Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gender Obsession! Not mandatory.

As an observer I can distinguish a male worker from a female worker be it farm labour, a teacher, a lawyer, a journalist, a doctor or anybody performing a task that demands mental or physical focus. Without prejudice, one can notice that the male psyche is more egoistic than the female. Women are more often down-to-earth and realistic. Flights of fantasy occur only when they turn writers. Generally these flights are subjective for males but females analyse their surroundings in a more earthy manner and indulge in a trail of thought that fructify in words. 

Not going into the nitty-gritty of 'writing' talent, as a teacher I have often tested students in framing better sentences by motivating their imagination.  Boys often tread on those paths which define topics that one can realistically imagine but girls do meander over places and talk about people who most often don't exist. Unfortunately  this does not apply to me as I am in public domain when I write for my blog. So far all characters mentioned are real, even names and incidents. 

Open Book Policy

Many a student's future I have wrecked by not allowing him / her to copy during exams. The recent move by Delhi University has perplexed me and those like me. What is the 'Open Book' system? Education is meant to transform your thinking and not transcribe somebody's thoughts. The memory is put to test when students have to cope with narrative topics. Memorising formulae and using them in practising with examples is only to exercise your cerebral tenacity.  If the 'Open Book' practice is complemented with debates and projects, the students' learning capacity will work wonders.

I have seen 'Photostat' or 'Xerox' shops work overtime during exams for the simple reason that a majority of students are preparing for exams just a week before the exams. We are churning out dunderheads who will hardly be skilled in applying their knowledge and worse still communicate with a pathetic diction and be equipped with a vocabulary from outer space.

Adroitness & Depth are co-riders
  
The need to excel must supersede effort so as to be abreast of all  practical developments.Once an extremely talented heart surgeon faced rivals who wished to chop off his fingers so that he would be unable to perform future operations.The source of such a thought is itself so maligned.Life is not limitless but dreams are so the best way to handle rivalry is to seek excellence.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Onion no longer a culinary delight


Onions:
Peeling onions for the Indian woman over the last week till date has been more than a tear-jerker. Navratras embody a fervent devotion to the Goddess by sacrificing food and the onion with its patent products. How much more can a woman sacrifice especially if the fasting period succeeds sacrificing money to buy onions. Tear ducts are meant to vent emotions, now emotions have become money-worthy so sob sob (not the abuse) Alas  where is the money that can fetch onions easily?

A conjecture at this point: limit onion production (farming) only to Nashik is a sickly thought. Peels of onion instead of filling the garbage bin will now be strewn on the dining table to make food edible with aroma. Diwali gifts can be substituted with onion for'dry fruits'and 'sweets'. Marriage season can demand a ransom of onions for marriage feasts. Oh the 'stinking' onion was never revered so much.


Slavery:
Slavery was recently highlighted by a foreign (American) agency as more rampant in India, China and Pakistan.This sums up the saying 'imitation is the best form of flattery' applies to Asian nations . Countries like Britain, France and the Netherlands do plan 'reparation' for their past sins of misusing HR as slaves. The reparation can take any form, discounted medical aid, waiving loans, offer lucrative business opportunities, free education, etc. A well-known paper quotes an incident during the late 18th century of a ship ferrying slaves, faced potable water shortage resulting in the death of slaves. Insurance compensation for the dead slaves can be claimed as "lost cargo". Again, we can rivet to the atrocities on man can be so matter-of-fact.

P.S. Remember my teacher (S. Africa-returned years ago), an expatriate offering juice to us (a few of her students) on a tray fixed to a plywood cutout of a 'black' boy.We did 'gulp" the juice with glee as the boy (cutout) was grinning to show his 'shiny' teeth. Nice idea to rid off racism!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Prosaic, not boring - but a must read....both books

Meanwhile, I was in a place of clouds.
Big, puffy, pink - white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue sky....
-Proof of Heaven: Eben Alexander 

The book has a very imaginative and realistic style. Well, how paradoxical if some phrases / sentences looked both imaginative and realistic. A real life story which is intense and engrossing.A neuro-surgeon's journey through near death and back to life.

Right now, I am shuttling two between books, one mentioned above, the other Catcher in the Rye - by JDS. 
Typically American where adventure is interspersed with reality. This is also a book with intense thoughts and  sails through the author's life. The beauty is that this is the author's only book and he won much acclaim late in life,more so through a film made on him recently. How JDS' life unfolds mysteriously for readers a complexity of emotions that left him a loner.

My words do not intend even remotely offer PR for the authors. I am too mean a being to speak of such well-written books. This experience swings me to a recent past when I had to laboriously edit a friend's book which spelt a tale that spanned three generations. A three-pronged catastrophe. Let me not name the friend who could sue me. The book is still on the editing table. Call a spade a spade has been handed over to me by my mother as a legacy.

She (my mother) never encouraged me or my siblings (except speak) to learn our mother tongue as we would fall into the deep pits of learning the language. Every language has its own pitfalls - only the learner has to be encouraged. Perhaps, my mother felt the language could never get a national status. So, leave it at that. However, she did elaborate on the men of letters of the language and eulogised their tact at understanding basic emotions  are like those of  writers of other languages. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kinshuk... help...Help ...help.

The need to call for help from Kinshuk does sound strange but I feel he is there to help all those who need it. See not the disallowed (banned or branded for Kinshuk) such was the advice given to most of my students. If there was a mouse hiding somewhere in the house, all that was needed was to call Kinshuk. The mouse could never get easy entry into my house and if it did, Kinshuk would chase it away in a bizarre manner. Many a time I have told my students who came home (for tuitions, yaar), to bear with my ire and exasperation on noticing a mouse.There goes a shrill call to Kinshuk and he rushes to help me find the mouse and chase it away. I hate traps as my heart misses a beat to see a trapped rat. Poison (venomous potion) is not the right way to ensnare a mouse but I am fond of 'Poison' (a pleasant perfume).

Well, the highly enterprising Kinshuk 'not exactly a pied piper', but keeps whistling till he holds the mouse by the tail, then humming his favourite song, he flings the mouse into the bushes often guarded by cats. Kinshuk was a bad student and so was thrown out of school for bad performance at studies. Later I heard that after being dropped out of school, he had left for a sanitising break to his grandparents' home in Ahmedabad. There he continued with his weird hobby. Fortunately he was noticed by a microbiologist who runs a laboratory for marsupial creatures...One can call it a sanatorium for marsupials. Today he is the assistant director for a gang of rat hunters.After all he was not a wimp.


Odd professions do attract my attention. Met a Sird (sardarji) recently as he needed an assistant. His agency specialises in verifying the veracity of CVs. Of course, not to forget mentioning  having read an article/column on corporate culture by a light-hearted columnist.....how 'light' can culture be? Well the Sardarji is doing a painstaking job with about a handful of investigators and analysts to verify every CV forwarded by employers who pay him a fixed rate for the job. The client (employer) can be as tall as the Tatas or a small container-manufacturer in  a remote town. I don't find this job very different from the man who walks stealthily in parks of Mumbai with set of tools in a leather pouch to clean up ears and rid them of vintage wax. So, if you find somebody doing odd jobs to earn a living, raise a hat if not propose a toast.

Friday, October 11, 2013

An atom of of grace in Sachin's action.

The action cannot be linked with cricket here because I hardly follow the game.The batting genius dropped in at the studio to wish the veteran actor, Big B--yes the man(Amitabh) does work hard and in a disciplined manner at his age.This is a quality for all youngsters to admire and emulate.So Sachin has not achieved much according to me, he should now live as a vibrant example of courage and perseverance.The monetary donations and photo sessions will not yield acclaim till you learn to live for others.

There are quite a few persons who live for others through their profession by linking with NGOs, most of the time they do not get noticed.Like when a shoal of fish gets tossed ashore each fish is desperate to live,but be like The Boy who throws each living fish back into the sea so that they can live (read this @ The Week).The 'giver' has to be gutsy and strive to succeed.The world is ruled by protectors and destroyers, every minute the tiniest creature strives to breathe.Survival of the fittest should be followed literally because it is not important to note 'Why' you live but 'How' you live.

A real life incident about a close friend Jessy (Jacintha) still lurks in my mind.She is no more. She did anticipate death(had a defective heart) but dreamed to own a house in Mumbai.A spinster by choice, she worked hard to realise that dream but left a home for her mother.Her mother, in turn did not need one but wanted one near the airport to receive her sons when they came on vacation from abroad.Simple but magnanimous lives are remembered.I am blessed to have met Jessy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Time for Show Baazi

A fledgling party like AAP does not qualify for political discourse or debate as opined by a columnist.Hate to name him as that will barter mutual rage or insinuation. But he writes for a prominent paper. Probably he has read my blog as is evident.When I spoke of the 'Mango man' it referred to the kith of a prominent leader not Arvind Kejriwal.The 'halo' does not refer to the latter.

Coming to the point the AAP has not evolved into a gargantuan size for the fact that they are being nudged and jostled by bigger parties to get noticed.Show Biz thrives in a city like Delhi.That reminds me of the recently released film 'Satyagraha' did not make a mark as expected because the director of this good film has a low profile in Delhi. I do remember his fledgling days in film making when he made documentary films for FD (Films Division).This body educates the audience about India and the world just before an entertaining film is shown.Today the FD is non-existent.

Show Baazi also means when the tailors get an opportunity (***** means 5-star) to showcase their talent through Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal etc...the event is BIG. Fortunately these 'mahaan' designers held fashion shows recently that was termed'Bridal Wear'.Oh to see brides (models) wearing black. Shocking but why black? Only Grooms should know what black portends.

To speak of the lesser known facts about India's financial maze. Do keep wondering about the seven new banks to be announced soon by the few industrial heavyweights. Money-laundering, capital transfers, bulk selling or buying of stocks are quite innovative (read manipulative) ways to prepare for the General Elections. Media barons will be on sedatives to overlook these deals. Silence is Golden...Gold....Yellow metal. Do not indulge in yellow journalism - choose any colour but black.    

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mango Man in a Banana Republic!

How can one connect rotation of the earth to a whirl of thoughts that influence human beings through the media. Almost a year ago, some disruptive, cognitive and benevolent elements of the society babbled about the common man....the momentum picked up - some lauding, some criticising (snooty ones), all because they stumbled upon the commonman - the aam aadmi. Gradually we re getting aware of the 'corrupt' virus stinging our lives. How our politicians can hear the cock crow about the 'sin' called corruption. Our polity is draped in this multi-layered garment of corruption. Even 'Duryodhan' may be harrowed with his job (with due reverence to Sr Krishna and the Pandavas). 

I am wondering how much 'halo' (periphery) he (that man) would have acquired for calling the Aam Aadmi the Mango Man of a Banana Republic. Especially when a top politician is inclining towards pleasing the common man. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jai Nayak--an entire career which stilled his life with stills.

Travails of a photographer,cannot be undermined,he who puts his heart,soul and a pair of blessed eyes to slog day in and day out.His assignments ranged from humans to nature.He felt he was the chosen one for all our exhibitions which called for minute details about fabric,grace and the best faces.Recent news about him was the onset of glaucoma that struck Jay and has rendered him jobless and neglected.A benevolent businessman from Gujarat has offered him monetary help with an apprentice to wield his camera.Quite strange the sightless can usher in a career so late in life for a job that requires an eye for aesthtetics.Behold that eye which navigates on the spoken word from the mind's eye.I salute Jay.You are remembered always when I see model posing to be framed as the best face.