Friday, September 29, 2006


I went through this topic called E-Tutoring. It was on the yahoo news headlines today. The link to it is

And the link to one of the e-tutoring institutes is

I am sure all of you would have by now become familiar with anything that starts with “E”…or the “electronic-…

Well, what more can I say? Other than the fact that the world has become easily accessible and we can access any corner of the world by just the click of a mouse. They guarantee that the online tutoring gives everything a personal tutor would give to a child on a one-to-one basis. Until we hear it from a child who has actually taken these lessons, how can we be so sure that knowledge is actually transferred in the right sense. Or is it just an outcome of the growing outsourcing and there is no other alternative for the middle class parent in the developed countries other than to seek help at much lower prices and still try to get quality education for their children. The ever growing gap between the so-called rich and so-called poor makes anything possible. Obviously parents think that their children should be getting the best of education no matter what and so, nowadays resort to seeking help thousands of miles away. So, the differences in the social system which forces parents to seek help far away from home itself indicates that quality education has become inaccessible to many children. Who is to blame here? The system, or the difference in the social status, or the imbalance of finances, or the outsourcing, or…or…or…??

On the other hand, with the outsourcing, five people earn what one person might earn in an hour which is a good thing when seen from a humanitarian perspective. The child, who learns from an online tutor from the other side of the planet, also gets to experience a whole new different process of learning and in fact can access the facility day in and day out, throughout the year! The bond that the child forms with this tutor is also a unique one and in the process, the child becomes aware of a whole new world that exists far but is within reach.

But…what happens to the knowledge and education in its purest sense? But what about the dedication and responsibility of the ‘teacher’? Are the children even benefiting from these so-called electronic tutoring? And why is education and knowledge only for those privileged few? What else will this electronic world replace?

We have to wait and see.

And amidst all this going on, what about the poverty that lingers on the face of this Planet?

Only time will tell! Asking questions have always been easy…we have to come up with tangible solutions as soon as we can!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Language & Expression

Language is one of human’s profound inventions. Can you imagine a world and all the evolution without language? What if we did not have languages? Maybe we would have invented some other mode for communication and would still come up with the concept of language some time down the line. Well, it is for our convenience right? Everything we have created so far is to help us live better. At least that was the intention the humans had when they set their spirits behind the mysteries of the world.

Language is a boon to Humankind. Though it may never compensate for the actual living experience, we cannot refrain from using it. But it should always be remembered that the purpose of language is to make expression easier with the rest of the beings around us and never to differentiate. As long as the people around us understand the language we use and as long as we try to express thoughts in the simplest way, it is justifiable. So, while conversing, all we have to remember is to get the message across to the people around us and not how the way it is told. Of course, the ‘how to express’ matters when it comes to the depths of literature studies etc. but as long as opinions are concerned, all we have to worry about is to get the thought process across. Blogging is one of the powerful tools of technology, which is definitely going to take the humans to the next step towards evolution and help them see the world as one. Humans have strayed enough from their original path of finding the truth and have come a long way on the wrong track. The Internet and the blogging will help them see the world from a whole new perspective and make the necessary corrections to get back on track.
So, while keeping in mind the power of expression, let us all unite and bring our thoughts together for a unified purpose. No matter how we express ourselves, let us always try to bring our most genuine thoughts to writing. Let us not leave the responsibility of writing to only writers because each of us is equally good enough to express our thoughts in this world. And remember, we have to transcend differences of all kinds, to become a single entity!

In the end, it is not the excellence in the language that matters; it is the genuine intention to communicate, share and love the world around us that matters. Languages, together with the Internet are tools that will help us bring this world even closer. Well, everything has its place and purpose in this universe right??

Nuclear Weapons. Threat or Security?

What do you think about Nuclear weapons? Do you think they are a means of Security or Threat? Is it worth spending so much money on them, when we have so many hungry people in this world? Do you think the world should get rid of them or use it positively as an energy source?

The US has spent more than 5.5 trillion $ in developing their nuclear arsenal and France has spent about 1.5 trillion $. ­ And these numbers do not include the costs of testing, fissile material production, storage and disposal. The costs for other nuclear weapon states are probably similar, but those numbers are not publicly available


Nuclear Energy: Advantages

France produces 76% of its electricity, enabling it to achieve almost 50% energy autonomy. As a result, its dependency on other countries is minimal as regards meeting electricity needs.

Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases and therefore has no impact on global warming. In France, 50% of CO2 emissions have been avoided since 1970 thanks to nuclear energy. This energy source enables the emission of 700 million tonnes of CO2 to be avoided each year (equivalent to emissions by 200 million cars) in Western Europe, including 360 million in France.


Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT]

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), obligates the five acknowledged nuclear-weapon states (the United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China) not to transfer nuclear weapons, other nuclear explosive devices, or their technology to any non-nuclear-weapon state. Non-nuclear-weapon States Parties undertake not to acquire or produce nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.


Friday, September 22, 2006

RTI Act of India

For folks in India and those who want to truly make a difference in India's domestic policies, you need to look into the RTI Act (Right to Information Act) which is currently gaining momentum in some cities. But what we need is the same momentum in rural areas. People need to be made aware of what they can do in the face of the Government's actions/inactions.
Citizenship is more than just voting and deciding who the leaders are. The responsibility doesn't stop there. Citizens have to realize that the taxes they pay to the Govt are to be brought back to the country's welfare and development. More than 70% of the people in India don't realize that the Govt is accountable to them every bit they promise in their manifestos.
Check out Parivartan - Fighting Corruption and Arvind Kejriwal the man behind it and who has been selected for the Ramon Magsaysay Award (
What we need is to spread this awareness in every state in India - the people/citizens can make a difference after all. The key is to propagate this through educational channels where the primary recepients are children and the youth.
(picture courtesy

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Geography : Disrupted...

The very sound of the words “Geographical boundaries” inflicts a pain so sharp in my soul and will do so as long as I remember the meaning of those words in any language. How can two simple words inflict so much pain to a soul that believes in free spiritedness? Free spirits are everywhere…but what happens when they are sucked in a system that runs only on laws and rules of the so-called world made by Man? Man made such a system thinking that it would in turn help get him organized and civilized. But in the process he has made things worse for nature, other living species and himself. Wanting so much to educate himself and become civilized as a natural consequence, Man has not even come to that state of mind, where he can comprehend that being educated is far from being civilized and to be actually civilized is within his reach if only he realized the difference.

Well, let me share something I recently experienced. I had to cross a border of a country to get into another. And I did get all the necessary papers that were needed in a human system of rules and regulations to cross the border. And you want to know why I did that? Well, I did not want anything that trivial to stop me from doing what I wanted. And when you have a higher purpose to accomplish, you do not want to be pinned down by simple hurdles. But what might sound trivial to certain people might be a Herculean task for many. And for some, such hurdles would not even matter and yet for some others, it would be the only thing they struggle to overcome all their lives.

When I was approaching the man made border between the two countries, I could see how breath-taking the scenery was. The mountain ranges and the clouds seemed to unite the heavens and the earth. The green trees seemed to reach out to the skies and they were filled with love. The surrounding air, sun, water from the rivers, and the skies seemed so connected to each other. When I was almost at the so-called border, I saw the immigration and customs office building and I had to walk into it. Apart from the presence of the building in that beautiful landscape, there was no other difference on the other side of the so-called border. And I saw all kinds of posts that gave names to those countries on either side of the Immigration office building. Does it make any sense, I asked myself. Well, what do you think?

I heaved a big sigh trying to release the frustration my soul felt every time I thought about the geographical boundaries and then, took my papers inside so that the officers could let me into the country on the other side of the border. The building represented a boundary - a border which screamed of differences from every angle. It disrupted the natural harmony that was present in the surrounding backdrop. I tried to ignore the screaming building and wanted to get my work done as soon as possible so I could get back to the harmony that was waiting for me to return and take me in.

The peace I felt with the nature outside turned into absolute chaos when I walked in. They say that feeling at peace or chaos is all in the mind but when encounters of this kind come your way, the chaos creeps in with the energy and leaves you questioning everything around, including your very own existence. And since I am no great exception, I felt the chaos disturb me so much within but the outside had to be faked and pretentious in order to get through with the crossing.

My papers were taken by an officer who had no time to even wish me and in the process of giving her the benefit of doubt; I assumed she must have had a long hard day and was probably worried about her children at home. For all I knew, she could have just been so preoccupied with everything around her. Or maybe even the daily routine at the man made geographical border was bothering her. I did all this assuming while waiting for my turn to get my papers back.

While I was waiting, I saw this man walk through the door with a police officer. This man, who looked like he was in his early fifties, had an absolute serene face. He was so calm and kept staring at the police officer as he questioned him while walking him in. It was obvious that the man did not understand a word of what the officer was saying. Maybe he just spoke a different language I thought. And it took a while for the police officer to realize that this man spoke a different language and that he did not understand even a word of English. English had become such an international language I used to think. But it made me wonder as to how many people still do not feel the necessity to learn other languages since they take language speaking and mostly English speaking for granted. The police officer then asked this man to wait and called another officer who seemed to speak the same language as the man. As the other officer came by, she passed me and gave me a cold stare. (When you are face to face with someone, and you do not know them, you tend to force a smile and divert your eyes elsewhere. That was the case here.) I did come face to face with this other officer and when I forced a smile in her way, she looked at me so coldly that I wish I did not understand the eye language. Sometimes even being able to understand the body language pains me because the hostility comes right through to you. Maybe she had a long, hard day too?

After giving me the cold stare, she walked up to the man and spoke in a language which he could probably understand. Though I did not understand that language, I realized that the man was as quiet as he was before and answered only in mono syllables. And whatever the man told the second officer, she translated it to the first officer who was beginning to get impatient. She told him that the man did not have a passport and did not have any other papers on him too. I could see the impatience piling in layers within their bodies and trying to create an explosion on the outside. But they still tried to control themselves giving the man a chance to explain his situation. I wish I knew what they were speaking then. The very thought of a language posing such a barrier to my understanding of this world, inspired me to make a resolution with myself to learn as many languages as possible in this present lifetime. After around half an hour of impatient questioning with the quiet man, the officers led him to a glass room around the corner of the hall and asked him to stay in with many more people. My eyes followed the quiet man and the two officers who led him to that open glass room and noticed there were around twenty people in it already. There were four children who were clinging to their parents’ side inside the room. I noticed the thickness of the glass and immediately recognized it was bullet proof. What was the reason behind that?? I cannot even begin to comprehend… The officers locked the glass room.

I can bet on the fact that the calmness I witnessed in that man’s face can never be replicated by any actor or actress. It reminded me of the scenery outside the building. There wasn’t any difference between the peace I felt outside in the landscape and on the man’s face. As I was scanning the people inside of the glass room, I wondered what the authorities would do with them later. The man sat by the glass wall and stared out at the landscape. I felt he yearned to get back to the serenity outside but how, I had no clue.

He looked like he had given up all material comforts and was in search of that peace beyond all the rules and regulations and laws of Mankind. He seemed oblivious to the consequences and the possibility of his freedom being curtailed. I suddenly felt the power of his soul which was ignoring the man made laws. What happens when man tries to break free from the system in an attempt to find salvation from its chaos? Is he chained by the very own system he is trying to escape from? What significance did the geographical boundary have for him? Or was he even aware of the rules of this system? Or maybe he tried to change the system and failed and gave up on everything and lived a renounced life? Or maybe he meant some harm even? I could not assume anything nor could I even get any close because the serene expression in his face remained the same throughout.

The system also bothered me a lot but I tried not to let it in and always focused in the bigger purpose. I want to be able create a change in this system and so I could not afford to let these things become a hurdle. Was I being a hypocrite and was that man living up to his convictions? I did not know…and will never know what went on his mind.

Then, when my name was called, I collected my papers and left the building. I was finally given permission to get to the other side, which otherwise was in no way different than the former.

Before stepping out, I looked back at the glass room and saw the man sitting in the same position and staring out. The two police officers then got back to their discussions and I could see that they were referring to someone in the glass room. As I walked out, there was this one moment when my eyes met with the quiet man inside the glass room and before I could bring out a smile, he smiled at me. A smile that inspired me to go back and create a change in the man made system! (All the while I thought he was having a long, hard day!)

Back to the scenery and awe-inspiring landscape I found myself looking for alternatives to bring a positive change and erase the “geographical boundaries” made by man. I hope to live in a world with no geographical boundaries and whenever I hear those words, I will tell myself that I should do something to lead them to obscurity. After all, I still have the smile to give me the courage to take the world single-handedly.

Here I am, writing about my experience and having a positive feeling about it. I am confident that there are like minded individuals in the face of this planet who would join me in this journey to erase all the existing differences!

Monday, September 18, 2006

St.Kitts & My lessons...

Nature has a knack of transferring her serenity to any being who seeks solace in her. And that is exactly what I got! She has a special way of teaching her lessons at the times when we most need them. It is up to each and every one of us to take these in...fully, with our body, mind and soul…and stay open to any experience we are offered.

When I was in Basseterre, St.Kitts, West Indies for eight months to pursue something which mattered a lot to me…I lived in a house which was located at the tip of the island and my bedroom overlooked the Caribbean Sea...and every morning and evening I used to be fully in admiration for the beauty of nature...the peace and tranquility…would totally engulf me in itself…the walk would be along the beach road…and I would most of the times stop by the beach and stare at its magnificence.

For the first time in life, alone with nature, I never did once feel lonely…I felt alive...I felt good…and then I realized something...I had stopped thinking and I really got present…to the moment...NOW!

And in the evenings...since my house was at the foot of a mountain...I used to climb up...and watch the sun go down...almost everyday. I cannot elucidate the living experience in words to you…I have never been so happy with myself and with the surrounding nature…and suddenly the whole world seemed so beautiful and positive and I yearned to live so much. I realized something so profound and that time could after all be ignored and stopped… and I stopped time!

I think time is always dependent on the changes that happen around and within you... It’s up to us to keep time running or putting it to a stand still so accordingly… when we have the events and changes in our life we can see the existence of time.

I truly understood what Eckhart Tolle said in his book “POWER OF NOW”. If you get a chance to read the book please try and read it.
I am happy and I have realized the ..JUST BE!
Life is full of surprises…you never know what you are going to get now…I have realized one thing. With all this happening…the power of NOW…there were a few friends who had tried and made an effort to make me understand. Though I did try…to learn it from them. It wasn’t until I came across this incident in life that I realized the power of now.
I know that all I have is NOW...and nothing else. I think that we all need time to ourselves to sort out our thoughts. The detours of life can make us do just that. It is during this time that we may learn much. More than if we were never to go through the experience to begin with or to always have everything smooth. I can think back over those times and see the good it has done for me. It may be difficult to see it that way and we may ask the question why? But things always have a way of working out for the best.

I am richer by this experience and every time I share it with someone new, I go through the whole phase once again.

Maybe it is the intense and powerful energy that is within Nature that gives us all the strength to live and love life most of the times. And since we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, walk the same Earth, are protected by the same skies and derive our energies from the fire of the Sun, we manage to appreciate the beauty that surround us, once in a while. Life would be much better if we did it more often.

I am sure this is what they call life and living!

Sometimes it just takes us a moment to express anything in language...but the genuine living experience is far more special and unique from the words...but we still have to resort to the languages to express ourselves...because language is one of man's most brilliant inventions!

Well, you sure know what to do if you want to know more about the experience! Of course yes! Go visit St.Kitts...

Media Sensationalism: The Downward Spiral

Whatever happened to Media's responsibility? Or should we ask, is there any such thing at all?
Just go and switch on your TV for news. Right now. CNN, Fox, CNBC, you name it...
Let's rewind to July 12th and go all the way towards the end of August 2006. What did we see?
Splendid explosions, dramatic incursions of Israeli soldiers across Lebanon's border, action-packed fighter planes demolishing buildings, bridges and infrastructure, poignant stories of displaced people - foodless, homeless, grief-stricken, angry...and a whole range of emotions, and Anderson Cooper's endless tirade on what he was seeing around - apparently informing us of the situation. Good job Cooper! There are millions around the world watching this dramatic spectacle unfold in all its glory except that it's not scripted much in advance, like Cinema.
But wait, what the hell is happening in Lebanon right now? UN peacekeeping forces, Relief efforts, Humanitarian concerns...blah blah, who cares? Peace-what?
You can hardly find half hour worth of updates on Lebanon's war after-math. Has the media become so insensitive to the actual needs of humans that all they care to do is just thrust more and more drama into their viewers' lives? Now that, the sensational part of the war is over, why does the media have to care, they got their share of ratings. Before the Lebanon crisis, it was the Iraq war's initial stages, beautiful footage of precision bombings, showing everything they could get on camera. But during the Lebanon crisis, there was not even an inkling of the Iraq war because it had lost its glamour.
Does anyone ever question what's happening right now? Are we as citizens of the world getting up against the media and asking them what the situation is right now? Question them as to where their responsibility is? Isn't there a line to be drawn between sensationalism and actual truth? This more or less seems like selective truth.
Peace, Humanity, Aid efforts and other concepts like those don't have a 'cool' or 'sensational' value to them like war, guns, death and despair. Maybe it's time to make the former elements more mainstream and accepted, maybe then we can expect a world more tolerant and understanding.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Edison & the Motivating Factor

We live in a city called EDISON which is in New Jersey named after Thomas Alva Edison. We live close to the place where he lived and there is a memorial tower and also a small museum near that place. There is a small forest-hiking area near the place he lived, which has thick vegetation and has tall, magnificent trees...they have turned it into a hiking area for visitors...throughout his stay in New Jersey, he used to walk daily in these woods and make his inventions...there are small posts which give us information about what he used to do and what he was interested in doing. There is a small pond in the middle of the woods where he used to go fishing with his kids. He loved music and used to always sing with his children when he was not with Science. Music was his only solace apart from the knowledge seeking. Just by visiting that place once, we could understand the intensity of Edison's yearn for knowledge in its most purest sense. Being there, it seemed that he always felt secure in Nature's compassionate warmth and was open to its light. No wonder it led him to contribute so much to mankind. It also seemed like he derived his energy from the nature around to take mankind to a different level.

We four went hiking on the trail and felt the charged-up energy in that area in our system. It was so overwhelming to be in a place where the light bulb was invented...can you imagine that more than 100 years earlier, there was a human in that very place, who contributed so much to mankind and science...and his son also donated the place to the government, in a sense, to share the significance of the area with the people who visited. And to be in a place like that, was absolutely amazing - the tall green trees, the sky above, the pond and everything in that place allured us with the intense energy.

"Only because of Edison the people in villages got bulb but, for them science ended with the bulb". After nearly 110 years even today most of them are yet to get even that. There was a time when scientists did not run after money or popularity. It was pure intuition and passion for knowledge and quest that drove them to live life But this is hardly a case now. Everything now comes with a price. Money has become the most powerful motivator and not the quest for knowledge. And what does that leave us with? Insecurities, insecurities and nothing but insecurities - of all kinds. Some of the people who speak about truth are greatly discouraged. Some of the people who go after inventions do not get proper support. When everything is institutionalized in the present world, the only people who come from institutions are getting recognition. Individuals are ignored. Only because of this factor, individuals lose their hearts. But in the past, science had advanced in certain key areas only by individual efforts.

So, when motivation comes only from the quest for knowledge, it brings out the vast potentialities possessed by the human mind. No matter what the hurdle, we must bear in mind that when we give unconditionally to the Universe, we in turn, get what we need or even desire.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Evolution of the Self

Went to this car show last night - vintage American cars most of them from the 50s & 60s. And suddenly it struck me as to how the Automobile technology has evolved from back then which made me think as to how Man has evolved over time. Let's forget about Darwinism now and just think about the evolution of the thinking man. What is that something that has constantly propelled Man to think in terms of sophistication, technology and 'development'?
Heard about this book 'Excession' by Iain Banks - something about what if the entire world has everything it needs, food, clothing and shelter and maybe even some things that it wants. Will post more about Excession later.
But the point is, in the realm of 'thought' evolution, there has always been a battle in the minds of Humans. The battle between the Higher self and the Lower self. What propels one towards a higher state of being and taking the high road?
Was reading James Bonnett's "Stealing Fire from the Gods" where he talks about the R-complex (reptilian complex) and the Limbic system in the human brain. Of course, R-complex is the reason for humans' instinctual self (targeting the basic physiological needs) and the Limbic system - the advanced part of the brain that's responsible for the higher self, which is geared towards humanity, love, peace and the all positive archetypes associated with one's self.
The outcome of the battle between the two selves, is what is manifested outside in a human. And the triumph of the Higher self over the Lower self in an ongoing battle is what leads to the evolution of the self. How far we can gain control over our lower self is no doubt a question to be pondered about.