Wednesday, July 30, 2008

cathartic effect

when something affects you- and it happens very often to me- till it comes out in the open (your reaction or opinion) there is a sense of turmoil within. after the last posting i feel relieved that i got the angst out of my system. the things that trouble me and the issues that i am bothered about need a resolution. the kind of mental agony in the absence of a closure is difficult to overcome unless it is thrashed out in the open.
blogs allow for just this. an open forum to bring out any issue and place it in front of the world- inviting comments/criticism/acknowledgment. an open society is the safest bet against misunderstanding and conflict. only when things are hidden there is a scope for confusion. more than talk about issues, blogs allow for baring the heart out. what would have happened if this option was not around?

crime and punishment

the news about the students being made to sit the whole day in the corridor of the school as a punishment shook me and shocked me. it made me angry as i thought about it in the context of my school-aged daughter. how dare the school authorities impose this punishment or any punishment whatsoever. to top it all, the punishment was meted out not for an act by the students- their parents had skipped the parent-teachers meet on saturday.
schools are in the news increasingly for the wrong reasons. the inability to deal with the disciplinary issues, the excess workload and pitiable salaries are driving the teachers to take resort to punishment as a way out. it is high time punishment (out-moded means to achieve compliance) was done away with. What is the message one is giving the children (future citizens of our country) by punishing them for something they did or others did? what values are we imbibing in them? will they grow up to become better than us or just remain in our image?
The school authorities must be punished (not by making them sit in the open) for having done such a ghastly act. better still, they must be reformed. punishment does not achieve anything. the objective is to change the thinking of the person and not make him/her feel miserable. at least in the future children can go to school without fear of punishment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

mirror image

michael jackson's 'man in the mirror' comes to mind as i try and deal with the question of identity. last saturday i got an opportunity to watch a premier of a kannada movie at badami hall. the main character in the movie is named 'gandhi'- it is also used as a metaphor in the movie. it narrates the struggle of gandhi in the face of having to live up to the great name. in the end, he is forced by circumstances to accept defeat and therefore decides to change his name.
the movie had an impact beyond the story. if i ever wanted someone to put a mirror to reflect my real inner personality the film did just that.
being a kannadiga by birth but not having lived a kannadiga's life (whatever that means) i was a fish out of water among the select crowd that had been invited to the premier. the cosmopolitan sheen keeps me from acknowledging my roots. while watching the movie i connected to the real me. deep inside, once you remove the outer layers (accent, educated...) i realised i was no different from the rest out there. i had found my identity. i am now, unashamedly acknowleding it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

giving advice

it is good to feel that someone wants to consult you for a career move. your advice is given importance. that puts a lot of responsibility on me to give good advice. what is good advice? our experience can provide a bit of insight into things but circumstances change and in the changed circumstances giving advice on the basis of past experiences can be problematic.
it is ironical that when it comes to taking a decision in life i dither. all the possibilities and angles have to be looked into and then a decision can be taken. the same must apply for giving advices. without thinking out the options, we have no right to state a course of action. by putting all the options on the table, it becomes less of an advice and more of a choice for the advice seeker. it then becomes the responsibility of the person to choose the right path. hopefully, in the latest case i have been careful in doing just that. for i should not be the cause of any wrong action.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

plugging loopholes

i am curious to know what makes people tick? the other day, in the department, my mind was trying to figure out a few things as i saw/heard Mr. Kennedy explain and convince three bold and intriguing girls about the need to write positive about college. i, for obvious reasons, will keep out of the debate (class is where i will speak out). now what is of interest to me is the reasons behind the writing, its objectives and more importantly why one is not willing to compromise on ones stand.
we have to communicate our feelings and emotions- to not do so is dangerous. the forum, the method and the means to communicate are important if one has to overcome the fears of the guardians of stability and decorum. each one has to choose the way to speak out depending on the ground realities. one formula will hardly work for everyone. experience is the biggest clue one can fall back on- and my experience tells me, what works for someone may not work for me. so, without loosing hope, find other avenues for those creative & critical juices.