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.