Three’s a Jolly Good Fellow… Reflecting on 3 years with ETASHA: Parul Mehra

Parul Mehra

Celebrating completing 3 yrs in Etasha!!

Seems like I have been here longer but the memories are as crisp as Kurkure……What made me decide to join ETASHA was Dinesh’s speech at a certificate ceremony in 2008; he spoke with so much sincerity and honesty about how ETASH had helped him with his anger among other things Wow!! Great that someone can admit that he has a problem with his anger, and has now improved and will keep working on it. It takes guts to recognize and accept ones problems in public.

The need to be part of the organization grew stronger after observing some sessions of my soon to be fellow colleagues……they did them with ease, patience and passion.  So, I took on the responsibility of learning, training, implementing to the best of my abilities. It looked easy but there was a lot of preparation that went into it. Late night conversations with Madhu…..discussions with Ian……..and picking up pointers from the best practices. I don’t think I remember if I touched Wren and Martin in school with so much respect –  I read it as if my life depended on it; it’s one thing to speak in English and another to teach, but with great mentors and colleagues like Meenakshi, Vineeta, Ritu, Ian, Madhu, Anindita and Mini I was able to crack it. The best part is that one never stops learning here; surrounded with opportunities…you just need to grab them!

Starting my stint with English I gradually went on to taking the Selling skills and pronunciation sessions (which I love!!). With pronunciation I try and add some more energy, masti and drama so that they don’t get bored. In spite of my best efforts, some of the trainees hate the sight of me as I keep correcting their pronunciation and keep making them repeat till they speak correctly. It was funny when Shashi, a trainee (and chatterbox) would shut up and tell those standing next to him “Shhhhhh Parul ma’am is here…kuch bhi galat bologe to repeat karvaengi!!!” Gosh, I’m becoming my mum, she used to keep correcting me….I don’t how she always managed to be around whenever I would mispronounce……though I now thank her for doing that! As we grew from one centre to several (touch wood!) my love for travelling to different places and meeting trainees from different regions became a need. My grandmom has done her D.Lit in influences on the Hindi language with every 5 kms……..I could see it too with reference to their pronunciation and the effect of the mother tongue on speaking English – e.g. pronouncing ‘sport’ as ‘support’ and ‘support’ as ‘sport’ or ‘school’ became ‘ischool’ or ‘Santosh’ became ‘Santos’ or ‘I want to slip instead of sleep’ or I love eating snakes instead of snacks…..Phew! I could go on and on……..

As much as hard work was put into facilitation we worked equally hard at enjoying…..I will never forget our trip to Sattaal……great food especially Anil’s famous dessert…yummmm!!!! We had lots of fun around the bonfire with Anindita singing Latadi and Ashadi (replicating the ghosty song “Aayega Aayega…” on the jhoola in the middle of the night….of course me doing the ghost act), playing dumb charades with Ian’s Oscar winning performance trying to make his team guess “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid”, Shikha and Mini at their best in Trivial Pursuit, Meenakshi leading us on the trek, sharing her vast knowledge about plants!

To add to the excitement the Suneet Verma fundraising show took place on March 2001; I was jumping with joy, but I had to get over my adulation for the man quickly enough…..the reality was to get the show organized!!! We had 19 trainees who were doing a skit on the ramp with Miss India and the models. What a show! In short, they came and they conquered!!

As we teach our trainees that conclusion/closure is a very important part of any presentation /interview…….I saved the best for the last. I know….I will get another label in addition to ‘Princess’  ‘conceited’ after this…..We had a centre in Zakhir Nagar; it holds a special place in my heart. It brough my very first experience of shayari, written especially for me by our trainee Shamshaad. I just cannot begin to tell you what an embarrassing moment it was at that time…….but now whenever I think about it, it brings a smile to my face and works like an energy drink on a hot day! I hope to grow more (definitely not in size as there is little scope now!!) with ETASHA as I plan to be here a long, long time!

Parul

Interpersonal Classes at ITI Gurgaon

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