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Showing posts from June, 2010

THE GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

Some days ago, I watched the latest Mani Ratnam movie – ‘Raavan’. I did not like it at all. However, there is a line in the movie, which I liked immensely.

 Abhishek Bachchan is Beera, a Robin Hood-like hero who has kidnapped the police officer’s beautiful wife ( Aishwarya Rai) to take revenge on him. The police officer mounts an offensive and pursues this Raavan. Beera is a dreaded criminal for the Establishment, but a cult hero for his tribal folks. He is brute, merciless and highly volatile. Yet, he has failed to intimidate his delicate captive. For fourteen days, in spite of all the hardships he has caused, Beera has not been able to intimidate her. That makes him mad… His head spins… ‘Chaka, chaka, chaka, chaka….’. He admires this beautiful, frail woman … her grace under pressure … and vents out his frustration to his brother, “How can you kill some one who is not afraid to die?”

Perhaps, that was the reason why Raavan honored Sita’s modesty. In the movie, Beera has done exactly …

IS THERE SCOPE?

Sweta comes about as a very confident young girl. Recently her 12th standard results were out and she scored 90%. She got 99 in Biology, her highest and 84 in English, her lowest... Her dream has always been to pursue literature. She is very fond of English language. She reads varieties of books, speaks very fluently, writes creatively. All these things Sweta does without being told…, and she does it for long hours. She is happiest when she is involved in these things. There is no strain, no fatigue and no complaints.

Sweta’s fascination for English language began when she was in fifth standard. Miss. Lynette, a young and pretty English teacher had come to teach the little Sweta’s class. This young teacher had ignited in Sweta the thirst for language… and, from there on, it was only English for Sweta. She would talk about it to her friends… She would dream about writing books, teaching in a reputed college and inspiring her students as her idol, Miss. Lynette did. “Prof. Sweta,” this…

BUT, NOT NOW...

"Sir, I want my daughter to become a fine public speaker. Will your course help her?

"Sir, my son lacks self-confidence. Can you help him to be confident?"

“Sir, I want to improve my English... I want to learn how to speak fluently. Can you help me?"

The sir has this ready answer: "Of course, yes. I can certainly help. But… "

"But, what?"

"But, this." I tell them this little story.

Once, a Parish priest of one of the churches began to receive frequent complaints that many of his parishioners spent a lot of their time and money in the local liquor bar. Disturbed by this development, the priest decided to end this nuisance, once and for all. So, one night, dressed in his civil clothes, the Father stormed the bar. He was shocked to see, that at least twenty of his church members were having a good time there, all drunk.

"Your shameless sinners," the Priest did not waste his time to blast, "Get out of this hell." He th…

WHEN ONE DOOR SLAMS...

In the Sanjay Bansali movie, ‘Black’, there is this scene. Michelle (Rani Mukerjee), the blind, deaf and dumb student of Debhraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan) has just shown some arrogance and disrespect. She has thrown away her books and is stubbornly refusing to repent. Her eccentric teacher doesn’t wait even for a second to beat her blue. She is dragged to the typewriter, and there she is, rage personified. Then, she starts typing the brail… Till then, Michelle couldn’t go beyond even twenty words per minute. Now, angry, mad, hell-bent, she goes about hammering the keyboard and when the watch stops, the teacher is astonished. “Fifty words per minute,” he exclaims as his student has vented out all her anger and sorrow on the keys of her typewriter. She is calmed down; she is ready to listen, repent for her actions. The teacher holds his student and begins to go out, telling her beholding mother, “It is time for celebration; time for an ice cream.” The mother asks with a pleasant confusio…

THE CATTLE CLASS

Today, the SSC results are out in Maharashtra. I have received so many messages from either the students or their parents telling me proudly about the results. None of them has scored below 85%. Today, when some one says he or she has scored 89% 0r 93%, not many eyebrows go up. It is great news… but that news is so common, today.

This post is not inspired by these ‘achievers’, but by a ‘loser’. Just a stone throw away from my classes, this family lives. The young man has scored a Glorious 45%! And, understandably, the young man’s father, a simple office assistant, has gone crazy. “He has shattered my hopes,” the distressed father goes about telling. Their neighbour’s son has scored 92%... and our young man is not even half way this ladder!


“It’s okay; he will surely do well in life,” I consoled the father. “Do well? With 45%?” the look almost scared me to death.

Did I simply do a lip service to this heart-broken man, or did I really mean what I said?

About thirty-five years ago, one …

THE FLAG OF THE UNDERDOG

The Football fever has gripped the world. And, I am not spared.

Some days ago, I watched on our Lap Top, the movie of the eighties – ‘Escape To Victory’. I watched it with my son, and both of us really enjoyed it. It has a story set during the Second World War, which is simple yet powerful.

The Germans have never won a single football match against the British, and that is difficult to swallow for them. So, the Army chief wants to humiliate the Allies by trouncing them in a Soccer match. But, that would be a match of un equals as the best of the German players would be pitted against a squad from the Allies POW. And, that makes this movie so inspiring, like our own ‘Lagaan’.


Another reason why I liked this movie is that it has my Soccer hero, Pele… and his famous ‘bicycle-kick goal’. In the movie, the coach who selects Pele is highly impressed by the raw, inborn talent of this ‘Black Pearl’. “Where did you learn all this, young man?” the coach asks Pele. “Back home on the streets of…

THE PUPPIES

My friend Giri conducted a Workshop for our young students this morning. He had called it ‘Success Mantras – 2’. Two weeks ago, he had held his first Workshop and called it: ‘Success Mantras -1’.

Giri conveys his message through simple games, which the young participants thoroughly enjoy. A very complex principle can be conveyed through a very simple game, and Giri is a genius in it. Two weeks ago, during his first Workshop, he gave the kids a simple activity of raising a tower with blocks. How simple! But, when the kids actually began to do it, they realized how hard it was. Most of them could not even go beyond five blocks! In the end, Giri revealed his first Success Mantra: Start on a sound foundation. “To achieve success, you need to first focus on the basic principles – the foundation,” he declared, “Else, my little friends, your tower would soon lean, collapse.”

In today’s Workshop, he dealt with another four Success Mantras. The last of the four hit them hard. It was a game of…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...