Author: Nirmal Kaarthick

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The day begins with the alarm , singing away early morning. Kitchen comes alive, followed by the laptop. Emails checked and some replies fly out from the kitchen counter, while waiting for the vegetables to cook.“Which one of you is teaching the extra class slot today? Do you need your breakfast before or after?”“Me! I’ll […]
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Respect – The magic ingredient

At the end of a training day, we are all walking back to the closing circle.“Ma’am.. Just like how we get training, do the volunteers who come also get training?”“We don’t do a training – but yes, we meet them and run them through the day, help them prepare.”“Not the teaching part – I see […]
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Dreams vs Realities

“Ma’am! How much will a computer cost?”I shared.“What about a laptop? I also hear that a tab can be used like a laptop or computer”“What about a smartphone – what is a decent smartphone?”I shared.She says, ” I really want to read, learn – I see that in that one hour I spend on the […]
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From curfews to celebrations.

“What are we looking forward to?” I ask“Local elections! Pongal! Kanavu camp! Meeting volunteers!” the Sura women call out. “Hey we missed new year!” said one! “Ma’am get us a bulk order which we’ll have to deliver within two days, closer to new year.. We’ll give that as an excuse to keep stitching until midnight […]
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Rainy Days

“I saw on news about today’s rain holiday when I was just about to leave. Decided to come to school anyway – can sit and get some work done, so I can be in classrooms once children are back,” says the Head Mistress. Armed with her bag, umbrella in one hand; lifting her sari gracefully […]
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Full Meals.

The space outside school had suddenly transformed- an otherwise quiet road was suddenly noisy. Music blaring from the loudspeaker, little kids dancing around, families walking in and out of the temple- little shops had sprung up from nowhere- selling little clips, plastic toys, and bangles to vessels. The whole space bore a festive look and […]
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“I can never learn to stitch. It’s not meant for me.”‘Do you want to try starting with hand stitching? Are you scared of machines?’“No no. I’m not. Give me time till end of margazhi (a Tamil month) when we’ll start sowing for mallaata (groundnuts) and then I’ll come”‘But you’ll have to take care of the […]
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