Monthly Archives: January 2008

Who will teach them?

In an educational system, where getting the maximum marks is your sole aim of studying, where understanding or depth of knowledge, especially, application skills are ignored ; yet they talk about reforms and revert to square one, we students are at a loss. The age old value of ‘don’t say anything against your teacher’ is instilled in us. But today, we are criticized of not respecting them, not valuing them and turning against them. As we grow, isn’t it true that we speak our mind, we develop our individuality and question things that we find hard to accept.
A guest lecturer who came in today , (who is the reason behind me blogging this now ) , stated the truth. “These days students know only to bunk classes. Research revealed that the main reason for this is, students find their lecturers much below their expectations. What can you expect from a lecturer who took up this profession where all doors were closed and had to take up this job? The smartest of the lot, go in to the corporate world and the future generations are left in the hands of these people, and the students are at the receiving end. Unless you get good teachers by paying them well , supported by a good infrastructure, this situation cannot be changed “.
Woah! this was coming from a lecturer and I’d been planning to blog about the same for a long time. The idea for writing about our system sprung up when my tests began and due to complete lack of interest in studies, Me and a friend ended up discussing how the educational system sucks. What else could be better excuse for not studying?
All the while, the lecture went on and I was left thinking about the most important factor the lecturer mentioned. Pay more, and get the smart ones. It s so true. The changing facets of the profession is so evident. in our present-day world. What was once considered a respectable profession, that earned you a good reputation in the society has now become a degrading profession. Sincerity, dedication, commitment and perseverance, the qualities expected of a good teacher is now replaced by thoughts of money, pay hike, allowances and finding easy means to attain cent per cent results so also, trying their level best to get out of the profession.
Who is responsible for this situation? The low paying government? The students who claim they know better than the teachers? The teachers themselves who start off a class complaining about how less they are paid and why they landed in this profession? The system itself?
Its easy to crib and complain, but if certain facts and observations are overlooked, the whole lot of future generations will be in a jeopardy.
I actually heard these words from a lecturer about a student, ” I was on the interview panel for her admission to Ph.D in this college. The interview went well, but I didn t like her beahviour previously. I don’t want her to pollute the atmosphere in that xyz college.( remember she s a guest lecturer and not talking about our college).So, I rejected her”
Now how would you analyze this stance? A student’s future is at stake coz her behaviour is unacceptable in the eyes of the lecturer (the unacceptable behaviour=the kind of clothes she wore while in junior college. Ph.d – junior college= approx.7 years difference).Do you think in 7 years time she wouldn’t have changed at all?
Where are teachers’ who always knew it, when you were treading the wrong path and tried to correct you (indirectly toning your skills to be righteous)? Where are the teachers who were proud of their students when they made it big? Where are the teachers who never felt the need to claim credit or grab the limelight for their students’ achievements but still gained it?
Does the modern teacher command respect as she used to before? Do they realize how they have to refurbish themselves to quench the thirst for knowledge of Gen-Y who live in the world where intellect, dynamism and competence rule?

To be continued…

PS: the author is in an infuriated state of mind, attributed to hunger and the insanity of a few people around..
* sigh*

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Its not fair on the darker side

Our concept of beauty is still envisioned as to having a fair-skin. Remember those fairness cream ads which had gripped the Indian consumers?
There is a girl who is on the darker side but she is deprived of all opportunities in life owing to the same reason. She can’t accomplish what she wants in life, she is a burden on her parents and she goes unnoticed or she is subject to the ridicule of the society.
Then she applies fair and lovely or other fairness creams and her life is transformed overnight.
She gets the job she wants, she becomes a cricket commentator, she becomes an air-hostess to bear the burden of her family, she is given a role in a film, the hottest hunk falls for her, she is now envied by everyone around her.
Parents whose heart starts to beat faster once their daughter become 18 years old, spend on those worthless tubes of fairness creams. Check any matrimonial ad and it goes like this, “proposals invited from young, fair, good-looking, god-fearing…blah blah”…always its the fairer side.
Our perception on beauty and skin-colour is undoubtedly like this,”fair is beautiful”. From our very childhood the difference between being fair-skinned and dark-skinned is instilled in our thought process. My mom was telling me the other day, that as a baby, I’d never go into the arms of dark complexioned people. In school, we were playing this game of master’s and servants and one of them says,” All dark people will become servants”.
I heard this cousin of mine telling her parents,” You, don’t love me because I’m dark. You only like my sister who is fair”. The child said this when she was hardly 5 years old. And who is guilty, the whole battalion of my fair-skinned aunts, aunts’ aunts and all possible maternal or feminine relations (who were to proud of their fair genes but were being unfair)who went on and on about ” Why only this child in the family”. I have seen her grow and I’m hurt to see how much of this non-sense has affected her confidence levels. From a smart, active kid she has now turned into an introvert, with very low self-esteem.
If a girl is dark, is it the end of the world for her? There have been instances of parents who were embarrassed because they had a dark complexioned child, girl being ill-treated by her in-laws for her dark complexion, everywhere we see this stigma being attached to dark complexion. In spite of all the progress we have made, why do we still encourage such ludicrous notions?Beauty lies within,all say that, but who bothers?
The craze for getting a fairer skin, spending huge sums of money to become fair, to become beautiful, to escape from the ridicule of the society goes on. It has now influenced the middle-class to a large extent. The target group of adolescent girls are in a frenzy over this obsession with fairness augmented by the commercials, putting themselves into various health risks. It has moreover created a social bias towards darker people.
But we still continue the race, or go with the herd… fair is beautiful, fair is succesful, fair is everything.


Saree story part 2

If Saree shopping was a pain, draping a saree is even more painful. I know few years down the line I wouldn’t be saying this. But, as of now, yours truly is just stepping in to adulthood, with high heels and flaunting her new saree. It all began last day.For those of you wondering what it was all about. The day before republic day is observed as Saree Day in my college. Being an all girls college you might as well guess what would be the situation. Everyone had just one topic to discuss i.e.,decide what saree to wear. So after that strenuous, painstaking, tiring experience of saree shopping

I had to show off right?

Having been busy with fests and tests, and then post test phenomena( you know what s that) realization struck that, Saree alone won’t do. Accessories are also equally important. Since there were quite a few tubelights, the association of I’ll-do-it-in-the-last-minute girls set out to looter’s paradise and shopper’s nightmare Commercial street. By the time everyone found the matching and mix and match and mis match and ended the whole process of match-making, it was late. Then, it was all about beautification. Waxing, hair-straightening, curling, perming, threading, bleaching, french( Portuguese, Italian, Mexican),whatever manicure and pedicure and all cures . Looks like the hostelites are soon planning a business venture in the beauty care industry to meet the expenses of our (exorbitant) hostel fee
Morning dawned and, even before, the first rays of the sun kissed our windows, the girls were in action. Draping a Saree, when you are in the learning stage is nothing short of action. What would you do if you find yourself, entangled in a 5-6 m piece of cloth oops..saree.
There are two categories of people who wear Sarees. Don’t worry I’m not gonna start bantering about various styles of draping a Saree. Coming back to the point, the two types are , people who can dress up perfectly well in sarees, themselves and people who can dress up others perfectly well in sarees.(Too, much of hypothesis and research in socio class has gotten into my head). So, the entire sisterhood united, irrespective of caste, culture, religion, nationality and all such barriers which do no good to the society, to help each other in the wearisome task of wearing a saree.

Few things I learnt in this arduous task of flaunting my saree.

*Accessories count, but never forget to buy the most important accessory.. Safety pins. Anyone who lost their safety pins this day, can count on me. Its always the beg-borrow-steal policy sisters.
*Putting pleats is not as easy as you think, when you spend a considerable amount of time, like half an hour, adjusting it.
* Never give an excuse to the lecturer, that you were late to class coz you were wearing a saree.
* Its good to wear heels, but be careful not to fall head over heels.
*If its your bad hair day, then forget it.
*Make sure to compliment everyone you know, who is wearing a saree but don’t be snoopy to ask anyone why aren’t they wearing a saree.
*You needn’t smile for every single photograph being taken else your jaws will hurt.
* However hard you try to convince girls that they look thinner in saree, they wouldn’t accept.
*Even if the saree is perfectly draped and pinned properly, you won’t get peace of mind, unless you fidget with it at least once.
*Its difficult to make out the difference between a student and a young lecturer on this day.
*My favorite lot in Bangalore, the autowallahs mint money this day.
*There was a competition among us hostelites as to who would come back to the room maximum number of times to adjust their saree.
*The score keeper for the above mentioned competition was the dudette who was constantly stuck in front of the mirror near the stairs at the entrance.
*Your Saree’s pallu is something to be handled with utmost care.
*After swaggering your saree the entire day, you need to get out of it also.
*It’s necessary to fold the saree too. And even that is not an easy task, as it seems to be when your mom is doing so. But practice makes a man perfect. Offer to help your mom when she s back from office after a tiring day. You’ll learn the task and wouldn’t have to struggle as I had to.

This is the Saree story. The purpose of writing this blog is to make it a reference in years to come,.for all you future ladies and wives for whom wearing a saree will be something that’s done once in a blue moon and for all you gentlemen who need to rise up to the occasion when the blue moon occurs and handle all the mental distress your ladies will be going through while wearing a saree.


Trapped in the NET

When was the last time you got screamed at (especially by your mom) for being an Internet addict?
My mom’s exact words goes like this,”ya, be trapped in the net”… (staying away from home is a blessing in certain occasions, like you can be online as long as you wish) *wink*, I know ma, I m being mean!
The wifi in our campus crashed, after all it needed some rest over the weekend. With almost 100 of us, in home away form home plus the managers in the making, utilizing its capacity to the maximum, it decided to go for a strike. Or as per the IT admns of our college, it was sick! It couldn’t bear the overload?
Anyways, this was the weekend after those gruelling, brain raking,herculean task of giving our exams. All hopes of having a nice weekend surfing and watching movies online, vanished into thin air. Apart form cribbing about the food and warden, once again all of us were united for a common cause. Why the hell isn’t the net working?And exactly 3 hours ago when wifi was back to life again, everything seemed to be back to normal.
Today Gen-Y belongs to the Internet addicts. A whole lot of people whose lives depend completely on the .coms. One day without Internet and you can actually see people exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. Life is so boring yaar, life sucks man,,these are few lines I got to hear with more frequency over the weekend.
Recently, I read somewhere that 67% of the Internet users in India belong to the16-35 age group. From what began as e-mail and chat, today we have a new social class of youth whose lives revolve around the world wide web. Being a part of it, I too agree, the Internet has made lives lot more easier. Today I can connect with my friends in any part of the world, I found, so many long-lost pals through social networking sites( why sound hi-fundo..Its as simple as orkut or facebook), I can save money on phone calls ( all beacuse of you wifi), I needn’t face the wrath of the irritating librarians begging them to issue a certain book, or take photocopies from a reference book, All the world’s information in right in front of me, when I need to correspond with someone, officially or unofficially all I need to do is type an e-mail, employment opportunites have gone up, people found their life-partners in the web. Needless to say, the internet has exerted its influence and altered our lives. If you wanna read more about it (get yourself a copy of THE WORLD IS FLAT). Techonolgy is great (Remember these words from a fairly technically challenged specimen).
But, this single weekend had me thinking, life has lot more to it, when you come out of the web.
When I actually when to a friend’s room after a long time coz I needed something, it struck me. Its been ages I’ve been to her room. The reason being, we always used to chat via net and never got to see each other during college days coz of our different schedules though we stayed in the same hostel. I’d read about how students in hostels of IIT miss out on their social life coz even people in rooms next to each other talk to each other via chat or msgr( some ignorant writer, jealous coz he couldn’t make it to the IIT must have written this, I’m saying this to save my skin before the IIT junta pounce on me :P). For that matter, even people in the adjoining cubicles of the corporates correspond with each other in a similar fashion. and we have people complaining about health hazards and increasing stress levels partially attributed the dot com revolution. But do these factors overpower the tremendous changes techonology has brought about?
Today when my roomy said, ” hey, she is sleeping, that means the net is not working”, I had the shock of my life! Am I actually trapped in the net? Have I automatically become an Internet addict? Does my sleep depend on whether net is working or not?
By the way, why am I talking about myself? I’m sure most of you out there face a similar situation. Are we actually Internet addicts or is it a new lifestyle? Are we trapped in the net or is it that our talents are being tapped and enhanced through the net?
And coming from this self-proclaimed gyaani- anything exercised with self control can never harm you..But the other side of gyaani thinks , isn’t it when things went out of control, great revolutions were born?


The Fraud Mallu Syndrome

Reports have revealed that Fraud Mallu Syndrome(FMS)has now transmuted to varied forms. Earlier, the species of Fraud Mallu comprised of people who were born and brought up outside Kerala, born in Kerala- brought up outside Kerala, whose ancestors are form kerala etc.
The FMS has swept in with the smart Mallus mainly in age-group of 16-30 stepping out of the state to pursue their studies, to work etc.
The symptoms of this syndrome are exhibited differently according to changing climatic and geographical conditions.Here is what you got to look out for:
Outside Kerala
* tries to put up a fake accent yet the MTI ( mother tongue influence) is still evident.(dont you dare make fun of Mallu accent)
* Knows only kurichu kurichu Maliyalam
* coz he/she was educated in an english-medium school, his knowledge of mother-tongue is restricted to colloqiual usages.
* Go shopping for branded clothes only when they have a vacation coming up and are headed back to mallu land.
* Straightened hair, trendy haircuts, camouflage, make over, hide undesirable features blah blah.. its party time for salons when Mallus try their level best by these means to avoid the question and answer ” Are you a mallu? You look like one”
* Undergoes an attitude change and has refurnished his knowledge of swearing. The t, p, m words are replaced my the f, s, a words
* has lots to say about the serene beaches and backwaters of Kerala.
* craves to have Mallu food, puzhukallari choru and kodampuli itta meen curry( par-boiled rice and fish curry )but would confess about this craving only when he is alone or in a gang of really close mallu friends and on a high.
*When he is going home, he makes it official,”oh! what will I do, I’ll definitely grow sideways, by the time i get back” and the unsaid words go like this..do have a good look at me as long as I am like this, don t fail tp recognize me when I am back.
*and to get something done..will always use the lines “allenkilum, nammal ellam malayalis alle”? (Afterall, we are all
Malayalis right?)

In Mallu land
* starts conversing with his co-passengers, and talks mostly about anything and everything exposing the fraud.
*Complains about the political instability in his state, how he is deprived of opportunities within his state, and how, rampant opportunities are available outside kerala
*tends to forget certain words in Malayalam due to lack of frequent usage. Confused between how to address his friends..dude or aliya!
*shows off his branded stuff, you can actually see a nike or reebok showroom walking down the paddy fields of mallu land.And tries umpteen times to convince people around him, what is it to be branded. Poor mallu country cousins are aware of only one kind of branding i.e.,Branding of livestock.
*During shopping sessions, the affected complain about the cheap quality of stuff available and how good quality stuff is available back in their temporary place of residence, yet they’ll shop till they drop.
*develops business plans and speculates on how successful it would be if a mc’d’s was opened next to the local pub a.k.a kallu shop(toddy shop), where you get to hear what is music to your ears and can see everyone swaying.
*talking about kallu shop, few shots of naadan kallu and the real mallu is reborn. All the deceit is washed away by the kallu(toddy).
*He shamelessly binges on meencurry(fish curry), beef fry , kappa ( tapioca) etc and the Fraud mallu becomes a glutton. Now he’s not bothered about his increasing size, sideways.
This is the present situation in Kerala where the disease has spread almost 10% across the state.Shame on you affected ill people, who try to shun their real Mallu identity outside the state. Do not forget your roots and be proud to be a part of God’s own country. Its a fact that you adapt to changing places and circumstances but should it be done at the cost of your identity as a Malayali? You’re the real Frauds.
Future of this syndrome:
The fraud mallu factor is an important criteria in the marriage market presently..
Thus, 2 fraud mallus unite or (later on)untie and produce a new generation of fraud(squared) mallus and
the day is not far, when these fraud(squared)mallus alienate themselves from their roots and origins and you know what happens next!!!!!!!! heard the story of the baby crow who flew away from his nest, you learnt in your kindergarten oops..nursery..?????


I had a bad day

Its as plain as that..Mayhem, confusion, impediment, a severe body ache, a running nose , Monday morning blues, post fest and pre test depression can do this to you.
still trying to figure out?????? read on..
When I woke up, it struck me at least today I have to give my clothes to the dhobi or else …ah never mind.
Realization dawned that my tests begin, ya actually begin in another 2 days. I was busy enquiring about the syllabus and taking xerox copies of notes. These days I believe the xerox machine is the greatest invention by mankind, which has been worthwhile to the student community. But you do feel the pinch..(in eco terms).. First hour and first set of notes…Once, I got delayed, well it’s O.k.
Second time, I go and again the machine gets conked up…ok..its just not my day. But the machine getting screwed up for the third time, something is really wrong with me.I ‘m jinxed.
My patience was put to test yet once again by the girls who were pushing their way through the crowd and the xerox machine which refused to oblige to my despair. Few more minutes of waiting in the crowd and hunger pangs struck. O.K I can control for few more minutes. But the minutes became hours. Finally, I managed to squeeze my way to the counter in canteen. I was reminded of this quote I read somewhere, “Stay hungry, stay stupid” or something like that.
Warning/Advice for all fellow collegemates : If you suffer from a terrible body ache and require a body massage, just get into the crowd at the canteen. You will be subject to turnaround sessions with girls pushing you to the front and girls again pushing you back when they are making their way out. Its an experience of a lifetime and I mean it. I manage to get to the front finally after about 30 twists and turns, comparable to a washing machine experience! But in case you have bad cold and you deliberately sneeze without covering your nose, you can make your way easily as the girls obviously wouldn’t want to come anywhere close to you. This was an accidental discovery, like our primitive ancestors leant how to cook, because I didn t mean not cover my nose. Its just that in the twists and twirl exercise, I couldn t even lift my hands, and I lost all self control.. AAAAAAAAchoooooooooo. For once , things that went wrong, worked right for me.. the body ache lessened and the cold helped me reach the counter faster.
Me: Chechi, idly?
Che: No
Me:vada?
che : no
and I knew dosa would take ages. Finally I had Sambhar bath. Now any bath/baath in this part of the world relates to some dish made of rice..like bissi bele baath, khaara baath etc But I had a Sambhar bath literally. The girl standing next to me got nudged by some impenitent soul and lo.there was sambhar all over me. Thank god I’m in the hostel, and I could change quickly. I stayed hungry for another hour. Needless to say, I was wondering, did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? Why is it that everything has to go wrong today itself? I managed with a cup of coffee and disaster struck again. I burnt my tongue and spilt coffee all over my dress, and there was neither any time nor any clothes left for another change.(remember I’d given my clothes to dhobi). Climbing, running, huffing and panting I reached the 3rd floor, being stopped by a few friends on the way. heck, I so badly wanted to talk to them , but the time factor was a risk factor. Why do the wrong people always turn in at the wrong times!( I sincerely apologize my friends). I enter and the lecturer frowns at me and nods her head. The message is clear, “You better get out of class instead of wasting my time”.
Even my message was clear,” To hell with it, I’m just 30 seconds late and skipped breakfast for the sake of reaching early. Now I have all the time in the world to satisfy my craving for masala dosa”.
Re-entry to the canteen. I get the much yearned for, plate of stumptous mouth watering dosa.
I touch the dosa and its as cold as ice. Damn! but I didn t have the strength to complain anymore.
When things just dont come your way, you accept things in the way they come.
So, now I have two jobless hours when I can actually attempt to study something but I am not in the right mood for it.
(Did I mention about venting all my frustration by blogging?) And I’ve been humming the Daniel Powter song, “You had a bad day” all day long


Post fest and Pre-test depression

The week that was..
The first half of the week was all about hogging in India Coffee House in M.G, the masala dosa and the discussions you get to hear there is priceless. Meanwhile, the frantic search for a judge/judges for the mock press event of our fest was on. 3 people backed off on after the other, in the order, on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday which had my constantly low blood pressure rising. Finally God answered my prayers and we got one.
Thursday saw Cul-Ah 2008, our annual inter-collegiate fest off to a colorful start, this time the theme being MardiGras. True to its theme, the college in ruins wore a carnival look, attributed to the crammed but highly expensive stalls, posters, banners and the gals all (except me) in for a makeover. This fest is the only opportunity for the male species of Bangalore to step into this paradise without much trouble in their way.
The Western dance event had the Loyolites setting the stage on fire. What a performance it was? speechless and spellbound, that’s how I would describe it. The following day had mad-ads, Indian dance, Big fight and the main highlight was the fashion show. The final day we had our mock press, the much awaited event solely coz it was being organized by our association. :P.
Honestly, I was quite apprehensive about it all but even more elated when the whole thing went about without any hitches and it actually turned out to be a success.
Personality and a scintillating performance by Slain, a rock band, marked the blissful end to my very last cul-ah. After head banging I had my head splitting. It was a serious headache. Maybe, the past 3 days took its toll on me.
But why am I keeping this post on our fest so short if it had been all fun and excitement and so much to write about. The culprit : our atrocious college authorities who decided to have our internals from coming Wednesdays. And today being a Sunday I ve been wondering, what do I do? Take rest or study. By evening I was suffering from post cul-ah/pre-test depression and as usual I’m venting all my frustration in this blog. Why the hell do they have to conduct internals this very week. It s like a penance ,, as if we committed some big crime during our fest.
So right now I ‘m in the pre-test depression phase…will last for another week. Meanwhile lemme go dig the syllabus and put my grey cells to use for few days..
signing off…
maybe I’ll blog to soothe myself from exam tension ..( if that ever happens)