Originally Optimistic

There is a ‘O’ in……..Open-minded, Outspoken, & Outlandish……………………..….As also in day 15 of @blogchatterA2Zchallenge2021!

Years ago, as I started to work, my timings required me to be in school before the assembly which was early. City life and my toddler son’s school all required me to be a juggler of sorts. I would need to be organized. Planned and sorted with what, how and when. Being organized has its infinite advantages.

For starters, you are never hassled if your clothes and accessories and footwear and bags and files and papers are all sorted, selected, and kept neatly aside for the morning.

Secondly, a mind map always helps. How and what you will do once you are awake. The step wise planning keeps the clarity even in the early morning muddle.

Thirdly, always keep the critical part of food/lunch sorted completely from your end. Do not leave it for the house help to do it after you are gone. The default will happen more times than you ever anticipated. (I kept food ready, and my hubby’s carriage packed and a microwave and microwave safe, maid proof glass utensils in his office ante room to reheat incase he wanted to be very ‘food’ particular amid tons of work!)

Fourthly, when you are planning your work ahead, plan for those ‘rainy days’ when the above three steps fail, and you can still pull out a trick or two from your magic hat. (I always planned at least a dozen more in-between lessons and kept them tucked away in my ‘Surprise’ file – felt so lovely and nice when I could pull them out whenever my routines when for a six!)

Fifthly, keep a small diary for those ‘forgetful-me’ notes and jot down your silliest thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, not-to-do list, hit-lists, and everything which is useless information and need not be stored in our poor, tiny brain.

Sixthly, be organized enough to have an ‘organized’ plan and do not forget that you have one!

The only drawback of being ‘organized’ according to me is the fact that even a minute out-of-place scenario by other humans in your life, bugs you no end. For me, I would add another: My organized to-do lists written on pieces of paper, gets dis-organized!!

Yet it always helps. During my training to be a qualified teacher, the contact programs were intense and rigorous. but being planned and organised with my work and the submissions and the projects and my lesson planning led to the exercise never seeming like a chore.

The days spent studying and learning have always been like a dream for me, almost out-of-this world. I have always made some wonderful friends from all such moments. One such person, who I met as we did our intensive training was Ms. Omeshwari. We kept in touch off and on and it has been a nice feeling to understand that friendships can be sustained despite busy lives and different personal scenarios. It was a pleasant surprise when a few months back she called me one evening. Her son had topped in the State board exams. This wonderful news led us to again keep in touch. Her family own and runs Kasturba High School – an educational institution for the underprivileged children and she is actively involved in its functioning especially since she is herself a trained teacher. She shares with the interesting reason behind her family starting this school and making education available to those children whom society seems to have left behind. She shares, “On one of my early morning walks, I saw a lady with her two children crying and being upset about not being able to do anything for them and education not being within their reach. I was shaken and stunned. The deep sorrow which I felt, I shared with my family and this ignited a fire within them which ultimately eld to the establishment of this school. And it also led me to find my calling as teacher.” How lovely!

Ms. Omeshwari -sometimes when we meet people, we do not realize the connections we may end up making!

Behind every strong woman is a family and a father who believed that she could do anything. I tend to re-write quotes and make my own thought processes from my own life’s examples. And it holds true for Ms. Omeshwari too. She says that her dear father was one person she can never forget for “he was the most pious and supportive person who always encouraged me to chase my dreams and never left any stone unturned in fulfilling my desires.” I have had the privilege of meeting him too in earlier times when we used to find mutually convenient timings to meet up and I remember uncle as a very loving person, always concerned whether the person in front was comfortable or not. He would enquire and make sure, I was comfortable. A few times when my toddler son accompanied me to Omeshwari’s place, he would take him in his lap to be with him as he conducted his busy day in school. Aha! Overwhelming memories!

Ms. Omeshwari with the students of her school.

With the pandemic and its relentless run over our country along with a ‘janta’ (countrymen) who has acted in the most irresponsible way, the frustration increases. So, keeping oneself motivated is always a challenge. As with everyone, Omeshwari says that she constantly keeps challenging herself and works towards it. The excitement of achieving with the positive outcomes is what keeps her charged up and drives her more. Of course, “appreciation” is definitely the other factor and is the only fuel that she needs for her next adventure.

We both met as we trained to be teachers and like most of friends from this profession, we share common passions. “Teaching is my passion. Being with children, inspiring them, motivating them, and making a difference in their lives means everything to me” says Omeshwari. “It’s incredibly rewarding when the impact made by a teacher lingers upon the child for his/her entire life. That is when I feel my passion really shines through – in that very moment!”

The year has gone by in fear, uncertainty and utter chaos. In the midst of all of this, life has gone on. Each of us has tried to keep the sanity and make our own bubbles of strength. Ms. Omeshwari rightly points out that, “In the busy schedule of our lives, we often tend to forget ‘Ourselves.’ We are busy catering to the needs of everyone except ourselves. So, I feel I am the most important apart from my family and friends.”

So rightly said. Women hold the key to a family’s health – physical and mental well-being. Children have suffered the most and I shudder to think what kind of psychological impacts this whole year would have had on them. The emotional scaring will take years to heal. Parents in these days of emotional weight of dealing with so many things in new ways, should continue to keep their cool and their balance in dealing with kids, especially teenagers. Omeshwari concurs with this view and says, “Thinking from their own perspective, most parents impose restrictions on their children and expect them to abide by it, not considering the generation gap. I personally feel that one needs to get into the shoes of the child to be able to understand them better. One must become a child to know the child.”

Ha! Ha!! Well said.

The gloom does not seem to be dispelling anytime soon. However, the original optimist in me takes front seat and I revisit my time at home. The refreshing memories come flooding back and it is a feeling which I want to linger on.

The memories can come from any moment in time…..the blooming wild daffodils or the Oreti beach or even the darling, grumpy Ostrich in Queens Park or the onwards journey from the Niagara falls……it is these frozen moments which make up our lives!

The eternal OPTIMIST in me dreams of that utopian era when the fear of the unknown shall disappear forever and normalcy will be restored!

The view from the landing of this one year, needs all of us to be original and honest……the worst shall only then be averted.

My window to my family world ….my hope and my life-line for survival into the future…..

The entire month of April, I am blogging from A2Z powered by #BlogchatterA2Z

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