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  • 28 Aug 2021 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Asha Singh, ISW Cultural and Language School Teacher

    क्यों भूलता है मन

      कुछ क्षण का है जीवन,

    आशाएँ पूरी कर ले

        कुछ बन सके तो बन

    निज स्वार्थ को भुला कर

       कोई काम ऐसा कर,

    मन की ज्योति जलाकर

        तू पथ आलोकित कर

    दूजे का सहारा बन जा

         लालच से परे हो कर ,

    कदमों में गगन तेरे होगा

        जीवन की डगर  पर

    जीवन के पल हैं सीमित

      सॉसें हैं  गिनी चुनी ,

    सब पाने की चाहत में

         ये बात ना तूने सुनी

    ना जाने कौन सा पल ये

         संदेशा ले के आए ,

    जीवन तो हुआ ये पूरा

          अब मौत  तुझे अपनाए

    दो पल के इस जीवन को

          है सार्थक तुझे बनाना ,

    लोगों के हृदय सुमन में

         खुशबू बन के बस जाना


    Why do you forget,

    That the life is short,

    Fulfill your hopes.

    Be something if possible,

    Do not be selfish,

    Do good deeds for others,

    By using flame of thought.

    Enlighten good path to all.

    Be supportive to others,

    Without any greed,

    And In the path of your life.

    All will appreciate you.

    And to grab everything,

    You did not notice that,

    The breaths are counted,

    And limited are the moments of life.

    Don't know which moment,

    will bring the message,

    That this is the end of life,

    And death is ready to adopt.

    Prove the worth of your life,

    The life of numbered moments.

    By settling down as fragrance

    In the heart of the people.


  • 16 Aug 2021 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Tharegha Manoharan

    Let’s talk about tests,
    Standardized tests.
    Those tests teachers hand out,
    That make students doubt,
    Their entire life route.

    Education is the purpose for school,
    It’s supposed to give us the tools,
    To go fight the wrong,
    Out there, and strong.

    We learn math, science,
    English, and social science.
    But most importantly,
    We fail to realize,
    The life lessons our kid applies.

    Learning to say please and thank you,
    And acknowledging all the views,
    Growing up to right the wrong,
    And making sure everyone feels belonged,
    Is not taught with pencils and erasers,
    But by making sure we are all dream chasers.

    Grades. It depends on the day.
    One day, you might get an A,
    Maybe you were happy ‘cause your cold went away.
    But another day, you could be upset,
    And get a score that you regret.

    But it doesn’t matter.
    Who cares about your science grade,
    If you are always afraid.
    Who cares about your math scores,
    If you grow up to be a citizen who ignores.
    Who cares about your MCAS trends,
    If you can’t be a good friend.

    If you can recognize the wrong from the right,
    And gather to knowledge to fight,
    Trust me,
    Then only is it right for your degree.

    Some might say and long,
    For grades, as they are the path to success,
    Of course, they are not wrong,
    But there are other ways to progress.
    Knowledge and education,
    Instead of solely requirements for graduation.

    Assimilation and application,
    For the real world,
    Is more important,
    Than the letters on your documentation.

    We should study, study hard,
    And never disregard,
    But we should learn to laugh,
    Even at our own witticisms.

    So send your children to school,
    Not for the grades, not for the trophies,
    Not for the future salary, not for the low fees,
    But for the apt fuel,
    They need to face the cruel.

    Students, when you study for your test,
    Do it for the want of information possessed.
    Don’t do it for the grade,
    That you think will determine how you get paid.
    Complete your everyday assignments,
    For fine knowledge refinement.
    Don’t do it for the score,
    But because you want to explore.

    Dear mom, dear dad,
    We always want you to be proud and glad,
    But we also want to be content,
    And it doesn’t always come from our average percent.

    So come and explore with me,
    The things that guarantee,
    My happiness for a thousand more years,
    And I promise I will persevere and never fear.

    I will do my best,
    And make the world a better place,
    I will listen to everyone suggest,
    And work toward the betterment of the human race.

  • 16 Aug 2021 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” every high schoolers nightmare, or not? This question may seem haunting at first, but it gives students an opportunity to think about what we are interested in. In the following interview. Ms. Rhea Vyas, an IYG alumni and Worcester elementary teacher talks about the field of education, it’s challenges, and it’s rewards.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What advice would you give to high schoolers who are interested in having a future career in education, like you?

    Rhea Vyas: One of the reasons I went into the field of education was because I was very passionate about making an impact and teaching kids. Although sometimes teaching young kids might seem like an easy job, it actually requires a lot of effort. You need to be willing to put the needs of 20-30 kids before yours and have the patience to help each of those kids. So my main piece of advice would be to ask yourself “are you willing to put yourself in uncomfortable positions?” and also to ask yourself “why do you want to go into the field of education”. At the end if you are truly passionate about it, then the job becomes fun and enjoyable each day.

    Tanvi Gahlot: How important do you believe having a focused education through high school is?

    Rhea Vyas: I think it’s very important. Personally I didn’t know I wanted to go into teaching till my senior year of high school, because of this I always dreaded the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Throughout high school I juggled between different fields of science, business, and law. However, I did know that I was very passionate about working with kids. I eventually decided on pursuing it as a career during my senior year, even though it had been my passion since I was a young child. Also, being a South Asian it seems as though your options are very limited to being an engineer, doctor, or business woman; and I just felt that I was never represented in a teacher I had. This also motivated me into eventually deciding on the field of education as my career.

    Tanvi Gahlot: How would you describe your first year of teaching, considering it was very different due to Covid?

    Rhea Vyas: I teach in the main south side of Worcester, which is one of the most low income, poverty ridden schools in the state. This means that many of my students are homeless or have issues with parental custody and some even live with up to 2-3 families in one apartment. These kids have lots of challenges in their background, but these challenges don’t define who they are. Throughout the year I taught first graders (5-6 year old) and these kids don’t let their home life, their family, and their challenges define them. For all the kids around the county this was a very difficult year, where we started off completely remote up till March. This was also difficult for me because I wasn’t just teaching 20 students, I was teaching 20 students and their families who were all listening to what I was saying.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What led you to pick your particular grade that you teach?

    Rhea Vyas: Well since I am an elementary I have a teaching licence which will allow me to teach any grades from first to sixth. So when I applied for a job at the school they had an opening for a first grade teacher. In a sense I have some choice in the grades I teach, but I don’t get to pick from between first to sixth.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What hobbies do you have that allow you to get your mind off work?

    Rhea Vyas: Considering that most days involve 12-16 hours of preparation for the following day(s) I didn’t get much time for hobbies. However, I did learn the importance of balance and did end up developing some hobbies which include traveling and painting by numbers. I especially like the very detailed ones because they give me something to focus on.

  • 6 Jul 2021 11:10 AM | Anonymous
    by Nagendra Rao

    Her graceful moves
    Soothes sore eyes
    Her ethereal quietness
    Calms raging minds
    Her peaceful swish
    Brushes away fears
    Her motherly calm
    Wipes away tears
    Her protective demeanor
    Gives strength and resolve
    Her peaceful glance
    Sweeps worries away
    Her silent speed
    Inspires noble action
    Her serene beauty
    Elicits wondrous awe
    Her graceful reach
    Brings new hope….
    She uplifts minds and hearts
    A beacon of cheer on a cold snowy lake.

  • 28 Jun 2021 6:27 PM | Anonymous

    by Ragoo Raghunathan

    The first meetup of the ISW Professional and Entrepreneurial Networking (PEN) initiative was held at the newly renovated India Center on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 11 am. Over 20 attendees from Shrewsbury, Northboro, Southboro, Westboro, Grafton and Worcester attended the nearly two hour meeting. The attendees were accomplished professionals from diverse fields such as Computer Science, Information Technology, STEM, Medicine, Education as well as small business owners. They shared their backgrounds and how they could contribute to the community.

    A previous brainstorming session had generated over 100 ideas in 10 different categories. These ideas and some suggested activities to get the initiative started were presented to the group.  Some of the activities that would be launched immediately were:

    • Work from Home @ISW Thursdays, allowing ISW members who worked from home a change in scenery by providing free access to ISW Center on Thursdays.
    • Monthly Meet-ups that would include seminars and workshops
    • Programs to help members with through mentorship,
    • Presentations on investing in a franchise,
    • Educational sessions around financial planning

    The goal of the PEN Initiative is to utilize the ISW India Center as a hub to bring together and engage professionals in the Metro West region by providing programs and activities that encourage professional growth and entrepreneurial activities. The next meeting is scheduled for July 10th, and will be led by Kelly Mittal, Founder & CEO, myKidzDay Child Care App & Early Childhood Technology Consultant (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mykidzday/).

    Please feel free to contact us at pen@iswonline.org to let us know if you would like to join us and participate in our PEN activities. Click here to register for the July 10th event.

  • 20 Jun 2021 11:29 PM | Anonymous

    By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter

    In this interview I spoke with Professor Jagan Srinivasan, a professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where he teaches students Biology and Neuroscience. In our conversation he described the basics of teaching and the importance of giving back to the community.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What would you look for in a high school or college student if you were to hire them to work in your lab in the summer?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: I would look for interest and motivation. Expertise is not required for my lab.

    Tanvi Gahlot: Do you need a PhD to work in your lab after graduation or are there opportunities for students with other degrees?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: No, people of all types and ages are welcome in my lab. Ranging from a retired person to a young middle schooler or even a high schooler. As I said earlier there are no qualifications, however, your interest to find something new is key. You need to have a “kid in a candy store” mentality, your curiosity must drive you. It basically comes down to being interested in finding out and seeing how science works.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What advice would you give to high schoolers who are interested in having a future career in teaching, like you?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: My one piece of advice is don’t think of life as a straight path. Everyone learns at some point or another that it’s never a straight path, you need to go through all the zig-zags and curves. As long as you're able to maintain honesty in your profession, a little bit of enthusiasm, the ability to bounce back, and don’t be demotivated by hurdles. I believe that the field of teaching is one of the more noble professions because you are influencing future minds. For instance, as doctors and engineers discover new things, teachers put in those seeds of curiosity which lead to these discoveries. So as a teacher we are responsible for cultivating these seeds and creating curiosity in young minds. For example, Steve Jobs, one of the most famous figures in the STEM field had an interesting background when it came to college. He went to a community college and knew he wanted to make computers, but he wasn’t interested in any of the classes about computers or the science behind computers. So he decided to wander around and ended up attending an art class about fonts, this class allowed him to develop some of the best fonts for Apple.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What hobbies do you have that allow you to get your mind off work?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: Outside of work I love doing a lot of things such as running, cooking, and doing puzzles. I especially enjoy solving 1,000 piece puzzles with my family as a family activity.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What led you to pick your particular topic that you teach?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: Although this might strike some people as odd, but when I pick a subject to teach I don’t look for something I know a lot about. This makes me a student of the subject as well, which is beneficial for me since I myself am curious about the topic, so I am motivated to learn and teach about the topic to others.

    Tanvi Gahlot: You’ve been volunteering at ISW and also been the general secretary and currently the vice president, what are your thoughts on the importance of giving back to the community?

    Prof. Jagan Srinivasan: I personally don’t join ISW to be the vice president or secretary, because that is just a title; I mostly volunteer because it completes me. For example, if we look back at ancient times it can be found that our body was not created to do one major activity, it was created to do 2 major activities. One of them is called “क्रिया (kriya)”, this would include things like providing for our family, working, earning money, basically doing things for our benefit. However, the other activity is called “कर्मा (karma)”, this would include things like volunteering and giving back to the community, basically doing things selflessly and not expecting something for the work you’ve done.

  • 20 Jun 2021 10:22 PM | Anonymous

    by Rajesh Khare

    For a fun hike, Mount Wachusett is the Goldilocks of mountains - not too difficult for beginners and not too easy for experienced hikers. Less than 35 minutes from India Center, at 2006 feet of elevation, Wachusett offers panoramic views to Boston in the East, Mount Monadnock to the North and Mount Greylock to the West.

    Around 35 to 40 intrepid hikers, including several young kids, met at the trailhead near the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. At 70 F and sunny, it felt like the perfect weather for a hike. We took the Balance Rock trail which led to a set of photogenic glacial boulders stacked on top of each other. Then we followed the Old Indian Trail to the summit. Along the way, we crossed some ski slopes, saw many families and hikers with dogs and finally climbed up a steep section towards the end. The view at the top was spectacular! We had lunch and snacks by a beautiful pond near the summit, took pictures and then hiked back down the same path to the parking lot with plenty of time to spare for the rest of the day. In the end many people asked about the next hike, so we hope to have a larger group on the next hike we organize.

    Thanks to all of you who were able to join and make this a memorable event. For everybody else, we hope to see you at the next outdoor activity!

    Photos courtesy: Rajesh Khare, Sakshi


  • 17 Jun 2021 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Nalini Goyal
    July 15, 1954 - June 14, 2021

    Nalini Goyal, a beloved member of the ISW community who is remembered fondly by many for her service, passed away peacefully at home on June 14, 2021, surrounded by her husband, children and grandchildren.

    Daughter of Jaswant Singh Sanghi and Sumitra Sanghi, she grew up in Jaipur along with her 3 beloved sisters, a caring younger brother, and host of extended family. Her dramatic flair and vivacious personality gave her the family nickname ‘Bubble’ for life. She was extremely fortunate to find her soulmate in Arvind Goyal, with whom she built a mutually loving and respectful lifelong partnership. They moved to the US from Bombay, first to Michigan then Rochester before finally settling in Massachusetts which they considered their forever home.

    Living in the United States shaped the way she thought and gave her the freedom to develop her identity and realize her true potential. This was realized in her many accomplishments, earning the distinction of valedictorian of her class at Becker Junior College, the founding of the ISW Cultural School, her entrepreneurial venture of Nalini’s Creations, her support of Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence as Gala committee chair, as an Advocate for the Domestic Violence Services Network and finally to her true calling at Gifts of Hope Unlimited, where her empathy for victims of domestic violence intersected with her entrepreneurial and creative talents, and her unique ability to bring people together. By far, her biggest accomplishment is the web of love she wove across the world.

    She is survived by her husband, Arvind, son Siddhartha, daughter Vandana and her husband, Sumeet, and grandchildren, Samar and Siena.

    A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 19th at 11 am at the ISW India Center, 152 Main St. Shrewsbury.  In lieu of flowers, gifts in Nalini’s honor may be made to Gifts of Hope Unlimited at www.giftsofhopeunlimited.org

  • 7 Jun 2021 5:19 PM | Anonymous

    By Devishi Jain, ISW Youth Reporter

    Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your background in dance? When you started dancing, if you received formal training, when you started your dance school, etc.?

    My name is Ekta Jain and I am from Delhi, India. I started my dance journey when I was ten years old. I joined Kathak classes in Lucknow Gharana as a hobby, but soon, it became my passion in life. I performed in various events at college. But, dance became my second priority after I got married and began pursuing a profession. I worked as a computer teacher for about 4 or 5 years. Dance was nowhere in my life at that time. I was the mother of two beautiful daughters and to take care of them, I quit my job and started staying at home. But the passion for dance was always in my heart, no matter how suppressed. Even though my kids were still small, I wanted to start dancing again, so I started teaching dance classes at home. And this is how it all started. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I began teaching and got a fabulous response from my students. Then, to update myself, I took formal training in salsa and hip-hop. The name of my dance school was Kids ‘n’ Dance and I had more than 100 students. I taught more than 1500 students in India and we did more than 200 shows and my students won many dance competitions. My annual dance events were even telecasted on local news.

    When we had to move to America, I had to start over from scratch. I had to build up my school again in a whole new country. From 5 students to 10, then 15, and so on. I opened Ekta Dance Academy here and it has been going strong for 7 years. However, I did take a break when we moved to Florida for 2 years because I did not really teach consistent classes there. But after coming back to Massachusetts, I started teaching professionally again and I had 100+ students from ages 3 to 60. COVID-19 has definitely affected my business, but not my zeal and enthusiasm. After 17 years of pursuing my passion, the journey is still continuing and I am still teaching dance. I am very proud and satisfied with what I have accomplished, but I want to continue dancing and being creative for the rest of my life.

    What motivates you to continue dancing and teaching even after all these years?

                When I see the tremendous amount of love, support, and encouragement from my students, I get very overwhelmed and touched because that is my biggest achievement. I see the happiness in the eyes of parents when they see their kids dancing. I feel very appreciated, especially because of the ladies in my dance class. There are many ladies in the classes who haven’t danced before and have never been on stage, but they have had a hidden desire to dance. But now they’re performing and receiving so many medals and certificates, which they proudly show to their families and friends. All of these things really encourage me to keep on going, trying new things, to keep innovating my choreography.

    How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

                Whenever I choreograph any dance number or act, the first thing I keep in mind is the aim, the reason. Why am I choreographing this dance? What’s the reason behind it? What are the emotions hidden in the song? I create a story. I always try to show some type of message so that people don’t just watch a medley of a couple of songs and forget about the dance. They should feel what the performers are trying to say through their dance. The audience should feel the emotions and message of the song. That is why I think my style of dance and choreography is different from others because I always try to tell a story through my dance.

    What do you think motivates your students to continue dancing and coming back after every performance or competition?

                The first thing I tell my students before they perform on a stage is that they are dancing for themselves. First, they have to enjoy the dance, and only then can they entertain anyone else. They have to completely express the emotions and story in the song and choreography. The biggest thing they find in my dance or after doing any performance is happiness, satisfaction, and a way to express themselves on stage. They are doing something for themselves and that keeps them going. I don’t pressurize them. I don’t scold or criticize them because everyone is different. I don’t expect everyone to do things the same way I do them because everyone has their own abilities. This is why they have to first enjoy the dance and that enjoyment and fun is what they find in my dance classes. They can express themselves through dance without any judgement, so they keep coming back to me and keep looking forward to the next performance.

    Over the course of your teaching, what are some trends you have noticed among younger dancers? Do you have a message or piece of advice for young aspiring dancers?

                As the years pass by, I feel as though kids are getting very impatient and get bored quickly if you keep teaching the same type of dance and choreography to them. So, I always try to include variety and innovation in my dance. Sometimes they’ll do a dance drama, sometimes they’ll do a folk dance, or contemporary, hip-hop, classical, a happy dance, a sad dance, etc. The variety in the dances is what fascinates them.

                A piece of advice I would have for young dancers is that they shouldn’t just follow the herd. They should set their own trends. Be the trendsetter. Dance is a vast field and it has an ocean’s worth of space for innovation and creativity. So, when you hear a song, don’t just copy the steps that have already been done. Make your own steps and show your own emotions through your dance. The most important thing missing in dancers currently is that they don’t feel the dance. You should feel the soul of the dance and instead of just dancing with your body, dance with your entire soul and heart. The dance should first be expressed well on your face, and then your hands and legs. So, the message is just that they should dance with their soul because dance is supposed to be about expressing yourself.

  • 24 May 2021 11:23 PM | Anonymous

    By आशा Asha Singh 

    मिल-जुलकर जीतेंगे


    माना कि कठिन समय है

    जन जन के मन में भय है,

    हर कोई है आशंकित

    बिगड़ी जीवन की लय है


    हम साथ हो सहयोग करें मिल के लड़ेंगे और जीतेंगे !

    कैसे ?

    आओ हृदय के दीप जला

    जीवन को दीपित कर दें,

    सारी कड़वी बात भुला

    मन को आनंदित कर दें।

    सूरज की किरण सा तप कर

    जग को आलोकित कर दें,

    पलकों से कॉटे चुन कर

    दामन को सुरभित कर दें।

    सुख स्नेह का बादल बन कर

    नभ थल अभिसिंचित कर दें ,

    असमय मुरझाई कलियों को

    हम फिर से विकसित कर दें।

    इस समय की यही पुकार सुनो !

    सब मिल कर हाथ बढ़ा दें ,

    हम लड़ेंगे और जीतेंगे

    विश्वास ये मन में भर दें।

    जीवन है दुखों का सागर

    यह लेख अस्वीकृत कर दें ,

    'खुशियों का प्रतीक है जीवन'

    यह सत्य प्रकाशित कर दें।

    आओ हृदय के दीप जला

    जीवन को दीपित कर दें,

    हम लड़ेंगे और जीतेंगे

    विश्वास ये मन में भर दें !

    Together we will win.

    Agreed the time is tough,

    People are afraid,

    Every one is apprehensive,

    The regular life is disturbed.

    (But together we will win.)

    Let us light the lamps in our heart

    And enlighten the life

    Forget all the bitterness,

    Collectively bring happiness,

    Just shine like the rays of sun,

    We enlighten this world.

    Remove the thorns on our way,

    Fill life with the essence of flowers

    Let us act as cloud of love

    And shower the earth and sky with affection

    Let us care untimely shriveled buds,

    To bloom into flowers.

    Let us join together,

    Fulfil the demand of time.

    Let us have faith and belief,

    We will fight and win.

    'The life is full of sorrows'

    Let us reject this notion.

    'The life is symbol of happiness'

    Let us publish this truth,

    Come on, let us light the lamps,

    And enlighten our life

    Have faith and belief.

    We will fight and win.

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