Sep 30, 2012

An Abundance of Talent

Regular weekend TV viewing, new programmes coming up by the dozen.. What was it this time? India's got Talent.. The New Season is out..

What never ceases to amaze is the abundance of talent that lies in our country called India.. Be it the recent episode of September 29, where one saw a 3 year Old drumming away to glory, or Amardeep Nath, who virtually seemed to have no bones in his body.. Compound that with people also coming who put in swords / needles in their bodies or the simply ridiculous and then with all that pain move cars, or take weights or even jump over tube lights.

One cannot fathom as to where Talent starts and stops, and where life's desperation's come in.. Some of the stories that one hears on these shows are literally heart wrenching, when one finds out that many people bear pain, just to survive... I recall an episode last year, where there was one person who used to eat Tube lights.. So painful was that, that Dharam Paaji, went into tears.. Simply because the man who did that, used to do it for a living!!

How much is real talent, and how much is necessity.. Talent, as one grows up learning is that it is something that one is proficient in, one is a master in, or excels in and improves upon. . But where does piercing your body and stating that one does that for a living promote talent..Where does talent come when it means that you suffer just to make two ends meet... Where does talent come in, when the family of the talented, cannot confirm if their bread winner will come back home alive..

One does wonder, should this be shown on National TV? Yes, you see the riders at the bottom, but still, is pain our only earner of fame? Do we not have real talent, that can be shown, stuff, that India as a country is made of, or do we pride on showing the bizarre... Is this what we as a country are heading off to, the way the Western world has prided themselves on...And what does remain common, is that the one that is really soulful and excellent, is mostly with people who are really struggling to make two ends meet.

Where do we fit in? I guess as human beings, we too have our next generation ready to take on the world.. They too have their talents, their areas of expertise, and how they utilize the good to excel in is our responsibility.. We may have some excellent dancers amongst our midst, or some one with a brilliant voice in our family.. How that is nurtured to ensure that it is real talent and not simply a derangement of the mind, is how the generations are guided to grow up with.. However what one does see, is that most of the talent is in abundance with people who have not had the opportunity to succeed, either through a good life or education.. The Educated ones are the ones that scare the most...

Brings me back to my question.. Where is the dividing line, between genius and madness.

Sep 15, 2012

A Weight Problem

From Gulf News
Nothing to do with fat people, or people who have trouble losing weight.. Just an Article in the news (School Bags pose Weighty Problem) about schools starting and the age old problem coming up of how many books our kids take to school.

Never ceased to amaze me or make me wonder.. What do the kids carry to school.. For sure, all of us have gone to school at some point. We too have had our share of 8 classes, 8 subjects, textbooks, notebooks, the works.. But did we ever take 10 kilos of books to school.

People with large numbers of books were confined to be nerds, and I distinctly recall at my time, the idea was, can you survive with as few books as possible.. A feat that I managed to achieve in my 12th Std, where I used to take only three notebooks to school.. One for Accounts (for all the TB's and the P*L's / BS's) and two 400 page books for the other subjects.. The Notebooks split into Sections: Economics, Maths, Commerce.. and each section used accordingly.. Yes, a pain when studying as you had to go through multiple books, but come to think of it.. Just three Note books..

Where are all the cool swanky bags that used to be taken to school, the thinner the better.. We too had our textbooks, we too had our drawing books, but never to an extent of lugging in half your body weight to school on your back.. Where are the old school bags, made out of light tin, the small square ones..
A thought does remain, as to what are we trying to do with our kids.. Yes, competition is fierce, there is no mercy, but what good is a stunted intelligent kid, with his back half broken by the time he is 18.. It is now to a stage where not only does a kid need to study, but he also has to be in body building classes to not only carry the weight, but also learn posture.. Do we really expect them to study??

A big challenge no doubt, but something obviously gone wrong in the educational system.. We all graduated, we all did our MBA's, Medicines, Masters and the works.. The books were there, no doubt, however they were either in the library to come and read in, or at home, when we studied after school / college.

The schools were meant to go and listen to the teachers, who did the text book part and taught us from there... Not that we were to go there and read with the teachers for the first time..

Technology no doubt is changing a lot.. One sees in the Western world a change of having interactive classes, with no books, all on the net.. Or you bring in your IPAD's or your IBooks, the idea being to understand what is out there and then apply.. Where you still need books, schools provide locker concepts, where your books are put into the locker and you only carry what you need for a particular class. A lot many schools, countries are following the same concept, however one sees it more on the Western way of Education, rather than the Asian.

No doubt there are two sides to a coin, that the reading / mugging concept helps us as it teaches us to concentrate / grasp, however it may be mugged. Proof is that Indians are every where in the world in the work force. But then, as one sees, the Indian may be smarter, but works harder, whereas the Westerner, who also studied the same, probably works smarter. It no doubt, boils down to Education, which both may have the same.. But it is also the concept and the process how each has come to learn with..

Some where, some how, it gives a feeling that learning to carry our heavy bags from our school days, is simply a reminder that no matter what, we should always slog our entire life.. Enjoyment is only when you retire, if you are alive to enjoy, that is....