How To Keep Warm.
Leave home at 6.30 a.m., freezing your butt off (sometimes cursing under your breath). Shove your hands into your pockets. Take deep breaths on your way to school.
Be greeted by a sea of little people and a chorus of excited squeals. (Seriously, though, is anyone in the world more energetic at seven a.m. than children?) Graciously allow the little people to squish you and burrow into you: “Didi, kitni thand hai!” Imagine yourself to be a wave in the sea of little people, and float to VI-A.
Turn to the blackboard. Scribble. Every now and then, whip around and direct appropriate Looks (capital L, always) to the ones who are distracted (most will be; make your peace with it and move on. Teach them to toe the line without losing your voice – or your head….something that, admittedly, is far easier said than done).
After blowing your whistle – which makes you feel like a crabby PE teacher – flit from group to group, deftly and gently pointing out mistakes and how to rectify them. Yell “silent hands!!!!” when your ears are assaulted by endless cries of “Diiiidiiii, mere paas aao na!”
Revel in the fleeting moments of complete quiet, which – unfortunately – are so short-lived that they might not have happened at all. Feel an indescribable combination of pride-irritation-gratitude-anxiety-appreciation; swinging on the pendulum of emotion and holding on for dear life.Realise that love balloons in the centre of your being, where your heart is.
Know that you will cry tears of gratitude, frustration and exhaustion all in a day.
Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Trust the little people and their eager faces. Sometimes it will be easy; sometimes it will be so difficult that you will go home and cry. Fall headlong into vulnerability. It is the only way.Most important, when you’re cold and stressed and anxious – and it has outward manifestations – remember that those very little beings who drive you up the wall are the ones who give the tightest, squishiest, warmest hugs without you having to ask.
Please, keep yourself warm in the winter.