Showing posts with label knowledge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knowledge. Show all posts



In my childhood, I used to change notebooks  with improved handwriting in a show off before my teachers  and peers.  That attitude remained well after high-school years and I used to carry rough notebook to college and took notes in that only to copy back in the concerned note book in leisure hours or at home.  Still I don't know why I get so much joy when I write on paper.  But after graduation and settling in life,  for more than a decade, I was out of sync with this forgotten passion, as handwriting was limited just for putting signature on salary rolls and bank transactions. Since I was not in creative mode,  I burned out with my go-office only  routine life style.

But  the year 2003 had brought some drastic change in my life style.  I became vexed with the  dry professional routine as my
learning curve was at its lowest ebb and my heart deeply craved to bring learning and creativity back to my life.

Suddenly, on one fine day, I was introduced to a book called
Tony Buzan's Mind Maps.  Tony Buzan is one of the leading authors on the brain and learning, and his concept called  mind maps helps to think on paper in a very logical sequence.  In the process of creating some personal mind maps, I put a dedicated notebook then (2003) and started filling the pages with mind maps of my desired subjects.  Since then, writing became part of my personal growth.  

On my study I have nice colour gel pens to use them alternatively  in my writings  not only to impress my mind  but whoever wish to see them.

Without knowing much about the neurological benefits of handwriting then, I just followed my heart.

In any
education system, handwriting has its own significance.  Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography ' The Story of my Experiments with Truth says that ' I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education.  He confessed that ' I tried to improve mine, but it was too late.  I could never repair the neglect of my youth.  He advises that ' let every young man and woman be warned by my example and understand that a good handwriting is a necessary part of education.  

Good Handwriting is a learned man's asset.  The end of formal education should not be a death knell for handwriting.  One must continue to be in touch with handwriting after formal education though it would be less needed. Recently I read a news item which says that in some professions like doctors, it kills their patients with their bad handwriting.  American National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine found that 7000 deaths a year globally could be traced back to bad handwriting.

Studies reveal that people who take notes on laptops as opposed to those who bring papers and pens to meetings show a lesser absorption of new information  (Source: India Today -English Magazine Sept, 21, 2015) Handwriting means greater brain activity than those typing it on a computer.

So the home point is , be in touch with handwriting which is associated with better cognitive abilities even at ripe age.  



Western culture fascinates me on one metric. They celebrate each day with some social significance and  the secret behind this is : Live each day deliberately.

Some years ago when I was nearly run out of stuff to write,  an aimless Google Search landed  me to a place which I did not actually remember, but it flashed  me this fact : October, 16 is  Boss's Day.  When I quickly checked with Wikipedia, it retrieves back with the following input :

Boss's Day is a secular holiday celebrated on October 16 (or the nearest working day) in the United States, Canada and Lithuania. It has traditionally been a day for employees to thank their bosses for being kind and fair throughout the year. This day was created for the purpose of strengthening the bond between employer and employee.

Who is boss? He or she who commands you in professional life. From daily wage earner to CEO of a company to a person who rules a country, all do have a boss directly or indirectly.  I think the biggest boss is the circumstance.  

In everybody's personal life, his or her will is the ultimate boss.  That's why in Hindi there is an adage: Me apni marji ka raja hun!  Anyone who wish to be his/her own boss, can become so.  

One of the essential qualities of real boss is, he/she should never create a feeling of divisiveness and  should think in a coherent way and achieve the goal in a team spirit. This is the secret behind any blue chip company.

Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in his own words narrated an incident in his life that when a rocket system under his stewardship was plunged into the Bay of Bengal, the press conference that followed by was faced by his boss Prof Satish Dhawan (the then Chairman, ISRO) who took the entire blame  on himself.  But the following year, in 1980 when SLV-3 was successfully launched, the same Dhawan put the then Project Director Kalam (former President of India) to the forefront of the Press and asked him to handle.

This is a very rare gesture of leadership quality and every boss must imbibe this quality so that the unwanted dirt is not sling on bosses.





                                          Courtesy : My Samsung E7 Mobile camera  with 13 M.P

My eyes take special attention on the walking path where these ants crawl.  When I see them in close sight, I wonder about the marvelous functioning of their brains to change direction immediately on sensing the sounds of walkers.  But the walkers crush these ants mercilessly  which is deplorable.

Even to make a tiny robot of this sort, imagine how difficult it is for our scientists to take complex calculations in programming and to find suitable material in the making. But creating these ants or tiny creatures is an effortless spin for the Guy who is sitting up above.

The very awareness of human limitations must make us to realize that there is a Power beyond our comprehension and each one of us must explore this area individually!   



We are inherited by a British -driven education system Lord Macaulay introduced more than 180 years  ago. The basic purpose of  such education is to groom clerks for his erstwhile East India Company. Those Victorian times had gone, but we are still languishing with rote learning as a dominant factor.

 The current education you can say, is simply examination-oriented. Students' aim is how to score high marks than how better understand the subjects taught. The guiding light of student -
teacher is locked up in mediocrity. Majority of teachers do their teaching jobs as a routine  with no creativity. They don't read beyond the subjects they teach. The fate of our  educational system is better explained by technocrat and former chairman of Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda. He says that our teachers do not do research and our researchers don't teach.

People in different walks of life have varied backgrounds with  individual strengths/ experiences.  If they are  channelized and create a platform , they could brilliantly give gripping lessons   to students of advanced learning say for 11th, 12th and graduation and post-graduation levels.

 We need to create a structure immediately where such liberal minds get a chance to teach/share their ideas/experience with students across streams - Humanities & Sciences. An online databank of such volunteers who wish to teach students with subject, date and time and location would give new fillip to institutions which must act to allot those slots to schools nearby in a time-bound action plan. This way the students are exposed to real world with latest inputs received directly from concerned domain experts in the society. 


When those good times come, I register myself to teach to students/like minded. Dr. Kalam with his post-retirement life has ignited me enough by teaching children/students across the world. I continue to draw my inspiration from this towering personality. His books always lift me to unimaginable heights. 


When it comes to education reforms, I feel that  science must be kept compulsory. It must be an added subject to Humanities at  +1 and graduation level so that children improve their learning curve. When subject books are devised, stress should be laid to write in an interesting tone to ignite students. I am telling these words after reading a couple of lessons of my class 11  Geography book of my daughter. It is time to write less technical jargon and more in an understandable way.


When it comes to teaching, we have to strike a balance between  teacher and taught (student). Both their egos should not clash in giving and taking process. The very process of teaching is explained by Galileo in these immortal words : You can't teach a man anything; you can only help him/her to find it within himself/ herself. Poet Alexander Pope further refined it : Men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things unknown proposed as things forgot. 


If the teacher follows the Galileo and Alexander Pope principle, teaching would turn into play and fun and a close bond between a teacher and pupil would give education a creative thrust.  It travels beyond school subjects. Then teacher like a friend instantly connects with  student and this alchemy creates an unexpected wonders in their lives. 


I love to switch over to teaching profession as soon as  an opportune moment comes.  I have devised my own methods and procedures on knowledge front. May be it is not having a governmental vetting.   If I don't get an opportunity then I would love to settle as librarian so that I get adequate time to read  and derive maximum benefit from the books I love.


Sharing of knowledge is  synonymous with  teaching. This should be a new mantra to bring radical change in education sector.  When blogs grow into  knowledge hubs, it gives a different sort of education across age groups.   


I am waiting for a day when volunteers come liberally to teach students without expecting anything and students derive full benefit from the lessons being  taught. This task is  simply not  left to government hands. Civil society, corporates and NGOs must plunge into action to strengthen our education system to bring back the glory of Indian Education System. 


When education happens in this atmosphere, the students blossom and choose their careers. When they choose their careers, they do wonders in their lives. Parents must only play supportive role as  guardians and facilitators so that the child's creativity is allowed to flourish. This is what education in true sense with no time limit set for learning and it should continue till last breath.

What is  education is better described by  SwamiVivekananda: Education is manifestation of perfection already man !

Let these noble ideas are translated into noble deeds !



Some years ago, there was a time when I reach my office, I  hand over a power quote written on a small chit to my select colleagues who accept with cheers and feel empowered with them.  It is one of the best ways I find,  truly rewarding not only to the receiver but the giver as well.

It is one of the sure ways, to memorize the  immortal quotes.

Interest is the mother of attention and attention is mother of memory. The  best way to remember is to repeat ; and the best way to repeat is to teach someone else, a brother or sister failing which to anyone who is prepared to listen.


Noted technocrat Sam Pitroda in one of his famous lectures at IIM, Ahmedabad a few years ago said that Nation building is an arduous task.  Everyone must do his/her part. It is not that you do and I see.  Being inspired with those words of Pitroda, I started  doing my bit of work : Inspire others to plunge into action.



There are so many  ways to boost your memory power and Mind Maps are one such method.   

I first heard  about this  in 1999.  Upon a friend's advice, I read a scholarly book " Mind Maps' written by Tony Buzan.   

Tony Buzan is world's leading authority on memory, learning systems.    


Tony Buzan defines Mind Map as a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain.   He says that it  harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner.  

We can use Mind Maps in every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking is required. When you use Mind Maps on a daily basis, Buzan says that  you will find that your life becomes more productive, fulfilled, and successful on every level.


How to draw mind maps ?


          Start in the CENTRE of a blank page turn sideways. Why? Because starting in the centre gives your brain the freedom to spread out in all directions and to express  more freely and naturally.


          Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination.  

          Use COLOURS throughout. Why? Because colours are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Colour adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map. 


          CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.


          Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.


          Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.


          Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words.  


Over the last several years, I drew many such mind maps  for each occasion and it is a sort of checklist which  helps  me to  execute  the repeatable  tasks without any  fuss ! 




My body reverberates with patriotism when I listen  " Sare Jahan se Accha'' sung by Lata Mangeshkar, India’s noted playback singer.  Though I know that it was written by Muhammad Iqbal, beyond that I know nothing.

The other day when I was reading the poetry of Ghalib, a friend of mine told that there was another marvelous urdu/persian poet whose poetry I should not miss to read. Then my attention has gone to find about Iqbal and luckily  in our office library I got a book "Iqbal - His poetry and Message written by Sheikh Akbar Ali.

The cover flap gave a brief bio of Iqbal. He was born at Sialkot (Pakistan) on 22nd Feb., 1873. He graduated in philosophy and was awarded two gold medals and a scholarship for his proficiency in English and Arabic. His profession was teaching history and philosophy. After a fruitful life, he died at the age of 60 due to prolonged illness.

On the death of Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore said that India, whose place in the world is too narrow, can ill-afford to miss a poet whose poetry had such universal value. Another giant Sarojini Naidu said that ' though the earth may enshrine the precious dust of Sir Mohammad Iqbal's body, his imperishable genius will shine through the ages in undimmed splendor.

Though we all  know him as  a lyricist of great patriotic song 'Sare Jahan se accha', he did not get his due recognition in India for his poetic works. And it is time for all of us to savour the following translated lines of his poetry :

 "Among the sweet-tongued poets I have been endowed with a power of expression, That I sing in tune with the birds that soar to the high Arsh.

Don't ignore my song of love, you shall find in it, The way to saintliness, and the glory of Kings'.

God unfolded to me the secrets of state and religion, And took a way all other images from the retina of my eyes.

Life is occupied with conquest along, And the one charm for conquest is desire. Life is the hunter and desire the snare, Desire is love's message to beauty.

No particular tune is prescribed for lamentation, And the cry is not bound the flute.

O reader !, do not find fault with the wine cup, But consider attentively the taste of the wine'

I prefer this earth to the celestial paradise, As it is the place of love and enthusiasm and is the repository of burning pangs.

What is Quran ? - a message of death for the capitalist, It befriends the laborers of no means. Seek not any good from the hoarder of wealth, You cannot attain to virtue unless you spend out of that, which you hold dearest.



The history of India during colonial times is very interesting.  The present day khaki uniform worn by Police forces in India  has a history of its own.

Lt Gen Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden, a British military officer introduced khaki uniforms  in 1846 for  his ' Corps of Guides', a regiment of British India Army in North West Frontier, India.

The word 'khaki' is a loanword from Hindustani (meaning soil-coloured) and is originally derived from the Persian word 'Khak, literally meaning 'soil'.

Earlier British Army's uniform colour is white pants and red tunic.  It was a time for British's consolidation of power in India and they  found the  colour  of their uniform  inexpedient to  fight local forces  in Western India (Afghan)  which is full of deserts.

 Finally, British Army introduced 'khaki uniforms for all its troops in 1848. Though the present Indian Army shifted to olive-green and black, the Police fraternity continue to use it till date.




Indian tradition says: Don't talk ill of departed people. With that umbrella rule, I like to speak only the brighter side of Nehru and the posterity needs  to know his   contribution in releasing  India from the clutches of British Raj.


Mushirul Hasan, former Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, in his scholarly article in a prominent English daily dwelt at length about the lesser-known facts of Nehru. He says that :


Nehru was a voracious reader: he read 55 books from May 21, 1922 till January 29, 1923 alone. He delved into philosophy, and turned the pages of history to illuminate his understanding of the ideas and movements, which stood apart as the catalyst for momentous changes. In so doing, he looked through other people’s writings to understand how simple, ordinary men and women became heroes, and how their strivings made history stirring and epoch-making. Prison had made a man of him, he told the Socialist leader, Acharya Narendra Deva (1889-1956), while they were in jail for the last time in 1942.


Why did he write? Who did he write for? He had no archives to consult; so he relied on his recollections and on bits of information that he could conceal. He disliked being called a writer, and yet, armed with a varied experience of affairs, writing became a congenial occupation. Sometimes he didn’t write for weeks, now and again he wrote daily. His letters from jail represented his moods and thoughts at the time of each event; they were also his escapes from goal.


Nehru has a great love for roses and children. His famous 'Letters from a Father to His Daughter' teaching about natural history and the story of civilization to his daughter,  Indira is worth to be read. It speaks a lot about parenting and imbibing values.


His other two Great Books are  :


1. Glimpses of World History : Written almost entirely in prison in the 1930s. 

2. The Discovery of India : The book is a hymn to the glories of India. 


One should not miss to read these two epic books.


If you scan the history of  civilization, the  stalwarts the world over have  writing as one of their core inclinations.  Because it brings out the innate talents of a person and detoxify by facilitating to share his /her experiences. Take the case of Mahatma Gandhi whose 'Autobiography - My Experiments with Truth' has propelled  his ideas and it is a timeless classic for any generation. 


A writer would stand alone in the sands of time much after his life and continues to inspire through his/her books. What one needs more than this ?



If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

                                                           -  Isaac Newton

During 1999 when internet was in its nascent stage in India, I was a restless soul.  Because I had a lofty goal of saving  all my desired information into retrievable data discs for my future use.  Though I used to search my required information from 'Google', I doubted that all the online data of websites  remain on servers for ever.

But over a period of time, that proved wrong.  Now I was very much aware that Google takes care of online internet data where as takes care of past internet data that is no longer available on the internet to retrieve .   Imagine how blessed we are ! There was a time when getting relevant authentic information is a luxury and now that becomes a sheer necessity.

Internet gripped our lives in  such a way  that we can't imagine a world without it.   Once it was said that our survival is necessitated by : Food, Clothes and House.  Now add one more : Information , without which you can't  survive.

After watching  a video of Google Founders and  being ignited by it, I bought a book Google Speaks - Times Business Series' : Secrets of the world's Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The book gave  me an eye-account of some of the world's most brilliant guys of our times.  In Google's terminology,  they are called ' Smart Creatives'

Who is Smart Creative ?  Ask Google's Executive Chairman and its former CEO Eric Schmidt who says that :

-  He/she is a new kind of animal key to achieving success in the Internet Century.
-  A  firehose of new ideas that are genuinely new.
-  His/her  perspective is different from yours.
-  Philosophy is : If I give you a penny, then you are a penny richer and I am a penny poorer, but if I give you an idea, then you will have a new idea but I will have it too.
-  They are the guys who are eager to use the tools of technology to do a lot more.
-   Plenty of hands-on experience.
-  They are not confined to specific tasks.  They are not averse to taking risks, nor are they punished or held back in any way when those risky initiatives fail.
-  They are not hemmed in by role definitions or organizational structures.
-  They are encouraged to exercise their own ideas.
-  They don't keep quiet when they disagree with something.
-  They get bored easily and shift jobs a lot.
-  They are multidimensional, usually combining technical depth with business savvy and creative flair.
- Let data decide, is their principle.
- Obsessive in their interest.
- They don't wait to be told what to do and sometimes ignore direction if they don't agree.
- They are communicative creatives.

As pointed by Schmidt, they are everywhere which means you and me included !  The problem is you and me may not get the leverage the Google employees are getting.  It is the employer who factors and helps to flourish the organization.

I feel that the Creator has made every one of us as 'Smart Creative'.  But the pity is, majority of us  with our own circumstances, inhibitions are rubbing of such qualities to be a goat among the herd.

It is time to be different and show to the world how different you are,  whatever the circumstances may be !