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Daily reminder to self: Nothing is black or white. It's all fucking GREY.

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Love talking about the movies, and teaching it too. I run Breakfast@Cinema with my husband which is about teaching films and film appreciation while also using the medium for learning and development for individuals and teams. Anything to do with giving cinema culture a boost, we're interested!
Looking forward to some great cinema conversations!

I've hardly touched any of my social media accounts for the last ten days that I've been on vacation. So blissful!!

*Going back into vacation mode*

Nature lovers, check out this amazing opportunity for birdwatching in Goa, guided by my dear friend Adil Hussain Ali who is doing great things in the area of preservation of nature, avifauna, and environment conservation. Check out his insta feed too (@adilahaali) for a look into the kind of experience that awaits you. Contact him to register. You totally should. NOW!

Every single time a political story breaks in India, I think of a Soviet writer called Yuri Olesha, and a book he wrote in 1927, The Three Fat Men.

"A clown was reciting a poem to the
music:

These Three Fat Men— so fat are they.

They drink and gobble night and day.

The only pastime that they know
is to watch their bellies grow.

Beware , fat pigs, the time will come
When you will pay for what you’ve done."

Amateur: House of Cards
Pro: Game of Thrones
Legend: Maharashtra State Assembly elections

Crazy, crazy day has taken us more than 11 hours to drive from Calcutta to Bhubaneswar. It usually takes less than 7 hours (Odisha has unimaginably beautiful highways), but for some reason our fast tag card hasn't worked and there have been two tyre punctures. What's really amazing is, my parents, my husband and I are having a ball of a time together despite all these delays.

"Our conscience is like our permanent best friend. Jiji, the cat, represents Kiki's conscience. He is always arguing with her and telling her what to do, but is loyal. Just like a best friend pulls us up, so does our conscience, especially if we have been good." - A 7th grader in our last batch for the month.
What a way to close this month's Learning from Cinema programme on self esteem! 😊

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Having heard some very cool things about the movie from their schoolmates, this class decided to get really comfortable for the screening. The whole idea of a teenager choosing to live independently is empowering for these 13-year olds.

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I was waiting to see how invested teenaged boys feel in Kiki's story. I have to commend them for being so captivated. People learn to discriminate. They're not born with mindsets that pull anyone or anything down. Here's Abhinav talking about how exciting it is for a boy in trouble to be saved by a girl. The boys agreed very emphatically.

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Today's class with 8th graders feels special because they've challenged themselves to watching Kiki's Delivery Service in Japanese with English subtitles. As 13 year olds they're wishing they had as much autonomy as Kiki, but they're also thankful they don't have to worry about paying rent and bills just yet. 😀

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First batch of 8th graders taking time out to write down 10 good things they would see/know about themselves if they met themselves for the first time. An exercise in developing Self Esteem.

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I can't believe how quiet and attentive they are! Absolutely hooked!

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First batch of my 7th graders watching Studi Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service to explore the idea of Self Esteem. They're loving that Kiki makes things happen for herself. 🙂

It is! Thank you, and I know what you mean. I am so often asked, "why does my child need this? Isse usko IIT mein admission milega? job milegi? Aap certificate denge na session ke baad? Arre, hum bhi aise hi bade hue the. Aap keh rahe hain hi humein apne bachche ke baare mein nahin pata?"
It's frustrating. But every time a child shares about an emotional breakthrough they experience, I feel vindicated.

@ideasmithy Societies which don’t have therapy as the mainstay are rooted in empathy and resilience. Something we unfortunately stopped teaching children a while back.

@ideasmithy Mindfulness is helpful is keeping you grounded in the now. Which in turn prevents the pendulum of thoughts from swinging too widely and erratically. The whole idea of healthy mental process is not about avoiding negative emotions (we need them) but to prevent those emotions from becoming dysfunctional for us. So anxiety prepares you for challenge but shouldn’t overwhelm you. Anger keeps you pointed in the moral north but should become destructive. Mindfulness helps that! Makes sense?

One of the most disappointing thing you'll ever hear is "damn I thought you were a cheerful person" when you stop pretending everything is alright and be honest to your truth.

Special appreciation toot for Marcia Gay Harden who rocks as the icy and clever hard-nosed journalist Maggie.

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