Of Rough Hands and Dreamy Eyes

The Other End Of The Table

September 1, 2019

The first time, I stood
At the other end of the table
In a dusty classroom,
I realized that nothing prepares you
For wide eyes, and vacant expressions,
Some ready to dive in, some unwilling to be there.
Some thirsty to run their hands
On a map of the world;
Fingers tracing the Mississippi,
A small pin, on Vatican City,
And some restless to run towards
A dream with its roots in the stars,
Reminding us how big the world can be.
We say we have learned the countries by heart
And teach them where Madagascar is;
But what have you seen,
If not a village in the mountains,
Through Frost’s poem or
Daffodils through
Wordsworth’s words.
And who are we kidding with the memorized tables,
When the only math we do,
Is count the hours left to get home?
I wish we taught our children to learn to speak
Through hands, and loving through words,
And gave them books to read,
That spoke like Keats in autumn,
To be their best friends.
I wish we taught them to paint
And color outside the lines,
Before we asked them to learn
The Alphabet by heart
But I am hopeful,
Because standing on the other side of the table,
I can give them so much,
Not just a page out of their school books
Or a chapter, some scholar wrote,
Not just a story that they must learn in class,
Or six sentences to write on monsoon,
I can teach them to imagine, beyond these books,
And teach them how they can be anything,
I can teach them to smile at a passer-by
I can teach them to write a story of their own.

Shivanshi Bhadouria

My Dream is a Work in Progress

November 17, 2018

It was the end of another class when one of the kid’s mother walks in and during a conversation tells her little one…

“Sapne dekh le, par sachhai yehi hai
Yehi teri duniya hai, Iske aage kuch nahi
Kitaabi Baaten hai ye udna, aage badhna
To vo safar na kar, jiski koi Manzil nahi hai”

What made me proud was the little ones determination to make it clear to her mother, “I might now not know best, but I won’t give up.
My dream is a work in progress”
They keep saying, “I wouldn’t grow, For where I come from will define me”,
They ask me to dream and deny to stand by me,
But like an infinite possibility
I might now not know the best, but I won’t give up.
My dream is a work in progress.

They tell me, “I’m an heir to their work, this is my destiny”
For sons & daughters take forward this ancestral legacy,
But I refuse to accept a fate written without my consent
I might now not know the best, but I won’t give up.
My dream is a work in progress.

They teach me, “Opportunities are for rich, Acceptance is what I should seek”
After all, I am just a kid, so foolish and weak,
Yes, I am a kid and I choose a life a better
I might now not know the best, but I won’t give up.
My dream is a work in progress.


A Dream in Making

 October 23, 2018

Becoming a dancer with clinquant dresses and makeup on, wearing my big confident smile has always been my dream. I grab every opportunity I get to show my talent. I even go to my neighbor didi to learn dance as we can’t afford expensive dance classes. I am always praised by my teachers in school and they make me stand in the front, leading the others. I would guide my friends with the steps and do a bit of improvisation in between. I have mentioned that when I grow up I want to pursue dance to my parents to which their usual reaction is “beta pahele ache se padhayi karlo fir jo banna hai ban jana”. My parents are very supportive of my dreams and so of my siblings. I have 3 siblings; 2 elder to me and 1 younger. My elder sister is good in studies and also learns computer and stitching after school. When sometimes my mother is busy she is the one who cooks for the family. In fact, I insist on helping but my mother does not let me be near the gas stove. My elder brother is in 11th standard and helps me with my studies and he is the only one in my family who at times scolds me. My younger sister is the sweetest of all. She copies me in EVERYTHING which annoys me but I adore her to the core. My parents are particular of our education and also extracurricular activities. They send us to different classes to explore our talents and passions. Both my parents are laborers. They work very hard to give us the best life possible. I am considerably good in studies and even go to an NGO after school with my little sister and am the only one amongst my siblings who study in English medium. I enjoy those classes and the days we play games are even more fun. After coming back from NGO I play in my neighborhood. The people there are kind-hearted and feeds whenever they make something delicious or special to all the kids in the locality. My masi lives next door and her daughter is the one who teaches me to dance on the weekends. On other days she works in a cinema hall and promises to take us kids to watch a movie one day. I am very excited to go. I have only imagined how would it be. I don’t regret anything in my life. I am more than appeased with my family, my school, my friends than I can ever be. Making my parents proud of me is my ultimate goal in life.


What Does Having A Good Education Mean?

November 1, 2016

A good education provides children with tools to question and seek answers for themselves. This education also instills in the child a responsibility towards their own learning and that of others. It creates eternally curious children constantly discovering and rediscovering the magic in stories, words, numbers and everything around them.

Varsha Varghese,


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