My Power Quote !

A good book on a rainy day is happiness for me - Ruskin Bond

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TIME TO FLEX THE MUSCLES IN THE BRAIN


We are groomed in a system where books are treated more as an academic tool than life enriching experience. We see only a minuscule percentage of people who nurture reading as a habit beyond student life.

When I undertake journeys, it is appalling to see few people with books. In this respect, our Western counterparts are a wiser lot, because their society is more knowledge centric. This behavioral deficiency can be cured by taking a conscious decision to nurture the habit of reading as a daily dose to make life more blissful.

“Books” according to American critic E.P. Whipple, “are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. “ Through reading, we get the endurance to accommodate the view point of others. Reading is more a sort of exercise to the mind. A book will give the necessary impetus to withstand the pulls and pressures of daily life. Books are messengers through which a person’s ideas, experiences and insights are shared with the whole world.

The great people of past have already recognized the credence of books. The Catholic archbishop, poet and writer François Fénelon sagely said “If the crowns of all the kingdoms of the empire were laid down at my feet in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would spurn them all

Books should not be chosen casually as we are generally deceived by such crazy  titles.  You must be intelligent enough to choose a good book.  Once you cross this barrier, the ‘how’ of reading a book is better interpreted by Sir Francis Bacon: “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested”.

Reading makes a complete man. Moreover, reading is not a passive activity. To read a book, you have to prepare the mind in that direction and a conducive atmosphere needs to be created.  The decisive factor in choosing a good book is to gaze into its reviews which form a central plank in deciding the fate of the book.

In fact the holistic approach for book reading is to take important notes in the course of reading that book which will aid  you  in future for reference.  Book reading is not for sensual pleasure. The books that kindle our imagination and elevate our thoughts are the right kind to read. “No entertainment is so cheap as reading” says 18th century writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. We cannot bring any radical change in people’s perception regarding ‘books’ unless we first achieve cent per cent literacy.

According to the 2009 UN Human Development Report, adult literacy rate of India is pegged at 66 %. We are in shambles with regard to Human Development Index (HDI) which is 0.612, lagging behind our neighboring island nation Sri Lanka which is at 0.759.

A multi-pronged approach is needed to achieve the objective of raising the literacy rate. Yearly Book Fairs that are now held only in some select cities need to spread to every district headquarter and a coordinated approach is required to attract local people. Moreover State Libraries need to be strengthened with adequate funds to mould them as ‘modern temples of knowledge’. School children must be nurtured to go to libraries and parents need to give books as gifts for occasions. There is also a need for Self Knowledge Groups’ among students and other stakeholders for sharing of knowledge.

Other than governmental interference in the form of financial aid and policy planning, a parental approach will only bring a perceptible change, otherwise we continue to remain in dirt.
The article already published in The New Indian Express 
Link click here:     http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/article521942.ece


CRICKET : INDIAN OBSESSION ??


Cricket occupies a large space on Indian psyche. The cult status it enjoys and near stardom of its players makes cricket beyond any wild imagination. No game in India is as popular as cricket due to much fanfare in media as it conjures up young and old with equal twist.

I am not an ardent critic of cricket. My opposition is to the extent of media vauntingly highlighting the game. It storms the headlines in
TV channels sliding other important happenings to the corner. The

 irony of the game is , it grows work-malingers who literally glue to TV sets throughout the match without any productive work. It is abysmal that the game does not promote sportsmanship but only rise your heartbeat.

Due to fanatic public obsession, other games have been put on the back burner.  They are riddled with talent crunch and at the mercy of government funding. Even the highest talent in other disciplines is not attracting public gaze and sometimes the player / athlete has to look for sponsorships to participate in international tournaments. The influence of Cricket in India is such that Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged as one of the 60 Greatest Indians in the recent rankings by a reputed Indian news magazine.

Basically, cricket is an affluent man's game. If the cricket is really played for sportsmanship, then why only few countries are playing this game? Why it is not included in OLYMPIC GAMES?  It earned its reputation from business perspective as continuous beaming of the game earn more Ad revenue to sponsors / Broadcasters.

It is alluring Indian television companies, because India has nearly 65 % of the world television audience for cricket. There were countless instances where the cricket grabbed the headlines on Indian Media sliding other important news to back burner. Sam Pitroda, the then Adviser to  Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh on Public Information Infrastructure in a  seminar said that we see only three things on Indian TVBollywood, Cricket and Political Gossip.

I personally feel that cricket is getting too much media coverage and other games are cornered due to which there is a danger of certain games goes into oblivion. So it is the need of the hour to give due diligence and intellectuals must sit together to chalk out some policy initiatives to guide the government for a formidable change.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

THE POWER OF INFORMATION

Benjamin Disraeli, the famous British Statesman observed that the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

Before advent of internet, books are only the source of information. Ever since the dot com world stormed our lives, it dramatically changed the way we seek information. Now getting information relevant to our need is a mouse click away and everybody is banking on internet like never before.

In fact internet contributed for free flow of information and no earlier generation is so blessed like ours. But the secret lies in choosing the right kind of information. Suppose if we dive deep into the information ocean aimlessly, we may hit the rock. We must know the path to success and the main ingredient is to quantify our information needs to exploit the data for our daily needs of life.

According to Parkinson's Law, you have to fix time-frame for every activity. If you don't fix target slot to be devoted, your work expands to spill over all the time forcing you restricted in attending other important works which you have to accomplish. Thus the German philosopher Goethe’s advice comes to our aid: "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

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