National Values.

Trojan-Horse rep

This article in the Guardian talks about getting schools funded by the state to follow British values.  This initiative follows what in Britain is now called Operation Trojan Horse where Islamists tried to hijack school managements to bring about their own values as opposed to the so called British values.

In India too for too long, we have had various types of Trojan horses invading our schools through changing our history books in a ding dong battle between the so called Hindu politicians and the so called secular politicians.  Going as far back as 2004 this battle started and each state too has been subject to various changes depending on which political party came to power.

The battle is about to begin again!

I am however zapped when I speak to young people about simple things and find that they do not have the slightest clue about many things that we were taught in our history classes.  For many youngsters, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, etc are all esoteric and vague figures and the struggle for independence is something that is very vague.  The whole history of our nation seems to start from the time that Jeans replaced dhotis/pajamas and saris/salwars.

And I am not talking about youngsters below the age of twenty, but even closer to forty!

When questioned in depth, it becomes obvious that the subject of history itself is considered to be one where one can score high marks to improve averages and so one mugs up likely questions/answers and one does not really study and appreciate history.

Under these circumstances, how can we expect our children to have any national values if there are any such values recognised as such?

How sad!

Code Name God.

cng book

Yes, it is the title of a book and not something that I wanted to expound on.

My cousin Damodaran was browsing books in a local lending library when he came across this book, was intrigued by the blurbs “This book may change your life” – Sydney Sheldon; and “The author’s personal odyssey… in an attempt ot find common ground between Eastern spirituality and Western science is eloquently told and makes for fascintaing reading.” – Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao Of Physics. He borrowed it from the library, returned it after reading and decided to buy a copy for himself to keep as a source book and a few more copies to be distributed among his friends. After he had done all that, knowing my interest in Buddhism and Vedanta as well as my involvement with Vipassana for over three decades, he ordered me as he is wont to, to get myself a copy which I promptly did and have just finished reading it.

I can safely say that I finished ‘reading’ the first half of the book but for the second half of the book, I should really be using the word ‘studying’ instead. The second half is when the author gets away from the background story of his rags to riches story to how he gets on a journey of spiritual enquiry and how he reconciles his background as a Scientist with Eastern mysticism and meditation.

There is really nothing new in what he writes as Capra has written extensively on the subject and I have read all the latter’s books, but how he writes is where the book scores. It is easy to read and understand even for a non scientist and the examples he gives lead one to understand the complexities of quantum physics and that makes all the difference.

I recommend this book to people who are interested in exploring how Physicists are now validating the findings and experiences of Eastern mystics without access to sophisticated equipment like colliders. It is also a fascinating story of the journey of a poor farmer’s son from penury to riches, despair with materialism and eventual happiness through spiritualism.

TLDR.

Reading

I learnt something new. And as usual, synchronicity played its part as well.

I had a very disturbed night last night and found it difficult to sleep. For me, this is a very unusual situation but I consoled myself that it was due to a highly charged evening when I was in the midst of grieving friends, accompanied a funeral procession to the crematorium, saw my friend of two decades cremated and returned to a rather sombre environment.

I would normally read if I can’t sleep but I was unable to read as I was unable to focus. I was unable to meditate, another tool I use to stabilise myself when disturbed and so it was a restless night till very early in the morning when I finally dozed off.

On booting up the computer to check for my mail I found this article in the Washington Post and it took another visit to the internet via the ever present google to discover that TLDR means Too Long Didn’t Read. I had never come across this acronym before and found it quite amusing that people use this on chats.

Be that as it may, the end of the article is quite amusing for regular readers and I think that it offers an escape route for people suffering from the TLDR syndrom.

Where does synchronicity come into all of this? I have just taken a sabbatical from facebook to catch up with my reading. I have been buying books and they have piled up and I am determined to plough through them and get back on line with facebook sometime in the next few weeks. TLDR would certainly help!

Have you used TLDR in your communications or do you suffer from the syndrome?

Books – II A Time To Kill.

A_Time_To_Kill

Please read my earlier post on Books to get why I call this post Books II.

After reading Sycamore Row by Grisham, I got down to reading his book A Time To Kill. I finished reading it last night and I am very glad that I listened to my inner voice and did that.

My research tells me that A Time To Kill was Grisham’s very first book and no publisher would touch it. Deciding that a different approach to his story telling would be needed, he wrote The Firm and other court room drama books which kindled interest in all his books and so A Time To Kill too became a success.

This post is to convey my surprise that many publishers thought that this novel will not be a success and refused to print it. It has everything a story teller can convey. Shock, disgust, amazement, love, hate, suspense, bigotry, racism, parenting, skullduggery by the priests, grand standing, politics, and so on and so forth and Grisham enjoys writing about all these emotions in their rawest form. In fact, this book is far more readable than the sequel with Jake Brigance.

I have not read any of his other books, and once my to read list gets exhausted, as I write this, there are seven in the queue, I will return to John Grisham.

Needless to say, I am enjoying being back with fiction.

Books.

ReadingI rarely read fiction and prefer the so called heavier stuff. I however do make exceptions when someone highly recommends a book in the genre and that is what happened recently.

My cousin Damodaran is fortunate in having a commercial lending library close to his home in Vashi and borrows from there regularly. During a recent visit there the librarian recommended John Grisham’s Sychamore Row to him which he like so much that he recommended it to me knowing full well that I do not normally read fiction. I accepted his recommendation and got a kindle copy which I finished reading just yesterday evening. I enjoyed the experience and carried out some research on the author. I discovered an author who I had never read before and a genre that seems quite interesting, using legal matters as background. My research on JG’s other books led me to download the prequel to this book featuring the same lawyer Jake Brigance, which apparently was the first book ever written by JG which was only published after he became a popular writer. I now look forward to reading A Time To Kill.

Another exception that I have made in reading fiction is Jeffrey Archer. I started reading him after I read about his colourful background just to see what he could write about and got hooked. Since his fourth book in the series of Clifton Chronicles, Careful What You Wish For has just been released, I have downloaded that also on to my Kindle and will shortly start reading it.

Early yesterday morning my sister Padmini another avid reader, suggested that I read a new author that she has discovered Anne Mustoe. Padmini further added that since I prefer to read it on Kindle she will reimburse the cost as she believes that the cost will punch a big hole in her nephew’s legacy. I have duly downloaded Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels and the World on to my kindle. It is priced rather higher than usual but the saving grace is that it is a travelogue and not fiction. I am quite intrigued at the personality of the late author and am looking forward to reading her as well.

So, I shall be rather busier than usual with such a back log of reading besides the earlier backlog of one more book to read loaned to me by Miriam for the next week or so during which, I will also be going off to Thane on a day’s trip to attend a 13th day ceremony in honour of my late cousin who died last week.

I may therefore be a little tardy in blogging if at all, but will most certainly post the LBC post come Friday next.