Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Lesson in Resilience

A  year has gone by with very little excitement! Nothing much has changed during the time since March last year. The holidays, journeys, travel, meeting people almost nothing to talk about. But yes, there have been some exciting moments that bring some cheer even in times of despair. 

One day I got a  call from an acquaintance who was a principal in one of the schools where I briefly worked post my retirement from the active corporate world. She asked me if I could teach Physics to Class XII students who were preparing for their board examinations. Without batting an eyelid, I gave my consent. From the next week onwards the biweekly classes started which meant more homework for me than the students. Revising all the NCERT books, the principles, theorems and above all the numerical problems was a daunting task. Day after day, the best way perhaps to spend time under lockdown was to pore over the books for the classes in the afternoon. Come July, and the dame luck smiled once more with more requests for teaching online for all kinds of subjects from Class VII onwards, leaving little time for my own reading. Fortunately, I had enrolled for the Spanish course on Duolingo just around the lockdown to learn the language.

When I look back, I consider myself so fortunate to get involved with these activities. Teaching children from a deprived background in online classes kept me busy for six days and the later part of the evening was dedicated to learning Spanish. So much so that my wife joked that during my entire career I had never worked on weekends except on some stray occasions. Currently, the children will call me frequently for holding their classes even on Sundays! I must confess that this has been one of the most rewarding time. Even after completing the examinations some of the students have requested me to go ahead with their classes for the next year's academic year. What more could one ask for! I am touched by the dedication of these children who are prepared to study any day of the week, at any time on their smartphones that they borrow from their parents and login from their tiny homes. Despite the hardships that they face, they never come up with any excuse. Just before their examinations some of them asked me to conduct their mock tests and also give practice from the previous year's question papers.

A blog friend Manjulika, also assisted me on New Year eve ( 2020-21) to conduct a workshop on painting on discarded bottles, plastics etc to bring some cheer. (See the post-

So many people I come across complain about what a bad year that last year has been, despite enjoying the comfort of their house and enjoying good health during the raging pandemic! On the other hand, such children, whom I had the opportunity to interact, have taught me more than what I could teach them -'A lesson in resilience'.

PS- Pic of a recent workshop in the NGO


  1. Your presence and dedication is commendable Cdr Bhatia. The patience with which you teach and humbleness with which you execute. You are an asset to every organization. Wish you more positivity and great health.

    1. I am grateful for that very kind comment! It is a matter of pride to be associated with positive people like you who do so much effortlessly :) Wishing you a good health and abundant energy too! BTW your blog is lovely!

  2. That's wonderful to hear about, and I loved the way you dedicated your time to the underprivileged education, where their future lies. Hats off