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Friday, July 25, 2014

Do Incredible...In Search of Incredible!!!

            Do Incredible...In Search of Incredible!!!


         Back 2 Future...

           Welcome to 2075! The newly launched Z 7506, model of the most popular mobile manufacturing company today, has finally arrived in India. It is nothing less than a human being, or any other appliance. 
   The features are as follows: 
A two bread toaster, a step ahead of the 2074 model -D500, a single bread toaster, launched by the company rivals. 
An inbuilt MRI and CT scanner. It has been developed by technicians and scientists together, to detect, viruses, infections, pulse, sugar levels and bacterial infection. 
The clicking of the camera, and the blinking of the eye shall be synonyms once this model is launched.
It has a 9.0 nanocore processor.
It has a 55 mega pixels camera front and rear camera and 20 mega pixels side camera. 
No more hassles with chargers and wires, the G190 inspired model of 2060, worked on solar energy. The Z 7506 uses water to produce the electricity for its functioning.
This makes it super efficient on the battery giving it a 4900 mah battery life.
Its resistant to everything-heat (upto100 degrees celsius) mud, water and is fall proof.
Its portability is much more convenient than the G 190 of the company, launched a decade back- it could be folded up to 2*2*2 cm while this new model can be folded up to 1*0.5*0.75 cm
It has an inbuilt lens case-for both myopia and hypermetropia. The feature wasn't available in its earlier models. 
It has quadruple HD display. It has Girrafe 345 touchscreen, which is scratch resistant. 
This new model offers a stunning resolution of 2086*1010. The internal memory is very less- only 2TB.
Unfortunately, developers didn’t include inbuilt wifi into this revolutionary model. This feature, has now become an integral part of all cells since a year. Hence, the A 980 to be launched in a month by the company’s rivals, shall have an upper hand.
         Although, the myopic and hypermetric lenses have created many complains from customers; we hope the Z7506 doesn’t disappoint us…
       Technology has taken a leap over the past 25 years and this is going to be one of the most revolutionary phones… And shall also be the company’s best creations…but we look forward to more.
                                     Review By Shahen Pardiwala
                                      19th September 2075

This is what a review would be like of a cell phone that would have created hype in the ever growing mobile market, in 2075!!! At the age of 74, I’d definitely remember that I had once written about some super powers In my mobile in 2014, at the age of 13. I’ll check whether the super powers that shall seem to be a camera in the phone in 2014 would be like anything imaginable in 2075…the mobiles, would maybe not exist. A huge field of electronic devices would probably take over!

         Coming back to 2014 :
I have a smart phone. It has an excellent camera. However, everyone can see, what I can…the features are a boon. .I can type documents make PPTs; I don’t want to bore you by telling you about features in my cell that also are there in yours. In short I am happy with my stuff, but there are always some super powers that I’d love to have in my mobile.
     Then, one fine day, something just like lightning struck me from nowhere…
I called upon Mr.Techno_Guy_From_Nowhere. I asked him to install some really lovely things on my cell… he raised his hand and slapped me. He didn’t know any market or store that could get such features on my cell. It would need a makeover, which wasn’t possible. I pleaded, and he slapped. No humanity, was there in even a single drop of his blood. This went on and on. Finally, he agreed on a condition-he would use my WIFI for a day!
      This was quite risky because it would mean lots of data consumption and surprised internet provider. But I wasn’t going to change my decision because;
You may take a break and refer to a Bollywood film, or a hindi dictionary…!!!
Mr.Techno_Guy_From_Nowhere, was damn lazy; all he did was handed over to me something so addictive, and something so attractive- THE ASUS ZENFONE 5 !!!
And now, my previous cell is doing nothing but exercising its first law of motion.
            For the starters, I began using the the cell, as if it was my first child, and nothing in the world was of more importance.
            It was a dream come true. The stunning 4-inch display left me flabbergasted. The beauty of a flower and the minute details appeared very clearly. Each small thing was easily visible to me. It was only in the afternoon that I was demagnetised, finally; after downloading a number of movies and songs. The movies I had watched earlier and rated 2-star, became my favorites after I watched them on The ZenFone.

       After finishing lunch I decided, to take a selfie using my ZenFone. I was sceptical about the quality of the camera and photos. Thanks to my lovely photographic skills I managed to take a proper selfie only after twenty attemts…Looking at the photo I couldn’t believe my eyes.
      I seemed much more handsome, than I expected myself to be.
 I checked if the beauty mode was on…no it wasn’t! thanks to it, I noticed a stupid pimple behind my hair, near the forehead that grew at an infinite speed.
     I would’ve never noticed it, due to my hair which almost kissed my eyes…
The first twelve hours with the Zenfone were enthralling. I checked out each application and game. I modified all setting I possibly could.
          Looking and observing the high speed processor of the cell I realized I shall never need a phone optimizer or cache cleaner. After a click, I never had to wait. The app opened in a jiffy. I was impressed by the speed of the processor…
         As I earlier said, the display was…WOW!!! I’d just keep staring at the display, doing nothing; just devouring the screen.

        Eventually, everyone kicked me out to go and cycle.  if i'd be kicked even a second later, my eyes would fall out on the couch…I had been staring into the phone morning(almost 12 hours).      Although, I was persuaded and I did go for cycling, no one could stop me from taking my ASUS ZenFone 5 with me…
           So I put on my gloves and went to cycle. With shoes on the pedals, headphones in my ears and the music on, I cycled until the billions of songs I had downloaded, had been played…then, I decided to take a round without the music banging in my ears…
              It was only a minute, since the headphones were out from my ears, that I felt a vibration and my cell began singing…
         I attended the call, disconnected and changed the song (all of this with my cycling gloves on!!!). Wow! No more did I have to take off my gloves to attend a call.
   I could already see people peeping into my really smartphone! With a wicked and possessive smile, I, really very slowly and stealthily did nothing on my phone…just to get those envious eyes all around me! Then, I did all that, that one would love doing…watch videos, selfies, movies, write documents, read blogs, with better speed, quality and resolution! I now had superman by my side, or rather in my pocket!!! plus, even after a 15 hours, the battery life wasn't exhausted. I yet had a 45% charge remaining, without charging it once in 15 hours!!! Super efficient, isn't it?
                   I am sure I can see all that; that others can’t…with my ASUS ZenFone 5!
I can now realize how old my favourite actors have grown and that-I am not taking appropriate care of my skin.
           I could see the emotions and feelings behind each frame…the size being compact, is very portable and easy to hold in my hand.
         By taking photos about the reality around us…happiness but also sorrows, development but also inhumanity, memories but also our goals… the clean sparkling shoes but also the dirty sandals, that need cleaning and have been forgotten! My lovely new ASUS ZenFone 5 that has impressed me no end but also my old cell that has been with me since I was 10, that I shouldn’t forget ever!
                Just by telling me and other thousand Indian bloggers to visualize what I can see, what I want to see and others can’t, makes me recognize that its actually what i do not want to see…what I have been avoiding…and that I should learn to recognize and see…
               LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN SEE…!!!
           Asusinitiative to make people look beyond what they are seeing is very creative… I may have an 8 mega pixels or 16 mega pixels camera with which I take images of my loved one, I edit on the best photo editing site, share it on the most visited social networking site; but I don’t see the reality behind the laugh…there is something wrong. s/he wants me to be in the frame with him or her. There may be something troubling him or her…
             I’m sure with these super powers, not only I but also everyone can see what I can-if everyone has this super power of seeing beyond what we can see;  
           or if ASUS ZenFone 5 creates hype (much likely!!!)…

                                                                                                         By Shahen Pardiwala.

All assembled...Now the SUFFER begins...


             All assembled...Now the SUFFER begins...

continued from~Let's All Assemble~

             I would be exhausted already even before the assembly began. The previous day's stress wouldn't be relieved even after a six hour sleep. I'd never sleep in the afternoons, because it was the only time I would get to play. The load of assignments would be never ending. Moreover, the continuous comprehensive evaluation made me study almost daily. Although, I did it with ease (hardly two chapters which would never be challenging). What was tough, what was challenging, what was annoying was the amount of work and stress all of it built up to.
Please, my scientific buddies I don't mean displacement x force by the term "work". 
       Actually, the boredom, anguish and disappointment that came along with the exam and the syllabus were more stressful for me than anything else! The evenings would be spent doing revision or completing assignments.
       Doing all these tasks was a mammoth WORK. Early in the morning I'd be like --- the "me" in Sleepy or too Very Silly or the "me" in Good Morning!!!
            The assembly was least encouraging. The cycle of exams and assignments had caused me, or rather majority of children lose interest in any type of studies. I neither had interest in PxRxT/100, this type of interest; nor in P(1+R/100) n, this type of interest....
         The reasons didn't lie in my dislike for the subject but in the dislike for the assessing and process of learning, if at all there was learning.
      Nevertheless, the day began - in the actual sense. Mathematics or Geography would usually be the subject by which the day would begin.
       All the sepoys and troops in hiding, would leave their hideouts in form of washrooms and water filters (in or behind which they hid in order to escape the assembly). The ones who had finally decided to attend the assembly would bid the final goodbye and exchange winks with their friends in other classes. Then, for an hour, a majority of students would be seen either napping creating nuisance for the teacher or taking strolls in the school toilets. The most loved and most hated subjects would take over the uninterested minds of even more uninterested students.
I, however, have always had a soft corner for mathematics; the only reason being my capabilities of doing it. The portion and syllabus of Math was extremely, incredibly and ridiculously vast. I always enjoyed doing Algebra and Geometry. 
         The joy and sense of victory, of accurately completing a challenging sum was unmatched. Anyways, another day has passed and I haven't used binomial conjugate, unitary methods or the laws of exponents in any arena of my life. Most probably, it is never going to be remembered by me, except when my children learn it in school and ask me to help them out(if I send them, that is!!!!).
     I enjoyed math until it didn't suck me up. The number of sums and problems that proudly harassed students were repetitive and too monotonous. I found many concepts and things very dull and was unable to find application in most of the stuff, like I earlier could. It is impossible to find application of life in (a+b)2= a2+2ab+b2.
I am definitely not going to pay in (a+b)2 where a = 5 and b = 7 rupees.         Even paying a mathematician won't mean me talking to him using equations and formulae. 


     I don't wish to do anything related to math. Although, knowing it and doing it just for the knowledge was fun… 
          Does it take a test for every topic taught and nearing fifty sums and problems to assess my knowledge of math.
Geometry would also pop up questions in my head.
      First of all my geometric equipment would be in a perpetual state of rest and disorder.
The fourth law of motion: Any geometric equipment continues in its state of disorder in God knows which direction unless a geometry chapter begins and the teacher asks for it...!!!
Sorry Newton!!! 
     The compass (rounders) and dividers would only be found when one of them would pierce a hole in my bag and poke me in the thighs. Scales and pencils would be the swords or spears in the artillery of my brother's imaginary war... The geometry box would have nothing but, freckles of the sharpener and two unsharpened broken pencils! A setsquare, would have gained enough inertia of rest, and I am sure it wouldn't move unless an external unbalanced force may be a crane acted on it; had I gone to school for two more years.
The protractors would never be in one single piece…25° in the bag, 72° in the tiffin section, 37° in the the water pouch and the rest , with Pythagoras, maybe!!!
     So, you can imagine my situation on the day I was told to carry my geometric stuff to the school!!! 
       Geometry really cannot be described or cursed in words!
It was (side1)2 + (side2)2= (hypotenuse)2 . However, it was easier to make sense of it. At least compared to Algebra. (The textbook, however, didn't make sense). Of course; but in the larger picture it definitely did. Geometry is full of theorems and properties. Nothing has to be created or searched for. Everything is just there, once remembered everything has to be proven using those properties. All I need to do is find x or the angles
        The base comes from already proven facts, proven by people who never learned geometry at school. They did everything, I didn't and I did things, they didn't. Lucky they! Descartes lay in his couch and thought of calculating the distance of a point from the ceiling and walls; then, he taught the world co-ordinate Geometry. I don't think anyone would be allowed to lie on the couch all day; with the excuse of " Dad! One day I'll be like Descartes if I lie on the couch all day!". I'm sure s/he won't come out alive if s/he attempts such stunts.
       The syllabus being so extensive, there were nearly 50-60 problems in a single chapter. So many constructions in geometry- the same method but different measurements. Doing these sums again and again, probably triggered the disinterest in students. There wasn't an exchange of knowledge or enthusiasm between the students and teachers. Majority of children lose interest for this very reason.
         On top of this there was a massive bulky homework which had to be submitted the next day. Plus on the day of the exam all of it has to be practiced. I, as I said earlier fared well always scoring full marks!!!! [Bless my dad!]. Anyways, the stress caused by all these factors was inappropriate for a teenager, or anybody! It is rather difficult to find a solution to these problems. They are a result of what we call wrong methods of learning. According to me, knowledge is about learning and not teaching. However, if one is forced to do a syllabus that s/he can't connect to, or understand, why students are unable to assimilate or give good results, is quite Clear.
        I've seen so many of my friends struggling with Math. Literally, they are helpless and unable to learn. Some hate it, some love it, but are unable to do it. At the end it is the formal grading system that does all the damage- to the confidence, self-esteem and dignity. Disappointment causes the child to lose interest in… Learning? Education? Life?
        Talking about uniformity, in the syllabus, there is absolutely none. Each child in society has to learn the same and progress chronologically with children of his age. Where is it? Today, there are distinguished boards that have different syllabus. Different schools operate with varied types of portions. 
         A state board student learns a particular topic in the ninth grade, while a child in an international or national board has already learnt in the seventh grade. School A has omitted chapters 8-10 while school B completes all chapters (ruthless!!!). School C has kept 8 and 10 for project work and School D has omitted 6 and 8 (what's wrong with 8???). 

       Where is the uniformity? There is none, neither among boards nor schools! And then, we ask. Ask questions that change our lives...
         Am I enjoying the learning process at school? Am I even learning? Am I supposed to or even want to learn these things? Is it necessary to give an evaluation, unit test, semester or any exam in order to know my capabilities, knowledge or intelligence?  Am I willing to keep doing the same monotonous work over and over again, without actually gaining anything? Is it supposed to be a competition for marks or a beautiful learning process? I got my answers when I decompressed and unlearned. Hopefully, I've got the answers right- 25 on 25...ooops is it a semester, then it is 80 on 80…!!!

   What Followed (a+b)(a-b)...
  Yes, geography did. Land masses, longitudes, latitudes, grids, countries, vegetation, wildlife and everything a nature lover would love to read about. I am, myself quite a nature lover. However, I am sure, if any of you nature lovers are handed over textbooks, you'd be devastated….
      Maybe, because you know more than the book wants you to, or things you don't want to know. Although, I love nature, I don't wish to know a lake that exists 50,000 km away from me- the river it feeds, the rivers that come out of it! No doubt I'd love to know the soil, the agriculture, and cultural life of people. Political boundaries of countries, and which industry is located where, is irrelevant, for me at least. I don't want know that a particular country lies on latitude blah blah blah south or $%%@%& north...!!! I have no business, with Mr. Someone or Captain Somebody discovered something. At least, I don't wish to memorize a brief answer and waste my internal memory for it (No doubt I have enough memory in my brain in order to download every game that is in the market for the coming 5000 years; I'd prefer a 2TB GAMES AND DOCUMENTARIES rather than a digest full of irrelevant stuff).
          I really don't understand, what is the requirement of brief answers, or even word-to-word answers. Why can't one be assessed on basis of the intelligence? Why the memorizing and racking of brains??? Moreover, why select syllabi that cannot develop love for the subject? Why can't geography be made so interesting that one cares and is enthralled to go on the net to research more on what s/he has learned? Why don't I come home and explore the soils and rocks I learned about? Why am I not excited enough, that I actually take rock and soil samples to the school? Why do I feel sleepy in the geography, or for that matter any period? Why do I say geography is boring or I don't like or it; when I do it in a different manner it interests me. I ask questions. I am curious to know why a particular area cannot be used for agriculture. I research on coal mining and carbon dating. However, I don't use the textbook.
              Wow!!! I've got the reason why it has begun interesting me!! The textbooks limits one to learn only what a really qualified (hope so!) person thought, should be learnt by the students. The internet and YouTube is abound with videos related to geography. There are 3d videos and also interviews of archaeologists…all it takes is a click and all the knowledge is at my fingertips!
         The questions, that were found to be important by them. Also, at times the content is very repetitive. Until grade ten, each geography textbook has rotation, revolution, solstices, equinoxes; telling the same thing over and over again!!!
Mostly, I wouldn't read the entire chapter. I would know only what those 5 questions wanted me to. I definitely would know the hazards involved in coal mining with examples of disasters in coal mines which took place a hundred years ago. The development in technology, alternative and better security would've definitely taken place. Maybe not! Links are given behind textbook but does anyone refer them to students? Do the students even know that the publishers and authors have very intelligently included the links. Moreover, there are a number of sites and pages that have lots of information. 
       In the 21st century, knowing to search for a site on a particular topic and having a high speed internet connection is enough to make a person mentally and LITERALLY, intelligent and well read. 
      So, all my archaeologists and geologists, I suggest you'll have to 
be least a radius of fifty meters from any kind of secondary geography textbooks and digests...Unless you want a change in career...!!!


                 Welcome to our boring glorious past...!!!      
     Yes, we really do have a glorious past. History…The subject that studies our past! No doubt, I love it the most, at least comparing it to the subjects, existing in the schooling system! 

    My love for history, when I was a part of the school, had been confined to my memory. I could memorize long answers and got nearing full in each history test. It was only when I realized that history was not just about by-hearting answers. It was a subject that had to be questioned, to know, how people existed in the past. How did we, the WE that we are today evolve? What steps were involved in getting to the level of intelligence and technological development, we are at today? How did people exist in times when none of these wonderful devices were made? History also tells much about the social life of our forefathers, the amount of pride, dignity and patriotism-love-for-motherland, people lived with is absolutely unbelievable.
          A standard 21st century student in the grade 7 learns or rather ratta maars* an answer about a leader’s power, bravery or policies…No attempts are sincerely made in order to know WHY? HOW? WHEN? WHERE? I am sure at least, WHEN, would never be asked…DATES… the very reason why people hate history. When was tea discovered and when did it come into india? When was it accepted as a beverage? Today, tea is an integral part of breakfast, snack time or just as refreshing beverage!
             All of this, too is available on our fingertips in the form of documentaries and short videos!
        The Indian Railways are the largest employers in the world! However, the trains in India weren’t there always…they were brought to India by the British…
           When? Where did the first train that ever run in India?
         This is what history is about… Not just memorising brief answers! The patriotism that people, children and also animals lived with 400 years back cannot be inculcated in students, or anybody today! It ain’t required! But we definitely can be inspired, from the strength they displayed, the will power they had and the readiness to die for the nation…Of course, no one would want to die for the nation today (salute to the army men living a hard life on the border! Respect!); but the resilience they portrayed is can be definitely brought into people!
            We also learn from a lot many mistakes made by our ancestors. The ancient scholars living in the Indian society didn’t accept that there can also be someone as intelligent and aware as they were. Hence, they would never instil or exchange the knowledge with scholars and intellectuals of other countries. They missed out on the vast treasures of gyan. Today, there is continuously an exchange of opinions and research on social networking sites. The very reason, why development has taken place so quickly in the field of computers and technology over the past 40 years is this. People are ready to learn from each other. No one hesitates to ask questions. They accept answers from all- whether the person who answered was of any caste, creed, race, country, or continent! Even if, there are different attitudes and estimations, the one that gets maximum likes is what I shall choose…!!!
                   History teaches, we learn only when we question! The questions given in textbooks are only made for the purpose of tests and assessments…the question maybe:
      Q.Explain the economic life during Harrapan period?
     Ans:       Really good to know they knew ship-building and also traded with other civilizations. The dock at Lothal is really amazing and shows their architectural brilliance.
           What more does it require? Just because the answer is supposed to be 80-100 words, I need to write more. It may mean the same, but just elongated…but if I question, how did the people know about ship-building? What happened at Mohen-jodaro? Their architectural brilliance is respected and inspiring, but how did they learn all of this???

             So, I question, decompress, unlearn…

WHY should I be a part of a system which is killing my love for a subject that tells us about so much… the past is like nearly a 3 million years!!! CAN just five different history books tell history? DOES history have to be a rigmarole of evaluations-disappointment not because  a brave man died a sad death, fighting for his nation, and 13000 women jumped into a fire to save their self-respect; but because I wrote the spelling of the man who died and the 13000 women as 12000… for which the teacher cut 2 marks!
No! No! No! Then why? Why a system of schooling, where history is only MUGGED, but not questioned…?
From The Same Series...
Do We need This Nightmare???
                                            Suffered by Shahen Pardiwala

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

~ Let’s All Assemble…~

 “How I learnt learning.”

                              Let’s All Assemble…

continued from Good Morning Continues...

 *all the he's used in the post are used in a general manner (student). They do not indicate any gender bias.

       The cries and byes ceased as the one thousand two hundred children, of different grades, different intelligence levels and different personalities entered the school. Each student, be it a first grader or a tenth grader, carried a monstrous or rather gigantic school bag. It would always be a really long way before reaching the classrooms. The lift was available for teachers.
       What I did not understand was that the teachers carried a purse and hardly two books, and the students carried a huge bag. Who needs a Lift, Teacher or student? I’d say why not let both get the facility.  a really lucky lift, I'd say.However, only teachers (and students in dire circumstances) would be allowed the use of the lift. The rest had to climb all the way to their classrooms.  
       Once the students reached their classrooms they would DUMP their bags on the chairs; next, they would head for the ASSEMBLY.                                                                                               

       The assembly- those twenty (or thirty minutes due to some delay) minutes, when all children of all grades assembled, in the corridors outside their respective classrooms… The students would stand in columns with their ties on- in a very neat manner and their shirts tucked into their pants. There wasn't one living being, who couldn't visualize the state of that same uniform an hour later. The assembly was definitely something very innovative (at least on the frontier). It was, better than just a prayer and anthem. The news headlines and some interesting facts were also told, which were only heard by the children, but not listened to. There is a considerable difference between these two tricky words. The birthdays on the day would also be announced. It was a motive to get the children together and pull out the program. This is because the pupils were made to collect information for news and also create a creative script for the daily assembly. 
              The mike and sound system were not upto date, but were well maintained. Sometimes the sound wouldn’t be heard on a floor or two. The assembly would be concluded by the national anthem and would begin with the prayer. The exercises were an integral part of the assembly. The assembly- which seemed very different and a unique system, was lovely and glittery. However, the methods used were least involving. The assembly never caused excitement in the students.
              Moreover the clashing of the bus timings and transitions clashed with the assembly. This caused a lot of chaos and a situation of disarray. A student just reaches his class, after running, pushing and then climbing five floors. He, just is trying to get his breath back. By the the time, he has kept his bag in the class and managed to get the oxygen levels to normal in his system, he realizes half the assembly is over. Can we wait for a boy and then begin the assembly? No of course not. But can't we wait for a hundred kids? This is because it is true that there are a hundred kids coming late. Not just the ones who come walking or have missed the bus. The children, who come by bus, too end up reaching late due to a number of reasons like reasons like tyre puncture, or any other reasons. I would easily be able to see students entering the columns, even after the assembly began. They would keep entering in between and elongating the line. This process was not overlooked or taken care of in any manner.
         In my former school I had never thought that there could be something other than just the prayer and anthem early in the morning. When I was introduced to this new system, I was delighted and found the assembly an improvement over the former traditional system. I had just joined this new school and found it all so very glamourous and beautiful on the outset. It seemed all ostentatious and magnificent.
        It was only when it was my class’ turn to host the assembly, and then I became a part of the assembly, I realized what I should’ve realized earlier.
        The students- who were the teachers’ picks and favourites would be the one who got all the credit and work. The making of the scripts and major hosting was usually done by them. It shouldn‘t be mentioned but it was a sort of gender bias- girls would usually be handed over larger portfolios.
      A class would usually be able to host twice a year. Never did there seem to be a change in the hierarchy of the hosts of the assembly. The weaker ones or the ones who the teacher had a dislike, never were given the chance to say any major sections. The ones, who would’ve told the important segments in the previous assembly, would always do the important segments again the next time.
        In my class, it would usually be girls given all the significant sections. I, or rather all boys, were given minor parts like the fact or birthday.
       No attempt was made in order to get ALL the children involved in the process. It was just the selected ones who were made to be involved in this procedure. It was like a caste system. The ones, who were to be left out, were left out. The ones, who were to be encouraged, were encouraged.
      No one thought of the development of the children. It was like just cleaning a lovely, expensive shoe over and over again; and letting the dirty sandal rot. Unless someone picks up this sandal, mends it, and then cleans it, only then does it sparkle. At the same time there is beautiful sparkling shoe, made of pure leather which is left to rot. However much the shoe may glisten and glitter, if left unattended, no one recognizes it, the shoe is of no use.
     Back to the assembly! If someone makes a mistake while narrating a part, that student’s weakness would never be acknowledged. He or she would be removed right away and replaced immediately. No wonder why the mistakes of the favorites were conveniently overlooked by the teacher. The focus was more on framing a good and flawless assembly rather than focusing on the development of the students’ oratory skills.
          No matter how much talent a child possesses that one rejection from the teacher and insult of being removed from the assembly, the confidence of the child is crushed and crumpled! That too, just for merely reciting a line a little fast or slow! What I fail to understand is that if the child is unaware of how he should narrate, how fast, how loud then he instinctively does what is right for him.
       Although, the child forgets the incident in a day or so, the next time s/he has a mike in his hand, be it ten years later;s/he shivers with the thought of making a mistake. He feels it is wrong to make mistakes. Actually, it is really good to make mistakes.
     “The Ones, who don’t make Mistakes, are the ones who have never tried…”
       But this timid child, feels making mistakes is bad. He never overcomes the rejection. Some may overcome the fear. They may not give a damn and say, “I don’t care a damn,.” That’s what I did. I was removed from the assembly for narrating the morning exercises too fast on the mike. That doesn’t stop me from hosting the teacher’s day. That also doesn’t stop me from speaking on the mike.
        But that was what I did. I, myself did a little self counselling to neutralize these dictates on my oratory abilities, plus being a homeschooler now, I don’t have to host or stand in any assembly. There are a number of others who can’t stand this sort of rejection. These are the ones who are never able to recoup. They live a normal life, do all their things perfectly; but when it’s time to speak on the mike, they fumble and fear elimination.
            So although the assembly looks à la grand on the outside, it is not as grand in reality.
        Yet, it’s just been the backstage I’ve been talking about-the hosting. It is just a total of six children compering the show but a 1000 other children hearing; only hearing, not listening, as I said earlier!

        The pupils may seem to be listening intently to the news, facts----- clapping for birthdays of others-----performing exercises-----singing the anthem and prayer-----all these things did really happen. However, they aren’t done with the discipline they should be done with.  According to me the assembly was just exaggerated in the magazines with photos of children in straight queues, in discipline. The students would be seen standing in order and had an intent and absorbed face.
           Here’s how the school magazine and word-of-mouth explained the assembly system: A really brilliant idea. So different and original! Children reach school early in the morning and stand in columns. They are refreshed by the very creatively designed exercises. They sing the anthem and prayer which causes them to have a wonderful day ahead. They sing birthday songs for birthday songs for their fellow school mates. They are enlightened with the news and get to know amazing facts and historical events that occurred on that day.


                 I am sure you’ve got a rough summary of how the reality of the assembly is, after seeing that I have given it a separate title.
     So, the rough (really rough I’d say…!) picture of the assembly is:
      When one tells that the children stand in disciplined queues-first of all it’s already half the assembly finished before all students manage to get into the queue. Some students opt to not stand in the assembly at all! Surprising, isn’t it? Then what do they do during those twenty minutes? Some choose to be in the toilet and some hide back in the classroom. The children who have come late are the ones who are more than happy to miss the assembly. As I earlier said, the assembly is least involving.
      Talking about discipline, students (including me) find it difficult to stand for that long. It is but natural to find standing for twenty minutes after a climb of five floors with a hefty bag. If it would be interesting, encompassing and a bit less monotonous, it wouldn’t be so difficult. An assembly, daily is really difficult. Bi-weekly or tri-weekly would be much better and create excitement.
       If scripts would be improved, some humor allowed (two really funny jokes early in the morning are more refreshing than the morning warm up exercise, the name given to the exercises), a guided meditation, if they are able to frame it,  and some excitement shown in the hosting. This would do it all and make the assembly better.
        However, the reality of improvement in the assembly shall only be a long lost imaginative script. The reality is what it is. Going through the motions…
     I myself would never be able to remember the news in fact an hour later. I wouldn’t hear it, some… or rather most of the times. The news were ultra-boring, no teenager or school going child would be able to connect to the news, unless it was related to a sport.
      The birthday wishes, were the only thing I felt were sincerely appreciated, that is LISTENED to by the students. I can guarantee this because the students would make fun of the surnames of the birthday boys and birthday girls. All would sing in chorus. The birthday song would be sung for nearly 10 children daily. However, if there wasn’t a birthday of a classmate or friend, hardly some would be heard singing the song. There would be incredibly numerous mistakes while pronouncing the names of children. You can make out the reason- the unawareness of the children of how they should narrate. The mistakes would be like-“Pardiwala” became “Padriwala”; even in the news, the names of many well-known people and personalities were twisted- like “Abraham Lincoln” would become “Abraham Linco-l-o-n”. It was really very disgusting. To not know how to pronounce a name or two of students in the school is understood, but not able to pronounce the names of well-known personalities.

               The exercises, which were called the ‘Morning Warm up Exercises’ were least stimulating. They didn’t seem to have any effect or benefit on the health of students-neither physical nor psychological. I never found out who had made such uninspiring exercises. They never motivated me. This is because they were monotonous. Moreover, all those people around me did the exercises without interest. They did it like a formality. The teachers, too, never seemed to encourage us in any manner to make us involved and enthusiastic to do the exercises. At the same time, the management never thought of improving the exercises of the assembly in spite and despite of seeing the children so bored with the monotony of the assembly; and exercises, especially.
                 So, this was the general scenario of the assembly. Then I question again. Is it necessary to stand in an assembly, to gain knowledge? Whether I do the exercises or not, does it really affect or has any connection to my intelligence? Do I need to go to school for that one fact, or one historical date, while I can know a dozen more events on the day and a billion more facts through the internet? Do I need to stand in an assembly queue for half an hour daily in order to begin my day? No…
       Then why school? Why assembly?
   Now that I am a home learner, it is not the assembly which is the beginning of my day. It is something I love doing. Usually I sit and read a newspaper. Sometimes it is just typing my blog until noon. Occasionally I select a subject and then browse about it on the net and see some videos about something that interests me. No more do I have to sing birthday songs without any interest. I can wish them on any social networking sites. I don’t have to exercise the way the school or someone wants me to, I do it the way I want to do it. It may be just a walk or jog.
            It’s really wonderful to sit on the balcony and write, while it rains outside. Really much better than standing in an event that was the same yesterday and shall be the same tomorrow.
      Now, I look forward to something different for tomorrow which will be different from yesterday…

        written by one Who doesn't Stand in An Assembly, But stands                                                               Apart...                                                 

       ©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.



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