Sep 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Bau:)

Dinesh da is writing an article on the blog for Bau for his birthday, and he asked us all to send some of our experiences. So I got inspired to write this post. Dinesh da being my teacher I love following his footsteps:)
What should I write about Bau or should I say what not to write. As some rightly say Bawa is a phenomenon, when you meet him you can only feel awed and wonder!

Let me narrate you a recent incident... I was at the ashram last weekend for the TRM (teachers refresher meet).All through the TRM I was desperately waiting for the moment to meet Guruji. I was damn upset about something going on in my mind and I wanted Guruji to answer my questions. Questions to which I knew only Guruji has answers for. So I was waiting, waiting and waiting for the moment to arrive. And finally Guruji called the YES+ teachers to meet him personally. There were many people and I was waiting for my moment with him when I could ask him my question. Just after a few minutes of the meeting he dismissed it and asked us all to go. I experienced a storm of emotions as I was feeling dejected and angry. I was so upset that I could not hold myself and tears rolled through my eyes. I walked away from the crowd to hide my emotions from others. But guess who noticed, it was Bau. You really don’t want to be noticed by Bau, specially in such moments. This is what followed next…..

He caught me by my hand and with a silly grin and a naughty tone he asks me, “What happened, why are you crying”. Two seconds later “Tell na What happened,tell na”... The expression on his face was surely not of concern, to me it looked more like that of delight:) “Tell na” he continued asking me. Tears were still rolling from my eyes. He notices and says, “If you are looking for attention then Cry properly na”:) :) :) I could not hold my laughter at that ☺ I finally confided my feeling to him and at the end of it I thought Bau will now come up with a PRECIOUS ADVICE for me. This is the VALUABLE advice he gave me.
WHAT!!! What has board games to do with this I thought…

But that’s the way he is, so very practical. You can be anything but serious around him. He makes living a play.

Yes!And that’s also been my journey with him, last 8 years, filled with fun and life. He has mastered the skill of simplifying the most difficult and complicated subjects that relate to life into something so simple.
Let me give you an example
So, a Yes+ participant asks very seriously, What is the difference between Happyness and Peace? Bau answers: Happiness is the feeling that you get when you see the toilet door open when you REALLYYYY wanna go, and what follows immediately after that is peace of Mind:)

Could you have ever thought of it like this, genius isn’t he?

Though so very playful he is the most sensitive person I have ever met. He is extremely intuitive and has several siddhis. I remember we were at the Gourmet shop in inorbit mall. And I could barely stand because I was having a severe headache. Bau understood this . He asked ,do you like olives(he had one in the hand) 'an olive was the last thing on my mind' and I said, no not at all. He puts the olive in my mouth. And immediately the headache disappeared:) That’s not it from that day onwards I started liking Olives so much that I eat away all from Shashwat's and Siddharth's pizza slices also:)

I feel so very grateful to have had a mentor and a guide like him in my life. One who broke all concepts in mind and made life like a play. It’s just Ok to be yourself around him. No facade or formality is required. You can just be so natural around him:)

I have been so lucky to have received so much affection and love from Bau.
He is a friend, a mentor and an inspiration to me.
Love you sooooooo much Bau. YOU ARE SIMPLY THE VERY BEST:)

A VERY VERY VERY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. May you live a long healty life.

With love and Regards


Sep 17, 2009

I received an email and I was inspired. I take the priviledge of sharing this with you all. Please do read.

dearest friends,

I completed 3 months today! ( as a teacher ofcourse :)

3 months, i have been teaching in my classroom, working tirelessly to achieve my Big Goal.3 months, i have realised that i have 4 different learning levels in my class and my Big Goals will need to change. 3 months, i have invested in my students to believe they "can" and more importantly that they "want". i have invested their parents in believing that their kids will one day achieve their dreams.3 months,i have spent hours in the community, understanding why pradeep never does his homework, why saahil will not stop being violent in class, why pooja still doesnt know how to read.

 3 months, i have transformed my dull and dreary classroom to reflect the greens, purples and oranges i see in my kids everyday. 3 months i have walked through the lanes of sanjay nagar and pathanwadi which is a different world altogether.3 months, i have persevered to teach 45 kids and still cared enough to learn all their names and what they want to be when they grow up.3 months, i have differentiated every thought, every instruction, every assessment to ensure that every child is pushed to his or her potential.

 3 months, i exchanged ideas, and learnt from the other TFI Fellows, my programme manager, training mananger and some amazing corps from Teach for america and teach first to continously improve myself as a teacher. 3 months, i have battled with sore throats, lost my voice but still continued to chant Read Baby Read with my kids everyday. 3 months, i have survived food poisoning and threats of Swine Flu and have still progressed student achievement without even being in the classroom. 3 months and i have influenced the other teachers in my school to stop using sticks but manage with marbles and traffic lights instead.

 3 months, i have questioned and critiqued systems but have also reflected on why i am here and not in a corporate office. 3 months, i grow to learn new things about myself everyday. 3 months, i am the change i see in my kids today. 

3 months. i embark on a challenge.

Two years. and i help the other 86 fellows to build a national movement.

as i reflect on my responsibility , i plead you to shoulder some of it. JOY OF GIVING week is being celebrated all over the country from 27th sept- 2nd oct.. plz be a part of it and share the joy with my bacchus :D Any teaching aid or material you think will be of use for my class room, pass it on to me. At teachforindia, we believe nothing is a waste.From matchsticks,icecream sticks,rags,marbles,junked laptops and projectors etc we make use of anything and everything to teach math and other subjects. Send it over and trust me i will account for everything in my classroom. Old notebooks/ story books are welcome as well. some of my kids come in with no money to feed themselves during breaks. u can donate parle- g biscuits. Anything which lies unutilised in your home will be a boon for my kids. Please junk them away to me.

Lastly, if you cant find the time to search for any of the above and if you have decided to gift me for my 22th birthday(or for all the birthdays you missed gifting) please turn in any of the story books or stationary (charts, colours, glue, scissors, blue tack) If you are busy to find the nearest crosswords or oxford, though i hate to think so; . you can just call in on 9819761907 anytime to tell me you love my kids and care for them. we will figure it out, how you can help them!Or Just pass the message to your close ones,friends and acquaintances.I will be happy to share any information about teachforindia and the kind of work we do.

Finally, i plead to the little thought in your head and little voice in your heart which always wants to make a difference in this country. I dont have any illusions of being god's gift to this country.But i know for sure that i'm in the last mile of this country and if you wish see the change you want to see,here is the easiest connection.I'm here at your service 24* 7. plzz foward it to all in your mailing list.

P.S -- watch a short film on what we all are exactly doing. 
tfi short film-

mtv interview of 2 fellows -- 

Indira Aditi Rawat
Teach For India Fellow.
class teacher- 2B
Divine Child High School
sanjay nagar,
malad east,

"One day ALL children will attain an excellent education"

I know Aditi ever since she completed her YES+ course. She is intelligent, hardworking, focused, bright and extremely inspiring. She is actively participated in all our seva activities and is regular with sadhana and satsang. She is a role model for the youth today. She represents what our youth is capable of ,only if it decides to contribute.Truly remarkable Aditi:)
The entire YES+ team is there with you to help you in anyway you may need.
Jai Gurudev

Sep 8, 2009

First Ever SKYPE DSN!!

A walk from Vishwamitra to Ganga Kutir with Bawa can be very interesting...for many different reasons. Many different things can come up - laughter, wisdom and sometimes SHOCK! So casually Bau mentioned 'We will do the Bombay DSN on Skype'! When I found my words a few seconds later, I tried to come with all possible "logic" to convince him otherwiese - an excercise in vain.

But when I realized there was no way of changing Bau's mind on this, I decided "Now that we are going to do it, lets do it 100% and have fun with it". After all, Bombay has been the YES!+ Trendsetter city and lets keep up with the image. What followed next was lots of phone calls and sms's to our 'unconditionally enthusiastic YES!+ teachers and volunteers', and preparations for the first ever DSN on Skype began.

Remember how Dinesh Bhaiya says, "Turn a bug into a feature". Thats exactly what we did. The USP of this course became Skype - and we told people that here was a chance for them to be a part of a revolution - to be creating History. How cool would it sound when they would boast to their friends saying, "You know the first ever DSN on Skype - I WAS ON IT"!! :)

The course began with 50 lucky souls in Goregaon. I reached Bombay on the morning of the course, and when I went to the hall, it was not a pretty sight. There were technical glitches - cords missing, compatibility issues, sound problems, wireless connectivity etc. We worked hard, prayed harder and somehow got it up and running. The first session was crucial - and fortunately pretty smooth. The second Bawa's and Dinesh Da's smiling faces flashed on the projector screen, smiles and claps echoed and remained till the end of the course.

There on it was a smooth ride. Of course we had our share of lost connections, and 'Can you please repeat that', and the camera getting stuck making Bau's face look very funny, but we never missed the essence of it. The participants took turns to grab the front row seats to be visible on the camera, and there was no dearth of Bawa's wittisms, and Dinesh Da's serene presence was virtually as effective as the 'in-flesh' version :)

As Vasudha put it, "With a very heavy heart we admit that the course was a big success"! It was a double edged sword - We have achieved remarkable success but at the same time, we run the risk of more such courses and less physical time with our dear duo!

I must compliment the Seva Warrors who made this possible. Some fantabulous cooking by Nivedita and team (The Dhanshak was so yummy that we did not get a chance to miss Bau even for that)! And Kudos to Prashant, Vibhu and the Goregaon YES!+ team for their superb work! They even raised money to get the entire food expenses sponsored!

Dhanshak getting virtually blessed by Bau! :)

It was a great learning experience for me too.
I now know what Guruji means when he says, "Reality is only restricted by your imagination"!!

Btw - Bau told Guruji about this course and He was thrilled!! :)

Satsang with Harshal :)


Its time to announce results of Quiz no.1

Arnav and Shashwat are dressed as


A student's distinction lies in his devout pursuit of knowledge, and not merely in his heritage. This manifests in a splendid manner in Ekalavya's life. He worshipped an idol of his 'Guru', learnt his lessons in archery in the Master's absence, and mastered the art. When his master desired the thumb of Ekalavya's right hand as a fee, which might cripple him, Ekalavya smilingly sacrificed it. A boy who had grown up in the forest thus developed into a great personality - a fine example for others to emulate.
A student's distinction lies in his devout pursuit of knowledge, and not merely in his heritage. This manifests in a splendid manner in Ekalavya's life. He worshipped an idol of his 'Guru', learnt his lessons in archery in the Master's absence, and mastered the art. When his master desired the thumb of Ekalavya's right hand as a fee, which might cripple him, Ekalavya smilingly sacrificed it. A boy who had grown up in the forest thus developed into a great personality - a fine example for others to emulate.

And the winner is PANDA (Mamta pandya)
You won a dinner at the Grand Hyatt with Vasudha and Virat :)

(If you looked carefully there is an extra thumb in Shashwats hand.That was the clue)


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