Sunday, June 28, 2009

Board Exam for 10th Std

The new HRD minister, Kapil Sibal, has kicked up a debate on this hot topic.
He has held the bull by its horn.
One of the strengths of our country is its education and the value we accord to education.
  • One of the first quotes that I read and internalised at the beginning of my early school-days was, 'vidhya dhanam sarva dhanaal pradhanam', in my mother-tongue (mallu!), crudely tranlated the most important wealth is the wealth of knowledge.
  • Years later, towards the end of my student days, I evolved to more encompassing quotes: Education is for Life, not for living and The end of Education is Character - Sri Sathya Sai Baba
  • But all along I was haunted by the need to memorise, and vomit at the exams.Every board exam was a nightmare.
  • A lower middle class back ground ensured education was given the most important part responsibility and every other activity was linked to classes, exams and performance. While I excelled in all extra-curricular activities and enjoyed thoroughly, as I moved up the education-ladder, I had to give up my interests and focus on studies. Given a choice, I would have been happy to be a musician, sportsman, writer.... anything other than a banker, that I am!
  • No regrets... More0ver, I believe in Karma...
  • But, my only child enters 9th std, he is forced to get into the same 'junior-rat-race'. As a parent, it is my dream he pursues a profession of his choice and dreams... Thank God, I can afford it!
  • But, with our education system remaining unchanged over the decades, can he ???
  • It is in this context, Kapil Sibal's announcement is most exciting. I hope, he and his government takes it forward and implement immediately. WE NEED TO FREE OUR CHILDREN FROM THE PRESSURES OF XTH BOARD EXAMS... We have suffered, let us ensure our children are rescued !

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A tribute to MJ

The world woke up to the shocking news of the death of M J. It marks an end to an era in the history of world music . Yes, his music was universal. He brought out one of those paradigm-shifts in the musical world. He will be lovingly remembered for his contributions to music. His 'Thriller' had a universal 'thrilling effect'
While Beatles and others belong to another era, MJ was our contemperory. He was at his peak when we were growing up. I was personally not into the fast-paced western music, but more of the original Hindustani/Carnatic music or ghazals. But there were so many friends who were die-hard M J fans. So, it was always part of the growing up years....
Watching the young MJ on CNN I wondered... He had a very unique boyish charm, he was different. The innocence, the confidence, and of course the exceptional talent, were very evident even at the beginning of his musical journey. I wonder when and how did he lose those characteristics!! He came to be known for his controversies, eccentricities, debt, etc. Sadly he was unable to fulfil his promise to his thousands of fans for 'one last stage performance'!
He will always remembered as a musical genius... May his soul rest in peace...

Monday, June 22, 2009

West Bound

20 June: I have hit the western coast...sea side is beautiful!

As I walked across the corridor to the last room in the floor, my heart missed a beat!! Did they allot me a suite ? Afterall, I am a proud memeber of their loyalty program. It turned out to be a room, next to the royal suite ( though nothing royal about my room - with an extra door separating the suite and my room, my room is more of a servant-quarters, from the location point of view !!)

The view from 7th floor room ! The sea is majestic. ( I hope with all the impact on environment by us, irresponsible inhabitants, the world remains beautiful and majestic for many more future generations)

Some things don't change (yet!). Why such premier properties don't respect my vegetarian preference for food. (If all these hotels got together and had more veg food, they will be making this world 'greener'. )

Then the preference was to get a good night's sleep, ahead of class room sessions next day ( quite tough to sit quietly and listen!)

Late into the night, I was rudely awakened when someone walked into my room.... !!! I heard the noice and immediately sat up. For a moment, I thought it was a dream! ( I am not into noctambulation!!) But the 'intruder', looked quite a gentleman and not one of those filmi-villians, was equally shocked to see me and made a quick exit ! Indeed, I had forgotten to put the additional latch/lock! I got up, locked up and got back. Then I realized, I was a bit shaken !! It was 0230 hrs of 21 June ! A day I will not forget too soon...

As suggested by friends, made a complaint at the 'guest services' counter of their loyalty program,three times over next two days. They have been religiously noting down the complaint, and not giving any satisfactory feedback.

Again, after sometime, I heard someone calling out, for over ten minutes. I had no choice to get up and check out. It was room-service trying to feed the occupants of the adjoining suite... at 0330 hrs !!! The room-service guy forgot there could be occupants in the servant quarters also ! How insensitive :(

At 53o hrs, my alarm woke me up for the third time! I had forgotten to change my weekly alarm at 530 hrs !!!

So, off to a poor start, borrowing sports-language. Things can only improve from here !

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Time for some interospection....
1. Fatigue ?? All players will (conspire to :)) take a stand against 'fatigue factor'... Sachin had indicated this specifically to Sehwag and Gambhir. Viru's body language at the group photoshoot ( when he stretched his hands, sleepy..) was a proof. The coach has come out with the same theory. BCCI was quick to criticise. Naturally, the tamasha of IPL is brain-child of the BCCI. The punishing, looooooooooong, schedule would sap the energy of fittest cricketer.
2. On top of it, the sheer pressure of the cricket crazy country on the shoulders of the cricketers...
3. was there some internal politics too? there can't be no smore without fire, goes the famous indian saying :)
4. there were lapses in planning and execution...
Time to go back to the drawing board... BCCI has to cut short the T20 to a T20-type ( shorter) IPL. They need to get a vibrant rotation-policy so that stronger bench-strength, lesser fatigue, more competetion among players.... IS BCCI LISTENING ?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Racist attacks in Australia

The frequency of attacks on Indian students is increasing by day. My thoughts.......(food for thought for the Indian students Down Under):
  • It is sad so many of our youngsters have to go abroad... a clear failure of our politicians/govts...
  • They go for different reasons - to join courses/course-combinations of their choice/low marks do not help here/job related courses like hotel management, etc...
  • They, not only get to acquire degrees, but also pursue their dreams beyond. Brain-drain for our country!
  • The students acquire the value system of that society, quite different from ours. If they come back, they may bring back elements thereof... :(

One thing the students should not forget is we are in their country. Even if the hosts do not treat students like guests ( 'athithi devo bhava!!!), whatever the provocation, we should exercise restraint. Not easy to implement, but Gandhigiri won't be a bad idea. The students should collectively ensure better protection for themselves, with good help from Indian community, our offices there and Australian Govt.

Needless to add, Australian Govt has failed miserably to protect the seekers of knowledge...

Friday, June 05, 2009

World Environment Day

Today is W E D!
One more day .. further degradation of Mother Earth. All ancient civilisations worshipped nature and its components. But our generations have only been selfish to abuse nature and not to care for our future generations. What we will leave behind, may be a further degraded nature, for our own children.
Let us not forget NO stimulus package can save this (environmental) crisis. While world leaders have a definite responsibility, each one of us has a role to play.
It starts with us... from ME. Like switching off unnecessary lights, minimise use of paper, adopt GREEN Living/Lifestyle.. be aware... !


The dog goes into a new hair-style... watch out for more postings.. the third snap, of its tail is only tip of the tail !