Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pearl Chronicles, #2

Hello people, its been a long time you guys been devoid of entertainment. And since I do seem to be relatively (Now thats a tricky word) free, here goes.

One fine day Pearl finds a stick. A nice stick, approx. 500mm long and our little pearl takes the stick to class. Now, it is rather amusing, for a teacher to see her "very hardworking and intelligent" student (and i'm sure someone hit the teacher on her head because the student is a very 24 hours TV watching student), to be playing with a stick. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Pearl during maths class was playing with a stick! Well, that was 8:45 in the morning, and it was a long day ahead. Pearl oblivious to all the attention she was drawing kept playing with that stick and before you knew it, it was 3:00 pm, or there abouts! And the maths teacher back and Pearl still playing with her stick! Finally the teacher can take it no more and she asks, "Pearl, will you keep playing with that stick all day long"?

And that was the moment of realisation. When my really smart sister figured she's upto no good!

But that is not the end.
Another day, another stick.
Pearl comes home with a stick this time.
And a much longer stick, my guess would be 1000mm.

My cousin was around and she asks, "Pearl, why have you got this?"
Without missing a beat, she answers "aapni pitai karwane ke liye!"
(so that you ppl can spank me)
Ahhh.... the pleasures of having such a considerate sister!

Friday, February 18, 2005

A lot can happen in 11 days

1. Pearl's post was copied by a competitor from the other house ('tis a small world?)
2. The other girl changed her speech
3. Pearl cleared the elimination round to go onto the finals
4. Pearl won the best speaker award
5. Her team also won the best team.

Can we hear it for Pearl..... guys?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Culture Exists

This is the trascript of the speech for my debate in school. I'm representing my house!! The topic is "Culture exists no more" and I'm speaking against it.

Mahatma Gandhi opined that no culture could live, if it attempts to be exclusive! Culture, in my opinion, is the way of life of a people, and this dynamically changes with the changing time.

There are certain people who do believe that culture, with changing times has ceased to exist. Yes culture has ceased to exist, the way it used to be. The keywords here being “the way it used to be”. By which I imply that our culture has not ceased to exist, but has just evolved with changing times. I’m not taking up the case with culture fanatics here, however I would like to put forth my point, by raising a few questions and coming up with a few answers.

1. Is a better standard of living in society the death of culture?
2. Does the death of blind faith equate to death of culture?
3. Does respecting certain sections of society earlier looked down upon including women and the so-called “lower classes” the death of culture?
4. Is questioning the conventional perception of god the death of culture?
5. Is honesty and being upfront in your thoughts and actions stifling culture?

Before this turns out to look more like an examination question paper, let me carry on, in a slightly different vein! I would like to talk a little about the evolution of what we call Indian culture.

India has a cultural heritage of over many thousands of years - from the Harappa valley civilisation to the Aryan invasion, then to the Maurya-Ashoka-Gupta dynasties to the Mughal and British invasions and finally the present day India.

  • Harappa was the introduction to an “organised society”.
  • The Aryans brought with them the caste system wherein society was divided into the four varnas.
  • Emperor Ashoka popularised Buddhism, the popularity of which is seen from the marvellous work at Ajanta-Ellora and many other such caves!
  • The Maurya dynasty incorporated principles of justice and honesty.
  • Indian history has seen great achievements in the field of medicine by Charak and Sushruta, contribution to mathematics by Aryabhatta, to name a few among many other great scholars.
  • Awesome architecture, literature that is revered not only in India but also the world over, paintings, textiles and what have you!
  • The English invaders brought a lot of knowledge that we had closed our doors to, at one point in time. Incidentally it was this knowledge that also helped us get rid of the very invaders!

The present day culture, in my not so humble opinion, is just development on the cultural foundations laid back as long as 2300 BC. And now, I will proceed to answer my questions with reference to the aforementioned cultural foundations.

Point 1: Each event in the time period has always aimed for a better standard of living for the people as against the earlier one. Medicine, Mathematics and Technology were developed to solve problems faced by the society and to improve the quality of life. And that is precisely what we’re doing even today!

Point 2: The development of medicine was itself the first step towards eradicating blind faith. Again, even today we’re working on over throwing superstition.

Point 3: Education to the masses opens up newer vistas. This broadens your outlook towards society encompassing basic principles of respect and equality towards all.

Point 4: The topic about the existence of the divine, the all knowing-all powerful god is treading into controversial frontiers. The only point I would like to make here is that with more broad an outlook, we’re just trying to give a more informed answer.

Point Next: A more honest and upfront behaviour and attitude with parents is definitely a positive sign as against negative. For instance, drinking in front of parents was considered disrespectful, and therefore avoided. But today the fact that children are open with their parents symbolises a closer relationship and also helps parents to guide the children.

So, in a culture we devise methods of human interaction and behaviour and pass them on. Some part of it gets lost, some is retained, some is modified, some diffused, which in no circumstance means the dilution of the core values and the fundamentals of behaviour! And if any change in conventional patterns such as working women, equality, overthrowing blind beliefs is destruction of the very culture that the fanatics harp about, then yes, culture is destroyed and this destruction is a welcome one!

To conclude, culture is the value system that makes you successful and a better human being for the collective good of society and barring a few oddities, I’m sure we’re all headed on the right track!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Wait, Wait, Wait - the Kronicles 5

All everyone wants me to do is wait.
Wait, Please wait, Hang on, Just a sec, In a few minutes, Kindly wait, Wait, Wait Wait....
How much can I Wait?

Lets take it one by one...
1.) I was trying to instal the encarta encyclopedia on my newly formatted computer! And I was told to wait. And I was waitng, and waiting and waiting.

2) And then the main point of this post. I've been asking K to read my debate speech and report of our trip to Mumbai, since afternoon and she's been telling me to wait. She claims she has to finish writing some 20 pages, and then she will read my work. And she just keeps writing pages and pages and keeps asking me to wait and wait. She probably will finish her little work only when my teeth fall off. And I think only my grandchildren will review my work. And frankly speaking, all her work looks the same to me.... I've been reading those pages of written matter and all over are sprawled acronyms and words that keep repeating, and repeating and the same thing over and over again.... and for that I have to wait!!

Poor Me... give me some sympathy people, and pray that K finishes her work before I become an angel!
Why does she keep saying "give me some time" why can't she say "give me a lifetime" ????????