Skip to main content

Little Things, Big Differences #PathshalaFunwala

In an ideal world, Laxmi would not be sweeping the floors.
She is a smart girl about to cross the 16 year landmark in a couple of months.

The sporadic usage of English in her speech is impressive. It impresses almost everyone, because no one expects anything better from her.
A maid knowing a few words of English is wonderful. No one thinks it is in any way needed to help her to, or even expect her to improve.

‘When elders get cozy, youngers don’t put nosy’ – a crazy phrase spoken by Ajay Devgan’s character in the movie Bol Bachchan. What he was trying to convey was that youngsters should not interrupt or interfere when grown-ups are talking.
Anyway, the point is we were watching this movie where the ridiculous usage of English was part of the comedy.

Laxmi was watching also watching it with us.
“Is that what I sound like?”, she whispered to me (in Hindi). “Does everyone laugh at me behind my back? Should I stop trying to speak English?”

Laxmi used to go to school back in her village till about a year and a half back. She used to live with her grandparents there. Then her parents decided to bring her to the city with them.
Suddenly, the carefree school life was gone and she was working as domestic help.

Before she started working at our house, she had been working in the city for about six months.
At times, a random comment from her like, ‘Money is no guarantee that a person has manners’ would imply that she had some not-too-good experiences working in the city.

Once in our house, she settled in quick. Within a year, she had become an indispensible part of our household schedules. And her struggling English speech made us feel proud.

We would correct her once in a while if she made a mistake, but more often than not we are too caught up in our own lives.

When Laxmi whispered her insecurities to me, I realized that we did not expect any better from her, because she worked as a maid. It struck me how unfair it was that her broken, spattering usage of the language and her passion for wanting to improve, did not make us want to help her learn better.

This ad changed things:


I told Laxmi about it. A call to Nihar Shanti Amla's Pathshala Funwala's toll free number 8055667788 changes things.

Now, everyday when I would come home in the evening, Laxmi would excitedly tell me about what she had learnt that day. Right at home, she was learning each day.


At times we forget how little things can make big differences.

*  *  *
I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda

*  *  *

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Absurd, yet so good (Book Review - David S. Atkinson's Not Quite So Stories)

Title: NOT QUITE SO STORIES Author: David S. Atkinson
Publisher: Literary Wanderlus LLC
Pages: 166
Genre: Absurdist Literary Fiction
The stories of David S. Atkinson's Not Quite So Stories are, for want of a better word, weird.
They are not your typical short stories and they are certainly not what I had expected.

So, the 'not quite so stories' are weird, atypical and unexpected. And I enjoyed reading them. Read between the lines and you'd be surprised by their depth.
Read them superficially and they are 'absurd'.

The author's dedication for this book is
"For Shannon, who graciously puts up with my absurdities and loves me anyway.
Also for every third person named Fred."

When I re-read the dedication after having read the book, it held more meaning. Thus my use of the word 'absurd'.

The stories are very well-written.
The humor, the emotions, the terror - it is all subtle.
The paradox is that everything is exaggerated and yet the underlying message is sub…

The right and wrong of choices #WriteBravely

"You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both" - Brene Brown
And it is ok to choose comfort. 
This is my first instinct when I read this quote. Not because I don't feel that choosing courage is the wrong choice, but because it is implied that one should choose courage.
Ideally, we would all choose courage and lead perfect lives. 
"Life is unfair" - such a clichè and so very true. As true as the facts that the world is imperfect, the destiny is not in our control, and that life is uncertain. "You get what anybody gets - you get a lifetime" - Neil Gaiman
I think my instinctive reaction of 'it is ok to choose comfort' comes from my being a mother. I have spent years counseling my kids that at times, you choose what is right for you. 
Many a time I feel happier waiting rather than taking any immediate action. And waiting takes a lot of courage.
So, yes make the choice between courage and comfort. Choose courage even.  But decide for…

Blogging, Parenting, Nutrition... lots of fun - Blogger's Meet

#CatchUpOnGrowth - the Indimeet that launched Horlicks Growth+, discussed parenting issues, clarified many nutrition confusions, and as is common with all Indimeets, pampered bloggers and celebrated blogging.










The session started with a discussion among Dr Rajiv Chhabra (HoD of Pediatrics at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon), Ms Satinder Kaur Walia (a psychologist), and Dr Jyoti Batra (Head Dietician at Batra Hospital). This discussion, moderated by blogger Natasha Badhwar, about nutrition for children and parenting in general was a very informative.




There was much to learn from the session. Here are lists of a few things I brought back with me...

Malnutrition has remained the same over the years, but obesity has increased. Worse still, parents are in denial.
Obesity is not only a health/medical problem. It leads to psychological issues for the child too, such as being bullied, teased, etc.

The many tips I am taking home on nutrition. Most of these are relevant, not just for children, but for ever…