Pep Talk

I was invited by school faculty to deliver a lecture on ” How did I manage to score 6 A* and 1 A in my IGCSE exams?”

I started off by introducing myself and the subjects I chose. I talked about how in order to achieve something you have never achieved before, you need to do something you have never done before. I realised how it was difficult for me to talk about my strategies as I never documented them in a systematic manner, but followed them because it was natural to me. I was stunned at their innocent and frank way of querying, which resulted in this formal ‘lecture’ turning into an informal ‘talk’.

Some of my strategies that I shared were:

  • Sort out your priorities.
  • Revision for the win.
  • Key points of a concept are the ‘key to success’.

I told them how important it is for one to not cheat in their exams or take any sort of shortcuts to score good marks. I also urged them to act with integrity as studies balanced with principles can overtake any kind of shortcuts you might be lured into taking. I also talked about how one’s aptitude can determine his or her career and therefore should perform up to the optimum level.

In the Q and A session that followed, a student asked me to share my notes with them. For a moment, I was baffled because I didn’t really make any kind of notes for most of the subjects; I only tried to address the concepts in a non-written manner. I understood how the international issue of everyone being unique had been touched upon. I promptly responded by saying, ” The notes you make for yourself are the best notes for you”. I also advised that scoring marks is not quintessential and one should not ignore their health, family,etc. I think this is a major issue of concern as scoring good marks is put next to winning in life, which is not the case every time. I believe that kids are like fresh, wet cement; the impression you give them, stays forever.

The faculty was duly impressed with my comprehensive approach and also praised me for abiding by “Honesty is the best policy.” I ended the talk with thanking the faculty to give me such a wonderful platform to address younger, dynamic minds.


An informal group photo at the end of the lecture.

An informal group photo at the end of the lecture.

With my fellow classmate , while delivering the lecture.

With my fellow classmate , while delivering the lecture.


Reflection on cooking:

It’s been a year of learning cooking, once a week in my school. It was an activity that I took as my arts special classes. As I already knew how to cook, there were instances where I was the only one been praised for my perfect work (“practise makes a man perfect”). I had learned many recipes. We had been taught about +50 recipes.

I knew many of them, but the challenge in here was to do it in a different order then I usually use! For example, in the beginning we were given the task of making perfect round Roti (Indian bread); and the tools which I used while making it at home and the technique was all different, which resulted in taking lot of time and also there were times when it use to get it torn from the middle, because of applying a lot pressure (physics everywhere, when will it leave our backs!!!).

In the initial days, we didn’t have our kitchen ready and were given a temporary space (a space for only two people to work, whereas we were about 15) to work. There also were times when we all (15 people) had to cook together and many of us had no work to do except for watching (which is a tedious and insipid job!). At this point, many of us started to have issues with each other as we all wanted to work and learn more than the other gets to, but at the each end of the class when we are done with cooking we feel good about it and these fights don’t seem to be a problem (coz as we say, “When ends well, All’s well”).

By the end of the year, others (my companions) had left the class because of their exam preparative leave and therefore Disha (my friend) and I were the only ones left to learn. At first we used to think how we will be able to manage but then it turned out that because of their leave we had more work and we could learn more and connect better. There were a few recepies that I had also tried at home after learning in the class. The best part about it was that they were easy to cook and as delicious to eat.

At the end of the year, we have to showcase our skills and knowledge learnt throughout the year. So for this year, we (all the students learning cooking in art special classes) decided to keep live kitchen, where we will sell food (Frankie, Mexican Bhel, and watermelon juice) that we had learnt during our classes, and this all was recorded and projected on our dinning area’s LCD screen, with it visitors were also allowed to have a walk inside the kitchen while we were working. For the same event, we were given chef coats, and name tags (this made me feel like a real chef! It had felt so good!). I was assigned to cook Frankies with my juniors. At the time of rush hours, I was actually working with two pans, 10 ingredients, and a lot of pressure of piling orders for Frankie.

I had loved this experience more than any other and felt good after doing so. IMG_20160124_154849 IMG-20160208-WA0095 IMG_20160214_103148

Reflection on Dancing:

I had taken a three month course of learning and improving my different types of dance skills. By the end of the course I had learned a couple of dance forms such as Contemporary, Jazz, Salsa, Bollywood, hip-hop, Lyrical. When we were learning hip-hop and lyrical, that was the time that I enjoyed the most, also I use to find myself giving so much effort, while learning, that my cloths used to get drenched in sweat. I use to go 5-6 days/week right after my school use to get over. Due to this there were times when I was too tired to do dancing, although by the time the class was about to end, I would have gained so much energy and would have rejuvenate so much that I would want to do more.

At the end of three months course coincidently we had a dance carnival (something they did every year at this time of year), where we were going to perform. For that, we had been preparing from about a month before final recital. We were doing contemporary and had to perform in front of an audience due to which we had to bring our dancing to a whole new level and had to practise hard. Me being one of the non-dancers in our batch, there were step that were too difficult for me to do; and even though, my body use to ache due to unusual movement of body and tight schedule, I overcame the problem and was able to do the steps correctly; although it took me about a week or two to do so.

As the days passed, I started to realize the efforts everyone was putting in, just to make this carnival the perfect one, and for the same we (as students and performers) had to begin being on time. It was difficult, as I had to make it really quick with eating my food and getting ready (which is a challenge for all women existing on this planet), but I use to try my best. The most challenging thing was my exams and the show. The show was in between the days of my examinations and because of it I had to really be punctual and not waste any on my precious time. There were times when we had to meet up with all the batches and practise on the stage, on those days I really had to take my books with me just so that I don’t miss any of it.

On the day of the carnival, I could see all the people so excited to do their best and enjoy, off course. As the performances were getting over and ours was getting near I could really feel my heart beating a second faster. Our performance was one of the most praised ones (after all we all disserved it, come on! We had worked hard for days).

Because of this activity, I had started to make new friends and I also use to enjoy my time spent in the evening after so much of work out; another way for me to sweat while enjoying and keeping my not so fit body, fit. All though, I had joined the dance classes for completing my CAS requirements, I enjoyed my classes so much that I continued for more. Over all, after so much sweat and work out and fun and dancing and making new friends, I enjoyed being part of this amazing experience.

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Reflection on volunteering in Kalakriti:

It was an inter-school Arts competition, which included drama, dance, music and visual arts as different areas where people could participate. Our school was the host of the event and hence had asked me to do anchoring. I had volunteered to help as an anchor, but also ended up in helping with registrations. I had an option to do anchoring at many different places, but as I loved to see different dances and always use to end up being there, I decided to anchor at the place where dancing competition was held. I had to work with one of my friends, and so that I get equal opportunity to do anchoring, we decided to split our work.

When we had reached the venue, I got to know that we were having troubles with registrations because of which we had to wait before we get the dancing competition started. So instead of just waiting around, I decided to end the process of waiting by providing my help. Due to my help one of our teachers got free and was able to do the rest to start the competition. I had missed a few dances because of this and also parts of my anchoring work (which I feel sad about) but it was one of the interesting jobs and later I felt happy that I came to good use, which fulfilled my intentions, to come and help here, properly.

The worst about this event was that I had to wake up at 6 in the morning to be on time and had to speak and help continuously for about 8 hours without stop, due to which I ended up having a sore throat and drinking warm water for the next few days. It was kind of a tiresome work, but I learned about registration processes a bit.

I had an experience of anchoring in the public once before and hence I thought it would be similar, adding fillers, entertaining audience and so on; but to my satisfaction I got to know that my part of job included just speaking out the names to audience about who is coming next and see to it the judges know that too. After knowing this piece of information, I felt good that I had gone up to helping in with registrations. I enjoyed my time being there, I got to see many dance, and be with people. Overall it was a good experience.Picture1

“No one has ever drowned in sweat.” – Lou Holtz

Basketball – Participation in U-19 girls tournament (District level)

Basketball is a sport which I have been learning through years, but participating in any basketball competition was a rare thing for me. With the fear in my head that, ‘the team would lose because of me’ I never had that courage to take a chance and be a part of our school basketball team. Every year our coach would select me to be a part of the team, I would make an excuse and not participate. This year the realization struck me that these are the last two years of school, and that I should build the confidence and have trust on myself

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Outside the boundaries  of the court stood our coach, who guided all the players throughout the game. I didn’t face many problems because our coach and the captain of the team would instruct and support us each time. I felt awkward being a non-experienced player, which by the end of the day was removed as I got familiar with that atmosphere. From the morning till the mid-afternoon we were there on the court.  We did warm-up before the matches and a motivational speech was presented. I was very nervous before the match. We were all screaming and telling each other what to do during the matches. As our team would score a basket we would all hoot and hug each other.

That day of the tournament was a day of victory. We stood first and the happiness was defined.  I was not an experienced player and therefore compared to others I played for less time, But that time was enough for me to learn. While playing the game I learned to trust others and I learned  to rely on my team-mates.  Basketball is a game where we have to highly depend on our team members, so clear communication and high cooperation was something which our team portrayed. I decided to put in my 100% effort and I also tried to demonstrate the tricks and drills which the coach had taught us during our practice sessions. My strength is that I play on 45 degree which requires to maintain the coordination between the other players. Fair play and maintaining the ethics of the game was something which our coach strongly believed in. Not to demotivate other players, to respect the referee, etc. were the points which we had to keep in mind during the tournament. Though I made many mistakes during the match, it was a worthy experience.

Reflection on Plantation

This was our first trip of the year. Moreover, this was the first time that I would have been doing plantation. I was really excited about it. The place where we went was Janki Van which is a new botanical garden in Vasada. The motto behind this activity was to plant more trees and save the environment. I felt really obliged to get the opportunity to help the workers out there who plant a number trees every day to make sure that in future people have a place for leisure and face no problems. We were given different tasks which we had to complete in a team. These tasks involved planting, digging the ground and moving plants from the truck to the ground. I was very skeptical about doing these tasks as I had never done them before. These activities seemed to be boring at first however when we actually started doing it, it was fun irrespective of that it was extremely tiring under the hot sun. We had 15 members in each group. To complete our work faster than the other groups we mutually decided and divided the tasks which made our work easier. All of these activities involved synergy. Working collaboratively helped us complete our tasks faster after which instead of sitting ideally and passing our time chit chatting we did extra work, which helped the workers and this involvement by us made them happy as they could see our dedication. By interacting with workers, we got to know a lot about plants. It was a lot of fun in helping them and gaining knowledge at the same time. They also shared their experiences of working under the sun every day and how planting gave them happiness. They were really happy seeing us over there helping them and so were we. Workers over there were really friendly, they taught us everything very patiently from techniques of planting to how to plant actually. They did not lose their temper at any point even when we were unable to do it or we made mistakes while doing it. I felt good to have grabbed this opportunity because this was the first social service I did with all my willingness and putting in all my efforts. The practical experience taught me of working in a team enthusiastically and how our little efforts can have a huge impact on the environment and eventually result in a good cause. The ethical implications that were related to this activity involved working properly in the correct manner and respecting the workers as well as their work. I felt a sense of pleasure after we completed this activity as all of us were successful in planting a lot of trees collectively for the betterment of the society.


Reflection about Creative Mela:

For this event I had decided to work with a partner and organize the whole event successfully, but I saw failures in my actions and thought that as I am not giving any ideas and instead of taking leadership, I am doing the worked asked, I resigned from my post. Although I resigned, I wanted to be a parted of Creative Mela so I participated to take a workshop of Stomp Dance.

As I had initially thought of taking up a challenge of managing the Creative Mela and was not able to, I thought of taking up a workshop which was challenging again. As I had recently been learning dancing I thought of applying my skills here as well as learn a new dance form.

A day before the workshop, I learned about the number of kids in the workshop, the time and the rest of the details; with deciding upon what will I make the children do while the workshop and planned accordingly. For my help, I also searched for dance tutorial and tried to imitate the step shown. On the day of Creative Mela, I realized that I had not book the venue and hence we will not be able to have an appropriate place to dance and conduct our workshop.  To my great fortune, there were two of my friends that wished to conduct the workshop with me, one of them having a great background to dance. With this, I decided to divide the kids in three groups and each of us leading one. At first I gave all the kids some brief background to what is stomp dance, and later without wasting time we started with making new moves. To make the workshop more interesting I decided that each group will compete with one another and learn. This turned out to be great as every kid wanted to win and hence had put their 100% in learning.

Although, I left the post of an organizer, I felt good that I had taken Stomp Dance Workshop as at the end of the workshop I could see kids enjoying and wanting to learn more and not leave. This was one of an amazing activity that I did, and I enjoyed it!fdftvgv

Vasnda Plantation_19/7/15

This was our first field trip of the year. Not only that it was the first time I was going for a tree plantation program. I was pretty excited to know about it. The place where we went to was Vasnda. Just, a little before Dang. Vasnda was a great place and it had a lot of barren land. So, the government had used that land to construct an enormous garden. We were asked to come there and contribute and help the workers there. I was pretty excited. Social service is something i enjoy at some extend. I felt lucky to get the opportunity to plant trees to a place, which in future will be used for hundreds of people as a place for leisure. We were given different tasks to do like planting the plants, moving plants from the trucks to the ground, digging the ground. We had a group of 15 people. We all mutually decided and divided the task so that the given task is completed faster and we can do more of it. Synergy played a vital role in all the tasks given to us. We all had to be committed to what was assigned to us to finish the tasks faster.Working in team helped us complete the tasks before and time and so we did other extra work to help more rather than just sitting ideally after finishing the assigned task. It was a lot of fun interacting with the workers, helping them with their task and learning from those experts about plants, how are they planted, why that technique is used etc. The workers there were very happy to see us and we were glad to be there helping hands. I feel proud to contribute my little efforts for a good cause The activities were planned very well and those people made sure we enjoy the activities. I did not make a “Quantitative Goal”, my aim was simply to do as much as possible and give 100% to whatever work I was given and moreover to enjoy the tasks and do them willingly with zest by showing active participation. I am glad that I selected this as my CAS activity.Without CAS, I don’t think i would’ve got the opportunity to do something like this that will help for the betterment of society by giving them a place to have family picnic or have fun during holidays or weekends, etc and also planting trees that will lead to the betterment of the environment. I feel proud to take the decision of going on this field trip. I learnt a lot of things like working in a team, how our little efforts can help the community for a good cause. I thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in this activity. It was pretty fun interacting with the workers over there. They were very friendly and demonstrated different skills and taught us the process of planting trees, how to dig the ground properly, which plants are to be put on what side and why that has to be done. The ethics that we applied is to that to do all the tasks given in the correct manner with honesty and not doing things which were not allowed. Abiding by the rules that were told to us there and finish all our work with utmost integrity. We achieved success in planting a lot of trees and achieving our group goal of finishing the specific assigned areas and tasks.

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Football Subroto States_7/9/15

We had finally made our way to State Level. The districts more than a month ago. We had to practise hard for the tournament to keep our record of being the state champions on. Also, this was the last subroto cup we will be playing as Team because of age limitations. We had plenty of time to practise for the tournament and make ourselves ready for the state level competition. Due to a lot circumstances and limitations, we could get into practise more often. Extra practises got irregular, team practises rarely happened as some of us play multiple sports and their competition were also scheduled during this time period. Some of the senior players backed out due to their circumstances. Our spirits were down already. The dates did not come when they were supposed to and got delayed. Just 3 days before the tournament, we came to know about it. We were still a little confident because we were playing on this level from past 3 years and had plenty of experience. So, we made up till the Finals in tournament but could not be the champions. And that was the time when we learnt the significance of hard work. Apart from what happened and the reasons we lost, there is one lesson which Subroto Cup taught us was Team Work. It taught us the significance of teamwork and coordination. It made us understand that Football is all about synergy, it is all about how well you can play with your own team members. As it is correctly said “We win as a team, We lose as a team.” Football being a team game, every small or big effort made by  anybody makes a difference. Every single shot, tackle or defence done by anyone of us helped the team. I figured out that I was pretty comfortable playing any position given to me except the goalkeeper. I played the position according to our situation in the match. Sometimes, defence, midfield or striker. The efforts that I made for team made me realise my significance, it made me realise that I was an integral part of the team. Not only me, but all of us played keeping all the fouls and violations in mind. Though sometimes we thought that the referee was biased, we still controlled our emotions and proved ourselves by playing our natural game. Though the opponent team violated the rules and tried making us injured, we controlled our anger and followed the ethics of the game. Though we get angry or aggressive but we don’t become violent in the game.  Overall I am glad that I participated in this tournament and took this up as a CAS activity. I grew as a person, I realised a lot of things which I couldn’t have realised elsewhere.

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Reflection on Garba Fest

I was one of the Heads of Decoration Department, with my co-head worker Muskaan, in a student-led event named Garba Fest. I was really very excited for doing this job. We both had a list of works to be done, which we had divided to help us reduce our burden as well as reduce internal conflicts that could have occurred, although we did work together and helped each other in making decisions.

As decorating things take a lot of end moment efforts and time, we had started planning for things well in advance so that we have a bit less last-minute jobs left. I had the task of making poster for photo-booth background, rangoli and collecting props for photo-booth.   For the work mentioned above I had started working on it from a week before.

The biggest challenge that we had to face was to get a quality work done in low budget. Due to this we had a lot of things from decoration that we either had to remove or reduce the price through bargaining.  This also had increased our task because we wanted things that were not available at low price (even after lot of request made to the shop keeper) and some were not available at even rent. In the end, we had borrowed a few things from our friends (which I am grateful of), a few we got rented (we were lucky enough) and few had to be bought (We tried our best).

On the day of the event, we got the job of all the lights, speakers and fans in place, all the food stalls were set-upped, getting the photo-booth ready with the props, and background posters, and creating rangoli. Many people had appreciated the work that we had done (luckily no one criticized), letting us know our scale of success achieved which made us feel proud of our efforts taken.

Through this activity I had improved my Management and creative skills. I also improved my skills of working with a team. In all, I enjoyed my work and the whole event.IMG_0123 picture1017

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