A note on my three blogs

A note on my blogs

(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...

(2) vio; sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!

(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.


Monday, 11 February 2008


I went to school this morning and seven kids were there; sitting on a big sheet in the yard of the school, in two rows. Two of them very dirty; all of them very cute. I have never taught kids before - but then, I don't think a Western experience of teaching would be of any use anyway! I started saying hello in Hindi, to which they all burst out laughing. For a while I just sat with my friend and the other two teachers; obviously it was very very informal. I sat for a while saying nothing and looking at the kids because I just didn't know what to say. The other teachers asked a couple kids to stand up one after the other to count in Hindi and/or English, and to recite the English alphabet. But apart from that no kid speaks English at all. I was probably as embarrassed as them. I eventually asked them their names and ages, in Hindi. A couple kids didn't know how old they were. They all answered shyly and I had to ask them to repeat what they said. I asked for their names a few times to remember them - it's not easy to remember Hindi names because they all sound very odd to the Western ear! I'm getting used to Hindi though... The 'class' didn't last for long, about an hour maybe. I asked why: because the kids have never yet been to school and so it is good for them, for a start, to get used to coming to a place and sitting nicely for a while and go. I must admit I was relieved when the other teacher sent the kids back to their homes, because I also need to adapt to this new experience! I need the rest of the day to process all this information and gather some inspiration til tomorrow.

This morning Vijay and I managed to get up early; 6am. Thanks to him who wants to go for a walk early morning from now on. Last night I had asked him to wake me up, and I too will try to get up early, go for a walk and then go back home for yoga and meditation before school. It was rather difficult to walk that early and in the cold, but right now I do not feel more tired than usually. Since my birthday I have needed to sleep less, somewhat miraculously. I have also been putting kajal in the inside of my eyes before bed, which is said to help for tiredness and work as an eye-cleaner, so maybe that did help me? I do not know but I will carry on putting kajal anyway and see...

Quite a few of Vijay's friends have asked me to teach them English now. I am not quite convinced that they would be that studious though; most of them prefer to hang around in the streets and catch tourists. They learnt English that way. They can communicate well although their grammar is poor and their reading and writing even more so (if not non-existent). So they keep asking me to teach them English but would rather joke with or tease me. I have been hanging around with them for a while now and, quite frankly, I am getting a little tired of it. I did not come to India to hang around - though it has been very much fun and part of the learning game, of course. But now I want to start serious work. And I am glad it is finally starting with the school. One of Vijay's friend has always looked more serious and honest to me, and so we have decided I will teach him English too. I see that he genuinely wants to learn English. He is less silly than the others and his eyes shine more. This early morning Vijay suggested that decide to go and see him on the way, because he's been telling me that he milks the buffaloes every day at 5am and then practises yoga on the rooftop of his farm. So we thought it would be funny to check out on him! When we arrived his sister had to wake him because on this occasion, he said, he had had to go to bed very late. I have always believed him. We spoke a little and agreed that he would start coming to see me tomorrow morning at 8.30 for English school.

After I got back from the walk, I did meditation and yoga. When I came out of my room at about 8.30am, Ashish had not waited for tomorrow but already come round; he was waiting for me near the temple opposite the house waiting to start learning English. He had also brought a notebook and a pen. So I sat with him and started. That's when I realised he couldn't actually read or write. English AND Hindi. I paused. I started writing the European alphabet in his book, and with the help of Vijay's little brother we wrote the corresponding Hindi letters also. Thankfully he does know the English and Hindi letters so he won't have to memorise them... But I had to explain to him how to combine consonants and vowels to make syllables...

He is 19 and he cannot read or write. But in two months, with all my heart I do believe that he will do...

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