The King Uses Commoners’ Toilet.

My readers will remember my writing about my niece Lady Lioness. I was reminded of her again today when I received this clip from a friend who too remembered the blog post.

The movie is taken at Gir National Park and you can hear visiting tourists having a good time watching the Lion coming out of the toilet.

I am told that the guides inevitably inform the visitors to check that there are no lions inside the public toilet before entering them in the Reserve. Quite how they do this is a mystery yet to be solved.

Recycled Teenager.

Today a classmate from school and good friend turned 80. I rang him up to convey my greetings and best wishes for many more birthdays and he was quite nostalgic about our last meeting in 1965. Yes, I left Madras as it was then known and, now as Chennai that year but, he has continued to live there since.

Among other things that we talked about, we did discuss our current health and well being issues and wished each other well.

After a while, another friend also about my age sent this message to me in WhatsApp.

There were some more messages, all in one day, talking about and dare I say, belittling, trivialising and or giving excuses for old age. And then there was this very heart warming story in Jean’s blog which brought a smile on my life.

This got me thinking about ageing and how today’s social media is trying to talk about it in a manner totally different from what it used to be in the ‘good old days’.

Elders were admired for their longevity and hopefully, wisdom and were expected to behave like elders. Their maturity was taken for granted.  They were not recycled teenagers.  And, they had and continued to live and died, like I do now and will eventually.

How Time Has Flown!

As I write this at 9.45 AM this Saturday morning, my mind goes back to fifty years to another Saturday when I was pacing and chain smoking waiting for some news from the team that was in charge of a momentous occasion.

At exactly 11.10 AM, the doctor popped out to inform me that we had been blessed with a boy.

Yes, my son and heir Ranjan is fifty years old today and I simply cannot believe it.

Nothing else can describe Ranjan than this photograph taken just last week. He is with Chutki and Koko.

His late mother would have been on cloud nine today.

The Importance Of Education.

डिग्रीयां तो तालीम के खर्चे की रसीदें हैं,
इल्म वही है , जो किरदार में झलकता है l

digreeyan tho thaleem ke kharche ki rasiden hain,
ilm wahi hai, jo kirdaar mein jhalaktha hai.

Degrees are just receipts for the cost of education,
Knowledge is that which shines as character.

“Education is the process of imparting knowledge, values, skills and attitudes, which can be beneficial to an individual. Learning is an informal process, and education is a formal process. Learning is knowledge gained through experience, and education is knowledge gained through teaching.”

What we understand by “Education” today is vastly different from its definition which is “a process of teaching, training, and learning, especially in schools or colleges, to improve knowledge and develop skills.” Today, it simply means acquiring a diploma or a degree or two with the sole purpose of securing gainful employment. The whole approach is to learn how to write and pass examinations and get through interview processes with that single aim in mind.

So, we have what are euphemistically called tutorial institutions helping youngsters achieve that singe goal. Our newspapers are full of advertisements of successful candidates from such institutes during every “Results” season and the aim of such advertising seems to be to attract junior students entering the final lap to join them in addition to their regular curriculum and to lure failed aspirants from the current crop who will have to rewrite the examinations to pass through to higher education.

There is even one whole town, Kota in our glorious country which has cornered the market for training students to pass entrance examinations.

In India therefore, the advantage of education is simply that the educated find remunerative occupations after undergoing rigorous training to pass examinations.

I however believe that the advantage of the original meaning of education, which was “Learning to learn” was to prepare us for life’s vicissitudes while offering us training in a trade or business. The old system of apprenticeships and guilds did just that and colleges were left to wealthy individuals to pursue knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Over time specialised institutions like for Medicine, Engineering etc came into being to serve particular purposes while at the same providing avenues for careers for people inclined to pursue such professions.

My personal journey in education is known to most of my regular readers and while I do not wish to showcase that as the only way to acquire an education it drives home the point that the importance of an education in today’s world is that it offers a living in a highly competitive environment.

As it happens so often in my life, after I wrote the above post, I came across this little post from Big John which ties up so well with this topic.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.