Dead Good Thoughts

In the recent times, we have watched some documentaries or series which are based on pensioners, most of them popular. Hard to Please OAP’s, The Real Marigold on Tour are some of them. Don’t ask me why. It is one of those things that you unconsciously start doing without realizing that you are turning into a pensioner or simply getting old.

Now, without digressing anymore let me tell you about this series that we watched. Miriam’s Dead Good Adventures. I am not sure how many of you will be able to watch this series, but I am glad I got the opportunity to watch it. Death is not a favourite topic of conversation. Even though it is an essential one, it is very difficult to bring it up conversationally and be able to talk about it freely. We feel like we are jinxing ourselves. That is why I am glad to see this 2 episode series.

In this Miriam tries to confront her fear of death and attempts a few things that are being done in different places to help her with that. She also talks to a few people who have had a brush with death or who are close to the edge. There are lot of things that are covered in these episodes, but I was glad that my doubts were also discussed.

I have never been afraid of death. I am afraid of not being able to function to my full capability but never about death. I have had two schools of thought and I keep changing from one to other at various times. Do I like to have some time before my death or do I want to have a quick and speedy death?

I am a planner. I like planning stuff and getting it done and ticking the items on the list and feeling happy about it. I am not manic about it, but I like it. I like to see that I have sorted my affairs without causing much trouble for others. So, for very long I have been in favor of having some time before my death so that I can sort out my affairs, make sure my folks know my laptop and account passwords, they know what I have written on my will and how it has to be executed, where do I want my ash spread (I want to be cremated after donating as much of my well-functioning organs) etc. etc.

Now for that I would have to either know my time of death (through astrology probably or some other magical means), or be given a time range because of some incurable disease. Now that throws up a question. It is not very easy to predict someone’s death time (even though I have heard that astrology can help you with that), and the other option means that I would be suffering an incurable disease. The fact that the disease is incurable or it is in a stage where it is incurable means that it is going to be a lot more painful that my monthly periods and that is something I hate. I hate my menstrual cramps. Anything else I can bear. Would I want to suffer that pain?

When I think in those lines, I move towards the other option. Wouldn’t it be great to just drop dead and not feel anything? Let the others who are left behind deal with what is left of me, because I wouldn’t know or care after I am dead, would I? Now just thinking about this makes me feel not want to choose this option. I get very tetchy when I don’t set out what I want after death, but again would I even know if my wishes were fulfilled once I am dead? Would my soul hover around those to whom I have given the list of things to do and haunt them until they do it? Since I don’t know about that, there is no point in me actually taking time to sort things out isn’t.

Now the whole post went in to a rant mode didn’t it? You see what I mean when I say I am not very sure of how I want it to be? Of course, at the end, I might not have a choice at all, as is mostly the case. Would I give up and ask them to pull the plug? I might. Depends on what the situation is. But having let my thought process out and wondering what my next option on that would be, I know that deep down I would love to have a little bit of time at least to say goodbye to the people I love, one last time. Would I have enough of good karma to have that time? Only time will tell.

A new year, a new change

Changes are never easy. For a person who loves plans and scheduled agenda, life does throw a lot of curve balls. In all honesty, it also threw me enough lifelines to survive through those changes.


The decision to leave a high paying software industry employment and to join the education industry wasn’t an easy one. It was done after a lot of thought process and a few voluntary works in the school (after my DBS checks were cleared, of course) to ensure I was making the right choice. That I still had it in me to pursue my favourite profession of younger years. No one was proud of me than my mum when I did make the change as she was a teacher for a while before she had to give it up and she knew that I had always planned on being a teacher, no matter the subject.


I was also lucky to be in the right place at the right time because here in the UK, there was a need for teachers who could teach the science behind computing rather than the ICT that was taught in the schools. My move could not have come at a time better than this. I landed my first ever teaching job in a private school who were looking to expand their computing curriculum in their secondary school and there I was. Win-win for both. I was thrown at the deep end to figure myself out, but thanks to all the resources and online courses that were available and the help of my lovely colleagues, I swam safely to the shore.


Having been in the teaching profession for almost a year and a half, I can confidently say that I made the right choice. There is never a dull moment. There are so many stories that surround you every day that it would be foolish to not enjoy them and soak in the experiences. It also taught me something or the other every day. I never knew or understood about the SEND inside or outside schools. I did not know anything about ADHD. In India, these aren’t specifically addressed in any way in any schools in my time (not that I am that old). I am not sure how it is now. At least from what I know of my nieces and nephews schools, they aren’t any significant changes so far, but there is recognition. I never realised how varied the abilities of the children in a classroom would be and how difficult it actually is to cater to all of them. I had forgotten what it was to learn as a child, how fast they assimilate things and how lazy they can be too. The challenges that come with the children of this day and age being digital natives was another thing. They had an air of self-confidence that comes with them handling digital devices with so much ease that they think they know it all.


It took me a term and a bit to dispel the belief that computer science was all about coding. That the curriculum caters to much more than Scratch and gaming. It was hard work because I did not have anyone to help me through my subject and I had to learn from the results and change my delivery accordingly. I had to make a conscious effort to make the lessons more accessible and more interesting every single week. After 6 terms (which is 2 academic year) I am very happy with the results. There is always room for improvement on my side, but I am very glad that my efforts have started to pay off and at least 75% of the students are interested in the subject and want to pursue it well. I have seen some students who were shy and reserved in the previous year starting to engage and do well in all aspects of the subject (theory and programming). This is the part of the job which makes it very satisfying. I couldn’t have asked for such lovely and warm colleagues, who made some of the tough moments bearable. I wouldn’t have handled the job with such confidence without their help and care. The job, sadly, also comes with a lot of data handling. Sometimes I think there is too much focus on gathering the data rather than doing the teaching. The ratio of actual delivery of teaching to the creating and managing of the data related to teaching is almost 1:3, which ain’t good, as far as I am concerned.

In the software industry, there is always something provided by the organisations for a better work-life balance as the work can be very strenuous (irrespective of whether the employees end up using those facilities or not). I wonder why such a thing is not enforced for teachers. Considering the amount of stress involved in the job and the lack of funding in the education sector, each school should have a way to help the teachers manage their stress and give them a proper work-life balance. I tried to throw in some ideas related to that but it never took root. Hopefully, it will be considered in the future.


I will always be grateful to the school for taking a chance on me and giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do most and I am equally glad that I could deliver to the best of my abilities. As it always happens, there has been a new development and that means a new change. I have been given a new opportunity in a new place in a new setting with regards to teaching. It is an opportunity which is too good to be missed. So, I will be missing my school, my students, my awesome and always supportive colleagues and making my way to a new and a different pasture this new year. Any change brings with it some anxiety, some doubts, some worries, but hopefully with the help of the love and support of the people I have in my life (Mr M, of course, and my friends) I will find my strength to swim my way through this sea of adventure.

When Mr M became a celebrity – Part 2

Continuing our journey from Coimbatore and Mr M popularity over there, we travelled to Pondicherry / Puducherry (as it is called now). Puducherry was a former French region and you can see the remnants of those areas, streets, people living there. When we entered the city, Mr M commented that he was glad that he wasn’t the only foreigner around there and that he had spotted quite a few on the streets.Β  We had a huge drama on the day we arrived in Pondicherry, thanks to the hotel we had booked and the driver we had hired for the trip. Let’s just say that we had to book a hotel then and there and also ensure we got a new driver travelling from Coimbatore overnight to ensure we still have a driver for the rest of our journey. I would have driven the car if it had come to that, but I really wanted to enjoy my vacation without the hassle of driving.

After sorting out all the problems thrown at us, we started the next day to book our Auroville Matri Mandir visit for the day after. We had no expectations of Auroville so it was quite surprising to see how huge it was. We didn’t stay there much longer as we had our visit planned to Chidambaram. We stopped by the beach for our lunch and there were two movie shootings going on. I was trying to get Mr M to appear in at least one of them, given his penchant for Indian dances and such πŸ˜‰ But sadly it wasn’t his day. We were shooed away from the place because we were seen in the background somewhere in the dance scene. It wasn’t a popular movie anyway. πŸ˜›

Chidambaram is a very popular Hindu Temple. It has references to the Cosmic Science and you could see the idol of Nataraja in CERN too. My brother wasn’t quite sure if non-Indians were allowed or not (because some of the temples in South India, at least, have strict rules) so I had to check before we made the trip and it looked like we would be OK. As usual, Mr M was the only foreigner in that place and people seemed quite happy to ensure that he got a good darshan. We had a good darshan, went around the temple, took our time seeing the murti’s (idols) etc. When we were at the outer praharam (pathway) we came upon a few school kids (6th grade). So far, people went about their work, hardly bothered by a foreigner amidst them. But these kids were different. One of them (she was the gang leader) said hi to Mr M and he smiled and waved back. That was all the encouragement she needed. She called to her friends (total 6 of them, 4 girls and 2 boys) Seeing that I had a camera with me and was taking photographs of anything and everything, they gathered around us and demanded that I take their photographs too. I told them that I wouldn’t be able to send the photos back to them, but there weren’t bothered. They also wanted Mr M in the group photo and the girls wanted me in their group photos too (#GirlPower πŸ˜‰ ) And then the volley of questions started. Where is he from? What does he do? Why is he here? Was I his wife? Do I have a baby? What language does he speak? etc etc etc. I was the official interpreter. It was quite funny to interact with them. Then Mr M offered to teach them some Gaelige (Irish). They were so excited. He taught them Good day (Dia Duit), Good bye (Slan) and another one which I have forgotten. Of those three things, they only remembered Slan. It was getting late for us and we had to get back to Pondy which is a 2-hour drive. We said our goodbyes and they responded with Slan until we turned around the corner. The whole temple heard their goodbyes in Gaelige. Mr M was very happy that he was able to bring Gaelige to Chidambaram even if it was just one word. We apparently made those kids day because they will have a story to tell their acquaintances about this Irish guy who taught them to say goodbye and we were glad that we met these lovely kids out there and share some good time with them and brought home memories (and photographs).

I told Mr M that any more interests in photographs/selfies with him will incur 20 Rs cost for the people. It would be a good business decision to do so πŸ˜‰ In Auroville the next day after our trip to Matri Mandir and lunch etc, we decided to try cycling around the place. Auroville is home to lots of Europeans who moved there and are living there for years and years. It is a global city and has its own citizenship. He wasn’t an odd man out there. So I left him to find his way and I cycled a little ahead and waited for him. When he didn’t arrive I had to go back to check on him and found him being part of a selfie by another visitor πŸ™„ I knew I should have stuck to him and got my money.

The funny part is that when I try to take a selfie with him (and I suck at taking Selfies, so I have to try and take more to learn) he grumbles and mumbles. But throw in a stranger and he is alright with selfies. When asked, he said that if a photograph with him makes them happy, who is he to deny it. Grrrr!

Not just the places we visited, the restaurants we go to, there are two or three waiters are ready to serve him and then they stand close to him to attend to him. It is quite funny and freaky too. He was a little bit uncomfortable with that in a couple of places. But that goes with being a celebrity, doesn’t it? With popularity comes some awkward moments too.

Overall, he was glad to have those moments of popularity and that he could make someone’s day too. Travel is not just about visiting places, it is about these kinds of moments too and we had many such good moments during this trip.

OK to walk

It has been a year since I was in India. In Bangalore, I have always had a two-wheeler (scooter) and a car. So I am used to driving everywhere. So when I came for the summer break to Bangalore, it was odd not to have the transport readily available (I sold one and left the other in my hometown). One thing that I have developed over the year of using public transport and walking as much as I can in London is that this time in Bangalore I have walked at least a km or two every day based on what work I have and where I have to be. For the past three days, I haven’t thought twice about walking around and I know that earlier I have had my reservations about it. It is still dusty, still very polluted, no proper footpath for pedestrians, still honking vehicles, but in spite of all that I am OK to walk around. It felt good. Since I had much work to do and it usually takes a whole day, I end up not relaxing or exercising. So I am using the walking as a form of exercise. It is not doing my sinus or allergies any good, but then my allergies have been there for a long time now and this isn’t causing any additional damage. If it is not the high pollen of London then it is the dusty roads of Bangalore. One way or the other it is going to affect me so I have decided to just take some precautions and leave the rest for my body to try and heal itself.

The one other main difference was the price of the autorickshaws. They have almost doubled over the year or so I thought. I nearly had a heart attack the first day when I hired one. I forgot how much internal damage these vehicles could do to your organs. I haven’t travelled in one for that long because of owning modes of transport. Thank God I had some light breakfast.

Hopefully after this week, after getting all the essential legal and financial work completed, I will relax and enjoy the vacation.

If I get good WiFi I will also try and post some photographs πŸ™‚ Stay safe and Keep smiling.

It feels forever…

…since I penned something on my blog. I am on the half-term break but still, I have so much to do that I get stuck up on those activities and blogging takes a back seat. I have been having this sinus and allergies flare up for the past three weeks or so and this crazy weather is not helping me one bit. The only good thing is that since I have started having the homoeopathy medicines (something I have never tried so thought of giving it a shot) I am at least sleeping and that is the best I can expect as of now.

The one other consistent thing that I have been doing irrespective of how busy I am or not, is reading. Been reading the murder mysteries left, right and centre and watching our set of TV seriesΒ  (detective series).

Thanks to Mr M we managed to watch all the CSK cricket matches and was very glad when they won this year’s IPL T20 ( he watched a few more and managed to keep track of each and every single match πŸ˜‰ …yeah, he is crazy that way with respect to sports in general)

One thing that I fail to keep up is the latest news unless it is in the top 10 of the list, I haven’t been checking it at all. Keeping up with the kids in school is my top priority. Man, they do take up all your attention. Never a dull moment, I say. So many characters, so many stories, so much variety and so much to learn every day. I am enjoying it.

I am trying to keep up at least with my regular posts (Tuesday Tunes, Wordless Wednesday, WPC etc) and so far I have been successful and pray that I will find time to do those at least in the future.