“I was born in a small town called Vansda in Gujarat. My father was a banker and hence my schooling was done in a lot of different cities. I did my kindergarten in Indore, my early primary in Ratlam, then Bhopal, Dewas and then my secondary in a tribal district, Jhabua near Dahod. For my higher secondary I went to live with my paternal grandparents. Ours was a huge family. There were like 4 uncles, their families, my grandparents and me under the same roof in a huge house. So, there was always something going on in the house and it was quite challenging to focus and concentrate on my studies. And since I had taken Science it was imperative for me to study well. Those two years taught me a lot as to how to concentrate despite what is happening in one’s surroundings. And I was very close to my grandparents so I really loved being there and could understand how special their love was. I also realized the importance and value of joint family. After that I did my B.Sc. from Ujjain and then later in Bhopal. But even while I’d taken science, my heart was always in Arts. I wanted to go deep into literature, psychology, history and all.. So after my bachelors I did my masters in literature from one of the best colleges in Madhya Pradesh. All through my education, all my teachers had been very supportive and immensely knowledgeable and I’m very grateful for their guidance.
I could always teach my younger siblings and cousins in a way that it always stayed with them. And once my mother watched me while I was explaining something and when I was done, she had such a huge smile on her face that I still remember. So, after I got married, I started working as a cultural co-ordinator that helped me a lot to learn how to manage any activity in a school and I used to love it. Later, when I’d gotten my B.Ed. degree, I was placed as a 4th grade English teacher. So having worked as both, a cultural coordinator and a teacher, I’d gained a sort of an expertise in handling both: Imparting knowledge as well as planning events. That was my first teaching job and I got so comfortable with my work that when my seniors offered me a position to teach in senior classes, I refused. After refusing twice, my supervisor directly ordered me to start teaching in higher grades which, at that point, I thought was unfair. But it was one of the best decisions taken for me. My seniors asked me to work beyond my capabilities and not within my capabilities. After that incident, I made the same sentence my working motto. And it has helped me so much in my entire career. And now, it’s been 15 years that I’m working as a supervisor. I’ve been teaching since the past 20 years and I feel there’s a lot of change in students due to various factors such as the extreme exposure from movies, tv and most importantly the internet. The students are aware and can also teach us something new every day. So, it’s very important for teachers to now stay updated and teach kids the most recent stuff. And nowadays, I feel, the children are at their most testy nature in their teens. Before and after their teenage, I believe they are more or less the same person underneath but during their teenage, they turn into very different people. So, it’s very important to help them and guide them during that time. And there have been multiple cases, where I’m very happy to say that I have been successful in counseling them and helping them out. And I consider that my greatest achievement.”

Any message?

“I believe in the proverb that says, ’Spare the rod and spoil the child.’ While I believe that beatings are unacceptable but there should always be a fear of repeating a mistake in a child so that they think before doing anything that might be wrong, which, I believe is less in today’s children. India is still fortunate enough that there is no provision against parents being strict with their children. Otherwise, I believe the entire foundation of our culture will collapse.“ Children must consider themselves privileged if their parents and teachers are strict! Remember ‘Pressure creates diamonds!’

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