Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Learning English Words.

I, along with my brother, moved to a private school when I was in fifth standard. The reason for this switch was the English. English was not the part of curriculum in government primary schools at that time. We were registered in the government school, as the new school didn’t have the authority required to issue the passing certificates. The emblem of the new school seemed to be “bhay se bhoot bhi bhagate hain” (event the ghosts run by fear). Or in other words the students were terrorized by the teachers.

Coming back to English, the English teacher was himself a B.A. student and was working part time. He was younger brother of school owner and had taught in the school before. Since I was new in the school, I didn’t know about him. He came in the last period of the day and talked about how learning the English words was the first necessity. Then at the end of his maiden lesson he asked the class to come prepared with at least fifty new words beginning with “A”. Most of the students were worried because it didn’t seem feasible to memorize that many words. One of my friends warned me that he is as cruel as his brother and it will be better to do my best to come up with the task.
I went home, opened the dictionary and looked for the words with the length not more than six, so that they will be easy to memorize or will take less space in memory. I short listed around sixty words (Because if I will memorize sixty now then I would be able to recall at most fifty) and wrote down in a notebook. Now it was time to fix them in my brain. I broke the words in two parts such that “Abo-ut”. So that it will become easy to remember the spelling and the meaning. I revised all the words at least five times. I wrote the words in a separate paper to see, how many of those I could recall and revised again.

Next day it was again the last period of the day and the class was exhausted. The teacher came with a cane (fresh broken thin Neem branch). Without wasting time he ordered us to write down all the words, beginning with “A”, which we could recall in twenty minutes. There was no need to write the meaning of the word, just spelling was enough. I began writing and to my misery I stopped after thirty four words(I don’t know how do I remember the exact number now). I tried my best to recall the rest of the words which I memorized previous day. But it was in vain I could not write any more. He asked us to stop and collected the sheets. Now he with the help of another boy started counting the total words written in each sheet and wrote the numbers along with the students name on the black board for everyone to see.
Students had written in the range of 20 to 48 words. I had written second highest, 34. Now it was the time for all of us to face the music as nobody scored fifty. As the school closing time was nearing, the teacher knew that he won’t be able to punish all of the students, so devised a method to finish the punishing task (even for him). He subtracted the numbers of words written by the students out of fifty such as 50-48 = 2 to 50-20=30. These were the number of slaps. Now he asked us to choose our slapping partners, such that in a group of two one has to receive his slaps from another and viceversa. All the groups started with the job then suddenly he asked all of us to stop as we were not slapping hard enough, and called a boy to show how hard to slap. He slapped him so hard that the boy’s cheek turned red. Now he asked all of us to start the process again. This time most of us gave good facial massage to one another.

Now it was time to call it a day at the school and all of us packed our bags and started leaving for our homes. Everybody seemed to be ashamed of them for hitting their friends. But there were also some boys who were giggling about the entreating process.

I was thinking how that boy wrote 48 words even though he was not that much studious. I went to him and asked “how did you memorize that many words?” At first he seemed reluctant to tell but then he unearthed the trick with the condition that I should not tell anyone. He told that he thought that teacher himself may not know all the words and all he was going to do was to count the words written by the boys. So he just wrote the words without worrying whether the words he was writing were genuine or not. All he wanted was to make sure that he didn’t write more than fifty to avoid the teacher’s suspicion. He later told me that he wrote the words like “Aklmts”, “Apmtsd” (written for example by me as I don’t remember the exact words told by him) and it went as contrived. I was really impressed with his ingenuity.

Now that smart boy is one of my best friends. He is serving Indian army now a days.

Leave your comments and please report the errors.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Let the Nishachars be free:

Pundit Nehru popularly said "At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,"

Yeah, how true it is even after more than sixty years of Indian independence that at the stroke of midnight when the world sleeps (not really though), millions of Indians wake all night to answer calls of some dumb heads, to tell them how their gadgets work, to do all the clerical work at the minimum wages, and obviously to get rid of the unemployment. Well, these people don’t have any option other then proving the Nehru’s statement true.

But there is another group of zealous Indians whom I call Nishachars (Nishachars is a Hindi word for those who roam around in night, synonym of Demons), pardon the discourtesy. These are the people aspiring for their much deserved Night life. Here the night life can have different meanings depending on the activities a Nishachar might like to pursue in night time, such as boozing, dancing and head trips.

Till now there doesn’t seems to be any problem, but there is a catch, the local administration of some of the Indian cities have imposed a “BAN” on the Nightlife, and Nishachars are in trouble. The reasons cited for the ban are multiple, such as proliferations of illegal activities, law and order troubles etc.

Now let’s ponder about this “BAN”. Is it really required to enforce this ban? After all Nishachars are also parts of Indian populous and they include some big honchos from Indian Industry and the cinema fraternity. It may be possible that they are in minority numbers but in a secular state like India, Minorities are the most cared about. So why the Indian states don’t let these ogres carry on their natural activities?

I have just this to say,”Come on you bunch of Administrators, don’t fear the Nishachars. Let them have the fun and improve your Law and order machinery. After all we are passing through the Kaliyug (Dark Age) and you are no better than the Nishachars”.

Hail the Nishachars…..I’m one of them.

What about you?

Monday, September 01, 2008

BMTC bus conductors

I have been in Bengaluru aka Bengalore for more than a year, and the (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) BMTC buses have been the most affordable transport utility. The buses seem to run as per a fixed schedule for commuters’ comfort and not for the sole purpose of revenue maximization for BMTC. The reason for the observation is that sometimes you may notice a bus moving almost empty like our lawmakers’ heads and sometimes accommodating passengers over the limit like bank accounts of overtly corrupt officials.

The system seems to be quite different than other states I have been in. In some cases the bus driver takes the of conductor’s responsibility of distributing the tickets along with motoring through the notoriously congested roads. It’s here, for the first time, that I have seen lady conductors taking on the task in glutted buses. There are also some serpentine buses, where the rear part of the bus is hinged with the main part in a train like fashion. These are moving merry-go-rounds, because the drivers seems to forget that there some less mortals are graveled in the other part of the vehicle, as they keep oscillating in all possible dimensions because of reckless driving.

Now let me talk about the bus conductors, as you are most likely to “Deal” with them while riding BMTC buses. If you happen to take a comparatively longer journey, then there is no problem as they give the right tickets. But if you are going to hop on for just one or two kilometers, then the ticket charges are in the range of Rs. 3 to Rs. 7. Now, this is the ticket price range where the “Deal” starts. For a Rs. 3 ticket you may pass on the coins in many combinations like coins of Rs 1 and Rs 2 each one, Two Rs 2 coins, or one Rs 5 coin, expecting a return coin(s) with the ticket in last two cases. But in some cases what happens is rather odd; the conductor takes just Rs 2 for Rs 3 ticket, or takes Rs 4 / Rs 5 if the ticket costs Rs 6 and so on, and returns you the extra amount without giving any ticket. In each Deal they let you keep one or two rupees and adjust the rest of the sum for them.

Now it’s up to the passenger, whether he/she insists for the ticket and not let the lenient and caring Conductors keep the money. In case there is any ticket checking by any flying team, the passengers are sole responsible for their tickets. The conductors are not liable for the ticketless passengers, as they can’t force them to take the tickets. If some passengers are caught without ticket, then there are higher chances that they will have to bear all the public embarrassments, the financial fines or whack of the laws.

So, the message is clear, whenever you ride the BMTC bus for the next time, don’t go for the little savings of your (or your family’s) hard earned money, Insist for the right ticket. I will also do the same.

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