Playing chess on a train with a national level player

Hi everyone, On a train from Mumbai to Surat, I was lucky to meet and play a game of chess with the national school level chess player (4th ranker) Senthanigh (spoken as Senthanil). Of course, he defeated me, but it was a great experience. Actually, he was going to Vapi to take part in a 15 day camp-cum-tournament.  Here’s a picture showing that innocent and intelligent boy playing with someone who hasn’t played chess in the last three decades or more. 😉 He was fluent in his mother tongue Tamil and English. His teacher (escort) was from Delhi. She and I tried to teach him some Hindi words and learnt a few Tamil words in return. Time flies when you are in good company. His spoken English was good but with a heavy mother tongue influence. PS. If you look at him and observe his behaviour, you can’t imagine, even in your wildest dreams, that he could be a chess player. That’s why we say. Never judge a book by its cover. Happy learning… happy playing… and happy living!

Hi everyone, A few days ago, I visited a hospital with my friend Dr Vijay Patel, Incharge Principal, V D Desai Wadiwala School. The chief doctor and the owner of that hospital is Dr Devangi Jogal.  She was my student when she was in class 10 or 11. She came to me to learn textual English. In her batch there were only two students. Early morning she would come with her friend, and in her sweet childlike voice made my mornings better. I enjoyed teaching them.  After a few years, she came to me to learn Spoken English. She was one of the most brilliant students I had ever taught. She (and I too) wanted her to become an IAS officer. My wife and I in fact went to her house and talked to her parents about it. But, as luck would have it, she became an Ayurvedic doctor… perhaps to fulfill her father’s dream. Anyway, she won gold medals every year and became an MD, a Doctor of Medicine in Ayurveda. As I had expected, she did different from what other doctors in her field do. Because of her intelligence and meticulous research (and also her husband’s support), she started …


Hi everyone, Here are a few confessions. 1) Writing: Let me confess that it is not possible to write a meaningful post every day. Writing takes time. Sometimes you have a thought but no time to put it into words. And sometimes your thought is too difficult to be clothed in words. 2) Punctuality: I am usually “in time” (i.e., early) or at least “on time” for most of my appointments and commitments. However, I find it hard to be on time all the time, especially in the morning. Sometimes it is the body who doesn’t listen to your mind or logic. It has its own weird and not-so-regular clock. I hope you understand what I mean. 😉 3) Diet: I often plan to eat “this” only or “that” only, but at the end of the day when I look back, I have usually eaten what I am not supposed to eat. 4) Reading: This is perhaps my consistent failure. I always plan to read at least 30 pages of a novel every day. My teachers, the Marathes, keep harping on about it. No doubt I understand its value. No doubt I often read. But I don’t think there was ever a whole …

You live and learn…

Hi everyone, Here’s just a quick note. We live and learn. Of course, you will agree with me. Well, we usually don’t (actually can’t) learn everything of anything. For instance, I have been using MS Word for decades. But in the last two days, I have come to know about so many features and tricks of the trade that I hadn’t used earlier. The same is true of this platform Blogger. If you remember the appearance my blog yesterday, you can compare it with today’s. There’s a world of difference, you will say. And I agree with you. By the way, I have created a few websites earlier using WordPress, so you can expect frequent additions to this blog as well. Though Blogger doesn’t seem to have as many add-ons (gadgets) as the WordPress (widgets) has. I will do my best to keep this blog as user-friendly as possible. This is just the beginning. Happy reading!

World Teachers’ Day (5 October, 2018)

World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is held annually on October 5. It aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching. This is what Wikipedia says. Well, such days give us teachers a chance to look back at what we have been doing and to critically analyse our performance. I am doing so now. If there is anything significant, I’ll write a post about it–not necessarily immediately. By the way, have you read my blog on Seven Essentials of Effective Teaching? Click this link to read it.  Happy Learning, Happy Teaching! x


The world may not change in a minute, but you may… forever.  –Dharmendra Sheth Founder, Fluentlingua, Surat

Does English pay rich dividends?

Dear all, The British Council has arranged a Lecture Tour by Hywel Coleman on the topic “Do English language skills pay an economic and social dividend?” I would like to have your views on this, preferably with real-life examples. Best wishes, Dharmendra.

15 August 2011

Dear all, 15 August, 2011. For some it’s a day for celebration or picnicking, for some a time to meet friends and relatives, for some others to get rid of part of a mounting backlog. But for many, just another holiday. To me, all of the above, honestly. But, above all, it’s a time for retrospection and reflection. Every such day makes me think about what I have got from my motherland and what I have done for it. Have I done (or been doing) enough? Should I have done something more or different? Am I on the right path? Is my life and work helping others live better and fuller? Well, this time I have been invited to my old school (Tekrawala, previously known as New Era) to unfurl the national flag. I am not sure what I will say and whether the rain gods will be on our side. Anyway, I hope to say something worthwhiel, even if it’s for a few minutes. Thank you for reading this blog. And do please share your views. Best wishes, Dharmendra.