…And my kid too falls into mobile trap and I feel helpless!

“Again mobile! Aren’t you sick of using it in morning, afternoon, evening and night? You have books, newspaper, notebooks; why cant you sit and study?”

I had to yell at my teenager son looking at his continuously growing fascination for his gadget.

“Mom, I am happy catching Pokemons in New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, while sitting in the comfort of my house,” he replied immediately when my pitch got louder. Unaffected, he again went busy in his business of looking after Pokemons.

This scene has become quite regular at my place. He wakes up with his cell, gets ready for school and again sits with his mobile to play games. He becomes so engaged in his usual business that at times, he forgets about his school time too and had to be reminded of the same.

When he comes from school, the first thing he searches is for his mobile. Before eating lunch, after his lunch, before tuition and after tuitions, in evening snacks, before dinner and after dinner, mobile seems to have become his regular partner.

Even if you go for outings, at marriages, parties, picnics, this mobile sticks to him like a glue.

When I try to check him, he shows me all his classmates who are sitting online.

“You look like an outdated mom,” he says when I get after his life. “All kids are online, but no one’s mom behaves like you,” these words give me a shocker.

Am I getting too much harsh? Have mobiles become a part of kids’ life? Have other parents accepted this fact? Am I getting extra worried? There are thousands of questions  banging my head with no answers coming from anywhere around.

I discussed this with my friends and they expressed the same plight and pain of theirs. Their kids too are hooked to their mobiles. And they feel helpless too.

Snatching mobiles from them make them feel isolated as they cant exchange their chats. Getting louder makes them anguished; and, I, as a parent, can feel his increasing dependence on mobile, is making him addicted.

I can feel him getting restless and stressed. But am clueless how to get him de-addicted from this addiction. Any help from anywhere?

Five reasons why the content of India’s oldest literature—Rig Veda—should be known to all!

“We are taught Shakespeare in school but not Kalidas and that’s a shame.” When renowned author and politician Shashi Tharoor uttered these words during Jaipur Literature Festival on British Raj in India, I was more keen to know more about the ancient Indian literature. Without any delay, I Googled the ‘ancient Indian literature’ and found […]

“We are taught Shakespeare in school but not Kalidas and that’s a shame.”

When renowned author and politician Shashi Tharoor uttered these words during Jaipur Literature Festival on British Raj in India, I was more keen to know more about the ancient Indian literature.

Without any delay, I Googled the ‘ancient Indian literature’ and found Google popping up ‘vedas’. A little in-depth search brought to my notice that the most ancient literature of India – the Rig Veda, describes about the power of yoga, meditation, mantra, charity, cosmology as well as Ayurveda. Rig Veda beautifully presents the significance of nature too. The appealing presentation of Ushas, the Goddess of Dawn, is quite enticing. With its 1028 hymns scripted in Vedic Sanskrit, Rig Veda describes everything which we are trying to explore in today’s world! Here we discuss five reasons why we must know more about the constituents of this most ancient Indian literature:

Rig Veda had the most original thoughts on origin of universe: Discussing nature as well as the origin of universe, Rig Veda consisted of the most original thoughts. The first eight books, constituted thousands of years back, discussed cosmology besides praising deities. Similarly, Books 1 and 10, that were added at last discussed questions about how universe was originated. They also discussed the virtue of charity and donation in society.

2. It introduced the world to the Science of Sound: The Rig Veda is the book of Mantra. It contains the oldest form of all the Sanskrit mantras. The book is believed to have been built around a science of sound comprehending the meaning and power of each letter.

3. Its content has strong relevance to today’s world: Most aspects of Vedic science like the practice of yoga, meditation, mantra and Ayurveda are found in the Rig Veda. Despite being the oldest literature, it still finds its existence in today’s world. It discusses about significance of nature and science too!

4. It is one among the world’s oldest texts: Being one of the oldest texts being written in any Indo-Iranian language, it formed one of the world’s oldest texts. Surprisingly, its contents were preserved over centuries by oral tradition alone.  According to research, they were not put in writing before the start of the Early Middle Ages.

5. Its origin remains unknown: Enjoying the credit of being the oldest book in Sanskrit or any Indo-European language, its date still remains debatable. While the renowned scholars who have studied the astronomical references in the hymns date the Rig Veda before 4000 BC, there are a few modern western scholars who relate them to the period existing around 1500 BC. Meanwhile, the most recent archeological finds in India (like Dwaraka) seems to give it a much earlier date.

Now, Isn’t it interesting to know that what remains unexplored today was being discussed thousands of years back by our forefathers? Don’t you think  that our ignorance have made the most valuable literature as the lost literature? How many of us who have read William Wordsworth or Shakespeare have read Kalidasa or Tagore in modern world too? Shouldn’t we start catching up with our most ancient literature too frequently?

Will catch up with more interesting facts on ancient literature in next blog.

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Five reasons why the content of India’s oldest literature—Rig Veda—should be known to all!

“We are taught Shakespeare in school but not Kalidas and that’s a shame.”

When renowned author and politician Shashi Tharoor uttered these words during Jaipur Literature Festival on British Raj in India, I was more keen to know more about the ancient Indian literature.

Without any delay, I Googled the ‘ancient Indian literature’ and found Google popping up ‘vedas’. A little in-depth search brought to my notice that the most ancient literature of India – the Rig Veda, describes about the power of yoga, meditation, mantra, charity, cosmology as well as Ayurveda. Rig Veda beautifully presents the significance of nature too. The appealing presentation of Ushas, the Goddess of Dawn, is quite enticing. With its 1028 hymns scripted in Vedic Sanskrit, Rig Veda describes everything which we are trying to explore in today’s world! Here we discuss five reasons why we must know more about the constituents of this most ancient Indian literature:

Rig Veda had the most original thoughts on origin of universe: Discussing nature as well as the origin of universe, Rig Veda consisted of the most original thoughts. The first eight books, constituted thousands of years back, discussed cosmology besides praising deities. Similarly, Books 1 and 10, that were added at last discussed questions about how universe was originated. They also discussed the virtue of charity and donation in society.

2. It introduced the world to the Science of Sound: The Rig Veda is the book of Mantra. It contains the oldest form of all the Sanskrit mantras. The book is believed to have been built around a science of sound comprehending the meaning and power of each letter.

3. Its content has strong relevance to today’s world: Most aspects of Vedic science like the practice of yoga, meditation, mantra and Ayurveda are found in the Rig Veda. Despite being the oldest literature, it still finds its existence in today’s world. It discusses about significance of nature and science too!

4. It is one among the world’s oldest texts: Being one of the oldest texts being written in any Indo-Iranian language, it formed one of the world’s oldest texts. Surprisingly, its contents were preserved over centuries by oral tradition alone.  According to research, they were not put in writing before the start of the Early Middle Ages.

5. Its origin remains unknown: Enjoying the credit of being the oldest book in Sanskrit or any Indo-European language, its date still remains debatable. While the renowned scholars who have studied the astronomical references in the hymns date the Rig Veda before 4000 BC, there are a few modern western scholars who relate them to the period existing around 1500 BC. Meanwhile, the most recent archeological finds in India (like Dwaraka) seems to give it a much earlier date.

Now, Isn’t it interesting to know that what remains unexplored today was being discussed thousands of years back by our forefathers? Don’t you think  that our ignorance have made the most valuable literature as the lost literature? How many of us who have read William Wordsworth or Shakespeare have read Kalidasa or Tagore in modern world too? Shouldn’t we start catching up with our most ancient literature too frequently?

Will catch up with more interesting facts on ancient literature in next blog.

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Dealing strictly with female employee amounts to sexual harassment: Govt body

An inquiry panel set up by a govt institute recently declared that dealing women strictly for dereliction amounts to sexual harassment? Doesn’t this report come as a shame when we talk of women empowerment and want equality for women both in work and wages. If this what we call as women empowerment, then those women, who want to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men would prefer backing off from work than to enjoy such liberalities.

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Believe it or not! An inquiry panel called by a government body recently proclaimed that dealing strictly with female employee amounts to sexual harassment.
 
In this episode, the female employee, habitual of reporting late, leaving office early and taking frequent leave without informing her reporting authority, was questioned by her immediate boss.
 
Getting vindictive, she accused him of harassing her sexually. An inquiry was immediately ordered in this case and what the judgement claimed is quite surprising.
 
The judgement proclaims that the officer cannot ask her in writing for the reasons of her absence from office. Even in cases when the Supreme Court ruled that it is paramount for all employees to be in office to meet deadlines of the proposed work, he shouldn’t dare to raise his pitch for their dereliction of duties or else he might be in a soup.
 
Doesn’t this ruling come as a surprise when we all talk high of women empowerment?
 
Meanwhile, the report mentions that while the charges of sexual harassment couldn’t be proved, but as the officer had dealt with the female strictly, it does account to sexual harassment. Quite contradictory! Isn’t it.
 
Now what is all the more interesting is how the inquiry officers culminated the proceedings.
 
They asked the respective officer to meet the so-called ‘victim’ and apologise for his ‘misdeeds’ which include asking her reasons for her absence.
 
Moral of the story:
 
If you have a women worker right under you who comes and leaves office at her own wish and will,let her do the work as she wishes or else she can pounce on you for interrupting in the freedom she is enjoying under the garb of women empowerment.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mr PM, let’s defocus on corruption & start discussing honest officers! They can make Clean India with clean endeavours by clearing corruption!

demotivated-staff.jpgWhen demonetisation drive has already triggered rampant round of discussions on corrupt officials, I would like to divert the attention towards the life of honest government officials. Their agonies are unending and there is no taker for their plight. They are silent witness to lot many corrupt practices and can give a helping hand to govt machinery for smooth functioning of a nation. Let’s refer to the plight of one government official working with an autonomous body of Ministry of HRD who is paying a daily cost of being honest to his duty by losing his health, wealth, character and most important- his mental peace!

This Mr Clean officer is continuously being harassed by his seniors and co-workers, who work hand-in-gloves, to accomplish their self-seeking vested interests.

His role keeps on changing every month without giving any specifications/ reasons. His work station too keeps changing in short tenures as he disallows his employees to earn through wrong channels.

Eventually, over a period of time, he starts living on the mercy of his officials with his job description changing every month.

He often plays the role of whistleblower when he gets to know about rampant irregularities in his office, only to get penalised in his endeavour to keep his office working clean. He continues informing his authorities, senior authorities, member secretary and chairperson about such malpractices along with suitable proofs, but all in vain.

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credit :satyamev jayate+vida manejo

All through this process, his trust on Satyamev Jayate doesn’t get shaken and he continues his fight. His co-workers lure him to join their endeavour but he maintains a distance from them. This is because his values never allow him to compromise.

In return, he gets transferred from one location to other frequently, from south to west, from north to east and what not. The cost of his honesty is being paid by his family who feels tormented with such penalties. He gets trapped in concocted plans of his co-workers. Still he doesn’t lose hope and continues fighting. His seniors keep tormenting him after issuing memorandum after memorandum. And he keeps replying to them without breaking the chain. His corrupt colleagues get frequent promotions and this poor fellow is asked to make endless waits for the same.

The corrupt senior authorities take the mileage of absence of transfer policy in his office and keep scaring this poor man of the same.

His other co-workers keep luring him to earn money via illegal means to safeguard his future. But, he being strong on his principles, refuses to compromise at any cost!

With his limited saving, he takes court’s shelter too. But the power and money-hungry officials here too use their power and govt money to emerge out as winners of the game. They bring entire corrupt machinery together. They hire the best of the advocates to prove this innocent man guilty through hook or crook.

They initiate unwanted inquiries, ask their co-officials to travel from one headquarter to another to chalk out right strategy, pay hefty fee to advocates while wasting lakhs of government money.

And this common man, amid all ‘rich and royal’ officials, start dying a slow death. His blood pressure keeps fluctuating. His visits to doctor keep increasing, his medical bills continue to rise and his family’s sufferings refuse to end.

Now, Mr PM, can you please answer the following questions, as they could end the plight of such honest government officials?

What should an employee do if the entire staff is indulged in corruption?

What should he do if the senior authorities do not lend their ear to his grievances?

What should he do if all corrupt officials join hands against him?

What should he do if despite having all proofs, he still gets transferred quite frequently for one or the other reason?

What should he do if he feels demotivated and gets suicidal because there is no senior authority who takes a positive stand after listening to his grudges?

Looking forward for a reasonable solution from a man who has made a mark on global world with his prudent moves and who is looking forward to a clean India!

Delhi belly gets full with filth, fumes & fog which we call smog!

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Delhi on November 6 at 12 noon

Yes, its true! Delhi belly is full of filth. And therefore a total of 20% of the world’s children staying here face the risks of developing life-long health complications due to air pollution. Many of them also face certain challenges of life threatening disease. This is what has been revealed in recently released report by UNICEF entitled, ‘Clean the Air for Children.’

The report adds that many of these kids also face certain challenges of life threatening disease. The kids catch infections quite easily due to air pollution. This is because of their physiology as well as due to different degree of their exposure to the pollutants. Kids also breathe twice as fast as adults. They inhale more air and pollutants which affect their growth and make their immune system weak.

Further, giving goosebumps to parents, this report  presents a holistic study showing that outdoor air pollution exceeds over six times in India that of the set limits which are considered safe internationally.

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Headlights on in day time as visibility reduces to lower levels

Hence, in these testing times, don’t you think it is the duty of government to bring in some tough measures to check pollution levels in capital as well as in the country.

This Saturday, I was in Delhi and for the first time, I saw sun struggling to show its might on earth even at 12 noon. Traffic cops on roads were wearing masks on their faces; even those walking on streets had a fear on their face. I wondered is this the same Delhi, which I left hale and healthy six months back. And then came reports after reports on its pollutants figures:

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Sunlight stopped by smog in Delhi

* It’s AQI index surpassed the benchmark of 300 to touch the figure of 392 which is being considered very poor: Now you must be willing to know more about AQI. It is an air quality index (AQI) used by government agencies to communicate to the public about the pollution level. It states how polluted the air is or how polluted it could become in future. The increase in the AQI leads to the adverse health effects for a large percentage of the population.

*The ever-mounting figures of pollution in Delhi became a cause of concern for one and all: Both the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) rang alarm bells to make people realise the fact that the city’s air quality has touched hazardous levels during the winter.

*Source of pollution: The weather conditions, Diwali crackers and smoke from crop fire have been the vital reasons triggering some disastrous results in Delhi and its surrounding zones. Meanwhile, the major sources for air pollution identified in Delhi are inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities. The city gets all the more pollutants on Diwali with the crackers leaving no stone unturned to make the air toxic.

* High level of pollutants: On October 30, 2016, that is on Diwali day, the PM2.5 levels jumped to 1,238, which, in normal circumstances, should remain below 10. These are tiny particles which remain suspended in air and get into lungs causing reasons for high mortality risks. The exposure to average annual concentrations of PM2.5 of 35 or above is associated with a 15% higher long-term mortality risk.

* And the data says: A recently derived Data from satellite measurements, air transport models and ground station collected by monitoring over 3,000 rural and urban locations, reveals that an estimated 3 million deaths a year are reported due to an exposure to outdoor air pollution. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths making it over 11.6 per cent of global deaths were associated with exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.

This report also revealed the fact that around 90 per cent of air-pollution-related deaths are reported in countries which are low- and middle-income. Nearly two out of three such deaths occur in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.

* Diseases from air pollution: A few major diseases triggered by air pollution are cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and lung cancer. The number of acute respiratory infections also multiply with the increase in air pollution.

Need of the hour: A legislation is quickly required to curb the air pollution.

Although there are a few laws already in place for automobile emissions, but they need some amount of  upgradation as well to touch better standards. Laws regarding the refinement of chimney emissions etc which reduce pollutants and PM particles from the emission need to be checked for its implementation.

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It’s dark in the day time!

The government needs to send health updates to residents about air quality. It should also order taking off roads the heavy polluting diesel vehicles. Introducing a safer public transport is yet another initiative the government can take.

Close on the heel of China’s initiative, it should also close colleges and offices after closing schools.This initiative will help avoid its people getting exposed to dreadful air pollutants.

There is a stringent need to take quick action to fix things before it gets too late. Urgent measures need to be taken to make air in India the best in the world, which, on Diwali night, was among the world’s worst.

Let the government agencies implement something concrete which can give respite to the citizens and let the people too avow to keep their surroundings clean, to minimise use of private vehicles especially diesel ones, to ensure better life for the coming generations.

Why ‘No Crackers’ & Why Not ‘No ACs’, ‘No papers’? Nature has to be saved each day !

‘No crackers’ goes the message everywhere in schools. My kid comes with the message saying we won’t use crackers this time.

I felt proud. On Holi also, he had said we won’t waste water for Holi. But I wonder why teachers never teach him ‘No ACs’ or ‘No Papers’? Why they never say that let’s stop using air conditioners in summers. Why they never make them learn plant saplings around which can grow up to give them shade under scorching sun?

I also wonder why they ask them to submit tonnes of projects on paper sheets and why they never argue that let’s preserve paper!

I also wonder why they keep making choices according to their comfort and not go calculative! I see entire nation pleading for no crackers, but why no one is going to the root cause of forest depletion, drying rivers, soil erosion and so on?

Is the goal of sustenance only meant for a day or a two or is it meant for each day? I think we are confused! and I remember Mansoor Khan, Bollywood producer, who produced QSQT and JJWS, opining that schools are teaching delusions these days and here lies the problem.

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Mansoor Khan, renowned Bollywood producer in his Acres Wild Farmstay

It might be because growth is of paramount importance to us and this is why we are asked to compromise on certain parameters.

And so we obediently compromised and allowed the growth to progress at the cost of lush greenery, forest depletion, drying of rivers, depleting natural resources and vanishing soil components from ground!

But is this real growth? Are we really growing by killing our own natural resources?  Should we genuinely follow this growth model?

At a time when the brain starts asking such questions, I suddenly remember my discussion with Mansoor.

Speaking to him for one of my stories in Rail Bandhu, Rural rustic Charm, he said, “Cities form centres of cancer and tumour. They build nodes of cancer, suck everything like salt, water etc and pollute the surroundings! By killing everything, these cities take us on developed path.”

It was twenty three years back, this man left the life of Mumbai to start his living in lush green surroundings of Coonoor.

Here he is indulged in organic farming and teaches cheese making to his guests off from the city life, he has hills surrounding his residence.

According to him, it’s interesting to share knowledge, encoring people to shift ideas. His opinion is that dwelling in village life is like imparting a real education. By leaving no water, no soil, no resources, no relationships, what are we leaving for our future generations?

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 A real life lesson: Kids are happy when introduced to rural life!

On present education system, his views were quite surprising. “Schools are teaching madness, we are running after growth model and this model has failed everywhere. Name any country and see how far it has been able to sustain this growth model.”

So don’t you think it’s the time to think for long-term sustenance of resources. Let’s build eco-friendly measures not for one or two festivals but for each day or else we are going to be big losers. Let’s not allow growth to take us on de-growth path.

We need to learn from tribals who have preserved their resources despite all challenges. A time to think seriously!