Wednesday 13 March 2024

Why are you studying?

 Yesterday as usual, I prompted my students to probe into why they were studying and shockingly most of them mentioned that they did not like to study. On being probed further, they admitted that they came to College only to satisfy their parents. Most of them were first generation learners whose parents had never stepped into the portals of higher education and hence wanted their children to be at least a B. A. pass. But the students who had the least interest in studying were unsatisfied with the courses that they had to study.

What are we doing as instructors?

Many students expressed that they would like to become artists - sketching, painting, etc. while some wanted to become professional cricketers or actors. Well, I did explain to them the other side of the 'passion' part which among many other choices of professions does not give them money! They seemed to have a fleeting knowledge of the struggles but I don't think that they thought deep enough about what they really wanted. Unlike our time, where we had a goal and a path planned ahead, the Gen-Z does not seem to take the whole idea of 'ambition' seriously. Money features as an integral part of their plan unlike our generation which did not discuss money that much. The Gen-Z also seems to discard many values that we held dear, which is understandable given that each generation has its own design and path. 

I still hold on to the question of 'How are we to motivate the present crop of students as instructors?'

While the students realise that becoming an artist is not an easy endeavour, they are willing to try. One student has several side hustles to earn money which I thought was quite fascinating. But unlike our generation which did not give much thought about money, the present one seems to focus a lot of energy into thinking and making money.

Well, there are exceptions in every case and this is also another. What have you to say on this topic?

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Stray thoughts compiled

 I wanted to eat an orange,

but you weren't there,

So, I asked my help who was mopping,

Both of us shared an orange,

and both of us spit the seeds.


She mops

And I mope!

At least the words sound similar!

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Things that I might never experience again

This post is an inspiration from an Instapost which left me melancholic and nostalgic. I thought that I would make my list before I forget some of these things completely. This is an age of forgetting, you see.

First love, visit to the corner shop run by a Nadar, receiving letters, MTV when it first began, leisure to wake up in one's own time, crispy vadai and tea without thoughts of cholesterol, homework, birthday cards, swings, mystery film endings, running to find a meaning from a dictionary, 90s vibe, time to travel without thinking of work, patience with predicting what people would say, not overthinking, eating ice-cream because I wanted to, MCC life, WCC vibes, the beauty of landline phones, the running to the phone booth to make an 'urgent' call, the magic of taking a flight, the slowness of a train journey, the sharing of tiffins, the happiness of five rupees, drinking paneer soda for one rupee, radio, intellectual arguments of my young mind, meeting random people and talking to them . . .

Do you resonate?

Let me know in the comments.

Leaving you with a poem by Mary Oliver

                                                         Don’t Hesitate

                                      BY MARY OLIVER

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case.
Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.


               Picture courtesy: My own

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Lessons from Barbenheimer

 The past week since 21/07/2023 has been one of high intensity debates, reviews, observations and fun activities revolving around two films - Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig's Barbie. The word Barbenheimer, a portmanteau of the titles of the two films has been coined by by the internet to discuss and partake in the conversations around these two much anticipated films of the year! For me, these discussions triggered many points of self-realisation which were pretty unpleasant.

1. The idea of shallowness

I have never played with Barbie or any kind of dolls so in the stereotypical manner, long before I had read about the movie Barbie, I had decided not to see it because I believed that I was not shallow! Well, I was proved wrong when I read the reviews and saw how shallow I was in judging something that I did not even know of. Well, the shallowness that I had associated with Barbie was me in fact! 

2. The grand idea of 'Nolan'

Another stereotype that is cringeworthy is assuming that anything by Nolan is obviously woke! Well, it is! And Nolan is a great story-teller but to decide long before the release of the films, that I would watch Oppenheimer and not Barbie, goes to prove that my assumptions were coloured and biased. Well, I am ashamed!

But this trend is seen among many peers and fellow people! An assumption that anything associated with Barbie is shallow (pardon by repeated usage of the word!) and the colour pink is detestable but anything associated with Nolan has to be intelligent and deep!

Well, I guess a doll is shallow but an atom bomb is worth it if we go by the comparisons of the objects that these two films focus upon. At the end of the day, both cause destruction - dolls on the inside and bombs on the outside (and inside too) if you know what I mean!

I hope that many of us have decided to move on beyond our judgmental attitudes and view everything with an open and kind mind. Have you seen the films yet?

Picture credit 1: Internet

Picture credit 2 & 3: Wikipedia

Saturday 20 May 2023

"I love meeting new people"

 "I love meeting new people"

"I don't hesitate to talk to strangers"

"It's wonderful to connect to new people for they bring new perspectives"

The afore-mentioned lines can be commonly seen in many Twitter, Instagram and other profiles of people. Even I like to meet new people for the reason mentioned above. But but, the idea takes a jolt when one watches certain thriller series and Netflix documentaries. I recently watched the series, 'Dahaad' on Amazon Prime which profiles a serial killer psychopath who approaches young women, befriends them and then in the most harmless manner, murders them without any remorse, regret or pain. Well, the American serial killer Ted Bundy was no different. 

When I was watching 'Dahaad,' my thoughts were on the lines of how true it is when parents warn children saying, "Don't talk to strangers" perhaps their collective memory held something that could've happened. The irony of the present day, "I love meeting new people" stares one in the eye. Of course, every walking person isn't a serial killer or a psychopath but how likely it is that we would know if we came across one in Instagram/Twitter or any other sites like Bumble, Tinder and others. 

Loneliness, nurture and a need for intimacy is something most individuals crave for and if someone who is first a stranger promises the qualities, why not is the question. For example, in 'Dahaad,' the women were past the marriageable age, belonged to the backward caste whose parents were unable to provide them with handsome dowries which led to their marriage getting delayed. The killer after a thorough check of the afore-mentioned details, snares the women with words and promises of marrying them and after establishing a trust, marries them and murders them. The man in question leads a seemingly normal life with wife and a kid alongside a respectable job as a college teacher. Well, how can anyone predict that the next person that they would probably befriend isn't a psychopath!

The thriller, raised many questions in my mind which of course, is another post for another day but the question still looms in my mind, "Should we not talk to strangers?" In the last episode of the series, the killer, after being arrested mentions, "Women who talk to strangers and get close to them should not be spared." Well, be your own judge.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Sunday 7 May 2023

A reader's plea and a writer's thoughts

 My posts have been fermenting in my mind for the longest time. There were days when the fermentation was just appropriate for the posts were let out of the process. Alas! my posts have become pickled now and congealed within the crevices of my mind. Well, recently a student of mine (well, this is a rare phenomenon!) has begun reading my posts and posits questions and observations. This process of him commenting has filled me with a certain joie de vivre which in turn has made me promise myself that I should write more often.

The process of writing for me is also cathartic for me from the mundane-ness of everyday life which I seek to escape from. I know that the key is acceptance and reconciliation but that that hardly seems to work for me. I realise that I have to write to free my stifling thoughts and crude imaginations. Well, I hope to persevere and write.

Thanks dear Satyam for the childlike curiosity which makes me happy to write.

Well, tomorrow is another day!


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