Thursday, December 07, 2006

generation gap

straight from the heart
came across a scene that drove home the point that students relate to someone closer to their age. being twice the age of an average student doesn't help. the thinking, i suppose, is more conservative as one nears the magic figure of two scores. it is easier to speak to someone who has similar frame of reference- i am getting into journo. for that one needs to keep up with the changes around(boy, how things are a changing) and after an age (differs from one to another) it just doesn't matter. working in a college is advantageous- the close vicinity of the young makes it imperative to keep in touch. so, you guys out there know the secret behind young looking lecturer. i can't but thank each of you for keeping the spirit young.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

stress buster

straight from the heart
lazy people like me work best under stress. when the deadline is near the tension builds up and then the grey cells start working. i have been feeling mentally tried lately. i don't feel like doing anything, unless it is unavoidable. maybe i need a break- but that may not work. i feel the internal motivation has slowed down to a halt. only the external push is helping. the classes are getting routine; students hardly push you. the challenge is necessary to do that extra bit. somehow the autonomy, instead of helping us- teachers and students- has made us overburdened and as a result it shows in the way we are allowing the flow to wash us ashore.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

meetings galore

straight from the heart
i am all for meetings. they tend to be more than serve the purpose- one gets to socialize. serious meetings do have a way of being taken seriously. one tends to get personal on issues. it does have a way of clearing doubts and making thing obvious. there are some who take pleasure in watching and hopefully learning from the experience. one needs to keep ones cards close to the chest- there is wisdom in silence. unfortunely, some of us see through the farce and understand the real purpose of the charade. but one has to keep the mouth shut for social reasons.
one thought that i want to put forward for discussion- why don't we say the right things, in the right way?for example, if i don't like an idea or suggestion then why do i get angry and protest or oppose in an unpleasant manner?can't meetingsand discussions happen without a bitter aftertaste?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

london calling

straight from the heart
my only recollection of london is the heathrow airport- August 14, 1991. i ran into the defeated West Indian team flying out. a fellow indian student from delhi wanted the autograph of a few players. so i boldly went and was throughly rebuked (by none other than big bird joel). i never got an opportunity to set step on English soil (airport somehow felt above ground).
the other day susnato (2nd jp) asked me about higher education in uk. i believe someone like shashank (studying in westminister) would be the right person to get the info from. so over to shashank for inputs about media related studies in uk. soon you may have to put up a third blog to answer questions from jp students related to education there.

Monday, November 13, 2006

free advice

straight from the heart
A concerned father called up the other day to reveal a few things. he had admitted his daughter to MIC, Mahe on my advice. now he came to know that his daughter finds BHM/hotel management interesting. to top it up she has told about the 'drug problem' in manipal. the concerned father wanted to know what to do- allow his daughter to change course or pull her out of manipal. when give our expert advice to someone what should be our responsibility? should we in the first place give advice? inspite of checking, talking to people and reading about institutes, one can be wrong about the advice. what it has taught me is to be more cautious and thoughtful in case of future advices.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

crime and punishment

straight from the heart
this was prompted by the intensity of the comments on death penalty. unfortunately, the debate in the country has now taken an ugly turn. the communal angle to an otherwise social issue- what should be the reaction of a civilized society to crime?- has the roots of divisive politics. why can't we think from the heart? Afzal Guru may or may not be guilty- that is the job of the courts. but to give the death sentence is to drive home the point that india wants revenge- retribution for the symbolic attack on the parliament. what is needed is a clear signal, a bold political statement- forgive and move on. if one goes on extracting revenge for all the heinous crimes, there will be no looking forward to a better society. maybe it is easier said than done- we need to start somewhere.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

cycle of violence

straight from the heart
want to air my thoughts on the death penalty. this is one topic i have been thinking on for a long time. the more i think about it i feel that the death penalty is wrong- should be banned. the one argument i personally feel strongly for- we should break the vicious cycle of violence. by taking the life of an individual for a crime, the society is committing another crime. the message inherent in this to the people is we will take revenge- an eye for an eye... humans have to move ahead, banning the death penalty would be the right step- the civilized step.
straight from the heart
want to air my thoughts on the death penalty. this is one topic i have been thinking on for a long time. the more i think about it i feel that the death penalty is wrong- should be banned. the one argument i personally feel strongly for- we should break the vicious cycle of violence. by taking the life of an individual for a crime, the society is committing another crime. the message inherent in this to the people is we will take revenge- an eye for an eye... humans have to move ahead, banning the death penalty would be the right step- the civilized step.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

back to the future

straight from the heart
how come we remember only a few people from the past? what makes one stay in our memory longer than the rest. the other day a woman walked in and introduced herself as an ex-student from a 12 year old batch. i couldn't place her- face to a name. but when she said the names of her batchmates- bijoy venugopal in particular- i remembered her class. in each class there are a few who stand out. one need not be brilliant- the naughtiest are equally remembered. but isn't there a way of remembering all those who sat in rm. 714, 712, 109, 102 or 206...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

respectfully yours

straight from the heart
i thought about this a lot, but felt that i had to pen this. a job of a teacher is not without its high points. one feels happy when someone whose face is familiar for three years is doing well. similarly, even if it is for a reco letter, when ex-students call or mail it feels good. but what surprised and confused me was the act of Shashank. yes, shashank is off to London- i could feel the joy at finally making it. from the first year he has been a puzzle. coming from the disciplined background of an armyman's son, he showed excess respect to teachers. it embarrasses me if someone goes overboard in acknowledging a debt. so when shashank called me aside on saturday, i had a feeling that he would sing paens about how indebted he was...instead he touched my feet. that stunned me as it was the last thing i expected. many students over the years have touched me in different ways, but this was different. i am sure the parents would be proud of their son.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pressing matters

straight from the heart
Jst thought of recollecting the history of 'Pressing Matters'. PM is the official fest newsletter of the Journalism department. The first issue coincided with the first version of the Journalism fest 'Expressions' in 1997. Incidently, 2006 will be the tenth issue of PM.
It was conceived to bring all the journalism students together by way of contributions. The topics vary, with a touch of seriousness. Only once, it was restricted to media as a theme. It is not an achievement of the department as much as the students who are behind the publication- articles and design. One tradition that has been kept alive, in the face of change. The copies of PM also give an old-timer a chance to recollect the talent and creativity of the students who over the years have passed this department. Obviously it is a record of their ideas and the issues of the time, at the same time is showcases the changes the department has undergone.
The exploits of the first symbi fest of 99 have been immortalised in the pages of PM for future generations. Similarly, the saga of internships and concerns of students over issues like dress code and discipline are there for inspiration. The value is something that cant be fully put down here.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

feeling god

straight from the heart
what do you do when you find your car has a flat? to add to that you dont have a car jack to change the puncher. you look around and, lo behold, a good samaritan walks over. he not only brings the jack from his car but literally changes the tyre for you. you thank him profusely and the next moment he disappears.
what does one make of this? in a time when people have no time or inclination to take interest in others, more so strangers, there are a few good men/women. you feel they are specially sent to help you in your need. the world will survive as long as these souls walk on this planet.

Friday, August 11, 2006


straight from the heart
somehow i had this feeling. the magic was missing. cant pinpoint what went wrong, but the overall effect was average. one feels that karan exhaused his creatives in the last three movies; maybe he tried to be different and paid the price.
no doubt the theme is bold, in Indian standards. in has been dealt in a mature manner. the main cast has put in their best. the sets were lavish, music was ok. the formula was missing, karan finally messed it up.
the hype will keep the money rolling in, at least for a couple of weeks. but what may emerge out of this movie is the fact that mere hype and marketing blitzkrieg can take one somewhere but not all the way. a good movie will overcome all odds, a bad one will eventually face demise. dont get me wrong, karan has done a good job- just wasn't enough for this movie. a big disappointment overall.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

power of blog

straight from the heart
it is too early to draw conclusions. but one may already see the utility of blogs. they not only provide a forum to air one's thoughts/views but inform, educate and enrich the citizens of the world. who knows tomorrow it may also be a source of real democracy, where citizens can keep their representatives on their toes.
do check out it has been nominated for various prestigious awards- pulizer for blogs. i didn't think much of the praise when i read about the blog; one needs to read the blog entries to realise the intensity and rawness of the writings. iraq, from the west's point of view, is slowly becoming a democracy. after reading river... you will get the opposite image. everything is being done to take iraq back in time- anarchy and barbaric episodes are a daily occurance. the american invasion has let loose the forces of division and hatred, kept under check during the saddam hussein regime.
it is not the information that affects you, but the way it is put forward- personalised narrative. this is one person who has seen, suffered and through that suffering and pain comes this desire to tell the world the true story of iraq. the propaganda machine-media of the west has all but killed objectivity. just check out the way the Israel-Lebanon conflict is been covered by west; one death on the Israeli side deserves a individualised story; how people are coming back to Israel even under such conditions and so on (sickening). Color of the skin and religion somehow overshadows balanced writing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

straight from the heart
the other day i chanced upon a blog titled "Jewish grandmother", which had views on the on-going conflict in Lebanon (pro-israeli views). i couldn't help myself from commenting on the blog- i was critical of the policies of the Israeli government, which is at the root cause of the present conflict. any people under constant humiliation would hit back in the only way possible. what is surprising is that israel is ignorant of the causes of the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah, and their popularity among the Arab world. more repression and the israeli tilt of the west have made things worse. any solution should address the fundamental issue of sovereignty of the palestinian people and that of lebanon.
israel cant keep recalling the ghosts of holocoust to ride roughshod over world public opinion. in the name of survival, israel goes about breaking every law in the book but accuses everyone else of foul play- a case of pot calling the kettle black. the root cause for violence is poverty, indignity and hopelessness. the west, instead of addressing the superfluous surface, would do well to go into the root cause and eliminate them for a lasting solution to the middle east conflict.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

class act

straight from the heart
as i listened to nibin's presentation on fourth estate no more, thoughts were buzzing. i could see the class trying hard to concentrate, some in their own inimitable ways. how many of us listen and read things for knowledge's sake and not because it will be asked in a test? exploring various areas require curiosity and an inclination to know things beyond the walls we create- syllabus oriented. some were listening with rapt attention, some finding it difficult and fidgeting with newspapers and others sneaking in a comment or two. when people dont react, it is difficult to gauge the impact.
unlike psychology, journalism doesnt have a definite sphere of study. it includes just about anything- fourth estate, to take today's example, gives us a theoretical base to understand and appreciate today's changes in the content and focus of newspapers and news channels. to put it in plain english, the current dumbing down of news can be understood relative to the expectations of the press in the context of fourth estate.

Friday, August 04, 2006

worthy wait

straight from the heart
today i was absolutely entertained. the josh on stage left everyone flushed with excitement, wanting more. one could not have asked for a better end to the month long buzz on campus-darpan was affecting each and everyone, some in different ways. i wish i could have had the privilege of sitting through more of the events than just debate and indian music- indian dance and mad ads, for starters.
Dhoom shook the audi with wholesome entertainment. i could see the way each of the members enjoyed the music they were playing. shocked and pleased to see Robimon sway with the the beat. of course, phani dominated the stage with his performance that had girls swooning in their seats- no wonder phani is so famous in christ. leo, mathews and the rest supported and encouraged the efforts of others on stage. all in all, an experience to write home about.
p.s. loved the way phani discoed to 'its the time to disco'.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

contagious charlie

straight from the heart
ran into charlie-literally ran with charlie. yes charlie the well-known dancer of christ college. one wonders where the energy flows from. he seems perpetually in a hurry. always a smile on the face, even under adverse situations. charlie may feel the burden of classes in christ college, but has immense energy for those dance lessons- bharatanatyam is his latest mastery. somehow he got through to me- made me feel confident and energetic as i trooped into class.
the best thing about college, about teaching, is the youth and the positive energy that comes with them. it seems to infect everyone around. it somehow complements home- seeing our daughter grow up, mature and infect us with her youthfulness. in college, literally hundreds, without knowing are spreading the virus of youthful hope and energy. even a middle-aged person feels youthful around such cantagious surroundings.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

straight from the heart
am glad that all the three journo classes are communicating via this blog. it is more than a meeting place; a place to thrash out differences, come to appreciate differences, and maybe reach consensus.
it is impossible to talk to everyone in class; it is as a class and not as individuals. here i get an opportunity to speak directly, get to know the student and maybe in the process help the communication in class. please do keep sending in your comments- positive and negative.
got to thank mr. anil for drawing me to the unlimited possibilities of the blog. but even he may have not realised the vast potential of the blog in personal communication, in addition to group communication that happens as a complementary to the class.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

reality calling

straight from the heart
almost missed the bus. had to get my two bit in before everything is said in this case. the murder of tania banerjee is just that, murder. the law is an ass, as someone said. if we can justify this murder by throwing mud, then we can even become a hero. as humans we have been justifying everything, right to the point of bringing the world to its brink and getting away with it.
who cares about the carefree behaviour; tomorrow someone may take exception to couples holding hands and murder them- against society's morals. where are we headed as a civil society? respect and acceptance of the other's individuality is a must; dubbing sex as sin and immoral has to stop- it is a natural instinct. men can have multiple partners, but when women assert their sexuality and freedom we have people like gururaj kishore shutting them permanently.
what angers me more is the fact that society is trying to condone murder, the most henious of all crimes. what chance has someone who is faced with sexual harrassment or rape? the rationalisation that she deserves it, or she brought it on herself must give way to condeming the murder and punishing the murderer.

Friday, July 28, 2006

belated birthday

straight from the heart
hi Romal, a very happy birthday to you. just made it in time. sorry could not taste the cake... maybe some other time, some other place.
i just have to share this observation with you guys. a prof from the economics dept. mentioned something that fits the bill here. the bbm class he handles is a rowdy bunch in class but outside they are very friendly. i am also stuck by the contrast- how the same group can behave differently in different settings.
a class has its own rules. similarly the relationship in class is more formal. it has its own dynamics. outside, a teacher and a student can be friendly; but must never be friends. one should keep the distance for the obvious reasons. very cryptic, i suppose.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

good to be back

straight from the heart
yes it is a bit late in the day but the fact that blogspot is back is a big relief. by the way i have a parallel blog- it is a big burden to keep two blogs going. the alternative was temporary- now i feel that i cant abandon it. so i will just have to spend a little more time on the net.
it was good to see sheetal and poornima get their questions in today at surana open house. one trait that is need for go-getters is aggressiveness. it was doublely good to hear sheetal speak in a confident manner into the mike- wish i can do that; i get all nervous catching a mike. way to go.
also the fact that so many newsletters are coming out, or in the pipeline is an indication of a active journalism department. again way to 2nd year's. i have a selfish interest in students bringing out multiple newsletters- a forum for thrashing out issues in a healthy, competitive manner. so when i heard of shivraj and party thinking of a newsletter, i felt a sense of satisfaction.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

culture conscious

straight from the heart
till today i have been indifferent to culture. having lived in a cosmopolitian setup and brought up on uniculture, it took years to register that culture comes from language, its ethos and the communication tools that use that language.
Yakshagana, the art form that was showcased in college today, entralled me and set my thought process in motion. i still am not sure about its impact- it will surely some day be put down as one more turning point in my life. but one thing is clear, i need to look beyond the popular culture at understanding and appreciating diversity and richness that comes with it.
I think i consciously made a choice today- there was an English play (different cultural setting, i suppose) and there was the yakshagana. i think it is never too late to go back to the roots to find oneself, after having lost ones identity in the persuit of universal acceptance.
This may look like a typical rambling, but in it lies a seed of change. this is, of course, only the first step towards growing out a complacent sense of 'nothing matters'. only our patronage can provide the push that may see the different art (cultural) forms blossom, once more. this may, to some, look like an indirect attack against westernisation- it is a direct one.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

its a dog's life

straight from the heart
Ekasmayi asked me to sit, as she had her breakfast, and told me she wanted to be a vet. i smiled at her knowingly; she had made a resolve, a closure. many a times in her spot i had been racked by indecision and brooding for days and in some cases years.
The scene that set off the process was something like this:
We were coming home on Friday, suddenly an incident took us all by surprise. right in the middle of the road, an alsatian was stuck- between angry, ferocious street dogs and the unmindful traffic zipping past. the alsatian looked frightened and unsure; some one had abandoned a pet dog who was in his last days. as we explained to our now highly emotional daughter, she prayed that the alsatian was safe. She came home and silently cried, inspite of our attempts at distraction. We knew she would sleep on it.
The helpless old dog was an indicator to the society and its slow but steady progress towards individualism- selfish. We are becoming insensitive, use and throw policy. As long as something is useful we hang on to it and once it has lost its importance, discard. the image of the dog is going to haunt us...

Monday, July 17, 2006

moral dilemma

straight from the heart
how many times in life do we come across a situation where it is difficult to take any decisions. the reason in the present case is two fold- judging another is wrong, especially from the comments of others and secondly who does one support ones students or a collegue?
in the past it was less of a dilemma as i took the student word for it. couple of instances have made me wiser- no the students didnt lie, but there is always another side to the issue. maybe i was also carried away due to youth- with age comes maturity and less scope for spontaneous reactions.
I remember how i walked into the principal's chamber when a student told me a tale about not being able to pay his fee- principal had a different take on the student. again a few years ago when a student complained of bias in selection of the honours list i didnt hesitate to talk to the principal. today i have come to the conclusion that every issue has another (if not two more) side to it.
so how do i tackle this issue? should i go and meet the teacher in charge and get her side of the story? somehow it sounds omnious to me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

talking heads

straight from the heart
i have to admit that Rajdeep Sardesai is my favourite of the current top interviewers/moderators (karan thapar, of course, is in a league of his own- i am talking of the popular ones here). saw the great debate on the Mumbai train blasts on NDTV and IBN and here is my take on the same.
Rajdeep is prone to shoot off more that he can chew- it takes a Shabana to put him in his place. but on the positive side he keeps the politicians on their toes by not allowing them to evade, deliberately confuse the issue- unlike Vikram Chandra who is soft or is it lack of will. Bharka is admired by everyone. she has her own way of getting the issue explored. my observation is on the way she overdoes her personal touch- put her arm around people or put words into their mouth or the worst, butt in with her personal experience ( her favourite seems to be the warm way she is treated in Pak). we watch these shows to gain the public opinion and want to listen to the people in the news, definitely not to windbags. sorry payal, but she gets on my nerves.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

its all in the perception

straight from the heart
the more i read and listen about our beloved prime minister, the more i conclude that we have a wimp in the seat. is it intentional- if he does something in his term then he becomes indispensible and where will that get sonia, rahul, priyanka or what is priyanka's kid's name. somehow he is not asserting himself, he is reluctant to take bold decision; be himself- efficient administrator. somehow the gaddi turns well-meaning, otherwise efficient men and women into nincompoops.
i am ashamed to accept someone like manmohan singh as our prime minister- is this the best we can do? whether it is the pakistan issue, the reservation issue, the coordination with the left, the nuclear issue... each time we have a perception of someone beaten into submission. is it the price one pays to hold on to the post. is the post worth loosing your self-respect. his earlier role as the popular finance minister and as an efficient bureaucrat is slowing fading in the face of his sloppy work as the head of the government. the government is working inspite of him; in fact the country is chugging along despite him. we either want a strong, assertive and decisive pm or manmohan singh should make way for a better person. I and India deserve an answer and a decision this time around.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

circle of hate

straight from the heart
the graphic pictures of mumbai train blasts have angered the citizens. one could see javed saab emotinally condeming the bombers. as the dust settles on yet another attempt to terrorise the people, one can only assume the effect it has had. mumbai may be limping back to normalcy but we the people go back to being the way they were?
the reason for the thought is the kind of debate- or should i say outbursts- that i am privy to. the social and religious circles are blaming the muslims for the blasts. we come back to the same old question- when a hindu indulges in violence all hindus are not seen as being violent, but why does it happen everytime a muslim does something violent. why is the whole community the target of hatred and prejudice? education has nothing to do with the perception that forms in the mind after each such act of violence. otherwise how does one explain the wide spread prevalence on this image of muslims.
are there any sane voices out there or have the terrorists actually succeeded in their mission? i only hope that people dont change after every such act of violence and fill their minds with venom of hatred. i am still holding on to my belief even under the latest barrage of hindutva oriented rhetoric. maybe, just maybe, it is the two weeks i spent in a muslim school (fidai baug) while waiting to shift from a christian school (st. blazes) to a hindu school (srws)!

Monday, July 10, 2006

communicate more

straight from the heart
why don't we communicate more often, more effectively. the irony of the present times really hits home- efficient means of communication by way of technology coupled with mind blocks that come in the way of putting things across. the last two days i have been brooding about the mail i received from an ex-student that shook me out of my comfort zone. a misunderstanding in the first year came in the way of natural growth and development of the student. three years of missed opportunity- a life time of waste. all that was needed was a direct clarification of the issue. i wonder why we keep something in mind and punish ourselves in the process.
in the age when we encounter hundreds of people in our life time, there is scope for misunderstanding and unconsciously hurting one another, maybe even scar the psyche. i can only give the example of my daughter- we have the best intentions in mind when we scold or explain something in a authoritarian tone.
so many things happen in class; the dynamics of the classroom can never be predicted. any comment, in a given context should not be taken to heart. it must not come in the way of student-teacher relationship. we judge a person by one incident and never take or give an opportunity to straighten things out.
the incident i am referring to came right out of nowhere- one only reads in novels or sees such things happening in movies. i never thought that my one or maybe two scoldings in class will create such a lasting effect on a student. i do hope i learn from this and never pull someone down. but i also hope that students on their part communicate. i would never have known this but for this blog. do use the blog to communicate.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

searching for joe

straight from the heart
the net has opened up the possibility of finding a long lost friend. joe kurian made me feel comfortable in a new setting- new school and city. at the age of 7 one hardly thinks about friendship and gets emotional. but today, some 32 years later i get nostalgic thinking about our school days- just one year. suddenly, when we went back to school after reopening i got a rude shock- joe had left for Canada to join his mother. he is the first person i could relate as a friend. we were together in school, walked back home together- he stayed opposite to our apartment, and even fought together. it took a while to adjust to his loss; suddenly there is hope of finding joe. if you are there somewhere in blogosphere do get in touch.

Monday, July 03, 2006

back to alma mater

straight from the heart
started the valuation today. yes the final year paper 4 will be completed in a week's time. every time i go back to the old physics block it brings back memories. this is where it all started 17 years ago. we were uncerimoniously shifted from the uvce campus to the present valuation center 2 months into our ms communication. we were just getting used to the canteen there, and here we were on strange land. to give us company there was the first batch of NLSUI who became our source of fun and companionship.
we were self contained in the department; our own library and a whole building with a balcony. equal time was spent on the steps of the block as the classroom. two years of sheer heaven; adventure at every turn, some i will relate others too personal. by the way i came to know that i was the most hated in the class; hated by the rest of the class for being a big showoff and know-it-all. those days i was oblivious to these things.
capture the past. is it really possible. somehow i have not come around to going back to bombay; i did spend 16 years of my life there. i always think of the saying in communication- you can't cross the river twice.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

silent communication

straight from the heart
my daughter ekasmayi (esha) has a very interesting way of showing her anger. yesterday she felt slighted and refused to talk to us for sometime. later after cajoling her she opened up on the reason for her silent anger. we had asked her if she wanted to go out to eat and she had initially said no. later she felt that she had taken a wrong decision and was regretting it- the reason for not speaking to parents.
even those who are close sometimes don't open up. communication is such an important means of stability in a family or society. when one member clams up there is tension in the air and uncertainity. open communication would certainly clear the air and also give one a chance to let off steam that other wise has the potential to burst into an ugly situation. easy said than done, right romal.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

daughter dearest

straight from the heart
today is daughter's day. as many proud parents have mentioned it is a treat to have a daughter (bangalore times). i would like to add a different angle to the issue. most fathers like me get a humbling effect through our daughters. the strict father figure takes a beating and what emerges is a more understanding and holistic father. our whole take on the other gender undergoes a sea change. suffice it to say that every man should become a father to a daughter for the world to be a better place. later

Friday, June 30, 2006

time to do something

straight from the heart
P. Sainath in conversation with srinivasan jain on ndtv 24x7 may well be the proverbial straw that broke the back of the camel. the plight of the indian farmers and the consistent short sighted policies of the government made me very angry. angry at the system that favours the rich, powerful and influential. i am feeling so guilty that i have been one of the many who got carried away by the surge of globalisation and liberalisation. decade and a half later india, the real india, lies abused and discarded.
many a times the anger within at the dismal picture would prompt a reaction- buy a ad-mag from the street vendor, a baloon from a young girl... after all the 10 or 5 rupees is something i waste without thinking most of the time; here it could mean a meal for someone (am i assuming too much here).
the other day as i drove in my car, an incident played out in the open. an elderly man was desperately trying to cross the road. as usual the drivers were not making any exceptions. a lady on a two-wheeler slowed down- i thought that at last someone is going to help- saw the man make it to the divider and sped off. something made me park my car, get out and hold the man's hand and help him cross the rest of the road. his hands were shaking- that was the thing that had struck me initially. here was a man in his 60s, on his own, making his way back home. the difference here being, the man had Parkinsons. my father suffered from the same in his last few months of existence. I cried looking at the man as he reminded me so much of my frail father. but would i have helped if this was not the case. does tragedy have to befall on one before we realise the enormity of the situation and reach out.
i used to feel that a messiah, powerful with godly powers, has to walk the world to cleans it; afterall we normal humans have no supernatural powers, loads of money or any such thing to help others. today i realise that each one of us has an obligation beyond our immediate family. we care so much for our children, feed them, clothe them and protect them; when i see the children of the beggars at the road intersections, i feel helpless and useless to do anything. the young, hungry, painful faces haunt me- got to do something. but what...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

dancing eyes

straight from the heart
the first thing that one notices about medha is her sparkling eyes. as she walked in today to the new staff room- the department has expanded into the old computer lab- i felt an aura of innocence and excitement. i could never imagine medha as grown up, she still looks and talk like a kid.
it is i think the greatest joy to have a visitor from the past- even a few months old. the memory of the class, the entire group flashes in front of the eyes. three years is such a short time. i regret that i didn't get to know more guys from the class of 2006.
many a times i do wonder what happened to so and so. are they in bangalore, married, any kids... it will be both a surprise and fulfillment to know about students who have passed out over the years. how about a class reunion! later

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

cultural bias

straight from the heart
this is something i always wanted to speak about. i am guilty of this as many of my students. i am referring to the bias due to our upbringing. we typecast people according to their background and present state of employment. out bias works in such a way that we feel superior if others don't have our background and experience that goes with it.
the other day Ishwar daitota spoke to the media studies students. a very rare occasion when a journalist from the language press has addressed the chirst college students. the majority read english newspapers, see english news channels and speak english. obviously when someone without their advantage comes before them there is bound to be culture shock; what is the role of the language press. english language newspapers in the country have highjacked the agenda setting power that should in a country like ours legitimately belong to the language press, which is close to the majority of the people, speak their language and idiom. more exposure to the people from language press background should have a positive impact on our students who don't see anything beyond times of india. will ramble on later.

fading faces

straight from the heart
every year without fail i go through this routine. i go to class after the start of the new academic year and keep searching for the familiar faces. max was sitting right in front, nandini leaning against the wall on the extreme left, and on the right hena... names that had faces just a few months back. i keep searching for the faces and all i see is new faces; the first year students who are as strange as strangers on the road.
three years is a long time. it takes a year to get the connection between the name and the face. each year with the numbers increasing it will take a few more months extra. then the second year the individual personalities start emerging and it is possible to identify some in the class as distinct from the rest. it is only in the final year that the closeness grows and most if not all get an identity of their own. and then one fine day they are out- out in the real life and their ghosts stay back, only to be taken over by new faces and new names. it all sounds futile- just feel that the same guys should continue for ever!
life as they say must go on. college is like a railway platform. people gather for the train. but as soon as the train moves on the platform is again empty only to be take over by the next batch of passengers in transit. guys i am already missing you. do keep in touch. cheers

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

cluttered mind

straight from the heart
the mind is cluttered. any programme or event has this effect. the first programme of the year and things have a way of not falling into place unless someone runs around and fixes it. one wonders why systems are not in place to make it smooth. have all the required things in the venue for conducting the programme and not expect us to run from one end of the college to the other in search of important people.
Angry, obviously. it can drive one up the wall. it also has another effect- the futility of everything. every time we think of a programme work towards it and then d-day comes the whole charade repeats itself. we need to make a toast to the human spirit for the short term memory of the worst things- there is no other explanation for the renewed enthusiasm time and time again. it hold good for our city and country, we keep going on and on inspite of the million obstacles that could easily be solved. we are just waiting for the messiah. well we have a long wait, unless we make it happen. speak out, write and make things happen. sounds easy but it takes one to start and then systems will automatically come up. got to stop and run. the event is on in a few minutes time. hoping against hope that things will not go too badly. cheers.

its all in the mind

straight from the heart
we all are familiar with the saying 'its all in the mind'. lot of credence is placed on the powers of the mind. the other day i chanced upon an article that mentions that most cold medicines don't have any effect on the body but act on the mind- placebo! it is no wonder that people read books, join classes and become spiritual with the goal of controlling their minds. it is another thing that today our minds are controlled by others- media, religious leaders to name a few.
my days in warrensburg while studying in the us were full of loneliness. my only recourse to sanity was music. Light 99.7 fm KLTH (kansas city) was soothing to say the least. Also my dard bhare geet- kishore kumar, kept me going.
by the way my favourite songs are, in the order of ranking:
1. aye tum yad mujhe gane lagi har dhadakan
2. badi suni suni hai zindagi ye zindagi
3. main pyasa tum sawan main dil tum meri dhadakan
4. hotel california
got to go, watch soccer. later

refuse to be intimidated

straight from the heart
was wondering why i didn't get angry at being told that we can't use the auditorium tomorrow for the inauguration. several reasons popped into mind. one would be desensitisation- having gone through similar situations in the past has made me immune to the present one. trying to find a free hall, finding joseph to open one or getting angry when both were accomplished and very few turned up for the class or workshop had its toll; has made me insensitive to something as bland as a change in the venue.
maybe it is just that someone else is in charge and so directly affected; more of a jolt to the good old ego. it could also be that miraculously i have mastered the ancient art of absorbing everything and still keeping cool. but to tell you the truth it is that lack of interest, that everything is futile which is behind the reaction. so there i have bared my heart out. more baring to follow

looser speaks

straight from the heart
chanced upon sunil chandy's blog. didn't know that he was born in Great Britain (brit as he says). couldn't miss the link that was present in the story of the black valet. it was a hilarious take on the spelling mistake, only someone used to PG Woodhouse humour can get it. just wonder how some people can connect two things-gift that i obviously don't seem to have!I am trying desperately to be like sunil chandy-write like him. come to think of it, nobody expect he could be like him. later.

Monday, June 26, 2006

meeting god

straight from the heart
met mr. ishwar daithota yesterday. very few know about the contributions of journalists/editors- here is one who has accomplished much in his 25 years career. Ishwar is the chief editor of Samyuktha Karnataka,which has 5 editions and a combined circulation of 1.6 lakhs (comes out in Kannada). His career in journalism started with Udhayavani, where he reached the top (became the editor). He wants to forget the role he played as the news reader on Doordarshan (many recognised and know him due to this)as it doesn't gel with his journalistic bent of mind. He left Udhayavani and become the first editor of Vijaya Karnataka in 1999. The success story of this newspaper started with him at the helm- multi edition, supplements for children and women, development reporting, and editorial integrity. After exactly 1 year and 11 months he quit the newspaper due to differences with the owners (interference in the editorial policy). His career took on a new dimension as a freelancer, teacher and writer. He wrote on developmental issues, taugth journalism to rural reporters and wrote books on development communication and for children. Last year he took over as the chief editor of Samyuktha Karnataka. He teaches at Bangalore University and Surana college. His programme on Udaya TV Panchayat... is almost five years.
Ishwar no doubt is a multifaceted person but what struck me was the simplicity and straighforward nature. One gets the feeling that anyone is free to meet and talk to him, no roadblocks like one comes across in the context of other editors. I get the feeling that journalism is still alive and kicking.It is not confined to page 3. As long as there are focused and committed persons like Ishwar Daithota, the direction that print media is taking is in the larger interest of the public. He has the pulse on the changes happening in the country when he says that the future belongs to language press- the fact that Times of India has bought up Vijaya Karnataka is a point in case.Log off. Keep reading

straight from the heart

straight from the heart
Time is of essence. we realise it too late. just today we had the inauguration of the psychology association and the students came out just in time for the 2 pm class. no lunch for the bunch. so off they go to find some chow and i hammer on the computer to fill the space. the point that i am trying to make is why can't we start and finish programmes on time and spare the trouble to everyone? the media studies department has one coming up on Wednesday and i hope it starts and ends on time so that the poor students have their lunch and eat it too. ha, ha. keep reading

Sunday, June 25, 2006

straight from the heart

straight from the heart
my biggest problem is shooting off my mouth and then regretting it. is there a solution this? i have opinion about everything and anything and this is the reason behind my mouth shooting act. how can one resist not speaking out when a car comes on the wrong side on a one way street, or keep from getting angry at those who spit, urinate, throw wrappers, etc on the road. it hurts to see people ruining the city and at the same time waiting for someone else to pick up after them. cheers for now

straight from the heart

straight from the heart
day 2 and i just want to say that a clear mind allows for clear thinking and a positive start to the day. yesterday was confusing as the mind was cluttered and negative thoughts came flooding in. promise to write more in the future attempts.
hi, never blogged before but would like to open my heart on issues that are dear to me.