Monday, 14 July 2014

DO WE NEED UNIFORMS????

Hello everyone, I have been bitten by a bug - the SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS bug. So I thought of using this platform to air my views on topics which are bothering me.
People, do not get confused with the title of the post. I am not asking you a question, it's just that this uniform thing has been going on in my mind since the last 10days and today I finally decided to share with you my anti-uniform thoughts.
In simple terms, wearing uniforms leads to uniformity, creates a feeling of belonging and oneness, especially among the students of a particular school. But frankly I think it is a sham and nothing more than that. The degree of discrimination found in today's schools is phenomenal. The reasons behind this strong observation are : 
  1. Discrimination starts at the very entrance of the school where we can see children getting out of cars to enter the school premises. One can find a plethora of cars, ranging from the Maruti to Nano to a Mercedes or a BMW, all engaged in a nameless competition. If nothing else,the young children learn the difference between a long car and a small car,and sometimes even insisting on a car similar to their friend's. I have first hand experience in this. Vamika was around five when she insisted on going to school in a long silver car just like the one her best friend's father had. We had a tough time making her understand her first lesson on money based discrimination. 
  2. Now if this is not enough, there is a major traffic problem as a result of these extra cars on the road every morning and afternoon. I pity the traffic police who have to face this on a daily basis. Not only do these cars create a catastrophic traffic situation every day, they also add to the parking woes in the areas sorrounding the school. 
  3. Corruption is an unwanted yet a "very much prevelant" outcome of traffic and parking problems created by these extra cars on the road. Trust the majority of the  car drivers to pay extra to the parking attendants to allow double parking, who in turn pay the traffic police who turn a blind eye to the ongoing rampant mockery of the law. This is like a vicious circle which just does not seem to have a loophole.
  4. A very common sight outside the schools in our city is students holding placards and shouting "NO HORN" every morning, a part of the Noise Pollution awareness drive done by schools in order to sanitise the students as well as the parents about the alarming noise pollution. But frankly speaking this is completely futile. The reason being simple: too many cars lead to traffic jams which in turn leads to traffic police stopping the cars for prolonged period at the various junctions near the school leading to delay in reaching the school on time which leads to the drivers honking consistently in trying to make way leading to utter and hopeless chaos every single school day.
  5. Then again we have the PTM or the parent teacher meet where the so called famous parents are gushed and fussed over and profusely thanked by the teachers and the administration staff for taking out time to visit the school. As if , the parents of other students are sitting idle at home and are not worth the gratitude and respect of the school authorities.
  6. Now comes the turn of birthdays. Inspite of the school clearly stating that only chcolates are to be distributed in the class and that too not worth more than ₹10, there are children distributing chocolates worth upto almost ₹20 and then there are even instances, where gifts worth ₹100-₹150 are distributed in the class.
  7. Another point that comes to my mind while discussing this topic is the amazing range of stationery, accessories and other paraphellia which students these days carry to school. The watches, the pencil boxes, tiffins, water-bottles and school bags are all so divinely attractive that even I, at times get tempted and carried away. So how can I blame the children ,if on seeing their peers bringing such awesome stuff insist their parents on buying them similar stuff irrespective of whether they can afford it or not. In relation to this point I would say kuddos to those school authorities who have introduced the rule under which all students have to buy all their stationery and accessories from the school itself.
  8. The last point that I think is worth mentioning here is that when we have children getting out of long cars or distributing expensive gifts on birthdays or whose parents are the so-called famous people of the city, this by itself prompts the teaching and the administrative staff of that particular school to treat them slightly different from the other regular students.
Now my question is whether this is just me going paranoid or feeling insecure about something very trivial or am I right in my concern about a matter which is clearly going out of our hands??? This is something which I am sure, all of us have been through, either directly or indirectly.
It would be all the more interesting if you all could write about your experiences or views on this topic and I would really love to be proven wrong. And if nothing else please share this page on facebook, your whatsapp group or even tweet it... thanks!!!

Friday, 4 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW : BEFORE I MET YOU by LISA JEWELL


I have had this book with me since the past three years but the excitement or shall I say thrill in holding a new book and reading it was just not there. Hence this book was lying in the book shelf gathering dust. Around two weeks back when I was desperately looking for something to read, I found this book and this time the two of us( the book and I ) connected from the word go and I really enjoyed this journey, with the author guiding me all along. 
Lisa Jewell has written a charming story of a young girl named Elizabeth and how her life changes when she leaves the quiet island of Guernsey( a small island on the English Channel off the coast of Normandy) and goes to live in Soho, London to hunt a mysterious lady named Clara Pickle who is a beneficiary in her grandmother's will.
It's a simple story written in a simple language which is easy to read and is a typical leisure read. 
But having said that I have to say that I really enjoyed this light read. With so many things happening in my life I was just not ready for any serious reading and this book met its purpose as I could totally unwind myself loosing in the story. 
The most interesting part of the storyline  is that it runs parallel in two eras. London, especially the Soho district of the 1920's and the present day. Though I detested history in school( please people, do not be shocked) I seriously enjoy reading about it when it comes beautifully packaged in the form of novels. I mean which child of the 80's would not hate history-it was so bland. But the novels are a different  cateogary all together. It talks about historical facts adding a healthy dose of fictional characters to talk about the past and making it easier for me to understand and enjoy. 
The story line has an nice twist towards the end making it a happy ending( I love books with happy ending - my belief that atleast someone, even if it's a fictional character has a happily ever after kind of ending!!! - dumb, u say, but, that's me)
But what really made me like this book was the mesmerising picture portrayed by Lisa of the Soho area in the 1920's. To be there at that time in the thick of events - must be simply amazing!! I could see myself wearing those beautiful clothes, getting my hair and face all made up going to attend those fun musical nights and hanging out with the "it" crowd in those exotic clubs. And the best part was to be an independent woman, on her own, earning and living the life of her dreams - picture perfect. Though the picture did get marred later but to enjoy those few months. Wow!!!
I will not call this book a must read but yes it can definitely be read once to enjoy the Soho of the 1920's and also to admire the dedication, time and interest spent by a young Elizabeth to find the mysterious Clara Pickle for her grandmother Arellete, and while on the trail, discover herself and the things that are important to her in the long run.