Thursday, May 25, 2017

Insensibility and FM- Radio 1 & Fever

I read the other day that transgenders were requesting the media to support them. They emphasized that if the media lends support to their voices and life issues, the society would be more accepting.

I usually listen to Radio 1 or Fever on my way to work and back home. Today happens to be the birthday of a celebrity producer and director. He has come out clean that he is not straight. Both the radio channels were making a mockery of his voice and identity. I felt pained at this insensitivity.
And to my incredulity one of the RJs made fun  of a racist bias held by the same celebrity. She mentioned sarcastically that the celebrity was here to cleberate his success of distributing the film Bahubali. recently some in Bollywood commented that Bahubali was a tamil fim when in reality it is a telugu film. So this RJ mocks at the situation emphasizing that Tollywood and Kollywood are not the same.
So was it the pot calling the kettle black? we get so infuriated about such bias but do not think twice about mocking someone's sexual identity. But then we Indians are such hypocrites are we not? Always mocking , mocking at someone in the name of anything!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Indian parent vs Western Parent

Scene 1 at the park
Indian mom to child of 6 years: Go and play. I will come back in one hour's time to pick you up.
Child goes to play.
Mom returns... searches... irritated... finds child
Mom: You crack pot (loosu in tamil), you nutcase (saavucracki in tamil) it took me so long to find you. I told you.. (hits on his head).
Child- mom you did not tell me where you will wait. And I do not have a watch.
Mom- you nut case. come home. I will give you more.....
Child in turn to his older sister who is now taunting him- you crack pot of a sister.... (eyes roll)

Scene 2
Western alias American/European (foreigner) Parent
Mom: Sweetie the time is 5 now. Check your watch. Ya good. I shall pick you up at 6 ok. Come right here to this statue.

After an hour mom returns. Child is waiting at the designated place
Mom: Hey, did you have a good time? Hope you were ok while I was away.
Child and mom go away discussing stuff in a friendly manner.

So what went wrong in Scene 1 ? Basic communication; specificity of direction and use of wrong language.
I guess you have understood. Simple yet so powerful communication is. And we wonder how we go wrong, where our children pick up the 'language'.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dear Dad I miss you...

This morning as I entered the temple gate to attend a Members meeting my heart burst forth with emotion. This is a temple in my neighbourhood  where my father would take me along. Being a life member of this temple, he made me a life member too.
As I drove towards the temple, I recollected holding my dad's hand ,crossing the road and walking briskly alongside him. He would recount his life stories and I would listen enthralled. There have been times when I resisted going along with him too.
Today watching my son cradle his daughter made me reminisce about my father. My mom recounted the lengths dad would go to put me to sleep or to stop me from screaming and bringing down the neighbourhood.

Just then I received a message that the Annual General Body meeting at the temple would commence in a n hour. Spurred by the memories I decided to go. 

I entered the auditorium and was greeted by my father's contemporaries. My eyes welled with tears and I was choked with emotion. How I missed my dad. I was then just glad that I was there. My father would have been happy.

I am thankful that I got to spend most of my past years with him. He dared me to question, he dared me to read, he dared me to live. This is the legacy I have inherited. With a snap of his fingers and the throw of a towel on his shoulder he would fire me up. 

I miss you dad.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

On assessments

Are we doing our assessments in the right manner?
The other day I was talking to a 11 year old in my neighbourhod.  He proudly remarked that he had completed his test paper in 10 minutes. The test was set for 45 minutes. I praised him saying that he must have prepared so well that he had completed the test so fast.
And out of the mouth of the babe came this,' Oh my teacher had revised these very same questions just before the test. Same to same.'

I turned red on behalf of my fraternity.

So do we need such assessments?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Teachers take note please

This happened at a recent Parent teacher interaction at a school where my friend works. One particular teacher had a few parents around her. She was mindlessly pointing out the mistakes made by one student to his parent. She even compared him to another boy standing beside him.
The boy and his parents were flustered but listened patiently and walked away.

The very next day one student walked upto my friend and had a talk with her. She noted that he looked very pained. He admitted that he felt very upset. On probing he told her that he was hurt that way that particular teacher had spoken about his friend. He said,'Ma'am imagine how my friend felt when his mistakes were pointed out in front of others! And Ma'am he was being compared with another. Would it not have hurt him so much? Ma'am all the time you adults tell us that we must not compare with one another. Then why is a teacher doing so?'

My friend had no words to answer.

My question is why do we associate Parent Teacher Meetings with complaining? If our intention is to give suggestions for improvement in the subject can we not make it a positive experience. At most meetings most parents face a barrage of complaints and at the end of the day they are so demoralized. Both parents and students hate these meetings and unfortunately school authorities do not take note of improving them too.

Positive language begets positive action. Can we teachers view our children as children and not as monsters?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Children in the park

On a recent visit to a neighbouring city I happened to visit the children's park space which is located within a gated community.

There were any children between the age group of 2-7 years playing.

Most of the children were accompanied by young nannies- school children ding part time duties! They had come armed with toys. But the children did not show nay interest in the toys. Rather they were so happy playing with the beach sand available in one corner. They were outdoing each other in making mud cakes.

As I watched them play I was able to detect various types of personalities:
1. The older sibling making mud cakes and sharing with the younger sister.
2. A chatty little one who was obsessed with cleaning the mud and getting the right consistency before making the mud cakes.
3. A boy who walked into their midst, very calmly destroyed all their cakes and began to make some for himself!
4. The chatty one continued with her work. But the older sibling watched for awhile. When the boy repeated his destructive action she warned him off. He was startled but heeded.
5. last but not the least there was this shy girl seated beneath the slider and solemnly watching everything. After 15 minutes she came towards the others and sat quietly. Slowly she also began to make her own cakes.

Each child was finally busy doing their own stuff.