Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To My Teachers With Love

For me, sitting in class listening to my favourite teacher teaching has been a most enjoyable experience while in school/ college. Today, I miss being a student. I envy the students who have the oppurtuntity to go to college daily and be able to listen to such teachers who make the process of learning a most rewarding, memorable experience.

When I remember the teachers who I’ve loved and admired, there’s a vacuum in my heart. I would love to see them again, go upto them and tell them how much they have influenced me.

There are many teachers whom I’ve respected during my learning years for one reason or the other, but I guess I’ve special fondness and gratitude for some of my English teachers: Mrs. Lata Manik, Miss Elizabeth Chacko, Mr. James.
The prospect of sitting in their classes was elating. There was something in them that reached beyond the course curriculum and beckoned to your spirits. The beauty of the subject they taught simply unfurled and encompassed the student. That they loved their subject was obvious, and their excitement and fondness was infectious. I used to look forward to their classes and felt sorry when the bell rung signifying the end of the session for the day. I felt let down when they were absent.

Mrs. Lata Manik ( IndianHigh School Dubai):She instilled in me a deep fascination for the language. She was a vivacious, sunny person with a smile that cheered you completely. She would insist on us maintaining a vocabulary book where in we had to jot in the meanings of new words each day. She was very affectionate and I cherish the memories of her classes. I’m happy to say she’s just an email away.
Ms. Elizabeth Chacko( Providence Women’s College Calicut):
She loved her subject, her job was her passion and she was adept at infecting us with the same. She wanted to share the thrill of her subject for the sheer joy of it. We felt like we were embarking on a picnic. She talked to us like her equals, most informally without the diffrentiation of a teacher and the taught. It was simply the sharing of a beautiful subject, travelling through the brilliant alleys that we were unfamiliar with . She acknowledged our affection and respect and reciprocated warmly. I long to meet her again some day…
Mr. James: ( St. Joseph’s College- Devagiri- Calicut):

I liked his treatment of the language, his personal insights, his occassional witty remarks. He was a very down to earth, practical person with no lofty attitude. He was a friendly person and was very encouraging. His words of encouragement remain etched in my memory and I remember him with much gratitude.

I also remember my kindergarten teacher-
Ms. Rajni (NBWSS- Ghatkopar) , Ms. Hemaji ( PWC- Calicut). The latter was the person who taught us the beautiful poetry “Kanupriya" by Dr. Dharamveer Bharthi.

I want to express my respect, regard and gratitude to ALL the teachers who have taught me, including my Gurus who have taught me Bharathanatyam. I consider myself blessed for their presence and influence in my life.

My first Guru- Mrs. Rama Sukumaran. It was a brief stint though a satisfying experience. 

Kalaimamani Melattur S. Natarajan:

He was an engineer by profession and a dancer by passion. For him, dance was and continues to be prayer.  For him dance was all about communicating with the Divine. From him I learnt about emoting, of bringing Rasas to life on the face- with a twitch of the eyebrow, the power of a weighed glance, the slant of a lip, a shrug of the shoulder. When he performs on stage, he is clearly in another world. He becomes his Art personified. Today at 70+, he still performs at the Annual Bhagavatha Mela- health issues do not deter him. I performed my arangetram under his tutelage.

 Kalamandalam Mani teacher: 

She taught me the basics of Mohiniattom. 

Kalaimamani Charulatha Jayaraman :

She follows the Pandannalloor  Pani. She was younger than me and called me akka. Charu was all about technique, method and Grammar of the Art form called Bharathanatyam.  It was about perfect stances, postures, mudras. If Charu moved a finger it would be with complete awareness of what she intended to  convey. She painstakingly evolved the steps to be woven into her repertoire. My not so young knees sometimes protested. From Charu I learnt the intricacies and nuances of The Art form. She was a perfectionist to the core and expected complete dedication from her student. 

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Gibberish- speech/writing that is meaningless or difficult to understand

Identity: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Fact: thing that is known to be true.

What is my identity? I’m still trying to figure out. The other day, my friend S from my college days called me, and at some point I realised that S was communicating with me as the person as she remembered me to be 20 years ago. And I had the feeling that ‘that’ person no longer was. But I continued to ‘live’ in her mind frozen in the year 1987!

We got talking about a common friend J and when I heard S’s description about J, I could hardly recognise the J that I thought I knew. So between my perception of J and S’s perception of J, which was the real J?

Sometimes, when I catch random adjectives used to describe me by people I know, I do a double take. Is that me they’re talking about? So among all these ‘perceptions’, there is no ‘me’ left. The different ‘me’s’ have merely an ephemeral existence in the minds of people around me. And so it is for everybody. Each of us relate and communicate with one another according to our personal, subjective perceptions. Each of us view, assimilate and understand the same situation/ person depending on our subjective perception. Sometimes the different perceptions coincide and sometimes they don’t.

Is this what they call ‘Maya’ ?

Then what is the point in getting enmeshed in nonexistent entities and instances?

Anyways, that is enough ramble for now, the Ardra that ‘I’ think I know has finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s – A Thousand Splendid Suns- and I’ve no words to express the gamut of thoughts running amok in me. I really don’t know what to say about this book. I felt rage, frustration, deep sorrow, and yet hopeful…The writing is brilliant and alive.