Monthly Archives: September 2016

World Peace Day.Peace,a beautiful word,hard to find,None the less to be searched within.To spread the word around.”Shanti”. or peace,without religious connotations,Mean the same.When uttering,There is a peace you feel within.Let peace prevail first at home,In today’s world of tension,Difficult to cope with,A peaceful atmosphere hard to get,Not impossible to attain.Next, our neighbourhood,Let religions and castes be cast aside.Neighbouring states,water is a necessity,Let it not be a bone of contention.Our neighbouring countries,Difficult situation prevailing.Threats of war looming large.Hope it is averted.wars only Mean destruction and loss of precious lives.World over there are conflicts raging.Bomb blasts and pellets and what not.Innocents and children lose their lives.Blame game gone on with terroristsHaving the field to themselves.A powerful world body,the need of the hour.Let us hope good sense to return to peopleA wish for the world to live as one.Let peace descend on everyone.

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Teacher’s Day.This day is dedicated to all teachers and named Teacher’s Day and it coincides with the birthday of one of our greatest teachers of the country,Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.From morning my wall is filled with posts on Ganesh Chaturthi or teachers.There are lovely remembrances about their teachers.

In our family also we have had teachers,starting with my grandfather,who was Prof of English,Central College,extending to two of my sisters, and my sister in law and some in my extended family also.My sister has re-established contacts with many of her students,mainly due to their efforts on seeing her profile photo in the Facebook.I could have opted to be one,soon after my masters.I just needed to do a B.ed course. Somehow I never thought I had an aptitude for it,nor the patience or dedication needed.

A teacher’s job is not an easy one.To teach very young ones,although is a pleasure ,need infinite patience for their tantrums and should have a knack to control them.As you start teaching older kids,things become more difficult.You may be proficient in your subject but presenting them in an attractive and efficient way is another thing.Students should be absolutely absorbed.There lies the success of the teacher.A boring teacher is always the butt of jokes.To quote one wonderful example of good teacher,Aamir Kan in “Taare Zamindar Par.”We have had other lovely movies based on teachers like,”To Sir,With Love”,”Good bye,Mr.Chips” and many others.

Today’s generation ,though intelligent ,is a restless generation.What was accepted blindly is now questioned.No one accepts anything at face value.This is surely encouraging but needs extra effort from the teacher.They are not highly paid,except in some International Schools.Therefore a teacher has to be a very dedicated one to enter the profession.Plus,they should have the discretion not decide when to be kind and when to be strict.Along with this,of course,they should have a thorough knowledge of the subject and also the willingness to update their knowledge often.Rather a tall order but necessary.

Amongst my Facebook friends,I have learnt a lot and still to learn .Gautam Benegal writes about things strongly and aggressive,about a burning issue,without mincing words, and uses his art to stress a point.Sampath Kumar deals with it in a different way,also fearlessly.He knows a lot about all subjects and I learn about Economics and Law from his posts which is lucid in explanation.Both of them write beautiful prose.I learn about the intricacies of Carnatic music and musicians and many new details associated with them, from Sriram Venkatakrishnan and he makes the music season special with his one liners.Never a dull moment. I learn more about History,old classics and literature and specially about Tagore from Ruma Chakravarty.My Tamil teacher is N.Chokan and I have learnt about Tamil grammar and usage after reading his book.and my Sanskrit scholar is Raji.B.Iyer.Thus even at this age I have to learn so many things and no limit whatsoever.

There have been lapses in our education system which has to be rectified.In one state there were even attempts to rewrite history.Let us be honest.Students are unruly at some places and teachers resort to violent punishments at others.There needs to be more understanding and the gap between the two has to be bridged.With these words,let me wish all teachers a very happy Teacher’s Day.I have quite a few in my friend’s list,including a young ,handsome professor,Parjanya Sen from Darjeeling.Others I can remember are Ruma,Gita, and Rajan Grover.

Mentioned in this post are Gautam Benegal,Sampath Kumar,Sriram Venkatakrishnan,Ruma Chakravarti,N .Chokan.

To all my writer friends
Writers and their payments.

I happened to read a post by my writer friend,N.சொக்கன்,wherein he had expressed support for one of our leading Tamil writers and how he has been deprived of payments due to him.As comments started pouring in for Chokan’s post,I asked for the link and read the writer’s blog.It was painful to read the blog.He had quoted various instances where he has been either paid too low or where he didn’t get any payment.He is a popular writer and now he has decided not to write anything for anybody free.His demand is rightful and justified.It also brings to our mind a pertinent point.If this can happen to a leading writer,just imagine the plight of all other writers who suffer the same way but are not speaking out for some reason.This writer is known for his outspoken views ,some of which we may not agree.That is besides the point.

Magazines increase the prices every now and then.Television channels are roaring in wealth.Why the writers are given short shrift is something difficult to understand.All writers are not rich and neither it is like olden times when there was royal patronage.Many of these writers also work full time somewhere else since they cannot depend only on their writing.Times are hard with escalating prices of everything around us and they have to run a family.They have to work very hard to keep their passion and creativity going.It is only proper that they are paid their dues.We have heard of many writers dying in chill penury,with no money even for their day to day existence and also when they fall ill seriously.

As a society we are partially responsible though the onus lies with the publishers.In book industry also we have similar grievances.There are unscrupulous ones taking advantage of the situation.There are cases where the authors pay some advance to get their books published.We also understand the publishers are taking a risk.No one can clearly predict the success of a book.It is a gamble.All the same we agree an author has to be paid correctly in order to keep their creativity alive.This is a social responsibility and duty.I agree the problems of a book industry are different,more so with the onset of e publishing.

என். சொக்கன்

Forgiveness Day.  Today’s newspaper had this at the top.I have never heard of this day.The recent trend is allocating each day to someone or something.This Forgiveness Day,however set me thinking.This is a contemplative post.Forgiveness is a word with an enormous depth.It needs a large heart to forgive others.We are all ordinary human beings with all our frailties and follies.None of us can call ourselves to be great sages or savants.

   In our life everyone of us must have passed through situations where we have harmed somebody,intentionally or unintentionally.Likewise there may be instances where somebody has insulted or humbled us.In my opinion we can never forget or forgive those who harmed us.There may be cases of our glossing over somebody near to us having been rude to us and get on with our lives but the hurt would be permanent.I am sure,heart of hearts it is the case with everyone,even with those whom we have hurt in someway.Forget and forgive,our life is built on this emotional compromise.Only great people can say “Forgive them,they know not what they do”.We are just normal human beings,to be frank.

Tales From BengalTranslated by Paushali Ganguly Illustrations by Gautam Benegal   A couple of days back I received this book from Amazon.I had ordered this book with an idea to gift it to some book loving kid.When I actually received it,I found it an attractive,colourful on good silky paper and very ably translated from Bengali by Paushali Ganguly,and lovely illustrations by Gautam Benegal added to the charm.Now I have second thoughts about gifting it to any child.Very selfishly I may keep it to myself.I became a child all over again.I casually picked it up to glance through but I was so engrossed that I finished it in two hours with minor breaks here and there.The book has easy readability since the fonts are big.We have folk tales in Tamil also but I don’t remember anybody telling me in my childhood.I have heard a few stories and I remember telling them to my daughter and grand daughter as part of bed time stories routine.I remember reading from mainly “Panchatantra tales “and “Jataka Tales”till they became old enough to read Amar Chitra Khata or Enid Blyton.This books falls in the same genre as “Panchatantra.”A well known Bengali writer,UpendraKishore RayChoudhury,had written these folk stories.Any translation is a daunting task.Paushali has done this with a flair and the end product is a delightful read.I liked the clever Tuntuni stories followed by the exploits of Uncle Tiger-Nephew Fox combine .There are many charming stories but I do have a few favourites.”Tuntuni and the barber”,”The Gruel Granny” and “Uncle Tiger” and” Nephew Fox”.This should surely be an appropriate gift to any child.I strongly feel this can even be prescribed for little kids in primary level.Gautam Benegal and Paushali Ganguly.

Cauvery,some thoughts.  I wanted to write about this long standing problem but then decided against it since even unintentionally something that I write may be misconstrued.My friend ,Sampath Kumar,posted one,very nicely expressing the underlying tension.Now that things are reasonably settled at least for the time being,I thought of writing today.Some trouble is however expected around 19 th and 20 th of September,when there is some talk of some people trying to seal the border.It is not legal and hopefully would be stopped in time.Today’s paper has a nice article by Rohini Nilekani,an author of some books and a writer in her own right.Her bottom line,after dealing with so many issues in an analytic way is “to create the new political paradigm for all the changes needed.We need a road map towards a low water economy.Peacefully and perennially then,the Cauvery can flow.”The onus,according to her,lies with us to elect the correct people and force them to effect this change.In the last one week I have seen many experts dealing with the subject,putting forth before us the right and wrong of it,what each of the states can do to resolve the crisis.Therefore I would just confine myself to dealing with it from a humanistic angle.We saw some people hyped the issue and media played it role in adding to it by showing the same visual repeatedly, we have to admit there were some pockets of Bangalore,which were badly affected and people suffered due to lack of transport and some other facilities.While we should not exaggerate,we should not close our eyes to reality.I am sure there were repercussions in Tamil Nadu,though at a much lesser level.Experts have already spelt out the possible remedies.What I want to stress is some sanity.We have to live with our neighbouring states and surely there would be crossing of the border every day.As such some peace has to prevail.Soon there would be North East monsoon and the problem may be mitigated to some extent.Lastly,something has been bothering me for quite sometime.I have been reading lot of posts by my friends and some shares,Sadly all these have only been from South Indian friends.Not one from non South Indians.I am surprised and pained to see this.Can anyone explain why?South India is an integral and important part of India and we have always acted as one.Well,they may have their reason but would like to know them.Some of my friends are powerful writers who always rise to voice their opinions.Hence the surprise.Let us hope this issue is solved amicably.

War and Peace.It is presumptuous of me to take this memorable title from an iconic writer,Leo Tolstoy but I think I can take such liberties when trying to write for a noble cause.WAR& PEACE.Wars from time immemorial,Fought for various causes.Love,Territorial supremacy and religion.Or for rightful claims and valid reasons.Start from the epics and what do you find?Treachery,and treason.Cheating and falsehood.More and more we witness war for religion.Which religion preaches war and bloodshed?Weapons and methods of warfare Changed and from bow and arrowOr some primitive types to nuclear bombs.To weapons of mass destruction now.No right thinking individual want war.More the fanatics and fringe elementsOf society and propagandists in the name of religion,But to suit their own ends.Any war be it ancient or modern,Ends with destruction and death of innocents.Heartrending sights to behold,the visuals in the media.Loss of lives,properties and ultimate loss to the nationAnd the exchequer.A calculation made once ,estimated spend on defenceCould feed the whole world population.A change of scenario.Some miracle happens.All wars are stopped.No longer any boundaryDividing nations and countries.Your religionIs your own concern,not to meddle with those Of others.All enmity forgotten.Love and relationships prevail,trade and commerceBecomes free for all to barter and exchange.Peace,tranquility and calmness all around.An idyllic world perhaps but not impossible.Let us hope someday this would be achieved.