Tag Archives: Gratitude

Stormed by Euphoria

 

It took me a while to regain my senses after what hit me on 9th October 2014. It all started with Jack asking me to role-play a 3rd standard kid for one last Crossroads interview. “Hmmm…all of a sudden? Fine. Whatever! But wait! Why me? Can I play a 3 year old instead??

Jack: Sharanya thinks you are the best person to do it.

Me: Sharanya!! why did you suggest my name?

She just acted busy, smiled and turned away. An escape looked out of question; so I sat for the interview feeling the video recorder and a zillion eyes ON ME.

Jack: This is serious. It is important that you sound like a 3rd standard kid. Do you need some more time to prepare yourself?

Me: Oh!! Mmmm. No, I am good.  (But why is there an audience??? Why does the whole office have to witness this?) Guys, please duck or go away!

(Of course that didn’t work.)

Sharanya’s questioning was so perfect that I actually felt like an 8-year old. I am sure I sucked at the interview but as it came to a close, Sharanya, in her unique cute way, said that she has got something special for me. (What’s going on??) The real me had a slight inkling that she was up to something but with all those eyes on me and Jack’s last words, I stayed in the 8-year-old’s shoes. She slowly drew out a Report Bee designer folder and placed that in my hands.

My Personalised Report Card
My Personalised Report Card

(Wow! That’s me! AND this is favourite design!!!) Inside the folder were a bunch of coloured chart paper pieces tucked into its inner pocket. I think I heard some voices, “open it…read loudly.”  Stunned as I was, I could sense something familiar …something like a “Bee-to-Bee”. Jayashree corrected, “Bees-to-Bee”.

I am so very slow; I took a while to process all that information. I started to read my first message, stumbling and fumbling over most words, in a contemplative but monotonous voice. So, Anant and Nikhil jumped in to rescue the audience, took my reading privileges away and alternated reading one message at a time. But hey! I would have picked up speed only if they showed some patience!! I have to say that they gave a delightfully dramatic read. I enjoyed listening and guessing the source of each message. Yes, that was the game! For every source cracked, I had to stick a little round picture of the Bee whose message it was. (How sweet!! And neat! And creative!)

(So many awesome words for me! Really?) I was supposed to be on cloud#9 but I could not relate with  those words as most of them were just way too good for an ordinary person. I mean, a part of me wished for all of them to be true; but all I could agree with was that I write really, really long mails! But then beauty lies in the eyes of the beautiful beholders! I was happily soaked in a transient Utopian state where I was this awesome flawless person. Heavenly feelings!

There were loads of other things planned: one yummy ice-cream cake, awesome personalised gifts, impromptu portrait by Yesvanth, Anant’s speech, and then, over to me. “Me? This feels like a farewell but this is not my last visit and I am not into speeches like Anant”, I said. Anant assured that it was not a farewell but they wanted to do something. I was too overwhelmed to say all I could have said; except “this is one of the best bunch of people I have worked with and I love the magic you make here and how much that means to me. You guys are simply great. Thank you for all the love!!”

'Nectar' Colour Mug :)
Nectar‘ Colour Mug!

The amusement just went on as those little details of brilliant planning and execution trickled in during my journey back to Bangalore!! Each missing link that poured in made me go “aww!!”. Several little things falling into place. First, Bala started a long discussion with me the moment I entered Office to help the team prepare (that is when they were busy writing messages, cutting out pictures and chart paper). This did not feel odd since the size of my luggage sparks conversations all the time!! Moreover, for his stories from the Mountains, one can easily forgo any meeting! But, I felt a little something when he turned around to confirm with Jack if the Crossroad meeting had started when I began to go for it. “Why is he not letting me go”, I wondered. Feeler#1!

Then someone said that Crossroads meeting was cancelled, which was believable since Brijesh wasn’t there. I got a little upset because I rushed out of BVM School for this and I asked Jack why wasn’t there an update on WhatsApp. Jack (obviously!) didn’t say much except that, “I am sure you won’t be upset today.” Feeler #2! I could not connect Arvind’s “witnessing a remote spectacle remotely” in his Daily Plan till Jayshree pointed out. That won’t count as a feeler, even though I asked him what it meant.

All this brought loads of happiness and filled my heart with love for everyone – Jack, Sharanya, Nikhil, Anant and everyone –  who so carefully, thoughtfully and meticulously put it all together for someone who stays so far away. Most importantly, I felt grateful for Arvind and missed his presence even more when I learnt he was behind all this; and for Jayashree for a perfect execution. There is just no limit to how amazing they can be!! I so wished Arvind was there to witness his spectacle up close :)!

I stayed in a state of euphoria for a long time afterwards – those moments just kept flashing over and over again!! Ashish knew I was not with him and his constant reminders the next day – “hey! We are doing some serious packing the house here…can you come out of your Euphoria and concentrate?” – were FUTILE. (In my defense, I had done all groundwork beforehand !!!)

I Think what the Team Is...
I Think what the Team Is…

I am going to miss you guys!! Thank you for such wonderful memories and so much love.

 

 

This is How We Celebrate Our Teachers Day With “Our Teachers/Mentors”

“It’s time to show our  gratitude…thanks for mentoring us and shaping our lives.” – New Bees at Ameex Office

This Teacher’s Day, the New Bees expressed gratitude in creative and fun way (Report Bee style!!). G.suganya, S.Suganya, Kavitha, Deepiga, Dhamodharaan- surprised Umesh and Anjan with two very pretty Bee-shape hand-made cards with personal messages, and chocolates and left them stunned!! Beautifully done!

Our Teachers

 Our Teachers3

Oh well! This Teacher’s Day was so full of amazing surprises!! 

Great Teachers: Unveiling the Secret Sauce!

 

A Personalised Parting Gift for A Great Teacher
A Personalised Parting Gift for A Great Teacher

 

Often, I find myself consumed by thoughts of the teachers who have impressed me, and have influenced my thoughts and personality in schools and colleges. Pondering over questions like ‘Why I liked this Math teacher and not any other? What worked? What didn’t? Was favouritism at play or was it something else?’, some instances from my school years flash before my eyes as if they happened yesterday. Be it my English teacher who patted on my back for a ‘shoddy’ dialogue delivery or my Math teacher for her patience, or my Psychology teacher for her knowledge, these memories fill me with admiration, inspiration, and respect for them. It was certainly not just about passing or scoring in tests; it was way beyond that! It was about instilling confidence, establishing a positive relation with those subjects forever, and undying faith, in me. Take these elements out of the equation and I am left with nothing to count on!

Overcoming those challenges and being empowered with new skills have been an obvious take away, but what intrigues me more are the underlying factors that made that possible. While it is not easy to put a finger at what exactly works in the domain of human interactions fraught with complexities, this article is an attempt at breaking down an often used “I really like so-and-so teacher because he/she is so good” into components that are less vague.

Passion: All of them loved their own subjects, took pride in teaching them, and had a solid grasp over them. The teacher who taught us ‘History and Philosophy of Social Research’ deserves a special mention here as his passion for his subject blew my mind. Complex and vast as this subject was, it could have been made into a series of highly boring lectures had it not been for this teacher’s brilliant efforts. His passion reflected in his desire to make our brains tickle and crave for more. His approach was to break down the whole complex series into bite size pieces, introduce these pieces as connected with each other and then take the class through them one by one, revealing the connections every single class. Mind blowing! I know for sure that I would have never paid any attention to this subject let alone cling on to it for years after the course was over. I never missed a lecture, and I never dropped a topic from exam preparation! Moreover, an important life lesson that I learnt was to never judge a subject as bad or useless if I do not understand it in the first go. I wait for the right ‘teacher’ to teach me. That works!

Oration: Teachers must be eloquent orators! This is an extremely important component as without this, passion does not find a conduit to reach its target and inspire them, especially in an Institutional setting. My Psychology teacher deserves a special mention here as her words stayed with me for many years after leaving college. Her clarity over the subject and command over her language simplified this complex subject and enhanced its relevance. Her words helped me systematically understand our intricate actions and interactions. She brought objectivity and order to my obsession with analysing the subtleties of human behaviour.

Communicate “You Can”: None of these teachers ever made me feel that they were judging in a positive or a negative way. They stayed more or less neutral! Personally, it helps to know that I am good enough to do well in the subject if I work hard; ‘growth mind-set’ is what this is popularly known as. Mathematics as a subject became so challenging for me in 11th standard that my constant struggles to keep up proved in vain. My performance suffered drastically and that made this subject distant and scary. I was caught in a vicious cycle! Aprivate tutor came to my rescue who understood the challenge I was facing and kept her approach simple: she communicated her faith in my abilities, non-verbally. Her gestures took my fears away, made me work harder, and that’s how my brain got positive feedback which broke that vicious cycle I was stuck in. Math was still as irrelevant but I scored way better than ever before! Struggling students do not want to be treated or judged ‘favourably’, nor do they need to hear what their weaknesses are. All they need to know is that they can succeed if they persist. “You can” works like a charm!

It is a colossal challenge to teach large groups and the teachers in school do an arduous job of striking the right balance between pushing too hard or too little, making just the right intervention to keep students motivated. While educational institutions are places visited primarily to master the coursework, I think these underlying factors – passion, oration, and communication – are far more powerful in shaping our personalities and affecting our attitudes towards learning for life. I feel fortunate to have met these great teachers, who were driven by a sense of purpose that kept my mind from aimlessly wandering. They cannot be thanked enough for being such an important part of my life, for opening up exciting new possibilities and making fascinating connections for me.

(A special composition to commemorate Teacher’s Day 2014)