Some Fun with Studies

English in India has never felt more necessary than that last few years. Even though the regional languages are also having their influence with the support of state governments, coming up with new ways to promote them, trying to make sure that they are doing well, English has been increasing its hold on the students as well as the parents. Hindi also has its say, but it is English that is having an even bigger say in the nation as a whole at one point or the other, as it is having all around the world. With an influence that only gets better, learning the basics of English has been a need, more than a desire these days.

It is here that Nihar Naturals Shanti Amla comes to the picture with its Pathshala Funwala initiative that provides the option of good and smarter education everywhere, making it more accessible, and without discrimination, also possessing a special charm. It is more than just a need during these times, especially in those remote places far away from those cities and towns. But it is not just that, which Pathshala Funwala makes sure about, as they provide a unique toll free number, 8055667788 to help children who have no chance, but really wishes to learn English language.

A long time ago, when I was a child, I wasn’t that good at English either. My interest in the subject came only in the later high school, when I had a good teacher, Miss. Aleyamma Varghese, who happens to be one of the best teachers I ever had – she also went on to become the headmistress of the school later. Your desire to learn a language, especially a language which is not spoken widely among your people, only comes to us when we have good teachers, and Nihar Shanti Amla’s Pathshala Funwala’s toll free number becomes the right teacher, giving children the tips.

Yes, you can have the child sit in a classroom if there is such an option available. But you can be certain that this option could be rather better. Children want some fun to go with learning, and if the studies can connect with them really well, it will feel simple and a lot interesting. It is one way to make sure that they don’t forget the lessons that easily – during our times, they had the rod, they made us stand outside the classroom, they came up with those impositions which increased in number and they even asked us to bring our parents, especially father to meet the class teacher; but those times were different.

I know a number of people who make the excuses for not learning English, as their learning process was just too boring and forced upon them – never did they want to learn the language because they didn’t need to, and never really had to speak in English. Right after they get out of the school or college, they just let the language, along with its literature vanish into thin air. There is the exception of having Hollywood movies which you will feel the need to watch, but most of the movies are about visual extravaganze – at least those which gets wide release in India belong to that category and got less to contribute to the language.

Well, English is a lot of fun. Sooner or later, more and more people will realize that and work accordingly. So, it is up-to all children, including that child you know, who is not getting access to good English education, or even education as a whole, to get back to the track. It is a fast moving world, and we don’t want any child to be falling behind because he or she, or the father or mother never really knew that there was another option. We need them to know, and we need them to move forward, and not sink in the muddy place which is always there to take people in there instead of letting them fly.

The Tea Cerebration(s) recommend you to share this special service to the needy ones who can get the best out of this simple and fun way of learning the language. It is for us to be part of a change, which could make a difference in our world. When you can make a cause work, it is something that adds to your list of virtuous deeds rather than to that resume which you send to make a few thousands of money every month. In making the world around us better, starting with the children, we have the right thing to do for a group of future citizens who are capable of more than they seem to be. So, do keep the number in mind – 8055667788

I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda.

TeNy

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Legend of Good People

The world is built on legends. We come across many of such kind. We hear something about King Arthur, Achilles, Lady Godiva, Robin Hood, Odysseus and many others throughout our lives. But there are times when I do wonder about whom the real legends should be created. It is not about people who does great things, but about people who convert little things into something that inspires us; to something that makes us feel good in this world which is surely not getting any better.

The goodness in this world needs to be talked about because it is becoming more of a myth about which stories will be made in future, and people of that age will only reply that such good deeds are not possible – for them, it will be all about profit, reputation and happiness will be a reflection of how much one has earned and what all luxuries someone can manage to possess. This is why we need these stories of goodness, and get the much needed inspiration as we go through this world of chaos.

Lets not travel to El Dorado or Atlantis, and lets not search for the Fountain of Youth, Elixir of Life or the Holy Grail, as we are looking for our people right here, between us, making difference like no other. I would like to talk about the same with Father Joy Ettuveettil, who runs Snehakoodu, the charitable trust for boys at the town of Aluva. He has been one of the most dedicated priests who have been involved in social work for a long time, and this particular home for the homeless has been a wonderful initiative.

We were hoping to make the season of Halloween special with a special initiative which included collecting money and old clothes, and this was the first place which came to our mind. Yes, the first meeting was a few years ago, but even last year, the children had sent us a Christmas greetings card as usual. I was going through those usual negative things which keep coming to the mind, and then this one returned to my mind, and it is part of those few moments of light which brightens the soul.

Our notices before the first and the second Halloweens.

A sample of our notices during the season of Halloween.

This brings one back to that eternal question – is it about building those megastructures, all those worship places for God when what matters is what you have done for your fellow human being without discriminating on the basis of the social status, religion, community and caste? As you take the Parable of the Good Samaritan from the Holy Bible, you will find that even when Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, it is the Samaritan who helps the injured man when people from the same community don’t care; humanity in the end is just one big family.

This is why every religion needs good leaders who don’t discriminate, and make sure that the needs of the common man is given the highest priority. We need leaders who try to do what they can to make sure that all our fellow human beings are provided the basic needs. The big festivals and more additions to the worship places can wait. We need good men and women who care for people just like they care for God and the places which are meant for him. We need religious heads who are people of God and men, not businessmen, and not those who make hate speech against others.

This is the same reason why we need initiatives like Snehakoodu, and Father Joy has done an amazing job in keeping the charity work going for the destitute and the homeless, as well as the other children in trouble. He has built this charitable organization from nothing, and it is a place which will require the donations. If you are planning to help, please go forward with that, as Snehakoodu is one of those charitable trusts where I visited so many times, and I have myself found it to be a very noble venture. Yes, goodness has its presence, we all have the chance to be part of it.

Btw, have you checked this link which serves as the mouthpiece of the youth as you take your time for the positive side and #SpreadTheVibe with stories of inspiration?: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/

TeNy

Back to the Memories

Vampire Bat: You said that you wanted to ask a question. What was that?

Vampire Owl: Yes. Do you know how I got this scar?

Vampire Bat: I believe that there are plenty of wonderful reasons for that, and if I start counting, I shall find myself in need of a calculator.

Vampire Hamster: Vampire Knight, sir, do you need a calculator right now? I have ordered one from Flipkart. I can show you the model and you can tell me if it is enough.

Vampire Bat: That was not supposed to show an actual need for a calculator. Why is this guy always here whenever we are talking something seriously?

Vampire Owl: The rest of the vampire team takes too many holidays. This person here forgets to take vacations due to his memory problems, and so he is here for most of the time.

Vampire Bat: Okay, you can still tell me one reason for this particular scar.

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Vampire Owl: It is a very long story. Once upon a time, not that long ago, but still enough years behind to have a subplot to my story…

Vampire Bat: We won’t be needing that much detail. You can start with just a few hours or rather a few minutes before getting that scar.

Vampire Owl: In that case, I can deal with this in seconds. When Mavis was little, she hit me with the immortal claw while we were playing.

Vampire Bat: The immortal claw? Who gave that to a little child?

Vampire Owl: Nobody. She was ready with that when I returned to her after giving some instructions on what not to do.

Vampire Hamster: Sir, can you look at my claws and see if they are immortal?

Vampire Bat: They are not really claws. So Mr. Vampire Owl, you were instructing her on something.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I had given her a list about things not to do, and objects not to touch, and in failure of the same, I threatened to punish her.

Vampire Bat: You shouldn’t have been allowed to take care of anyone above the vampire toddler level. It is where your expertise ends. You can’t be the boss to any kid these days, and this one is the youngest known member of the immortal vampire clan. She is the legacy, and you can’t talk to her like that. Considering what the new generation kids do these days, you are lucky to be alive.

Vampire Owl: I didn’t know that the situation was this bad. I have been taking care of kids for centuries. I have even taught a few kids to take over the world.

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Vampire Bat: What? You were responsible for those wars? Well, the influences on the generation are pretty bad. They have terrible role-models among their own people and celebrities, and you know that the effect of modernity has showed up here too.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I am the only good role-model around here. It is written on my scar; I mean, the face.

Vampire Bat: The problem has to be solved at the root level itself. Parents these days have no time for the children; just like Uncle Dracula. The current friends of the children are mobiles and laptops. Parents need to be like friends, or they can’t gain the trust of the children.

Vampire Owl: I understand that we can’t depend on fear. Even in my case, I was the one who ended up being afraid. Kids these days are dangerous. I need to get into their good books or get some armour.

Vampire Bat: Find a way to bond with them, or your end will come from your times with the vampire kids. Mavis has grown up and is in control. But you can’t say that same about the human kids who are ignored by their parents.

Vampire Owl: I would start the next season by eating Chocos with them.

Vampire Bat: Fair idea. Develop on it, and make sure that they don’t bite you. If they are working on any of those electronic devices, there are more chances of them biting you. There is no chance for guessing what all they are exposed to, with the internet so much readily available.

Vampire Owl: The infection of modernity and its gadgets; we have to be very careful about it. I understand.

Vampire Hamster: We will beat this infection together, sir.

Vampire Bat: Can you at least stop looking at your mobile phone while you talk against it?

Vampire Owl: He would make a nice kid; at least better than the new generation children. He is surely not going to go Lord of the Flies on me.

On this occasion, do have some Chocos 😀 : https://www.facebook.com/mychocos

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Kellogg’s Chocos which I have mentioned just above.

TeNy

The Introvert Opinion

Malayalam movie industry had two inspirational movies in the earlier part both the years 2014 and 2015. But the fact remains that Mili hasn’t got the attention that the movie How Old Are You had, and the reason is mostly the presence of Manju Warrier in that movie, as one of the best and the most popular actresses in the industry had returned to the big screen after such a long time. Some people who had an easy path in life won’t be able to digest the problems of Mili either with their lack of empathy and having no consideration for others. But there are a number of reasons why Mili rises and stands much above How Old Are You.

Mili is more realistic: Among the two movies, Mili is the more realistic one, as our heroine remains the same, and she only does what any person can do. But How Old Are You brings too much into the scene, including the Indian President, a huge vegetable garden and the quick change of the protagonist for almost no real reason. There is even a lady who abuses a security personnel for just doing his job – wonder what is the goodness there. Mili is full of goodness, and has had better and more realistic turning points. Mili thrives on its simplicity, and thanks to the same, almost everyone can relate with her.

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Mili has a better protagonist: Another advantage of Mili is the presence of a protagonist with which almost everyone can relate. She is someone who had problems since her childhood while How Old Are You has a heroine who was always super and has lived her married life pretending to be what she is not. She had ability and she was a pretender for which she deserves no applause. She had a good government job and still she had chosen to be not her. Mili Nair is not the same, as she could never find herself, and she had actually struggled a lot – had no job, hope or love.

Mili is straight to the point: As How Old Are You deviates from making its point on too many occasions, Mili is always there and never goes behind in making its point. Mili is a voice for the introverts, children as well as for the women. It can also be used for motivation by most of the subaltern, unlike How Old Are You which is limited in its scope and yet tries too many things just because it has a veteran actress playing the major role. Mili is life, and Mili belongs to the heart and soul.

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Mili has to succeed for the introverts and those children who were forced to compete and were considered good for nothing just because they couldn’t live up-to the expectations. It is a voice for hope for the future. It will help to raise a better generation of children who are taught to be good instead of being achievers in one way or the other. This better development of a future generation and the youth is the gift of this movie towards the society. It will help the greedy people to realize that money isn’t everything, and it is more about goodness than anything else.

I have been blessed with many relatives who boast about their sons and daughters just because they are studying in a reputed university or are earning so much with their jobs. The sad thing about the same is that they try to degrade the others along with doing the same. They think that everyone else is useless. It is okay to say good things about people, but why would they want to degrade others? Ask Mili Nair, and ask every other kid who has been forced to be someone else and couldn’t. Mili is one of those children who had to suffer due to the third rate demands of the society. Mili is future, and Mili is hope.

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About the relatives, it took me about twenty years to get the evil out of my life and somehow manage to get their violent ways away, deciding on my life. They still bother me at times with their boasting, but I know their true colours now. Mili Nair was actually faster – and she did that so well. May be children who watch Mili can plan their lives better and the new age parents can be better guardians as well as friends to their children. Isn’t that a much needed thing in the current world where relationships begin to make no sense?

As William Wordsworth had mentioned in his poem My Heart Leaps Up or The Rainbow, “The Child is father of the Man”, and it is reiterated in this movie – lets understand our children better and not blame them for their lack of skills, which is why Mili is so significant. ***All the images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook page of Mili the movie (https://www.facebook.com/milimovieofficial). Read my full review: (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/mili)

TeNy

Dauntless in Love and Care

I have had very few vacation trips as a kid compared to some of my friends who have traveled a lot. But as time passed, I understood the significance of having a memorable vacation journey which would refresh the mind of any normal person. Among the trips I had during childhood, there were Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore and Mangalore which I remember. But I am ready to make sure that my child would have more vacations, and all of them shall be better than what I have had in my entire life. *I am sharing two photos of childhood here, the first one taken at Kolkata and the second one at home with my cousin brother.

I was going through an initiative from Club Mahindra at http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html about travelogues written by children. It reminded me of thinking about myself and how I would go on holidays with my child. The first thing I want to ensure is that I remain dauntless, so that my child would know that I will always be there for him, whenever he feels a certain amount of fear about anything. There is this feeling of insecurity that children feel while going on journeys, and I remember having felt the same on so many occasions. This insecurity is like a big mole on a face, as it affects the beauty of the vacation, and the significance of the journey itself is reduced.

From one of my first vacations ever, to Kolkata - a photo found and scanned.

From one of my first vacations ever, at Kolkata – a photo discovered in the album and scanned.

The fear that children feel outside their home in quite natural, and the current world, we have to be very careful – these are not the best times for the children to grow up either. So, I would make sure that I shall be the friend to him and be the friend that I rarely had during my own childhood. I have to correct the mistakes from my earlier generation, and it is my duty to make sure that he enjoys, and it is a privilege to make sure that I also enjoy the little things that he does.

Even as I strive to make things happen here, another nice thing I would like to add is another person of his own age to give him company. I would choose a family friend who has kids of the same age to accompany us on the journey so that they can nicely contribute to the fun. Otherwise, I will find a relative with a child of the same age. I have been aware of the disadvantages of being a lone child, and I shall never let that happen to my kid, and it is a promise that I have to make to myself.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child in a busy universe of chaos.

Well, what is a vacation when the child is not happy? My mother always used to tell me to be happy, or it affects her and destroys the whole purpose of the vacation as it was always about me. She always wanted me to order what I wanted in a restaurant and would have the same thing. This is what I would do, especially when we all have the same thing for food, it is the first step to letting him make decisions during a vacation – his ideas need to be valued. I have had almost no say in even my early education, and I know the pain.

I would let my child explore the world with curiosity, but I will always keep an eye on him, making sure that his vacation universe goes perfectly, and looking at things in the way in which he sees things – it is a perspective that I would enjoy. It will be the best case of happiness for me to see my child enjoying a vacation which I had arranged. It makes my world special. When he loves the journey, my soul takes a leap forward, and it is what we should strive for when choosing a vacation. Let us remember the fact that every step that we make will also teach him something – so lets plan it well to make it a learning experience as well as an entertaining one.

This entry is my submission for the latest Happy Hours Campaign from Indiblogger in association with Club Mahindra’s Teddy Travelogues. I don’t think that Club Mahindra Holidays, a part of the Mahindra Group needs any introduction for any of us Indians. They are among the most commonly mentioned names in their field. For further details about the Teddy Travelogues from them, please spare some time to check http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html

TeNy

Hoping for a Better Situation

There is no problem as big as the lack of toilets in India, and that too in the twenty first century. Even as such problems have been a lesser thing of horror in Kerala as I have felt during my travel throughout the state, it has been much more during my journeys through the less urban areas of the other states. There is no difficulty in knowing about the same either, as we can realize that just from the smell itself.

Considering the fact that the situation hasn’t got much better is really a cause of concern. We have gone through so many years after independence, and not much has changed as we can see. The progress that we have achieved is tremendous, but going to Mars and still not having toilets? What does that mean? There are serious health problems which can result due the same, and health is just one of the troubles – as we hope and believe that the new government will take good measure for the same, lets take the case of Babli.

The kitty warns you about the health hazards :D (taken on my GT-S7562)

The kitty warns you about the health hazards 😀 (taken on my GT-S7562)

It was early morning, and Babli got out of her room to the terrible smell of faeces. It was a cloudy morning and rain kept on pouring down like it has no other job to do. Babli’s area had not more than five toilets in total for the large number of people who lived around. She knew that India is one of the fastest developing nations in the world, and admired how much progress it had in the last few years – she had learnt about the same. But she wondered why there was no toilet for her.

It was worse when she had to go to school. She had to travel fifty five kilometres to reach the school in heavy traffic. It was near impossible to find a toilet on the way, and the boys always did it on the roadside, and she knew that it would have a terrible impact on her dignity if she would even think about the same. The time taken to travel that much distance was about three hours, and it was sometimes impossible to reach the school on time after waiting in the long queue for the toilet.

Babli knew that what she wanted was not a worship place; temples, churches and the rest of the places for God were not her concern. But the closest church had toilets and the temple also had a toilet for ladies in the premises, and due to the same, she had become closer to God. She never really prayed, but did hope for the abode of any God to appear so that she could relieve herself. She had decided that when she grow up, she would go to a restaurant and have some food there just to use the toilet there.

She knew that India was progressing, but isn’t a toilet part of progress? She wondered. May be she could write about it, but there was no point. She remembered the man who made a speech about it in the school. He had said that a clean toilet is the right of every Indian, and it is very essential for good health. Why was she deprived of her right? Why was he even without her privacy? She continued to ponder over the same. When she asked that man, he had said that there was nothing he could do.

How can we make the beautiful nature a toilet? (taken on my DSC-W310)

How can we make the beautiful nature a toilet? (taken on my DSC-W310)

This has been a problem for not just one Babli, but a lot of her friends who lived near her home and also those who came to the same school from different areas. Yes, each and every Babli in India needs a toilet, and it is a basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled before hoping for a lot of other things which arrive in the name of development. But what is the first step to development? It is time we start thinking about the same. Not malls, not multi-national companies, not high profile industries, but toilets for everyone. This is where Domex is doing a wonderful job with their initiative to bring toilets to as many villages as possible.

This is for the Happy Hours campaign at Indiblogger in association with Domex, a writing for “Toilet for Babli” which is part of “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative at http://www.domex.in/. Do click on the link for more on the same. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on http://www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

TeNy