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