Friday, July 13, 2018

Back to the Future

     A sense of deja vu envelopes me several times a day. Motor memory seems to ensure that I make all the right turns. Navigate even the new hexagon with ease. It feels like home. It is home.

     Familiar faces smile at me. Some might be cringing, but it's diplomatic to steer clear of meaningless confrontation. JNS has become JNIS. It is being led by a dynamic team of leaders. I am learning. I am engaging. I will be teaching the subject that I love the most.

     Applesauce has seen little of me. I seemed to have been working too hard and forgetting to think about myself. Who am I anyway? I ask people to think while simultaneously ensuring that I don't bother to look at my reflection; either literally or figuratively. I've turned myself into a product that delivers. A capitalist creation who thinks she can buy health and considers happiness overrated.

    Isn't it though? Isn't happiness a commodity which we are constantly selling people. From talc to towers, from pizza to pies in the sky - we are packaging happiness. And I'm just not buying it. Those who enter my sphere of contact come up with their own estimation of my happiness. I hear advice from everyone telling me that doing what I love isn't the way to live. And yes, doing what I do do does have its ups and downs. But not doing is worse.

     So this ramble shall raise a toast to doing. Do whatever you want to do. Just keep doing. Perhaps that is the key to happiness. Isn't even meditation intentional? Work is my meditation. I hope this...chapter/journey/voyage/ride/experience/tale/trial/tribulation/triumph/time shall help me understand the way of the world better.

     Over and out!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Semolina or Rawa Cake


Semolina/Rawa - 1 cup
Yoghurt/Curd - 1 cup
Castor Sugar/Powdered sugar - 1 or 3/4 cup (to taste)
Clarified butter/Ghee or Oil - 4 tbsp
Saffron - 1 gram or two pinches (optional)
Cardamom/Elaichi powder - 2 pinches (optional)
Nutmeg/Jaiphal powder - 2 pinches (optional)
Vanilla extract (NOT essence) - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Cooking soda - 1/2 tsp


1. Grease a six inch bundt tin with clarified butter and keep it aside.
2. Mix the semolina, yoghurt, clarified butter, sugar, saffron and nutmeg and cardamom powder. Ensure that there are no lumps. Keep it covered for half an hour to forty five minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. 
4. After forty five minutes add the vanilla extract, and the baking and cooking soda and mix well. 
5. Bake immediately for thirty minutes or till done. The edges should brown slightly.
6. Cool on a wire rack and unmould in fifteen minutes.

The cake tastes great both warm and cold. You may add chopped dry fruits if you so wish.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Happy New Year !!!

Yes, yes. Belated happy new year. I'm late. Very late.


That seems to be the constant refrain these days. Late to bed. Late in the morning. Late getting home. But it is good sort of 'late-ness'. I have some purpose. Some work. I have felt the urge to quit. But the memory of the have-nothing-to-do stage of my life makes me think nothing could be worse. 

And I do enjoy my job. It's not just some politically correct rhetoric. I have no wish to turn academia into a noble profession. It's isn't. It's just fun. 

Dirty and full of duds (yes, yes, I am an intellectual snob); but gloriously fulfilling. Especially, being a student. You can't be a teacher unless you are a student...perpetually. I do want to keep learning. Is there another purpose to life? 


In other news, Indian politics seems to resemble the theater of the absurd. Yawn. Cringe. Outrage. Cringe. Yawn. 


And it rained today. The sky was as glum as my mood. Global warming? Ironically, there was a "nukkad natak" in school on the theme. Good motives. Very good. But is it going to change the weather? 

Poignantly, a line in the play pointed out that Global warming has become a business. The play exhorted us to love our environment too. The slow-hand-spread typical to Shahrukh Khan romance movies meant to represent love for nature was droll. Does the environment want love? The environment seems to be Edvard Munch like screaming - LEAVE ME ALONE. Love is smothering. 


Why am I blogging random stream of consciousness style? A student's turn it in report is yet to generate. Please turn it in Gods, hear my plea. I have a deadline to meet. Umm...why does one meet a deadline? Meet is too positive for a 'dead'line. 

Ok then, I have a deadline to beat !!!! 

Are you there God? It's me, an IB teacher !!!


The End


Yawn, yawn, yawn....

Saturday, October 24, 2015

On Theory of Knowledge...snippets from a larger thread of conversation.

I agree with my colleagues who argue that it is important to not over-generalise the results of this survey. However, discounting student opinion entirely is not the solution either. The survey as a whole does seem to reflect my experience with students/student essays & presentations over the years both as a TOK teacher, Coordinator and Examiner.

I find it important to refer to school ethos vis-a-vis the treatment of TOK. The more sensible and sensitive students seem to have picked up on this aspect and have duly reflected on the school's/teacher's approach and erudition. I have taught TOK in two schools in the same city in India, and the difference in terms of perception about TOK was/is palpable. It is not surprising then to find that students tend to find their TOK lessons "confusing" to say the least.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Before and After

A random what's app message from an ex colleague asking for an opinion about a poem (nothing was divulged about its origin) resulted in my editing/reworking/fooling around with the initial text at her behest.

The before and after follow :-


Wave by wave, the water hits my skin
Crashing into me, taking me down
My thoughts are scattered with every blow
Peace fills me up even as I drown.

Happiness is a distant goal
Life is a winding labyrinth
Day by day, I'm picked apart whole
My conscience the only constant

Questions go unanswered, dreams have me on the hook
The rat race makes me question my ability
Will this tide ever guide me?
Will it ever save me from onlooker's pity?

I realise there's no need to fight, a burning fire consumes me.
Change comes from within, evolution the only way to survive
I embrace my problems, become one with them.
I've never been so clueless yet never been so alive.


Self Help

Wave upon wave.
Salt water on skin.
Forming a skein,
all enveloping.

Thoughts scatter.
Scramble. Surge. Storm.
Are still.
Divine drowning.

Self actualisation?

Seven habits.
The eighth habit.
The law of attraction.
Life; a pecsniffian Janus.

The conscience.
A tenuous tether.
An anchor.
At sea.

The high seas.
More questions.

Dreams; a mirage.
The quest.
What quest?
Clueless. Calm. Convenient.

Salt water on my skin.


Definitely not a poet.

Friday, September 11, 2015

And almost bon voyage again...

Applesauce seems to be getting rather redundant considering that there is limited leisure. There is no time to stop and think. No time to mould meaning from banalities, and post a string of verbose words posing as profound erudite thought.


The weekend is like the new year. That time of hope when you make more resolutions you are unlikely to keep. The Wunderlist on the smart phone is full of to dos that shall make one feel productive come Monday morn. The accomplishment IS the list. There is little wonder at not having done a thing. 

The week has been hectic. Work has been exacting. Students have been/are demanding. The weekend is spent on Skype-ing with students. Books then are merely meant to be patted like good dogs who are always around. Books/dogs are not necessarily hugged or paid attention to. Weekend binges (encouraged by the Binge Baba on television) are the only thing one has energy for. Lethargy is relaxation. Malaise is rejuvenation.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bon Voyage 2014...

It's almost the close of another year. Is it time to count the goals achieved, the goals not met, or agonise over the complete and utter lack of any visionary mission for self-amelioration? Or better/worse still, time to "set" new unreachable goals?

The 2015 "Executive" diary has already arrived. It's strictly for work engagements. Personal goals seem to be rather obscure; other than the mundane '"let's be happy and healthy" chorus.

A summary of 2014 would read something like this :

  1. January and February were dedicated to work.
  2. March, April, and May were a paper correction and work haze.
  3. June whizzed by, and I seem to have absolutely no memory of it.
  4. July, August, and September were work again. Very HARD work.
  5. October and November were a commingling of memory, desire and examination anxiety.
  6. December brought an examination adrenaline rush, and now there's more to be done on the academic and work front before the curtain falls.

Hmm...what else am I supposed to be/have done? Wife, mother, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, friend/etc.? 

I seem adrift like most of J.M. Coetzee's protagonists. A symbol whose sign is a disastrous amalgamation of undecipherable and completely arbitrary signifiers and signifieds. 

I'm an insider/outsider. I'm the margin as well as the centre. A desiring machine which is chaotically grasping at conservative, and simultaneously emancipatory lines of flight. 

Basically, I'm Antionio Gramsci's traditional intellectual flummoxed by rather organic predicaments. 

Viola...history always repeats itself. I'm me. The end.


2015 though is highly it should be. To misquote Coetzee, when one year sails, philosophise; the next seems rosier.