Sunday, February 8, 2009

Human-fox (A Poem For Children)

It was a bright sunny day,
After all it was the month of May.
My friend and I stopped by a mill,
Everything out there was so still.

The mill was near the seashore,
We both wanted to stay there for sure.
We had stolen money from Mr. Smith’s chest,
And seeing this abandoned place, we decided to rest.

Mr. Smith’s house was beside a huge rock,
So we fancied that no one had noticed us when we broke the lock.
However, a concerned neighbour had come enquiring,
While we were busy counting.

To prevent him from revealing that we had a role,
We gagged him and tied him up, against a pole.
We crammed all the money in a box made of wood,
And ran as fast as we could.

The abandoned mill, seemed just right,
For it was surrounded by trees and plants which didn’t allow much light.
I asked my friend to take out the wooden box,
But suddenly I realized that my darling friend was actually a human-fox.

He took out a knife,
And I submitted, in order to avoid a strife.
He ran away with all the money,
And I stood there like a loony.

The human-fox turned back and gave me a nasty glare,
And I realized that true friends are but rare.


From the standpoint of a layperson, education can mean a couple of degrees or good academic performance. But a true educationist will find it hard to subscribe to such ideas. Education means the modification of human behaviour. It is a never ending process of inner growth and development.

Like many other things, ‘Cinema’ can also educate us. A lot of people with different perspectives and varied experiences are involved in the making of a movie. Thus, those who believe that cinema does not educate us must also necessarily believe that education ends after a certain stage in life, which is not true.

These days an increasing number of educationists advocate the use of audio visual aids in the classroom. Why do they do that? This is because time and again, it has been proven that images and sounds make a stronger and lasting impact on the minds of children.

How many of us would willingly gather information about the nationalist struggle or read books on famous historical characters? Hardly any! But films based on historical characters, epics and themes of patriotism, give us lessons in history. Films like ‘Earth 47’, ‘Gadar’ etc depict how love turned into animosity in no time, at the time of the partition. History reminds us of the mistakes that we made in the past and instructs us, not to repeat them.

Cinema presents social reality. They depict the victory of good over evil. The success and popularity of such movies proves that our society respects and admires certain qualities and traits in individuals and people who display such behaviour, are well adjusted members of the society. Thus, the children feel encouraged to imbibe the same values.

Films that deal with social evils can certainly bring about a transformation in the mind set of the people. The film ‘Lajja’ presents a very authentic picture of the situation of women in India. It encourages girls and women to fight for their rights.

Finally, most Indian films are shot in Western locales. For those who have never had the opportunity to cross the Indian shores, this is indeed a treat. It creates a degree of curiosity amongst children and they feel encouraged to find out more about these places, this adds to their knowledge.

When highly successful, attractive and dynamic actors and directors, say something through the medium of movies, people listen. If we’ll see cinema merely as a source of entertainment, then it will remain just that. What we need, is a change, in our own attitude.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Woman of Rural India

Woman of rural India courteous and dutiful,
Victim of Patriarchy, but Oh! So beautiful.
When she is born, her mother is called a sinner,
But her gender is ignored when she becomes a bread winner.
She serves her parents to become an 'ideal' daughter,
But loses her childhood in the barter.

Then comes the most important phase of her life,
This is when she becomes a slave-wife.
Soon she is instructed to multiply,
And Oh! she has more beings to satisfy.

She endures her domestic and maternal drudgery,
As if she was born to bear this overdose of misery.
But, what else can she do?
Education cannot come to her rescue.
A symbol of strength and perseverance,
Few admire her power of endurance.
Woman of rural India
, courteous and dutiful,
Victim of Patriarchy, but Oh! so beautiful.


“Where wealth accumulates values decay”

The erosion of values is causing havoc in our society. Cases of murder, kidnapping, forgery, dowry deaths etc. are on the high. Why? Money……Money my friends is the root cause of all these problems. Thus, value education is imperative in today’s world.

‘All things in nature are dependent on one another!’ ‘Man is an integral part of nature!’

I SEE………… INTERESTING! Environmental pollution, ecological devastation, ozone depletion, rivers filled with industrial wastes, concrete jungles in the cities-all these things , tell us, just how much we love mother earth ! After all, I can’t stop to think about rivers and trees when my next door neighbour is buying a luxury car and planning to go on a world tour Eh !

Love, Friendship and Universal Brotherhood, what do these words mean anyway? Ah! Let’s see! People from the villages and small towns have started moving to the big cities, in order to make money. This has lead to the collapse of the joint family system. “Daddy’ and ‘Mummy’, both have to work and young siblings have to fight for the attention of their parents. Thus, instead of loving each other, they learn to compete against each other.

Every day parents also remind their children that if they don’t work hard they are going to be left behind in the game of life. Their friends are going to move ahead. These are the values which parents of the 21st century inculcate in their children. Instead of teaching them to feel happy for their friends, they teach them how to envy them. Deplorable!

In earlier times people used to do everything on their own. This disciplined their minds. Now of course, we have machines. If one gadget stops working, you can always buy another. Thus, hard work, patience, discipline, persistence etc. are forgotten values. And people want to increase their bank balance so that they can keep buying more machines.

What can people do? They are human after all. Advertisements and films convert desires into needs. A person who does not use a deo- spray, a hair dye or an anti –dandruff shampoo is scoffed at, in most ad – films! As if he had committed a crime against humanity!

Sharing, mutual love and understanding, co-operation etc are forgotten ideals!

Thus, value education in schools and colleges can help in reforming our society and restoring our faith in humanity.

In the words of economist J.C. Kumarappa “Our life is something higher than material possessions. The personality of an individual does not require for its development, the satisfaction of a multiplicity of wants. In fact the simpler the life, the more conducive it is to exercising the higher faculties.”