Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kahlil Gibran on Children - how apt

The other day, Arun told me about having to submit marks of students after evaluation at the earliest. Okay, that is normal. They will be sent to their parents....... now, that got me wondering. Post graduate students, and their marks were being sent home to their parents. At 22, they are adults. They take the decision of electing the Prime Minister of the country and here you speak about sending their marks home. I can only see it in one of these ways:
1. A school or college is supposed to help a student learn to handle his life: make decisions, account for those decisions and take responsibility too for the results, good or bad. And you can't do that by absolving yourself of your share of duties, by putting the onus on the parents.
2. Minimum age of a student when he comes for a post graduate course is 21. Treat him like one.
3. Parents are important. But, taking a grownup man or woman to his parents over something as simple as mid-term tests is difficult to understand. Speak to him/her. Help them manage their life, show them the future, help them decide what they want.

When Arun sent me the lines of Kahlil Gibran, I thought of how apt they were.

On Children -- Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Raja Ravi Varma

Why should I turn to Michaelangelo and Da Vinci when I have a master back home ?

Raja Ravi Varma - prince among painters and a painter among princes........

One of my favourites...........

Watch particularly the lady from Kerala. It shows the dressing style across his lifetime - history through paintings........

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's a cruel world

There are many sports played around the world - the word 'sport' means to encourage, to instill, to entertain, a means to inculcate good values and the right spirit (according to me).

But then, take a look at these:

The life of the horses and bulls that fight in Spain, the Calderon dolphins in Denmark, the dolphins in Japan and similar cases is hell. Why ? Because there is one selfish being on earth, MAN.

And the worst part is that these countries, the so called developed nations, where this is being practised, go around the world, preaching to the developing and under developed nations, about global warming, the need to conserve and protect flora and fauna.

Not that they are not right. But then, they need to look at their own backyard before they preach about cleaning up someone else's.

In countries like mine, where a large percentage of population lives close or below the poverty line, the fight for resources is being waged every minute, every second. The denudation of forests to make way for human beings is culminating in man-animal conflicts like never before. Still, we are trying. For being an agricultural country, we realize the death of our forests means our own death; it means less rainfall and therefore lesser production of grain and livelihoods lost. Global warming has affected us a lot especially this year with drought. We support the need to reduce carbon emissions. But then find, that the ed countries are not ready to share the burden. Rather, they are happy preaching on how to do it here.

Go to the developed nations, and you will find vehicles that guzzle gas, being driven singularly for 2-3 hours easily every morning and evening by office goers. In India, most people travel by public transport. One, most of us can ill afford it and with the traffic being so high, people prefer travelling by a two wheeler as opposed to a four wheeler. There is the awareness that global warming is harming us. That we need to clean up. The people, government and the courts are doing it by protecting the forests, removing fuming industries and also locating them outside cities. Similar about the matter of cruely to animals. Animal slaughter in the name of offerings continues but then, is being vehemently opposed too. Similar with the Jalikattu (bull fighting Indian style) which is facing stiff opposition mostly from the people of the state where the practice exists. There is greater awareness today than ever before and people are standing up.

I remember the time, when a bull that was pulling a heavily loaded cart fell on the road. Such was the sight that people who saw it got together and beat up the man who did it, before handing him over to the police. He might have got off with a warning and a fine, but the beating will stay in his mind forever. That man would never dare put another animal in that condition ever again. That awareness is definitely there with us who still live close to mother earth with her other children, for we are not totally mechanized.

Hope we continue with what our culture has given us - of considering all animals equal to ourselves and that we are born with a duty to protect. That reminds me, in Hinduism, every person according to his birth star has a tree and an animal or bird. The purpose is that he will protect that tree and animal and cause no harm. (Mine is the karimaram and the peacock). That way, conservation happens. Hope we go back and relearn.