‘Brown girl’s guide to gender’ – Don’t just share, also care!

My FB feed is filled with shares and re shares of ‘a brown girl’s guide to gender’ . PFB the link  – https://www.facebook.com/unerasepoetry/videos/1795716974027360/
Albeit i don’t disagree, i am amused to see a few people sharing that video. Yes, for those obvious reasons 🙂
This piece is for all of them.

Boys who don’t want to hear about vaginas bleeding
to them the video seems to be very pleading
but note you guys, it’s not just abt video sharing,
only your future actions will show how much are you caring.

she says vaginas are are meant to be fucked, breasts meant to be sucked, and mouths meant to be blown – believe me, nobody taught men this, neither as child nor when they were grown
It’s not about vaginas , breasts, mouths and their ability. What we need to change is the mentality. It’s true we all know and how it spreads is what ‘they’ need to know.

I am sorry i had been a part of those comparisons between waist and an hour glass and i really wish i could have then itself taken their class. But i had remained silent.

For it boiled down to only sexual interaction, not just for one but everyone. Some have grown but many are yet to change. So not just for your sister, your mother or your friends, they are all India’s daughter. Aren’t they?
Teach the sons to not care if the jeans are long or the tops are high,
for then will be they be able to talk to women in the eye.
For him it might be just a comment passing by
but for her it was fear that she had to live her life by.

You want your wives to be smart intelligent independent, ambitious and more, but doing so at young age they are called a whore, a slut, a skank and more
so stand up now. stand up and slam that moron, for the start of a change will only happen thereon

I am not saying that everyone did it but everyone has been a part to such a conversation and not revolting would have been due to some hesitation. Now is the time you raise a voice, for it’s a matter of HER choice

So, what i am trying to say here is

I am sorry that I was a bought up in a society where i was protective to a girl more out of fear then affection
where knowingly unknowingly every man has been a part of desecration
now is the time to not just the talk the path, rather build the guts to also walk that path.

I am also thankful to a handful few. The few who in process of making womanhood a boon are also making sure that manhood doesn’t turn a bane – for only then shall the society gain.


Present day education reforms: A big step or a giant leap!

One of the stakeholders, I believe, in India’s development is education. Even articles in the Indian constitution promote free and compulsory education as a fundamental right to children between 6 to 14 years of age. The present day India has seen/is seeing a lot of reforms in the way education is being imparted (or as in these days – broadcasted) to the masses. From Kerala achieving universal primary education to the innovative technical ways to make education fun, India seems to be witnessing all that is needed for entire India to achieve Universal Education status.

Being raised in a family of teachers and having pursued it (both as a student or sometimes as a teacher) for most of my life till now, the Hows and Whys of the way education is being imparted by teachers and the way it is received by students have always made me curious. Most of the times I have been able to sense an answer but present day reforms seem to have taken my sixth sense for a spin!

In India education is provided by both public sector and private sector and apparently both of them are behind reforming education system in their own sweet ways. Let’s take a look at few reforms happening in both the sectors

Government outlook: With the Modi wave gracing India’s political atmosphere, it seems to be also strong holding the imposition via educational changes. Schools and books are turning saffron (I mean literally too, a school in Rajasthan was gifted orange cycles to put a check on the drop out rate), the uniforms are changing from khadi to khaki (RSS coloured), FIRs are being filed against a professor in Rajasthan for having invited a professor from a college in Delhi, chapters in history books are being changed to NOT highlight a great ruler because he was NOT Hindu, a national leader (J.L Nehru) is no more being taught about and his act of emergency being turned as a dark period in Indian democracy, all of this in the name of curriculum restructure. This doesn’t sound right! Does it!

Chronologically, let’s talk Akbar . The newly rewritten textbooks say Akbar is no longer ‘Akbar – The Great’ because Maharana Pratap defeated him at battle of Haldighati! So what! Was ‘winning the battles’ only thing that made him great! No. The answer is No. He was great because he knew the difference between defeating and humiliating his opponent. He was great because after defeating them, he made alliances with enemies who in return acknowledged his leadership as their king, which kept the then India united. If Ain-i-Akbari (the third volume of Akbar Nama, history of Akbar’s reign, by his close friend and courtier, Abul Fazal) is to be believed, Akbar is the initiator of sulh-i kul or “universal peace” – An idea of tolerance that did not discriminate between followers of different religions in his era. Instead sulh-i kul focuses on ethics – honesty, justice, peace which are universally applicable. This made him great and definitely students can still learn how important these virtues are to have even in a modern day’s global leader.

Let’s move closer to independence and talk about our first prime minister of independent India. Chacha Nehru . Chacha, who? This is how future generations are going to react few years from now! The new Science book for Class VIII in schools of Rajasthan erased Chacha Nehru from the pages of history. It fails to mention who India’s first Prime Minister was! Yes, he was not entirely a hero but we don’t simply abhor him. He made a bold move in being ambitious and focusing on Industrialization more than agriculture barring which India could also have emerged as a vibrant industrial nation had it organized it’s land ownership, irrigation and other agricultural activities so as to first generate surplus income for its masses. Yes, he is associated with all the dynasty rule, red-tapism, corruption and minority appeasement but he is also responsible for stable democracy, secularism, establishment of IITs & IIMs and Nuclear program – don’t we anymore want the future generations to adore the good in a leader while also learn a lesson from his failures. Don’t we want the next generation to have their own views and opinions by knowing both sides of the coin!

Private Sector also has a lot happening, thanks to the start-up boom India has witnessed in the last couple of years. These people are not just changing the ways India can learn, from personalisation of courses to use of VR technology, but also trying to penetrate education deeper to the masses.

Plastic Water Labs is trying to solve the ‘poor comprehension’ problem by introducing VR technology. With students gaining the experience of observing and interacting with the subject matter, seems to be a near perfect ‘digital education’ platform .

Dost Education provides a platform for women who wish to be a part of their child’s education but lack the knowledge and resources in doing so. It is a mobile based platform that provides voice-based curriculum via mobiles, allowing mothers to be better involved and educated about their children’s’ education

XPrep provides an aggregator platform for tutors to improve the visibility and engagement not just with students but also with parents of these students.

Edudharma is trying to bridge the gap of affordability issue to avoid drop out rates at higher education levels. It has created an online crowdfunding platform for corporates & individuals, to finance the needs of students in a systematic manner.

Not to forget, a name which most of you would be familiar with, BYJUs. As the recent TV add depicts, BYJUs has almost succeeded in changing every students first love from teachers to mobile based subject matter. The man behind this, BYJU himself has made learning both engaging and personalised. His passion to reform this experience keeps him continuously working on innovative ways to do so. With the launch of mobile platform BYJU is witnessing 20% month on month growth when it comes to converting students into serious paid users.

Remember, my sixth sense going for a spin! Here’s why that happens – Both these public and private reforms seem to take me into a state of cognitive dissonance. At one end there are all these attempts to provide free elementary education that have resulted in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) improving from 81.6% in 2000-01 to 97% in 2015. Education has also succeeded in inducing gender empowerment and equality. Gender Parity Index (GPI) at primary level has already crossed 1. Then on the other hand we have the so called ‘curriculum restructuring’ which seems to fade away some important aspects of Indian history from future generations. The feeling is no different when it comes to private sector. At one end there is technology that is providing on the go ‘everything’ literally everything what you need to know to understand a course and on the other hand you have the schooling experience that is getting, if I can use the word, individualistic. Schools were meant to not just be an institution of marks but rather an institution of morals and beliefs, which when I see missing in the new generation, fears me. Schools were called a child’s second home. No matter how much we hated those moral science lectures at school, we grew up learning the application of those beliefs and values at school itself.

Education is one area that everybody is working on be it the government, the NGOs or the entrepreneurs. These reforms seem to be exploring every aspect of education experience. With the ratio of public schools to private schools in the ratio of 7:5, will this era of education reforms go down in history as one big step which will help India achieve a developed status or will this be a big leap which, at the cost of secularism at one end and concept of institution at the other, result in may be a universal literacy but only an educated few!

Well, They say Nothing beats time, I should let time provide an answer.

Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli – Why there should be no comparison!

If there is one chant that has ever been recited at the same time throughout the Nation (way b4 the recent “ache din” in today’s scenario) it was – “Sachin Sachin… Sachinnn Sachhinnn”. Not once or twice or thrice, but every time He walked out to bat – An omniscient Yogi who lived an ascetic life on & off those 22yrds as the primal Atman (soul) of the Indian Cricket team: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

If Shiva is “the transformer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu then Sachin is “the transformer” within the Trimurti, the legendary trio that includes Rahul Dravid (the protector – whenever the team was threatened) and Saurav Ganguly (the creator – of the modern Indian team). Unlike the attributes of Shiva, Sachin’s most iconographical attributes comprise only of his weapon of choice – a 3lb 4oz bat which, in his fierce aspects, he would use to demolish demons (bowlers) at will, in any part of the world He wanted!

Over the years Sachin grew as a faith which was a consequence of not just the wins but also WHEN and HOW those wins happened. Along with liberalization of industry and trade in the 1980s & integration of Indian economy with the world, one of the prime reasons behind ‘growing India’ was National Confidence. It was a decade when India as a nation was recovering from the inferiority complex developed in the minds of its people as an impact of colonialism. As also quoted by Douglass North – “Belief structures get transformed into societal and economic structures into institutions—both formal rules and informal norms of behavior. The relationship between mental models and institutions is an intimate one.” Businessmen understand the value of confidence in entrepreneurial success and in creating a climate for investment; Historians too emphasize the power of self-belief in national success

It was during this era that one man made an entire Nation together identify itself as a ‘not to be taken lightly’ force. One might be able to replicate the persistence, the commitment, the dedication or maybe even the class & love Sachin had for the game but what one will never be able to replicate is belief. A belief not only in the Indian dressing room but also in another almost billion people.

Sachin Tendulkar is one of the flag bearers amongst all those who announced India’s presence on a world stage and ignited in every Indian a fire, howsoever small, a fire of self-confidence and being an Indian. Glued to the TV sets watching India win those, as Doordarshan would put it, ‘kaante ki takkar ke matches’ a new self-belief emerged among the urban Indian youth. As if a new aura floated around the nation! Emulating those flawless drives students grew on ambition, discussing the number of centuries Sachin has hit for winning cause office goers bonded (or unbounded –most times) with their colleagues, with superstition and joy families came together.  After very innings, a single feeling encompassed the entire nation and Sachin would be the talk of every possible conversation corner. Cricket was no more just a game and He was not just a sportsman. With Him having spent 24yrs at those 22yrds, most of us have traversed through all such phases leaving all our cricketing worries to only one Man who matured as an emotion in most of Indians. From ruthlessly being criticized for His failure to being the soul of expectations of a billion people, Sachin has found a place in every Indian’s heart that is irreplaceable. And once the master got into any lean patch, there was one questions which deprived many of their sleeps – “who will be the next Tendulkar” – the backbone of Indian cricket team!!

Fortunately for most ardent cricket lovers it didn’t take long to get answered. Since Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013, one Indian cricketer has commanded the adulation that the master once received. As a chant of “Koh-liiii! Kohli!” reverberates around the stadium every time this young flamboyant Indian captain comes out to bat, and the sublimity with which he hits the bowlers all around the park, people are assured that the Indian Cricket team is in one of the most dynamic and responsible hands of the sport. This Delhi dynamo became the first Indian since Rahul Dravid in 2011 to accumulate more than 1,000 Test runs in a year, he is first batsman to average over 50 in all three formats as well as being the highest international run-scorer of 2016. Kohli’s drive for excellence might echo Tendulkar’s, who indefatigably refined his skills to accumulate over 34,000 runs and 100 centuries in a 24-year career. Like Tendulkar, Kohli has a near-flawless technique, which helps him tackle pace and spin with equal ease and India look to him every time they hit the rough, as they did for two decades with the “Little Master”. And, like Tendulkar, Kohli is rapidly becoming a darling of corporations keen to associate their brands with a player whose expressive nature has touched a nerve with India’s youth. But shall Kohli be compared to “The GOD” himself!! Hmm!!

Sachin is a cricketing GOD to India; and Kohli is nothing but his incarnation.

Sachin: Shiva :: Kohli : Hanuman (None less Godly)

To start with, the name Hanuman means “one with prominent or disfigured jaw”. Another theory says the name is derived from the Sanskrit words Han (“killed” or “destroyed”) and maana (pride); the name implies “one whose pride was destroyed”. And as for our captain, well with his near perfect bearded jawline and his chiseled physique, he already is the poster boy of Indian Cricket. But this has not come easy. Kohli got into the team early, but with Sachin and Sehwag in the team was not able to make it consistently in the playing 11, and every time he did make it, he made sure he didn’t fall short of runs. Being the new kid on the block in a gentlemen’s game, every time Kohli was aggressive on the field, he was criticized. Even the Aussies showered phrases like “spoilt brat “ etc. when he went out to bat during his life changing series in Australia. And now, even the teams around the world have realized this the hard way- you don’t mess with Kohli’s Pride. It will bring out the best in him! 
Just like Hanuman – Kohli too, an incarnation of The GOD, was an ardent devotee of his Captain (M.S.Dhoni – the Maryada Purshottam of Indian Cricket Team: will shed more light on this in my next article perhaps). What gets Kohli closest to being compared to Hanuman for me is his Shape Shifting attribute. Just as Hanuman would enlarge & immediately afterwards contract his body to out-wit demons, Kohli’s ease in shifting his mental focus from playing a test to playing a T20, to outwit bowlers, is reflected in his sublime performance in all 3 formats of the game.

So, how do we compare them? Well, The answer is we don’t.

Sachin, Saurav, Dravid are divine entities to whom, like Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, the team would look up to when in crisis! And like Hanuman who became so powerful having been blessed with one of every GOD’s powers, Virat Kohli took on himself to learn & inculcate all the qualities these batting greats possessed. A lot of this also has to do with the evolution of the Game itself. Cricket over the years has evolved immensely and so have the players and followers of the game. In his own aggressive ways, with utter devotion to his (former) captain and reverence for his idol, Kohli has already given the team a new energy and attitude that will define a new era in the game. Both Sachin and Kohli, like Shiva and Hanuman, are just two different perspectives with which Indians watch their TV sets. A greater love & respect for one does not mean lesser for the other.