Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning on the way

Learning happens all the time and in the most unexpected of places usually. ( I am doing another post on that more in detail) I wonder if this is got to do with learning as being the fabric of  life on earth, while we inhabit this planet as human beings. I love the magic that comes with this kind of learning....when you are always open like a channel, to receive all that the universe has in store, especially for you.

We were driving down the East Coast Road, on a Saturday morning, with a long list of errands to finish off......yes all noted down as a list, carefully tucked away in a corner of my bag....things that we had to do and could not forget. But then, when you make your plan, the Universe makes one that over-rules everything else!

We stopped by at the garage to get the person to check something in our car. While we were waiting by the side of the road, I looked out of the car window to see the most amazing sight! I gleamed and exclaimed " wow!", just like a little child does in wonder. Raghav turned from the front seat and smiled. I asked him to look out of the window. He saw what I had seen and beamed. Both of us opened the doors and got out. We crouched and looked carefully at the little magical world that seemingly faded into oblivion in the hustle of a busy road.

We saw baby caterpillars and their pupae hanging from wide, big leaves, over the wall, on the side of the highway. There was a little ecosystem brewing there in front of our eyes! There were a few baby caterpillars clinging to the leaf as the morning breeze threatened to airlift them. We saw a little spider scurrying along and hiding under the cover of the leaf. We saw some brown and white speckled pupae hanging from the leaves and dancing in the wind, undeterred.

caterpillar by the road side

pupae dancing in the wind
caterpillar and spider sharing the space

Raghav had so many questions, and so did I. We spent the next few minutes chatting about what kind of caterpillar it must be, compared it to the one we saw while shelling peas at home sometime ago, wondered whether it would grow into a butterfly, discussed its life cycle, wondered what leaf and plant that was, if it was feeding on that one; watched how it moved along and stayed undeterred while the breeze blew strong and hard, wondered how it must feel to hear all the blaring noises from the passing traffic....and so much more...

This was learning that came from the busy road-side, not from textbooks and was learning that was timeless and not confined to a defined space....learning that happened in ten minutes that did not need flogging and repetition that numbs one's mind....learning that happens in the most unexpected places and at the most unexpected times, that awakens the inner child in every one of us and draws us unwittingly into its magical realm...where one forgets who one is - the learner or the teacher or both...

Why would we confine learning to a particular time, space or person, when we have the whole Universe to show us the way?


  1. HI! priya,
    How are you?
    I don't know whether u still remember me, I have done my TTC with Anu, preetha gang in 2000.
    I have been reading yr wonderful blogs here and is truly amazing.
    I greatly appreciate yr courageous effort to keep yr son away from the large ocean of children who are into the mundane school routine and discipline laid by a few individuals.
    I have one daughter and a son, whose age difference is just 15 months with whom I tried initially for 1 year, and it was too much for me to handle. Then I just started sending them to the school and just supporting them from outside the school circle.
    I am staying @ IIT kanpur.
    Great writings and very very inspiring.

    best wishes,

  2. Of course I remember you Guha! How can I forget "the gang" - you were my guinea pigs in a way! :)
    Thanks for all your generous comments.
    Glad to hear that you tried keeping them home for a year. Each one's path is different and unique. Each one must be honoured.
    I am happy to write and share our journey as writing is very fulfilling for me and acts as a release too. If my writing inspires you and others, that is like a double bonus for me! Very happy! Let me know when you come down to Chennai, and we should try and meet up if possible.


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