Thursday 29 September 2011

Tell me

It has been a long time since I thought of this question to ask you. Let me ask you now.


Image: Internet

Friday 23 September 2011

Teacher talk

Where do I begin . . .

There are so many intricate things that make up a significant part of a teacher's life. I thought I would record some of them here.

A teacher is supposed to be impartial and give equal status to all her/his students. I agree. But I also cannot disagree that there is this one student whom the teacher likes. The reasons may be varied - a helpful attitude, an ever-present dimpled smile, a thoughtful mind and many more. But the catch is that the teacher should never single out that student. Afterall, the teacher is someone who respects every student for what he or she is. Therefore that special student brings a smile to the teacher but is never singled out for any sort of preference.

Some students' attitude and behaviour is very similar to the teacher in many aspects. This kindred behaviour brings an enthusiasm to the teacher but the teacher has to supress those feelings and go on.

Certain students are cleverer than the teacher in terms of analytical thinking. Eventhough, the teacher might not admit that in the class, the teacher is quite in awe of that particular student. The teacher should also be able to maintain the levels of appreciation, in case the other students might fell inadequete.

Laziness and refusal to work can be tolerated to a certain extent but if that is the usual mode, then I just cannot help but be highly sarcastic and irritable. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain a demeanour which oozes patience, kindness and positivity.

I am a graphical person, which is translated as I can imagine doing gory things to students sometimes when they tend to rattle my nerves. Let me demonstrate this trait: If a student gives absolutely out-of-the world stupid answers, I would like to lift that student (in my mind, of course) physically and throw him/her outside the window. When the student sits still inspite of my 'performance' in class, I would definitely feel like shaking that student hard in such a way that I could hear his/her bones rattle. Well, obviously I cannot do such things but sometimes I do tend to act that out much to the amusement of my students.

It is interesting to observe students when they are in love. The student sometimes cannot balance his thoughts. At those times, the teacher admires the state of the student but also knows that being in that state forever is not advisable, hence . . .

Do you feel the same? Do you have any other similar feelings/instances to share with us?

Image: Internet

Saturday 17 September 2011

Pray, keep me away from china and white

I can spare a passing momentary appreciation for delicate cystals and china but possessing them is something I cannot imagine. While I could even manage to drool over the delicate figurines of birds, angels and shepherd boys for five seconds, I quickly move away for fear of breaking them. Well, I have never had buttery hands which drop things but when I see swarovski crystal figures, I run. I cannot imagine myself holding those glassy figures or letting them adorn my house. They just demand too much care and soft handling. One has to constantly be wary of the fact that if there is a slip of the fingers then the precious figurine will become smithereens. So, I stay away from such objects that require extreme care which again requires patience. Hence the preference of wood for jewellery and art. Wood is more earthy, easy to handle and does not seem delicate such that even a slight slip would yield a crack on to it.

Similar to the delicate crystals, is the colour white. Though it is deemed for its purity and lack of blemishness, I am slightly apprehensive when I pick that colour for a dress, table cloth or any other thing. When I don a white outfit, I am very conscious that I should not spill anything or I should not sit in a place which has even a small iota of dirt. This niggling feeling does not allow me to enjoy the present. If I take coffee, instead of savouring the beverage, I think: "My white should be careful. If coffee spills, then it will leave a stain." Even if I let go of my 'care-taking' for a few seconds (which does not happen), I will return to the old thoughts of staining my white dress.

Sometimes I console myself saying: "When one has had heart breaks, why worry about breaking pretty dolls." But that thought is not helpful. While broken hearts are not tangible, broken china and crystals are.This argument can be extended to whites as well. People take great care in preserving their whites and in the process turn the material into some sort of a prized possession. Well, if one has maids to take care of every single chore, then whites wouldn't pose much of threat, I reckon.

Black is lovely: no tension, no ironing and no conscious thoughts of spilling liquids that stain. In fact, it so happens that when I am wearing black, I don't ever spill anything. Without being conscious, I carry it off quite well. And, I look good in black as well :)

Well, blame the whites and the chinas and swarovski crystals. They rob one's peace of mind.

So, learned readers, as always, I am awaiting your two bits on this topic. I bet you like black better than white.

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet
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Image 4: Internet

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Driving without being in the driver's seat

Please keep in mind that this post is not about the metaphorial driver's seat but the real one. I am quite an aggravating passenger if you are a slightly rash driver. Sitting inside the car (with all the doors locked and the glasses raised), I can bend if I see a truck arriving at a safe distance. In spite of not being at the wheel, I act almost as if I am driving and start panicking. Worse, I start alarming the driver and make grunting noises as if I am instructing her/him to drive carefully.

It always seems easy to not be in control and act as if the controls are at my mercy. This happens even while watching a game on telly. Some people get quite agitated and start saying, "If only I was there, I would have . . ." While I bend and make noises sitting in the seat next to the driver's, I tend to forget that I AM NOT IN THE CONTROLS.

Similarly in life, we enjoy giving directions to people in their lives and advice them how to live and conduct their lives. Though it seems easy to act and shout while being the observer, the real test arrives when one is in the driver's seat.

While the cricket player playing elsewhere cannot hear the moans and groans of the audience sitting thousands of miles away, the driver sitting next to you while driving gets quite bugged when he/she hears the exaggerated sounds from the passenger.

Sometimes it is better to keep the mouth shut. It saves a lot of energy and trouble. I need to remind myself that I should be a cool passenger sitting next to a confident driver.  

So, what kind of a passenger are you?

Image: Internet

Monday 12 September 2011

SHIT!!! Yes, you read it right

A month ago, our University inaugurated its first Film Club named 24. We invited director R. P. Amudhan and also screened three of his films, out of which one was titled SHIT. And, in case you are thinking of the swear word, please change gear as the film is about the literal shit. The film carried a social message on manual scavengers in a place called Madurai in Southern India. The camera follows a woman, Mariamma, who cleans the shit of people in a street adjacent to a temple in Madurai. In a country where people don't even use the left hand for any thing except for cleaning shit, here was this woman whose occupation was only cleaning shit with both her hands. In spite of herself feeling disgusted, she carried on the job as it was her source of income. A country which is seen as a developing one still has pockets as these which speak of parallel histories, a far cry from the "developing" status quo.

I must admit that I could not bring myself to watch the film closely. I was appalled, disturbed and felt disgusted seeing the visuals in the film. The director had used close-ups and the camera followed the lady as she was cleaning shit. The film was in complete realistic mode and believe me, there was no trace of any neo-realistic mode. I think you can imagine what was shown on the screen. Shit, in its raw form, could not be seen by me. This documentary brought several questions to me: Does art create a nauseous feeling? Can art be so brutal on my senses (esp. the visual)? Why couldn't I watch the documentary, after all, it's human waste?

Later, in the discussion, the film-maker revealed that one of his objectives in making the film was to disturb the viewer, and he did succeed.

Another film by the director was on the happenings at a crematorium which showed dead bodies being buried and cremated. While the images of dead bodies did not create any nauseous feeling within me, shit did. I thought that I am quite comfortable with death rather than shit!!! And, many like me, agreed that death was more aesthetically pleasant.

I'm not one for scatology, as art or anything else. But I must say that when I saw the woman manual scavenger cleaning up after everyone had finished their business, made me wonder about my disgust. I am still left confused and disturbed.

I am not providing the link or any material on the documentary SHIT but if you are interested, you could google the name of the documentary and watch the trailer. A complete version of the film is not available on the internet.

I would like to know what is art to you? Would you be fine in watching literal shit on screen and off screen? Maybe you could tell me.

Image: Internet

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Tell me what you think

Most people don't live aware lives.
They live mechanical lives, mechanical thoughts -- generally somebody else's -- mechanical emotions, mechanical actions, mechanical reactions. 
Image:  Internet


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