Religion,Education and Duties

July 31, 2008

Disclaimer :
Views expressed here are strictly personal and are only my interpretation of the subject under consideration. I do not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiment in any way. I merely express my views and understandings with regards to the topic.

I write this post after reading the dd’s response to my post Freedom and Responsibility. It only seems prudent to write it out here. I did intend to write about the diversity, but the other issue I discussed there has been seldom dealt with. The religious issue has been discussed a lot, so I changed the course there. And by the time I returned to what I had started at first, the post was too long. So, here I go on with that discussion

Education. Its a pretty heavy term. Drives away ignorance and opens your mind to accept reality as it is. At least thats what it is intended to be! But, education really is a concise curriculum designed for around roughly 15 years at the end of which you will be in an employable position. As I see it, no syllabus teaches us what UNITY IN DIVERSITY actually means. Only some teachers may take the pain in explaining their students about religious harmony during moral science period(If there is one mind you). What i am trying to say is that schools will give you knowledge but not wisdom. And wisdom is what drives the hatred away and not education. And education is a powerful tool to gain wisdom, but not many use it to do that.

In almost all the Puranas and both the epics, there are numerous instances where GOD himself condemns the religious hatred by touching an untouchable or eating a fruit given by an untouchable or by turning his idol 180° and making a hole in the temple so that his devotee can see him. These are pretty ancient tales and yet we see untouchability still being practised by people. You cant say there are illeterate. They do have the knowledge of what happens in these stories. They have heard them in many religious gatherings and bhajjans. And the riots and kilings are done by people who are literates and have a tag called Hindu in their organization name and yet they do not follow the basic teaching of Ahimsa. Fight to defend, I dont mind, but murder is uncalled for. And THEY HAD FORMAL EDUCATION mind you.

Terrorism, which is another derivative of religious hatred, need not be discussed elaborately. All the movies and books give enough insight into the Islam from which we can deduce that killing is sin. But, of course, the educated people use their power to twist the sentences and derive the meaning they want to. My knowledge of Islam is minimal so I cant really elaborate or go deeper. But the fact that is established is that there is no room for violence there too.

After all the things I said above, I would like to make myself a bit more clear. Education is very important. It must be imparted to each and everyone who lives. But we must not stop at that. Merely accumulated knowledge in the heads of hot blooded young people, or twisted old minds will only be disastrous. People must be made to apply what they learn. They must become intelligent rather than just informed. The must be able to improvise on what they learn in a right way. They must be brought to a state where they can at least judge themselves properly, otherwise what they learn, or whatever they will learn will become redundant! So, approach of education must change and only then we will be able to really make a difference with education.

Now, on a completely different issue about Madarsas; its termed as a sensitive issue. But I hardly believe that it is. Anyone, when blamed, must turn transparent to shut the mouths. But here you find that not happening. Its really ironic that some of them who head these institutions are scholars. Pathetic would fit too I think. So, its really the issue of respecting the country you live in. If your country gives you the freedom to practise your beliefs, then you must react with performing your duties. The point here is that we put our rights before our duties and hence democracy fails. And not to mention the various political benefits that accompany by such behaviour!

Strict rules will hurt religious sentiments! Of whom? A few people I believe. But, the best way to be miserable is to try and make everyone happy. We need to act a bit more fiercely when we make rules. Moreover, a logical debate would resolve the issue of government’s intervention in Madarsa anyways. Its the political debate that hinders the decision in such matters, especially when there is power at stake!! Riots too are a complete disgrace to humanity. They violate the very cause that these people are fighting for! Peace, equality, humanity, sanity????!! There is right to protest, but not to kill!!! Yet, people do that and only the innocent die!

These all can be resolved if we act strongly and not just be afraid of hurting the so called “religious sentiments” of people living here. What about they hurting the “Patriotic sentiments” of crores of people? Doesn’t that count? Doesn’t they running away from their fundamental duties count? Or, are these duties just ornamental in nature? Just to impress people who read it. Take some time and read these duties that are listed in the constitution

Fundamental duties:
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India –

  1. to abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National flag and the National anthem
  2. to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspire our national struggle for freedom
  3. to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
  4. to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  5. to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all people of India transcending religious linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  6. to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture
  7. to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, rivers, lakes, wild life and to have compassion of living creatures
  8. to develop the scientific temper, humanization and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  9. to safeguard public property and to abjure violence
  10. to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement

Sadly, when you are a part of a riot, you violate all these codes! In terms of education, we get to see this list in our Civics text books, memorize them, vomit in exams and evaporate them from our minds. Why? Because nobody bothered to actually make you follow them as a kid and you too never bothered to think about them after that year of school! So, where do we go with education?


Freedom and Responsibility

July 29, 2008

I still remember how I used to mug up the speeches and deliver it flawlessly on Independence day or Republic day. The content used to be pretty much the same every year. The first line always used to start with the “It has been xy number of years since independence…… “. I can still recall the main part of my speech….

… India has rich culture and heritage. It has people belonging to many different religious groups who speak variety of languages and follow different customs and traditions. But, in spite of these diversities India stays united. Jawaharlal Nehru called this as ‘Unity in diversity’. Many great people have fought for the independence of this country like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and many others(For some reasons, I used to take only these two names). Today all Indians get together to celebrate this occasion…..

I was in 4th standard when I first wrote that speech and continued to use it till 8th standard. Although flicked from my Social Studies text book, I, as a kid, believed in it. I used to say the line ‘Unity in diversity’ with such sincerity. But, that was way long back. Times came when we started to identify our friends in terms of their religion. Name itself was enough to know what religion he/she belonged to. My school was in a sensitive area that was featured in BBC news for riots. Learned a great deal about ‘Unity in diversity’ then. That was the time when kid started to grow, to trust only what he saw and not what books told. It was a blow, but not explosive, very slow….. may be in slow motion!!

When ever someone says freedom, the first thing that comes to mind is that you can do whatever you want to. Sweche is the word for it in Kannada; I believe its very close to the Hindi word too. But of course, the actual term for freedom would be Swatantrya. So, people have mixed these two up and take everything for granted. Sad but true. Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. In Spiderman, Peter’s uncle tells him, “With great power comes great responsibilities.” Freedom is the power vested in the hands of Indians and the responsibilities that have come with it are many. So, lets take some time and see some logic now so that you guys will get my drift

There are over 105 Crore people in this country, in them over 70 Crore people are above 15 years of age. So, even though the legal age is 18, 15 is not TOO small. Now, India is formed by ALL these people right? India is an independent country, meaning she has freedom. Meaning, ALL the people who live here have freedom. So, logically, we all have the power. Hence, we all have, on our shoulders, the responsibilities that come with it. I hope you got it now. How many of us realise this and take up the responsibilities?

No! No! Its the ministers’ responsibility to do this! Er… Who is the minister basically? A person we all elected to represent US(Not USA people! us, me. And you together) in the parliament so that we will be effectively participating in the affairs of the country. So, don’t think your job is done after electing someone. You have to make sure they do what needs to be done. You don’t have to know the constitution cover to cover, but at least understand the gist of the system before blaming it. The WHOLE system consists of you also, and if there is something wrong with the system itself, then there is something wrong with YOU TOO!

Next time you walk on the road and see plastics and paper lying there don’t blame the municipality. If you go in the mornings, you will see a lot of people cleaning this mess. Daily. But by evening, a lot of people will unite together and fulfill the mission of “litter the road”. So, automatically you lose the authority to question why the roads are not clean. As Dr. Kalam once said, “when you will make sure that you throw garbage into a bin when visiting other countries, then WHY don’t you do the same here in your own country?” There are a lot of things he says like these, click here, to read his speech. This will make you think!!

The point I am trying to make is that we need to start being responsible and stop sulking and blaming the inefficient leaders. If they are inefficient, then we must not elect them again. But they come again and again and again till death snatches them away from us, even then we fight!! Further more the whole “diversity” issue. The more I thought education is the answer to drive out the religious hatred, turns out it isn’t! Its the educated people only who are more conscious about religion. The day they will take out the column of religion from the forms I fill, I will be the happiest man alive.

The month of independence arrives shortly and time for some other kid to write a new speech, and time for some other kid to discover the reality! But the time for change, for action, for commitment never comes. It is when you CHOOSE it to be. Do me a favour and dont make any resolutions. Make a promise that you will care and THAT will make an impact! Enough said!


Two little birds

July 26, 2008
Nest of the two birds

Nest of the two birds

Today I went to market with my mom. I helped with the vegetables, but I am not good at things like which colour is good? Will this match with that? Yest she asks my opinion and I try to answer them and she always ends up taking something other than what I told would match!! sigh! Anyways, as we were walking down the footpath, there was a guy selling little bird toys that would chirp when sound was made. Basically they are sound activated. Mom bought two of those birds from him. When I looked at her inquiringly she told me, “Its for the nest, two of them.”

Let me give some background info here. My mom has always maintained nice gardens in front of our home, where ever we have lived till now. When we moved to Bangalore, that practice continued. Here, in one of the shrubs, a bird built a nest. This is a nest that has to be entered from bottom and its completely covered with two compartment. Something like the one the Weaver bird builds. There were birds in it, two of them, very small, may have been babies. It was really nice to hear them every morning. A few days back my cousins had come home, little sister and little brother :d. My little sister likes those birds a lot. One of those days, when I come back from college, my mom and cousins were in the backyard. I joined them there and asked what was going on. My sister told me, “Anna, the birds died. Both of them”

“What? I thought they were babies, what happened to them?” I asked her looking at my mom

“I think their mom left them and they starved to death” offered my little brother and everyone seemed to agree with him

“Where are they?” I asked her as the nest was off the shrub

“We buried them, there” she told pointing to a spot that was surrounded by small stones arranged in a circle. I looked at the spot and raised my brows. But my mom smiled and took the nest inside. My brother was looking at the spot curiously. Turned out he too had missed the burial.

Now, as my mom took those birds to keep in the nest I was reminded of the fact that moving on is the hardest thing to do. You will always remember those things you have lost in life and always wonder how different life would be otherwise!


What we learn and what we value

July 24, 2008

Two days of slogging and my last HR interview is what I will always remember from my first campus interview. I got placed in TCS which is a software firm. So, life is secured? In a way I feel like that. I will have SOMETHING if my plans go wrong in the near future. But the wait was AGRRRR…….!

The wait was agonizing. Online test for 917 people is not an easy job. Waiting in the queue for hours together was irritating. The place was chaotic, totally uncontrollable. Come on, if our friends are asking us to stop moving around and stand in line, WHO would listen to them? But as I entered the Internet lab, everything was very organized. The same exact thing happened on the interview day. It was very well organized! I had two rounds of interviews in the indoor stadium and I was asked to wait upstairs in the GD room for my final round

The HR interviewers were Mr. Naveen and another lady who did not introduce herself to us. But, my friend still thinks she was rather very cute :D. I have not seen many people who are as relaxed as Naveen was. Totally cool under the pressure that we created on him. My HR interview was with 6 other friends of mine, a bit weird I know considering it should be one on one. Anyways, we sat in the GD room waiting for him, trying to predict what they might do there. We had come to a conclusion that we might have a group discussion round up there. Finally the wait was over and we were made to sit in the small GD room, and trust me, it was small for 9 people, and then began the 3rd round…

He had our resumes in his hand and the evaluation sheets from the last two rounds as well. After having a quick look at them, he asked us to tell something about ourselves that was not there in our resumes and he gave us 45 seconds to do that. You know whats the most difficult question? “Tell me about yourself”. try to answer that. But Naveen went one step further. He asked us to tell something that was NOT there in our resume. And on top of that he gives us 45 seconds to do that. I mean its crazy that you cant speak even 45 seconds about yourself!!!!! We were allowed to go whenever we were ready.

My friend went first.

Friend : Hello I am so-and-so, I am studying in BMSCE. Something that NOT there in the resume is that I have learnt classical music and I am good at singing(He is really good at it). And I er……..

Naveen : 20 seconds up!

(Friend smiles like an idiot)

Naveen : 30 seconds up

(We all smile looking from the two interviewers to my friend and back to the interviewers)

Naveen : 40-41-42-43-44 aaaand 45!!! What dude? Thats all? Whos next?

At that point everyone stared at me. I am like, ‘Why the hell are you guys staring at me? DO NOT stare. Why is everyone staring??!’. Then I realised, they all wanted me to go next. I was sitting next to the friend who spoke first. I had no other choice, but to speak. I thought everyone could hear my heart beating as a lifted my hand to acknowledge that I was up next. Naveen nodded in approval and I began

Me : Hello everyone, I am Anoop doing E n C in BMSCE. Well, apart from all thats put in my resume, I have also learnt Karate!(Why did I tell THAT!!!!!)

Naveen : Karate!! What style?

(I stared at him blankly, I was stumped and I could not remember anything about it. For the record, I havent practised for the past 7 years)

Me : Its a martial art

Naveen : (Raised his brow) ‘Course it is. Do you know the meaning of Karate?

Me : (I was trying to remember it. I knew it, AGRRRRR..) No sir

My another friend lifted his hand and said “Bare hands”. Damn! I knew that.

Naveen : Correct. (He looked at me) Which belt are you?

Me : Brown sir.

Naveen : Name any two katas(kata is a sequence of moments, a kind of model. There is atleast one kata in each belt)

Me : (Stumped again!!! I needed time to remember them, but that was not available!!!!) Sir, Katas are just called using numbers, they dont really have name(Mind you that its true ok? I didnt make it up. Just that you use Japanese to number them and not English)

Naveen : Really? (He smiled) Do the first kata then.

Me : Now?!!!

Naveen : Yes

Me : HERE?!! (I was thinking he would say GOT YOU!!! any moment)

Naveen : Yes. Move your chair guys and make him some space

My heart was going to come out of its cage! I was racking my brains to atleast remember the name of the first kata. I could not. I didnt know what to do. All my friends were smiling widely and gleefully. I knew they were trying to tell me BUSTED!!!!!! Then I got into my stance and took a deep breath and yelled KATA and everyone’s smile was wiped out. Then I did the traditional breath out and suddenly I started moving. It was like I was back in my old classroom in front of my sensei. I did the first three moves and then at the fourth move I almost punched the glass on the divider. He asked me to stop and then asked me to do a brown belt Kata. I did two moves of that one too and then he told me to sit down. I was too excited to sit down!! :D. He then quizzed me about my masters and their whereabouts. Finally he said

“I used to teach Karate for black belt students before working here in TCS”

Everyone looked at him with their mouth wide-open. Literally! He is slightly overweight, but he knew the stuff and then I realised where he got that cool and calm mind from. Since then I have started practising Karate again. And, I do remember the names of all the Katas and the stances. Simillar things happened with my other friends too. Naveen knew about almost all the feilds, be it classical music, Karate, Mathematics, Scouts, Mountaineering, Cricet, Football or anything. He put everyone of us in a tight spot with his questions. Everyone was impressed by his personality and my friends are really looking forward to work with him in the future.

But for me it was a reminder as to how we overlook some of the most incredible things we have learnt in life. All this time I have strived to find ways to focus myself, to improve my concentration. But I never turned to what I aready knew. It is annoying actually. But as they say, better late than never. So, I learnt my lesson. Value everything you ever learn in life.

P.S : Written test was on 18th and the interviews on 19th


Nick name mania

July 12, 2008

So, here is the list of all my nick names ever given to me

😛

Chotu – Everyone in my famiy and my relatives use this name!

Leo

Motu

Dooth

Ghodse – My bro calls me this!

Snowy

Anu

Mr. White

Noble Idiot

NANO– Seriously 😀

MD – Mr. Disney

‘Noopy

Captain Planet

Robot boy *shakes his head*

PJ – My classmates use this

Tommy

Ducky

Mickey

Quite a few names!

Note : Will update as and when required 😀


Kabhi Kabhi Aditi

July 9, 2008

Lyrics : Abbas Tyrewala

Music : A R Rehman

Singer : Rashid Ali

Movie : Jaane tu ya Jaane naa

Kabhi kabhi Aditi

Kabhi kabhi Aditi zindagi mein yuhi koi apna lagta hai.
Kabhi kabhi Aditi wo bichhar jaaye to ek sapna lagta hai.
Aise mei koi kaise apne aansu o ko behne se roke?
Aur kaise koi sochle everything’s gonna be ok?

Kabhi kabhi to lage zindagi mein rahi naa khushi aur naa mazaa.
Kabhi kabhi to lage har din mushkil aur har pal ek sazaa.
Aise mein koi kaise mushkuraye, kaise hasde khush hoke?
Aur kaise koi soch de everything gonna be ok?

Soch jara jaaneja tujhko hum kitna chahte hai.
Rotein hai hum bhi aggar teri ankhon mein aansu aate hai.
Gaane to aata nahi hai magar phir bhi hum gaate hai.
Ke Aditi maana kabhi-kabhi saare jahan mein andhera hota hai;
Lekin raat ke baad hi to sabera hota hai.

Kabhi kabhi Aditi zindagi mei yuhi koi apna lagta hai.
Kabhi kabhi Aditi wo bichhar jaaye to ek sapna lagta hai.
Hey Aditi Hasde hasde hasde hasde hasde, hasde tu zara.
Nahi to bus thora thora thora thora thora, thora mushkura.

Tu khush hai to lage ke jahan mein chhaayi hai khushi.
Suraj nikle baadlon se aur baatein zindagi.
Suun to jara madhosh hawa tujhse kehne lagi.
Ke Aditi wo jo bichhad-te hai ek na ek din phir mil jaate hai;
Aditi jaane tu ya jaane na phool phir khil jaate hai.

Kabhi kabhi Aditi zindagi mei yuhi koi apna lagta hai.
Kabhi kabhi Aditi wo bichhar jaaye to ek sapna lagta hai.
( Hey Aditi Hasde hasde hasde hasde hasde, hasde tu zara.
Nahi to bus thora thora thora thora thora, thora mushkura. )-5

Two genius’ at work. Really good lines that will bring a smile on your face at the end!! Ofcourse, Tyrewala is good at writing 😀

And, really sweet tune given by Rehman. Its so soothing and cheerful; and I dunno why but I was reminded of Bommarillu at one point when that flute is being played…. That tune sounds a bit simillar to it, but its not the same.

On the whole, one of my favourites!


Why I cant stay away from my computer

July 7, 2008

Friends!

Now this picture is really good! I love this on a lot. Found it in my friend’s album on Orkut. Then I put it on mine too. Now this picture tells me two things

<1>I have many online friends.

<2>I NEED TO GET A LIFE OFF-LINE