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In Transition

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Can We Control Ourselves!

New Year is here and we have moved ahead from 2014 to 2015. Confusion on where to start, as so much has changed in the last one year (and all for the best, which is a true blessing!) I’ve met some really great people, worked towards wonderful opportunities, and been challenged beyond my abilities and belief.

We all begin our New Year by replacing the calendar of the wall. As a kid I used to be fascinated by new calendars as they had designs of nature and some of great personalities with their quotes on it which were an inspiration for our growth.

Not many people use calendar and diaries in this age of technology. Nor do I; my task and appointment list is on the tab. But when I am at my office desk or at home and if I need to check the date, I invariably look up to the calendar hanging in front of my table. My wife still uses the calendar to mark her important dates and account of milkman. It’s a habit for us, I guess.

2014 gave us more positives, a new Prime Minister with new ideas and a hope to look forward. People criticize me for supporting the Prime Minister on communal basis. I belong to an era where development and well-being of human is important and I am not against religion’s importance. Religion is a way of life and it is our belief on our creator. India is a country with freedoms and I have my right to practice my religion which is my personal and I cannot force my beliefs on others nor someone can force me to follow a path which I do not want to.

India has always been a secular place and we have been living as one community. If our Prime Minister has been elected and given the responsibility to run the country I think we need to join hands and strengthen the team to bring the economic and social issues back on track. I also feel six months – one year or the count we have for our new government is not fair. We are bankrupt in all areas and it needs years or a miracle for anybody to set things right. I think we need to give enough time to our Honorable Prime Minister and believe in his policies, if the team doesn’t deliver then we might have to look for alternates.

People are without homes struggling in extreme temperatures both in winter and summer seasons, no jobs, women are not safe and no basic education for millions of kids. We always blame governments for all the above but remember we are part of collective consciousness and equally to be blamed. We spend more on parties, marriage and functions at home, waste food and other important materials which can give life to many across the globe. We have reached a low where we need our Prime Minister to tell us to clean ourselves and our surroundings. Is it not our moral responsibility? Why are we not pulling together to help each other out? Why waste time on discussing and protesting against something happening around us? If a movie highlights one community the entire community is on streets protesting against it. Can we join hands and walk on the same street to fight corruption and injustice? No, we have five days week and weekends for family. The society is not our family? Who are they who are living around us? Aliens – Untouchables?

The same year also saw a lot of negatives, the worst being the killings across the world in the name of war or the Peshawar killings in the name of tit-for-tat. We lost human lives, lives of known and unknown. My heart goes out to all those mothers who lost their children and 2014 is a year which probably I will never forget for having lost one my best student – Humble fool “Harsha”. May the Lord give the dead peace and strength to all the family members!

Days pass, our beloved ones go away but we are here and we have to move ahead. We cannot control two things, the happenings as it is in the hands of the Creator and people around us but definitely we can control ourselves. Let’s do it!

Here is what I hope for 2015, a massive chain reaction of working together, think as one community and not individuals. I as one human am a protector of other human around me. Hope the reality of why there is crime, corruption and society drugged with communal disharmony will hit our homes and we start making a real change in the society.

Despite my own struggles, I refuse to give up on helping others as much as I can. Remember we are at our best when we are “One”. What small initiatives each one will take to help the world be a better place? Answer lies within me and you!

I end my note wishing you all a happy, peaceful new year and – Let’s be the change which we wish to see in the world ~~ Gandhiji

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Are Schools and Parents, Creating Social Mobility?

This is a question which has disturbed me for the last couple of days. My recent visits to Chikamagalur gave me a different experience when I interacted with the students of the district. Chikmagalur literally means “The town of the younger daughter” in the Kannada language and is  situated roughly in the south-western part of Karnataka state. A large area of this district is Malenadu. The city is located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range the highest peak in Karnataka, famous for coffee and is known as the ‘coffee land’ of Karnataka.

During my workshop or students of Grade 10 a student raised her hand during the question and answer session. I was expecting a question, but she had a request, when she came up with the request I went  through with two experiences. One I appreciated the guts of this girl standing in between 500-600 students and second felt guilty when I heard her request. I quote the girl (withholding the name and school) “Sir, I wouldn’t have asked a question earlier, but your workshop has given me this confidence that I could stand and request everyone in the hall today not to ill-treat students from government schools. I am requesting this because, just the day before we had been to an event where all schools of the district had participated  private and government. One of a private school student saw my friend and asked which school you are from, when she named the school his body language got changed and he said ‘O you are from government school is it, I  could make out from the look of your faces and dresses you wear. Today I appeal and request not to treat to us like this as we are also students and ambitious as others. We would also reach for higher levels tomorrow”.

How could a Grade X student get this question unless the parents or teachers have done this in the presence of the child? What are we teaching our children? How can students of government schools be different from private schools?

Are schools and parents promoting social mobility? Based on the school a child gets educated are they taken in different social circles, different jobs and relationships?

Education should promote social mobility and benefit every child irrespective of their social background and the school they have studied.

It is moral and common sense that we should not discriminate against children because of their gender, economic, geographical  or religious background.  Parents who want to send their children to government schools are no less worthy than parents who want to send their children to private schools or international schools.  Parents who afford to have all the rights to send their kids to any private or international school, but do not teach or discriminate kids studying in government schools because, like the other schools the government schools are providing the socially valuable service of educating children, and are generally doing it no worse than any privately run schools. We have examples of great leaders and other famous personalities in the history coming from government schools. Let’s join hands and  support these government schools, encourage and help the kids reach for their goals.

I appeal to all the readers to please do not discriminate kids studying in government schools or other small schools in villages. Villages are our source of morals and they keep us fit and healthy!

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I am an Indian – Feel it!

Many a time I questioned on my state citizenship of the country. Why am I identified by a state, caste or creed rather than identifying as India and human. Today Oct 31 is Rastriya Ekta Diwas… Are we united? The minute I become a head of an organization I try to fill in the positions with friends and known people from my state and community without looking into the required qualifications. We also have a mistaken belief that my state or community people are far better from other states. Yet, we talk about diversified cultural country. History has its own glorification on each state or part of India. Beaches on South East, South West, TajMahal, Red Fort, Gateway of India, Thar Desert, Chirapunji etc. are not identified as places from a particular state, but from India. When we are away from our country we proudly say I am an Indian but when we are in the country we say I am from “…………….” State. Why do we project ourselves with two different Identity. Does this happen with other continents and countries? No, it’s only we who have two – three identities. We need to shun this and reaffirm our strength and resilience against adversaries. India believes in the Principle of co-existence with a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. Let’s join hands, unite to strengthen our nation with a belief and by calling ourselves as “Indian” Wishing you all a Happy Rastriya Ekta Diwas! Let’s feel it rather saying!

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Responsibilities and Priorities….

Balancing responsibilities and Priorities is very important for a successful life….

When you know that there is too much on your plate and you are supposed to clean up everything, most of the time we end up with a mess around the plate.

Every individual has responsibilities some have less some more. Responsibilities are shared or given to each andevery human by the creator depending on his capacity to take up and complete. As a human we cannot get tied up with one responsibility and say we have too much to complete and neglect other responsibilities or break away from relations. Relationship is very important for our survival and each relationship expects our presence than just being there miles away and declaring that I am there as a moral support you keep moving and I will support. When we do this, there is a chance that the person who required your presence might have gone too far from you and God forbid you may lose him in the crowd forever.

How do you juggle with multiple priorities and responsibilities?

A few years back I was a career person who neglected all relationships and got lost in the world which I thought is “the world”.  But as always God has his own ways of teaching his creations on the importance of juggling between every responsibility he gives, he taught me too, no matter it was a harsh way of teaching me but I realized that it is time to give importance to everything on my plate and find my way to be with everyone important in my life.

Simple tools which I adopted and suggest you to adopt in life to make sure you complete your tasks in time and reach your goal is set your goal, stay focused, get organized, work backwards, set systems, delegate, trust, get help from friends and family members and do not make compromises.

Dump all your to-dos in that system…. A simple example of setting systems is to maintain punctuality in every work you do. Most of the time we have a chalta hai attitude and we stay awake late and wake up mid-afternoon by which the world is done with 90% of the tasks. We join in late and scream at the top of our voice that we do not have enough time. Remember successful people had the same 24 hours as we have. The difference is we sleep 16 hours and work for 8 hours they slept for 6 hours and worked for 18 hours. Try this – it will work!

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2 responses to “In Transition

  1. B.V.Rajalakshmi

    January 26, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Well written and close to one’s Heart.

     
    • umri

      January 26, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Madam!

       

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