Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sansaar / संसार

साकार और निराकार
दोनों में है सार


Monday, September 15, 2014


इश्क़ करने का बहाना चाहिए 
दिल को कोई अफ़साना चाहिए 

तेरे मेरे बीच कुछ तो है ज़रूर 
ज़लज़लों को भी निशाना चाहिए 

देखिये तूफां बड़ा मायूस है 
आशियाँ हमको बनाना चाहिए 

इस कदर मेरी वफ़ा महदूद है 
तारीकी में भी पैमाना चाहिए 

तारीकी : darkness.

My first ghazal...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Crows and Eagles

If the crows evaluate an eagle on his flying skills, this is what the report will say "Abnormal values. Outside the reference range. Overreaches and too ambitious. Social misfit. Needs therapy."

Having said that, not everyone who fails the crows' aviation test is an eagle.
But no eagle will ever pass the crows' aviation test.

Be careful where you go to prove yourself. Be careful how you interpret failure.
Failure by itself does not make you a misunderstood genius.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

How to study right

This post is triggered by a facebook conversation where I had footinmmouthitis and mentioned that its not the duration of study but the technique that matters.

Which got the poster to ask more . And since Gallup says my responsibility strength is strong , I had to explain self.

How to Study Right - Getting more by spending least time at the Study desk.

This is a parent's guide and is based on what my aunt taught me and what was then used on other children of the family by yours truly. I have topped consistently, and so have my other students.

1. Everyday, from Class 1, have a study hour at home. An hour is one hour - 60 minutes. This is the time devoted everyday to studying. This is serious time. If you don't have enough homework to cover that hour, spend the time reading with the child, reading to the child, but it has to be pursuit of knowledge.

2. Some foundational skills are very very important. They have to be taught to the children at the right age, otherwise course correction is very difficult.

3. It is NOT your job to do the homework. It is the child's job, and you are helping them by investing time in that. Make that absolutely clear from nursery. Whenver ur child throws a tantrum abt homework, close the book and reiterate - this is NOT my homework. it is your homework. you are not doing me a favour by doing it. I am doing you a favour by investing time in it. If you make homework your business, you are doing the kid a big disservice because you are taking away the earliest opportunity of responsibility from them.

4. In Class 2, make reading a habit. Every single night. It doesn't matter that the child only sees the pictures and goes to sleep. it doesn't matter that the child hates it and whines. you read your book and let the child read theirs. just before sleeping. end of story.

5. In class 3, start the dictionary habit. The child makes a separate notebook called dictionary and learns 5 new words everyday and writes them down - alphabetically. then they take a quiz from a previous page  - guessing the meaning of words from an earlier page. This is a vital foundational skill and if the child does this till Class X, trust me they will need no prep in GMAT, CAT etc for vocab. That's why I call this a foundational skill. Vocab will help the child read more easily with age.

6. In Class 4, learn speed maths and mental maths.

7. In Class 5, learn memory techniques and start using them.

8. By class 7, you should know speed reading and should be speed reading as a matter of course.

9. During the study hour, do the following everyday:
     A. Start the hour with pranayama. This carries extra oxygen to the brain and prepares u for the time ahead.
     B. Revise everything that u studied at school.This is the time to use those memory techniques. Use whatever works for you - story building, mnemonics, Picture creation etc. Use the technique the first time, so that you never have to memorise or do rote learning.  Read the text chapter, understand the concept, and make notes that simplify the concept in your own words.
If you do this, you have achieved the following:
            B.1 You have understood the concept and therefore don't need to remember anything.
            B.2 When you sum it up in ur own words, you have revised and then written. This commits to brain like few other things do.
           B.3 because you have to read ur notes and not the whole book, u will be spending one tenth of time in the pre revision time.
   C.  After 25 minutes of study, take a 5-10 minute break. For younger children, this break can be used to run around. For older children, this time can be used to do pranayama or meditation.  Then study for another 25 minutes. Then break.
   D. If you have time left in that one hour, spend it revising something you have done earlier but not revised. But stick to one hour.

10. Find the study time that works best for you, and then study at that time. Not the time that other people tell you to.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Financial Wisdom I got from my grandparents - II

This came to me from my grandparents. But I also found another parallel in Chanakya Sutra. Will cover both.

My grandparents version:

Keep one third of your earning for ur past, one third for your present and one third for ur future. Out of the 33 rs you have put aside for ur future, take 10 rs out and spend it on punya - on doing a good deed.

What this means in modern speak:
1/3rd for the parents: Even though we don't believe in providing financial security for our parents, cultures and families that do, its a very good equation to work out. 1/3rd of the income of the child ensures that there is a steady flow, and also not too much burden on the child, no ad hoc requests etc.

1/3rd for the present means to spend on living expenses et al (imagine what that will do to the McDonalds of the world)

1/3rd for the future, means investment. If we take out 10% for philanthropy, a 23% savings rate is awesome for most households.

Amazing advice, so nicely put!

The Chanakya Sutra advice was in a different way, but roughly amounting to the same things..let me look it up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why money is called Maya in Indian culture

It is very good to make money. Money is important. Money lets you do things you truly want to do, and not just the things you have to do. Money allows us to focus on things we want to focus on. It gives us the luxury of leisure. Money makes it possible for us to spend more time with our loved ones.

But there does come a time, when money stops being the lubricant in the hand, and starts being the noose around the neck. One of the most important self realisations you will have, is to know that point. And one of the best decisions you will take, is to stand at that point, look money straight in the eye, and say, "Bas! Enough."

That point is different for different people. Different things make different people happy. And its very possible that the persistent pursuit of money does make some ppl happiest of all. But when I interact further with them, I realise that they are not really deriving satisfaction out of more money. They are trying to fill up an emptiness with the most handy material. And because you cannot stuff rocks in a water bucket without leaving gaps, this solution works for a limited period in some cases.

But the ones who do find that point and say, "Stop. Enough" and turn back to enjoy their lives in the current state, aspiring for things that fulfil them, and freeing themselves up. You will find that they are happy.

I don't think I have explained myself well. There is a reason why Money is called Maya in Indian culture. Maya means "Illusion". Like a magician's trance, it bewitches us, but only for as long as we want it to.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nakhuda to Khuda kaha hai to phir, doob jaao khuda khuda na karo..

So, I'm just curious.. exactly what were you expecting after voting for the CM of the most polluted state in India, one who has publicly come to power with industry money, with the backing of the RSS.. what were u expecting? A man who concealed his own legal marriage for only 17 years was expected to respect women?

On the eve of the polls, I wrote "I have never seen a democracy so eager to vote ...a dictator to power."

Those of you protesting rapes, and lawlessness and religious bigotry and continued inflation and .. PUHLEEEZ!! Please spare me the tyranny of having to hear how things are not mutually exclusive and how he is still the best choice and how he is anyway responsible for all sections of the country..

When you voted, I just said that we agree to disagree on political views and that was that. As you have made your bed, so you must lie in it. Please do not make me lose respect for you by now denouncing the very choice that you were promoting merely a few months ago.

I have always maintained that in this country, the most corrupt is the voter, because he sells the country for a bottle of country wine, or over a drawing room conversation. the voter sells his responsibility to his country for a little bit of convenience, a little internet bandwidth. You had a choice, you based it on propaganda. What use was your education? What use your google skills, which you would have employed even for your college assignment, but didn't employ when it was time to do your ONLY patriotic duty.

If that was a strong statement, I am not sorry.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

अपनी पहचान / Self Awareness

कभी मैं होती हूँ बोटी ,
जिसे नोचा और खाया जा सकता है 
कभी मैं होती हूँ 
निर्मल, शीतल नदी 
जिस से प्यास बुझाई जा सकती है 
(पर पथिक को, प्यास बुझने के बाद, नदी की क्या ज़रुरत?)
कभी सर की छाँव 
कभी पैरों तले की ज़मीन 

पर असल में मैं हूँ
अफ्रीका का पश्चिमी किनारा 
जो ढूंढ़ रहा है 
दक्षिणी अमरीका का
पूर्वी किनारा। 

Sometimes I am
a piece of meat
to be torn into
and devoured
At times I am
the gentle, sweet river
that can quench thirst
(But what use is the river to the traveller, after his thirst is quenched?)
I become the roof above a head
Or the ground beneath the feet.

But actually, I am just
the Western Coast of Africa
looking for
the Eastern coast of
South America.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On Guru Purnima day..

Always, it has been like this.. I have been a severely under confident child, thinking of self as the bumbling idiot, with no talent or potential. Always, my teachers have believed in me and made me excel.

In Class 4, it was Seema mam who thought a shy child like me could do oratory. She put me on the stage for debate competitions and for the next 3 years, I won the inter school junior trophies for the school. If you saw me in class, no, you couldn't see me in class. I was that invisible.

In Class 7, it was Manickam mam who believed I could study physics. For 4 years, I managed with just about passing marks in all 3 streams of science - Physics, Chemistry and Bio. Of the 3, Physics was always the toughest. For 4 years, she never once scolded me , or even asked how a child can consistently top every single subject, but manage only passing marks in Science? She just patiently waited. In Class X, I managed more than the passing mark. I managed 75%. But more importantly, I read the subject and actually tried to understand it. Still remember bits of Class 10 Physics. (Did I mention? I also managed to top my batch at school that year)

In 11th and 12th, it was Sheela mam, our Civics teacher. She told the class, this girl will get a state rank. She praised my essays and just kept believing, and guiding. I scored 95 out of 100 in a theoretical subject like Civics. And yes, I did get that state rank - 5th in Andhra Pradesh.

In college, it was Sr. Romana. She saw me through some really difficult days and simply said, "I believe you." I topped the college in academics, did well in NSS, Creative writing and even choreographed a group dance.

In masters, it was Lin Chats, who was responsible for the only A+ I got there. and Monk, who did an EQ test shortly after we entered college and it was found that I have the highest EQ on campus. And the other teachers. I got the gold medal for HR Stream. I wasn't there to take it, because I never thought one could get a convocation gold medal at such a prestigious institute.

And the same thing happened yesterday. I truly believe that I have no future as a dancer. I don't have the age, body shape, technique, or talent. But my Guruji insisted that that the Ghungroo pooja has to be done and one has to become a committed student of Kathak. He simply says, you will stay with dance for a long time. You have it inside you. And once more, I take a leap of faith into the unknown, because the teacher trusts me, even tho I don't trust self at all.

Here's to Guru Poornima.  Now we know why the Guru is so important..