Whew… that was a lengthy topic. What i tried there was to include a bit of sarcasm regarding the Indian education system or the lack of it. If you have just graduated, that is you are roughly in my age area then you would have been perfectly acquainted with viewing some friends/acquaintances posting pics of their Universities in US on your Facebook wall till now. Why is it so? Why cant we take a ‘selfie’ with an IIT or IIM in the background? The problem is quite simple actually – We are just not up to the mark!!! Be it IIT’s or IIM’s the level is just not good enough. Our education system is flawed in its roots. And no tree can actually flourish with weak roots. The schools are the trees and its fruits and flowers are the children.
Pablo Picasso once said and I quote,”Every Child is an artist . The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Creativity is something which all of us are born with. We are all born with the capability of raking up our brains to produce something out of the box, something original. But the education at the school level is so flawed that schools spell the death of creativity in India. Once we step into the school we have chosen our destiny. Children are not allowed to go wrong at any step. You are taught how to be right rather than how to learn to be right by going wrong which I believe is very important. I will point out my education background which is I guess the same for many of us. i passed out of a school which gave very less importance to extra curricular activities. The only thing that was fed to us was to be top of the class. If you were weak in academics you were looked down upon and thought of as good for nothing. To make matters even worse we never learned to question anything. It was like we were digesting anything that was being fed to us with no regards as to what it was or why it was so. Music was looked as a class to have fun rather than actually generate any interest in it. Sports class was barely a period to showcase our gully cricketing skills to our classmates rather than actually thinking about it as a profession and Dance was non-existent. Maths, Science and Languages were always the top priority. Our education to actually pass out from high school with top marks starts 10 years in advance to that point that is when we are in mere first seven or eight. Let alone teachers even parents just want their child to be a corporates. One argument is that parents are quite adamant with the fact that India has less or no scope for music, dance or a matter of fact Sports as a career choice. Now there is no scope because they are not encouraged at school or they are not encouraged because there is no scope is up to you to decide.
College is no better. We boast about IIT’s and IIM’s but they are no better. We just think of them highly because we have been told to. Almost half the students in their junior college spend all their time to get into IIT’s. But what are they taught there. No more than how to land a top job or how to get into an Ivy League. There are only a handful who actually go there with an aim to learn and innovate. They are not spared from the rat race. I will point out a regret I have having passed out from an engineering college. The thing I learned the most from my four years were to work under pressure, to multitask. I was never really made to fall in love with the specialization I chose. I was definitely interested in it when I opted for it but they were taught in a manner which just scrubbed off all interest from within me. And to add to it we were never taught subjects which are really important like economics, finance. Even a subject on management was kept only for the name of it.
Now comes the part of your friends going to foreign Universities. The thing is they had to. There are two major reasons for it – firstly, they guarantee fatter paychecks. I personally don’t believe all of them go there because their education is better. And secondly, the level of competition is higher in India owing to the reservation system which i wont divulge into. It all comes down to the colleges and universities not being efficient in our country. And to add to it We Don’t Care!! The other problem that I find which may not be directly related to the education system are the lack of role models. For many of us our role models are mostly our parents. We want to grow up to be like them. I believe they become our role model out of lack of choices. Teachers are meant to be role models for children but they are not. We actually end up with nobody to look up to as we mature. There is no one who has done something out of the ordinary to really catch our eyes. hence by default we fall back on our parents. Indian society needs role models to actually guide children towards the future they want to see rather than the future we want them to see.
I would like to conclude with a statement that really had me thinking.
‘We are never really educated. We are taught to be literate.’
Shinji Kagawa – the Japanese magician. Having already shown his technical ability for Borussia Dortmund for two seasons, it didn’t need second thoughts when Manchester United decided to bring this little Japanese magician to Old Trafford. His exploits in the Bundesliga earned him a £17m to the Theatre Of Dreams during the 2012-13 season. It was thought of as an amazing addition to the United squad already brimming with top talents. The pairing of Rooney, Van Persie and Kagawa seemed mouth-watering. The attacking midfielder was touted to provide plenty more chances for the forwards. Though it seemed a well done business done by Ferguson but there was another notion that was doing the rounds in the media at the time. Kagawa was seen as a hot commercial prospect, Manchester United has easily the biggest fan base in the Far East. The revenue they generate in Asia helped them towards attaining the top spot in the Forbes list of Most Valuable Sports Team (though they have been over taken by Real Madrid since). Kagawa was branded as a fan base expansion project much like Park Ji Sung. And with the transfer of Ji Sung it gathered pace that Kagawa was bought with a commercial point of view.
I, at that time, was against this notion and believed that Sir Alex had thought it through. Though Kagawa would increase the commercial prospects in Japan but I believed he was bought for footballing reasons. But with half the season gone I started to believe that Sir Alex hadn’t thought it through as to how Kagawa would fit into the existing system. He was clearly having a hard time to fit in Kagawa. If he opted to play with a 4-5-1formation it would mean leaving out Van Persie or Rooney (which turned out to be the latter). And if he chose to go with a 4-4-2 it left the midfield weak during opposition attacks. He tried to play him on the left of midfield but it was clear that it was not going to be a success. Kagawa started spending more time on the bench and with Van Persie continuing his goal scoring attics it meant Kagawa found playing time harder to come by. Subsequently the notion of him being a commercial prospect began to look more favourable. Kagawa is most suited for a 4-5-1 strategy as was shown during his stint in Dortmund. It was pretty evident in a leagues match against Norwich in which he was able to notch up a Hat-Trick, in the process becoming the first Japanese to do so in the Premier League. It was clear for everyone to see that Kagawa thrived with a lone striker. But no manager would be courageous enough to leave out one of two proven winners in Rooney/ Van Persie in favour of a talented yet unproven Japanese.
I personally started believing that Kagawa was more of a commercial project during the pre-season. All the talks for the need of a Mid Fielder just proves that even the current Manager David Moyes doesn’t see Kagawa as a regular first team player, According to me Kagawa is no less talented than Thiago Alcantara in terms of an attacking midfielder. With Rooney seeming evidently unhappy and looking for a transfer I believe its high time Moyes showed some faith in Kagawa. There is no evident reason why it won’t work out with a 4-5-1 formation.
Kagawa as of now is a classic case of talent being wasted. No wonder it pained his former manager, Jurgen Klopp, so much to see him like this and even tried to bring him back. According to me Kagawa can fit in only in a 4-5-1 formation and nothing else. The only addition I think United need is a midfielder that can support Carrick if United are to play with Kagawa. Its left to see given Rooney stays is Moyes has the courage to leave out Rooney (given the current form of RVP) and give Kagawa a fair chance to prove himself.
Recently I finished John Green’s novel “Looking For Alaska”. I loved it would be an understatement. It left me wondering a lot of things. One of them was a question quite prominent throughout the book…… How to get out the Labyrinth of Suffering??
Suffering is kind of our weakness. Suffering is a great maze in which we find ourselves stuck at most times. We find ourselves in such a place where none of the four directions seem viable. Most times we ride through the suffering thinking we have over come it. But the reality is we just train our mind to feel that we have overcome it. So how do we really get out of this labyrinth that is suffering? Some believe in afterlife. That the suffering that they are undergoing now will result in an beautiful afterlife (like Karma). Some try to end it with their lives. So as not to go through all of it again. All of us choose their own ways of getting out of it. I dont agree with the views that people who end their lives are cowards. Its their way of getting out of the maze.
So what will be my way of getting out of the labyrinth?? Its a tough one and I must say I still have a lot to figure out about it. For one I agree with one notion presented by John Green that forgiveness can be one way out. We can learn to forgive people so that they wouldn’t have to live with the guilt. Someone hurts you.. you should learn to forgive them. They ought not to live with the guilt of hurting someone in their lives. My way would be to accept the suffering. to accept it as my weakness. It not wrong to be vulnerable at times. Yes i am suffering.There are no two ways about it. When we learn to accept our weakness then we can stand up against it. There is still time before I finally master it. Till them i am as stuck in the labyrinth as the rest of us.
One of the most fascinating equations present in the scientific world is the one presented by Einstein, E=mc2. I am not nerdy so i would be honest and say that I havent got a single clue about the whole idea behind the equation. I am not even sure what the terms stand for to tell the truth. But what fascinates me is the statement made by him along with this equation – ‘Everything is relative!!’ And to make the statement at that time just shows the sheer genius of the man. The very statement holds true for every aspect of life. and Einstein didnt mean to say it in scientific terms only. If we look at life closely we will see that every aspect, every emotion, every small bits and pieces of life proves the theory of relativity to be true. For example, take any emotion. Be it happy or sad every feeling is relative. You cant be happy unless you have experienced grief. We need to measure something against something in order to provide meaning to that something. Take the case of ourselves as individuals. We define ourselves based on an experience, a incident or with respect to another individual. We alone cannot define ourselves. Its like we as individuals dont exist unless there is a relative entity through which we can identify ourselves. It has to be relative. There has to be a ying for a yang, there cant exist only a ying or only a yang. It has to be this and that, there cant be an either separating them. You, me, he, she… EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE!!!
This show started off well. The pilot show scared the shit out of me. It just made you want more. The following episodes in the first season were equally interesting. It was a one of a kind sci-fi series which showcased off cases that would bewilder many people scientifically. But unfortunately, they kinda got stuck on the two dimensional concept which after a while got kinda boring. I left watching the show after the fourth season as it no longer captured my imagination.
2. Prison Break
This I think will be a controversial choice and not many will agree with me. But according to me the show’s story just couldn’t live up to the expectations. The first season w as legendary, can be counted among the best first season ever among all TV shows. But after a while I was like ‘how much more will they run’!! I completely lost interest at the end of the second season and did not go further with the third. The acting of Schofield continued to be strong but wasn’t enough to keep me wanting to watch it.
3. White Collar
This one like any other crime show dealing with the white collar division. It followed the same storyline of a agent and a criminal like many other shows. But its USP was the lead actor Neil Caffrey. His charm and charisma just wowed everyone. He was the perfect sophisticated criminal. Its storyline was captivating. But after the 3 season you just felt like ‘just end it already.’ Didnt live up to potential much like prison break.
4. The Mentalist
Another crime related show. What I really loved about the show was how the cases were solved. Just loved how Jane read people’s mind and solved the cases. The mystery surrounding the serial killer ‘Red John’ was quite captivating. I watched three seasons with real interest just waiting for the mystery surrounding ‘Red John’ to be revealed. But they killed it off in the fourth season. According to me it was completely unnecessary. They could have actually shown the current fifth as the fourth.
Mother – no amount of writing or praising can actually justify the title. Still I would make an attempt to do so because I personally feel I haven’t been able to express how much my mom means to me and I hope I am able to do so by writing it down. ‘Maa’ as we lovingly call our mothers in India are nothing less than GOD. Its rightfully said that God couldn’t be everywhere hence mothers were made. On a personal front my mom is my ‘hero’. People say being an house wife is the toughest job in the world but I say being my mom is the toughest. Raising two children is tough enough, ask any mom out there. But to do so while having to earn a living requires extraordinary character. I come from a modest family. We never had any servants in our home. To be able to do all the household chores as well as perform on the professional front just shows how strong a character my mom is made of. She is the strongest person I have ever known in my life. Hell, she is more awesome and cooler than Batman!! There was never a moment in my entire life where she was unavailable for me, whether physically or emotionally, because of her work. She just epitomizes everything a mother stands for. The itinerary of a typical day in my mom’s life during my school days was :-
Wake up at 5.
Do the household chores of brooming and sweeping.
Prepare breakfast for the whole family.
Prepare lunch for me and my elder brother.
Leave for office till 8:30.
Slug it out in the office.
Come back home and bring something to eat while coming.
Look to it that I sat down to study.
Prepare dinner for the whole family.
Wash the dishes.
Sleep at 11.
Imagine doing this for nearly two decades and you would understand the gravity of the situation. She never had time for herself. Her entire life is dedicated to us. Not once have I felt inferior to other rich kids around me because I was never made to feel the absence of any comfort. Not once have I eaten food from outside during childhood because mom never complained of being too tired to cook. She was always there. Punctual and disciplined. She was always upbeat when it came to us. And just when you thought that her duties might be over, she adds another responsibility upon herself. To look after our grandmother. Though my grandmother doesn’t live with us but my mom looks after her as though she does. The greatest lessons I have learned in my life was through my mom. You can only earn a living through education but how to lead a good life was taught by my mom. She was, is , will be the greatest teacher in my life. She taught me ‘simple living, high thinking‘, ‘People are unkind, be kind anyways‘, ‘there are lots of pains in life, smile anyways‘, ‘sometimes world will seem unjust and tough place, be good anyways‘, ‘people may not help you, help anyways‘. What I am today mom, I am only because of you. You have knowingly or unknowingly always been my pillar of strength. When I look at you I feel so blessed. I couldn’t have asked for more.
You are no ordinary human maa. You were, are and will always be my superhero. There is this title song of the bengali serial we used to watch. It went something like ‘Tomar chada ghoom ashe na Maa‘, which translates to ”without you I am unable to sleep, MOM’. I can’t imagine what I would have done without you maa.
Even if I am able to be half of a person you are maa, I think I would succeed in being your son. Or at least I hope I prove myself worthy of being called ‘your son’. As I conclude with tears slowly rolling down my eyes I have only thing to say to you – ‘I Love You and I see God in you Maa!!’
Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me!!! Yes today I am officially 22. I must admit it doesn’t sound as cool as saying I am 21. Doesn’t quite ring the same bell in the ears. Anyways, hard truth is that I am 22 now, a year older, one more year taken away from my running around days. Feels weird to think of it in that way. I never have been too excited about birthdays, especially mine. I always see it as another day gone by. But this birthday holds special place in my heart. Because this birthday marked a changed me, different from my old self.
Things are bound to change in life. That change can be viewed by comparing, by retrospecting on the time between two significant life events in our lives. In my life it happens to be the period between my 21st and 22nd birthday. A lot has changed and ‘a lot’ doesn’t even begin to define the depth of change that has occurred in my life as well as in me. Its a kind of ‘this time last year’ kind of case. So this day last year, I was in love. I was friends with a girl whom i thought to be the most awesome person in the whole world. I was going through ‘you spin my world right round right round’, ‘I’d catch a grenade for ya’, ‘All I ever wanted was You and me’, ‘Coz you are amazing just the way you are!!’……… I have always loved the feeling of being in love. It just make you wake up every morning with a smile on your face. You look forward to each day enthusiastically. It just changes your life in so many ways. We had this wonderful dinner that day. And life couldn’t have been any more amazing.
Fast Forward eight months. I had turned into someone I myself was finding hard to recognize. No where near who I really am. Regular fights and the stress had turned me into someone I never want to be again. Relationships turned sour and my heart was filled with hate.
Fast forward four months. If my maths is right, it is today. 😛 A changed person. Of course it didn’t happen overnight. It took its fair share of days. But I am glad t occurred. I am in love again. But this time its with myself. I have learnt quite a few lessons
‘First learn to love yourself, Only then can you love others!!’
‘Everything in life comes with an expiry date. So be prepared.’
‘Learn to let go.’
‘Always have the feeling of love in your heart. Even for those because of whom you have been hurt. Because life is not meant for hate.’
‘Smile. Just because it feels good to be you.’
I have tried to inculcate these lessons to the best of my capabilities. I have risen above hate a great deal. Not completely but surely. I have no ill feelings for the girl whom I loved from the bottom of the heart because if it hadn’t been for her I wouldn’t have been who I am today. Though i no more feel she is the most awesome person in the world but she truly is golden at heart. Of course, I do miss her from time to time but it just shows how much I was in love. I am able to smile more because I have learnt to make peace with the harder truths of life. I am able to look forward to each day because it presents new opportunities to challenge myself, to be able to discover myself. 22 and already looking forward for the 23rd. Its gonna be a hell of a ride.
The line rightly sums up how I feel today- “A Year Older A Lot Wiser!!!” 🙂