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).

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


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. 


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.