Martyrdom – 2

Wordless…

Speechless…

Helpless…

Cannot do anything except venting out my anger!

Foremost my heart goes out to the kids and wives and the families of the Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

A dastardly act…

A cowardice…

A bastard terrorist rams a vehicle into a truck full of CRPF personnel and kills them instantly. In a few minutes, a video comes out where that bastard justifies his action. And our media, the filthy and slavish mentality media, the anti-India media starts playing it over and over again as if they have been paid to play it. And we all, who have been celebrating Valentine Day, jump on the bandwagon and start hurling abuse against the ever impertinent neighbour, the terrorists it harbours and slowly it moves towards our own people and Government. We too became slaves of this atmosphere being created by them. And start ranting.

We all start suggesting towards what can be done as we are a participative democracy. But in the end a few of us will donate a few thousand or lacs in some account or write against this act, like I am doing. After 3 days, from Monday onwards, we will be back to our routine and forget about our Jawans, our country, our duty towards them. And wait for another Pulwama to happen and vent out.

This has been happening from 12/03/1993 when a Don gathered the guts to bomb Mumbai and brought it to a standstill. Still remember those days, when I lost my best friend in those blasts. Later many such attacks took place. The pinnacle was when Mumbai was attacked again by 10-12 terrorists on 26/11, when we saw the youth coming on the streets to protest and support the army.

The surgical strikes lifted our Josh and we all were under an impression that now our neighbour has learnt it’s lesson. But this incident has proved us wrong. Let us all understand, one cannot stop the fidayeen, we cannot stop them from attacking, we cannot minimise the damage they will cause. They have been prepared and intoxicated for their inhumanely act. We need to prepare ourselves for many such acts which might even happen in the future.

But what about the soldiers who have given up their lives for their country, for us? What about their families? What about their kids? What about their old parents? What about emotional stress they all go through? We all will donate and we should, so that their financial side is strong. But what about their emotional needs? Will no one from us ever visit such a family just to give them warmth. The much needed ear to listen to them. The much needed affection, an affection for the cause for which they gave up their lives.

I too always think that I as a teacher prepare students for their future lives and careers. I explain to them the nuances of every profession, but do I ever talk about Army as one of the options to serving his/her Motherland. We all make fun even about RSP and Scouts and Guides as subject and schools too have limited them to books and camps. But what about the discipline? What about the dedication towards a cause? What about surrendering oneself towards his own country? Which education is going to teach them these thoughts?

Every one of us want the army to retaliate, today, and it should. But how many of us are ready to send their kids to the Army, or even think about it? How many of us think that my ward can become a doctor and serve the army? My ward will become an engineer and serve the army? Sorry to state this but we all just think about ourselves and our future. I don’t expect more but atleast develop love, a sense of belonging and make your ward duty bound towards the country.

We should get angry

We should rant

We should abuse

But at the same time

We have to make our country

We have to keep it clean

We have to pay our taxes regularly.

Overall, we need to vote considering it as our Divine Duty towards our Country.

Leaving this blog as a food for your thoughts, request you all to think about what has been written and act on it. Let’s do atleast this small service to our Nation, our Motherland.

Friends,

Let us all together build India.

Let us root out Her problems together.

Let us find solutions and put them in actions together.

Let us dissent but against wrongdoings.

Let us support any and all efforts towards Nation building.

Will end with a poem written by my friend as an homage to the martyred soldiers.

हितरक्षक मेरे भारत के, ओ देश के वीर जवान
साहस को, तेरी शहादत को, हम करतें लाख सलाम

तेरे बलिदान को सलाम कर, लेते शपथ सुजान
व्यर्थ न जाने देंगे तव शोणित की इक इक धार

शायद ये ‘नये हिन्दुस्तान’ से, दुश्मन है अनजान
छिपकर मारी ईंटो का, अब पत्थर से देंगे जवाब

यूं ही नहीं है शस्त्र सज्ज, ये देश के कृष्ण औ’ राम
अब जहान भी देखेगा, इस देश का शरसंधान.

हितरक्षक मेरे भारत के, ओ देश के वीर जवान
साहस को, तेरी शहादत को, ‘नरेन’ का लाख सलाम

– Narendra Vasani (नरेन)

One more from another friend…

एक सैनिक के शब्द …..

आज के हालात पर,
तुम कब तक शौक मनाओगे..?

हम सैनिक के बलिदान पर,
दो-चार दिन जयकार पुकारोंगे…!

कुछ दिन काले DP रखकर,
सिर्फ अपना शौक जताओंगे !

कुछ शाम कुछ चौराहे पर,
सिर्फ मोमबत्तीया जलाओंगे !

क्या यही तक सीमित प्यार तम्हारा ?
हम सैनिक के बलिदान का !

तुम पर भी कुछ ऋण है माँ का,
उस को चुकाने तत्तपर बनजाओ।

उठो जागो नींद भगाओ,
भीतर में सोए हुऐ सैनिक को जगाओ ।

… Umesh Makwana

Post Script : A request to all trekkers and travellers and adventurers, Can we not visit the families of our Soldiers (those who have sacrificed their lives and also those who are still actively in the Army) in one of our trips FOR JUST A FEW HOURS without making a show of it OR FUSS ABOUT IT. NOT A PICNIC OR A DAY OUT BUT TO FEEL THE ONENESS WITH THEM.

NO ADVERTISEMENT, JUST WARMTH.

NO SELFIES, JUST MEMORIES.

NO SELFISH MOTIVE, JUST SELFLESSNESS.

PS : PARAM PUJANIYA PANDURANG SHAHSTRIJI ATHAVALE AND HIS SWADHYAY PARIVAAR HAVE LONG BACK DONE THIS TYPE OF RELATION BUILDING IN THE REGION OF GHARWAL.

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My Valentine Day

Dedicated to Payal, my other half, for being there and spending her 15 valuable years of life with me….

The moment when I surprisingly put a tiara of flowers (gajra) on her head,

And can see the roses blooming in her eyes, is my Rose Day

Let us spend our lives together not only for this life,

But for lives to come, and love each other is my Propose Day

Gift her a chocolate after She has worked all day long,

Yet waits for me at the dinner table, is my Chocolate day

I take her in my arms to give her the warmth of a Daddy,

She just cradles in them and looses herself is my Teddy Day

I promise that I will never ever put her into difficulties,

Rather stand strong with her in thick and thin, is my Promise Day

When I have a hard day and return back home tired,

She embraces me with all the love and warmth is my Hug Day

And on a holiday, a day well spent together,

With all the fights and happiness, is always my Valentine Day

So everyday is a day to be remembered cherished and loved…

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day…

Manisfestation of Perfection – 2

My readers, co-travellers,

We continue with our thought process about the short comings of our education system and suggest our own solutions as have suggested mine. We have already discussed about Rotte culture and the poor quality of education. We move on to the next.

3/4. Lack of creativity on part of teachers AND Lethargic teachers with no inclination towards teaching

Problems :

1. Some teachers have taken up this career out of compulsion as they have no option left. Just for the sake for filling their stomachs. So their attitude towards education is completing the portion and help students fetch marks. So there is no scope of coming up with creative ideas.

2. Teachers have become predictable and slowly with experience they are turning lethargic. Have had students coming upto me and sharing that our teacher just reads the chapter and does not take pains of explaining. They finish a chapter in a day. Mathematics teachers do a sum or two, some only from solved examples and leave it to the students to solve the others by themselves.

Solution :

1. Let people coming into this field of teaching be the ones who love to teach. Teaching is an art – as my school Vice Principle Mr.Stanley used to say.

2. Also a teacher is someone who is always ready to learn and listen. The most important aspect of teaching is an alert mind and ever listening ear.

3. Let teachers interact with students as guides and mentors. Teach them, show them the path, hold their fingers and walk with them. DONT DRAG them.

4. Teachers need to be open-minded. Take the questions asked seriously and respond to them. Respond to the same question a thousand times.

5. Always keep smiling. Be well prepared. Be humble.

6. Enjoy the whole process as they are guiding the future generation a country and preparing them to be the future leaders

5. No practical approach towards teaching at any level in School :

Problem :

1. The biggest argument against today’s schooling methods. They do not train the kid for his future career. Nor is it oriented towards practicality.

2. Students get projects at such a time when they are busy studying for their exams and parents have to complete the projects.

3. So many subjects to study. A joke doing rounds is “That if there are 10 teachers for 10 subjects, then how am I expected to study all 10 subjects.”

Solution :

1. Let us first understand that school is the foundation towards education. It helps build a base and exposes a student to a variety of subjects. And then leaves it upto the student to decide his/her career and life.

2. After the advent of World Wide Web, let the kids do their projects. Even if it stretches them a bit. A beautiful saying goes thus :
सुखार्थिनः कुतोविद्या नास्ति विद्यार्थिनः सुखम् ।
सुखार्थी वा त्यजेद् विद्यां विद्यार्थी वा त्यजेत् सुखम् ॥

(A student in search of happiness can never learn, and a student who learns cannot yearn for happiness, meaning to educate oneself is a difficult process)

Conclusion :

At the end, I just wanna say that I am no thinker of sorts, but a humble teacher who is learning through this whole process. I have been into this profession for the last 18 years and after observing, studying and researching have come up with my solutions. Again they may vary from individual to individual. And I respect them. But One thing is for sure, that we all are the products of this system, which we often tend to criticise and analyse. And let’s not forget that IT has thought us to think the way we think today.

So

Let’s together tread on this path and make the surroundings around us a better place.

Let’s together experiment. At the same time be open to other’s experimentation too.

Let’s give our kids both, the things they like and they need to be given.

Let’s be humble and respectful of every thought that works towards betterment of the world.

Let us make our world a happy place to live in.
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race

– Michael Jackson.

Maaghi Ganeshotsav (Reblog)

नमो व्रातपतये नमो गणपतये।। नम: प्रमथपतये।।

नमस्तेऽस्तु लंबोदारायैकदंताय विघ्ननाशिने शिव सुताय।

श्री वरदमूर्तये नमोनम:।।

(Namo Vraātpataye Namo Ganpataye. Namah Pramathpataye. Namaste astu Lambodaray Ekdantaay Vighnanashine Shiv Sutaay Shree Varadmurtaye Namo Namah.)

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi. It is also known as Magh Krishna Chaturthi. It is said that Lord Krishna looked at the moon on this day and was accused of stealing. He fasted on this day to get off the curse befallen on him.

People in Uttar Pradesh celebrate it as Tila Chaturthi. They make a mound of vermillion (sindoor) and worship it. They offer Til laddoos (sweets made from Jaggery and sesame seeds) to the Lord.

These are the days of rejoicement. A time when God arrives at our homes. It’s a beautiful concept in itself that God arrives as a guest at our homes. Generally every household does have a Mandir (temple), so then why does God need to come home? Just to explain to Humans that every Sarjan (construction) has a Visarjan (destruction). The Ganesh which visits our houses is called the Parthiv Ganesh, Ganesh made from sand.

Today let us try to understand about Ganpati as the Devi of Buddhi (Goddess of learning). What can we as students of life learn from Her? What does the Idol of Ganpati want to convey? Does the concept of the Elephant headed God have any meaning?

My readers, our seers have done everything which has some logic and wanted to convey some understanding through the celebrations of any festival. They want us to ponder over many qualities and try to imbibe them into our lives. The festival celebration always has a learning part hidden in it. Today we just want to finish the rituals and get on with it. At the same time I also see people being emotionally attached with Ganesh arriving at their homes. People await the arrival as it liberates us from worries and sorrow and keeps us happy. But will we be stuck in this. Will we not move ahead in our understanding and let ourselves grow. Or just go on doing it the ritualistic way? Let me make myself clear that am not against rituals. We all do the parayan of Atharvashirsh every year. Many of my friends do get the Parthiv Ganesh Murti at home in the month of Maagh. But let’s try to understand it today from a students perspective.

The Ganpati word itself has a meaning, the leader of the masses. Ganesh means the Eshwar of the Ganas (leader of the masses). So the Lord exhibits the characteristics of a leader. And to be a good leader, we need to educate ourselves (to draw out the qualities within us).

1. The Ganpati has an elephant head. Elephant signifies wisdom. Elephant is considered the wisest among the animals in the Animal Kingdom. So we all need to be gaining wisdom through what we study.

2. He has narrow and small eyes. It is not so that the eyes are small, but the face is so big, that the eyes look small. But the best part about the eyes is that they can see even a small needle in their path. As students when we study, we need to understand the smallest of the nuances of the topic which we are learning. We need to be alert for each and every information, and in whichever corner it may be, however small it may be.

3. His ears are like the “Sup” (grain whinning plate). The Sup keeps the grain intact and at the same time removes the dirt, the husk from them. The enormity of ears suggest us to be able to listen to all. At the same time keep the thoughts important for us and discard what is not. As a student, one needs to be focussed on studies. We may be exposed to various things around us, but we have to decide what to keep and which to keep away from. Also at the same time keep our ears open for good thoughts however far they maybe or however faint they may be. In all the different thoughts, we need to find out the most important one for us.

4. A crooked trunk signifies the length and the reach of oneself. The knowledge we get must be kept in such a way (folded) that it does not interfere in someone’s life. But it should unfold at the right time and be used for the rightful thing.

5. Ganpati is Mahakaay. A huge body. A big belly. Big belly is for keeping all things in the stomach. It is a storing place. Similarly we have to gain such huge knowledge that we need a big belly to keep it. Also we might get to know a lot about others (friends), good and bad, but we need to keep it with ourselves.

6. He has a small mouth. It signifies to talk less. A student needs to talk less and listen more. Keeping ones mouth shut means concentrating on what is being spoken and taught. At the same time, it also means that open up at the right time, ask questions, discuss, argue and draw conclusions.

7. The modak in his hand has its own significance. It is sweet inside and tasteless outside. It reminds us, students, that go into the depth of every topic, one learns. Any topic is always sweet and interesting from within. Outside it is always bookish and boring.

8. He rides a mouse. It signifies a control over worldly desires. Similarly a student needs to have a control over his desires and concentrate on his/ her studies. He needs to ride his wishes and will.

We can go on and on with lots of things about the Lord. But somewhere we need to leave the things for next time. Many thoughts still lie in my mind which need to be emphasized and talk about. But leave to it Ganesha to give me an opportunity to pen them down some other day.

Wishing you all again, a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi.

MAY LORD GANESH BLESS US ALL WITH LOTS OF INTELLECT AND WISDOM.

Manifestation of Perfection – 1

Education is the manifestation of perfection already present in Man.

– Swami Vivekanand.

Friends, taking up a topic close to every parents heart, may be everyone’s heart – Education. A topic very common in our talks nowadays. And the central part of the discussion is that we all try to find problems in it or with it. Before dwelling upon them, let us understand the meaning of Education, first.

Etymologically, the word “education” is derived from the Latin word ēducātiõ (“A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing”) from ēducõ (“I educate, I train”) which is related to the homonym ēdūcõ (“I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect”) from ē- (“from, out of”) and dūcõ (“I lead, I conduct”). (SOURCE – WIKIPEDIA).

In short we define, Education is “to draw out“…

To draw out the qualities already inherent in Human. This has been the basis of all the education systems from the advent of civilisation. Experimentation has kept the education systems evolving. The systems also have changed in accordance with times, from verbal to visual.

Today, we will dwell upon the problems (or so called) with the Education system in India, today. The biggest problem with the Education system is the fear of failure in students. Peer pressure and also the pressure to excel in one’s respective field is leading to a situation where a child is expected to perform well, especially in the primary and secondary education. We came up with a solution that the students will not be failed till Grade 8th. But again it has led to problems of

1. rotte culture,

2. poor quality education

3. lack of creativity on the part of Teachers,

4. lethargic teachers with no inclination towards teaching

5. no practical approach towards learning at any level in School.

The list can go on, but let’s stop here. We will discuss the above 5 points one by one. Try to elaborate the problem and find a solution to it as well, in our own little way.

1. ROTTE CULTURE :

Problem :

1. Some students of 9th and 10th Class are very good at learning and mugging up the answers. They mug up and then go write their exams. So after a few days or weeks of their exams, if we are to ask them, what they have learnt, they either go blank or they are not able to explain. They are the ones who excel at primary and secondary level of school, considered as “scholars” by their co-students, but fail or are found out as mediocre in their higher studies. The best joke I have encountered during these years is that some mug up the mathematics problems too.

2. The problem is also with the Boards we are studying in, as the questions asked in papers have become so predictable, that teachers too don’t take efforts to teach and make the students just mug up the repeating questions or methods.

Solution :

1. The students need to be made to understand the concepts through different uses of media. Practicals for science and Problem solving should be encouraged. For example many experiments of science are on YouTube. Children can be encouraged to refer to them while studying. There are many worksheets available which can be put to use without overbuderning the child.

2. Mathematics should be explained in its pure form first and then the short cuts should be taught. Students should be made to solve a few sums on their own, after the method is explained.

3. Rotte is not bad, as we all know our tables by heart. I still remember me being taught the tables of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.25 and 1.50 with the regular ones from 1 to 30. They have helped me a lot in calculating. The squares and the cubes need to be learnt too. So rejecting Rotte method outright is also not the solution, but we need to decide and limit its use.

We still want our kids to learn the Sanskrit Shloks at home. This leads to two things, learning more words and grasping and retention. Gurukul’s used to do this. My spiritual teacher, H.H. Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale always reminds during his discourses that a child should know atleast 10000 (ten thousand) shloks in his childhood itself.

2. Quality of Education.

Problems :

1. The education system as a whole lacks quality. It is also impractical. The lessons taught remain in books and are never put to use. Rather kids are not taught how to put them to use. My Students always ask me about the use of Differentiation and Integration in our day to day life. We need to sit back and relax and try to find answers to these questions and find out their practical needs.

2. The system is so old. Given to us by the British. They wanted clerks so they designed the system to fulfill their needs. We need leaders so we need to design the system our way.

Solution :

1. Let us make education fun. Let the students learn on their own. Let us give them a thought and let them explore. Let them ask questions. Let us be prepared to answer. This is the best way.

Instead of teaching a kid about farming from the books, can we not take him to a field and let him observe and learn.

I always recall the idea of an open university like that of Rishi Vishwamitra. He took Ram and Laxman to the forests to protect his “Yadnya”. On their way from the kingdom to the hermitage, he used to talk to the boys about the trees, shrubs and the medicinal plants as and when they encountered them on their way. One place, they saw a heap of bones lying. On being asked, Vishwamitra told the boys about history. It was all so informal, that it interested the boys too. Rather it help their inquisitiveness to grow.

2. We need to ignite the passion for education. Introduce many fields available and leave it upto the child to decide his/her course. Instead of just spending time with the books, they need to be let out into the open.

3. Homework should be discontinued. It is an evil which eats up the students time at home. Instead understanding and clarifying the concepts at home should be impressed upon kids.

At this note, I stop my flow to be continued in my next blog. In the meanwhile would urge upon my readers to think upon and put forth your points and arguments whether in favour or against. We all are a part of this system and in no way I want to criticise it, but build up a healthy debate towards improving it.

Till then, Adieu…