2020 is a year that nobody will forget because it took the whole world for a toss. But there are of course good things that have happened to each one of us in this year 2020. Here I share some nice things that happened to the teacher in me.
I worked for quite a few years at Akshar centre for Education, a Waldorf school in Chennai and then I had to resign because I had to move to Netherlands. I had a wonderful time teaching in a Waldorf school. Since I spent long hours with the kids on all 5 days of the week, the bonding with the students of Akshar is quite strong and is very special also. We danced and sang together, went on outings together, we practiced and enacted many dramas, went on nature walks, played in the beach and did so many activities along with studies. We also had some misunderstanding. Yes, I was blamed for being partial to a boy who joined the school newly (looks very silly for adults but its a huge thing for the kids). Since I had to help him to come to the level of others in the class I was giving him more attention and also some concessions. So there
was this huge problem of thinking that I am partial. Of course we sorted out this misunderstanding and the kids understood me. All this ultimately made our bonding stronger. With a heavy heart I left Akshar. But, I was still in contact with the kids. I wrote them letters in Sanskrit from Netherlands. Hufff… I had to write a lot of letters (I will never forget the ‘impartiality’ lesson taught by the kids, hahaha!), but I enjoyed writing to them. In 2020 due to the pandemic all classes were shifted to the online platform. My school management approached me and asked me if I could again start teaching at Akshar since the classes are online now. The moment I read the message from the school I was jumping with joy. Without any second thought I replied that I would love to join Akshar again. And the day I met the kids again was such a happy moment for me and the kids. I am now enjoying teaching Sanskrit to the kids of Akshar.
And then another good thing happened to the teacher in me. One of my online class students Prajna, has a friend who owns a Pharma company in the US and who wants to do something for the society. So she has started a school for the kids of a very remote village in Bihar. The name of the village is Pokhrama and it is a 4 hour drive from Patna. The name of this school is Pokhrama Foundation Academy. The foundation wanted to introduce Sanskrit to the class 7 students (there are 13 students in class 7). My student Prajna recommended me to her friend and I was given the offer to teach Sanskrit to the kids of this village. I always wanted to teach the rural kids because they do not get much exposure to various classes like the kids living in cities do. But I did not know how to go about doing this. Universe heard my desire and I was given this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoy teaching these kids. They show a lot of interest in learning because for them education is a privilege and not a basic necessity. For a teacher, the interest shown by her students in learning is the fuel which gives the energy to teach more. The kids here provide this fuel to me.
The Pokhrama Foundation Academy is doing a great job by providing high standard education to the kids. I learnt that many teachers are living in the village to teach the kids. These teachers have grown up in cities and are now living in a remote village to teach the kids. Hats off to their passion for teaching. I will write more about this is a separate
Though the pandemic made life tough for everyone, I am sure each of you have experienced something good in this situation. Many of my students have shared with me that they love this working from home concept and are able to spend a lot of time with the family and many more good things about the pandemic situation. And I have shared with you all the good things that happened to me due to the pandemic. I wish you all a very happy and meaningful new year 2021!!!
Here is a Sanskrit New Year song that I have been teaching the kids of Akshar from many years, I took this song from a book published by Aurobindo Ashram (I do not remember the name of the book now. It was in the school’s library).
शुभनववर्षं वितरतु हर्षम् |
जनयतु ननु नः परमोत्कर्षम् ||
गच्छत्वन्धकारः नित्यम् |
राजतु चिरनूतनप्रभातम् ||
न हि गणयित्वा विगतं वर्षम् |
सदा प्रयामः पुरः प्रहर्षम् ||
Meaning : May this new year bestow happiness and generate abundance for us.
May the darkness disappear forever and a new light shine forever.
Without thinking about the past year let us move forward happily.
For the Sanskrit version of this article click this link https://www.tattvam.org/mama-2020/