I am writing this blog post based
on my observations on students doing engineering and also on those who are in
11th and 12th planning to write the various engineering
A parent to me “Sir, my son got
94% marks in intermediate exam and I am not sure why he is doing so badly in
I have heard this so many times
in the last three years that such a statement no longer surprises me and I even
know the answer to this query from the parent. Most of the students who get
into such circle of not doing well in engineering after doing good comes from
one of the South Indian state also. If I talk to any of the student who is
doing bad typically this is the conversation that happens between the student and
Me: Why are you doing so badly in
your studies now?
Student: Sir I know I am doing
badly; I have failed in so many subjects. I was not like this before in my
Me: Then why is this happening
Student: I never had life till I
joined engineering; all I did was preparing for various entrance exams. My day
started at 5:00 AM and ends at 11:00 PM in the hostel attached to the school
and in between I was not allowed to do anything I really liked to do. All I
could do was study and study with the hope that I will crack IIT-JEE. Even
after this hard work I did not get through to IIT and then parents also started
verbally abusing me with words like “you are good for nothing”. My condition at
that time was like a pressure cooker that is fully pressurized. When I joined
this school, for the first time I was able to think and stand on my own and I
decided to take it easy the first semester. It took me one year to realize that
what I was doing is bad but now all I can say is that I will try my best to
I have interacted with enough
students doing intermediate (11th and 12th standards)
whose childhood has been denied due to this mad race to get a seat for
engineering or medicine. Majority of the times I come out of these interactions
with tears in the eyes. Peer and parental pressure is taking a huge toll on
these teenagers whose sole purpose of existence at that stage of life is
securing a sear in engineering or medicine.
Mr. Kapil Sibal, the then Union Human
Resources Minister, tried to change this culture of entrance exam by changing
the pattern, but the new pattern has made the life more difficult for the
students. Now along with the entrance exam preparation students are forced to
prepare for their board exam also.
So what is the solution? I
believe no law/rule can alleviate the sufferings and torture being undergone by
students. Only solution I can think of – allowing students to choose their own
career path, rather than parents making a prestige issue of what career their
ward should pursue and forcing them to get into that career. There are a good
chunk of students who are doing engineering not because they like it but their
parents like to see them as engineers. Unless and until the kids are allowed to
select their area of interest devoid of any external influence this torture is
going to persist.
“Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai”
the first novel by Rishi Vohra is a superb narration which will
invoke inspiration for the so called “under achievers” to focus on their goals
and work towards their accomplishment. Like the intertwined tracks, the
characters make the story an intricate mace of love, attraction, heartbreak and
courage and the destination is hope and victory.
The story is written in the first
person by Babloo, nickname for Balwant Srivastav, who introduces himself and
states that ‘they’(one can say the experts and people around him) said that he
was autistic , schizophrenic and psychotic. He is a neglected child for no
fault of his as he is slow by birth. He is a 24 year old young man living with
his parents and his only brother Raghu , younger to him, who is a graduate and
is employed ..The family has been living in the Bandra Railway colony for 26
years. Nobody cares for his likes or dislikes, except Vandana, the daughter of
his father’s boss, who is very kind to him and lives in the same colony.
However Raghu being the more eligible is engaged to Vandana. Babloo is ignorant
about this. He has only one aim in mind – to get the appreciative nods of
Vandana and marry her. The colony bad boys’ gang headed by Sikander also has
his lusty eyes on her. When he comes to know about Babloo’s adoration for her
he uses him to become friendly with her. Vandana is enamoured with Sikander’s
high talks but realizes his nature and also saves a teenager from his clutches.
However Good prevails over evil.
The introduction of the character
of RailMan from the railway tracks is the mainstay of this novel. He
saves the oppressed and people in distress. How Babloo lands in the mental
asylum and how he is groomed into a self confident citizen is beautifully
described and one should really value Rishi’s imagination for such an useful
and inspiring finale. It makes us realize that as parents, siblings , friends ,
neighbours, relatives and well wishers we must understand with compassion the
needs of such Specially abled members of our society and lend a
supportive hand for their rehabilitation.
to Rishi Vohra for his first novel and we wish that he will give us many more
such beautiful literary experiences.
I was watching one of the IPL-6
matches the other day. With cheer leaders cheering for each team to microphones
attached to players in the field, viewing cricket these days have become a
visual extravaganza. This made me think of a period (mid eighties to mid
nineties) when I was so crazy about cricket and how the matches were telecasted
during those times. This blog post is about those days, when as a small kid I
will eagerly sit in front of Doordarshan to watch those cricket matches. There
was a time when cricket was played like this
Only one camera was used to cover the entire match and
it is placed near the long-off region
Only channel that telecast cricket was Doordarshan
If the test match involving India was held in any other country
only highlights will be shown in Doordarshan. One has to depend on All India
Radio (AIR) for live commentary of all Test matches outside India
Doordarshan had only two commentators – Narathom Puri
in English and Sushil Joshi in Hindi (I started learning Hindi listening to
Sushil Joshi; he uses only 10 sentences to cover the entire match like –
khobsoorat cover drive char run keliya)
First slip position is reserved for captains.
Diving while fielding is unheard of in cricket field.
A score of 30/0 after 10 overs or 45/1 after 15 overs
were considered to be a very good score in a one day international.
Day and night matches were rare phenomena.
Colored cloth and white ball were yet to be discovered
Field restrictions were unheard off.
Cricket even used to be played in ground meant for
athletics having synthetic running tracks.
If a batsman mistimes a shot, the single camera in the
field moves in the direction where the batsman intended to hit and by the time
camera-man realize that it was a mishit and spots the ball, the bowler may have
started walking back to his bowling crease.
Terms like “Physio” or “Coach” were unheard off in
Best cricket reporting was done by R Mohan of The Hindu
and the best weekly covering cricket was “The Sports Star”
If you are travelling, the best bet to update the
cricket score was the pocket radio.
Best commentator for cricket in All India
Radio was none other than Harsha Bhogle.
Slogging happens in one day cricket only after 40 overs
Test match crickets were meant to end in draw. Rarely
did the Test matches ended in victory for one team.
No one was talking about the concept of neutral umpires
for Test matches.
Every April and September there will be a one day tournament
played in Sharjah and during the live telecast you could see Dawood Ibrahim and
all those big names in Bollywood in VIP stance in Sharjah.
Once a series is over, one has to wait for weeks or
months before another international series happen.
I am sure I may
have missed so many while writing this one. If you use to watch the match those
days and feel that I missed few points unique to that era please add here.
To sum up here
is a match that falls under that category – India
during the 1987 Reliance World Cup. Enjoy!