Thursday, January 27, 2011

Proud and rich republic

Yesterday morning, we hoisted the flag in our apartment complex. It was followed by cultural program and a scholastic book fair at our complex club house.

The little children of our complex paraded as freedom fighters and the young girls and boys enacted scenes from Bhagavad gita and showcased the inventions and contributions of our lovely country. They had unearthed such lovely unknown info about India that I was ignorant of some.

I did not know that Albert Einstein had a copy of Bhagavad Gita with him. Watching the children perform and listening songs on partriotism gave me goose bumps.

Oh god, How rich in knowledge is our country, only we don't market it as Westerners and Chinese do.

Watch this video (the silent national anthem) It is simply beyond words. WE ARE PROUD INDIANS, AREN'T WE?

On a personal note, It is my son's birthday on Jan 26th. So double celebrations, he had a skype birthday celebration with his father, who's away in the US.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is reading a bad habit?

'Neeya? Naana?' ( you? me?) is a tamil debate program telecast on Vijay TV every Sunday in Prime slot. The debate show is ably managed by journalist turned TV anchor Gopinath . Two teams are divided on a topic. The topic this week was on the merits and de-merits of ‘Reading’

There was a parent who talked about the de-merit of reading and she said she discouraged her son from reading story books or comics. Reading story books she felt corrupted young minds and hence discouraged her second standard son from reading. She wanted to be a role-model for her son and hence she too stopped reading novels.

Another teenage girl (college student) said she too does’nt read magazines or books since books corrupted her mind and she felt reading books and novels would encourage her to fall in love .

Another participant considered reading is a waste of time and money. Money should not be spent on books.

I was surprised to find that many parents wanted their children to study only curriculum based books and focus only on school/college texts and not on any external reading material.

Opposing this, I find schools and some parents like me encouraging to read material other than prescribed texts. I tell my children to read classics and when they read school texts, I tell them to parallely open “tell me why’ and encyclopedia to refer, so that they can correlate their school studies with the world around them.

My children’s school has DEAR time(Drop Everything And Read). Every body has to drop everything and start reading during this hour, including the teacher and the principal.

(My son at the well stocked Secunderabad club children's library)

Schools,Leisure stores and book libraries around the city encourage children and elders to read more with programs like sustained Silent reading(SSR) and readathons ( marathon reading competition).

In today’s electronic age when reading has taken a back seat , It’s surprising to find people considering ‘Reading’ story books , novels and comics as a crime.

I consider reading to be a life skill teacher and books a good friend and companion. It teaches values like humility, tolerance, patience and calms your mind apart from encouraging you to be a good visualiser,thinker and enhancing your language skills. These are qualities on decline today.

We friends used to borrow, share and read books from library. Reading still fascinates me and of course there are good and bad in every walk of life. Judge the book and read.

At the end of the show an eminent writer Ramakrishnan who judged the show said that Reading is a virtue . Children grow listening and reading stories which enhances their thinking skills and vocabulary. Strong minds don’t get corrupted by reading books and the art of story telling is an ancient art and each country has its legends and folk tales which describe the culture and lifestyles of that particular region.

Definitely, I consider reading a good habit. Let me know, What are your thoughts?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bravo, farmers!

For pongal , it is tradition among tamils to tie a fresh turmeric plant and fresh ginger sapling around the neck of the cooking pot (now pressure cooker) while cooking pongal.

The green leaves symbolises prosperity, the turmeric of auspiciousness and ginger for the spice of life. These turmeric plants this year costed @RS.50 per plant. We usually buy in pairs. MIL had planted a tuber in one of the pots last year and this was the one we used it to tie around the pot( saved rs.50 :-)). It was such a pleasure to use the homegrown plant.

If this small plant could give me so much pleasure, what would be the pride of the farmers who reap such a huge harvest after their sweat, toil braving all man made and natural odds. Bravo farmers!

Hope this season brings them more farmer friendly loan facilities and aids from the government and we see less suicides amongst farmers. After all the hardwork, what they get in return is a paltry sum while the major amount is guzzled by the middle men.

It is nice to see the advt (Doordarshan) on Kisan call centers. They can ask and clarify their queries on farming by calling this toll free numbers. Hope more farmers avail this facility which offers 'technical know how and help' .

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Wi(i)erd son

" Patti gudhichitta" ( grandma jumped).

"Very good patti, good throw"( as in basket ball)

"Master stroke, Thatha" ( base ball)

The first time I heard patti gudichitta (grand ma jumped), I was in the bedroom reading a book and I thought my son got the information over phone and he was informing me this (I assumed that she slipped and fell at Neyveli), only when I came to the drawing room did I realise that this brat was playing the wii game and his patti was surfing on a beach in the Nintendo Wii resort game.

The next time my mom was playing basket ball and hence the "good throw".

My father played well in the base ball game and hence the comment 'master stroke'.

Now, I am used to the monologues which we keep hearing from our drawing room.

The thatha and patti's ( grand parents) he is referring to are on screen characters made with features based on my parents who are in Bangalore and MIL who often goes to Neyveli and Chennai.

Now all my family members like his aunts, uncles, cousins, sister, his parents, grandparents have all been converted into Mii characters and he virtually plays with them.

My parents and MIL too enjoyed their caricatured characters on screen and enjoy playing with their grandson when they come here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The new politicians

Most people around the world following Indian politics would be aware about the Sri Krishna commision report.

Well, the report was released on Jan 6th. As anticipated there was unrest in some parts of our state. Some political parties called for closure of schools and colleges since they were not happy with the outcome of the report.

Some schools like my children's school did not take the bandh call seriously and so they went to work.

Just an hour into their work and their school gate was rattled with some anti-social elements wearing the party colors of a political party. They carried acid bottles with them and threatened the school authorities. The school authorities immediately huddled all the children into their classrooms and promised the party workers that the school would be closed.

Immediately all the children were put on the school buses, as they were boarding the buses my son said he and his friends were told to shout slogans in support of the party.

Even as I was reading the sms from school stating that the school was closed due to political trouble and the buses will leave school at, my daughter reached home by the high school bus and told me ' amma, all the primary school children are shouting slogans, their buses will come soon' and a few minutes later my son got down from the bus and came running to me and said ' Amma, I and my friends shouted "JAI ---------- " today.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Frozen thoughts...... an awakening

I came across the magazine 'Frozen thoughts' by chance an year and half back, during our regular monthly shopping at Ratnadeep supermarket. This came as a complimentary copy with our monthly groceries. Though I am an avid reader of all magazines, I thought this was like any other complimentary magazine, full of glossy advertisements and so I just flipped the bright and colorful magazine - read the jokes ,quotes, awed at the colorful glossy advts and just stacked them along with news papers to be thrown for ITC recycle.

A few months ago, while on the look out for pictures which my son wanted for his school project , I flipped through this magazine and very casually glanced through an article - the art of delegating. I got so engrossed in the article which was such a startling revelation and ever since then there is no looking back on this magazine.This particular article made me feel that our patti and thatha's ( grandparents) were great management gurus. We don't need Stephen covey, Dale carnegie or a Robin sharma . We have the originals at home.

Every article in this magazine is based on life’s practicality and one can easily connect with what the authors have to say. Most of the simple problems which we face in our real life are addressed and every article leaves you refreshed and motivated to take charge of life’s situations better.

Regular features like Boomerang, Voice of love, awakening, nostalgia, eight years ago, when science met god, a lovely center spread, home remedies, sports reveal character, that’s wisdom, quote, alma mater values and many more make this magazine a treasure. These magazines have now shifted their place to my book rack for safekeeping as forever treasures.

Now, every month I look forward for my monthly shopping @ Ratnadeep to lay hands on my favorite magazine. A magazine for all ages, all religions and all times. Hope this magazine reaches more homes and touches many souls. Click on this link to read online.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The last week of the year 2010

The last week of the year 2010 were a mixed bag of spirited fun and some tiring runs.

It started with a wonderful X-mas party at one our aunt's huge heritage bungalow, where I chanced upon many humble big shots of our society who spoke to me as though they knew me since ages. Good food, fun and lot of warmth (thanks also to the bonfires) flowed in the X-mas party. Two Santas loaded with gifts were an added attraction at the party.

The next day saw my daughter and her friends perform bolly wood songs for the first time at our neighbouring 250 apartment complex for a new year event. The performance was well received by the audience.

And there were many shopping visits, dining treats, baking( my 11 year son baked a wonderful chocolate cake), packing and some running between pillar to posts to get some government documents done. These days there are no under the table dealings at Government offices. EVERY dealing is done shamelessly above the table and the officials come to work happily at 12.00 in the afternoon for a job. The reason for the delay is attributed to 'Traffic jam'. A job which should take easily 2-3 hours time or lesser, took me 3 working days to get done after lot of running between.

Well, speaks volumes about our Government.

Contrary to the above pathetic attitude of the government officials, I also encountered some customer friendly services at some private banks too. A major job was easily done in half-an hour time.

The topping of the week was an electrifying new year's eve at our well decorated apartment complex. All the younsters, little ones and young at hearts( senior citizens) swayed to the DJ's music till 1.30a.m.( all 70+ uncles and aunties stayed back till 1.30 a.m). It just gave each one of us a feeling of one big joint family. I stayed indoor and prayed at the stroke of 12.00 and then joined my friends.

I'm sure all of you had a sweet beginning to 2011. May god grant us the strength and health to build bridge to our destinies and live in peace.