The sci – fi me was having a rather good time enjoying the discovery channel when I stumbled upon a curious looking and sounding program called “The Link” and hence my title. The show focuses on how seemingly unrelated discoveries or inventions are related and how one invention let to another and finally to the technological marvels that today we take for granted. The National Geographic talk about the show such:
|“Technology is all around us. From computers to cameras, cell phones to sat navs – our dependence on technology has never been greater. But how many of us ever stop to question how these inventions actually came about? Challenging the commonly held view, that they appear fully formed, out of nowhere, The Link reveals the surprising origins of some of the most important technological breakthroughs, of the modern world.”
So, why am I talking so much about a random show I happened to watch in National Geographic? The reason is simple. This is what is missing from today’s educational system the worldwide. Lets take India’s case for example, from the days we start learning we focus on passing exams and mugging up most things. It is a very selected few who go into inquiring about why it came to be. The fact is that education has reduced to more of studying and less of learning. How many of us, the educated mass as we call are able to explain why some certain things came to be and how they influence people, society and humanity at large. Take the case of fire or agriculture or the production line, do we know why it came to be, how it came to be or what it did to the society then? Isn’t that what education was supposed to impart to us?
What I am trying to say is that at some time along the way we have lost sight of our goal and has gone astray. We don’t need to overhaul our entire system, that’s is not possible and even if its possible its not feasible. Our educators are good, our institutions are equipped enough. I don’t mean at any point that all our schools are in surplus of facilities but I do believe that our schools have just enough infrastructure to create a thinking and capable tomorrow. What we really need is a change in the systems and its priorities. The priorities should move away from scoring marks and more on understanding concepts.
When one starts to speak about de-prioritizing marks people usually come to conclusions that exams are the villain and they should be taken to the guillotine. In fact that will only cost us dearly, exams should be there otherwise how will we evaluate our children, how will we ensure their progress? What we need are exams that evaluate children’s understanding of a subject and their ability to correlate and infer. We need exams that will ensure understanding and model our syllabus and curricular to attain this aim. This does not involve a major over haul of anything but a few fundamentals of our educational system.
Let our children be Einsteins and newtons, let them make and create and innovate tomorrow, let them know that they alone have the ability and the power in their hands to craft tomorrows dreams. Let them understand that their dreams are not simply dreams but visions for meeting tomorrows challenges head on, solve then and conquer them. When they understand this and cherish this revelation then only we will have completed our responsibility towards our children and completed our link to the next generation.
|“Do watch “The Link” on National Geographic if you can its a great show to watch if you are a technological junkie or just a curious homo sapien!”
It was not two years and one day ago that I met her. I knew her even before, In fact I might have even known her from another life. I have seen her even before that, not superfluously but even in the much simpler most straight forward sense. We were friends then and then we were better friends and now much more than just friends in the contemporary sense. But still we are friends first and anything and everything next.
The first time I met her was in my first days of college, in the most casual way, unnoticed and perturbing of each other’s existence. The first time I talked to her was in the gleaming presence of borosil glasses of the many million shapes and the vast variety of colourful liquids that it contained. Under its silent and tinted rendering of a magnificent evening was the first ever sounds greeted her in menial enquires. Then the first share the first touch, the first embrace and the first kiss and above all the first tear drop of love.
Two years back on that day lost among the wondrous celebrations how did I realized that it was to be her? That I don’t know but when our eyes met that day, then and there. I knew we were much more much more than what the earthy bodies have bounded us to be. We sue had history: a history that spanned eternities together. Her imperfections so perfectly sculpted that they fit like a hand in a glove to my imperfection. SO does my imperfections to hers. We complement and we complete and in unison we are eternal, transdential and complete.
Today all I price is her nearness all that I care for is the pungent fragrance of her aroma. Today everything is but another way to her just another step towards the ultimate union that is her and in her. Today everything is about her and about our love for one another. The one fact of the most greatest consequence today is that I am hers and she mine. The one ultimatum is and is always is that
Hasn’t it always been about love? Wonder what I am taking about? I am taking about marriages. India is a confusing country for a marriage to exist, to one side we have lots of customs and the rich cultural vibrancy that at this epitome of ethnic diversity throws about and to the other we have the largely commercialized and institutionalized gala called a marriage. Somewhere along the way I start wondering what really is a marriage
about? Is it about two people in love uniting or is it just something done because everybody else seems to be doing and is it just at the primeval end a means to keep ones clan running.
The one word that describes the ‘wedding’ industry could be magnanimous; the elusive and lucrative industry has stripped Indian marriages off its essentialities and replaced them with material substitutes that corrode an institution that has long been considered scared. The sanctity of the marriage has been long lost; it has been violated and prostituted. But what surprises me the most is how people could be so blinded that they could for go what is essential and indispensible in a marriage, Love.
History is the witness when it comes to marriages in India. History bears witness to the freedom of choice and the simplicity of the great Indian weddings. Brides were respected and bridegrooms stood proud without a price tag. What now appear to have become a largely commercialized and hyped up cultural gala and festival with much diminished importance for the actual wedding was not always so. The advent of arranged marriages are not so clear to me but must probably they came from a group of controlling fathers eager to extend their family lineage and false prestiges.
It passes my mind how arranged marriages could ever succeed, it is incomprehensible to me how two people completely unknown, unaware of each other even to the slightest character could ever co-exist as such. At least isn’t that not a gamble? A leap of faith? Of course they succeed what choice does they have? We live in a society that taken over by its totalitarian dystopia dictates terms and conditions on our existence. They expect us to obey and follow the crowd like buffaloes and those that dare to stand apart are either classified as philosophers or mad men. Then again I believe, this lack of choice and subjection is the one and only reason as to why such a marriage should exist, Like my friend so daringly terms it, A compromise!
Don’t for one second believe that I disagree with the fact that occasionally there comes a couple that are just perfect or so near to that place. What we call a real match made in heaven. But isn’t that just and odd chance a, a play of probabilities? Love marriages or as I call it a real marriage exists and stems from love the sole reason that appeals to me when committing to such a demeaning soc ial institution. Why else should one marry if not for love after all marriage is all about love!
What true is that all men are invisible, invisible like glass, so invisible that they are seldom seen and the funny thing is that unlike glass they themselves feel invisible. Everyman is lonely, everyman is alone, how much ever he surrounds himself with people, he becomes more and more invisible. How can he be alone is an interesting question, especially in this fast shrinking world, but the sad truth is the smaller the world gets the lonelier its inhabitants get. It’s certainly a paradox upon itself that in the growing crowd people find themselves the more isolated.
We are connected with a million people through all sorts of media, wired, not wired, perceivable and unperceivable alike. Tiny electronic chips plug you to a vast network of friends and family, acquaintances and what not. The virtual world of thriving socialization sees even people lacking in inter personal skills in real life make magnanimous groups in the virtual domain. But have you ever thought what you are worth without the internet. Has it ever occurred to you to sever away all virtual ties for a few hours, try it and see whether you are truly not alone. The networks have a very bad feature about it; it fills you with a false sense of reality. You chat and chat with your colleague on line but in real life you can’t even tell “hello” though you see here every hour of every day of your life.
I am not here to bash technology and it’s just taking me far away from what is it that I really what to tell. The only reason I introduced the internet and the telecoms is because I wanted to tell you the virtual life is not the real life. The moment you are free from all these amenities you find yourself alone in the world. It’s certainly no generalization but the sad fact that rules most of our lives.
There are two kinds of loneliness in the world or I think so. One is the loneliness that persists because there is no one to be with you ever, because no one loves you are likes you. Now this is a sad state to be and the vast majority of us never fall in this category. The other the more general state of loneliness that you and I are so easily susceptible to is the state of loneliness that arise from the fact that though there exist a crowd of people who loves you they are just not there right now. This loneliness is always in the now. The moment you are alone it creeps in. Though you have a dozen friends, now seems to think about you then, no one calls no one enquires and then the minds starts playing sinister tricks on itself.
There is a goodness to this feeling of loneliness, it shows you what you want, what you can have and most importantly what is it that you already have. You would only miss what you already had, isn’t it? The truth is that no one is really invisible in this world, everyone is visible. It only happens that you are in a company of souls that can’t see you. I know I have half contradicted myself, but the truth is that no one is invisible, it’s just happens that no one is looking is looking right now. That is not the same as being invisible, Is it?