Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It’s soon going to be a year in Pune. By now I should have had the taste of the city, its culture, its people. But today I felt I did not at all capitalize on the opportunity that was gifted to me: to be a part of such a vibrant and happening city. I have wasted most of my time idling and pursuing superfluous interests like a lazy sloth. Of the many things that this city has to offer, one thing that stands out is the pool of youth from diverse backgrounds. And I never made an attempt to mingle with them, interact or get closer. What a waste. I realized what I have been missing all these days. Let’s see how...

Pagalguy. No I am not insane. This is not an attempt to hinglisize anything. Pagalguy is the name of a forum on the Internet into which I was fortunate to stumble upon. It’s a forum started supposedly for all MBA enthusiasts but today it has snowballed into a huge consortium of youngsters with varied interests and ambitions (not just MBA). It has thousands of threads running with diverse topics and discussions. Browsing through these eclectic threads brought me to a thread which talked about Ehsaas. Ehsaas as I later came to know is an initiative taken up by a few enthusiasts to espouse community service. The thread then took to me a blog that described what Ehsaas actually did. Seizing this opportunity to do some purposeful, I called them up. Nikhil was the coordinator and I contacted him expressing my desire to contribute to this noble initiative of theirs. Nikhil promptly invited me to attend their next session and I was eagerly looking forward to meeting them.

I reached well ahead of time and kept ambling around the vicinity till it was 5 pm, our scheduled meeting time. Nikhil promptly escorted me to the first floor of the building where they had all gathered. I was greeted cheerfully by three more members of the group, Binoy and Bipin. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Binoy briefed me about the work they did or rather try to do. Just then a petite girl makes an entry flashing a toothy smile. She was Shubhashini, another member of the group. I found her to be very effervescent, bubbly and energetic. I know these adjectives don’t do justice to her actual self. You got to meet her in person to know what I mean. Almost immediately after taking her seat she started pouring in her thoughts on how to proceed with things that till then were going ad hoc. She had a zillion things in her mind and she kept sharing them with an enthusiasm of a child (No wonder she was from my own home town. :) and my heart did skip a beat or two for her ;)). Though all that she said made sense, we only had so much time. So, we zeroed in on having a role based play for that day wherein the students would enact the situation in English. Meanwhile, 4 boys barged in to our room and took seats on the chairs around us. I was introduced to these boys as a new teacher for them. Subhashri took over the proceedings again and briefed them up of the agenda for the day. First we checked upon their homework which was assigned them the previous week. The interest was palpable looking at the dedication with which they had done their homework albeit mistakes were all over. We tried correcting the sentences constructed by them. And I realized it wasn’t easy to make them understand. We wanted to teach them intuitively all the while trying not to get into the intricacies of grammar. It wasn't working though and confusion was written all over their innocent faces. I expressed my concern to the team and they agreed. We had to rethink our strategy for the next time. Moving on the agenda, we came up with a small situation that had to be enacted by the boys. Subhashree scripted it and each of the boys was given a role to enact. It was on effective communication on telephone. Subhashree explained them the basic etiquettes one needs to follow in a telephone conversation. She then asked the participants to take over. The boys struggled no doubt, but heartening was the fact that they latched on to basic etiquettes.

We then had a quick fire round of vocab building where in each team had to speak a word and other team picked the last letter to speak another. Surprisingly the boys had a good repertoire of words, but only they knew their meaning. We split into laughter when one of them quipped with "outsource".

A cursory glance at my watch reminded me that I was getting late for an evening movie. I excused myself regretfully to my team and made my way out. "Nice meeting you Ravi" was what I heard on my move. I turned back to see Dhananjay with a sheepish grin. The boys were learning fast for sure. I waved him back and walked out with my chest a few inches bloated and a spring in my gait.


Nikhil Saturday, June 10, 2006 11:00:00 PM  

It comes a bit late....
But, yes Welcome to Ehsaas :)

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