Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Life Sucks Because Their Life Soaks

When I hear the phrase "Soak No More",  of all the broad themes what I see most prominent is "Getting Soaked in Day Dreams".
I wish we have a detergent, a magic tool, a milk powder, or an inhaler that will shake off people from day dreams. Not to blame the individual, its mostly the environment that puts people to lull.
1. At school :   A dull teacher in a congested classroom puts everyone in to lull (except first bench); classroom with no fan soaks everyone in sweat; randomly the principal arrives soaking everybody (including the teacher) in fear.
2. At road: Most of the drivers keenly follow the traffic signal but many a times the signal is not justified. We soak ourselves in traffic not because of the traffic but because of the traffic police. Until the police arrives, the traffic is smooth; what an irony!
3. At home: Life is not black and white for many.  Life is either colourful or black.  Colourful because people soak themselves into TV programmes for hours together.  The young ones soak into music, the elder ones into tears (lifelong TV serials).  When the power supply goes, everyone soaks into darkness - we reach out to the neighbour and discuss how bad the government is and not providing constant power supply (the real concern is missing the TV program).  Actually neighbours dont see each other, but its the power cut that bonded them to together and they are soaked into conversations on politics, society and school's high fees - all until the power comes.
4. On the mobile -  Everyone is soaked into mobile these days.  The ear plugs stem out of the curvy ears of the girls and boys lined up on the window seats of the bus. They either listen to music or call somebody but do not talk to the neighbour seat person or to the family person.  They send "I love you" SMS to Music programmes so that everyone can read.  Soaked into SMS world, they keep checking every now and then if a 'message is received'.  They dont properly talk to their "appa" because they are already soaked in android "apps".  They are upset when the daddy gets angry;  they are happy when they can kill angry birds.
5. On the Internet - Everyone is soaked into Internet these days.  They jump into the internet pool as soon as they wakeup, tweet good morning, make some "likes", forward some junks, and check some filmy news.
6. On the news media - I know of the few who are soaked into all forms of news media - TV, newspaper, online websites;  as an additional measure, they soak themselves into cafetaria discussions (paid by their employers) almost deciding the fate of this country.
7. Soaked in queues:  Most of us are soaked in queues, because we do not really follow the queue.  If we can define a queue as a "single thread", we spin branches out of it.
8. Soaked in eatery joints: This is a hugry world - every 1.5 hours.  We have not solved the toilet problems (I mean lack of sufficient toilets) but we have solved the food problem and health problem.  First we soak ourselves into all types of food;  second we soak ourselves into all types of medicine.  For every individual, there are 5 hotels available.  For every individual, there are 5 pharmacies available.
9. Soaked in religious tours:  We have not found the "God particle" yet.  The home's pooja room Ganesha and other lined up Gods are not sufficient.  We pray, commit, and visit all the relatives of Gods.  We travel from one part of the country to another part to see if  some other God can help.  Soaked in all types of religious measures, we still fail to see God in ourselves.
10. Soaked in Advice:  The best advice I would give is "Do not give advice".  When someone shares his concern,  please listen. When someone is upset, comfort them.  When someone shares something, do not provide advice.  Advice contributes to 80% of pollution in this country.  Whereever I turn, advice, advice, advice.
For many, life sucks because their life soaks.  Read all the above 10 points, soak yourself into some serious thinking, change yourselves and only after that change the society.  Soak No More.  Hope I justified the title.

Note:  This is my article for Indiblogger contest on the theme "Soak No More".   Visit this link for more details.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Keladi Kanmani or Keladi Kullamani - Youtube Movie

I was surprised to see the blockbuster movie Keladi Kanmani (கேளடி கண்மணி)  is mistakenly translated as Keladi Kullamani (கேளடி குள்ளமணி) . Its not about the typo; everybody would make mistakes.  But Kullamani is a comedian's name and is very hilarious to read. Wondering what was in the translator's mind when he translated :-)

Visit this link before Youtube makes the change.  If you see the change already happened, please comment.

Keladi Kullamani?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Start Your Kid's Day In Style

As a dad, can you get that valuable 15 mins for your kids when she wakes up?

Start her day with a small, funny story and take her to brushing. While she brushes, introduce your innovative lines like "Ben Ten attacked all the germs powerfully" or "Chota Bheem brushed all his teeth very clean and became very strong".
Start Your Kid's Day In Style

Kids need that happy start and rest of the day they create happiness for themselves and others.
You as a dad, do that magic for your kid.

Why There Is No Such Thing As Failure

One of the NLP Presuppositions is "There is no such thing as Failure; there is only feedback."

It is true.  You may also want to equate it with 'everything is maya' concept; however if you meditate more on this presupposition, you will understand the "truth".

This world is running through a chain reaction - if only we can see the cosmic rays probably we may see web of events. The events interact, interfere, impede and impact one another.  One leads to another. By "event", I do not mean an incident, in our conversational sense. It could be anything that is "exeA cuting" or "under execution". Let us assume you understood this and probably agreed to this.

Given this a well coordinated, complex events, - is it really fair to expect only success. Having studied history, we know both "success" and "failures" are part of our baggage.

There is no such thing as failure! There are only results.

So, when we work on any mission, lets remember this -

a) Success and failure are one of the results.
b) A success necessarily need not mean, it was possible due to your efforts. There could be other "contributing factors".
c) A failure necessarily need not mean, it was due to your efforts. There could be other "contributing factors".

So, when you encounter so called "failure"
1. Do not accept it as a failure - see it as a case for study
2. Identify those contributing factors
3. If you are really serious about your "intended result",  rework again.
4. If your intention was to try only once, and expect success - probably you are not serious.

I tuned myself into a philosphical mindset and attempted to write this for the last 3 days - I think I got it this time. Please meditate on this - There is no such thing as failure.


Two Wheelers - Know Your Limits

Bangalore Two Wheelers need a lesson or two. In general, there is no respect for the stop limit and vehicles stop just right o the pedestrian cross. Do we expect pedestrians figure out and manage the 10 seconds they get to cross the road? What if the pedestrian is your parents or your school going children. Here is something annoying I notice very often. The violators are invariably educated, literate people who very would talk about what is not good in this nation. These educated violators set the trend on the road - I have already reached the stop mark. A two wheeler, the trend setter first gets on to the pedestrian cross. He also opportunity to jump the signal if police is not around. Seeing him, follow other two wheelers. Location - its immaterial; its all over in Bangalore.  In case you are curious, its East End Signal, JP Nagar. Feel like screaming - Two Wheelers, Please Know Your Limits

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Continuous Learning Experience for Village School Teachers

I always thought of this - where do school teachers take help if they need help on subjects?  Teachers in cities and big towns always have good sources like professors, internet, library etc to take help from. However, teachers in the village do not have a mechanism to take help from. They are continuously exposed to continued teaching experience; but they do not get continuous learning experience. 


I have few ideas for addressing this need.  There is a huge entrepreneurial opportunity to execute one or all of these now -

  • A tuition centre for teachers in the villages. 
  • A call centre for teachers who can log in and take help. 
  • Like medical camps, social workers and volunteers can visit villages and do education camps
  • Universities can setup mandatory quarterly visits to villages or get the teachers to cities for quarterly refresher courses for village teachers.
  • Lab visits for practical knowledge.

Mere provision of internet and electronic media to the teachers without any practical help can add to their frustration.
I will blog more on each of the proposals after brainstorming with like minded people.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bookmarks for Bibliophiles


I made these bookmarks for all the bibliophiles. Hope you all like it.  You may want to get them photo-printed and cut them as individual bookmarks or just use them as posters. 
If you have any good quotes on book reading, or on bibliophiles, please share in the comments section. 

Diya's Wake Up Calendar

Diya is such a nice kid that she allows me to experiment good ideas with her. We needed a mechanism to make Diya wake up in the morning without we doing any circus. I came up with a Wake Up Chart with the following features: a) Its a matrix of  15 days and morning time slots. b) The time slots start from 6am, till 8 am and with a gap of 15 minutes. c) Each time slot is named "Superb", "Excellent", "Wow"  etc. Now, this is what happens.  Diya wakes up in the morning and rushes up to the chart to color code what time she woke up.  She asks "Daddy, what time I woke up?".  If I say 6.15 am, she responds "today is Excellent". For morning conversation starts like this for the past one month or so. Here in the attached images you can see her July and August charts. Diya tries to innovate with different colours and connecting the dots. For next month, I am planning to make more kid-friendly chart instead of a typical corporate like tabular chart. :-) Request the parents to try this Wake Up chart, if you like this idea.

Favorite Tamil Songs for All Generations

These are some old time Tamil favourites that mesmerized our grandparents continue to be favourites of this generation too.

Jayanagar's Gifted MLA - BN Vijayakumar

If anyone finds Bangalore's Jayanagar a model constituency, full credits to the MLA BN Vijayakumar.  I had a couple of opportunities to interact with this gentleman and he was very friendly.  I also need to mention that I also had several opportunities to interact with his personal secretary Mr.Chennagiri, who looked into the every issue that we took to him when the officials failed. Once I attended the Janaspandana in Jayanagar through a last minute invite and I was the 100th person to share my concerns.  (In the adjacent picture, I am in dark blue shirt sitting 2nd from left). Now, the MLA also has made something unique to his ward, probably - every street's sign board has his name and the area corporator's contact number; I do not recall seeing this in other constituencies. He also the first one to initiate the bicycle tracks.
When you walk along the Jayanagar streets, you may also see pedestrian friendly speed break-cum-pedestrian footpaths. There are more.  Looking forward more from this gentleman. You may also visit -

Man's companions

Some where along the way, we invaded into forests and eaten into animals living space and started losing the wild animals. As we know, some animals are getting extinct. When the cities exploded out of village spaces, the domestic animals had no choice than to cope up with the urbanization.
Though at times, its inconvenient, its really heart warming to have the domestic animals around and co-exist with human being. Animals are certainly man's companions.

How to deaddict from news media

Whether you admit it or not, news media has almost integral part of our everyday life. We start our day with the newspapers. We turn on the TV to check for live, breaking news. We again check Google News or the online editions to re-read the same. We again check in the evening, night, and before going to bed. We follow news media as though we want to track everything under sun. But when it comes to news, BAD NEWS sells.  All the bad news are in front pages and somewhere some corner some positive news is embedded. Most of the news that are supposed to be 'breaking news' are not really breaking.  For instance, TV channels show a politician leaving his home at 9.15 am and reaching Prime Minister's office at 9.23 am and both are broadcasted simultaneously with time stamps. Since you may not know who is the politician among the crowd, he is red-circled, zoomed, and animated.
A Chennai friend says he can never think of a day without Hindu and coffee. My sister says she is fed up of reading all the negative news and thinking of stopping the newspaper; but will continue to read online. Newspapers claim to be "green", nullify the same through its supplements. Are we not supposed to start our day on a positive note? Do we need to bury our heads into news which does not contribute to our day in any form but only negative? No, this thinking not to turn blind eyes towards all that is negative - corruption, murders abuses etc.  The point is we are getting over exposed. Here are some ideas; you may want to try one or all of them to deaddict from the news
  • Stop reading the newspaper in the morning. You may want to read it in the evening.
  • Stop reading the newspaper for once in a week.
  • Stop reading the newspaper for every alternative day
  • If you are commuting to work by bus, do not carry the newspaper.
  • Stop being anxious expecting the newspaper boy.
  • If you have news subscribed through RSS Feed, Email, or on your Home page - unsubscribe them.
  • If you have time to watch TV news, switch off and use that time for something else.
  • Unsubscribe news through SMS - its a big distraction
Any important news, you always will come to know through your known contacts.
Many spiritual practices encourage to disconnect from the news media.
Bottom line is - a news necessarily not bring in knowledge.

Friday, August 3, 2012

State of Mind Is Important for Story Telling

Your state of mind plays a key role to make your story telling effectiveness.
You cannot both engage your child and the electronic gadgets simulataneously (from the effectiveness point of view).
  • Be completely with the kid
  • Till you finish the story, be away from 'your electronic toys'
  • Its your special time with your kid
  • When you tell the story, be one with the story
  • Make the kid feel important by giving your full attention
  • Regard this moment's story telling as a key project and fully focus on it
  • While you tell the story, engage the kid - it helps you stay tuned
  • Be responsible, because your kid is watching, listening

And when you ended the story, your kid should feel that she got the best one out of yours.  So, ensure that your state of mind is perfect for story telling.  Very down-to-earth tip: Be a kid, when you are with your kid!



A Bird Song

A Bird Song, I wrote for Diya
One little bird
Flying in the sky
Came to my home
Like a spy

She makes noise
Asking for food
If I give her
She behaves good.

I always wait
Hand full of grains
She is not seen
Because of rains

Oh Little Bird,
You are very sweet!
Come back soon,
Sing and tweet!

Daniel Tammet: Different ways of knowing

Books on Body Safety by Uma Kasi

My sister introduced me to two books on body safety written by Uma Kasi.  One book is written for the kids "Red Light Green Light Body Safety Rules". Another book is meant for the parents serving as a guide. I read these books and started appreciating the content and approach. Its just few pages of material but has a lot of important messages for everyone.

My sister said that the school where her kid studies, distributed these books to the children. Also, there is a teacher in the school who regularly creates awareness on these topics.


I also visited this Hindu article about the author. Here are some highlights.

  • She teaches three magic words: No, Run and Tell (easy to remember for kids on body safety from abusers)
  • She teamed up with her son's teacher Elizabeth Becker to write books for parents and children on body safety.
  • She says if kids feel "mad, sad, scared and embarrassed", its time to act.
  • She has tied up with schools for the body safety programme.
I am impressed, and I ordered a few copies of the book from India Plaza. The book is very low cost Rs.92/-. You buy Red Light Green Light book and you get the parent guide book free.

Books on Body Safety by Uma Kasi

My sister introduced me to two books on body safety written by Uma Kasi.  One book is written for the kids "Red Light Green Light Body Safety Rules". Another book is meant for the parents serving as a guide. I read these books and started appreciating the content and approach. Its just few pages of material but has a lot of important messages for everyone.

My sister said that the school where her kid studies, distributed these books to the children. Also, there is a teacher in the school who regularly creates awareness on these topics.

I also visited this Hindu article about the author. Here are some highlights.
  • She teaches three magic words: No, Run and Tell (easy to remember for kids on body safety from abusers)
  • She teamed up with her son's teacher Elizabeth Becker to write books for parents and children on body safety.
  • She says if kids feel "mad, sad, scared and embarrassed", its time to act.
  • She has tied up with schools for the body safety programme.
I am impressed, and I ordered a few copies of the book from India Plaza. The book is very low cost Rs.92/-. You buy Red Light Green Light book and you get the parent guide book free.

Google Wishes You on Your Birthday Through Doodle


Google Wishes on BirthdayGoogle gets personal on your birthday. Last year, it introduced a concept where in the Google user sees Google Doodle specailized with a birthday theme. Putting the cursor on the theme, you see the Birthday message appearing.

I showed this to my wife. She thought I am playing a trick. She has to wait till her birthday to believe it.  

CBSE's Open Book System for Analytical Skills

CBSE is planning to introduce Open Book system for the board students from next year.  This will help the education system moving away from 'memory based' learning to 'analytical thinking' based.  From what is called as Pre Announced Test (PAT), the students would know the passages from where the questions may be asked. Unlike the current system, students will not get a direct question - answer match from the books. 

Its a welcome move and this is how students can assess their analytical skills. It will be a good idea if this can be introduced even from junior classes partially. 

When I was a student, I broke the chapter passages into very basic questions and tried answering them. This helped me master some touch concepts even during my academic projects.

May be much more innovation is needed to take the academic load off the students and kindle the students' creativity and potential to the best. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nedunchaalai: Next Movie by Director Krishna


Director Krishna at Nedunchaalai movieDirector Krishna made it big with his surya-jyothika starrer 'Sillunu Oru Kaadhal'.  Now he is on the game again with his next project Nedunchaalai.  I was very happy to see him on the Sun News with his team talking about the movie with a lot of pride and enthusiasm. This movie is based on the real incident the director saw on a highway. Having been his classmate in school, I am very proud of his accomplishment and wish him and his team the very best!

Raksha Bandhan: A Band Promise to Beautiful Bond

Being a brother is something always enjoy. A brother relationship brings in responsibilty, trust and fun. Happy Raksha Bandhan to all the brothers and sisters.  Its a "band promise" to a beautiful bond. I always look forward this day!