Friday, October 9, 2015

Anjali - The Art of Sorting Things Out (and Getting People To See Your Side)

Anjali's school has a 'fruit day' when one child in class is nominated to bring a fruit on the said day. So you take five apples or oranges and they are shared among the classmates. It's fun and challenging and the kids love the exercise - fruits, sharing, planning, responsibility etc. Deviously simple.

Anjali got her chance a few weeks ago. She was excited. But she forgot to make note in her diary when her teacher told her and forgot. Her chance went out of the window and it passed on. She was all penitent and asked her teacher for another chance. However teacher told her that she had her chance and she should wait.

Anjali felt pretty bad about it. It became a trust issue with her. She was teary eyed when she narrated how she asked teacher again that she would bring the fruit but teacher said no. At home emotions rose. How? What? Maybe we should talk to teacher etc etc.

And while all this was going on for the past one week she comes home yesterday and says 'Tomorrow is fruit day and its my chance. I have to take pomegranates.' Wow. How did this happen?

Anjali narrated how.
'I went to aunty and said please auntie, please auntie, please auntie, I will not forget this time auntie, I will write down now only in the diary auntie, I won't forget again auntie, please auntie, please auntie give me one chance auntie, please auntie, please auntie, please auntie just one chance auntie...' and on and on until teacher/auntie relented and gave in.

Anjali came home triumphantly, called me and instructed me to get 5 of the best pomegranates in the market because of the happy twist in this story.

Who will stop someone who is so earnest? In most times this is what gets the job done. After figuring out that all other routes (save parental interference) were closed and that she did badly want to participate, Anjali appears to have decided that the best route is to put her ego aside and plead with the concerned authority. She did it out of her own volition which is what makes it interesting. 'I will do whatever it needs to get what I want done' seems to be the thought.

I remember how she once made one of her aunts come home (my sister normally does not come anywhere so it was a tough challenge for Anjali.). Anjali started by telling her aunt that she must come and when her aunt's answers were in the negative, Anjali fell straight at her feet and went on 'please atta, you must come, you must come.' Just plain pleading with a big earnest smile to such an extent that the other person understands how badly she wants it.

You want something badly, you show it, and get the job done.

On the flip side I got a call yesterday from a friend of mine. He wanted to know if I knew such and such big shot who was on the board of a big school. One boy he knew had some issues on attendance with the school and the Principal was not relenting. They felt they had a genuine issue and after approaching some senior people at school now wanted intervention at the Board level.

I told my friend that maybe the boy should go and sort it out with the Principal. Most times a simple apology followed  by some earnest pleading will do the trick if the offence is not a big one (which it is not). Why take it all out of context and complicate it? My friend laughed and agreed. It was also an opportunity for the boy also to learn to handle situations and find a way out. If there is one thing I am worried about for kids, it's their parents who step in too early and complicate stuff which the kid could have handled.

Anyway, all in all, Anjali's was a fun story to listen to and it brings a smile to my face when I think about it. Good job Anjali. You sorted your issue out by yourself. It's that kind of an episode that makes you think - if she can do something like this, she probably can do ok with most situations. Now I only hope the pomegranates I bought are good after all this effort.

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