Wednesday, August 08, 2007

professionalism redefined

got inspired to pen my thought again. one thing that is going around in my head is the question- what is the role of a teacher? it is said that the teacher is a friend, philosopher and guide. he or she is a role model for the students, someone who inspires them. but what is happening! are we getting petty? punishing someone for not conforming. the very idea of punishment is repugnant. but when the punishment is one that robs someone of academic excellence and future pursuits then one is forced to think again. imagine a situation where i don't like the way someone dresses or talks, do i automatically get the right (being a teacher) to ruin the future of that student? is this what the profession of teaching has come to mean? to forgive is human- but when the student forgives the teacher for punishing him it is time we, the teaching community, bow our heads in shame. The moral high ground that one hides behind is the beginning of the end for the profession that is held in such high esteem.

Friday, June 15, 2007


the first year students are here. just when i was getting used to the final year students, understanding them a bit, knowing about their future plans, their hopes and fears, they are gone. a day when there is so much of hope on campus is also filled with sadness. as i met a few of the ex-christites who had come to bid farewell, several thoughts were racing in the mind. so many promises yet unfulfilled. many a plans incomplete. this heavy burden adds to the sadness. life is not static. change is important for progress. so, farewell to the ones who leave us and a big welcome to those who join us for the next three years.

raining movies

Thanks Romal. I finally saw Mungaru Male and i loved it. I can't stop thinking about the movie- am listening to all the songs at home. Still, there is something unfulfilled- there is a feeling of loss. A film that matches to the standards of Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra... It had a touch of class- sophistication rarely seen. But it also left a void- a feeling of incompleteness. Please let me know when good movies hit the screen. I need to catch up on many...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hyderabad Chronicles

After three years you would expect to know the person. But in a class of sixty, it is only some who make their presence felt- the rest fade into the background. I encountered Vishruti for the very first time a day before she formally bids farewell to Christ College and to Bangalore. In a span of an hour I learnt more about her than in the last three years. She is the last person I would have thought would get into active journalism. Vishruti is all set to start her six months training at Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad. From being a swimming champ to training for NCC at Christ and being silent in class, Vishruti has left her mark- at least on one person. Au revoir

Welcome Mr. John

I first met Mr. John Thomas during a refresher course in 1995 organized by the Communication department, Bangalore University. At that time Mr. John was with the Deccan Herald newspaper as the Chief of Bureau. With this contact we had an opportunity to make annual press visits. Later due to his vast network of contacts, we also were able to get prominent people to speak to our students. Today, he has joined as a colleague. With his vast experience the students can only stand to gain. Mr. John has a way with words. His ability to link things, use everyday analogies and humour should go down well with our students. How I wish he was my teacher. But I sincerely hope that everyone shares this enthusiasm and benefits from Professor Emeritus. I also pray that our students match up to his expectations- his perception about Christites.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Time again

its time again. tomorrow we start college. i have a feeling that it is going to be a repeat of the past few years- looking for those familiar faces among the masses. the final year students are almost gone-they have to complete their exams. new faces, that will take a long time to get used to, will dot the campus on june 15th. life has to go on-one can't cling to the past. but memories will always remain, faces may fade into the horizon. i would obviously miss all you guys; your individual uniqueness, ability to stick out or fade into the crowd, dress sense- the works. before i get emotional, let me wish all the very best in life- immediate and future. don't forget that you can keep in touch...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Gyaan Again

to continue from where i left (inspite of some criticism). cant seem to understand why people dont take criticism in the right spirit. why one gets defensive and sometimes fights back, even when one is at fault. to advice, to scold and to criticise is normal- we all have to take it, whether we like it or not. public space is open for such encounters and one should get used to it. i see a few going into their shell- sometimes for a day or two in some rare cases for years. children today are tough- they go through a lot in a short period of time. yet one does not see the same reflected in handling criticism/scolding. one can only hope that reason will prevail or the situation that gives rise to such encounters is eliminated.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

gyan time

it is time to prescribe some gyan. the time of the year when the farewells are all around to remind the end of yet another batch. while wishing them all the best in future endeavour one cant but give out some advice.
first things first. never expect to be acknowledged, thanked and fussed around. try and find satisfaction within when you have done your best instead of getting any from the praise of others. one problem i see around is the expectations of people- students in particular. there is nothing wrong in having expectations, but dont expect it to come true all the time. disappointments will accompany expectations not met.
giving up is easy, fighting the odds is tough but very satifying. all around one sees people giving up, some agaist tough adversaries but others for frivalous reasons. who ever said life is going to be easy. every obstacle is an opportunity to prove to oneself. only if one has life can one expect a future filled with safisfaction- hold on to that one life you have. more gyan later

Sunday, February 18, 2007

withdrawal symptoms

The seminar is over... for this year. It has become a matter of routine to have the national seminar every year. But is it loosing its substance and objective to the ritualistic manner of its organisation? We (the teachers) start with certain assumptions and come to the conclusion that this will be useful and supplement classroom teaching. How much of the assumption is valid? Some programmes in the past have been organised due to the need that students articulated; similary some were dropped when it was seen to have few takers. Today, as the memory of the latest seminar is fresh in everyones mind, can we have some genuine feedback, ideas and criticism on each and every aspect of the same.
Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone- speakers, students, collegues and support staff for the seminar. I would, of course, like to name everyone. The obvious people in the organising committee, Sheetal, Nelson, Manasa, Payal, Rakesh Meher, Tejaswini Thirtha, Bharat, Romal, Shrenik Avlani and Mr. John Thomas. Whoever thought one person can make anything happen is sadly off the mark- cooperation and group effort is the only way.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

haunting music

straight from the heart
Music is for a lot of people soothing. When driving a car through peak hour traffic, getting into verbal duels with fellow drivers and the tension of being on time is taking its toll, music comes as a relief. Listen to haunting melodies of Kishore Kumar (early 70s of course) or hum his tunes for a total change of mood. But music also brings memories of the past- one gets into constant debates of the kind of music and lyrics of the present in contrast to yesteryears. The in-your-face kind of music today compares with the melodious tunes and touching lyrics of the past (one that had meaning).
As I was listening to an academician of repute at a conference, outside I heard the sound of a flute. The sound inevitably takes me on a guilt trip. The people who are talented, skilled and hardworking struggle to make a living. The cost of the flute is just Rs.10/Rs.25. The melodious sound made me go out and buy a couple of flutes- my way of warding off the guilt at being helpless.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

batch of '99

straight from the heart: past and present
got a big surprise the other day. 5 guys for the '99 journo batch showed up without warning. could recognise three of them. jp was sure different. he was more confident- no shifting of the gaze. he was always an enigma while in college. he looked more mature and capable of taking care of himself. sapna, pallavi, james and radhika provided some fodder for thought. was a great opportunity to know about the batch, their progress and present situation in life. one may not get back the time, but surely the memories of the time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

past and present

straight from the heart
i was transported fifteen years back in time. my memories of the class in Warrensburg, Missouri were rekindled today. as Mandy, Rebecca and Ayoola (hope I got the names right!) sat in the 4th Sem journalism class, the past flashed in the inner eye. i was one of the few foreign students in the journo classes. the first few classes were true learning experiences. it took a while to adjust, absorb and react. of course, over time i had many (okay, a few) American friends who made a whole lot of difference. i hope the three Americans have a rich experience while at Christ. and i also hope the guys in class learn from the three. it would be an interesting semester, with the added challenge. and as i always say, challenge brings out the best in all of us.