Wednesday, October 15, 2008


On 2nd of July 2008, we [group 1] were scheduled to visit Vidya Nivas at Kotturpuram. Ms.Mercy ma’am gave us a detailed, accurate map to that place. As none of us were familiar with the area, it was very helpful to us.
The clock struck one; the college bell rang [feebly] and the Adventure began!!!

Sahithya and I were hungry and so decided to eat on the way to that place as we were instructed not to eat anything there. Lithiya misunderstood this and thus misguided Diana and Inbam to the college canteen, while Mira, Sahithya and I hurried to catch the bus. We three got into the bus and realized that the other 3 were missing. Thus my cell phone came handy. I called Diana [who was in college canteen with the other two] and informed her that we got into 45B specials just outside college. They hurried and luckily got into the bus in the nick of time.

Sahithya asked us to buy a ticket to Defense quarters. I opened my bag and alas! My purse was missing! I had forgotten to carry my purse. Sahithya got a ticket for me. Thanks to her timely help. Then the bus started moving. I called my mom and informed her about my program. Then I had lunch, which I had brought from home, in the bus. I enquired the conductor about which bus would take us to Kotturpuram from Defense Quarters. He said 41 would do so.

Then we got down at Defense Quarters. Lithiya opened her beautiful pink umbrella and was happily enjoying its shade while the rest of us were burning under the hot sun. We couldn’t get any 41 bus immediately. So we decided to take an auto. In the left turning, near the Nandhanam signal all 6 of us got into an auto. The auto fare was Rs 60, [=> Rs 10 each]. We cross checked the auto’s route with Mercy madam’s map. We were going in the right direction! The auto man’s name was Rajan {/Є Saidapet autostand}. He was interacting with us in a friendly manner. We were discussing about share autos. As we crossed the bridge, we saw the cross [of the church] and rejoiced. From there we directed the auto man to the place with the help of Mercy madam’s map. Thanks to ma’am once again.

We finally reached the place. It is just beside St.Antony Church. It is a modest enclosure, just as big as a couple of stalls [which one can see in a vegetable market] put together. The roof is made of Asbestos sheet [wonder how the children study there in this hot weather].
As we entered we saw a number of smiling faces welcoming us. The children were excited to see us. Of course, we were excited too! There were enough desks and chairs for the students and there were black boards. The children were wearing uniforms.

Ms. Revathy, who is a teaching staff in that school, welcomed us. She then made each of us handle a group of children. Mira and I were handling two sweet kids, Lokesh and Vignesh who belonged to III std. We were conversing in Tamil, so that they feel comfortable and understand. Usually, kids don’t freely interact with new people they meet. But these kids freely conversed with us. Its may be because they are used to new comers visiting them frequently.

We learnt a lot from the kids. They told us a lot of things that were happening in and around the school. The one which sadden me was the mention of physical abuse [in the form of beating children using sticks] going on in the school. They exclaimed how they were terrified by a teacher who does so. Lokesh was sharing his experience of confronting Ghosts [whom he called MUNI]. Vignesh, who had heard about this before, was not ready to listen to him once again owing to his fear for ghosts. So he ran away while Lokesh was narrating his experience. Then Mira and I tried to convince them that such things don’t exist. But they disagreed. It will take sometime and effort to change this belief.

First we started with numbers. They said they knew numbers up to 100. Mira asked them to write selected numbers between 1 and 100. They did a pretty good job. Then we moved on to English alphabets. They knew the alphabets very well, couldn’t give examples for all. Anyway with our hints they were able to do so. We then came to know that they cannot read English words.

After that we started first lesson in science: Plants and Animals. When we asked them what plants and animals were, they were able to give us equivalent synonyms and examples in Tamil. I was glad that they understood the English words. But later when I asked them what was sedi and mirugam in English they were unable to answer, We then explained the difference between the living and non living things Suddenly a child came running and took the book from which we were teaching. He claimed that it was his, and it was a V std textbook. OOPS! We had been teaching the III std kids, V std science. The kids laughed! We giggled and opened the III std book and continued.

Lokesh and Vignesh started fighting. We had no other choice but to teach them separately. I taught Lokesh. He said he loves Maths and thus wanted me to teach him Maths. I was happy to hear that. But when I wanted to start Maths I realized that the very first lesson required the knowledge of three digit numbers. Ms. Revathy ma’am advised me to teach something else. I suggested English. He instantly disagreed. He said It’s very difficult to understand English. He then turned the pages to science and wanted me to teach him the lesson 1: Living Things. Ms. Revathy ma’am said that the lesson was already been taught earlier. But he protested saying that he never understood anything. Then I taught him the next lesson which highlighted the difference between and Humans and Animals. He was excited to know the differences. When I asked how we walk and how the animals walk, he gave a live demonstration to me. I was happy that he was involved in the subject. Then we were discussing about the language of humans and animals. He made sounds of different animals and got even more excited. We also discussed about human’s ability to think and reason which the animals cant. Finally we finished the lesson by identifying the different animals whose colorful pictures were displayed in the lesson.

Then we agreed to study English. I motivated him by saying that it was a story [as I knew he loved listening to stories]. It took me a long time to make him understand the meaning of “Three Fishes”, which was the title of the lesson. He knew what Fishes were but he was confused between “Tree” and “Three”. Then he was being distracted as it was a single room in which all lessons for all students of different classes were taught simultaneously. He was interested in what his friend Vignesh was learning and wanted to learn the same from me. So we went to another lesson where we were asked to form words from a snake whose body contained a number of letters. I found the words for him and made him understand the meaning of each word.

It was 2:30p.m., time for us to start. We bid them Good –bye. Vignesh wanted to know my name. He wrote it down in his note book and said that he would pray for me in the evening at the church. I was moved by his kind-loving gesture. Seeing this Lokesh wrote down my name too. Then I asked him to write his name. He wrote it in English and told that he did not know how to write his name in his mother tongue – Tamil. It was quite surprising!

Then, I don’t know who started it, all children moved around the class to get the autograph of the 6 of us. It was quite funny! Then we gave them the clichéd advice, “Study well, Behave well, Earn a good name!” Lokesh and Vignesh came forward to shake hands with me and bid me good-bye.

So we started walking back to the main road. We were very hungry. It was very thoughtful of Inbam to carry a biscuit packet along with her. She shared with us. It surely gave us some energy. We spotted a bus stop nearby and enquired about the bus which would take us to our desired destinations. Sahithya and Diana had to cross the road to get their bus. Inbam, Mira, Lithiya and I got into 21G. This time Mira got me a ticket to Mylapore Tank. Lithiya bought a ticket to Parry’s. Mira got down at RA Puram. Inbam and I got down at Mylapore tank and bid good-bye to Lithiya. Then Inbam got into 29C and proceeded to Perambur. I crossed the road and continued walking back home.

I called my mom and informed her that I was at Mylapore tank. Then I called Sahithya to enquire her position. She said that Diana and she had got into a bus at Kotturpuram soon after we left and she had got down at Gandhi Mandapam while continued her travel in the same bus. Sahithya was waiting for a bus to T Nagar. While we were talking her bus arrived and so we discontinued our conversation. After reaching home, I called Mira and learned that she had reached home half an hour before I did. Then I got a message from Immaculate asking about Inbam. Inbam hadn’t informed her mother about the program. So her worried mother had called Immaculate to know about Inbam. I replied to the message and then had a big mug full of pomegranate juice. Then I called Sahithya. By that time she had reached her place.

On the whole, it was an exciting, wonderful and a different experience. I am eagerly looking forward for my next trip.


Our second trip was scheduled on 14th July, 2008. As Sahithya and I were participating in Fresher’s Day dance, which was to be held on the following day, we wanted to practice for it. Thus with the permission of Ms.Mercy ma’am our trip was postponed to 16th July, 2008. Instead of us Komala’s group volunteered to go. Thanks a lot Komala!!! I was very much looking forward for this trip because both Vignesh and Lokesh were sending me their warm messages through my friends who belonged to other groups. [And hey, this time I made sure that I carried my wallet with me.]

!!! Ms.It was 16th July [Day 5] last hour – STAR hour Fancy ma’am had given us a test in Normal Forms and Principal Normal Forms. We were writing the test sitting under the trees [of course under the supervision Ms. Fancy ma’am]. Mira, Lithiya and Sahithya were unable to write the test as they had to conduct Library Orientation for our juniors. At the stroke of one, I finished the test. By the time the orientation program was over and the three retuned to join us. But Diana and Inbam were still sincerely writing the test. So, the four of us, Mira, Lithiya, Sahithya and I, were patiently waiting for them to complete. Meanwhile Sahithya, not wanting to waste time, started applying sunscreen lotion to protect herself from the hot sun. It was indeed a hot Wednesday afternoon! We were all ready by 1:15 p.m. This time we all agreed to follow Lithiya’s directions [It was a big mistake!!!]. She said that we could get into 29C, get down at Kalyani Hospital and then get a 21G to Kotturpuram.

We were all waiting at the bus stop [opposite to SMC] for 29C. Ina few minutes a 29C deluxe bus arrived. But it didn’t seem to slow down at our stop. So Mira quickly moved forward to stop the bus. God bless the driver! He did stop. Lithiya, Diana and Inbam hesitated to get in as it was deluxe. But seeing that the bus was almost empty Sahithya, Mira and I ran and got into the bus. The bus started moving and oh! I was having Inbam’s money [which she gave me to get the ticket for her] and Sahithya was having Inbam’s cell phone [which Inbam gave to her as she didn’t want to carry while getting onto the bus]. Thus we left with Inbam’s money and cell phone, leaving behind Lithiya, Diana and Inbam. The ticket was worth Rs. 5/- . We didn’t know where Kalyani hospital was and so we safely got down at Mylapore Tank, as I was sure that we could get a 21G there. Diana kept giving missed calls to Inbam’s cell [which Sahithya was carrying at present]. Sahithya was unable to call back as Inbam’s cell didn’t support outgoing. We got down at Mylapore Tank. Irritated Sahithya, not able to do anything with Inbam’s cell took a photo of me.

Shortly 21G arrived. It was deluxe again! Anyway we got in. This time we didn’t get a place to sit. The ticket to Kotturpuram was worth 7Rs/- . We soon learnt from the conductor that the bus would not stop at the Kotturpuram Bridge stop. Thus we realized by paying more we needed to walk more. Diana tried calling us again. This time Sahithya attended the call. It seems they were walking towards VM Street [which is 2 stops before Mylapore Tank]. Hearing this we felt a bit better as we were in a better position than them. We thought of getting down from the bus while it’s running. But of course we can’t do it! Mira tried shouting ‘stop’ when we were crossing the stop where we wanted to get down. No use! We were cursing Lithiya and were designing new, better plans for the next trip. Finally the stop arrived were we had to get down. Then, we crossed the road and retraced the bus’s path; back to the stop were we wanted to get down.

Finally we reached the place by 1:45 p.m. The other three hadn’t, of course reached the place. We were once again given a warm welcome. Lokesh and Vignesh were very excited to see me. I thanked them for their messages. They told me that they didn’t like the gap between my two visits and they wanted me to come everyday. I was very happy to hear that [c’mon kids don’t lie!]. As the other three were detained, Mira volunteered to take care of Vignesh and Lokesh while I handle II grade. There were four students in my class. They kept asking where the other three were. It was difficult to convince them that they will be arriving shortly. The four, Thirunavkarasu, Swetha, Bhuvaneswari and Rupika, were silently copying down the sentences written on the black board. It was general knowledge for class II, about computers to be specific. I speeded their writing by introducing a competition between them as to who would finish writing first. Rupika finished first. Bhuvaneswari was second. The other two were still writing. Rupika was curious to look at what I was hanging down my neck [my ID card]. Looking at my picture in the ID card, she exclaimed that I have become fatter. This increased the curiosity of the others. All of them wanted to see my ID card. Almost everyone agreed that I looked better then. Then I taught them about computers. Vignesh and Lokesh kept calling out for me as they wanted me to teach them.

Finally Lithiya, Inbam and Diana arrived. My class was happy to see Inbam. I handed over the class to Inbam and joined Mira to teach Lokesh and Vignesh. The two were teasing Mira as she didn’t how to read Tamil. This time a new girl, Vijayalakshmi, who is not a student of this school, was giving us company. She is the daughter of one of the teachers working in the school. She seemed very young, smart and she was neatly dressed and well mannered. Then Ms. Revathy ma’am asked them to copy down the Thirukural meaning which ma’am had written on the board. Vignesh finished first and got his notebook corrected by ma’am. He was not allowing Lokesh to finish writing. He kept troubling him. Ms. Revathy ma’am hit Lokesh on his back as he had still not finished copying. Mira and I readily protested against her act. She tried convincing us saying that it was the only way to make them work; and she said even if we [Mira and I] worked in the school everyday we would be doing the same thing. Adding to it, she gave a stick to Mira to hit Lokesh. She refused to take it and said she wouldn’t hit any child any time. Mira, with her sweet encouraging words tried to motivate Lokesh to complete his work. Meanwhile Vignesh and I were discussing in general about Thirukural and Thiruvalluvar. I learnt from him that he wanted to become a Police officer when he grows up. I encouraged him to follows his dreams.

Our next subject was Origami. Vignesh made a boat from paper and presented it to me. Lokesh was disturbed by our activity. I asked Mira to take care of Vignesh. I helped Lokesh in copying the Thirukural meaning from the board. He successfully finished copying in few minutes. Then he got his notebook corrected. The he too made a boat for me. Mira taught them how to make a rocket. Then we four played flying the rocket. Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! The school bell was sounded with help of a metal rod hitting one of the supports of the roof of the school. The children rejoiced. They bid us good-bye and happily ran out carrying their back pack and lunch bag.

We all walked back to the bus top. Mira, Lithiya, Inbam and I got into 21G and left. I reached home safely by 3:20p.m. It was yet another memorable trip.


Our 3rd trip to “Vidya Nivas” was scheduled on 24th July, 2008. It was Ethnic Day. Everyone in the class decided to come dressed in saree on that day. We six hesitated because we didn’t know whether we would be able to manage ourselves in sarees during our trip to Kotturpuram. We therefore requested Ms.Mercy madam to postpone the trip. She suggested that we can come dressed in saree to college and change to salwar before starting to the school. We readily agreed. But somehow God was determined to stop us from wearing saree. It rained buckets, that morning and there was no way one could try a saree! But still the others [non group 1], the strong minded ones, came dressed in sarees. Hats off to their will power!

It was 1 P.M. This time we all agreed to follow Sahithya’s directions. We reached the DMS by walk and got into less crowded 18A. I got a window seat just before the second door of the bus. It was a cool day and hence the breeze [coming through the window as well as the door] was simply enchanting. Mira was sitting next to me and was enjoying the breeze with me. We got down at Little Mount. Sahithya said that we must board a 21G next. But we waited for long and no 21G turned up. As it was a new route which we were trying, we thought that 21G might not stop there. So we enquired every bus that stopped there, whether it goes through Kotturpuram. Unfortunately none of them did. We were quite tensed. After much wait we rejoiced at the sight of M21G. We quickly got into the bus and started moving towards our destination. By about 1:45 p.m. we reached the school.

This time Vignesh was absent owing to high fever. I missed him a lot! As there was only one student [Lokesh] Mira volunteered to teach another class. Lokesh chose to learn Geography. The lesson was about The Earth. Lokesh found it hard to pronounce the terms like “geoid”, “latitude, “longitude”. I kept repeating the terms to make sure he was able to pronounce as well as remember the terms. I drew Earth which gave him a faint idea how Earth looked like. Then he was eager to know where Marina beach was! So I highlighted India in my diagram and then drew India separately and pointed where Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Marina beach were. He was excited. Then he pointed to me where his village was, by estimating its distance from Chennai. Unfortunately he pointed to some place in Kerala. He thought it was part of Tamil Nadu. Then I drew the country borders. He got confused. I didn’t want to confuse him more and hence left it there.
Then we learnt the names of the oceans around the world. I made him memorize the names of the Continents. This attracted the attention of Sahithya’s students. They joined Lokesh in learning the names of the Continents and Oceans. Each student was given a chance to tell the names of Continents and Oceans without referring to the book. With a little help they succeeded in listing out all the names. Then we discussed about Olympics; what the five rings in its symbol signified.

After the lesson was completed there was a small questioning session. The students enthusiastically volunteered to answer the questions. Then we decided to relax and have fun. The students started exhibiting their drawing talents on the desks using chalk. Lokesh drew a beautiful peacock and claimed that his sister had taught him how to draw it. Magbul Baasha, Sahithya’s student, came forward and asked me whether I knew how to draw a ship. I said I had no idea. He smiled [meant: hah! You don’t even know that huh?]. He took my rough note book and drew a ship and proudly presented it to me. I praised the artist inside him and accepted his work with a big smile on my face. Seeing this, everyone started drawing ships and compared each others work. Everyone felt that their piece was the best. I was happy that they didn’t fight amongst themselves owing to the difference in opinion.

It was Three P.M. I was quite exhausted at the end of the day. Sahithya advised me not to strain much in teaching the students. Anyway I did enjoy my stint at the school though I was tired at the end. Then we started walking back to the bus stop. Mira was making her students list the days in a week. It was lovely to watch Mira walking with her students and listening to her students answer. We finally bid the students good-bye and reached the bus stop. Within few minutes we boarded a 21G. I safely reached home by about 3:45, had something to eat and slept off.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Our Independence Day special trip to the Vidya Nivas School was scheduled on 14th Aug, 2008, which happens to be Pakistan Independence day. It was scheduled so because we had to attend the Indian Independence day celebrations as well as the College’s Birthday function on the following day held at our college.

Our Class representative, Patricia, had collected Rs 10/- from each of our classmates to buy gifts for the children studying in that school. She had bought pencils, rubbers, scales, sharpeners and chocolates for each student and also 5 prizes for winners of the competitions which we planned to conduct among the students on that day. Along with the competitions we also planned to perform a dance and a group song. But the dance was cancelled in the last minute due to technical problems. “But nothing can stop us.” Our trip was about to be advanced to 13th Aug 2008, as the Maths Additionals were also scheduled to do a program on 14th. Finally we were given permission to do it on the same day as Additionals, i.e., on 14th.

The Day arrived. It rained in the morning as it did in the previous trip. “But nothing can stop us.” The day’s last hour was a star hour. The volunteers were finalized in that hour. Patricia, Nisha, Radhika, Mira, Sahithya and I were the volunteers for the day’s function. Shakthi couldn’t join us because she had to go to the hospital as her friend’s father was ill and admitted in hospital. It’s quite sad. We had to continue without her in the group song. We practiced for few minutes in the last hour. Then we were planning the games which could be conducted.

“Ding Dong… Ding Dong…” The announcements started. We started packing our things. The bell rang. Mira, Sahithya and I proceeded to the bus stop. Patricia told us that she had some work and on completing it she would join us at the school. She left in her 2 wheeler. As we were waiting in the bus stop for 18a or 45B to arrive, we found Nisha and Radhika missing. We thought that may be they weren’t going to join us in the trip. We waited and waited. No bus turned up. “But nothing can stop us.” We decided to cross and board 29C to Mylapore Tank and then board 21G from there to Kotturpuram. We crossed the road and were happy to see Nisha and Radhika waiting there! We all got into a crowded 29C bus. The driver was driving wildly. He kept speeding up and applying sudden breaks. As we didn’t get any seats to sit, we found it very difficult to travel standing with this kind of driving. Finally by the Mercy of God we arrived safely at Mylapore Tank.

The usually frequent 21G seemed to have taken the day off! We waited and waited for what seemed to be eternity, at Mylapore tank, but there was no sign of 21G. It was either 21 or 21G cut service which arrived, whose last stop was Mandaveli. By mistake we got into a yellow board 21G which we learnt from the conductor that it wouldn’t go to Kotturpuram. So we got down at the other end of the tank and, came back to our stop walking and grinning at our ignorance. “But nothing can stop us.” We decided to call Ms. Mercy ma’am for help. Mira called Ms. Mercy ma’am. She spoke for about 5 minutes with ma’am describing our condition. After Mira finished talking, she told us that ma’am said that she would do something about it. It seems she had suggested that we could take an auto to that place. Mira told ma’am that we didn’t have enough money with us. We waited for about 10 more minutes. We didn’t get any call for ma’am. So we decided to call her back. Mira gave ma’am a call once again. After repeating a half a dozen times “ok ma’am”, she ended the call. She then exclaimed that ma’am will be arriving shortly. She also mentioned that this time her voice was quite different. It surprised all of us. We became quite nervous. We wondered why ma’am was coming. We thought that may be ma’am would give us a lift in her car. The very thought made us happy. Then we started looking out for the cars approaching the stop instead of the buses. Meanwhile Patricia had reached the school. She called us and was disappointed when she came to know that we were still stranded at Mylapore Tank. She told us to come ASAP.

Ma’am arrived in a few minutes. It was very sweet and kind of ma’am to come all the way to help us out. Mira, excited, opened the door. Ms. Mercy ma’am was seated in the driver’s seat and Sr. Rosy was sitting next to her. Five cannot be possibly accommodated in the car. “But nothing can stop us.” Ms. Mercy ma’am graciously took Rs 200/- from her purse and gave it to us generously for our auto fare. We were all touched by her kindness. We five immediately got into an auto who charged Rs 50/- to Kotturpuram. In another few minutes we reached Kotturpuram.

We got down. Mira paid the auto man the fare. Thanks to Ms. Mercy ma’am once again. Patricia was waiting outside for us. The teachers and children welcomed us with smiling faces. They never complained about our late arrival. We were happy to see them once again. It was already ten minutes past two. The school closes by three. So we started as soon as we reached. Before we started the teachers mentioned that the Maths Additionals had done a good job in the morning. It motivated us to give our best.

First I asked them what was special about that day. As they only knew that the following day was India’s Independence Day, I enlightened them that that day was Pakistan’s Independence Day. We heard from the teachers that the morning team had already given a lot of information to the children about our Freedom struggle. So we just asked a few questions for which we got correct answers.

Next we asked the children to come forward to sing songs. We felt that it was better than we performing, as they will be involved in the singing which would make them enjoy much more. Initially few girls came forward to sing Tamil rhymes. Their voices were enchanting. When the volunteering seemed to seize we suggested that they can also sing film songs. A number of children got up to volunteer. There was a good response. They sang “Dole Dole” and “Pokiri Pongal” from “Pokiri”, “Maduraikku Pogathadee” from “Azhagiya Tamizh Magan” [I guess the children there are “Ilaya Thalapathy” Dr.Vijay’s fans] and “Yemmaadi Aathaadi” from “Vallavan”. A cute boy named Sriram energetically and beautifully danced for the songs. His friends cheered for him. They also joyfully sang “Jingle Bells.” Luckily I had bought a camera with me. I took photos of them singing merrily together.

Then we agreed go outside and play. First was “Passing the Parcel.” We made the children form a big circle and stand close to each other. We gave one of the five prizes as the object to pass on from one to another. Patricia stood in the centre closing her eyes. The rule was, when Patricia is clapping the prize is passed from to another; when she stops clapping who ever has the prize in their hand is eliminated. On continuing in this manner who ever is left is declared as the winner. The students took two rounds to understand the game. When they understood the game well, they started playing it enthusiastically. A girl won it successfully.

Next we conducted running race for the 1st and 2nd standard. Again a girl succeeded in winning the first place. “Bunny Jumping” race followed. But the children found it difficult to do bunny jumps. They complained that the stony floor hurt them. So we changed it to hopping race. Once again a girl won!!! Then we had musical chairs for the senior students in the school. They played enthusiastically and this time a boy emerged victorious. I took a lot of photos during the course of the games as well as when the winners received their prize from their teacher.

As we had no time for another game, we gave the remaining one prize to the deserving Sriram who impressed everyone by his stylish dance movements. In all the games I observed that when a child was eliminated or was made out he/ she neither argued nor cried. Even though they went out of the game they still cheered for their friends who were still in the game. When I was a child I always used to argue when I was made out. If my arguments weren’t accepted I used to cry and throw and break the things in the vicinity. Even today I argue if someone says I am “out” in cricket. I don’t readily agree unless and until it’s obvious. I was amazed at their attitude at such a young age. It shows that they have been brought up in a much disciplined manner. These things really surprised me. I think I should definitely learn from them.

As a final act, we happily distributed pencils, rubbers, scales, sharpeners and chocolates among them. They gleefully received them from us. They thanked us with lot of gratitude. We closed the program with National Anthem. We were pleased to see them sing with us. Then with the gifts the kids started home. We signed the register and bid them good bye and left the school.

We all got into 21G. We all got seats to sit. Nisha, Radhika and I got into the “Hot Seat”!!!???!!! It was next to the driver, to his left. We had hot air coming out from the gear box. It was quite hot and hence the name! Mira and Sahithya together, sat one seat behind the driver. We were conversing with each other animatedly and even took photos inside the bus. Mira got down at Mandaveli. Nisha, Radhika, Sahithya and I got down at Mylapore Tank. We were very tired and hungry. We went to Adyar Ananda Bhavan, which was right behind the bus stop. We again took photos at Adyar Ananda Bhavan because we wanted these memorable incidents and sweet moments to be stored safely forever. We ordered Dahi Puri, Rasagulla, Rose Milk and Chenna Samosa. We shared and ate together gleefully. Thanks to Ms. Mercy ma’am once again. We used a part of her money to pay the bill. We unanimously agreed to return Sister’s money first on Monday and say a million thanks to her timely help

We went back to the bus stop. Nisha and Radhika got into 29C. Sahithya and I crossed the road. I left Sahithya in 5B stop and started walking home. As I reached I saw 1 missed call of Sahithya. I called her back and learnt that she had got into a 5B bus and is safely heading home. All ended well. I think this is most unforgettable Pre-independence day celebrations I had participated.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


On 19th August, 2008, it was Group One’s turn to visit “Vidya Nivas”. Mira, Sahithya and I weren’t much prepared for this trip as we had just made a Special Appearance! [Visit] on 14th August for Independence Day celebrations. But the very thought of those kids increased our enthusiasm.

At 1 p.m. we started walking towards the DMS. One among us suggested going to the school by auto but the majority [including me] rejected the idea right away. On reaching DMS we boarded 18A and got down at Anna University. After a long wait, 21G arrived. We reached the school by 2p.m.

We were disappointed to see many absentees. The school seemed almost empty. Vignesh was absent again. I heard from Lokesh that Vignesh was not well. I was told that Vignesh had to fulfil a religious vow and accordingly he had pierced his tongue with a VEL (small spear) and also walked over fire (“Thee Midhi”). After the ritual he had developed fever and could not attend school. I felt sorry for him. I asked Lokesh to meet him some time after school hours to enquire about his health [and prayed that Vignesh must get well soon!]. That day I really missed Vignesh and his mischievous pranks.

Lokesh wanted me to teach him a Tamil lesson titled “The Parrot and the Crow”. He was quite restless. In order to make him concentrate and learn I devised a new method of teaching. I made him read one sentence at a time; explained it’s meaning in simple Tamil; and made him draw on the board what he understood. For example, the first two lines spoke about a mango tree which was very big, having wide branches and plenty of mangoes. On understanding the meaning of the line he immediately raced towards the board to draw a big mango tree with lot of ripe mangoes hanging from it. [Thanks Lithiya, for sharing the board with Lokesh]. Then he came back eagerly to read the next line to know what was going to happen next and what he would have to draw on the board next. As we proceeded learning the lesson in this manner, he drew more and more on the board depicting the story. His drawings, though unprofessional, were cute and as good as the ones appearing in children comics like Tinkle. He completely enjoyed the process of learning the lesson. He was able to relate the facts in the story with what he had learnt from his mother and sister. At few places, like in the list of uses of Neem leaves, he was able to add few facts which were not mentioned in the lesson. I was surprised by his general knowledge! Initially he was struggling a little bit in reading, but as the same words were repeated in the lesson, he gradually picked up pace.

After we completed the lesson, Lithiya and I joined together and made Lokesh and the other students draw whatever they wished on the board. A girl first went to the board and rubbed what Lokesh had drawn earlier. He initially grew furious, but within seconds forgave her and started drawing on the board along with her. That’s how kids are! They don’t carry things far. (Something adults seem to have forgotten). One of the girls started drawing a flag pole. Immediately everyone started drawing a pole and Indian flag. Honestly, Lokesh’s flag was The Best! He gave it a 3-dimensional appearance and made it look as though it was really flying high in the air.

It was 3p.m. and time to bid adieu. I left by the usual bus and reached home, after a tiring day, with my mother welcoming me with a cooooool drink !

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Our 6th SAP trip was scheduled on Monday, 1st September, 2008. It was the day before Algebraic Structures III component test. The syllabus for the test was complete Unit 2 [homomorphism of groups]. We, group 1, panicked whether we would be able to reach home early after the trip and have time to study for the test on the following day. So we decided .to request our H.O.D to postpone our trip. Our request was denied What else can be done? The whole class unanimously agreed to postpone the test. It was good for us.

I always get down at Mylapore Tank after visiting the school and walk back home. This time I decided to park my two-wheeler near the Tank so that I can drive back home. My father warned me that it might not be safe. He made me quite worried by his statement. But my mom encouraged me saying that nothing would happen to my vehicle. So I decide to give it a try.

Monday, 1st September, 2008, was an unforgettable day. It was day 5. Mira was very sick [was running a high fever]. She had come to college in order to take Statics seminar. Very sincere, indeed! I told Mira about my two-wheeler parking idea. She gave me a second warning. Oh! I felt I should have not done so. First hour was statics. Mira’s seminar was too good. I still remember the “potatoes” which she used to explain the lemmas. The one hour was truly enjoyable! In spite of her sickness, she gave her best. Her dedication towards her work must be appreciated. Next hour was algebra. Mira was unable to continue sitting in the class. She felt more tired, after spending a lot of energy in conducting the seminar. So, with Ms. Mercy madam’s permission I made arrangements to send Mira back home safely. Hence, I was unable to attend Ms.Mercy madam’s class. That was the sad part. But when I came back to class I got great news that the test was postponed to the following week. 3rd hour was Ms. Vinitha madam’s class. The last two hours were free. I had a nice time chatting with Sahithya near the canteen area. We also spent some time together in the library.

It was One PM. As Sahithya and I were in the NCC ground we didn’t hear the announcements. We briskly walked and joined Lithiya, Diana and Inbam to start our 6th trip to the school. Sahithya and I plugged in to our mp3 players and were listening to music and walking towards DMS. Lithiya, Inbam and Diana raced us ahead. We didn’t care. We walked at our own pace. We got into a bus at DMS and got down near Anna University. A little later we got into a 21G and reached the school by about 2 p.m.

The kids were busy doing some work. They smiled when they saw us. Both Lokesh and Vignesh were present. On seeing me they immediately enquired about Mira. They felt sad and disappointed on knowing about her sickness. One of the teachers there asked me to do some Tamil ‘split and combine’ exercises as exams were fast approaching for the kids. I opened the Tamil book and started helping them to answer the questions. I just had to do one question of each type. They were immediately able to co-relate and answer similar questions. Vignesh needed some extra help. Within about half an hour we successfully completed all the exercises.

Then, both Lokesh and Vignesh, insisted on my listening to a story. It was the story of movie “Muni”, which I believe was telecast recently. They didn’t know the name of any of the characters in that movie. They referred to characters by their physical appearance [like “surutta mudi” [curly hair], “Sori moonji” [face with rashes]]. They dynamically narrated the story to me. It was really a pleasure watching them do so. They quoted some dialogues and sang songs from the movie and danced. This was the highlight of my trip.

Lokesh said that he loved “The Parrot and Crow” [in Tamil] story which I read and explained the previous class. He was telling Vignesh how pleasurable it was and thus both insisted me in taking that lesson once again. I hesitated at first, but on seeing their eagerness agreed to do so. I asked Vignesh to read and Lokesh to explain. Vignesh isn’t as professional in reading Tamil as our young Lokesh [Well, that’s what Lokesh feels!]. So, Lokesh kept teasing Vignesh and didn’t allow him to read. I asked Lokesh not to do so and advised him to help Vignesh in reading. He didn’t seem to like the idea, but I stressed on my point. It was three. “Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding” the bell was sounded. The kids rejoiced at the sound of the bell.

The teacher told us that the exams were about to commence in a few days time, and hence asked us to come back after October 3rd, i.e., after the kids’ quarterly holidays. We agreed as by that time our 2nd Continuous Assessments Tests would be over too. We walked back to the bus stop along with the kids. On our way to the bus stop, we saw a 21G pass by. We quickly signaled to the driver to stop. To our surprise the driver did stop! We hopped in happily. On our drive back I told about my two-wheeler parking idea to Sahithya. Oh no! I got the third warning from her. I prayed God that my vehicle must be safe and I decided not to try this idea once again. While getting down at Mylapore Tank, Lithiya and I thanked the driver. Thank God! My vehicle which was parked in front of a bank was as safe as the bank itself! I happily got on and drove back home with the day’s sweet memories.