Sunday, November 16, 2014

Things I find strange about the World

1. Of all the millions of species on the planet, humans are the ONLY species with the concept of "money" - something not inherently of value, but manufactured and artificially injected with value. And it is the most important concept in our entire civilisation. An entire species.

2. We can allow a person to live for years and years in misery - whether from terminal illness, or depression or any other cause. But we do not give the person even the basic right on their bodies to determine that they want to go. We can give them comfortable palliative care, but we do nothing to end their misery - when the body is theirs and the life is theirs. Did they know, when they were born, that their lives will be held hostage by a million people who don't care about their happiness, have no valid reason for prolonging their misery, have contributed NOTHING to their lives, but who need to give an "approval" for their death. Would we still choose to be born if we knew our lives were hostage?

3. There are, at this time, at least 7 billion human, living bodies around the world. They all have flesh. We are also ok with varying levels of nudity in our personal  and public spaces. A lot of people watch explicit porn, sometimes even at their workplace. BUT the minute a celebrity suffers a "wardrobe malfunction" or does something that shows flesh, we are "scandalised". I want to understand, what is so scandalising about naked flesh? Everyone has flesh and skin. Its who we are!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quiz on Indian Miniature Painting

1. Indian Miniature Painting flourished because of'
A. Royal patronage
B. Religious sponsorship
C. Public Adulation

2. The Golconda school of Miniature painting is one of the 6 schools of Indian miniature painting.

3. The Kangra valley painting is characterised by delicate brush strokes, and lush green trees.

4. The Jammu School was a separate school of painting with its own distinctive style.

5. In which of these schools do we see the second eye protruding from out of the face?
Jain School
Kangra School
Golconda School
Malwa School

6. What were miniature paintings mostly used for?
A. Murals
B. Palace decorations
C. Book Illustrations
D. None of these

7. Which of these is an oft found theme in Kangra Valley painting?
A. Ram Sita
B. Radha Krishna
C. Brahma Saraswati
D. None of these

8. Indian miniature painting used light and shadow effects to create an illusion of 3D


Monday, October 20, 2014

Information Security Quiz for the average internet user

1. When browsing the internet, it is ok to allow cookies on all sites.

2. All sites have the same privacy settings, so its ok to accept without reading.

3. I cannot be tracked to my house using the pictures I upload on Facebook.

4. Most websites recommend that we should sign in using our facebook account. It is fast and easy and secure.

5. Anti virus Software does not protect us from the internet.

6. It is great to post when I am with a friend to facebook.

7. iCloud is automatically enabled on all Apple Devices.

8. Apple has the best security in the world.

9. The "Darknet" is a fictional space in the Game of Thrones online game.

10. Online shopping is absolutely secure.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Citizenship Quiz - India

This quiz asks basic questions related to being active citizens of India.

1. The fundamental rights of the Indian Citizen are legally enforceable. True / False?

2. The fundamental duties of the Indian citizen are legally enforceable. True / False?

3. To vote in a constituency, a citizen should have lived in that constituency for at least _____________.

4. To vote, one needs :
     A. A voter ID Card with the address from the current constituency.
     B. One's name in the voter list of the constituency.
     C. Both of the above.
     D. None of the above.

5. All the voter lists of india can be checked online for inclusion of name. True / False?

6. What determines the no. of Lok Sabha constituencies in a state?

7. Match the body with what they are supposed to do:
A. Legislature        1. Execute the decisions / laws
B. Executive          2. Decide on disputes raised on matters of the law.
C. Judiciary           3. Make laws.

8. Indian state is governed by the state list, union list, and the concurrent list. "Police" which is a very important pillar of governance, is in which list?

9. Which of these is NOT a valid government issued ID card in India?
A. Aadhar Card
B. Ration Card
C. PAN Card
D. Voter ID Card
E. Debit Card

10. The basic principle of the Indian legal system is with reference to persons accused is:
A. Deemed Innocent until proved guilty
B. Deemed guilty until proved innocent.


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.