Monday, October 28, 2013

Sensitivity to the Disabled

When no other teacher wants to teach at deaf schools a wealthy foreigner chose to leave behind everything and come to India to teach these deaf students
     Yesterday I had to visit Nehru Place in Delhi to fetch my document from a company office. While returning from there I decided to visit my friend as I had obtained a daily pass for that day for just fifty bucks, which empowered me to catch any DTC bus (except interstate buses) destined to anywhere in Delhi without shedding any more rupees on the ticket. This is a facility which I appreciate very much when I have to visit several place in just one day in this city. I boarded a bus and with me several children all dressed in school uniforms also got on the bus.

           Hearing an odd sound I looked back at them and noticed that they were talking with their hands and making bizarre sounds spasmodically  attracting everybody’s attention in that bus. I looked at their faces which looked innocent but happy, overshadowing the agonies which they might have suffered so far. I looked at the identity card clipped in front of chest-pocket of a student, written a name of special school for deaf boys.  I felt contented for the facilities which they are getting from the government probably free of cost or maybe for a meager amount. They didn’t even bought ticket which means they were carrying pass and that too for a petty amount. Without these facilities they couldn’t have gone to school as they didn’t looked like children from a well off family.

           A guy of my age who was standing beside me smiled to me and said something which was directed to them. May be he was dumb enough to not find out that they were special children without hearing capacity. He thought they were deliberately doing something which was not usual with normal children.  As the crowd grew on bus, the people passing the corridor were blaming those innocents and their satchel for the trouble which they were facing.

 Is their satchel that much big to occupy the whole space in the bus??     
These noisy men and women with big buttocks was the real problem??
         I think the latter one being the big problem for lack of space. Their container sized butts take a large chunk of space where two normal sized people can comfortably stand.  Still, they blame the bags of school students for the mess. Their ass has grown so big because they have maids to do their household chores and they go to park to walk hurriedly  to shed extra kilos and these same people blame the school bags in the crowded metro-trains or buses for the nuisance.

        I was more shocked to see the insensitiveness of the driver for these special students. When one of them went in front to stand near the gate, the driver started to curse him in Haryanavi indifferent to the hurt he was causing to their innocent hearts.  Why can’t these people understand and give respect to others, especially to those persons who need it most.  This insensitiveness is a blot on our culture and most of us blame western culture but looking at these events I feel most of the things in western culture are far more better than ours.

 Do lack of education is the reason for this insensitiveness?? If yes, then why do we need education to teach us the basic manners which we should know from the age we become conscious. There is a need of this kind of sensitivity to build a better future for everyone, to build a better tomorrow for all.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Make the right choice this time

             It’s the awakening which happened to me last night, the same awakening which happened to Arvind Kejriwal when he decided to form his own political party. The decision was right as it’s difficult to change the system without being in the system and when it’s the political system of India it doesn't remain difficult, it becomes impossible to change without being in it. I didn’t join his party thinking that my opinion about him in my posts would look selfish. Now I don’t care anymore if I look selfish because I am, I have my selfish reasons, the same reasons which will benefit every citizen of this country, not just politicians and their relatives.

    Finally, I took the membership of AAM AADMI PARTY, which just cost me ten rupees and gave me a lot of satisfaction. I can’t describe my feeling  which the thank you letter from the party gave me, which read

 “Dear Shailesh Gururani,
On behalf of all of us at Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), We welcome you in this political movement as a member of AAP. We appreciate and acknowledge the first step you have taken towards the efforts for building a Nation which confirms to what we call “SWARAJ”.“Such support motivates us to continue to work hard for something and something that helps make a difference”. One small step of yours would ultimately mean a Giant leap for our Nation.  We hope that you will continue to partner with us in our commitment to make this Nation proud once again.  Thank you for being an important member of our political movement. Best Regards,AAP”
                       Ha Ha Ha  J  … I am sorry if it seems unimportant for a post. I couldn’t resist myself showing you the appreciation letter though it’s not imperative here.
I have seen people making fuss about the Prashant Bhushan’s statement about Kashmir or any other petty thing for that matter but one thing is for sure we really don’t have any better choice than Arvind Kejriwal in this present political situation. Not only party members but other members are also promoting the party on social networks and I don’t think they are getting any direct benefits out of that. It’s the urge to raise issues which common man is facing but couldn’t raise before and when raised generally suppressed by the men in power.

        Tell me honestly, do you really think personalities like Meera Sanyal, Kailash Kher or Rabbi Shergill extended their support out of any greed?? In fact, they are actually sacrificing many things and are exposed to various risks by extending their support to the party. People who are criticizing AAP or Arvind Kejriwal have their selfish reasons for that. They all are related to opposite parties or getting direct benefits out of it for sure. Last day, one of my friend who is related to other party posted on his Facebook profile a picture which accused Arvind Kejriwal of something which would be the last thing he would ever want to do. It definitely showed that person’s selfishness and consequently lost my respect for him.

    Many of my family members are from other political party and some of them have held good positions on the party and if that party wins next election, those members will be at profitable positions still I want AAP to win because I don’t want any persons to get benefitted at the cost of others, even if the benefitting persons are from my family. I hope this time people will make the right choice, a choice for which they won’t have to regret in the future.  The choice which will be a step Towards A Better Tomorrow.

Friday, October 25, 2013

For the greater interest of society

Collectivism is better for the society
             Recently I had to visit my village which is situated in the district of Almora. Although I spent my early four years there in the village, I was too young to remember those moments. The memories of my childhood spent there have faded and whatever I remember of that are scattered in pieces, gathering and knitting them together would not make meaningful story. However, I used to spend most of my vacations there and have many unforgettable moments which made me connected to the village life as well.

    During my childhood, my grandmother showered more love to me than my own mother. Every morning I used to get a lota (brass vessel) full of milk.  She was the epitome of love atleast to us (her grandchildren) and showered us with all the love a grandmother could give to her grandchildren.  The reason of my visit this time was to attend funeral of her that is why I couldn’t abstain myself from venting my grief on this post. L

             We had to cross two hills and walk about more than five kilometers to reach there. The conditions are no different since last twenty years; nothing has changed in this regard. Some villages which are farther than my village are more than ten kilometers far from the nearest roads and what makes this journey difficult is the rugged pathways. Climbing up and down on the slopes will make this journey laboriously fatiguing.
 This time I am not blaming government for the pathetic situation, there are some people to blame, few people and because of them all villages nearby have to suffer. Everytime the concerned department surveys there, some people (those same few people) write an application and make some more people sign it by fooling them into something and the actual construction work never starts.

    Those people include;
   Ghodiwalas (Horse-Owners) : All the villagers have to be dependent on them for carrying of their luggage and they charge ferociously. They think when there will be road their whole business will be destroyed. Consequently, they unite together and do whatever they can do to stop the building of roads there. 

Who’d have to sacrifice a little part of their land:  Even my family had to spare off some land for this and the amount we will get as compensation would be meager but I know that the benefits will outweigh what we have to sacrifice but some narrow-minded, selfish bastards of my village doesn’t seem to understand.

Some jealous villagers, some absent minded people and some shop owners who think their sales will decrease because of the road people would have more accessibility which will prevent them from charging exorbitant prices, are also in this list and because of them villages there are lacking basic infrastructural facilities.

               This might be the story of many villages which are still lagging far behind in the development path. I wonder, when the people are going to come out from the net of individualism, maybe when it’s too late?? I hope not. When people will overcome these barriers of individualism then certainly this world would be better place to live. Foundation of the better tomorrow lies in collectivism, for the greater interest of society where we live in.  We have to forgo our selfish interests for the greater interest of society, of course, it will bring fruitful results in the long term.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Let's make ourselves deserving first.

Charred buses, damaged public property after the protest (who is at the loss??? We are)
                 It was a decade ago, when I was in school. Computers were rare (atleast for the lower middle class family like mine) unlike the present time when it’s an essential household item now.  My school had a computer lab and there were 10 computers in that room. The total strength of my school was more than 2000 students, so most of us hardly got any chance to operate it. On my way to school, just 50 meters far away from my school gate, there was a small structure being built, I thought maybe there were building a public lavatory but wondered why weren't they building it on the main road. One day, we came to hear about the news which was creating buzz in the whole school. There was a NGO which was going to install some computers on that structure which I previously thought as a public toilet. That was it, a small computer lab with four computers. During the day time the keyboard were kept outside and the monitor was inside those four small windows. They would shut the windows after five in the evening and open it at 10 at the morning. There was no one to keep a watch.

        Although, we heard from many about it being a free service to all but we were still cynical. Besides that, we were always scared of operating a computer without assistance as we always heard our computer teacher saying
    “If you’ll press the wrong button, it will damage the computer”
 and the fear of unknown always prevented us from operating in it.    I had my previous schooling from a private school and there was computer lab too. I knew to play games, music and typing and because of that I was leading my gang of four on that day. I told them I will show them how to operate a computer and they followed without any resistance.

         When we got there, we were disappointed to see the long lines of students waiting for their turn.  I made my way through the crowd to see what was going on there.  As usual, the school bully boys had captured all the systems.  We didn’t even think of waiting looking at the lost list of bystanders.  I told my friends that we will come some other day when they all will get bored of it.  Soon the hope turned to despair when we saw the condition of that public lab. The keyboards were missing most of the keys.  Everyone who got the chance to work in the systems took out the key with initial letters of their name.  Frustrated by this, it was shut permanently maybe by the same organisation who thought of providing free computers to the students.

       That structure is still there and wearing out gradually, lies inside piles of rubbles, telling the story of apathy of citizens and students of this city. This is just one incident of my life. I have been through many similar incidents which fill me with disgust. 
We always keep complaining about inefficiency of our government and law and keep criticizing politicians. These incidents really make me believe that saying;
  “We get what we deserve”

        Let’s make ourselves deserving first than we will be in a position to criticize. Let’s take an oath that we won’t destroy any public property and not even any private property. In protests too we destroy and damage public property then we wonder where all the public money is wasted.  Why can’t we take care of the public property like our own? If we change our behaviour and attitude towards this we will certainly be able to create a better tomorrow.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

'The teachers' everyone should have

               Like most of us, I too consider my mother as my greatest teacher but there are many things about her which make her special in many ways. Despite the physical and mental agonies which she had to go through all her life so far, she always stuck up to his empathetic nature, kindness, unconditional love and humble nature.  I inherited most of her good things in me. The best part of her is, she is always careful whatever she does and whatever she speaks so as not to hurt others and maybe that’s why I am also not that straightforward and outspoken. Seemingly, it might sound something negative but I think otherwise.  

           I don’t really remember my first day at school but I remember the first teacher whose image is never going to delete from my memories. My first teacher was a very funny guy and that too in a childish way. I guess that’s what we want when we are at the tender age of less than ten years. One more thing I should mention that he used to make fart-like sounds with clasping both palms together. I still remember him giving us the answers in a unit test though the other teacher at the room protested that. He was favourite of mine and my friends. Whether good or bad, my irrational mind of that time was unable to decide that and I still like him the way he was. I learnt enjoying my life and spreading happiness from him.

                In my secondary education I failed to learn something from the teachers there because I hardly gave attention in any class. I was not interested but forced to study. I hope you can guess from where all those force comes from.  Teachers came and went but there wasn’t any lifelong impression on me but when I entered in college life, the changes began appearing in me.
College life bring with it different people in my life, I learned different perspective of looking at things. My thoughts were getting broader than ever before. I acquired the habit of reading and this filled me with new knowledge and thinking. This was first noticed by professor Kavidyal and he started giving extra attention to me. There were times when he admired me in front of whole class and told things which I never heard before like ‘you will go a long way’. I sure wanted to be successful before as well and I thought successful meant making huge money or a higher designation. I think he meant the latter one. With the appreciation and expectation I felt compelled to work hard. What truly inspired me were not his praises but his knowledge and dedication towards his work. Besides that, he always emphasized on living life with values and ethics. Honestly speaking, other professors and teachers there, stand nowhere near him. Apart from being a good teacher of subjects, he is also a guiding light of my life. He was the first one in my student life to teach values in life. Other teachers taught subjects only but he taught many other things, constantly told us to be honest, sincere, dedicated and well behaved to all. He would always be the teacher of my student life who deserves most respect.

             Going ahead in my education, I met two more teachers who were able to put good impression on me. Mr. Pankaj Updadhyay and Mr. Maninder Singh. When I used to attent Pankaj sir’s class, I used to see Kavidyal sirs reflection on him. I attended just 4 classes of Maninder sir but this short time was enough to made a mark on me These all teachers gave me many valuable lessons in life which I am not going to forget, apart from just teaching, the lessons which might not land me in very high designation or any high paying job but certainly to a life which is worth living. All the good things I will be doing in my future will the consequence of their teachings. These persons above will always be my ideals whose teachings will guide me in every walk of life.

            I think  if everybody will get these kind of teachers in their life and learn the way I have learnt from them, I can’t guarantee a richer world but I can guarantee a better tomorrow for everyone.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why don't they (Parents) understand ??

 Parents spend most of their hard earned money on the education of their children. The education , most part of which is going to be same for everyone whether one wants to be an engineer, a doctor, a manager,  a clerk, a soldier or anyone for that matter.  You will find your parents or teachers voicing the quotes of many famous personalities. 

 I remember my father narrating me a story of a US president to whom his father once said;
   “I don’t mind if you want to become a grass cutter but you have to be the best grass cutter in the world”    
and that child went on to become US president.

 Inspired by this when I thought of commencing a business of a barber and shared my business plan, I was ridiculed by everyone in the family and my mother said to me
  “Beta, ab tujhe Naai banane ke liye itna- pada likha rahe hain ?” (are we spending so much on your education to  see you as a barber?)
     And I had to let go of my first business plan.

As my family was not very well off on economic grounds, there was no way I could have started any business which could have accepted in my family as a good business, besides that, my family wanted me to study more and more. I went on with my study and my family had to spend a huge amount of money on my education and most of which was borrowed by relatives and family friends.  I am on the verge of completing but nowhere near a well paying and satisfying job. It’s not just with me, everyone in my class. If in any way you happen to wonder whether I deserve the job or not let me tell you that there are more than 10 persons with extraordinary talent. One is a college topper from a well known university and they are also in same conditions.  The offers which we are getting are either very low paid or not satisfactory in terms of work or working conditions. Now how do you suppose me to live up to my parents expectations??
  The fault does not lie with just one thing; there are many things which are wrong. Let me share one more thing which would make it clearer to you. I am pursuing my MBA and living with my uncle. We are living in government quarter and there was some place around the quarter which was empty so he thought he can make a small garden there. He started growing vegetables there. I also help him in gardening.  We grow enough vegetables that sometimes we don’t buy any vegetable from market for six months long. The total garden area is hardly more than 3000 square feet.

This is the banana tree in the backyard which has this record number of bananas.
Some two years ago he planted a banana tree in backyard. Now they have scattered all around and we every time get to eat lot of bananas and we never had to buy. One bunch has grown so big that I think if it will grow a little bit more it will break the world record of largest number of bananas in one tree and that too without any use of pesticides and fertilizers. Now my heart desires to be in a business of organic farming (keeping in mind the land which I have inherited and which is left uncultivated back in my ancestral village. However, it still lacks basic infrastructural facilities like roads which is 4 Kilometers far from my home there).  Gardening was my hobby ever since I was just 12 years old. Not just economic advantages but it has many environmental benefits too.

The thought of being ridiculed again makes me reticent for now and besides that I don’t want to hear
Beta, agar kisaan hi banna tha to itne padne likhne ki zarurat kya thi” ( If you wanted to be a farmer then what was the need of this much education)
 but one day I want to prove everyone around that the aim of education is not just getting employed in a firm or government job but its objective is to inspire us to do what we love and apply all our knowledge and education to it so that we can be best at it.

 Presently, I won't rebel against them. I will just wait for the right moment to commit myself fully to it, for the moment when I will be self sufficient to do what I want to do and change the mindset of my generation by inspiring them to do what they want to do. This way the youngsters would not be forced to be an engineer or a doctor or anything for that matter which they don’t want to and it will certainly be a better tomorrow for them.