Monthly Archives: September 2017

Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow.
Yesterday is past history.

It is dead and gone.

We all had our finer moments

And sadder moments.

After all life is a mixed bag,

With all pleasures and pain our own.

No one else could bear our cross.

No point thinking of the past,

Akin to crying over spilt milk.
Our present times,most vital.

With our life revolving around

Our tensions and anxieties 

With many happenings around her

Deciding our life and our actions.

No choice in many things.

We are ruled by a superior force,

Call it by any name.

God to some,fate and karma to others

Truth remains an enigma.

Dragged in different directions,

By diverse forces and divergent views.

We live in the present,

ruled by forces unknown.
No one to predict the future.

Uncertain and mysterious.We

Look to forecasts about our future.

Take recourse to astrology 

and predictions; can anybody

Really tell what is in store?

Planning for the future,they say.

What the next moment will bring,

A surprise or shock,none knows.

May be we think we are 

Strong and mighty to decide our

Future,only to see our hopes belied

Sometimes.Natural disasters,a great

Leveller and our personal,

not in our control.We have to bow

To whatever is in store.
Moral.

Live in the present.

Neither past nor future.

Past is gone and future yet to come.

It would be preachy if I say more.

Suffice it to say,live the life of a human

And treat others as human.

Without fear or favour.

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Children and safety in Schools.
There is growing concern about the incidents of abuse,molestation,rape and murder inside the confines of a school campus.Previously we had concerns about female infanticides and last month we had a spate of deaths of innocent children due to civic and hospital apathy.Of late,incidents of child abuse and recently murder are reported.Close on the heels of the gruesome murder of a child in the school toilet in Gurgaon,we have the news of a five year old in the washroom of a private school.Some years back we had a gym inspector raping a child and several other such cases in Bangalore.In Hyderabad,a teacher made a girl stand in a boys’ loo,just because she didn’t wear her uniform.The easier and safer option would have been a warning to send her back home if she repeats the offence.A dance teacher is said to have abuse a student in a Delhi school.All these are news items taken from recent and today’s newspaper.From all these there arises a fear and uneasiness about the safety of our children in school.
All along, from old times,schools were considered a safe haven for our children and we always had the satisfaction that our children were safe and teachers,custodians of our children.All these have changed in recent times.When we leave our children in schools it is with a feeling of anxiety and trepidation.
While we agree that it is not possible for the teachers to keep an eye on the children all the time,they have the aid of modern equipments like CCTV cameras.It was reported that it was not strictly followed and in some cases they were not even installed or not working properly.It is definitely the responsibility of the school to set them right.
There are some fundamental guidelines to be followed.Some amount of proper reference about the person a school employs is essential.It is said that prior credentials don’t work since most of these are first time offenders.There should be proper construction of the premises and repairs to be done where necessary.In the Gurgaon case,grills of the windows in the toilet where the child was killed,have been removed.Any outsider could get in.There should be strict supervision about the entry of non teaching staff inside the school premises.There are government rules regarding child safety in schools.It is one thing to frame rules and another to implement them.Thus the remedy lies in strictly implementing the rules.
I have not written anything new and all these things have already been repeated by so many eminent personalities.It is just that we feel pained to see it happening on a daily basis.It may be our child,grand children,neighbour’s child or any child,the pain and anguish is the same.We long for the day when our children would be safe at least in schools.Definitely the school management is responsible once a crime is committed in the school campus and no two opinions about it.

This is a simple poem reflecting the mental turmoils of a refugee.
Voice of a Refugee.
I am a simple person,living in peace

Happy with my family,my surroundings,

What I considered my country.

One day I find myself displaced

From my home and hearth.

I am told I don’t belong here

Though my forefathers have lived

Here for ages.our houses plundered

Our womenfolk molested and raped.

All on a sudden my world comes 

tumbling down.What has been my fault,

I wonder.We are displaced.
We run for our lives,we know not

Our destination.We run where our

Legs take us,by foot or at the mercy 

Of some boatsmen.We land

In a new place,new country,

Unknown faces,surroundings.

This is our neighbouring country.

We are termed “refugees”, meaning

One who seeks asylum ,we don’t 

Ask for alms,we do not want sympathy

We ask for a decent place to stay.

We have been driven away.

Our story is nothing new.

Has been happening in the world

At many places.
Partition divided the nations and the people

The scars of which people still carry.

World over the story is the same.

We are not beggars,but asylum seekers.

Hounded by people in power.

We are left at the mercy of many

Looked at with suspicion,

We have no home we can call our own.
We hope for a peaceful settlement,

One day we hope to go back to our

Country,our own home.

Wishes and hope gives us the impetus

And energy to survive and live our life.
P.S.This poem is inspired by my friend,Sampath Kumar’s post on Rohingyas.We have faced it during partition,during the Sri Lankan struggle and during Bangladesh’s war.Now we are witnessing the Rohingyas struggle.

International Literacy Day.
Celebrated as international day.

Ideally every country,every state,

Every nook and corner must

Have a school and all children

Should have education without

Discrimination of any kind.

Some states claim full literacy.

Kudos to them.
The real scene,not so bright.

Many go to school with visions

About future in their eyes.

Schemes like Akshaya pathra

Takes care of their nutrition.

Still dropouts are many.

Many face family problems forcing

Them to withdraw and lend a helping

Hand to the family to make both ends meet.

Child labour is bad,they burn themselves

In match and agarbatti factories.

Many work in households in dismal conditions.

Laws exist in books but no one 

to really implement them..Education stopped

Halfway in many instances and still

we dream of full literacy.
What is real literacy?Is it the education

We are trying to inculcate or something

More profound?The full transformation

Of an individual and society at large.

Widening our horizon and having

A vision to accept views and opinions

Of others,to give the freedom to express

Freely and fearlessly,causing no harm to

The other,physically.When we attain this

Then we can claim literacy.Not reading

And forgetting what real education is.
Let us not fall at the feet of false 

Propagandists and give in to hero

Worship and superstition.

Let us dispel the darkness in our hearts

And light up our mind?Then perhaps that is literacy.
Let us hope for full literacy in the real sense

When no child is left to fend for himself.

With education and a free society

To help him attain his goal with 

courage and confidence and a government

With tolerance and giving one 

the right to live

With equality of outlook and without 

differences of any kind.

Perils of Technology.
We cannot deny the advancement of Technology in all spheres of life nor can we deny the benefits accruing from this advancement.All the same,we cannot shut ourselves from the perils that is playing havoc with young,impressionable minds destroying their health,their mental stability and in some cases even taking away their lives.Much has been written on this subject and even today on page 2 of today’s paper there are three articles,very exhaustively written about the hazards of the virtual world on the young.I would like to stress on certain valuable points mentioned in these articles.
Affordability and easy availability makes almost all teenagers possess one of these smart gadgets.Parents sometimes are too busy building up their careers and also saving for the future of their offsprings that a child is left alone to indulge more in video games.Very often this is coupled with lot of physical activities or lack of extra curricular activities like art or sports.There is a virtual disconnect with the outside world and there is a visible setback in health conditions also resulting in back pain,sleeplessness and dry eyes resulting in fatigue and exhaustion.The initial euphoria and getting instant scores and success and gratification makes them indulge more in these games.Recently many lives are getting lost because of an online game.The remedy lies in parents,family and friends taking more efforts to ease a child’s life by talking to him and making him face the real world with ease,taking him out to appreciate the little things of life and also introduce the child to some art or sport,depending on where the aptitude lies.He or she should be taught to handle disappointment or stress when such a situation arises and not succumb to any pressure,internal or external.Parents have to look out for any behavioural changes in their kids,however small it is since it is one of the main yardsticks to see whether a child is disturbed.Some of these points have been beautifully covered by experts in the field in the articles mentioned above.
I am reminded of olden times when we were young.We didn’t have any entertainment in today’s sense of the term except for an occasional movie,that too strictly monitored by parents or some elders of the household.We had lots to read,lot of time to play.May be we were not so advanced or intelligent.We had no need for passwords.There was more manual interaction between people.For the not so social like me,there were other hobbies like reading or music or any art to pursue.Life was more peaceful.Lesser number of suicides,depression and other mental illnesses.
Then came Television.One could still enjoy without getting addicted since there was only Doordarshan and the hours of transmission were limited.Along with the advancement in Technology,many channels sprouted and with that the quality declined.Inane,regressive serials and meaningless programmes were catering to all sections losing a particular identity.I am sorry I am digressing.To come back to the subject of children,they were getting addicted and many a time parents started feeding a child switching on the T.V as a bait.Still,worse was to come in the form of video games.
Parents are expected to set an example by limiting their hours of watching Television or being constantly on the mobile,to devote more time to be with children and engage them in fruitful conversations and in short getting to know your child better.This end of my post may sound preachy to some but this is what is advocated by counsellors and only the words are mine.We cannot and need not go back in time but we can certainly make the best use of Technology keeping in mind the dangers.

Suicides and young minds.
The most burning topic in Tamil Nadu is the suicide of Anitha,who was disappointed at not getting a medical seat and as a result ended her life.It is no ordinary suicide since there are so many underlying issues involved.The state government repeatedly gave assurances of getting the NEET results not affecting the state students this year and the role of central government is suspect as usual.The supreme court’s verdict came as a jolt to Anitha who was all along expecting that the verdict would favour the state students.
Here was an young girl who had scored very well in her board examinations but scored badly in the Entrance examination.A life was lost but the political parties trying to take mileage of a tragic situation is sickening.The fact that she was a Dalit is getting emphasis.Any suicide is an impulsive reaction to a situation and with some thinking and maturity and guidance from those around her,it can be averted.In this case the emphasis given to high scores and keeping only certain departments of education like medicine or Engineering as a goal,played a part.Children should be instilled with a certain amount of self confidence and courage to face any situation,however dismal it may be.They should be taught a medical or engineering seat is not the be-all or end-all of life and there are umpteen courses available to the students now unlike our times.There are several hypothetical questions raising .So many ifs and buts.
Not only Anitha.so many young lives are lost everyday.Much has been written about Blue Whales challenge and I won’t repeat that.Last week a girl committed suicide since she was not able to bear the loss of her pet.Her neighbour went to see her body in mortuary and after sometime jumped in front of a train.With proper guidance and supervision both could have been avoided.There have been cases even with more frivolous reasons like a mother or teacher scolding or a father not getting a smart phone.It saddens our minds and once again we are passive spectators,watching helplessly.Is it our parenting or education which is at fault?A point to ponder.

Some random thoughts.
We have been having a mixed package of news for the past few days.On the one hand we have been having some landmark judgements with regard to Triple Talaaq,and Right to Privacy though there are counter views questioning the full implications of both.On the other hand we have a series of bad tidings also.There have been cases of infants dying in hospitals for no fault of theirs but due to apathy and callousness on the part of those in power.It happened in Gorakhpur,followed by other parts of the country and today in Jharkhand.There have been umpteen train accidents with no accountability.There has been the conviction of Dera chief with repercussions in several places in Haryana and Punjab wth many precious lives lost.
In all these mixed news sometimes we do come across some nice articles in newspapers.Today’s paper,the Bangalore edition of Sunday Times,contained an article on Infosys,a column on push carts selling food and how they stand in comparison to the newly started,much touted Indira canteens and also a piece on Vijay Thiruvady.,who conducts Bangalore walks.
The article on Infosys says a lot about the prestige associated with getting a job in Infosys.Rajagopalan Venkataraman,the author,stresses the dream jobs in different periods.Starting with government jobs,it was subsequently bank job,then multinational and multinational banks and so on For I.T industry,the primary place was held by Infosys in that period.The article also deals in brief,about the present problem,hoping it would be solved shortly.On the whole,a nicely written piece.
About push carts,by the same author,and how they face a certain predicament in the context of opening of Indira canteens but ending on an optimistic note saying that they could never go into oblivion.Another nice article dealing with all aspects of both the push carts and Indira canteens,it also gives a word of caution that the well heeled amongst people who could easily afford to go to a costlier eatery and how they should not crowd the Indira canteens and defeat the very purpose of providing affordable food to the needy.
The third article,by Narayan.K, is about Vijay Thiruvady,who conducts Bangalore walks and has an interest in Botany and ornithology.It is interesting reading about him,his early days at Delhi at his grandfather’s,his days “spent with Khushwant Singh,jackals in the edges of Lutyens’ Delhi,Feroze shah and silk cotton trees”.The article is too long to narrate but it is worth a read for those interested.According to him “there are three Bangalore institutions that can hold their own with any in the world.They are M.E.G,Lalbagh and Cubbon Park.Take lakes now.We could have been the city of the thousand lakes.But….” He gives a poignant pause.
I have given only a short summary.Those interested can read it in full in today’s Sunday Times.All three are on page 6.