s tear filled eyes haunted me the rest of the evening.

I was eager to see her the next day- and when she did , she was her usual bubbly, mischievous self- as if the previous day had never happened- I fussed over her and her younger sister and when we tackled the Sanskrit exercises that day- Lo Behold- she got everything right at the first attempt!! When I broke my head over the lessons- she did not grasp and when I lost my temper, she simply absorbed it at one go- but I did not want to repeat the episode again- It was too much heart burn!

3 comments:

Reshmi said...

i love 'puttu and cherupayar kootaan' :D
festivals are such fun times in desh - miss 'em all.
and yes.... no language is complete without right enunciation.
sometimes students do need a harsh word to get the point home :P but it must be great fun to teach children no? :)

buckwaasur said...

hey ardra...so this is where u blog more regularly? i had the link to ur other blog - http://dabbling.blogspot.com...do u check it too or is this the only one? anyways, lemme add a link to this one too...

abt the transformation of the girl, yeah, sometimes a li'l fear does more than all the cajoling...i think somewhere deep down, we are all very cunning and know how much we can get away with...as a kid i remember doing all bahanas and naatak with my granny but one shout from dad would set everything right... :-D

and i don't even wanna get into the exasperating tamilian habit of wantonly interchanging ka and ga, pa and ba, ta and da, etc at will... :-P

finally, a couple of things about this template:

1) the black color font is very very difficult to read against the background color...it was a big strain on the eyes to finish this piece...i like some of the colors used for the letters of the links, headings etc...any of those lighter colors which make it more visible would be better...i think this would be a very simple html change in ur template...

2) the center-align of the text of the posts...again, this would be a minor change in ur style section at the top of ur template...u might have to change either the div or the class of type "post", if i'm guessing correctly...u might have to change the align property from center to left or something equally simple like that...

phew...that was a lotttt of feedback... :-)

keep writing...

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Nice ramble, Ardra..:) Can empathise about the patience part! Have taken math tuitions for 9th std 10th std kids, and have wondered myself at the patience I displayed... When I used to teach the same stuff to my sis, I used to torture her to the core... and when I was so patiently trying to get some theorems into my other students' head, sis used to have a blast! Mocking at my miseries..:D But then, I love teaching..:)

I love the puttu + gram dal combo..:) Had it in Wayanad and fell in love with it... We get it in a Mallu restaurant near our house here too, but not authentic..:(((

*Sigh* Krishna jayanthi... I miss vella cheedai..:D