Friday, December 3, 2010

Humiliation: The Teachers way: Why do they do this?

I was driving the other day through outskirts of Bangalore. I happened to see a school, a very mediocre one, compared to the high end Bangalore schools. In the verandah I saw a kid, kneeling on the ground. He for sure was ousted from the class and made to stand out, probably a punishment for a “gross crime” he has committed. I could not stand the sight and felt really furious. The thought of a tiny kid being humiliated in front of a whole school and passing public made me very restless.

I was an average kid all through my childhood. Schooling wasn’t something I liked, though I never hated it. That was till my 4th standard. I don’t remember what was the sin I did, but for some apparent reason I was punished and then taken to the headmistress (HM) one day. I remember panicking as I was being made to walk like a criminal to the judge. I was caned by the HM and then I was taken back to the class. The whole of that day I was made to stand outside my class room. I would sit down when my legs would tire, and when I heard the teacher or any passerby coming close, I would stand up again. I do remember having wept a lot that day.

The next day I went inside my class and sat as usual. The teacher came during the second period, and seeing me in the class got infuriated. She took me to the HM again, and this time I was made to stand outside the HM’s room. Three humiliating days were to follow. I stood there the whole day, and had to go in and ask permission to go to the loo during the break. She would nod, not even looking up at me. Other kids would walk past and laugh at me standing there, few made fun of me, and few sympathized with me. But I was a laughing stock for all to see. Some parents who came into the school would come and ask me what happened, and I would sob seeing them. By evening, I felt like garbage, not even wanting to go back home.

I did not know what to do the next day, so I went kept the bag in the class and went to the staff room to ask my teacher. Thinking of it now, I feel, she thought I was sarcastic or maybe I was showing attitude, what ever it may be, she got furious and asked me to stand in front of the HM’s room. Surprisingly, I did not feel bad, nor did I cry. I remember telling one senior that, I have been made the watchman for the HM. I would see kids being brought in like sheep to the butcher. There was fear in their eyes as they would go in, then they would be caned and they would go out crying. We would exchange looks as if to say, I understand buddy!! Later that day, a senior came with a box of sweets. She distributed it inside the office and then gave to HM. On the way out, she came to me, and offered me one. I heard the HM shouting from inside, “not to him”. I was a culprit who wasn’t eligible for any pleasures. I had started hating the HM and the school as such by then. There was some rage inside me that was burning.

Day Three, I didn’t even go to the class. I don’t know what had transpired in me, but I went straight to the HM’s room and stood outside with my bag kept beside me. I started wishing all the teachers who would pass by with a smile. I sat there and ate my lunch. During the break I would have kids around me, watching me, as if I was a joker out of a circus tent. I wished I could vanish. I wished I fell so ill that someone would take me away and I could hide. Nothing happened. I was humiliated more and felt more depressed.

Though I changed to a new school next year, those four days had a major impact on me. I fell so low on my self confidence. I did not want to go to school anymore. I didn’t want to see any of my friends. I stopped looking at schoolmates, was worried that they may be laughing at me. I started running away from everything.

This may have happened to many, and so many would have brushed it aside and not let it affect them. But it affected me to no ends, and continued harassing me till my tenth, when I finally could move on.

I still don’t know what they were trying to achieve by doing that to me. Whatever it was, all they managed to do ,was to kill the self respect of a student and make him feel rotten. I have never been able to pardon them for what they have done to me, and I won’t ever. I hate them from the core of my heart and wish no kid goes through this again.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Its a good day

When the sun is up,

As the day gets bright

So am I up

In all my might

Its easy to give up

Its easy to lose it

But, I'm a fighter

And I cant lose it

All I need is you

To hold me to you

When I reach there

I won’t be alone

You’ll take me there

As with me, you have flown

As I wish myself a good day

I know its going to be our day.

Im sorry- For I took it away

I'm Sorry

For this is a personal apology

You shared it all with me,

You shared your mind, soul, heart

You let me touch you, hold you, cuddle you

Never did you say a no to me,

Never let me down when I needed you

You let me take your most priced possession,

I took it away from you

You let me share your body with me.

I let you down; I made you feel losing your self respect

I deserve no sympathy, cos I failed you again.

What I have for you is pure, and what I'm losing is the purest

If no one sees me again, it’s not cos you hate me

It is cos, I hate myself.

I'm sorry

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Dream : from aashiana

My dream

I sit overlooking the cliff

Not even realizing the Breeze

When i look down and see the waves

I realize the vastness ahead is empty

Is there an angel who would appear

To lend a shoulder to disappear

I dont want to hide from the world

All i need is a chest to bury my head

The feel of being owned

The feel of being cared

The touch of reaffirming

The warmth of belonging

As she appears from the far side

I'm not sure if she is going to be aside

I don’t even know, if she is coming for me

Or if she also would walk past me

She comes close, her hair brushing my face

I know the smell of her perfume

She isn’t an angel,

She is for real

She holds my face

Looks at my eyes

Is there a drop of tear

Both of us may drop

Holding my face close to her

She whispers my name in my ear

I'm so light

She holds me tight

I look up to see her face

Is that the one I miss ?

A scream shatters the peace

Reality always bites

Woken up from my sleep

My day begins again

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chalna hai mujhe

Its easy to Give up..

Its easy to Wipe out..

Its easy to Vanish...

Its easy to Perish...

Just that I cant...

Cos Im ME...

Chalna hai bahut mujhe,

lekin aaj nahi...
Aayenge woh din zaroor,

mujhe intezar nahi...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Media Mockery- Yet Again .

When Barkha Dutt’s interview with SRK on what he feels about Bal Thackeray was being telecast the Nth time in NDTV, and when Headlines Today was discussing if the guy who stabbed Rathore was a drama ploy by Rathore’s camp, and CNN IBN was discussing BT Brinjal, a small ignorable scroll was running that 16 Indian Soldiers had perished under an avalanche in Jammu, and at least 60 others were fighting for their lives under tons of snow.

Media is a profit game, TRPs do matter, and Sensitive stories capture imaginations. Our media is selective about deciding what we should hear.

Why isn’t that such a disaster would capture their time share?

How is a drop of blood from Rathore’s chin more important than 16 soldiers who died on duty?

Why is it that six people killed in a shooting incident in a far fledged state of USA gather media coverage in all our channels, but a boat capsize in a far away village of Bihar or Bengal just gets a passing remark .

Is media circumspect of human lives based on the TRPs that the news would garner?

Isn’t there a bigger role expected to be played by them ?

My homage to those brave army men who lost their lives saving us and keep getting ignored. Pardon us , if you can, for we feel that your lives are less valued than what a Thackeray would utter next .

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Swanthana - Haven of Little Angels

If you have a heart, it will bleed once you read the first few lines.

The Just born ammu was thrown in the waste bin behind a hotel one night. By next morning, she was almost eaten up by stray dogs and crows. Fortunately for her she was rescued. But due to that ordeal, she is paralyzed waist down.

There is one girl who was dumped in the waste bin in a railway station. She was rescued but acute malnutrition had left her mentally and physically disabled.

Another girl was hit by an iron rod by her dad as he was trying to hit her mom. The kid who was healthy is now mentally and physically disabled and has been abandoned by her parents.

These were the sights we saw at Swanthana, an orphanage for Mentally and physically challenged girl children.

Words cannot describe the agony we, the members of Feed the Nation went through watching these kids, holding them and trying to make them smile.

A lot of new members had joined us for the visit. Our Project Coordinator, Vineeth had done a pilot visit to ascertain the requirements. They needed Clothes, Diapers as all kids attend the natures call as is, and food. Mails were circulated to members to arrange for these needs. Apart from this our new member Rubina had arranged lunch for all the inmates and FTN members.

Being the Republic day, the Nuns had arranged for flag hoisting. We had nothing much to do to entertain the kids than carrying them around, and moving them around in their wheel chairs. The kids’ happiness was over whelming. They wanted to move around, and the moment anyone was taken back to the building, we could hear the screams to go out again.

It was an appealing sight. The privilege each of us enjoy to be able to do what we want, in knowing what we are doing. And here is a bunch of kids, at the mercy of others for no fault of theirs. Their only fault is probably that they survived their birth, and sadly were born to selfish and heartless parents, who left them to the mercy of the world, so that they may live a peaceful life. I'm very sure they wouldn’t have slept a single night peacefully, after the day they decided to dump their bundle of joy into a waste bin, for the stray dogs to feast on her.

The home is run amazingly well. The Nuns led by Sis Regina , takes extremely good care of the kids. They hardly have any external support, and hence are not able to accommodate more kids. The facility now has 29 kids and they are willing to take more needy kids, but are short of space. They are looking forward for a big time sponsor to build some extra rooms for them. On a day to day basis, they need clothes, diapers, food, toys etc for the kids. We want to associate with them long time on these needs.

As we parted, most of us had very heavy hearts. As I shared this with my friends, many came forward to provide more help. Most of us cannot take away our minds of that little ammu who captured our thoughts.

My Daughter, Anandita summed it up later that evening, when she told me “ Lets go there again daddy, ammu was so happy when she was with us” .

We would be going there soon, may be for Ammu's 1st birthday which is in february.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yaadon Ki Baaraat - A Charity event by Feed The Nation

Yaadon Ki Baaraat as it was rightly named took us through a nostalgic ride of retro music, the golden era of Indian Music. It was a fund raiser organised for Feed the Nation. Appreciations that have come from all quarters including print media has given us the courage and momentum to chase our dreams and live up to our vision "

“To instill a sense of charity and selfless social service among youngsters for the progressive growth of our nation”.

Feed the Nation, the charity trust we founded 2 years back has grown from a small community of 11 members to around 330 members and is ever increasing. The need of a fund raiser came as the projects we were supporting have increased and the outlay every month has gone beyond the monthly contributions being provided from the members. We decided to do a series of such events to have a fixed fund that would support all our causes in the coming months and years.

We work on 3 causes :
1) Old Age Homes

“Raising a kid is a relatively easier job than nurturing the kid within a grown up”. Many who feel so end up sending their parents to places like these. A lot of people from very affluent families spend the remaining of their lives in these places, not knowing where they lost the plot! Going to these places we have been trying to give a few moments during which they treat like us their own. The satisfaction and conviction in doing this is immense. Expressing this is something that words can easily come short of."

The first visit to an old aged home was an eye opener for all of us. We had plans of generating some funds and then donating it to them. As we spoke to the inmates, we realized how far away from truth we were. They had some basic needs like new clothes and medicines, but it was not the money they wanted us to bring. All they wanted from us was our time. As my 5 year daughter gave them new clothes, we could notice the tears in their eyes. An evening spend there, changed our mindsets of what we wanted to do. We realized that more than the money we could generate, its the time that we can spend with them that would matter.

2) Orphanages

We go there as to be one among them, have some fun – even if it is short lived. We have visited them and do so repeatedly and support them in various ways, be it school kits, uniforms etc.

We have seen these kids in orphanages waiting for us, when we inform our plan of visit. We organize painting, singing, dance competitions for them, we play musical chair with them, we organize lunch for them on that day and all of us eat with them. The day ends with the price distribution for the winners of the contests. The sad part is to leave them and go, but an assurance of coming back soon keeps the kids happy.

3) Rescue Shelters for Mentally Challenged

A visit to the kid’s orphanages or old age homes where our gestures are understood is a satisfying one. But what if these gestures aren’t understood? What if we aren’t even sure if the person we are talking to knows we are talking to him/her?! Institutes like these just need our presence. May be a childish laughter coupled with one more warms many a heart.

We work with mental destitute homes like Aakashaparavakal in Thannisandra. They rescue mentally ill people from the streets and rehabilitate them. We realized that most of them have some memory left in them of their homes, and are able to communicate the details .Unfortunately many of them are from north or east India and speak only their mother tongue. This makes identification process difficult. FTN is currently working on creating language pool with our friends who are from various corners of India working in Bangalore. So when an inmate is brought in who looks to be from say, north east, we would take someone who can speak his language. We hope this would help the caretakers to trace his home and return him to his relatives.

Being mentally ill, they attend natures calls as it is.They tear off clothes in a virtual exhibition of primate instincts. They need t-shirts and shorts, may be a pair a week.

They have 70 inmates as of now.

Chaitanya Day Care Centre:

Its very recent venture has been funding the Day Care Centre for the kids of contractual construction workers at NIMHANS, Bangalore.These kids are deprived primarly education, as their parents are migrant labourers and do not stay at one place. A full time teacher is also present in the day care centre, who takes them through basic education 6 days a week. We also support their needs of study materials and nutritious food in school.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Criminal Justice or Justice for Criminals ???

Sadly our Criminal Justice system is to ensure Justice to Criminals.

Paki terrorists caught with 17 kgs RDX and 50 Kg Heroin, gets few yrs behind bars and were to be deported back to pak, when they escaped..

What are we showing to the world??

If you are successful in bringing your weapons and manage to kill our people, then we will give you a fair trail . We will listen to your grossly idiotic stories that, you came to watch a movie and was caught on wrong charges. Thus we would let the world applaud our justice system ??

But if we catch you before blasting, you will get few years in jail , and then you go back home and come back again well trained and equipped ?

Is it not time, that we start behaving like a nation serious about national security ? If you dare touch my land, ill ensure you touch nothing again for life ..Should that not be our policy..

Why are we so soft as a nation? When do we say that , if you dare attack my country and Ill finish you for ever. ??