The year was 2015 and my first steps into ‘The Green Pocket’ happened by sheer chance. We had lived less than 500 mts from TGP for over 5 years but I did not have the slightest idea that such a beautiful place could exist in the midst of the concrete colony. When my daughter was about less than a year old and was starting to get bored with all the house play a neighbour chanced on telling me about rabbits inside the ‘Embassy’ construction site and that ‘One Ms. Anahita is the owner of the place and a very sweet lady who will let us see the bunnies….’ . Lo, the very next evening I landed there carrying my baby and yes Ms. Anahita was indeed very sweet to let us look at those lovable creatures as long as we wanted. At that point I really did not have the slightest idea that I will become an integral part of the TGP family.
Surprisingly my next rendezvous with TGP was almost a year later when I wanted my little one to start playschool. (Why I did not go back to see the bunnies for over a year is still a mystery for me too… ☺ ) There was no scouting of course as I had mentally decided the first day I saw Green Pocket that this is my child’s first school. My family was of course was a little apprehensive as my daughter was 2.2 years and she was one pampered grandchild at home. But course as destiny had it we landed TGP and admission was done and my bundle of joy (or tantrums) was handed over to Anahita and team. My heart would melt as I used to leave my wailing toddler at the gate and secretly wait behind the bushes out of sight till 12:00pm for the first few days.
The few mothers who I befriended there would tell me all would be well and that my daughter was in very safe hands. Yes, it was a complete home away from home for my little one. I would be lying if I said Shloka (my daughter) was all cool and happy from the very beginning. A complete attention seeking child that she was (and is even now) learnt her first lessons of friendship, fun, discipline along with formal singing and writing. I was surprised that within a span of 1 month my shy and cranky kiddo actually loved to go to school and I was loving my little gossip sessions with the other mommas while dropping and picking her up☺☺. I would envy the fun the teachers and staff had with the kids and an urge to be one amongst them started building. I had once mentioned to Anahita about it casually for which the ever smiling lady told me will keep me in mind.
Everything seemed perfect when Anahita surprised me one fine morning and asked if I will be interested to teach as one of their teachers would be leaving on maternity leave. (She just told me ‘I have seen you be with the kids and you are good.’) I sprung on the opportunity and immediately said yes. What really touched me here was the trust Anahita had as I had no prior formal teaching experience except a couple of PGAs at TGP. So I landed in TGP In January 2019 as nervous as ever. My first as an actual teacher in the place I loved but to actually be there got me jittery. My loving colleagues and staff embraced me with so much warmth that my first day seemed like my 100th day! That started my journey as a ‘Baby Nest’ teacher with The Green Pocket. I have had no looking back in fact I look forward to everyday with so much enthusiasm expressed beyond words. I also eventually finished a formal course on pre primary education but that is just for the records. The hands on training Anahita and team gave me is still something which is priceless. I remember asking Koel my colleague long before I joined TGP as a facilitator if it is not stressful handling so many kids as I found handling one kid at home so stressful. She simply said ‘It is in fact a stress buster’. I really did not understand what she meant but today I actually know that is the simple truth.
Written by Lakshmi Thiagarajan