24 July 2017

There are some areas in which I am never interested; one of these is politics.

Our Central and State Government Administrations may be bringing in many reforms. But unless poor people and ordinary common folk like me are not benefitted, there is no point in the Governments' Action Plans due to their skewed list of priorities.

Even today, our law and order situation hasn't improved,  Education for all children is not achieved, etc. etc.

Let me narrate my personal experience in the past fortnight in my attempt to  apply for Aadhaar card, in my next post.

09 July 2017

Teacher Fest

Today is an auspicious day in the Hindu calender. It is the birth anniversary of Veda Vyaasaa,  an incarnation of Shree Mahaa Vishnu. I'll try to provide relevant links when I use my computer (which has a technical problem currently).

18 June 2017

As I am writing this post, I have the pleasure of viewing a fabulously interesting TV programme on how Governments in countries such Singapore and Taiwan popularise cycling.  I think that policy makers in our country should learn lessons from such programmes and implement them here as well.

07 June 2017

In this post, I am glad to share a recent photo of my good friend Jose, about whom I have mentioned in earlier posts. 


Divine Marriage

As I write this post, I have the joy of viewing the divine marriage of Shree Raama with Shree Seethaa Devi at the famous Bhadraachalam temple, thanks to Bhakthi TV channel.  (If my beloved mother were alive, she would have derived the joy of viewing the program).

03 June 2017

An oasis in the TV media desert

Any sensible person knows that most of our TV programs are meaningless.

One of my most favourite TV channels is Tokyo based NHK. This morning I had the pleasure of viewing an interesting program known as 'FIRST CLASS'  on this channel. It involved a Stanford University professor and a few students. The professor was involving students into identification of problems and finding out meaningful and cost effective solutions.

The program took me down the memory lane to all my students and colleagues in different countries toward a common goal: Need based innovation and Quality education.

(I have mentioned about my experiences in my earlier posts).

30 May 2017

Today we see that children don't listen to their parents, teachers and elders. Well, this used be the case when we were young too. 

When men of my age were of school going age, in most households mothers used to be religious whereas fathers were busy in going to work, going to the bank and shouldering other home related administrative responsibilities. 

In general, boys used to emulate fathers more than mothers, when it came to attitudes and behaviour. I was no exception.     

I think that if I had developed spiritual interest like my mother, I would not have come across many difficulties in life. For example, if I had done Sandhyaa Vandanam every day immediately after my Upanayanam, I would not have got into a wrong marriage in 1982. This would have made my life and thereby my parents' lives, happier.

Similarly if I had listened to my father and took English Literature as my main subject in my first degree, I would have done my master's and probably Ph D and helped many students excel in the language (My father used to be proud of my English language skills). But as memorisation was very important in first degree exams in English Literature in those days, I dreaded taking up English Literature. (Even today in most Universities in India, English Literature and not English Language Teaching is offered as Main Subject at the first degree level).

As a Sanskrit verse says, mother, father, teacher and guest should be treated like God.


28 May 2017

Divine Solace to a depressed mind

As I write this post, I am experiencing the Joy of viewing Shree Lakshmi Nrusimha Sahasra Naama (Thousand Names of Shree Lakshmi Nrusimha) paaraayana congregation in Bangalore via Sankara TV channel. It is a solace to my depressed mind with nearly a month having gone by since my beloved mother passed away.

26 May 2017

In previous posts, I have mentioned about Shree Ganapathi Satchitananda Swamy; he founded and runs the Avadhoota Datta Peetham. Today is celebrated as the 75th birthday of this great spiritual master. The swamy's 3.5 square metres book 'Bhagavath Geetha' (meaning 'God's Song') in 18 languages entered Guinness Book of World Records today.

A few years back he organised a one crore Hanumantha Japa congregation in Andhra Pradesh. This service too got recognised in Guinness Book of World Records.

Had my beloved mother been alive today, she would have seen the proceedings on Bhakti TV and would have experienced the joy. (I inherit my interest in religious aspects from my beloved mother).

18 May 2017

Reema Lagoo

Heartfelt condolences to the family members of talented actress Reema Lagoo who passed away before dawn this morning. As far as I have known, she was one of the few dignified artistes such as Satish Shaw, Mohan Ghokale, Om Puri, Jaspal Bhatti and Mrs Jaspal Bhatti. I think that her TV comedy serials such as 'Thoo thoo mein mein' will be remembered by people for years to come.

14 May 2017

Mother's day

Google's gesture today on their 'Search' page is a fitting tribute to all mothers. As their communique puts it, every day can be mother's day, as it used to be in India. I read in a newspaper that men in a village in West Bengal  (India) wash their mother's feet every morning and sprinkle that water on themselves; I am ashamed that most of us don't show our respect like this. Although these men may not be rich in materialistic terms, they are exemplary.

School, home and child friendly science

As I'm writing this post I am watching a 'Tech 24' on France 24 TV channel.  It is an interesting programme illustrating simple school science activities that can be done by children in their own homes with adult supervision.  I think that our school systems in India have a long way to go even in implementing such simple programmes in their curriculum, let alone involving all parents across barriers in school processes.

12 May 2017


Following are a few photographs about which I had mentioned in my previous post:

From L to R: Madhu (my maternal aunt's son), my mother and Ramesh (my brother) when Madhu visited us past month

From L to R: My mother's attendant, my mother and Ramesh (my brother) nearly two months back
From L to R: My mother, Ramesh (my brother) and my maternal uncle when he visited us a few years back
My beloved parents in 1997 nearly a month before my father passed away (due to cardiac arrest) 

30 April 2017

My beloved mother passed away at around 8.30 pm on past Thursday. By God's Grace, I and my brother could give our affection, physical and emotional support. (As she had her own pension, she had always been financially self dependent). I'll post a few recent photographs of her and my beloved father (who passed away nearly 20 years back) when I find time.

15 April 2017

Saturday Softrock

As I write this post in a sunny afternoon viewing a musically magnetic performance by a Softrock band called "Boy", my memory takes me back to the softrock era. I think that Softrock fans like me would be glad that Softrock hasn't gone away from the performing arts scenario.

14 April 2017

New year's day

Today is celebrated as new year's day in many regions of India as well as in countries such as Cambodia.

11 April 2017

Hanumaan ji's birthday

Today is celebrated as Hanumad Jayanti  (meaning birth anniversary of Hanumaanjee). Hanumaanjee is the greatest devotee of Lord Shree Raam.

05 April 2017

Shree Raama Navami

Today is a very auspicious day for Hindus.  It is celebrated as Shree Raama Navami.  This is the day on which Shree Mahaa Vishnu took avataar as Lord Shree Raam and descended on the Earth during Trethaa Yugaa. On this auspicious day, marriage of Lord Shree Raam with Seetha Devi  (an Avataar of Shree Mahaa Lakshmi) is also performed in many temples.

01 April 2017

Mark Knopfler to Milow

As I write this post, I have the pleasure of viewing a nice performance by a popmusic group known as 'Milow' on DW TV. Their music resembles that of Mark Knopfler in its simplicity and magnetism.

31 March 2017

Madhu and meaningful media

My cousin Madhu (about whom I have mentioned in an earlier post) shares very meaningful pieces of information with me once in a while. One such (probably a quote) is shown below:






Knowledge and Experience

This morning in his spiritual discourse Poojyashree Sudhanshuji Maharaaj mentioned two examples to explain the difference between knowledge and experience.

It takes just a minute to let someone know how to drive a car. But unless this knowledge is put into practice, the former has no value.

Once there was a very famous heart surgeon in Mumbai. He used to perform at least 2 to 3 surgeries per day. One day he himself died of heart failure. He had the habit of drinking and smoking. Thus the knowledge that drinking and smoking are bad for health was useless because he didn't put it in practice. (This guy reminds me of a former neighbour with whom my cordiality was always at a certain 'minimum distance' due to his drinking and smoking habits).

In Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, knowledge and comprehension used to be listed as two different levels of cognitive ability hen he developed his taxonomy 60 years back. Whenever I used it in my classrooms or education management workshops I always stressed that unless knowledge and comprehension they are of zero value. In many circumstances comprehension is highly correlated with experience.

29 March 2017

Apt advertisements in academic settings

This morning I happened to see an advertisement on Bhakti TV Channel about a high school in Hyderabad (India). It lists "Inspiring potential" as one of the many positive factors developed in the school. I do know that characteristics such as behaviour, humility can inspire but not characteristics such as attitudes and potential as these are innate. These can become inspiring only when they are displayed externally as hard work, good behaviour etc. I think that schools should use language correctly.

There is another TV commercial by a dish TV company with similar problem. The setting is a school classroom. One of the children has a vision problem and uses a telescope to view the chalkboard. At one point of time, the the teacher says,"Keep quiet" pronouncing the phrase as if it is spelt "Keep quite". Even well educated adults make such mistakes in pronunciation. This problem can easily be averted if teachers give importance to factors such as stress and intonation.

I don't know as to how children's linguistic capabilities can be developed in linguistically skewed circumstances.

Appropriate advertisements are indispensable in highly competitive consumer driven scenario.    

New year's day

Today is celebrated as the first day of new year known as Ugaadhi by some Hindu communities such as those in Maharaashtraa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnaatakaa. Best wishes for a happy Ugaadhi  to all these people.

This day is also celebrated as Mathsya Jayanthi  (the day on which Shree Mahaa Vishnu took His first Avataar as fish to save Vedaas from bad elements).

18 March 2017

Sir Derek Walcott

Global village has lost an accomplished poet in the passing away of Sir Derek Walcott.  Sir Walcott, Sir Vidyasagar Naipaul and many other West Indian writers will always be remembered by literature fans and enthusiasts for their multi-racial writings with good objectives.

I think that West Indian writing in English (English literature developed by completely local writers) has a longer history than our own Indian writing in English though we got independence from the British earlier than most countries in the West Indies.

One important reason for this is the fact that we didn't recognise our local talent until a few decades back. (As far as I can remember, when I was doing my school final, our English textbook contained only 2 poems by our own writers namely Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu. All others were by British or American writers).  We should encourage local talent as well as respect others'.

12 March 2017

Full Moon Fest

Today is an auspicious day for Hindus.  This evening is celebrated as Holikaa Paurnami.

09 March 2017

Arun

Recently, I heard that a brother of my divorced wife passed away. He was a gentle guy with exemplary personality. All of us liked him. I have mentioned about Arun in my earlier post/s.

International Women's Day

Yesterday was International Women's Day. Most men think that the works that men do are more difficult than those that women do. They think that men travel to work sometimes long distance, manage colleagues and bosses and return home tired. They think that women's household works are not difficult at all. I too thought exactly the same way. (Just before I got married, when my mother advised me to help my `would be' wife in the household, I asked her,"Why haven't you asked dad to help you in household works anytime?". She just smiled and replied that she just didn't need his help. I understood my mother's advice when I saw my colleagues like Ulrich Klaussen helping their wives in household chores).

It is only in the past few years that I changed my `male chauvinistic' attitude since handling household chores as my mother became weak. Now I am more than convinced that the amount of work that men do is nothing compared to what women do in their homes. Men usually do the same kind of work in their work places every day whereas women do different works (including multitasks) without much time to relax. Women's work in the household is certainly far more superior than men's work in their work places. 

Women deserve due respect from us.

01 March 2017

In an earlier post I mentioned about my police complaint against a fraudulent company based near New Delhi (with offices in the US). Such companies exist and flourish by cheating in developed countries as well. In every community there are good people as well as bad people. We get into problem when we trust a person or Company from what person or Company `looks’ like. When we experience the reality, it is often too late. I have been cheated many times. Let me describe my experience so that those who read my blogs wouldn’t make the mistakes that I committed in trusting a wrong person or Company.

In the early 90’s, I desired to migrate to Australia or New Zealand. By then I had my professional qualifications and experience recognized by New South Wales Department of School Education and New Zealand Teacher Registration Board. As it wouldn’t be easy to get a job without face to face interview (during those pre Skype and Internet days) I applied for visitor’s visa for New Zealand stating the reason “To visit places of tourist interest and to attend job interviews if I am legally permitted”. Within a few weeks, New Zealand Immigration Department replied by sending .the Application Form for Permanent Residence instead of the one for Tourist Visa stating that the former was more appropriate for me. As I was about to apply, one of my friends suggested me to apply through a Migration Consultancy Firm so that things could move faster. I too thought so and contacted the Chennai office of an Australia based Migration Consultancy Firm known as Todd International. The guy who managed its Chennai office said that I stood a better chance for Australia. As teachers’ salary in Australia was more than that in New Zealand, I preferred Australia. I had paid nearly US$ 4000 for processing my application. Every time I approached the Company to know the status of my application, the reply was “Please wait”. “It is being processed by the Immigration Department”, “Don’t worry” etc. Even after 3 years, I never got the document for which I applied. By the time, I tried to sue the Company, it had already disappeared. US$ 4000 was not a small amount in the `90s. 

By the time I realised that Todd International was a fraudulent Australian Company with branches in many countries including in India and that I should have applied through the Australian Government’s Immigration Department directly instead of relying on Private Migration `Consultants’, it was too late. 
  

 



25 February 2017

Shivaa Fest

Yesterday (rather last night) was an auspicious time for Hindus. The time was celebrated as Mahaa Shiva Raathri.

20 February 2017

Seethaa Jayanthi

Yesterday was a very auspicious day for Hindus
 It was the day when Mahaa Lakshmi, beloved wife of Shree Mahaa Vishnu, took avataar as Seethaa Devi during Thretaa Yugaa.

17 February 2017

A few days back in a Hindu  religious discourse, while narrating the story of Sudhaamaa, a boyhood friend of Lord Krishna, Gaurav Krishna Goswamiji Maharaaj mentioned that Porbandar (the birth place of Mahaatma Gandhiji) was where Sudhaama lived during Dwaapara Yuga and that the town used to be known as Sudhaama Nagar then. (A very interesting piece of information that I heard for the first time).   

05 February 2017

Madhwa navami

Today is celebrated as Madhwa navami by a community of people who follow Dwaitaa school of Hinduism. 

30 January 2017

Today is the death anniversary of  Gandhiji.  

28 January 2017

Purandara Daasa

Yesterday was an auspicious day for Vishnu devotees who follow Dwaitaa School of Hindu Philosophy. It was the aaraadhanaa day of Saint Purandara Daasa.


26 January 2017

Past Monday and today were historically important dates to Indians. These two days were celebrated as birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and 68th anniversary of Republic Day..

23 January 2017

In my posts written this month, I mentioned about Jose (a friend who was my colleague in Bhutan way back in the late '70s) and my first cousins Madhu (Madhusudhan Rao) and Shreedhar. 

Jose
Jose with President of Maldives

Madhu
Shreedhar
Madhu is a retired Bank Manager settled in Bangalore. Shreedhar works at a Bank in Andhra Pradesh. Jose worked as School Principal in Maldives and at Senior levels in Kenya. He now teaches English in a college in Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh.






21 January 2017

Thyaagaraajaa Music Fest

Past Tuesday was a very important day to devotees of Shri Raam, an Avataar of Shree Mahaa Vishnu. This day was celebrated as aaraadhanaa day of Thyaagarajaa, Saint, Composer, Musician and more importantly a great devotee of Lord Shree Raam and Seethaa Devi, the divine couple.

15 January 2017

Swamy Vivekananda

12 January was the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Sankraanthi Fest

In India, Hindu people in states such as Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Punjab offer special worship to Sun God and celebrate 3 days (13 to 15 January) to mark the end of rice harvesting season. More importantly they celebrate it as anniversary of several important incidents as mentioned in Hindu scriptures. I'll write about them when I find time. 

10 January 2017

Software, sensibility and Shreedhar

We all know that sharing messages and media has become very easy with WhatsApp and that it is also misused like other technology backed social media tools. But fortunately as in other media platforms, there are exceptions in WhatsApp too. As I have mentioned in my posts earlier, effects of these tools depends on the user.

I and two of my first cousins share greetings with each other somewhat regularly. These two guys viz. Madhusudhan Rao (Madhu) and Shreedhar are sons of my late maternal aunt who was very straight-forward and non-gossipy like my mother (for which reasons some people didn't like the two ladies).


It is amazing that Shreedhar finds time in early mornings before going to a bank for work to select very nice `Good Morning’ pictures and videos. Many of the pics centre round simple and meaningful themes and are very rich in quality (colour contrast, background etc etc). Following is one such picture sent by him, thanks to Shreedhar and WhatsApp: 



09 January 2017

Vaikunta Ekaadashi

Yesterday was a very auspicious day for most people who worship Shree Lakshmi Naarayanaa. The day. which comes annually is known as `Vaikunta Ekaadashi'. Some devotees of Lord Lakshmi Naaraayana celebrate it today according to their traditions.

Shree Lakshmi Naaraayanaa

07 January 2017

Post production problem

In general, we all take pride in what we produce (such as a good book, a meaningful painting etc). It is human nature. But it doesn't work positively in the toilet particularly so in apartments where toilets face each other. I don't understand why some people don't flush their toilets immediately after every time they defecate. I think that it will be nice if we humans can use our ability to reason (that does not exist in other animals) properly.     

03 January 2017

A few days back, there was a news item on TV that the former pension chief got arrested in South Korea on charges of corruption. The culprit was handcuffed and taken to prison. (In 1981, nearly 150 school teachers from India were recruited to work in Government schools in Ethiopia. Sebastian (Sebastian Perumcheril John) and I were posted to Endaselassie, a remote village. On the first day, when we locked our rooms as we left for school, our local colleagues were surprised. They told us that none in the village locked their doors as there was no security problem at all. They said that police always kept guard in civilian dress all the time and if they saw any one indulging in crime, they would punish the person severely. This kept people away from indulging in crimes).
R to L: Sebastian and I with a colleague's daughter in front of our rooms
I think that such a form of punishment should be followed in our country, whoever is the culprit. The punishment should be severe enough that none would dare even to imagine going against law and order.

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.