Worth it


So, you teach your kids to be honest. And your Friday conversations pretty much start to sound like –

Student -- Miss aja ta hami ghara janey miss.

You – Pardaina aja chahin sabai jana last period samma basney hai.

Student (very innocently) – Miiiiisssssss aja ta hami bhagera janey miiiissssss.

They come up with the weirdest questions and the weirdest logic.

So, Manindra comes to class with his new Korean look half of his face covered behind the fringes.

You tell him -- Oh Manindra tyo kapal attti lamo bho, bholi katera auney hai.

He gives you this really serious look and then asks – Miss, Amrit Sir ley kapal katnu huncha ho miss.

Amrit ley chahin kina kapal katnu hola hai.

To which he answers even more seriously – hoina kya miss, Amrit Sir ley dari palnu bha cha kya miss, tyehi bhaera Amrit Sir ley kapal katnu huncha hola miss.

Gaeka ta thiyaun English, Maths ra Science padhaun chaun vanera. Padhaunu ni padhayaun.

But then when I look back over the two years I feel like teaching English was only a part of the fellowship, it was so much more than that and it is the other factors, that give you a sense of fulfilment and happiness.

It is small yet profound little incidents that just brighten up your day and make it all worthwhile.

It’s when that kid who just didn’t get tenses, after explaining in class, doing exercises and even playing games, in the middle of pair share, as his friend is explaining it to him, jumps up his eyes shining and says, abbba chahin bujhyo miss, brings a smile to your face.

When that girl who never ever ever spoke in class after one and half year finally stands up and says – Miss ma answer lekhchu and goes to the board and writes the answer, you feel that lump in your throat as her eyes shyly yet proudly meets yours.

When a kid actually makes an effort to speak in English and asks – Where are you going miss and tops it off with why miss, your heart swells with joy.

That day when you ask the class -- aaja koi bhagyo, and the whole class resonates in one voice – ‘chhaina miss’. That feeling of content. Took over eight months to get there, eight months to believe and stick to your ways, to not break the promise to yourself that you would never hit a child to make him follow the rules, and finally they all stay back.

That day when clouds are looming low and you tell your class to hurry up home and not stay back for the extra classes as there might be a huge downpour and they say – Nai miss hami ta najaney, hami ta padhney. You just stand there and takes you awhile to just say bhai hal cha ni.  

When that girl who is always laughing and dancing, one day shares her story with you and then says, miss tapai ko mukh herda ta malai kasto mero mummy ko jastai lagchha miss, sanchhi vaneko miss, malai ta tapai ko kattti po maya lagcha ta, and you just stand there with your eyes brimming with tears, cause aafulai ni yo fuchi ko kati po maya lagcha ta.

It is this beautiful amalgamation of many many such moments that makes the fellowship what it is.