Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 1 – FLAME

After Travelling down the hill and engulfing in the beauty of the mountains and the lush green golf club that I saw on the way  I finally arrived at FLAME institute and wished it dint have to be summer. For this place would have been heaven in the winter.

A not so familiar place, 300 complete strangers, scorching heat, a lot of hustle-bustle happening around, these factors are enough for somebody like me to feel like Alice in wonderland. LOST.  I have no qualms jumping into situations like this, its post the jump I have issues with. To connect with people I don’t know, to bond and develop relationships, it is just not something that comes easily to me. I will take my time. And it is just day1 so I try and think there is no need to be apprehensive. I’ll make friends eventually.
Anxiously I look around, some smile, some seem as lost as I am, some have animated conversations with others, some are talking to a bunch of enthusiastic kids. Having entered into what felt like an oven, all I could think of was gulping down something down my dry throat & eat something to appease my growling stomach.
Having done both, I felt better and geared up for the next obvious thing-REGISTRATION. I move from one procedure to the other and after about 6 long exhausting hours (the heat was getting to me) I finally complete the registration formality and make my way into the TFI family. I WILL TEACH FOR INDIA.

Later in the night at dinner I looked around again and thought, most people here are so warm, bubbling with energy and welcoming be it the new fellows, TFI staff and even a few kids who had accompanied the existing TFI fellows. Coming from an IT background this is something you don’t find. If you don’t know someone they wouldn’t stand smiling at you. The chances are they will stare at you top to bottom like you are a statue and move on.

The kids especially came to all the tables conversed with everybody. At their age I would have shrugged my shoulders if strangers asked me questions, and been coy and ran away from them. (I still might) The confidence these kids have amazes me.

So by this time I had met a few fellows, got to know where they come from and found it quite intriguing that there are people from all walks of life. A lot of them like me have quit their IT jobs because staring at your computer and being locked in a small cubicle just wasn’t enough, Bringing life to characters sketched for animation movies wasn’t fascinating enough, For some it was time to give back after having taken a lot, to be useful post retirement, and some of them are here just for the sheer joy they get out of being with kids. I thought they all looked so vibrant and their brightly lit eyes carried a hope that they are here to be a part of a revolution and will be making a huge difference.


The feeling hasn’t quite sunk in for me yet, but today I go to bed with a lot of uncertainties as to what is in hold for the next few days. Will this training be enough for me to handle a class? Am I really going to change my kids in the classroom? Does this really mean anything to me? Am I good enough for this responsibility? What is next post two years fellowship? Will the next few days answer these concerns? I don’t have the answers but I remember reading “The birds of hope are everywhere, listen to them sing”. I am being hopeful to figure them out. WAITING IT OUT WITH PATIENCE!! 

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