Friday, September 30, 2011


I saw a very rosy dream
Not about you not about me
But a dream in which a rose tells me
 “you are a rose, I believe, please justify your rosy name for me?”

Sitting in a room with roses all around
Red, pink, yellow and white
I think how to justify the name 
How to win this rosy little game?

“Let’s write a poem full of roses,
A poem where each sentence smells of roses.”
The red rose raised a brow,
And I started the rosy little work…

What a rosy fragrance is in a rose since its very birth
Undoubtedly it is one of the most beautiful flowers on Earth
Thinking more the realization dawned that a rose is a rose is a rose
What more could I have said about a rose?

A red rose symbolizes passion and love
A white rose soothes with the peace of dove
A yellow love whispers friendship and concern
But a black rose is unlikely to return!

Reading my rosy little poem
I find a rosy way to beat boredom!
Then I see in my dream the poem reaching the press
And Miss Pankhuri bowing down gracefully, with her cheeks full of rosiness!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The child in me!!!

Some think I am cute
Some find me sweet
Some say I am kind
But I confess, I don't know myself...

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who likes to play all day
A child who wants to make your day
A child who likes to fly kites
A child who loves to run after butterflies

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who loves to sing to you
A child who loves to dance infront of you
A child who wants to be a part of your happiness
A child who wants to rip away your sadness

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who dreams all day long
A child who prays to Almighty God
A child who wants to shine like a star
A child who wants to be like sunshine

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who loves to look at sky for hours
A child who loves to make mud castles
A child who loves to stare at sparrows
A child who loves to play with doves on the window sill

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who wants to learn all alphabets again
A for apple B for ball C for cat and D for doll
A child who loves the green of the grass
A child who loves the smell of the wet land

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is a child in me

A child who wonders and wonders and wonders a lot
A child who observes how the eyes blink when you speak
A child who probably knows nothing at all
Except that life is much more beautiful than what we think

Of all I know and what I feel
Is that there is REALLY a child in me!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Teach for India calls...

My cousin tells me to fill a form....
I fill it...
It was an interesting form. It was like writing my autobiography. I had fun filling my details but it was not 'all play and no work'. There was work and the work was, in one word, TEDIOUS!!!
I had to write few essays - essays on educational inequity, one biggest thing I've accomplished, how did I accomplish it, what obstacles did I face, why do I want to join this organization etc etc...
I wrote the two of them and could not save it :( I wrote them again and somehow the computer stopped working. Obviously, the essays were not saved. Then I thought I'll write them afterwards.
My cousin decided to tie the knot on 26th January and we decided to attend the ceremony and leave on 23rd January for Bangalore. Note :- 23rd January was the last date to submit the filled form.
We got busy with planning, packing, persuading my bua and fufaji to accompany us to Bangalore and a few more trivial things. In short I did not get time to write the essays and submit the form.
Now we move to 23rd evening when I am reminded by my cousin to fill the form and I sit down at 10 pm to write the essays and submit it before the stroke of midnight. Thankfully, I am able to submit it before 12.
Off to Bangalore.
A very nice wedding and we enjoyed a lot.
Back from Bangalore.
One fine day, I get an email in my inbox. The mail goes like this :

Dear Applicant,
Congratulations! It is with pleasure that I invite you to participate in an in-person Assessment Centre with Teach For India.  We look forward to this opportunity to learn more about you and your interest in our program. .........
My cousin had also filled the form and she also got shortlisted for the day long assessment to become a fellow of Teach for India. Before I share with you the very different experience of the assessment, I would like  to tell you about Teach for India.
Teach for India is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who will commit two years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and who will become lifelong leaders working from within various sectors toward the pursuit of equity in education. For more details visit :
Coming to my personal experience. We (I and my cousin) reached at 7:45am. There were few people so we had breakfast which we had carried with us. The assessment began after sometime. We were divided into groups and there was a group incharge for each group. Our group incharge was Kayt Norris from Quincy, Illionis. She is the program manager in Pune. I liked her instantly. She was very dynamic, gave very cute expressions and I liked her style. 
It started with introduction and after the introduction we had to tell one thing which we'll carry if we are going to a deserted island. Some people said food packets, some said mineral water, some said a flint!!!! and some said CELL PHONE!!!!! LOL!!!! I said I'll catch hold of my best friend and take her with me :P 
There were people from different backgrounds. Some were studying, some were working and some were jobless. It was fun to know people other than engineers :)
Then began the written round. Moderate questions related to the data that teachers handle were asked. This was Data interpretation but very different to what I used to do when I was preparing for CAT. The next round was GD and I must say an actual GD is very different from a mock GD. Even if you are a speaker, even if you have a loud voice, even if you know what should you say it is next to impossible to speak in a GD where people of almost same IQ level are sitting together. It was a fish market but somehow i managed to speak a sentence or so :P
After this began the most interesting part of the assessment. All the candidates were told to come prepared with a five minute teaching session. Any topic from grade 1 to grade 5 had to be chosen and had to be taught to fellow candidates like they were real students. I chose adjectives. Choosing English was obvious because it is my favourite subject and choosing adjectives was wise because a class of adjectives can be very interesting.    To make my class an interactive one I got coloured print outs of fat and thin man, tall and short man, clean and dirty pig, empty and full glass. I showed them to the class and used visual power to make my students understand the words well. It was a success (atleast among adult children :P). 
After all these rounds candidates had to be shortlisted for final interview. I was shortlisted :D :D but unfortunately two people from our group of 8 were not. Before the interview, there was a role play round where the interviewer plays the part of the principal of the school and I play the part of a teacher. The situation given to me was that I am teaching 3rd grade and the other 3rd standard teacher is transferred. I am told to take her class in addition to my own ( a total of 90 students) but the situation will be resolved soon. After 3 weeks, a new teacher has not come, and I am still teaching 90 students. I feel that I am not able to provide instruction to all students. as all my efforts go into ensuring good behaviour. My aim was to convince the principal to hire another 3rd standard teacher immediately. Now this was very interesting. It was very spontaneous, convincing, intelligent and it should not display that I am unable to control the class. Kayt was very difficult to convince but fianlly after a 5 minute discussion I was able to wonderfully convince her. :)
Then the interview began and speaking only about yourself for 45 minutes is a task. But I spoke a lot (surprisingly). I enjoyed telling her about myself (deeply). I forgot all that I had thought I would say and would not say (unknowingly). So I just told her who Pankhuri Shrivastava is and enjoyed it remarkably :D
One week after I get another email in my inbox. The mail goes like this :
Dear Prospective 2011 Teach For India Fellow,
It is our great pleasure to offer you admission to the 2011 Teach For India Fellowship. We are inspired by your past achievements, drive, and commitment to educational equity, and believe that you are ready for the challenge of teaching and leading for two years in an under-resourced school.
Congratulations on your acceptance into this selective Fellowship, offered to less than 10% of our applicants—an acceptance rate that is at par with leading institutions like Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, The Wharton School of Business and INSEAD.  This makes you one of the top leaders in the quest for educational equity for the nation.
Current Teach for India Fellows studied at the most prestigious colleges in India, such as IIT-Kanpur, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi and National Law School, Bangalore, and worked for the most sought-after corporations in the world, such as Bajaj Industries, Ernst & Young, and Goldman Sachs.  You comprise a diverse group of men and women, professionals and students. Despite being from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, you are bound together by your unwavering dedication to solve India’s educational crisis, one child and one classroom at a time.
Leading companies such as Tata Power and ICICI Prudential have demonstrated their tremendous support for Teach For India by offering their employees a 2-year sabbatical to join our program.  In addition, companies such as Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, and McKinsey recruit our Fellows for full-time jobs after their time in the Fellowship.

I am very happy I must say. I am glad to have been selected. My cousin also got into it :D It was a nice experience where I met some very interesting people and I hope the fellowship will be a wonderful chapter in my very capricious life. 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Temple at a glance

What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!  ~Logan Pearsall Smith

I acknowledged this quote just recently, very subtly on a trip to Tirumala (Tirupati).
Sitting at a restaurant, waiting for dinner to be served, we googled Tirupati. The demigod informed us that Tirupati is a huge pilgrimage city, abode of Lord Venkateshwara and attracts millions of devotees every year. Its the country's richest temple (temples are also rich and poor!!!!) and the collection on 1st January alone was 3.80 crores (no comments)!!!!!
But you can access this information online. I'll tell you what you'll not read anywhere. 
Early morning when sun is still sleeping, we get up, take bath and leave for Tirumala hills. Its a collection of seven hills and on the top of the highest hill is the sacred shrine. The 30 minutes drive up the hill offers a panoramic view. The unending expanse of lush green valley, the pristine scenes and beautiful rest places for people to bask in the beauty. But no car stops here as all are in a hurry to reach before the queue for darshan becomes longer. We reached the top and its not just a temple on the hill top its a well planned town where everything is FREE!!!! Yes, free accommodation, free food, free toilets, even free buses. Tirumala resembles The Mall Road of Shimla a lot with an exception that never in the history of Shimla will so many people be present together on The Mall Road. Yes, the people came in buses, taxis, private cars and even on foot. They came like waves in an ocean, they came like angry bees from an upset beehive, they came like soldiers trying to seize a city from the enemy during war. 
I was amused and very soon saddened. The multitude had come for a trip- a religious one but a trip. They had travelled miles from home, had taken leave from work, packed bags and come for a trip. But hardly anyone on reaching Tirumala saw the sheer beauty of the place. No one saw the morning sun peeking between the green hills, no one saw the birds calling each other. No one seemed to smell the scent, no one seemed to inhale the fresh, cool air. No one saw how clean the roads were, no one saw how peaceful and serene Tirumala was. No one saw the nature's extravaganza touching the sky, no one. All were in a hurry to reach the queue and quench their thirst for the divine darshan. I agree that the town owes its existence to the temple and an ardent devotee is preoccupied with the idol darshan. But there is a small question that refuses to leave my mind unanswered-How can someone overlook the beautiful and breath taking creation of the Almighty for a man-made temple???  
Tirupati is a place where a man has to forget his comforts, his peace of mind and run like a mad man, suffer like a poor fellow. I saw police beating people to get into the line, I saw police insulting old men who couldn't walk fast, I saw pickpockets taking advantage of the queue and I saw corrupt people taking advantage of the few facilities given to the old and handicapped.
I was spared by all this, thanks to my father but I wonder those who come to Tirupati with their hearts full of religious fanaticism, ready to stand in a queue for hours, to be abused by other men, do they lock their self respect at their places and then arrive here???
There's one more thing which disturbed me a lot. God is perhaps the only object which is at the disposal of every person despite his rank, reputation, power or money. The shrine is acclaimed as the holiest of the celebrated 108 Tirupatis. The place where Lord himself came down to settle in Kali Yuga differentiates people on the basis of money!!! Yes, if you can spend more then you can have a better darshan. A person stands in a queue for 4-5 hours without any refreshment, not even water and finally when he enters the glittering room made of gold, he is pushed by petty policemen and forget a look, he is not even allowed a glance . A devotee who has spend money, stood in line for hours does not deserve to be treated like this. If he cannot be respected then he should also not be disrespected by policemen who themselves are morally degraded.  
Behind this expensive room of gold is another room where fat pandits sit and count lakhs and lakhs of rupees and a devotee dishevelled by ill-treatment watches them playing with the moolah!!!!
I have no hard feelings against the pandits or the devotees or the temple administration. I do not mean to disrespect the feelings of people. I am not an atheist and I do not appreciate blasphemy against God or traditions. But I am extremely anguished to see that the system is not correct. 
You pay to watch a movie, a dolphin show, a circus but you are not meant to pay to see your God. If you are a respectable person in your society then you do not deserve to be treated like a beggar when you wish to see your God. Temples are meant to give you peace of mind, relieve you of all worries, make you a better person by retrospection and introspection. They are not there to take away some peace that you have. I have always felt that the vibes are so positive in a temple that they have the power to transform thoughts, feelings and emotions. I just wish that this potential is not stolen by the disguised pickpockets present at the administrative corridors of temple. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I have found a very strong quality inside me.

I can laugh off at my troubles and still worry about them.

I got the biggest shock of my life recently. Something which I'd never expected. Something with a potential to shatter me.

It still hurts so bad.

But i've come to terms with it. It was a chapter in my life. This is again a big incident that has occurred with me. This has made my life spicy for others. If I write a novel with my life as a reference, it will compel the reader to turn the pages of the book and not put it down until its over.

But even after all this it hurts. God's games are not at all pleasant this time. My mom says "where were you when luck was being distributed?" I said "I don't know". But seriously I wonder where was I??????

I don't mind a lot if luck is not with me but I humbly kneel down and request with my hands clasped "Dear luck, if you don't like me then don't be with me but please don't conspire against me."

These are your hands inside the box, darling luck!!!!


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