Simply Living Hardly ThinkingNot Always
Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
So first of all let us define what is the objective of education. Some chase God and others chase wealth and lot many chase things which even they do not know. Let me define what I think everybody tries to chase or at least should try to chase. I define that as happiness. All of us chase it in various ways but then the problem is that once we reach a goal which makes us happy, we get greedy and want to have more of it and new goals appear on the horizon. But then lot of psychologists define happiness or sadness as aberrations from the situation you get used to and human beings have been a mostly adaptive species which cuts us both ways. We have the capability to be happy or sad in any situation based on our attitudes and thoughts. Another aspect of happiness is it’s sustainability and it’s existence without causing unhappiness to others. So here I arrive at my primary hypothesis, the goal of integrated education has to be to create individuals who are capable of keeping themselves happy most of the time without making others unhappy. I am sure lot of people might have a different opinion but let us proceed with this hypothesis.
And now comes the main question. How can we teach kids to be happy? Aren’t kids already happy?
Mark Twain once famously said - Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.
But what if we could plan our education in a way that learning is also encouraged. Our education system does cover lot of academic information and also teaches a lot of ways to earn a living. BTW it is important to for education to cover how to earn a living. Empty stomachs do not cause much happiness.
So the first thing is to teach how to apply brain in ambiguous scenarios. Life unfortunately or may be fortunately does not unfold in predictable manner. You can not prepare kids for all possible scenarios. You need to provide a thought framework which enables them to handle ambiguity. Unfortunately classrooms are not always the best places to learn. I remember a prof in IITK who used to ask students to observe things in campus and suggest better solution. You need to throw ambiguity to kids at an early stage. The framework develops not by finding a solution but also by thinking through what possible solutions can be.
Citizenship/Social Responsibility/Community Living has to be a taught subject. I was talking to a friend recently who is Income Tax commissioner and he was talking about why paying taxes has to be taught to kids. Let us accept it. Our mind becomes more rigid as we grow old. We need to learn few things early. Kids need to understand rights and responsibilities as early as possible.
Values over habits has been my favorite subject. Let us face it. The influences are many and you as a mentor, parent or teacher have a limited time to influence kids. You are competing with SRK, Sachin and Katrina Kaif here. Don’t waste your time on habits which most of us do. Figure out the values you want the kids to pick up. There is no universal framework on what the right value system is but focus on values over habits. A girl/boy friend will ensure that your kid learns to take bath and brush teeth daily but knowing that telling truth is important is not something you can learn all of a sudden at a later age.
Another important thing is to make kids understand how we can coexist with others. And it is not just about people, it is also about environment and other life forms. There have to be enough tasks which involve team work and dependency on others. Being socially aware is key to understanding the dynamics of relationships and I am sure that all of us will agree that good relationships are one of the biggest source of happiness for most of us.
As they say that Philosophy is the mother of all sciences. I think it has to be taught at a early stage. It enables an individual to raise fundamental questions about our belief systems and think through in a more elaborate manner. This again forms a great foundation for kids to develop an approach which enables them to experience things beyond senses.
Health and Nutrition are also things which often get neglected in our education system. It does not matter much when you are young but it matters a lot at a later stage. It is not possible for us to become health conscious all of a sudden. If these concepts are explained at an early age, kids will find it easier to adopt healthy lifestyles.
BTW do you think did I digress from the main topic of happiness? Actually no. Few popular ways of achieving happiness are
- Achieving something – A good value system ensures you choose the right thing to achieve and ability to handle ambiguity builds you the right skills to achieve it
- Relationship – understanding dependencies from an early age always helps you handle things better here.
- Handle Adversity – I feel a philosophical orientation always helps in analyzing adversities in a better way. It enables you to look at things in a disconnected way and new solutions emerge when you do that.
- Good communities – Responsible citizens create better communities and good communities create happier people.
- Good Health is an essential aspect of happiness. Teaching it early helps.
20 years gone by. It must be month of October in B Top in Hall 2 at IIT Kanpur in 1991. Harmless looking Amit Jain landed in my room. I know you won’t recognize that name. Nobody called him by that name. Even he might have forgotten it during college days. But then to protect my facade of decency, let me still call him Amit Jain. For people who know him, know his other name for sure and for people who don’t know let him be Amit Jain. I don’t think his neighbors from C Top were too fond of him and may be that was the reason why he landed up in my room. Anyway he did add value to my room as he brought a red color music system, a prized possession for us as students in those days. There were haves and then there were havenots and former were always welcome by the latter. Along with the red music system there were lot of cassetes and most of them I did not understand as they were some form of english music which was unadulterated noise to my hindi medium type ( aka HMT ) music sense. Anyway there were two cassetes which made much more sense to me and they were songs from the serial Mirza Ghalib in Jagjeet Singh’s voice. It was tough for me to understand that poetry as my urdu knowledge was limited. But Jagjeet Singh’s voice kept me tuned in to the cassetes and listening to them became a favorite past time.
Few years passed by and we were organizing the cultural festival in IIT Kanpur. Jagjit Singh was the artist of choice. All of us worked tirelessly to make his event successful but I missed watching him live as I was busy with handling other responsibilities in the festival. Time flew and landed up in Bangalore to start my career with Infosys. Few month’s salary and some borrowed money and I was proud owner of a music system and Ghalib cassetes in Jagjit Singh voice were my prized possessions again. Spent countless days and nights listening to the velvety voice immersed in deep Ghalib poetry on the lovely terrace house we had in JP Nagar.
And the Ghalib CDs still occupy the maximum air time in my car today. That is the beauty of great artists. They never die. They live in our hearts, in our cars and in our rooms. So all I can tell you Jaggu Dada, thanks a lot for being a part of my life. You have enriched it and same holds true for music lovers. As you immerse yourself in deep sleep, all I would like to tell you is that you will be missed, loved and most importantly listened to again and again and again…..
This is the first song I loved in his voice.
Birla PJ Public Unlimited is proud to announce first quarter results for 2011 ( Jan, Feb, Mar). In this quarter we have been able to significantly improve the quantity and quality of the products and also enhanced value for all the stakeholders. Here are few of the leading products produced in this quarter. Your inputs about them will be greatly appreciated.
- A recent study by Subway Restaurants reveals that women prefer 12 inch over 6 inch. #PJ
- Akshay Kumar is the most tragic hero in bollywood. Even when he smiles you can see his gums. #PJ
- All the advertisers are paying, I am sorry praying, for Indian victory in quarter finals tomorrow. #PJ #cricket
- Any idea why all the guys around Abhishek Bachhan do not have Idea connection. #PJ
- Arindam Chaudhuri has acquired some land in Nankari village close to IIT Kanpur as he dared to think beyond IITs. #PJ #IITK
- As per Indian census we have 914 girls per 1000 boys and 86 happy guys per 1000 guys #PJ
- Cafes in England are selling more Irish Coffee nowadays. That is the only way to put them down. #PJ #cricket
- Clark is out and laughter ( Hussey ) on the field. #PJ #cricket
- Colgate Plax mouthwash is a sure shot way to kill germs. Even humans hardly survive after it. #PJ
- Don’t worry, Bihari #PJ
- European countries are inviting bollywood to solve low population problem as they figured out how to make babies by holding hands. #PJ
- Even in Hindu mythology, good husbands did not exist. How can women expect them to exist in real life? #PJ
- Five boxes of coconut oil for anybody who can find a mallu who can pronounce Indi Commandos properly. #PJ #IPL
- How do you do is one of the most personal question you can ask anybody. #PJ
- Hussey to bahut aa rahi hogi tum ko Kangaroo log. #PJ #cricket
- I am getting worried. A black cat crossed my way as I came out of my home. I mean getting worried for the cat. #PJ
- I hereby declare the summers open in Bangalore #PJ
- ICC has decided that man of the match awards will be given to Pakistan team based on English skills not cricket skills. #PJ #Cricket
- If God does not listen to devotees now days, I can understand. They have been making so much noise around him/her. #PJ
- Indi Commandos Kochi is the only team which will be gunning for winning IPL. #PJ
- Indian cricket team should hire TOI journalists for match today. They seem to know how to beat Australia. #PJ #cricket
- Indian government has decided to give tax incentives to people who convert to Jainism to curb onion prices #PJ
- Jab se Sheila jawan hui hai tab se lot of girls are applying for Indian army. #PJ
- Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa’s birthday will be celebrated by Karnataka kids as Children’s Day as he gives them off from school so often. #PJ
- Men are most happy due to Khali not winning #BigBoss because it proves that size does not matter. #PJ
- Mood is one thing in life which has only off button. I have never come across anybody with mood on. #PJ
- My modesty has been waiting for my greatness to arrive for a long time. #PJ #quote
- Na chahiye dawa, na chahiye daroo, mujhe to bas chahiye, haare hue kangaroo. #PJ #cricket
- Never fall in love with a software guy unless you enjoy love bytes. #PJ
- Nigah-e-teer se ghayal kiya karte the husn wale, aaj kal to bas Facebook poke se kaam chala lete hain #PJ #Sher
- Pakistan has just pressed the self destruct button. #PJ #cricket
- Pakistani team is strong in bowling as well as betting #PJ #cricket
- Q. How did Emraan Hashmi buy his LCD TV? A. Kiss-ton main #EmraanHashmi #PJ
- Q. How do Pakistani cricket players wish each other luck? A. Bets of luck. #PJ #cricket
- Q. How will you congratulate the new Egyptian leader? A. Mubarak ho #PJ #Egypt
- Q. What did the Aajtak reporter girl tell her boy friend to break up. A. Here is some breaking news for you. #PJ
- Q. What did the ice cream tell the cup. A. Tum se achha cone hai. #PJ
- Q. What do you call a classical singer who becomes rich? A. From raags to riches. #PJ
- Q. What do you call a dark women from Kashmir? A. Kashmir ki kali #PJ
- Q. Which Indian actor has the potential to create maximum Sansani? A. Dharmendra because he has a son – Sunny #PJ
- Q. Which song did Satyajit Ray’s wife sing for him? A. Tu hi re, tu hi re #PJ
- Q. Why was Harbhajan Singh barred from practicing Dentistry? A. He always pulled out the wrong one #PJ
- Sachin 50 for 4 #PJ
- Shweta winning #BigBoss has been hailed by white supremacy groups in west. #PJ
- South African kids – A for Apple, B for Boy and C for Chokers #PJ #cricket
- Tera kya hoga Munaf Pitel #PJ #cricket
- The chickens of the world have decided to form a new country where there are no roads. #PJ
- The meek shall inherit the earth, but by the time they do, it will be almost time to leave the earth. #PJ
- The toughest to understand person in my life is myself. #Quote
- There is a new animal in Asian circus – Kiwi #PJ #cricket
- This cricket world cup has the best maths skills. It counts. #PJ #cricket #WorldCup
- This world is never going to be devoid of love, so many people are busy making it. #PJ
- Traffic police guy is somebody who thinks that traffic moves faster when he waves his hand. #PJ
- We will win against Lanka Lions for sure. We have so much experience in killing them. #PJ #cricket #SaveTigers
- Women always lead to men’s downfall. Look Pak lost it due to Miss Bah Ul Haq. #PJ #cricket
- Zee Cinema is showing Dashavtar. Be scared, very scared while doing channel surfing.
हमारा देश एक बहुत ही कठिन दौर से गुज़र रहा है. पता नहीं क्या होगा हमारे देश के भविष्य का. एक ज़िम्मेदार नागरिक होने के कारन आप को आगाह करना मेरा कर्तव्य है. एक तो मुन्नी के बदनाम होने से पहले ही आधा देश परेशान था और अब शीला भी जवान हो गयी. बहुत ही असमंजस का समय है. मुन्नी के बदनाम होने का दोष तो हम सलमान की माथे पे भी मढ़ सकते हैं पर इस बेचारी शीला का क्या करें. उस का तो बस इतना ही दोष है की वो खुद से ही प्यार कर बैठी और बचपन मैं किसी के हाथ मैं नहीं आने के कारण उसे हमेशा फेविकोल वाले डब्बे पर बिठाया जाता था.
ये बहुत ही जटिल विषय है और मैं जो खुलासा करने जा रहा हूँ वो देश की सुरक्षा की द्रष्टि से बहुत ही गोपनीय बातें उजागर करेगा इस लिए जो अठारह वर्ष से कम के बच्चे ( शाहिद अफरीदी के अलावा ) हैं, वो कृपया कर के अपने अपने माँ बाप की गोदी मैं बैठ जायें. जो अठारह वर्ष से ज्यादा हैं वो इस विषय वस्तु पे पूरी तरह से ध्यान दें. सब से पहले शीला के जवान होने की बात करते हैं. शीला बचपन से ही अपने नाम को बिलकुल पसंद नहीं करती थी. उस को तो सविता ( भाभी नहीं ) भी इतना बुरा नाम नहीं लगता था पर भारतीय संसकारों मैं नाम रखने का हक़ या तो माँ बाप का है या उस मैं नयी पूंछ लगाने का हक़ पति को. कई लोग कहते हैं की उस को शीला नाम से इस लिए नफरत थी क्यूंकि वो किसी राजनीतिज्ञ का नाम था जो एक बहुत बड़े घोटाले मैं पैसा बनाने मैं असफल रही. जो भी कारण रहा हो परंतु इस नाम के लिए नफरत ने शीला को बहुत ही विचलित कर दिया था. वो अपने नाम से ये बद्नुमा दाग हटा देना चाहती थी. उन्होंने एक दिन दृढ निश्चय कर लिया की वो अपना जीवन देश की सेवा मैं लगा देंगी. भारतीय सेना मैं उन दिनों बहुत जोर शोर से भर्ती चल रही थी और शीला ने भी अपना आवेदन पत्र भर दिया. बहुत ही कठिन दौर से गुजर कर उन्हें भर्ती कर लिया गया और वो जवान हो गयी.
अब आते हैं मुन्नी की बदनामी पर. अब देखिये मुन्नी के साथ बहुत सारी समस्याएं थी. एक तो उन का फिगर शिल्पा ( बिफोर राज कुंदरा ) वाला था और उन की अदा बेबो ( आफ्टर शाहिद कपूर ) वाली थी और उन के पीछे लम्बू और सैफू भी थे. उन के जीवन मैं इन चार स्टार्स के अलावा एक और स्टार था उन का नकली डॉक्टर भाई मुन्ना जिसने पटना से नकली ऍम बी बी एस की डिग्री बनवाई थी. जब डिग्री बनवाने गए थे मुन्ना भाई तो एक हज़ार रुपये कम पद गए थे और एजेंट ने उन को जानवर के डॉक्टर वाली ही डिग्री दी. इसी लिए उन्होंने छोटा शहर छोड़ के मुंबई मैं अपनी प्रक्टिस शुरू की. तो कुल मिला के मुन्नी के ज़िन्दगी मैं ये पांच स्टार्स थे. इस चक्कर मैं उन को दो बुरी आदतों ने घेर लिया. एक तो बहुत फाइव स्टार चोकलेट खाने लगी और दुसरे फाइव स्टार होटल मैं खाना खाने की आदत पड़ गयी. बहुत उधर बढ़ गया था उन का होटल मैं भी और बनिए की दूकान पे भी. एक दिन इस आदत के चलते उन की पैसे की तंगी इतनी बढ़ गयी की उन को चोरी का सहारा लेना पड़ा. उन की एक दोस्त थी मोनिका जिस को सब लोग डार्लिंग कह के बुलाते थे. मुन्नी ने एक दिन हिम्मत कर के मोनिका की फाइव स्टार दुकान से एक चोकलेट चुरा ही ली. पर उन की बदनसीबी तो देखिये, चुरा के भागते वक़्त उन का पैर फिसल गया और उन के पिछवाड़े मैं चोट लग गयी. अब दर्द के मारे उन को झंडू बाम भी चुराना पड़ा. दूसरी चोरी करते वक़्त वो पकड़ी गयी और वो बदनाम हो गयी.
अब आप सोचेंगे की इन दोनों कहानियों मैं कनेक्शन कहाँ है. अरे भाई कनेक्शन है, बिलकुल है. हमारे पडोसी देश को ये पता था कि शीला के जवान होने से भारतीय सेना मैं एक नया जोश आ जायेगा और इस लिए वो ये बिलकुल भी नहीं चाहते थे कि ऐसा हो. इस के लिए उन्होंने भारत के बड़ी बॉस मारने वाले मशहूर कलाकार सलमान खान से संपर्क किया. पहले उन्होंने अपनी महिला मित्र शीला ( कटरीना कैफ ) से बहुत गुज़ारिश की वो जवान होने का अपना कार्यक्रम स्थगित कर दें पर शीला के दृढ निश्चय के आगे उन की एक न चली. मोनिका डार्लिंग ( हेलेन ) सलमान खान की सौतेली माँ लगती है और सलमान के कहने पर उन्होंने अपनी दुकान पर फाइव स्टार के बड़े पेकेट आगे रखे जिस से मुन्नी के दिल में छुपा हुआ चोकलेट प्रेम जाग जाये. इस प्रकार से हमारे पडोसी देश के घिनोने इरादे असफल हो गए और हमारा देश भारत फिर से महान हो गया.
उपलेख : लेखक अपना आभार प्रकट करना चाहता है सब से पहले श्रीमान राहुल बंसल जी को जिन्होंने इस विषय वस्तु पर लेखक की जिज्ञासा जाग्रत करने का कार्य किया और सुश्री मीनू देवी का जिन्होंने इस कहानी को एक सूत्र मैं पिरोने मैं मदद की.
What is the point in doing a crime if there is no fear involved. Crimes are certainly not worth doing without the element of fear. Anyway I am not talking about any significant crime here. I used to study in St Thomas Convent School in Lucknow. A perfect place to for a shy boy like me ( yes I was shy as a kid if you find it tough to beleive) to come out of my shell and try something different. After all at 14-15 years of age you are trying lot of things which are new in your life.
The temptation to commit the crime was really big. We were senior most class in our small school and we thought of ourselves as kings and the idea was simple, to assert our authority and probably impress few girls also in the process. The plan was perfect – a small semi broken chair in the classroom pleading to our violent instincts to take it all the way. The idea was to simply break it into small enough pieces and throw it out of the window in our classroom. So the escape plan was also perfect as there was no signs of humanity beyond the lonely window in our 2nd floor classroom.
So what could go wrong here. But then you know, Mr Murphy did not become my friend recently. I have had a childhood relationship with Mr Murphy. We broke the chair into tiny pieces and threw each small piece out one by one. What a pleasure it was to break it and throw it. This was our way to declare freedom against the teachers we were so scared off. But to our misfortune somebody who had a small home probably half a kilometre away from our school saw some UFOs coming out of a small window. He did something which I have no idea why any sane human being who has a job will do. He collected all the wooden pieces and brought it to the principal of our school. He also figured out the class from where these UFOs originated. We were caught red handed.
The punishment was swift and embarrassing. We were made to stand in the sun and since the principal could not figure out who did the crime, he punished the entire class. We representing the senior most class standing in the sun and all the small kids around asking us why we were standing like that. Only if earth could break up, I would have gone underground and hid my face.
But then after some time fairer sex was getting too concerned about loosing fairness in the bright and hard hitting sun. So they stuck a deal. The girls in our class told the principal all the people who were involved in the act and they escaped the punishment. Four of us were named by them and I was also part of the list. Others who were also listed were Samrendra, Dalbir and Vikas( I am not sure of all the names although). Our punishment continued and we spent the entire day enjoying the sun.
So girls of my school, if you happen to read this now, I just wanted to let you know that I have forgiven you for this. I can understand the fascination for fair skin. Fair and Lovely was not so popular during 1980s. Anyways if we end up meeting, I am sure you can at least buy lunch for a non-alcoholic and vegetarian me to make up for the calories lost.
Here are my best PJs from last year… Would love to hear from you what you liked most
- Sri Lanka – An island nation surrounded from all sides by water and Sehwag – Birlapedia #pj #cricket
- Contrary to popular belief, AP split into 2 states is not a promotion event for @chetan_bhagat book – 2 States #pj #telangana
- Bangalore Aunties have the best nightlife in India. You can see them wearing a nighty all over the city #pj
- Q. What is common between Sehwag and Hanuman? A. Both have been responsible for extensive damage to Lanka. #pj #cricket
- Q. Why was Rahul Dravid arrested by BSF? A. He was caught crossing the Border. #pj #cricket
- Sleeping is the best way to keep your dream alive. #pj
- Always judge a religion by holidays, music and food it promotes. #pj
- Fine print on US ballot papers-We are not liable for your vote getting used by third parties like Noble Foundation. #Obama #pj
- Obama is celebrating two events this weekend where he did not contribute much-Noble prize for peace and his dog’s birth. #Obama #pj
- “Half the problems in my life are due to you and the other half is you” – As told to a dear friend by me #pj
- Somebody told me that forgetful people have a streak of genius in them. Somehow I can’t remember his name.
- Q. What is common between bangalore and twitter ? A. Both can’t handle high traffic. #pj
- Eclipse has become so popular that even Sun is promoting it today. #pj
- Question: Do you know the difference between MJ and PJ ? Answer: NO #pj
- I was so pathetic at giving job interviews that I had no option but to become an entrepreneur ! #pj
- Harbhajan bowling from pavilion end and his first ball is doosra #pj
- None of my jokes ever made any money, obviously they got to be poor. #pj
- Q. Why did girlfriends of Twitter founders ( @ev and @biz ) dump them ? A. For lack of characters. #pj
- #pj Q. Which Indian Mythology character has the maximum surface area? A. Ravan – 10 sar(head) hai aur 10 face
- “Don’t come back, I will miss your absence”- Sanjay KI. When a colleague told that he is coming back from onsite in Infosys.
- Childhood Romance: Agar mujh se mohabbat hai, mujhe sab apne gum ( chewing ) de do ! #pj
- Life after death and life after marriage are common myths spread by people who have not experienced either.
- I have a dream, but not getting enough sleep time to watch it
If you like them just follow me on my twitter account – @bkbirla
I have been listening to old Hindi songs for ages and I thought lot of you might not be able to spend time to figure out good songs. Besides that even I do not get enough time to listen to those songs. So at least once a week I have decided to spend sometime and listen to a great song. Nowadays I am not even driving to office and my exposure to music has become rather limited. So I am just planning to build a habit of listening to an old gem at least on Monday so that it can keep my musical senses happy. And I will certainly share it with all my friends on FB/Linkedin/Twitter for everyone to enjoy. Few things which you will find in most of the songs I choose
- Mostly from black and white movies
- Will focus on great melody and lyrics
- One song every Monday ( might be more but certainly not less )
- Rare songs preferred over the usual suspects
So stay tuned…… and would love to hear from you on how you find my choices.
I am sure the probability of you knowing both of them is so low. Don’t even try to figure out what they mean using the web as one of them is going to give you links to Sania Mirza ( as search engines think that you mistyped Sania as Sanai ) and the other search term will give you so many results that you will be so confused.
Anyway let us get back to Sanai ke Phool. What the hell it is ? I was as clueless as you are just a few days back. I was on my annual trip to Lucknow for Diwali and we were driving back from airport back to our home which is right across the town. We stopped on the way to buy some vegetables where my brother saw a unique looking vegetable being sold on a small road side shop. There was a gentleman already buying that stuff and he was so eager to explain what it was. He was explaining in detail that this is called Sanai ke Phool and eaten in some small villages around Lucknow. The next problem was to figure out what was the correct way to cook it. Another gentleman on the road side was keen to offer help. His knowledge I guess was half baked but his eagerness was over baked. He was clear that you need to add a little bit of rice when you cook it but was not too sure in what form. We desperately needed some subject matter experts here and a lady walking by obliged us. She identified the vegetable and told some history about it. She also explained that it has to be cooked like a kofta ( with gram and rice flour ) and then you put it in a tomato based gravy. All of us listened to her expertise with patience. Soon everybody said the usual thanks to everyone and we moved on.
This is pretty much how conversation starts for lot of people who have not been blinded by technology like lot of us. A great example of social networking – desi style.
BTW we did cook Sanai ke Phool like a dry curry using another recipe version and it tasted great