Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014: Gratitude

2014 has been the year that tested my tenacity in more than one way. The year posed many challenges on both the personal and professional front, which took away incredible amount of energy from me. I wanted to end the year on a high, but on the contrary, I am feeling at my lowest ever. My marriage, being the largest exercise in managing egos of diverse stake holders, took away my focus from my classroom. My students, who were on the path of transformation, have now lost the momentum towards their goals thanks to my distracted inputs and the absence of my co-teacher and thought partner.

I am mentally tough and well planned, which has helped me deal well with the stress, but I am disappointed with the permanence of the outcomes which my dedicated effort in the classroom have yielded. Everyone tells me that I have fared fairly well considering the circumstances. For me, these two years were not about surviving, they were about pushing the limits of my belief, of what I can achieve. I have managed to achieve push boundaries for myself, but that hasn't been the case for my kids.

The crucial thing is the year is still far from over - I have 3 months left. I need to plan and carefully channelize my energy towards effective inputs that have a lasting impact on my kids. Before that, I need to get back into a positive frame of mind and there is no better way to do that than showing gratitude.

I am thankful to my wife Pallavi (she is now :) ) for understanding why my work is my first priority during the fellowship duration. I have never been forced to choose between my students and her, because she has always been willing to sacrifice our time together for the sake of my students. She is truly my "giving tree".

I am thankful to the Jafari team who have become my strongest pillars of support. Without them, I would have found it incredibly hard to maintain my sanity. I am thankful to Sarvesh, who has made a huge sacrifice for the sake of my school team. I am especially thankful to Piyali and Neerja for being patient listeners and selfless friends. I can't even express how much Rajesh's presence and advice means to my team and me, despite him having moved on from Jafari.

I am thankful to my children for showing love and patience in what has been a difficult two months. The warmth with which they welcome me when I returned to school motivated me to work even harder for them. They have been open and honest in their feedback and constructive in their inputs. I am thankful for writers of songs with meaningful lyrics because they help me bond with my class better.

I am thankful to Saba madam for showing me what grit and selfless commitment looks like. She is an inspiration. The educational scenario in India would be different if many more people had a mindset similar to hers.

I am thankful to my younger sister Niki. Her high standards of achievement and focused inputs always encourage me to push myself to excel at everything I do.

I am thankful to my friends and family, who have repeatedly compromised on their time with me when I was faced with unplanned demands on my time. Among them, I am especially thankful to Ankita who has been superbly supportive and a real best friend, despite the distance that separates us. Like Pallavi, she never has had any expectations from me, but has always been there when I needed her.

I am thankful for the challenges that have come my way, for they have taught me the value of optimism and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.

I am thankful for my ability to plan and prioritize. For the first time in my life, there have been phases where I haven't had a plan in mind and these phases have been the ones that have disappointed me the most. Henceforth, I will always plan both on the personal and professional front - before I start execution. Efficiency and effectiveness are always a turn on.

As much as I am saddened by what happened in Peshwar, I am thankful for the attacks because they have reinforced my belief in what I do and what I want to do for the rest of my life. Coming around my marriage, they have made me see the importance of events like wedding ceremonies that bring people together, rather than divide them.

No comments: