20 December 2012

Bheema Jayanthi

Today is an auspicious day in the Maadhwaa calender. Maadhwaas believe that this is the day when Bheema, one of the Paandavaa brothers was born on the planet Earth in Dwaapara Yugaa in which Lord Vishnu took Avataar as Shree Krishna. In the previous Yugaa (Trethaa Yugaa), Bhima was born as Hanumaan, the greatest devotee of Lord Shree Raam. Hanumaan was instrumental in uniting Lord Shree Raam with Seethaa Devi and contributing in many ways to prove that the good wins over the evil.  In the present Kali Yuga, Bheema was born as Madhwaachaaryaa, chief Saint and Guru of Maadhwa community. 

I'll write more about what little I know about Maadhwaa philosophy when I find time. Thanks.

15 December 2012

From Nairobi to No nonsense

This afternoon as I was watching my favourite TV programs (just like most others) during lunch, I happened to bump into two nice programs:   
  1. A BBC program on Kenya centering around Nairobi. It reminded me of my visits to the city zoo, shopping malls, etc during the `80s and early `90s.
  2. A program telecast by Vasanth TV (a regional language channel from Chennai) which showed a dog trained to perform cycling, acrobatics etc. just like how human beings can do. This program is one more proof that we, as human beings, are not superior to any other animal except in terms of our God given potential to distinguish between right and wrong, understand Dhaarmic principles and practise them.
Bye  for now.


14 December 2012

Remembering The Beatles

It's nice to be back here for a short period of time (thanks for the tea break). Many nice things such as the annual South Indian Classical Music Fest, happened in the past few weeks. There was also the passing away of famous artistes such as Jaspal Bhatti (accomplished engineer turned TV comedian), Mario Miranda (cartoonist whose works were an integral part of `Illustrated Weekly of India' in the 1960s) and Pandit Ravi Shankar who taught Sitar to former Beatle George Harrison, one of my most favourite singers. George Harrison was also involved in ISKCON temple in London. 9th December was the death anniversary of John Lennon (another talented Beatle). (I had mentioned about George Harrison and his involvement in ISKCON in my post dated 9 December 2012 as well).

During my college days, I used to be a very dedicated Beatles fan (I remember how I used to listen to latest developments which took place during the three days' rock fest at Woodstock in the late '60s, thanks to radio stations  such as BBC World Service, Radio Australia and of course Voice Of America). I carried this interest for many years until the time when I was nearing my 50 (by which time importance given to hobbies and interests seems to change).

I remember an evening walk in 1982 February with a few friends on the wide avenues of Addis Ababa. We were walking like any young friends (we were all teachers from Kerala and Tamilnadu, awaiting our places of posting in Ethiopia). As we were walking (and sharing our anxieties in a new country), I couldn't help stopping my walk suddenly. My friends were wondering as to what happened until they knew that I was totally submerged in the sound waves from a Beatles song (`Get Back') coming from a nearby music shop. The music was so magnetic that I ended up buying `Rubber Soul', the first ever Beatles album featuring  Indian Classical Music. I never needed to walk any extra mile to the shop, as it was located in between the hotel (were I and my friends were accommodated) and the British Council Library (which I used to visit regularly).

I think that `Norwegian Wood' was the first song in which the `fab four' included Pandit Ravi Shankar's Sitar. I kept this album (in the form of audio-cassette tape) along with several such soft rock tapes for many years until I gave away many of these to my friends and their children who shared the interest.

09 December 2012

Ray of optimism

Though many things happened from the time I wrote my previous post, I am unable to write on some of those in which I was interested, due to busy work schedule. I hope to write on some of these when I find time. However let me write briefly about something which I feel like expressing.

In some of my earlier posts, I had mentioned about textbooks published by the NCERT. In the past week, as I was studying the contents of a few of the Council's middle school textbooks as part of my professional responsibilities, I derived a sense of satisfaction when considering the quality of their textbooks such as this one prescribed for Class 7 Geography. I think that the writers have done a good job.


About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.