Clean-up day – as it always is – I decided to clean up my book shelf! While dusting and arranging the books, I found a card that Kate, my friend and ex-colleague had given me on the day of our parting! It is such a plain and unadorned card, but …………………..! It is such a small thing but it makes so much of a “positive difference” I feel. I still remember – there was a smile on my face when I got that card and read that hand-written note that she had put in it. I read it again and when I read the last line – I felt she was telling it to me in person – “I am not saying good bye Sunita, I am sure, we will meet again!”
She came like a migrant bird, overshadowing thousand of miles, all the way from U.S. After a year, she returned like a monarch butterfly, but, she left a lot of colorful memories. And in between these two journeys, she had inspired a lot of young minds and even me too. And I had seen, how skillfully, she brought forth talents and capabilities of kids, out of concealment. I have often wondered, why birds migrate thousand of miles? And, my friend Kate is an answer to that!
25th May 2009
Kate and I joined the school on the same day. On the first day, we had a short meeting with all the staff members – old and new! Just after the ‘self intro’, this lovely lady came up to me and said – “ Cochin and Tiruvannamalai are two of my favorite places in India” – (In my intro, I had said that I am a native of Cochin, but have lived my life for almost 8 years in a spiritual town called Tiruvannamalai). We started talking and within no time, I could make out that she is a person who knows a lot about India and Indian culture! It was evident from every word she spoke!
From then on, we were very good friends! There are soooo many good memories about her – A trip to Tiruvannalamali, an evening at the Osudu Lake, her visit to my house, our usual lunch sessions, discussions on the English lessons, her cooking experiments, her first “saree” day and many many more! But what I love most about Kate is her ‘free and frank’ nature.
This is one thing which I have always noticed about Americans – they are never ashamed about showing their real feelings - especially the good ones! If they like something, they show their appreciation without any hesitation – very much unlike Indians! If they meet someone after a long time, they would not hesitate to extend a warm hug. If they are not so happy, they would not really mind crying out! I often feel, here in India, people are like dish antennas engineered to absorb channels of negative thoughts. If someone does something good, there is no way people can employ their tongues to compliment, but I bet you, there will be a big hue and cry, if someone does something wrong, at least in a very silly way!
Sometimes, I feel, even small kids are so much into this kind of behaviour. There are many instances when I have told my students to stop laughing at others and instead, boost their confidence by expressing their real thoughts! Sometimes, I have noticed, even when they are so much impressed by something or someone, they can not really bring themselves into expressing the real thoughts! Expressing oneself is so important for any kind of relationship, I feel! Positive expressions are always better to keep negative expressions at check!
Yup, I have noticed this always, I am very good at digressing!
Coming back to what I was saying………
Just when I was done with my cleaning, Gauri came running to me and said, “You have a message from Kate Miss, Achan said!”
What a coincidence!!!!!!!!!!! I ran to see the message!
Miss You Kate!