26 December 2015

From Jazz festival to Jos

It is rather very difficult to come across melodious music in an ocean of deafening hifi music in any kind of media today. But, sometimes there are exceptions. One such is right at present, as I am writing this post, with NDTV Prime TV Channel telecasting a music performance by a Hungarian group known as The Smarton Trio at Nehru Park, Delhi. Their melodious music using just three instruments viz. guitar, drums and bass is simply superb and shows the metamorphosis that Jazz music itself has undergone over the past few decades. Thanks to The Smarton Trio for their fusion of jazz, soul, pop and hippie rock. 

Well, talking about changes, some of us are a bit slow in accepting them. (For instance I have still not replaced my conventional mobile phone by a smart phone though I know well that the latter will certainly be more effective). It was nice to hear from my good friend Jos last night that he has got into smartphone format already.

Once again, best wishes for a merry Xmas and a happy New Year to Jos (and all my Christian friends).       

Vaikunta Ekaadashi

21st of this month was a very auspicious day for Hindus as it was Vaikunta Ekaadashi.

12 December 2015

Pandyaaji and Parikrama

After 12 days of electronic oblivion (due to heavy rains and aftermath) in the city, it was great watching Shree Bhupendrabhaiji Pandya on Sanskar TV Channel yesterday afternoon. Filled with apt emotion, he was explaining the meeting of Sudhaamaa and Lord Krishnaa. I have always liked Mr Pandya's discourses for their meaning and his excellent language.

This morning, as I was browsing the TV channels I bumped in to one that telecast a heavy metal rock music performance by a Delhi based rock (fusion) group known as `Parikrama'. Though I have never liked heavy metal rock, some of these songs had a soft tone qualifying them to be labelled soft rock. The band took me back to 1985 when I used to visit a nearby restaurant in Kochi to eat my favorite cheese sandwich and sip my cup of strong coffee and listen to live rendering by some local soft rock band or the other.     

Rain rain go away

After nearly a fortnight, here is Chennai gradually restoring its normalcy. Many people lost their lives; many more lost their material belongings; many many more lost their normal lifestyle. Thanks to media, Government Agencies, NGOs and individuals who seemed to have worked hard to help the poor and the needy setting aside their differences. This was also a time for people like me to remember the oft-forgotten fact that God is Great. 

27 November 2015

Kaarthika Deepoatsavam (Kaarthika Devine Light Fest)

Day before yesterday was celebrated as Mathsya Jayanthi and Kaarthika Deepotsavam. This day was also celebrated as the day of Kaarthikai Deepam in the Southern States of India. Special lamps are lit as a form of worship to Shree Hari and Lord Shiva respectively. Shree Hari is worshipped in His Damodara form on this day and devotees meditate on the infinite Grace of the Almighty in being bound by the Bhakthi of Yashoda.

Child Krishna and Yashoda
As in every year, this year also Mr Narendra Chaudary and his team at Bhakti TV have organised spectacular events in connection with Kaarthika Maasa Koti Deepotsavam.

24 November 2015

Utthaana Dwaadashi

Yesterday was a very auspicious day in the Hindu Calendar. It was celebrated as Utthaana Dwaadashi.  As far as I know, womenfolk perform special pooja to the Tulasi plant in their houses like my mother used to do in those days when we had a Tulasi Brindavan at our house in Vellore and other places where we resided. (As my father was in Government Service, he used to be transferred once in every three years. It was interesting for us to move with our parents to new places). 

14 November 2015

This morning when I visited my profile at Linkedin website, I was shocked to find my profile photograph displayed near a link to a Company the name of which was displayed as `Edmentum'. In addition to this, when I clicked on my photo, it took me to a page with more details about this Company. I am shocked because I neither work for nor represent this Company (or any other Company). Probably this Company is run by a fraudulent guy who used to run a K-12 Assessment Company based in the US with an office in Noida, near New Delhi. He cheated me by not paying my salary for a few months. I lodged a complaint with Noida Police in vain. This happened a few years back. A few months back I sent a reminder to the Police with a request to Delhi Chief Minister's Office to do justice. But still I have not got any response.  (The name of the guy who ran the Company is still featured on facebook and his profile displays that he got educated at Columbia University). (A few years back I had a similar unpleasant experience). I'll complain to LinkedIn about this. If I don't get a swift response, I intend deleting my profile from LinkedIn as I don't think that I can waste my time complaining in vain.

Technology is useful to a large extent but not in the hands of wrong people. 

11 November 2015

Diwali greetings

As there was a problem with my internet connection yesterday, I could not write my post.

Best wishes for a happy Diwali,

29 October 2015

India - Africa Summit 2015

As I am typing this post, I'm eagerly viewing the India Africa Summit on Lok Sabha TV. I'll write more on this function which is of immense interest to me when I find time. (I taught in schools in Africa for many years).

22 October 2015

Dusserah Fest 2015

Hindus all over the world celebrate today as Vijayadashami, the last of Dusserah. As with all festivities, this fest is immensely related day to day living of many Hindus. Today is also celebrated as Madhwa Jayanti (The day on which Madhwachaarya, Founder Saint of Madhwa Mutt, was born).
Madhwaachaaryaa

02 October 2015

Gandhiji and Shastriji

Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi  and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. Our respects to both.

This morning I saw a news report that a team of hearing and speech impaired athletes representing our country and leaving for Taiwan were denied accommodation in the Sports Authority of India hostel. Isn't it a national shame?

All well meaning Indians would know that today our country is far different from what Gandhiji and Shastriji aspired it to be.

Hope that Shree Narendra Modi's team brings in drastic changes in Effective Public Policies and Governance.    

01 October 2015

International Day of Older Persons

Today is observed globally as International Day of Older Persons. Hope that old people are treated and cared for in a good manner in our homes as well as in our communities at large.  

30 September 2015

Channel News Asia

My dear friend Jos Kottutundiyil is not only a brilliant guy but also a voracious reader. What is amazing is that he uses his computer to read books. (I would prefer books in hard copy format than on a computer screen. When it comes to news and documentaries too I don't find computer screen as easy to view as TV screen). A few months back Jos started an editorial services company which I think would serve a lot of people. If you are interested, you can mail him at jcheri58@gmail.com or elc.es315@gmail.com.

Coming to satellite dish based TV channel providers, I have always wondered as to why TATA Sky doesn't include channels such as Singapore based Channel News Asia. It's nice to see this channel included in TATA SKY recently. Now viewers can watch news items and documentaries from the ASEAN region given the fact that the channel covers ASEAN countries more elaborately than any other channel. 

K-12 Education and M-Governance

Many Indians would have found last week to be very interesting due to our Prime Minister's visit to Ireland and the US.  As some one who literally experienced common folk aspects of Shri Narendra Modi's governance (for example minimum auto-fare of Rs 7 when I worked in Vadodara a few years back), I too like most of my fellow citizens, look forward to a significantly better India in all aspects.

Our PM mentioned about the importance of 'm-governance' in `digital' India. Hope that `m-governance' is implemented in our school education system after thorough quality oriented planning. Of course the project may involve risks. I think that we have to take risks as long as these do not affect children negatively. It is also important that classroom teachers are given importance at all stages of the process. Any experienced educator would know that using mobile phone technology in our classrooms in cost effective manner is not difficult at all today.

From what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said recently (during his meeting with our PM), I gather that he sees Education as an important area. Hope that all K-12 schools, particularly those in remote areas, benefit from this partnership.  It is after all not only important to aim for `Education for All' but also `Quality Education for All'. This includes all children across barriers and warrants drastic changes in Curriculum, School Governance as well as Stakeholder aspects at diverse angles.        

12 September 2015

Radio waves from Raghavendra

This morning I had the pleasure of listening to the newly begun Internet Radio from Raaghavendra Swaamy Muttt, Mantraalayaa.

05 September 2015

Teachers' Day

Today is celebrated as Teachers' Day in India. (Incidentally, this is the day on which my father passed away; he passed away on 5 September 1997. He was a dedicated school headmaster). Nearly 70 years having gone by since independence, has our country succeeded in training its teachers to be effective in all respects? I think that our policy makers need to take a close look at this important issue.  

Krishna Janmaashtami

Today is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. This is the day on which Lord Vishnu took avathaar as Krishna 5000 years back in Dwaapara Yuga. This day is known as Gokulaashtami or Krishna Janmaashtami.

31 August 2015

From Mahaa Lakshmi to Mantraalayam

Past week contained four important days in the Hindu calendar. These were the days on which Mahaa Varalakshmi VratamHayagreeva JayanthiUpaakarmaa and 344th aaraadhanaa of Raghavendra Theertharu were celebrated. Today is the 3rd and final day of this year's aaraadhanaa celebrations. As usual Sri Sankara TV and Bhakti TV telecast the festivity from Mantraalayam, where Raghavendra Theertharu attained samaadhi. It is nice to hear songs related to Raghavendra Theertharu on Radio Satyatma Vani as well, pranaams to our Uttaradhi Mutt Swaamiji.

  

10 August 2015

Requirements of Spiritual Karma

As someone who has always been interested in Hindu spiritual discourses, I see myself attracted to discourses by many spiritual people. One such is Poojya Shree Bhupendrabhaiji Pandya

A highly charismatic speaker with excellent command of English, his discourses have been magnetic to me. He integrates simple aspects of daily living with spiritual concepts. A few days back, I had the pleasure of listening to his explanation of the following essential requirements of Spiritual Karma: Proper mindset, Precise goal, Positive attitude (despite adversaries and difficulties), Humility, Faith towards work, Emotional quotient and Intelligent quotient. 

He said that Hanumaanji had all these as well as the most important Spiritual quotient (Devotion to Lord Shree Raam). Hanumaanji is known as the greatest devotee of Lord Shree Raam.   

04 August 2015

Oasis in the media desert

I have always thought that common audio-visual media cover far too low programs that are really value based. Probably, many people of my age and older also think the same way. Well, thanks to all those people who do continue to produce good programs.  One such program was a documentary on Mahatma Gandhi this morning around 11 AM IST on History TV 18 Channel. Well presented by Mishal Hussain, the documentary reminded of my visit to places like Gandhi Ashram in Phoenix near Durban and Pietermaritzburgh railway station nearly 20 years back when I was teaching in a high school in the North West Province.  

Like most visitors from India, I  was keen in taking snapshots, thanks to my Nikon TW2. But unfortunately, my camera got dropped (due to my carelessness) and the film roll fell out! (I wish technological development in visual arts had a swifter pace then so that we could have carried our mobile cameras with far less scope of losing record of memorable places). 

02 August 2015

Veda Vyaasa Jayanti (or) Guru Pournimaa

31 July was an auspicious day for Hindus. It was celebrated as Veda Vyaasa Jayanthi.

27 July 2015

Chaaturmaasya Vrata

Today is an auspicious day for Hindus. It is devotedly celebrated as Shayani Ekaadashi and as the the beginning of Chaaturmaasya Vrata.   

15 July 2015

World Yoga Day, Wimbledon Championships, media reports about our Prime Minister's recent visit to Russia and other countries (with reference to how youngsters in other countries like Indian music etc). remind us that though we may belong to different countries with diverse traditions, we can work together as a good community at large in the global village. 

Thanks to Yoga legends such as Swami Ramdev and sports persons such as Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Sumit Nagal who seem to take our country to great heights. Thanks to Narendra Modiji's campaign for World Yoga Day.  

21 June 2015

Marketing morality

Many of us buy things based upon media commercials or friends' advice. Sometimes both of these can mislead us. We realize this when we acquire first hand experience. 

I subscribed to TATA Sky connection a few years back since which time there has always been a reception problem whenever the whether is cloudy (irrespective of whether it rains or not).  TATA Sky promptly asks viewers to "wait until the weather clears". But invariably reception isn't usually restored even hours after the weather clears. 
  As my TV doesn't work, I have been listening to a spiritual discourse by Shri Shri Satyatma Thirtharu online. As I am typing this post listening to a marvelous description of how Shree Hari enables rainfall to take place through His different forms as quoted in the Vedaas, thousands of years back, my net connection gets cut frequently.  

I think that consumer oriented companies should follow principles of morality as their priority in marketing. Otherwise, their much talked about `zero tolerance' has no meaning.  

24 May 2015

Nice to be back after nearly a month. 

There had been three very auspicious days according to the Hindu Calender since my past post. 1,2 and 3 May were celebrated as Vedavyaasa Jayanthi, Narasimha Jayanthi and Koorma Jayanthi. (I'll try to provide links to these 3 days when I find time). 

A few days back, I came across a very informative article.      

16 April 2015

Digital drawbacks and Software setbacks

This morning I tried to take some time in providing links in my earlier posts.  But unfortunately I didn't have time as I had trouble using my Net Banking accounts (which I usually use to pay utility bills and subscriptions). I have still been trying to get the problem fixed but in vain, despite the fact that I have always been a good customer to banks (I have never borrowed any loan so far). Customer service seems to be frustratingly poor in our banks in spite of digital support systems. 

14 April 2015

Varaaha Jayanthi

Yesterday was a very auspicious day in the Hindu calender. It was Varaaha Jayanthi. Varaahaa was one of the Avataars of Shree Mahaa Vishnu. 

New Year's Day

Today is the traditional beginning of New Year in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Gujarat etc. as well as in countries like Cambodia (due to their historic ties with India). Best wishes to all my friends and well-wishers who celebrate their New Year's Day.     

28 March 2015

Shree Raama Navami

Today is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calender. This day is celebrated as  Shree Raama Navami.

24 March 2015

Shree Raam Kathaa

This afternoon I had the joy of listening to Shree Prembhushanji Maharaj (one of my most favourite spiritual speakers) delivering a discourse on Raam Kathaa.

21 March 2015

Ugaadhi greetings

Best wishes to all my friends and well-wishers for a happy Ugaadhi

04 March 2015

Raamaayanaa

I usually make it a point to see that the last TV program that I watch every day is a spiritual one. For the past few months, this program had been `Sampoorna Ramayanam' discourse by Mr Chaganti Koteswarararao on Bhakthi TV Channel. I am sure that numerous fans of Chaganti gaaru will miss this highly enriching discourse that came to an end day before yesterday. 

Coming to Raamaayanaa, there was a Global Raamayanaa Conference held in Bangalore in January. In this context, I recollect how Cambodian people still cherish this epic as shown in their TV channels (Thanks to Classical Dance Companies such as Apsara). 

When thinking about Cambodia, it was nice to receive a phone call from Murugesh, one of my good friends. He was a manager in `Annam', a popular Indian restaurant in Phnom Penh.  I remember their 100% veg food items prepared in utensils allocated exclusively for cooking and storing veg food items as requested by me. I used to carry these food items during my travels out of Phnom Penh, on work. 


18 February 2015

Captivating Commercials

Very few commercials in our TV channels seem to be captivating, sensible and free from obscenity. One of them is the Good Night Neem Mosquito Repellent Coil. Let me leave you with this interesting commercial. Bye for now. 

Mahaa Shiva Raathri

Past night was an auspicious one for Hindus all over the world. It was Mahaa Shiva Raathri.

28 January 2015

Moving on in the media wind

Many good things have happened since my past post, thanks to TV. As usual I liked to share some of these, but couldn't, due to lack of time. (Besides, I wasn't feeling well for a few days). 

On the spiritual/religious front, we had festivals (Makara Sankraanthi and Ratha Sapthami) and auspicious days (Seetha Jayanthi and Madhwa Navami).  There were classical music concerts by legendary artistes such as Dr L Subramaniam (with his wife Kavita Krishnamurthy and their children), Dr K J Yesudas etc. on some TV channels.  

On the worldly front, we had our 66th Republic Day with interesting features (some of which are routine) with the presence of Mr Modi and Mr Obama, two charismatic leaders with shared ideals. I think that our Prime Minister and the US President will join hands and work in all crucial areas of human development.   

08 January 2015

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015

I have always been interested in viewing media programs on development oriented international relations. One such program is Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 telecast on Bharati TV Channel (which seems to telecast highly interesting programs). The program marking Mahatma Gandhiji's return to India after 20 years of his non violent struggle against apartheid in South Africa included distinguished speakers sharing common goals. As our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi put it, I think that we all live in `Vasudeva Kudumbakam'. Interestingly the program included people of Indian origin converging in Gujarat from different countries in the global village.

(As a professional who spent a few years in South Africa, I have seen the interest shown by South Africans of Indian origin on cultural events in their country of origin). 

It was interesting to know from the speech by South Africa's external affairs Minister that today is also the anniversary of the founding of African National Congress.

  

03 January 2015

102nd Indian Science Congress

As I am writing this post, I am viewing the telecast of the proceedings of the 1st day of the 102nd Indian Science Congress being held in Mumbai.

Hope this year's session extends beyond ritualistic speeches and routine displays and gets into deeper aspects of how science and technology can enhance the living standards of common folk. I think that it is high time that aspects such as mobile technology and its use by small farmers and artisans, wi-fi in school classrooms and ethical aspects of working in science and technology are discussed in detail with well defined action plans.   

I think that by bringing in drastic improvement in how we run such conferences, we can enable our youngsters smell the sweet aroma of scientific works carried out by our ancestors in ancient India for the welfare and prosperity of people. This certainly requires a drastic revamp of our Teacher Education Programs and K12 School curriculum and textbooks towards quality. School Education professionals know too well as to how several education commissions and reports developed so far in our country (including the Yashpal Committe Report) have failed to bring in significant improvement in the quality of school education and teacher training. (If we had adapted the philosophy of education as proposed by great visionaries such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, we would have probably been the most scientifically advanced country with strong ethical base).

(Even after 67 years since we got independence, most of our K-12 schools do not have well defined home work policies either because they don't have time or because ministries of education lack guidance documents. I think that it is important for educationists at different levels to work on such issues and steer our school education towards quality).   

02 January 2015

Vaikunta Ekaadashi

Yesterday was a very auspicious day for Hindus and was celebrated as Vaikunta Ekaadashi.

About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a K-12 Education Management Professional turned freelance Education writer. 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.