Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Saturday, April 29, 2006


currently reading herman hesse's classic. was recommended strongly.
strong stuff on atma, happiness, asceticism, ego and what not.
it is a series of stuff that has been going on in my mind since the last few months on the same lines of exploration of the inner recesses of the mind. one thinks as one adds on more and more knowledge and wisdom, the more control one exercises over the mind.
i am seeing that perhaps it works the other way. in many ways the acquisition of knowledge is no less an egoistic pursuit than the pursuit of comfort and wealth. it comes of clearly in the book.
looking into myself at this point, and this is something that has been on my mind since the midnight rendezvous at the airport with nm and ss, i see how much it applies to my current state. coming to think of it, my friend - affly called 'dog' henceforth, has been barking into my head all this while - the relinquishing of material pursuits does not a saint (using it very^google loosely) make.

about time to shake off the cobwebs, wake up and smell the roses.
glad to be able to make the tiny first step towards understanding all this.
many more steps and falterings await me...and i await them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

State of Education

This is my response to an extensive blog written written by Falstaff. Started of as a response to the current mandal gimmicks of arjun singh.

without addressing the foundation issues at primary education level, all this iit-iim talk is just a lot of hogwash.

my sense in whats happening on the ground is as follows:
1. access to private services in primary education is not that much a barrier in india as it is in western nations.
2. this is leading to a tacit movement by many states to encourage small scale schools across the country. i am told that TN is deliberately not hiring teachers to encourage this migration.
3. the way the mumbai restructuring is being planned, in the main city and most suburbs, the population that will finally reside will not access municpal schools. this malaise is across all urban settings. municipal bodies are totally disinterested in running this link from times of india...speaks volumes...

i had this chance to present to a high court appointed committee on the experiences of ngos working in municipal schools and what could they recommend to change the system. turned out to be a total farce. come on people...this is supposed to be a high court appointed committee...if that does not work well, what the hell will...was so ticked off that i let of big time point was...the decay in the system is so apparent that the first time that the output of the municipal schools are tested by an external agency, the results are abysmal (10th std results in municipal secondary schools, when kids move to 5th or 8th in private aided schools, and tests like the link above). second point was...if i do some work and i myself appraise that work, it is inevitable that i will get corrupted. and thats the case with teachers. they are evaluated mostly on the basis of attendance, drop out and exam results which is all administered by them.
have seen it happen in front of eyes. and people who think bihar elections are rigged should check out an exam in a govt school. how then do you expect the kids to be good citizens if their teachers tell them that copying is ok...why the hell will they even try to learn if they know that the answers are going to be told out.

the decay in public society will screech out of control if this generation comes with these values and are exposed to our fabulously upright 4th estate.

Monday, April 03, 2006

the sea and the beach

what is it with water bodies and me? is it because of 21 years in chennai, 1 in cuddalore, 2 in calcutta and the balance 8 in bombay...
geographical proximity to large masses of water has been a reality of my existence.
guess it all came to be during the year in cuddalore (1995-96). gosh, has been more than a decade now. wow.
marisusai nagar, cuddalore - 1 was my address, just 1.5 km from the sea, and what a beach, the best i have ever experienced. Sunday mornings, me in infinite embrace of pure nature.
felt alive and meaningless at same time. the pulsating throb and rhythm of the waves had me hypnotised and i am a lifelong disciple of mother sea.
immersed for years into routine, the nearness let me be casusal in my relationship with mom.
then out of the blue, dec 2004 happened. felt like i was being summoned to appear in front of the grand jury. mom was calling her truant son. in the process tearing many lives asunder.
late night in feb 05, standing on the akkarapettai beach, nagapattinam facing what was a seeting ferocious eruption of waves. cowering in a corner in fear like a little boy who breaks a bottle trying to sneak a candy. an angry mom bearing down on her son's misdemeanour.
through the next months, i paid silent penance to my extended absence, visiting mum's different abodes and avtaars. each one beautiful and comforting in their own way.
mum - how many children you have. how much they all love you (....and fear you also:-)). more than i could ever do. you need to watch your temper here on...
April 2, 2006 in goa, reach to another much vaunted avtaar of mum's. like a parched traveller tumbling towards an oasis.
god almighty, what are you spewing out...yuck, black death, the beach appears like an enormous blue/white saree with a hideous balck embroidery. it is either an oil slick or iron ore floccs. runs across the entire stretch of more than 3 km i walk....walk in rage, an empty rage like a caged tiger, no purpose, dies within me.
i leave silently, carry your memories back home, specks of your golden sand still stuck in my sandals. you left them like micro magnets to get me back. like all mothers do :-)