Welcome

Sunrise

May we welcome this New Year with lots of love, compassion, civility, common sense, tolerance, respect, goodwill, and loads of smile.

Happy New Year to one and all.

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.

Missing photographs

In the early days of my blogging in WP, I had used high res photographs which took up all of my free space. I ended up buying 10GB for 20$ a year to keep them up. I don’t think that to be a wise option anymore. So I stopped the renewal this year and have deleted those (as much as I could) photographs from my media library in order to allow me to upload low-res photographs. That means there would be some very old posts that would have missing photographs in them. I might have to do some cleanup of those posts, but I don’t have the time and energy at this moment to do it. I might do some over the long Christmas break if I am inclined to do so.

I am also trying to take a backup of this website. I have been here since 2013 and there are so many posts to download. I started the download yesterday and I am sure it will take me another whole day and a half to get that done. Changes are imminent, but when is the question. Until then, I am going to take one day at a time and do what I can do.

Closer to home…

There is so much happening lately here in the UK, specifically. 1 £ coins are being replaced. 5 £ notes are being replaced. An attack happened in a place just two days after we had been there for a parade. Brexit triggered. We saw a raging fire in a distance (at least it appeared so) one evening and it turned out that a flat was on fire a couple of blocks down and no one knows the reason. The whole flat was gone. Thankfully the neighboring flats seemed OK as per the news report. Saturday evening a news article popped up on my Google news feed, which surprised us. We live in the area of Camden and we pop into the Earth Natural Foods shop in Kentish Town for our organic stuff. I like that shop actually. Lots of organic stuff in there and their small home baked stuff are so yummy. I never come back without buying something for myself, except for today. There was this man working there who used to serve us no matter where we were in the queue. We always ended up with him at the till. He always had a nice smiling face, around 50ish, pleasant and even if he was busy with something else if he saw the queue he would drop his work and attend the customers first. Of course, we didn’t know him by name or anything but over a period of time, you tend to recognize the regulars (not just the customers but also the people who work in that store). We pop in there at least once a week.

This Saturday there was a news about a 53-year old man from Camden being held for deportation. At first, there wasn’t any photograph but it said that this man worked at the Earth Naturals shop. And with the description, I recognized him to be this man who always served us. And when scouring the net for more news on him, we found out one with the photograph and it confirmed our doubts. This man whose nickname is Stoly is being held for deportation tomorrow. More details on his case can be found in this article. There was also a #savestoly trending that day. It was kind of weird to suddenly learn about someone whom you see weekly and wave a hi and a thank you and realize that they are in the news and that you might never see them again. It took both of us by surprise.

Mr. Stoly’s story is kind of confusing at this moment. It isn’t very clear as to why after being here for 27 years, he is now being deported to Serbia (he was from former Yugoslavia). How was he allowed to pay his taxes and was allowed to work, if he didn’t have the legal right to do so? If he had the legal right, why is he being deported now? Some relate this to Brexit and Article 50 being triggered and this is how the migrants will be treated and all. No one really knows the background story to this and we are not likely to learn about it either. There has been news about such deportations off late. One more lady in her early 60s was deported to her home country Singapore when her husband (I think he is British) was waiting for her at the care home. No information was given on that either.

In this case, Mr. Stoly was from a country that no longer exists. He has lived in the UK for 27 years and made this his home and was allowed to do so too. If he was found to be illegal they shouldn’t have let him be here for that long isn’t. He has his old mother in his place which is now in Serbia. Will he even know that place anymore? What would he do there? Would the government of Serbia take him back when they do not have legal documents except for his birthplace details and his parent living there? Would he have to apply for another legal document from this new place? Where does he actually belong?  He doesn’t have a family here. But if he had and he was suddenly deported what would happen to the family and his belongings?  When I went to the store today, I hear a couple of ladies talking to the owner about how surprised they were to learn about Stoly and how they are willing to help them help him. Like someone commented, that after 15 years in that store he is part of the furniture now. (On a side note, is that how I am viewed in my current organization? I have been in that organization now for more than 16 years… phew! Time to leave, I guess)

No doubt that this news took us by total surprise. With the travel ban in the US and the families being separated because those who had traveled weren’t allowed to come back to their families and home…Nightmare isn’t.

Everything is changing

Hell down, heaven down
Livin’ in the same town
Tryna find something new
Broken picture frame
I’ve been frozen in
Tryna find a better view

This ain’t real, this ain’t cool
This ain’t what I signed up to
This ain’t right, it’s no good
No good, oh

Everything is changing,
And I’ve been here for too long
Going through the same things
I’ve been hurting too long,
Got to move on
Say I-I-I-I can’t do this anymore
If everything is changing
And I know, yeah, you gotta let go

I don’t understand playing by the same hand
How you find something new
I can’t work it out what it’s all about
I won’t live my life through you

I’ve been here for too long


The above song and its lyrics were part of a post I created close to 2 years ago but it did not see the light of the day for some reason. It resonated how I was feeling at that time and maybe I thought it was too personal to share… I don’t exactly remember why I didn’t publish it. I remember playing that song again and again and again. I remember thinking my life was like a bag of frozen peas. I was in no way unhappy. I was content, I was enjoying life. But there was this feeling of me not moving on, even though I moved on from my previous marriage. I traveled far and wide, loved my gym and the workouts, had great fun spoiling my nieces and nephews…But you get a feeling that I was still holding back. From what? I couldn’t figure out. But that was OK. I have a great support system (family and friends) and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Last year I decided to not play the same hand and try something new. First time ever in my life, I tried dating. It was interesting, having never done such a thing before. Then in a few months, I found someone. He isn’t Indian, but he is more Indian than me in so many ways (sometimes annoyingly so 😀 ). Does that even matter? Nope. But the time and distance mattered. He lives in London (hence my London visit this year) and the daylight savings weren’t helping us either. When he came down to Bangalore last year to meet personally for the first time, it didn’t feel awkward. On the contrary, it was like meeting a long time friend. I told him when we had started talking earlier that if I can’t be friends with him, then it wouldn’t work. I quoted Friedrich Nietzsche to him: ‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages’. Slowly, things started falling into place once we started to get to know each other.

We got married a couple of months ago, which leads to the current move. After the hassles of preparing the documents (which almost weighed 2 kgs and took almost 3 months of preparation) and submitting the visa, attending the interview and waiting with abated breath for the results, I got my visa end of last month. Since then my days has just been filled with goodbyes, packing, more goodbyes, and more packing. I never realized that I knew so many people and so many of them cared about me. It is slightly overwhelming. My maid, even though happy that I got ‘settled down and ain’t single no more’, wasn’t really ready to let me go. She had tears when I told her the news. She was a pseudo-mom to me all these years and I respect her a lot. Today she was asking if I would forget her once I move away. I had to assure her that I wouldn’t.

I thought that my move wouldn’t be a big deal and hardly anyone will notice. But the reality was very different. I had to spend a lot of time explaining to my nieces and nephew why I had to move and none of them were happy about it. My mom had enough time to prepare herself for this and given that I am the only child of hers who is going to be staying so far away, she is both happy and sad. Happy that she can boast to her friends that her daughter lives abroad (sometimes I don’t understand why that is a big deal…is it because of the age-old belief that if you are living abroad, you are living a better life? FYI: that isn’t true. It is just a myth) and sad that I won’t be able to meet her whenever she / I feel like.

I am totally exhausted, now that all the packing and cleaning is done. I have got my flight tomorrow and might be off the grid for a few days until I get to my unpacking, once I reach London. Everything is changing and this is the next step of another phase of my life along with a partner, who is all the more happy to give me a helping hand 😉

So yeah, I will catch up with you all again from a different country and a different city. Until then, take care, happy blogging and be safe 🙂