Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The magic of the old city of Hyderabad

The school was located very close to Charminar. After four months of being in Hyderabad, I finally got to see how Charminar looks like. As I looked over it, I remembered seeing Qutub Minar everyday for a year when I was in Delhi as Ummeed is located right behind it. And now Charminar gave me similar inspiration. The firmness of these monuments even if world around them is changing has always been a huge reaffirmation for me, to live my life that way, with firmness of being fair.

Passing by the crowded streets, broken arches and empty eyes of ever-busy shopkeepers, I remembered mumbling to myself, "Life is lived here as well. " We entered into the school and I met the children. Unlike my Ummeed students, who would all were rowdy, vocal and shouting, the children here were seemingly shy. The girls students' heads were covered. The teachers heads were covered too but they were using technology with so much ease. The sight was a unique combination of progressiveness and tradition. I looked unblinked at the teacher who was bringing so much energy despite her shy demeanor and traditional wardrobe. 

Later, we saw 10th graders girl and they all were standing around their science projects. They could not explain us much Physics of series and parellel resistance or any functioning of battery and power but they tried really well. I have always seen in any of the school I visited, students are always good. and I have come to a belief that we fail them, we don't make efforts to understand them and make them understand the way they would. All of these girls again had covered their heads as well. They sang beautifully an English song for us on principal's request. The lyrics of songs were, to our surprise,  unusually romantic. I guess the adolescence was kicking in and needed a channel but I fear the environment of old city wouldn't handle it with care. 

In their voices and their faces, I saw the beauty of India., and how much it calls to be protected and nurtured. It filled me with energy as I walk on this path, sometimes lost and sometimes brought back.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Spiritual journey of Vipassana

In the last week of October, I got an opportunity to attend a 10-days course of Vipassana in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Vipassana, a meditation technique, is about understanding how our mind and body interact, how our habbit pattern develops, how cause-and-effect happens in our lives and why it is that way, not by any intellectual discussions but by a very deep self-observation. Since the day I came back, I have been trying to explain it to people how it helped me understanding myself better but I have seen it is something that you can truly experience yourself and it is difficult to be truly explain it.

I am making an attempt to write about it below,:

I was silent for 10 days, uttering no word. I was having no outside connection to the world. I had nothing to read or write. This all was very difficult to accept and in fact, I didn't see any reason why we would do so. But I later understood by a very intelligent example. All our lives, we have been burning our fuel in certain way. We keep on giving wood to our fire and keep living like that. In these days, this is changed. We don't speak to stop giving reactions to anything and developing more chain of thoughts and karmas. We stop the wheel of our own life as we know it. We stop reading/writing/communicating because in these days we are there for our own self-observation, to see only one world - the one that is within.

I followed a very strict timetable from 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM for 10 days, attempting to meditate for almost 10 hours everyday. I was punctual almost every time and missed just twice. This was a huge jump for me as those who know me, know that I am bad with punctuality and regularity both. Vipassana  enabled me do this for the first time in my life.

For first two days, I felt like it was a mistake. It is not for me. i am a happy person and I am self-aware as well. So, for 10 days I wouldn't be able to do much. This myth of mine was shattered. In the first seven days, there were huge storms inside me telling me how miserable I am, full of deep unresolved agonies and contempt towards myself and others. I worked very seriously for all these days and saw these dissolve slowly as I got deeper into the technique.

Vipassana teaches about staying equanimous towards any sensation- that are eventually responsible for our cravings and aversions. We have 6 different sensations in our body and they are continuously present every moment. Through the technique, firstly I learnt to be more aware of my sensations. this awareness slowly deepened over the course of 10 days and I was able to understand my deepest cravings and aversions that arise due to these sensations. The aim then becomes minimizing these aversions and cravings because both of then eventually lead us to the wrong path of attachment and selfishness. But minization has to happen at the sensation level so that our reaction towards them get feebler and feebler.

 Everybody likes being happy and everybody hates anger. We also intellectually understand and accept that both are impermanent then why it is so difficult for us to follow this virtue of staying balanced when either happiness or sadness comes? It is because we have been able to intellectualize it at the conscious level but not at the sub-conscious and sensation level.  Through the technique, at least for final two days, I got closer to staying equanimous because I started understanding my sensations, my body and mind reactions, my feelings and my habbit patterns. When that happened I could sense a free flow of energy all over my body, followed by purification of feelings and eventual calmness.

Of course, in 10-days no one can get enlightened and no one is able to eliminate attachments and aversions completely but a seed is sown. Beyond that, It is up to the individual to walk the path and keep on knocking door of truth, love and compassion.

Vipassana also teaches you to see things as they really are. When I entered the course , I read this line so many times describing Vipassana that I actually couldn't understand what this could possibly mean. What it means is that you start seeing anything in your life very objectively, in totality, not from your own persective - that you have been seeing zillion times but in completion, from every possible angle. You stop being angry or happy by developing this understanding. You don't bring your emotions and ego in between. You see them as they happened and not how you have been thinking they happened. Only by experience one could see what it really means.

In the end, I could definitely say that this technique gave me more stability and firmness to mind, develop strong determination and ability to understand self and others at more real level than I  have been seeing before. It is upon me now how I can sustain myself to walk on this path. After all, everything is impermanent.

Monday, September 16, 2013

What I want to do with my life?

Seven years ago, when I graduated from college, I was a disillusioned youngester with dreams larger than life. I was immersing myself from Ayn Rand to Mahatma Gandhi to Bhagwad Gita. I was following the course of CAT, GMAT, Software Job, MBA.I was inclined to know myself and see what I am made of. I was inclined to see the world through different lens - from what Mohammed Younus gathered to what C.K.Prahalad envisioned.I was ready to take up the challenges which my job didn't give and I was ready for a life which a regular paycheck destroys. But I was on a course that couldn't lead me there. I took a plunge towards those inclinations.

And those inclinations have lead me here today, the course of my life has taken me to critical milsetones - Tata Jagriti yatra, Teach for India and then the most destroying of all - Ummeed. Each one was at a higher degree of toughness, at a stage where you could not find time to amuse yourself with illusions of the world but to take decisions and live with them, to take a call which could become life-long regret or life-long gift of understanding of self. There were quick decisions, harder conversations, harder situations on one side and a country which demands and needs blood and sweat of its countrymen on the other.

When India became a free independent nation, our founders had a difficult time to give our 200 years old fragile country a stable kick-start. As a result we spent a lot of our time, resources and energy in stabilizing the Nation through industries and agriculture. The key pillar of education lacked the implementation which could have given us integrity and sovereignty at much higher degree than our agrarian and industrial polices could ever had. I feel that the baton has passed on and course of my life has challenged me now to pick that baton and walk without stop.

I visit schools, I meet people. I meet labor and the corporate, the migrants and the native, the CEO and the principals, the venture capitalists and the destitute of this country. I get fired up with the possibilities that exist in front of me, when I meet them,where they should be and could be and how the Nation could be built. I feel the need to fulfill the mission that I have started in my life, a need to reach every mind of this country and harness the potential and immense power that exist in a brain of each child of the country, to build that character and good judgement, to build that critical thinking of how a man should live in relationship with oneself, family, environment and nation

What gives me confidence were my effort for redemption. My students at Ummeed have been going to school regularly. I left them without a teacher to hold their hand, or lead them to success, but they have been thriving on their own. It gives me a power within of expecting the world to succeed sooner or later. I feel my students and I taught one thing to each other - huge amount of resilience and endurance. They have survived and I have survived facing the battle in which I could have failed them. 

I now work for one goal - to reach to every possible brain that could build the Nation. i want to see the children I touch, to work for indigenous development of India and its future. Every project that I pick for my two schools, I aim to bring that degree of critical thinking and awareness with the teachers, the principals and the children. I want to gift each child my labor and my service. I want to gift each teacher the power that they haven't unleashed yet in changing the life of the children on a different path. I want to bring to each principal the wisdom of running the institutions in a true entrepreneurial fashion. I want to reach out to every possible person who can help me in my mission. 

I know what I want from life. Long back ago, I used to think my dreams have gone. Dreams never go. I know my dreams and more than that I still have some fire left to make them a reality.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seeded into a new journey

I know I have not written for a long time. I was having some brutal discussions and internal fights with myself. These fights have been shaking my internal core strength. I have been questioning my integrity and human shortcomings and selfishness. This also led me to seek support from people around me, which was just the matter of not finding strength within.

Today after so many days, I actually spent some time with myself mustering my internal strength again, accepting my shortcomings of the past and looking towards the future. I am very fortunate that I have got an opportunity that I used to dream about and more importantly people that could make that dream a practical reality. Today I am going to talk just about that!

On July 8th 2013, I joined SEED Schools in Hyderabad. Founded in April, 2013, SEED manages two low-middle income private schools (with fees range of Rs 800-1200) currently. I am part of the management team that means I have got an opportunity to understand operational, management and financial challenges of running private schools. Also, I have got an opportunity to consolidate the work that I have done so far. I am leading the academic changes in the school - from teachers training, curriculum design and robust technical framework which will help SEED to reach to 100 schools in 7 years. I believe if I successfully participate in a mission of this scale, I know I would contribute in bringing the reform that our education sector needs in a very organized fashion. This excites me and motivates me.

Today I also thought about the challenges I had faced in Ummeed. How I faced rejections from my students and slowly went past it. I was reminded of how the journey became so immersive that I wouldn't have time to eat, drink and talk to people who matter. Overcoming the challenges my students were facing, designing the curriculum in the manner that would suit them, kept me very motivated and focused. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when I look back now, I think it has defined me in a way that nothing ever did. It gave me my purpose and passion. It gave me my true North.

I am glad to begin this new journey and now after one and half month of hiccups of settling down in the new city, I have become ready for my new mission. I thank you from bottom of my heart for being still a part of it! Your support has always helped me to be more responsible towards my goals.

Looking ahead,
Saloni Gupta
Program Manager,
SEED Schools

Sunday, July 7, 2013

End of journey at Teach for India and Ummeed

My Teach for India fellowship had ended in May 2013. But I continued to teach my students till June to help them cover their syllabus. After all, we all were very excited that they have made it to the tenth grade. We, both my students and I, had come a long way in understanding each other. 

A rafting trip at rishikesh
A close friend of mine happens to drop by at Ummeed one day. In addition to working in a senior position in a multinational firm, he is also an administrator-cum-trainer at one of the rafting camps at Rishikesh. He happened to propose to my students, the very idea of a trip at Rishikesh for free.

My students always wanted to have an outing after they had passed IX grade. Perhaps, they had earned it. So I decided to take them for rafting. It was an exciting journey. For the first time, I stayed back for the entire night at Ummeed. And my students didn't sleep and didn't let me either. They were so excited! They danced and talked and listened to loud music in the middle of the night. At 5 AM we left for railway station. During the entire train journey, we talked and had lots of fun. After having a nice lunch at Haridwar, we took a bus to Rishikesh and from Rishikesh bus stand, we reached the rafting camp sitting in a truck while three of my students were sitting at the top!

For two days, we enjoyed a lot. I was shouting at top of my voice. I was very happy to give this small little happiness to the children. We played volleyball, did swimming, kayaking and of course rafting. We had bonfire in the night, surrounding which we played antakshari. It was super duper fun doing all of this with my students.

The X grade
My students were very happy and excited to be in X grade. I was too! I was hearing some new statements now:

"It is only now that I have understood how to study in a school and how to study at all!" - An honest example of their integration to mainstream.

"I think I can now become an IPS Officer. It is only because of you that I am not back on the streets of Connaught Place" - A strong example of rebuilding aspirations

"My mother gifted me a mobile phone for passing IX grade and scoring highest in SST in class" - A heart touching example of a student who was not even in talking terms with his mother previously. He told about his passing IX grade after three months of the results. I was very happy to see him getting integrated back with his family. 

"I know the way to success now. I can take a drug de-addiction program or whatever you say. All I want to do now is to study very very hard." A student on drugs since his childhood.  

We studied from 8AM to 8 PM like previously. I taught them all subjects - from Biology to Hindi. These children and their aspirations became my life line. For the first time, in my life I saw the ability to touch people's lives in a very very positive way. I came because of this at Teach for India. I knew, two years back, in my software job, nothing seemed to make sense to me. I was performing and getting promoted reasonably well but I was not able to unleash this power within. My students elicit this power.  They demanded it and I was able to respond. I am so grateful!

Of course then, it was very hard to end this. It still is. I wake up in the middle of the night and think about Ummeed, about the love that I received from my students. I never felt it so strongly ever in my life. I can't recount reasons here that why I chose not to continue. In larger scheme of things, may be those reasons just doesn't matter. But the fact remains that I have to move on. 

I talk to my students everyday. But I know that nothing will remain the same. Those children are without any direct care of an adult. It is going to be so hard for them to walk on the path that I have showed them. Right now, they are trying tremendously hard to do that. Or may be I am finding it harder not to be there for them and leave them to become independent and responsible for their lives.  I just think they were about to get ready but were not fully ready. 

For them, it has always been that people come and go. I didn't do anything different. They always knew since the beginning of last year that I will leave after a year but that time, they wanted that year to end quickly. They hated and mistrusted me then. Now everything has changed. They wanted me to take them along. I want to take them along. We really are so closely connected.

I am still working on some solutions to help my students in my greatest capacity. I know I am not at all in peace with it. I am very very excited for my new job because it is taking me to next degree of impact. But right now I am just not ready for the trade off. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guest Post : Ghazal, a 2012 fellow speaks about her first year@Teach for India

Read this touching post from Ghazal Ghulati, a 2012 fellow at Teach for India. Nakul and I,after our first year of fellowship moved to juvenile homes, and Ghazal in her first year of fellowship took over Nakul's class in National Public School, Shahdara. She has been doing a brilliant job with  both her classroom and school staff and has taken kids to whole new level. The following is a heartwarming account of how a Teach for India fellow makes her classroom an organic farmland rather than a manufacturing unit.

Saloni had asked me a while back to write a blogpost for her blog. I'd shortlisted stuff I wanted to write about but never really got around to doing it.
I'd never thought I'd be writing about Devika.
She was one of the few that Nakul had told me about. And she was hard to miss on my first day in class. Completely dishevelled, wearing a white T shirt instead of the school shirt under her tunic, her hair all over the place. She was distracted and restless more often than not in class.
Slowly to my horror I discovered that she was far behind even the average in my class. Her handwriting was a mess and most of the times she had no clue what I was saying. Lots of asking around later I found out that there was trouble at home.
We've worked hard through the year but she just wasn't making the progress I wanted her to make. Till finally I decided to try something new. I made a contract of sorts detailing all that I wanted her to study till the summer vacations. I showed her the list and then told her that if she managed to do all of it, she could get anything that she wanted. Absolutely anything.
I gave her some time to think. I was secretly of course hoping that it wasn't something too expensive. Maybe she'd want to go to the mall? a movie? some time with the laptop? But what she came back with blew my mind. S
he confidently pointed at the wall next to the White Board. Map? No. "I want those sheets", she told me. What she was pointing out to was a plain A4 sheet that I'd got laminated. Bas? She wanted two laminated white sheets for all that work I'd decided she needed to do get done soon. I took her home and explained the concept to her mother. We signed the contract. All three of us. When I told her mom to take my number, Devika promptly pointed to the wall where she'd inscribed my number with a pencil.
It's days like this that I know I've made the right decision. Forget all that talk about changing India. Just for the life experience that I've had the last one year have made all of this worth it.
Devika taught me yet another lesson in perspective and simplicity. How life really is so simple for children and we over complicate it by thinking for them. I'm not sure whether the contract will work, whether she'll fight with her brother or stick to her promise. But I do know that she's got her heart and values in the right place. I hope the world stays a happy and simple place for her all her life.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The mother who drank her own blood

One afternoon, during lunchhour, I was teaching 6th graders while my 9th graders were out for lunch. I was sitting in the classroom and one of the 9th graders barged in and bolted the door. He said that she is going to come here too and she will harm me. On asking him who was out there, he told me that Laddoo's mom had come to take him but Laddoo was in school and she had refused to believe that. So, she was checking each and every room. She was on drugs, torn clothes and she was using lots of swear words with other staff members.

I came out. I saw a woman sitting on a bench. Her head was down, She had a fluid in her hand. That was just a water color tube which she consumes. All 90 children were standing in the hallway, looking at her, making fun of her, discussing what all she had said in past few minutes. I entered the office and asked her whereabouts. Managers told me that she has a legal right to take away the kid and that they were going to hand him over as soon as he returns from the school. I really couldn't do anything about it so I came back to my class and started teaching again. 

Almost an hour later, my student reentered and said didi stay here, don't come out. I did anyway. Apparently, laddoo had come back from school and just outside Ummeed when his mother was taking him back,, two of my students saw her beating laddoo on the road. They brought him back and hid him. When I came out, one of my students was ruthlessly dragging the woman out of the home. He was angry clearly but there was no excuse for his behavior. When I came out, his first reaction was "Didi you go back inside!". There were other female teachers standing there. He didn't say anything to them. I thought he knew that I would not approve of any barbaric behavior and he just doesn't want me to be a part of it.Of course, I stopped him. He went away. I started talking to the woman. She started threatening me. She said she will take her all clothes off. She took her pajama down and all my students ran away. By the edge of the tube of her fluid, she took out blood from her head, mixed with fluid and  drank her own blood with the drug. I was aghasted. Her skin was all burned and brusied. She was about to take her kurta off when a housemother stopped her and got her back the pajama. I used a very authoritative voice and said "You are going to sit down first, give me your fluid, have a glass of water and then we are going to talk." The only words she was able to manage and that were echoing in the home "Mera bachcha do!" (give me my son!). But I grew more authoritative and made her sit. Once she did that. I softened my voice and said respectfully, "I am going to get your son back but you have to promise me that you are not going to shout here anymore. This is a home of children/ Respect this home." I don't know what worked - my civilized clothing, my authoritative voice or my respect for her as a human, she grew quieter.

My students and all the small kids were all looking at us when I told one of the managers to get all the kids inside. I shouted at all my students, "get back into the room, the show is over." They refused to even move. Meanwhile, the student who had hid Laddoo brought him back. Little laddoo had a small icecream cup in his hand and tears in his eyes. He was so scared and numb. I told the woman that "We have got your son back and you will not shout at him. You are going to take him away happily. He is your son and is studying really well. He is going to grow up, become educated and make you proud. You are going to take him respectfully and bring him back." My voice had softened and I had started talking to her as a human not a drug addicted mother. By that time she had calmed down a lot. I looked at Laddoo and thought may be he won't come back ever. I was wondering about the vision I had for these kids and the reality of their lives. I was wondering what a disjoint this is, two worlds apart. And I have no control. All I could say to his mother was send him back as soon as possible and he should not miss his education. He is going to be very successful in life. Then I said to laddoo that "Be happy with your mom, enjoy your break and come back soon." He didn't say a word. I took them to an autowallah. No autowallah was not ready to take the woman. Finally one did only on condition that I give him my number so that he can ring if she creates any problem.

I was very emotional when laddoo left and without looking towards anybody else entered back into my classroom. I sat there silently for few minutes. I could not believe what had just happened. 

Later, I got to know from my students that they couldn't see me talking to such a scary woman and that was the only reason that they brought laddoo back. Their perspective was such kind of a woman does not deserve a child and that we should have never handed over laddoo. I could relate to them. Most of them have parents like that which had given them a very tortorous childhood and now when they are in their late teens they understood how cruel all of it was. And laddoo should not go through the same thing which they did. I told them that the way to treat that is not be hatred but by respect. I told them that the statement that "Laddoo is going to make her proud" will make her bring back. Every mother has a modest hope and she would definitely want good things for her child even if she herself is not able to give it to him. They agreed on this. 

I was a hero for all the younger children in the home. Four of them jumped towards me and said "Didi you never got scared, all other teachers did. Didi you were the only one who made her quiet. Didi, you know laddoo knows the way back to Ummeed. He is going to come back on his own even if his mother doesn't send him. He has done that before". A six year old could come all the way from connaught place to qutub minar. This was unbelievable.

Two days later, in the dining hall, I saw laddoo again. The field worker from Ummeed has brought him back and his mother didn't say a word against that.  Laddoo smiled when he looked at me. I hugged him tightly. I couldn't believe he was back so soon. He was calm and happy. I asked him how his mother was, he said she was good.

I looked at my students and reminded him power of good words and how much difference that they can create.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Aryans - men of honor

These past months, I have had most externally calm and internally thunder-bolting months of my life. I went to US to take my mother at my sister's place and meet my niece, most wonderful baby I have ever met. I quickly fell in love with her and it was time to come back, I was energized by her love, support of my family and generally a lot of good memories.

I came back to Ummeed on 28th Jan. Since then, my dad had another life-saving operation, my mom was confirmed with dementia by doctors in US and both my sisters and my jiju worked so desperately hard to support my parents, to make our family united in crisis.

My only priority despite the critical situation of my family till 21st March was success of my students in 9th grade. I had to honor the responsibility bestowed on me - to save life of my students or rather make it. I got to know my students more closely during this time. They told me horrifying stories of streets, railway stations, Tihar jail or parents. I have witnessed their disappointment towards their life before. This time however things were changing. I was becoming their confidant, their mentor, someone they trusted very very deeply.

I began at Ummeed in May 2012 and then till December spent more time in dwindling between hospital for my Dad/Mom and Ummeed, I was, in all practical purpose, not able to perform the way I always wanted to. But this time because of my sisters' blind support, I was able to focus completely on my work. By just making this clear to myself, I composed myself much better and stayed highly focused.

I took up an enormous task of designing a curriculum that was fun and interactive and at the same time makes my students capable of passing 9th grade with their head held high. I prepared every lesson with videos, ted talks, power points and worksheets that very rigorously scaffolded. This way my students picked stuff faster and I was more efficient in delivering it. My day began at 8:00am when I would wake up, eat bread omelette   draft a lesson, take printouts and head straight to Ummeed by 10:00AM. Most of my students left classrooms several times and I would wonder whether I was doing or saying something wrong. But I didn't move. They  came back in again, smiling, regretting the walk-outs. I stood like a rock for them, accepting them without any complaints, skipping my lunch or dinner almost everyday, just to help them cover what they lost due to their emotional instability. They were allowed to take breaks. But I didnt take any. In evenings, when they played volleyball for two hours, I would check the papers, worksheets, design another lesson or help one of the students.

The school had strictly said they didnt want students of Ummeed in their school because they are irregular and indisciplined and they are tired of making exceptions for them since April.  The school has  the first real academic experiences for my students but it didn't turn out the way they had expected. The teachers didn't believe in them, may be partially, which is counterproductive. I recall a day just before exams when my students said to me that if then one of the school teachers made him stand to answer, he know he would answer. He added that earlier, they would keep calling all of their names continuously  knowing beforehand that none of us would be able to answer  and other students would, those who take tuition from them. Despite best intentions of principal and school staff, my students have felt at the bottom and lowered self-esteem in the school. I had a larger role to play. Believe in them like nobody ever did. Believing on them was not hard for me. They all are most brilliant students I have ever met. But it was hard to show them that my belief about them is right and others wasn't.

We studied for almost about 12 hours everyday. I would come back at 11 PM in the night. fearing from Delhi streets not because what would happen to me in case of a scary situation but more fearful of  the fact how this group of young boys would react in case anybody dares to touch me. These were very unusual thoughts, making me more aware of the bonds that I share with my students. and how hard it would be to let this go.

The exams began on 14th March. I met my students at Hauz Khas metro station to wish them good luck at 6:00 AM. They all were scared and so was I. As the door of Metro separated me from my students, I felt my limitation as a teacher, that I just can't be there for them from that point. That beyond that point, I would have to submit them to the world. They all looked at me, smiled and I felt sadness that I would leave them soon forever. I smiled in return and cried all the way back to home. I have actually for the first time felt my students as my creations, their destiny will have a drop of my sweat.

By their third paper, we all became confident that they are going to pass. They told me that this time they are going to get things not as a beggary but with honor. Their final paper was of Math on 21st March. We worked harder and harder. On the eve of the exam, I got to talk with one student who six months before had outrightly rejected me as a teacher. His exact words were "Didi, don't mind my saying but you just dont know how to teach. The sweeper can teach us better than you " I was terribly hurt by the insult in front of the other staff members. But I didn't quit. I knew that I was a good teacher if not great and with noble intentions. And I am glad he got to see that. Just the night before exam, he apologized and said "if it not for you, I would have been back on the streets of Connaught Place by now. I have never worked this hard for my entire life. I am so happy that I am going to pass". He also gave me a note which said " Di, if you stay here till June, I promise I am going to work equally hard to finish my entire X syllabus. Now I know that I will go on to become an IPS officer".

I had earlier not known whether I would be able to go back to Ummeed once my students exam are  over. I had felt that I would have to take the baton from my younger sister who for past 9 months have been working from home, and with that guilty of wfh has worked harder than most of her colleagues who are at Bangalore. I am right now with my father but missing my students terribly.

If you ask me what kept me going - I would say just plain hard work, my previous work experience as a software engineer which in an unusual way taught me to work long hours. Some credit however does go to Bread Omlette, the cans of Guava Juices, newly-discovered multigrain maggi which were the two meals that I had and of course a 20-minute episode of Friends.

Most of all, what kept me going was the trust of my students and their love, and some beautiful words we shared which none of us forget till our last breaths.

And the fabulous news is not that all my students have passed but that they have become men of honor!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Raju, Akram and Kaleem's Mole Concept on C++

OK! So here is the big one. My three students in 9th grade always wanted to learn software engineering since the beginning. And I of course, once upon a time, worked as a software engineer. It was hard however to go to software engineering when they were having so much trouble with their regular academics. So, I postponed and postponed.Until December!

Welcome my three ninth graders who are working on C++ while learning the dreaded Mole Concept!

This is their first independent program, written, compiled, debugged by them:

void main(){
int c;
float weight,mole,amu;
printf("enter the choice 1 if you want find the weight or 2 if you want find the mole");
printf("enter the mole");
printf("enter the amu");
printf("weight is the %fgram",weight);}
else if(c==2)
printf("enter the amu");
printf("enter the weight");
printf("mole isthe %f",mole);}

When I started six months back, the world was completely upside down for me...This has been one of the biggest high of the year!