Google+ Consumer Psyche: Me and MY kids

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Me and MY kids


(I write this on the recommendation of Vamshi Krishna and am indebted to him. It didn't occur to me that I should simply pen my feelings regarding this but when I did, it felt very nice)

"Didiiiii, Didiiiiiii.......hum aa jayein?" [Sister, sister....can we come?]

Every Saturday and Sunday, the doorbell of my home starts ringing since 4:00 PM. The time when I teach these kids is 5, but they are always so high on energy and excitement that it doesn't really matter what the needles in the clock say. Probably coz they feel, if they get that extra time with me, I can show them some videos on my laptop or talk to them about their careers.

Before I start, let me introduce these kids to you. They are (starting from the eldest) Pooja, Soni, Anshu, Komal, Shikha, Nisha, Anu, Amit, Shivam, Mukesh and Bitto. The 7 sisters (pooja to anu) belong to the same family (yeah, we all know why). Their father is a tailor and mother works as a maidservant. while Shivam to Bitto belong to another family. Their father is the Chowkidar (colony security guard). Amit belongs to a different family. I don't know what his father does because his occupation keeps changing. Amit works at a shop from 10 in the morning to 4 in the evening (7 days a week). And yes, Amit is mere 9 year old. So basically, I teach 3 families.

So how did I meet these kids?

There is a huge tree outside our home on which these kids had put a Jhoola (swing). They used to play on it when I used to come back, they would smile at me and I used to smile back. One day, while I was returning, I randomly asked one kid..."Padhai karoge? Agar main padhaaon to?" (will you study, if I teach you?) And in 10 mins there were 8 kids at my door.

So, did I have to convince my parents?

A big YES. The sentences I got to hear were" You can't teach", "they will get attached to you", "Don't act too benevolent, you anyway have no time for home", you leave at 7:30 in the morning and come back at 9:30..when will you teach?"...followed by a big NO. My mother was still soft but papa and dadi were very clear. Do you know what melted their hearts? The smile of these kids.

As I went back to the gate to shoo them away, my father and grandmother saw them from our balcony. The kids looked up and said "unclejee, namaste...hum padhne aayein hain". And the job was done (btw, my father is like a coconut...harsh on the outside and too soft inside)

So, how do I feel?

I don't feel anything....but I just looooove spending time with them. As I teach them on the blackboard, they randomly get up to write something on it. Not because they want to show their knowledge but they want to hold the chalk and write on the blackboard. Komal is always standing next to the blackboard. When I scold her to get back to her seat she says..."Didi..pleeeeeez. Mujhe yahaan acha samajh aata hai" :D:D

My class is dominated by girls, and Oh! they DO dominate the boys big way. There are some stories (which are too odd/painful to narrate here) I have heard from their innocent mouths which make me shiver. But all in all, my class has recitation and currently we are studying division. It's a hard task to teach them multiplication tables but they oh-so-love watching animated nursery rhymes on my laptop. They once showed me the dance on desh rangeela. The song describes India with its various colors and watching them dance on that song made me feel nice (when was the last time you danced on a patriotic song? :D:D )

Every weekend, when they come and go, they enthuse me with such energy that my mother tells me calm down. I am jumping around with them, laughing like them and telling mom what all the kids taught me today. (like having "OM" sign tattooed on your hand saves you from evil spirits) :P:P

So, why exactly am I doing this?

Frankly speaking, I got tired. Tired of so much of artificiality, competition, comparison. I wanted to be happy... just happy. Not the happy where my neighbours think I am happy or my mother thinks I am happy. Not the happy who shops for branded clothes and then grins at the mirror (though on second thoughts I wont mind that). And not the happy which you get sitting in a big car thinking about the job you've bagged. Tomorrow, if everything is taken from me.... My job, my branded stuff, my status.... I will still remain. My beliefs, ideals, thoughts, experiences will still remain. Me and my kids love each other. There are so many times when Nisha or Shikha have held my hand and said "Didi....aap humein bahut ache lagte ho" (Didi, we really like you). Trust me, when a 7 year old tells you this, your day gets made. And I am lucky to hear this every weekend. I have given them books, pencils, erasers and sharpeners. My boyfriend (and soon to be fiance) encourages me a lot and has also provided financial help and I respect him for this.

I don't know what will happen when I leave from here. Who will teach them and whether they will become a doctor or pilot like they want to become. They had once asked me, when will I get married...and when I get married, will I keep coming on weekends to teach them. I had no answer. All I could say was, keep your spirits high and don't let anyone tell you that you're inferior. If you work very hard and study hard, you can become anything you want to. All I hope is, they do achieve their dreams. Amen.
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