Friday, May 31, 2019

TED Talk- How to build in your confidence by Brittany Packnett

Confidence is a life skill. It empowers to you for your growth as a human being. Brittany Packnett's story is inspiring and groundbreaking on confidence. Especially her anecdote of her student Jamal.  

 Brittany emphasizes on three things that are needed to build confidence. 

Permission to defy expectations and be confident about things you do. 
Community to nurture the confidence one has &
Curiosity building will help us to be in charge of our learning. 

Describing confidence, she also said, "If you have too much confidence it could be you're not rooted to something real."

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mallesham- The Story that changed a lot of lives.

Mallesham is the story I first heard at TEDx Tribe. TEDxHyderabad got him to share his idea. News. Media. A lot is there but thanks to my ignorance. Didn't get much chance to know more about it. After listening to Mallesham's Talk. I was overwhelmed by the kind of story he had to share. "My mother is the inspiration to do all these and I got the machine named after my mother. Lakshmi ASU Machine."

It was quite inspiring to listen to how it affected a lot of lives.  And just as I watched Mallesham Trailer. The movie is made to tell Mallesham's story on the big screen. These are the kind of movies that'll be welcomed. And it's amazing to see the crew being at their best as well as narrating the story in the best way. Eagerly waiting for the movie now.

Stories from Sirohi- What's in a Name.

"What's your full name?" asked many people. Another place, another situation, the same question. 

We visited a community hall to have our lunch.  Like every village, this village has its own customs and traditions.

A person who's local to the village introduced to the community hall people as his men. 

The first day, we were asked our names while handing out the tokens. 'Maybe they're trying to know us.' I assumed. It was more like an enquiry rather than an icebreaker.  I couldn't understand why we were asked only names before handing out the tokens. We told our names and joined for the food. 

Two days passed, we went to have our lunch. This time, he asked, "what's your caste?"

Just another question? 

It sounded more than just an inquiry, just a question. A judgment and discriminational inquiry! Startled by such open discriminatory looks, I mumbled out my caste. My friend also answered and claimed ourselves as vegetarians. 

The mere question of our name and caste was so surprising, that they were trying to find out what's our identity.

We didn't want to visit the place again. 

We felt judged. 

One simple question that took me upon a reflection of identities. How do these villagers identify each other? 

Progress in the regressive thinking.

The village does not have any hotels. There's no one who could host us lunch. We visited the community hall again for the food. This time, we were asked the name and also our caste.  We have been judged again!!  We were okay to be judged rather than starve in that village without food and water in a hot summer.  I don't get what it is to identify one by caste.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Social Media Stories

I remember signing up for social media during my high school. Facebook, Twitter.  I was never a compulsive user yet I was the most active user on social media. I always accessed social media through laptop and mostly during late nights where I get my most free time. 

With publishing many of my success on social media, I was showered by a lot of wishes and then a lot of conversations through media. That's when I was wired for the likes. I didn't knew about it then but, later through introspection I realised it that that's when my behaviour patterns changed in accessing social media. 

Struggling with all these platforms, comes the new app. Instagram. At first, I was never interested in it, but over time, with few amazing pictures clicked, wanted to flaunt by uploading them. Then it started and over time, I expressed myself through a lot of images. 

All the social media seemed an abyss. With endless scrolling, I would be unnerved by all the feed. Knowing that it's not helping me, I'd still get onto social media. That's when I realised I've turned compulsive on social media. 

These days, I regulated my Facebook usage at a great extent. And Instagram, I use it for a few days, take a break for a month and get onto it, to share all the stories. 

With Instagram, I've tried a lot of methods. I used to upload a lot of pictures all at once and then uninstall it. 

I'm always conscious of what I share on social media. It's just that the feed. The endless scrolling is what troubles me. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

TED Talk- The linguistic genius of babies

It's interesting and amazing how a child can learn sounds and languages. Patricia mentioned how kids learn through humans effectively rather than mere audio or video. It's interesting to explore in those areas. There's also another article that helped me to understand more about the Language learning during early childhood.

Narrating at his best

Working on story narration in education, I got reminded of Chetan's narration that's gripping, humorous and a lot of fun. Chetan is good at narrating the stories. He narrates the story by adding his reaction to the incidents. His tone, his language, and the intonation seem perfect for the kind of stories he narrates. I remember a day en route to a tournament, Chetan watched a movie and started narrating during the whole journey. He tells the boring story also in an interesting way. His narration to the crowd is memorable. His narration  of  a boring movie is also worth listening 

That's Chetan acting as a selfie Stick as well.

Engineering Desing and those days

I visited a heritage site and was surprised to see this architecture back in the 12th Century.

Stress Reduction Design.

Looking at the pillar, I got reminded of my Engineering Classes which I barely attended. I remember
studying stress concentration and the ways to reduce the stress in a structure by various design methods.

Engineering Design by R S Khurmi. I may not know the subject well but I know what book is referred by the prof. We hardly refer the book to study the subject. That's another story for another day.

End of the day, other branches envy us for the open book test we have for Engineering Design exam. And having all the chances to ace in the exam, we huddle up and laugh out loud for the lamest jokes on the earth just before the exam. 

As I saw the pillar, I got reminded of Stress reduction methods. Engineering Design and a lot of other memories we made.

SummerHill by A.S.Neil

SummerHill is a the school set up by A.S.Neil in 1921. This is a progressive Education school where there is no force on kids to sit in classes. They're free either to study or play. They believe in child play. In the age of the schools where there's seldom given a thought of all-round education, this school back in the 1920s made children's freedom the main objective. It's surprising to see such a radical approach being started during those years.

 Summerhill believes in freedom. Author Neil emphasizes how we as adults should not demand the children to be just like how we want them to be. Children have to grow on their own.  Such freedom gives the child to be self-regulatory and makes his life.

'No classes, No focus on studying subjects. What do they become in life asks many.'

As there's no force on what to learn and what to practice, many kids in the school learn by their own interest. There'd be kids of age 18 who walk out of the school with basic literacy. But, still, they make a good life.

Neil in his words, says, "Creators learn what they want to learn in order to have the tools that their originality and genius demand."

By the way, Summerhill emphasizes about the kids who lived in the free environment from early childhood. It's unwise to expect a teen to attend the school and get changed immediately.

How Summerhill is different from main schools?

Summerhill wants kids to be happy in life. They need to contend in their life. They do not force any kid to attend the classes, they leave it out to the children. If they do not want to read, they'll not read. When given such freedom. Neil talks about many kids who are good in their lives. They may not be rich, engineers, doctors but they're doing what they love.

"If a child is free to approve of himself, he will not usually be hateful."

Many may assume, that freedom is of no rules. Of course, there are rules made by children. They function in a democratic way.  They have a General Body Meeting where they discuss the issues and vote it out. One student chairs the meeting and he selects the next chairing person for the next meeting.

Children need to be happy. Indeed everyone in this world ought to. Is it not for happiness that we strive for? They may become a carpenter, engineer, singer, musician. Whatever they decide to become, they'll be happy rather than doing what they don't love and spending a hateful life.

Neil also mentions how he sees success. "Success is the ability to work joyfully and to live positively."

The free Child. Letting the child to be himself outlives his various self-interests and regulates himself by his adulthood. 

To teach children the moral values is something that comes out of fear and jealousy.  "The art of dealing with the children can be defined as knowing what not to say," says Neil.  As adults, we tend to preach and teach kids all sorts of values that we acquired. We always try to rub in our prejudices, notions, values jealousy rather than letting the child creating his own.

Be it about masturbation, destruction, hatred. There are a lot of things that we prohibit the children from, by painting a lot of things with the values we define.

Listening to this, many misinterpret freedom. "Freedom is tough," says Neil.  It's not easy to give freedom.

Giving out everything that children ask is not freedom. Neil cracks between how his school functions and how he deals with different kinds of kids in this book.

Many kids come to his school with various issues. Neil tries to analyze and solve their inhibitions, hatred.

Neil talks about the love that cures everything. To explain what love means is to explain what love is not in our terms. Neil shares a lot of anecdotes talking about how children are not to be misinterpreted.

Most of the content in the books seems relative to me. 

Ranging from Obedience to Religion, Neil discussed a lot in this book. It's quite an interesting read.

It'd be unwise to strictly take few things granted by reading the book as it's for every book. Highly recommended yet suggested to be more reflective during the reading as, one would get shocked to read various strong analysis be it on adults or the children.

To this year, also the Summerhill functions headed by Neil's daughter Zoe. The prerequisite to seeking admission to this school is that parents need to read Summerhill and discuss it with the principal. Quite an interesting read.

Visit to Kalandhari Village

During the hot summer morning. I headed to the village Kalandhari. With the sight of the Aravali mountain ranges around,  harsh hot air gushing onto the faces, we reached the place. We got into our Library and started working there.

An interesting conversation took place when Dyu & I went for lunch. We went and asked for the food. Before he gave out the receipts, he asked our names. I couldn't' guess for what reason I was asked but, later I could assume what they were really wanted to know. We were outsiders and they wanted to check our identity through our names. Outsiders are always questioned. It'd be great if it was inquisitive in nature but not, out of fear.  

Monday, May 27, 2019

Quote of the day

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.

– Jean Cocteau

TED Talk- Why our screens make us less happy

He shares about the screen time people have and also discusses how to get rid of the phones. He talks about Stopping Cues. We need to create the stopping cues to make our lives more meaningful.

Article on Instagram's new Design

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Children, Children and more children- Stories from Sirohi

Children, Children and more children.

Parent Teachers Meeting at the school and generally, parents need to go to class and visit teachers. I followed one parent when they came to 8th class and a lot of other kids also joined. Parents spoke to the teacher. Nodded for everything the teacher was mentioning. "Send the kids to the school. Attendance is important."

Yes for everything. And they go to the next class, 6th. Nodded for everything the teacher was mentioning. "Send the kids to the school. Attendance is important. Listen to the report card when the kids read. Nod for everything.

And later, they move into 5th class. I joined them walking around and asked the kid if all the kids who are around them are their siblings. And yes, 7 kids. And each one is in a different class.

Seeing those kids studying 8th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd,1st and so on. I was wondering what's one take on population. Family of 10 people barely able to meet the needs and I am a skeptic of creating an environment for them to study and have a good childhood.

I always heard that our older generation didn't have an education, that's the reason they had huge families. Looking at these families, I suspect that prejudice.

I wish that these kids do not commit the mistakes their parents did. The moment they begin to think and act, then I see the purpose of education is being fulfilled. In what way do we see the purpose of education?

Stories from sirohi

As a kid, I always went early to school during summer day school. 

We played in between the time we got until the 1st period. We played in the classroom though.  Now, I reminisce the memories by looking at the children who come early to school to play.

Here, in this school, there are kids who come early before the time to play football, cricket and also the hula hoops.

And there comes fellows and  teachers huddling for a small game before school starts. We don't mind sweating like kids do but we make sure we play for little time.

The Leader Lessons

Once, I attended Harry's meetings with his people. Harry in his usual cool manner started talking to his people. Over the time, I could see an interesting question series.

"Our libraries are not working because we do not have the books that encourage the people to read." said Harry.

"One wants Bhagavad Gita, another wants some other book. We may not afford to go according to people's taste," whispered one of the associates.

Libraries are meant to create the habit of reading and increase the reading culture. Where did we go wrong?" asked the Leader Harry and sat silent to listen out the responses from everyone.

"We're doing good," said the Librarian in confidence. On being asked about the data, number of issues, the kind of books that are issued,  he mumbled and sat back in his seat.

Leader Harry pointed out few libraries and said, "I'm sure there are so many books untouched because, they're so tightly packed in the shelves that I couldn't take out the book from it. If that's how we maintain libraries, what are we dealing with?"

Everyone in the room were quite comfortable with the notion of, all's well.  Harry looked at everyone and asked if they ever read sparing the other visitors.

"What are you reading? What's the last book you read? The book you carry, bring  it out to the bed or any book that you have now? what are you reading now?"

Of 40, 4 voices listed out the books, they're reading. 

Harry looked at everyone and gave a smirky smile to leave out the opinion of  what they are  speaking and practicing.

Another associate went on to ask, "What are you reading?"

Then came a series of books that Harry is reading.

Impressive Harry!!. Speak what you practice. Practice what you speak. 

Travel Diaries- Uttarakhand

Uddam Singh Nagar is quite interesting place to visit. It's a place populated by migrants of Independence and also Indo- Pak War of 1971.  Spent great time amidst the fields enjoying the rural scene of Uttarakhand. 

Rice Fields right behind our school.

I'm not bored and I do not like it- Thought of the day

In the past, I did a lot of things to beat the boredom. Now, I miss the feeling of being bored.

I see myself being consumed by an external source to beat my boredom. Reflecting on my thought patterns, I realised that  I wake up and look at the phone for the messages notifications be clueless of what's happening. I tend to listen or watch something. I’m always in urge of passing time through news, notifications, words or anything. I go to work, I cannot pay attention to the meetings if they do not grab my attention. I take out my phone, and consume a lot of junk or lock, unlock the screen for n number of times. I’m consumed by external medium but not my thoughts whenever I felt bored.

I did not free myself by a train of thought but, took passive entertainment through surfing twitter feed or google news.

With these kinda thought patterns, I became compulsive eventually creating a pattern. whenever I feel bored I do not let myself to be in that space where I’m bored. I do not even tend to do something that’s creative. I’m always relied on taking out the phone or laptop and consume a lot of unnecessary stuff.

At another reflection, I figured out that I get more of my ideas, thoughts when I’m free from all these over stimulating information. Maybe, that space of being bored let me be creative which is highly needed right now.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind - Movie

True Story.

Teach the kids to read they'll figure out what to read. Create the environment and they'll adapt and grow. It's refreshing to see how kid dreams big and is convicted to his dreams.

Stories from Sirohi- School Friendship

Looking at the kids and the bond they have towards each other reminds me of my school friends.

School Friendship is where we make friends on god know what reasons. We do not have an objective. We do not have many judgments, comments. It's mostly like either I like you and I like you more. There's very little space for any hatred or other judgement. Looking at the kids remind me of my school friends. 

The friendship I had with Suhas, Imran, Shravan, Gopal, Vipul, Srikanth, Srinivas. 

Bag of love & Happy memories

Looking at the rucksack, I get reminded of Shreya and all the boys.

Onroute to Ahmedabad
I'm moving places with this rucksack and I reminisce the memories I had with these people. 

Weeks never passed without meeting them. I'm grateful to have their time and love. The gift I received just before I head to Rajasthan. This reminds me of the best wishes I was given by all the loved ones. I travel places with these rucksack and looking at this at various locations brings me a smile. 

At Patan

At Rajasthan

At Sirohi

Back to the concrete jungle.

It's been 3 weeks since I saw the face of city and I'm back to the ruckus, cacophonous city. I take an app to call the cab. I see the apartments towered up. People hustling to their own places. 

And I wish to return to the village. I may not be progressive but I walk with enjoyment for hours rather than be in this hustle bustle.

The spirit of the Classroom by T.M Krishna

T.M Krishna talks about art and mentions how we perceive art in the class room. Describing art beyond the literal meaning of it, he urges to look at the way that's helpful in the classroom as well.

Like T.M Krishna mentioned, "music and dance are seen as vehicles for providing cultural, religious and national reiterations. They are about pride and the celebration of our national identity."

During my school days, as I recollect, often we have dances performances mostly on celebrating national identity. It's usual to see such performances on Independence day, republic day but also,  at annual days and other times. 

Without a thought, one could easily fall into the trap of conditioning to such thoughts. 

 If one can find art in everything, there's an emotional intensity one can bring into the classroom. If teacher can bring out such interesting things, i'm sure, there'll be a lot of change. Good piece written by T.M. Krishna

A decade to the Facebook.

I got onto Facebook to play the game Farmville. So addicted that I played for two years, reaching 256 level. After playing at odd hours, networking with lot of friends  asking for gifts and receiving gifts and pacing at a great level, I questioned if I there's a proper end to it. I had this question at many times but I was swept by the enjoyment and the happy rush I got from seeing that I'm advancing in levels. I realized I was on the loop. This game would continue till level 2000 and still it's the same with few changes in the game. Realizing about the loop, I didn't enjoy it and stopped playing the game. 

Since it's a simulation social network game, I had to login to Facebook to play this. I stopped playing but couldn't stop myself from logging into Facebook. I  didn't observe the Facebook loop then. I made a lot of friends, shared pictures, spent most of my time at Facebook. Got habituated and thus became an active user on Facebook.

Now as, I recall how I'd spent time without  being on Facebook, I can't imagine what all I would do? 

The 70s Biker

Dyu and I rushed into a mechanic shop for a small fitting to the bike. A general statement was passed. 

"Kitha Time lagta hai? Meruku Jaldi chahiye."

Listening to this, the old man said, "Kisi ke paas bhi time nahi hai!

Every man who comes, tells us the same and indeed looks like, it's us who sit here and wait for people to come. May be little patience is needed. Even we work!!." 

With assertion, he mentioned how everyone wants only his work to be a priority but least bothers about what others are there for. 

Joining him for a conversation, as we waited for his helper in the shop, uncle shared an anecdote.

In 1969, I failed in the 3rd class and my dad put me in a mechanic shop for the work.  I started learning the work from my Guru and still, he is called around as "Mewadi King" Woh Mechanic Nahi hai, Mewadi King. He is still the best in whole Udaipur. 

He gives the time to the customers and they need to make it to the time. That's how he was and he is."

Later, talking about traveling, uncle shared how he crisscrossed the country on his scooter in the 1970s. He went from Bombay to Lucknow on his scooter.

I laughed at myself imagining thumping chests on shallow achievements. We seek validation for small achievements where there are these people who have a rich experience of everything in life are there enjoying it completely without extra validation.  

Glad to meet him and take few tips on biking.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Walk The Talk- CEO Lessons

As we walked in, CEO Anurag casually sat on the chair  initiating the conversation, questioning the utmost usual question

"Kya Haal Chaal Hai?"

The sight of him, in casual clothes and command in communication made me believe  what's needed is needed and all other things really don't matter.

The image of CEO is shattered when I see the way he brings himself into conversation. Interested to see how he brings up the whole meeting,

 "Elections," answered in one voice.

"What's the scene here?"

All of us tend to  think of the country as if we know it corner to corner and everything by drop of hat.

"Let's talk about Sirohi first, then Desh." said  Anurag.

It's so true that we tend to make it macro on our political lens and less we acknowledge the importance of our local governance.

Bringing the topic of election, Anurag asked for the views on Bal Panchayat.

Very direct in the questions and asked of it's purpose?

Receiving the answers, validating with the teachers, he discussed if we're meeting the objective. Some of his words seemed so reasonable to practice and learn in life as well as at workplace. 

"Since there's high chance of  effective background work but the less implementation of the work at ground, it's high time we see if the result is meeting the objective."

"Reasoning with the objectives and constant reflection on the style of our work matters  we're here in the institutions to educate children."

"Vigilance is the price of the democracy."

"With constant reflection, one should also be always contemporary to the methodologies and work."

"Ritualism with a reasoning may work when it's validated through a lot of working objectives. But constant reflection should not be at passive." 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Cobra Gypsies- Documentary

This is highly recommendable if one wants to know nomadic tribes in India. May be, all the documentaries have different objectives that are subtly shown. In the aspects of film making, the soundtrack and the visuals are appealing.

Nice article - How trees can heal people.

In this context, 'healing' is to get back to the normalcy. As we are deviated so much from the life that we are feeling anxiety for everything. Our stress levels are increasing.

To get back to the normalcy. To heal ourselves, I think forests are the best solutions. May be absence of the pollution would be the one reason. But, I believe nature indeed helps us to be our better selves. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Adalaj StepWell- Travel Diairies

Adalaj Stepwell is located at Adalaj, outskirts of Ahmedabad. It's quite near to the airport. 10-minute journey. I walked into the village and spotted a temple. Beside temple is the entrance. Three entryways and right at the centre, I could see the intricate structure.

This is a five-storeyed well which is also used as stay for the travelers. As you keep going inside, it'll be cooler.

This stepwell also has a garden outside where people sleep under the shade of the trees.

Intricate Design. Islamic Architecture.

2nd Stair.

One of the entrance. 
Adalaj Stories.

I discovered an interesting story of Adalaj, This stepwell is also called as "RudaBai ki Vav."  Rudabai's husband, Rana Veer Singh wanted to construct a step well for his people in the kingdom as there was a water crisis. In the course of construction, he waged a war with Muhammad and was killed.

Mahmud Begada didn't let Rudabai performing Sati. He wanted to marry the queen Rudabai. On insisting, queen requested to complete the construction of the well first. He constructed the well with a marvel design plan and intricate architecture. 

The reason this step well has mixed architecture is that it was started by one and ended by the other. Many flowers and a lot of other patterns can be spotted in this well.

Upon the completion of the stepwell, Rudabai committed suicide in the well itself. That's the haunting story of this well.

I found a few graves above the stepwell. Mehmud killed the masons who constructed this stepwell. He didn't want them to construct this kind of step well again.

The Graves

I wish this stepwell is revived and taken proper care. This architecture is amazing. 500 years and the structure and the motifs are still exuded with aesthetics.

Rajasthani Song- Sone Ki Ghadadyo

Chari Dance.

Water scarcity is high in this region and women take two to three of chari and carry it on their head. Little girls, women everyone is used to this routine.

And I got a chance to see them dancing with Chari on their head to this song.

Thought- Being healthy is a commitment

Being healthy is a life long commitment we need to give to ourselves. Many a times, many friends hinted me that there's a lot that goes ...