Sunday, June 30, 2019

Social Media Sabbath


Quitting social media triggered me to reflect on my needs. Wants. Desires.

Connecting to people is a need. I always wanted to be surrounded by many people but,  I wished for something and I got something in return.

The purpose of social media changed in many ways at many times. During 10th class, the purpose of logging into facebook was just to play Farmville. During Inter, I went on to share all the quotes and interesting stories I heard. Conversations were always done through comments with school friends.

Comes Engineering and social media is all about the highlights. It's funny that I was never much into social media during my engineering course. I was always connected with people. I used it frequently at most of my free time and shared without an expectation or any assumptions. Expectations of people looking at my post. Assumption, that people would actually think about my views.

That was the least thought of it. 



Over the time, I created out my Author page, Community page. Tried sharing my writings. I didn't enjoy the sharing rather than the process. I was possessive about my writings yet I was the author. Had the dilemma if I had to share or not. Despite the skeptical thoughts I had on social media, many people wrote, shared messages on my book through social media. Once I had the flood of notifications, traffic on facebook, I got used to it.

Soon after the author page stint, I caught up with TEDx community stuff. Went full on to the social media to share the message. Thanks to social media, I reached out to many people.

It was after college, I got addicted to social media, thanks to my smart phone. Till then, my social media usage was active yet, very controlled and purposeful.

Comes the smart phone and a lot of time on hands, I turned compulsive on social media. Mindless scrolling. Do not know for what I open facebook everytime I browse.

I didn't had an eye for it and i turned compulsive on social media.

Social Network Sabbath

Social media and the urge to stay afloat on views, likes, shares. I'm not immune to a lot of things that are on media but, I wish to be connected but not manipulated by the algorithms. 

I'm all in for the great positive change but, I'm skeptical about staging away without being affected. I do not see it being effected evidently. However, I take a step back and I see it the way it is affecting my thought patterns. 

Should I blame the internet & Social media? This is being shallow complaint to make. It's not about the medium but the compulsiveness I've got through the medium. Is it designed to make me compulsive? yet to reflect on it. 

I do not like the compulsive behaviors I've. Being compulsive of anything seems to be of behavior that has to be changed. I should work on it.

 Can't let the compulsiveness compel me to sabotage my productivity, my life, and my creativity. 


"You're not the only artist! All artists are on social media. Don't complain." said a lot of friends. 

Not to be blind to the reality of their life. Seeing the selected/ curated online content of someone's life may give you false notions of their social media usage. And for, Gods sake, they have a team to handle their social media handles.  A whole team! 

Social media may be a must for everyone who wants to engage but it does come with some baggages which you can't reject.  

Thoughts of the day.

"Censorship actually works by flooding information with a lot of people."

Flood people with info to the degree that they can't make sense of reality anymore. Little deep into it, are we being part of it?? Yes, I feel so.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Stories from Sirohi

 The kids come from different backgrounds. What does English mean to them? As a teacher, what's my objective? Do I have to cater to their immediate needs in the language or work on the basics that they gotta work on no matter what?  Basics. Am I assuming that I'll be stopped or Effective communication is needed with the team to work on what's needed rather than what's expected.  

Talking about the community, being a teacher, gives us the task of thinking of students beyond the classroom.  As a school teacher, it's very important to analyze, how kids are outside the classes, premises. Not to be vigilant but, to understand and educate them in an effective way.

 

I'm visiting classes 4,5,6 and didn't have good communication beyond the subject. I do not know how to break the ice and win their trust. If they trust me enough to learn from me, they're gonna put their effort from their side.  It's important to win their trust. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Thought Experiment - Social Media Sabbath


Linked In seems to be the wrong place to search for motivational, interesting stuff. Because, everyone one wants to sound right, wise and helping. First of all, the medium makes a lot of difference. The sight of every friend sounding philosophical, and glorifying the work or field they're in(including me) wasn't appalling.

My whole time on Linked In would not account for one hour. So, during this social media sabbath, I hadn't had LinkedIn in mind to deactivate.

Deactivated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Want to see how I spend time without social media. What kind of information do I read? What's my productivity? To observe 'me minus social media' seemed to be fun. On with the experiment.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Happy birthday Teddy

Over Basketball court, while she and Srinidhi were in search of her short friend. I ran into them. We shared a tidbit of conversation. And caught up in friendly banter over balling. We ended up becoming great companions. 

Summer of 2011. 

Looking back to 8 years and a lot has changed. We took our ways, we've our life. We deal with one own sorta stuff all throughout the time. Bit the bond to reach over in happy times and tough times. is what ends has endured our friendship.

Sanam Jindani a.k.a Teddy is full of warmth, affection, and sensible. She's not the person who can put up with trivial stuff is she's not into it. She's anything but okayish.

Our once in blue moon meets always etch me an experience I cherish. She was there during my tough times. And her company was the only solace I got at that time. We do not stay in touch but still has the trust of backing each other.

I'm happy to celebrate your birthday. Happy birthday Teddy. 


Nanasense by J P Das

I read the  English translation of Nanasense.  Loved all the pieces written on animals. Quite funny and nonsensical. Couldn't relate much to the pieces written on humans.



Learning & Livelihood


Kids come from different backgrounds. I enter the class to teach English and there is a kid deprived of sleep, thanks to his father who got into a fight with the neighbor and it was a ruckus in the village.
Kids from both families were affected. The violence they had witnessed and the kind of the environment they'd be exposed is quite violent and hard-hitting to them.

Amidst all these, it's stupidity for me to really worry about him not paying the attention. The kind of empathy I needed to emote with the kids is immense because I could see myself putting more of my reactive behaviour rather than responding behaviour. 
 


Monday, June 24, 2019

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Other Words for Home is a journey of an immigrant. This is written in verse. The perfect genre for the brevity as well as emotion.  Jasmine Warga introduces to the whole new world and takes you along as you keep reading the verse. Written in simple words the impact it gave me is immense for, it's intensity.  There are so many verses I'd love to quote and reread at times. There are a few interesting things I've learnt through this book. In the US the winter break is not called as Christmas break for a reason because, that's the same time, other festivals like Hanukkah, Kwanza are also celebrated. Jewish and African festivals. There are a few Arabic words which I learnt the meaning. Never knew Marhaba was an Arabic Word. Jasmine Warga seems to be a heart touching poet.






Her luck splits open rocks.
I am still waiting to feel like the force
and less like the rocks.

He seems busy
is all I manage.
Aunt Michelle gives me a sad smile.
I think it’s more than that.
But she doesn’t say anything else.
I think again of that Arabic proverb:
He cannot give what he does not have.


In my months of speaking English
while still thinking,
still dreaming,
in Arabic,
I have learned that sometimes
the simplest things are
the hardest things to say.


It’s really awful
what happened to her parents’ restaurant, Sarah adds.
Will you let me know if
there is anything I can do to help?
I think again
of that proverb:
She cannot give what she doesn’t have.
Sarah gained something tonight.
Something she didn’t have before.
And now she is giving some of it
to me.
I will, I say
with a small smile.


The whole book is a gem. Thanks Yash for the suggestion. Would recommend to all the poetry lovers.



Quote of the day


"Education involves a passion to know that should engage us in a loving search for knowledge"
                                                                                                -Freire, 1998

Sunday, June 23, 2019

An Off Day Game

Sync Sound Movie.  I discovered this movie through Cinematographer, Indrajith's interview.  Brilliant cinematography and is worth watching.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Disconnection between Schools and Society- Thoughts

Colonial Educationist Mayhew noted of our education system 60 years ago.

"When the educated Indian is most himself, in the expression of his deepest emotion, and in the domestic or communal enjoyment of his leisure, he shows the least trace of what our schools and colleges have given him. "



The connection between society and the schools seemed to be broken back in those days itself. I see a little change in the education system and its impact on the individual. The education in India depicts the wishes, dreams of Indians on Education. Economic upliftment is one wish that everyone wishes for. And in the course of acquiring the wants, the education system in India has turned out to answer the wants of few people without holistic teaching of the knowledge. 

In dialogue with Gautam


Talking to Gautam, he shared, " I think, there are two people who are the reason why I'm thinking the way I'm thinking like this. It's Warren Buffet & A.P.J Abdul Kalam who influenced me.

There's a quote of Warren Buffet, which he talks about need.



If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need


"We do not need a lot of things yet we're tempted to acquire them. Thanks to consumerism." 

And also, A.P.J Abdul Kalam is the person who influenced me a lot. The kinda curiosity he engulfed in me is immense. He's the person who spent a lot of his time with kids. One needs to acknowledge how important it is to focus on the children, as they're the future."


I remember listening to Gautam sharing his passion for Lamborghini during the first days of engineering. His intense passion was easily visible by his extensive research on it and it's one of the traits that make him apart from us with casual interests. His passion paved for learning and did commendable work during engineering.  He was driven by the quest for learning. He worked on a drone prototype for his final project. Quite interesting stuff. 

Years passed and we caught up in a casual conversation on life and things that are worrying us. Both of us were on the same boat about the effects of social media and how humans are being downgraded eventually. 
He shared about soft robotics and jaw-dropping stories that are being researched on by tech giants.

We seemed to live in crazy times. While we pace up for the imaginative, crazy world, the real problems seemed to be immense. The water crisis in India & quality education is something that's scary. 

Besides all these, optimism and quest for learning are always on the go. Glad to catch up with Gautam after a long time. 

Memories- Gadget free Goa trip.


On the visit to Goa, Uday, Madhu & I spoke to parents about our arrival. And we threw our phones somewhere into the bags. Not until the last day of the tour, we took them back to check the status of it. None of us had the interest to click the picture of us and every moment was fun and of thrill. Recording every moment seemed futile since what happens in Goa should stay in Goa. We were there for more than a week and no picture would make it up for the trip. We went to a basketball tournament. Not for once, we felt we needed a phone. Such gadget free trips is a rarity as I don't go to a place with friends who can make me leave everything behind and enjoy the days. 

New Blogging confusion- Thoughts

I started blogging after looking at Chinmayi's blog. I was inspired by the way she was sharing her experiences, thoughts. I got connected to her stories and wanted to have a record of my own. 

Starting the blog was an impulsive thought. I started blogging and stopped it after some time.

I kept sharing a few pieces now and then on the blog. I continued journalling but shared the blog in a rare time. After 2014, I got back onto the blog and started writing consistently. I still had questions on if my blogs are worth sharing but I was always reminded of my purpose in blogging by various friends' experiences. Many of my friends blogged for the record. "Just keep writing," they said. 

It's easy to listen but to internalize and come in terms with the deal I've made with myself was tough. After many conflicting thoughts, I slowly started blogging regularly. The blog helps me to get back many of many writings, stories I want to reread.

In conversations with co-passengers

Journey #1

I was on my way to Patan in a small van. One old man got into the van and sat in front of me. Answering my questions about Patan, he questioned me in return about my place. 

"Hyderabad," I said and he spoke a lot in Gujarati. 

I couldn't understand a word. These days, most languages are bilingual. English is mixed in some way or the other but, this old man spoke a lot of Gujarati which I couldn't understand at all. 

"He's a businessman and has buffalo business in Hyderabad," said another person sitting next to me. 

Great. Glad to meet many businessmen in Gujarat. 


Journey #2


On my way to Ahmedabad from Patan. I boarded a train and had a co-passenger who got into a conversation with me. He speaks in Gujarati, I speak in Hindi. I barely understand him yet, I didn't stop asking him questions. He may have understood my one line answers and kept asking me simple questions. 

We don't know each other. We hardly understood each other's language yet, we spoke. We talked about Patan, it's history, crops. 

He's a farmer and handles dairy farming as a side business. 



Journey#3

I took an auto from Sabarmati Railway Station to Gandhi Ashram. The election season and can see Modi everywhere. Looking at my traveler attire, he asked me where I'm coming from. After sharing a titbit of information. He asked if election got over at my place.
 "Yes," I said. 

And Ahmedabad being the capital, I couldn't stop asking, how is it in Ahmedabad. And the story got started. 

"You don't need to ask. You don't need to campaign. Modi will win again. It's Modi everywhere."


I was playing the role of audience to the appreciation of Modi. After a few minutes, he tells me in a lesser tone. "Sir, here people think accordingly to caste. Idhar Log Jaathi Bedh bahut he, vaisi Vote bhi Karte log."

 It's everywhere. The political discussions have never changed. Be it in newsrooms, friend's banter it's always who. God bless people who talk on 'what needs to be done.'

Social Media Sabbath


Linked In seems to be the wrong place to search for motivational, interesting stuff. Because, everyone one wants to sound right, wise and helping. First of all, the medium makes a lot of difference. The sight of every friend sounding philosophical, and glorifying the work or field they're in(including me) wasn't appalling.

My whole time on Linked In would not account for one hour. So, during this social media sabbath, I hadn't had LinkedIn in mind to deactivate.

Deactivated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Want to see how I spend time without social media. What kind of information do I read? What's my productivity? To observe 'me minus social media' seemed to be fun. On with the experiment.

Thoughts- Clueless with a lot of clarity.

In this world, how funny are we??  We grow up doing things we're not sure of. We do because people have done it before and we do not reflect on our wishes, wants, and be in the cycle making it a loop. While on the other side, the underprivileged try to realize their dreams, wishes but do not have the courage to dream because of their economic resources and tries to dream of what they see around. They want to get into the place where the clueless' lives

Grass is greener on the other side. Corporate Computer engineer gets the respect that's hard to get through a teaching job. Teachers think Engineers do a great job because they're creators. Engineers on the other end in a whole different situation which others can't think do the monotonous job thinking other jobs are pretty cool. With their lackluster knowledge of a few routines and real objective of the work, they do not get involved in work and does it without much attachment. I'm not speaking for everyone.

 

Everyone feels they're experts in the field enough to criticize their own field and appreciate the other field which they've to know the idea of. A few basic things they want to see. Fat paycheck. Little order they've set in and everyone thinks they got a class.

 

When does one start loving their work and stop comparing it to the delusional things of the other field.

 

Really? You do not really know. What goes into it?

 

Half of us are clueless with half of the clarity.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Undivided Attention Podcast


The Undivided Attention Podcast. Listened to the podcast of  Centre form Humane Technology which brings out the problems the companies and technology have brought us. 

Tristan had a conversation with Natasha, the author of the 'Addiction by Design.' She researched on  Las Vegas Gambling and shared a lot of inside stories of Gambling. She shared interesting insights on the addiction and mechanics of Las Vegas.

It's interesting how the architecture of the gambling zones are designed to lure the consumers into endless time.  Few interesting aspects that surprised me are the interior designing and the absence of right angles on the carpets. 

"The carpet is drawing them into the gaming areas, they are sort of narrowing at the right point, and they are never, never having the right angles in them. And that is very important not to have right angles in the carpets because what a right angle does is it stops you up, and puts you in the position of a decision maker, where you have to make a choice, into the gaming area-"

Last thing a casino wants the person is to decide. We think we're the decision makers but we're easily deceived by the atmosphere. 

The designing casino manuals say, "Not analyze the various things you observe as you meander along, we want to curve you to where we want you.""

The curvature design hasn't ended in the carpet, it went on to the curvature of ergonomic seats. The seats are designed especially for the elderly to allow the flow of blood through arteries.  In a production line, there's productivity to produce and these designs are implemented to increase the continuous gaming productivity.

Back then, productivity was worked on to get the efficient work from the assembly line and now, it's to get more money from the consumer.


Natasha also shared a lot of interesting insights on how light, space matters.  "Right, so you are measuring that light doesn't bounce directly at people from interior surfaces because that will bring them to awareness and tax their senses. You don't want sound to bounce off walls and come and again make you feel depleted,"

With this kind of designs, I really wonder how IT office architecture is planned. With conglomerates like TCS, Infosys, what do they expect from their employees. 

I personally find the architecture dull, boring, uninspiring. I wonder what do they have in mind in designing these spaces. I also remember my architect friend mentioning, "Lights in IT spaces are so screwed up that they want you not to think much but do monotonous works with a herd mentality."

Back to the podcast lessons,  Natasha explained how there's a  shift from mechanical reels to computational devices. Despite the upgrade in the devices, the design to trap the customer into the game as there's time on the device, they've also computed many false wins to let them be in the zone.

There are levels that are not too tough so that you give up, there are also levels that are not so easy that you stop of boredom.

There's a sweet spot between anxiety and boredom where the levels challenge you to be there, playing for long time.


With this kind of methods and design, Natasha, Tristan discussed how it's a problem of technology but not the person. Because the technology around us is running on the attention economy. 

Everyone wants our attention.  Discussing if the answer rests with the individual or algorithm, Tristan concluded with great perspectives on technology and design. Love the podcast.


In between the podcast, there's a conversation between Tris and Aza discussing the problems of design and usage. Aza designed the infinite scroll. He says, " I got caught believing that making an interface easier to use meant it was better for humanity. Instead, it was one of the first interfaces that got used not to help you, but to hold you."

There are many suggestions Aza gave out to fight back the addiction. 

"If the user says like, I don't really want to be using Instagram more than 15 minutes, we'll just start slowing things down just a little bit after 15 minutes, because you've asked the user what they want and now you're just helping align their environment so that when they trust fall into the interface, the trust fall is aligned with their values and what they want. It's adding friction back into the interface."


Interesting Podcast. Here's the link. 




Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Thoughts on Education- Imitation of the practices.

One of my friend's daughter got into the 7th standard. Her drama classes are cut, and her friends join FIITJEE Coaching. There's an environment in the school that learning any other than math, science is not as important as the latter. 

I met one of my friend's cousin and asked him what does he play? "Nah. Nothing."

"Why?" I asked him.

He said the story that, he doesn't get time to play.

He studies in  6th standard and goes to school at 7.30 am and returns at 7.30 pm. 

"Which school do you study?" 

"Narayana Concept School."

Concept Schools!! What is it you learn in concept schools spending almost half your day. 

 They run the schools stating their focus on a particular kind of education. They tell what they'll be working on, IIT Foundation!! 

And knowingly, many parents send their kids without a second thought. 

In the urban scenario, engineering has become a state of privileged and a promise to the future. With such hullabaloo, there are a series of common schools who try to imitate the elite schools trying to cater to what's society is asking for. 

Society never asked for IIT. All they asked for a promise in the future and with the free market economy and elite school's methods, there's a trend everywhere where holistic education is never encouraged. Such a society would only bring out the crowd who can't be a problem solvers for the current problems in society. 




In Krishna Kumar's, "What's worth Teaching?" He talks of this elite and common school practices. This was written in 1992. Wonder what would be his comment seeing such practices in schools. 


"On the strength of elite school's recognition and status in society, they set the ethos and pace for pedagogical practices in the common schools. Indeed, the common schools have no choice except to imitate the elite schools as best as they can.  Already depleted in terms of resources and material, the common schools make life more oppressive for the child by copying the competitive ethic of elite schools, along with the obsession for individual achievement and the fetish of institutional prestige at ceremonial events. "


The Future of Education - Yuval Noah Harari & Russell Brand - Penguin Talks

Banter at Breaks

Never have a habit of drinking tea or coffee at regular times. Yet, love to come out for the break session where the talks, banter that goes on is interesting. 

Not much of politics, cinema but, with the presence of Mahinder, the language person, conversations would oscillate from history to Poetry. Philosophy to Education. Love these sessions. 

Maybe, that's the difference it causes through people, process, environment. 

With the people and their processes, the whole environment is set up. At various environments, various kind of conversations happens.  It's stupid to expect the desirable environment being in uninteresting processes and people. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Education- My first Class



I had 6 kids in my class.  2 kids were talkative and have their own laughs.  I had tough time to seek their attention. I asked 'why' questions of language and left it open to let them think 'why' we learn language.

To engage the students, I had to come up with a lot of anecdotes and contextual stories. To inculcate them into reading, I need to come up with other materials as well.

 Motivation, inspiration is needed to let them learn since at the end of the day, we're only facilitators of learning. We can't teach the learning. Give great environment so that the kid learn and most importantly, enjoy the learning.

Ending the first class, I realised  It's very important what not to say rather than what to say to the kids.  We don't need to create a perfect image but also, we don't need to bring up something which we're not.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Education- Content and Curriculum

Google has it all. You say it. Google has it.

Focussing on the content and curriculum, there's everything available on the internet. But the problem is, besides having a vast source of information on a topic, we weren't equipped with a skill to curate the content for our required studying. Given any topic, there were scores of information on the topic and it was a pain to curate the content to study, research.
Even browsing and searching is a skill that people would be valued for in coming days. 



Technology, teaching and my education.


The first encounter I had with technology in my education was in my 9th class. Thank God, it was late. We were taken into a class, which had a projector fit into the room. We were showed the images, and also a lot of text displayed to take down the notes. The teacher never tried to make it as a good experience and I also wonder If those PPTS helped as an aide as, in my engineering as well, projector, PPTs took away a lot of creativity from the room. I agree, in mechanical engineering it's' tough to get the things in practical, yet, the content curated for our teachings were never interesting. It's not that we paid no attention. I'll have to ask my friends who attended classes religiously if technology(PPTS) really helped them understand the lessons in a better way.



Thoughts- Bad inspiration

It's funny, I decided I'll write book when I was in campus Placement Training, being trained to get a job. The trainer triggered all the thoughts I had into actions.

 

"I teach you some math, some english. Since you already are in big colleges, not an issue. Teach you to lie( present yourself better) and hoorah, you'd end up in job.

 

But, is this really you want?

 

Do you really reached out to get a job or anything else?

 

That question was left to the crowd. I slept on the question. Evening, I decided I'm not gonna attend the training, since Job is not really I want.

 

What else do I do? If only I had answer for it, I'd have never been in that training. I did what clueless people did. Tried to be lazy.

 

To be lazy, need to go to home. And I went home.

 

Got the inspiration from the worse. As I saw a crappy writing being published, I thought even I can publish.  There began my journey. Thanks to that mediocre writing, who made me believe in my writing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Music Memories- Ek Mohabbat Taj Anthem


Ek Mohabbat Anthem.

Before even the reach of the internet, I was curious to know more compositions of A.R.R This is one I got during my 9th Standard. I remember walking to Satya's home to browse a lot of music. Thejaswi is one of my companion who actually listened to a lot of thoughts on A.R.Rahman and his music. Maybe it's from his home, I downloaded this song and burned them to cd and got into my home.

Back then, listening to these songs were the daily routine I had. Mom had no issue until I played loud music. My choice of music was always soothing so even Dad let me play it on Home theatre always. 10 years to the song. Listening to this, I still remember the days, I used to listen at my home back then at Chittoor.



Music Memories - Fiqrana


Listening to the song, Fiqrana is a journey, I enjoy. The way it sways through various highs and lows surprise me every time I listen to it. 

Starts as strong, sounding with an electronic beat and then in middle, comes the interlude that I'm hooked to.

And whenever I listen to this song, I get reminded of Lavu. I remember her humming this song crazily.



Nice Read- Truth, technology and teacher.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/truth-technology-and-the-teacher/article27819260.ece?homepage=true



It's true that technology is always perceived as the replacement to the teacher. Teacher never took it as an aid rather than organising the session. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Nice read- Welcoming move

Government schools’ enrolment drive gathers pace in Karimnagar: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/government-schools-enrolment-drive-gathers-pace-in-karimnagar/article27716185.ece

Elected representatives taking the ownership and walking the talk will definitely inspire others as well to enroll their children in the  Government schools.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Education- Identities


Origami day. Dealt with kids taking caring of their paintings and learned a bit Marwadi. Realized that Marwari differs as per the caste. “It’s so easy for these kids to discuss here. They identify themselves with their castes. Is it wrong? I don’t know. I’m afraid that as we identify with various things and since caste acts as a tool of discrimination. This becomes an identity to condescend others who are inferior to others.  Soon, the identity goes on to the discrimination and lies in the circle. Identifying with caste is the problem I perceive.

Kalandri Diaries

We hosted a children's camp at Kalandri Library inviting the children to engage in few activities. We had a drawing session for  kids under age 6 and above 12.

I gave out the circle games to the elders and youngest to color the circles.  Young girls and boys didn't want to sit together. They were shy. On being asked why they don't like to sit with boys," this boy swears a lot and says a lot of words," said all the girls. The other boys didn't have any issue to sit but, due to one boy, there was a lot of disturbance. Didn't want to exclude the boy by the complaints. I asked them to form a circle.

 

Once the kids began drawing, they showed great interest in the activity. They finished it pretty much fast. 



I looked at the drawings and I got reminded of the drawing that I learned as a kid in the 5th class. Darken the paper and create an image by an eraser. 

 

Watching kids reminded me of how mischievous I was. I can always see myself in a few kids. There was this kid Chiraag who was in the 1st class. He enjoyed having fun with his brother. He followed whatever his brother did. And there was another kid Girish who was quite playful. Wanted to play around in his own world.

 

There was another girl, Pooja who was quite mischievous and had the charm. Looking at these kids, I got reminded of my childhood which was full of energy, warmth, and loads of fun. Even Kushal reminds me of me. I used to talk a lot. I was never told to stop talking. And that gave me boldness. And I remember giving tongue in cheek answers to adults. I thank my parents for not being in awe of my energy or embarrassed of my energy. They just let me be myself.


Thanks, kids for reminding me of my childhood. 





Day-3


Few minutes passed after we opened the LRC in the morning, we had kids who were quite enthusiastic to enter and play with us. Start of the day and we were ambiguous if we can host them or arrange for the day.

 

Kids keep humming, "Paaniyonki Gaadiyo." It's heartening to see them enjoying the day.  Few kids walked in, excited to play. We gave out the India map and list of few places to spot them. They had a good time.

 

While they left for lunch, we began our arrangements and plans.

 

Kids walked in at 4pm and took out the books, reading whatever they're pleased with. After informal conversations, talking to the children who visited for the first day. After due attendance, we gathered and started with the Balgeet "Aaha Tomatar..." hosted by Mukesh. We took a feedback session on their experiences for the two days. They remember the Balgeet quite well. They recalled all the things they've done. On being asked about the experience, "good." "had great fun." were the answers by most of the kids.

 

Kids were also enthusiastic to sing Paaniyonki..  Many students volunteered to sing in front of the crowd.

 

After gathering, we divided the kids into two groups. Group1- 1-5Class. Group2- 6,7,8.

 

This time, we had 66 kids. We had 24 kids alone in the group2.

 

We divided the group1 further into 4 groups.  There was a discussion on Food, vegetables, sweets, fruits & utensils used in the home with all the groups. It was more of a conversation emphasizing on EVS perspective. There was a discussion on all these and the kids were also asked to draw all the shapes.

 

Another session was held giving out various 3d shapes. Kids were asked to think of the things that resemble the shapes given, cone, cuboid, cube, triangle & cylinder.

 

With the group-2, we organized math games and further acting on their interest played the game, Guess the song. Many showed their interest to sing and dance. 

 

On the occasion of Eid, we played a screening of the movie, "Idgaah", a Doordarshan movie based on the story by Munshi Premchand. 

It was a success to arrange them to sit in order. And also everyone enjoyed watching the movie, without making much disturbance.  Further watching the movie, Mukesh had a discussion with children asking their opinions on the movie. It was a beautiful conversation to see them understanding what's been told in the movie. "Buy things according to the needs of a home rather than according to the personal interest" were the conclusion everyone came into after the conversation. Kids joined in univoice to do the same being altruistic.

 

We called it a day after the distribution of snacks. Looking forward to the next day.

 


Excerpt from What is worth teaching.

A key feature of all types of exclusive or elite schools is their students live in a restricted universe. The elite school selects clientele out of the larger population, and thereby construct a narrow sphere within which its clientele must socialize. This practice alienates the school from its milieu. Wherever admission policy departs from the principle of neighbourhood school population ceases to represent the social reality around. This would be true anywhere in the world, but it is more sharply true in a society like ours where every milieu is economical heterogeneous. The wealthy Indian likes exclusiveness, and so does the middle class, but neither can manage without domestic servants and a whole range of other services. Since each mansion has a servant's quarter and a nearby slum, the out-of-school environment of an Indian child invariably consists of both riches and poverty. This applies just as well to villages as it does to cities.
This is why when a school closes its door o the poor, it ceases to be a part of the milieu

The lives of others- Movie

After watching a lot of American spy dramas. It's refreshing to see the German movies. Great background score. Highly recommended.


Drama Workshop Days


This is the first time, I got into drama workshop. We were made to sit in a circle. Not in need of any gadgets, we were made to get rid of all the gadgets with us.

Excited to see how he's gonna organize the ice breaking session, I was totally into it. We were made to walk at first and get used to his commands. He kept commanding us to walk, stop, walk, freeze. We loosened up ourselves and then we were put in a circle.

In a circle, everyone comes to the center with action and spells out their name. Everyone gotta imitate them. Many made many various, different, weird moves.

Laughed around, giggled. We settled up and was asked to walk again.



Somehow we were made into groups. And then we were given a word where we gotta depict the image.  6 people and we got to depict home, cycle, elephant, water pump, etc...

And later, performed various exercises. The last game was weaving the story, 'One walks into the center and freezes with a pose. Other joins the person making another pose that creates a story and also need not to continue the mood but also changes the mood.

That was an interesting exercise. In a span of seconds, one gotta decide the pose and walk into the picture. The time where the steps are taken, I don't know what influences our thoughts, is it our near environment. To see the influence depicting so easily, I was surprised how we easily get into patterns.

Thoughts on Education


Quality education is not being catered to all. Even though there are public schools in every part of the country. It's effective function has to be functioned. And any parents who are out of the poverty line first hopes to get a quality education to their children.  Quality education is not provided to all as it is linked with purchasing power.

People who are privileged are given a better education. And the better education is also called as 'better education' which only teaches to make a good prospect for the monotonous jobs and to make more money. 



Jobs are created where their intellect is not valued. With these kinda jobs where creativity is not valued, rigidity is getting increased, intolerance is increased. There's more disconnection to a community and also to the work. This can't be answered politically. This got to be answered through education. Effective and holistic education. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Silence and Kids


How silly is silence.

As adults, we demand silence from everyone to just keep shouting. We want to shout but we demand kids to be silent. As a kid, I was never silent and still expect children to be silent now by instincts. Given a thought for a while, and I realized, I was only silent when I bought the story the others had to say. 

And yet, here without much reflection, I was always shouting demanding their silence. For once, I looked back at my childhood and realized, I better come up with things that interest children. STORIES.  Stories saved me from unnecessary discipline. Stories sometime in the form of questions, in the form of games,  in the form of conversations. Kids love to engage when they enjoy your company.

Did I found out the solution? Nah.  Come rain, snow or sunshine,  children still make a lot of noise and fun.  If not them, who else?

I can say this for sure. These kids are sweet and better than me. I was never a  good kid who listened to others.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tribute to the Sidant Pattnaik


Over the conversations, Dyu shared about his friends. Discussing on traveling and writing, he mentioned, "One of the friends who always insisted me to always write about the experiences I had no matter if I shared or not is Sidant."
"Inspiring personality, he's the person who has seen a lot in life and you'd not even get the hint of his condition. He's a cancer survivor. But you can never know of it.  He has written a book on cricket on women."

I remember watching Harry reading the book on cricket & women. And indeed it was Sidant's book which he co-authored with Karunya Keshav. I shared Harry's review with Dyu and heard many life stories of Sidant. 

 I recall the stories Harry shared with me about his Wisden days and his enthusiasm for cricket. 


 Sidant passed away yesterday. He seems to be the person who embraced all the joy, pain, love and life. I couldn't get a chance to meet him. May his words live for eternal making a difference to many. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Tokyo Trials- Mini Series

Directed by Pieter Verhoeff, this mini-series is informative as well as intense in drama. The background score by Robert Carli of this series is commendable.

Based on true events, this mini-series shared how 11 allied nations formed an International Military Tribunal to try the criminals who have waged a war. Of all the 11 judges, few shared their dissented opinions away from the majority judgment. The way these people debate, discuss depicts the tension and the burden these people owned. The nations and the vested interest is shown in a great way. Justice Pal, a judge from India, initiated the thought provoking others to think.


More on Judge Pal

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/31/world/asia/31memo.html

Italo Calvino- The Black Sheep

https://blog.aladin.co.kr/common/popup/printPopup/print_Paper.aspx?PaperId=742005 Interesting story. Once lived a country full of thieves. E...