24 November, 2007

Technology Helps

In day to day’s life we come across changes in Technologies. Though there had been talks about certain disadvantages of technologies I have been experiencing few advantages for the past few years. Does technology lead to destruction? That is debatable. We can say yes/no. That is not my point here now. I wish to share how it has helped me in the last few days.

After a row of meetings at work, I went to my seat to have my lunch. Casually browsed my emails and saw a mail with a funny mail id. Fearing it to be suspicious I thought for a while. The subject was not as one of those dodgy mails. So I opened it up and was excited, thrilled, etc..etc. It was from nobody than one of my class mate who had studied almost 30 years before in my high school. It was an invitation to few classmates for a meeting in Chennai. Though I could not attend I just responded. We had very few email ids in the group. Then we suggested to have a common group and started a group.

Believe me or not! Within a couple of weeks, we could collect more than 20 email contacts of our classmates who are spread over every corner of this world. The past two weeks had been very busy receiving few phone calls every evening from one of them. One of my class mates was kind enough to sing few favourite hits for everyone at home. He called us from Dubai. Suddenly another friend forwarded the contact of our favourite school teacher. He said that the teacher has an email id and is very receptive to students, though he is retired now (naturally!). Guys started phoning him up as well.

Due to the time difference I could not call him in the week days. I sent him a mail in advance during the weekday and called him on a Saturday. I woke up very early as early as 2.45 a.m. on a Saturday. I called him and just said my name. He recollected every minute detail about me. I was just flabbergasted. We went on and on. We exchanged our wishes. I conveyed my sincere apologies for not able to contact him all these days. He replied, that he was very delighted that at least few of us have recalled after 30 years of school life. He felt a great sense of satisfaction that he could contribute something good for the society and felt very happy that students who studied under him are well placed and leading a good and great life.

He said
Last week was a special week in my retired life for I received a few calls from my students that is 1976-78 batch to whom I was the class teacher in the gallery class. Remembering the teacher at your age of 40 plus and that too after a gap of 30 years is quite unimaginable. I was filled with emotions when I heard the voices followed by their e-mails and it gave me a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment for which God has created me. It is really gratifying to note that majority of the students of that gallery class are well placed and well settled in life and they remember their teacher who has contributed a little for their betterment.

I thank all of you for this lovable gesture which I cannot very easily forget. Now I am retired and God has given me a peaceful retired life. I love to meet you all and share the pleasant experiences and moments we had in 1976-78 at Corley. Joys are doubled and sorrows are diminished when shared. If you happen to visit Chennai do call me and feel free to visit me.

My warmest Greetings once again and I would definitely remember you and your family in my daily personal prayer for I know that more things are wrought in prayer than the world dreams of.”

All these days I have been feeling guilty for not having contacted my teachers who had brought me to this stage. But last week I had my greatest satisfaction in my life for conveying thanks to our old teacher. Now, within 2 weeks we could establish contacts with 24 of our old class mates, and the joy brought over exchanging e-mails, calls, news, and photos is unexplainable. Each one of us remembering our childhood acts and even the words, nicknames, fights, jokes and exchanging them when our kids are in our teens is great. The highlight was one of our classmate sent a group photo of our class taken in the year 1973 and there had been flurry of emails amounting to more than 200 within a couple of weeks. We laughed at ourselves for how we looked and how much of hair each of us has lost. We have changed in shape, looks. But while talking about the school days we all are same. Till today none of our old classmate has declined to meet or be in touch with our group when approached. That is the spirit!

Now you know why I appreciate the technology and why I was missing in the blog world for the past few weeks. Hope to get back to blogging and you can see my comments again in your posts. All these were possible just at a click distance.

07 November, 2007

Children and Fear

The freedom of life is to live without fear. Our mind is conditioned from childhood towards fear. When I grew up in India, we feared for everything at school. Some may argue that fear brings discipline in a child. But certainly not!

I remember my school days, when we feared for everything. I read about a nasty incident today. This has happened in Ahmedabad, India. A student came to school late, and the standard punishment was to run 5 times around the school ground. The school kicks off at 7 A.M. and the boy who was late collapsed when he started running. There is a report saying that the boy had congenial heart problem. Still I honestly think that this kind of punishment should not exist. Here in UK, they make the children to undergo detention. If they are late they will be detained half an hour back in the evening or another day. I would not say that it is the best but in no way it harms the child. If such kind of death had happened in a developed country the school authorities will be taken to task. I read the Police is looking for a complaint from the parents, to take action against the school. We should wait and see with what is going to happen. I could only sympathise with the parents for the loss of their lovely child. At the same time, such parents should go against the school authorities, and this should open the eyes of many others who fall in the same group.

The same punishment existed during my school days 30 years before. I hated my PE teacher taking control of latecomers. I would have been late only once or twice in my school life. We were asked to do some physical exertions like holding ears criss-cross by hands and do squats. There was discrimination in those punishments too. But what did they achieve? They made us to be more afraid.

There had been age hold tradition of instilling fear on child’s mind. I remember days when my nieces visited us for holidays and we were in teens. My brother-in-law, who is a Doctor, always insisted that they should not be scared. I got the parenting technique when I was just in my teens and it worked very well. Then, we looked back into our childhood days and realised the importance of bringing a child brave and explaining them the consequence.

Fear causes anxiety in children. Fear deprives them from thinking creatively. The fear of being beaten, punished, makes children to become coward in their life. As a parent of 2 children, I have found it very successful in being positive. Children are bound to do mischief and mistakes. Children need to be children. At the same time, they should know their limits. Punishments should be there. But they should be in such a way; it does not hurt them physically, emotionally and mentally. My nieces were brought up without fear and this has helped them a lot in their life so far.

My aged mother does not agree with my ideas and principles and feels that I am giving too much of liberty to kids. During our childhood we were not allowed to give any explanation and were just asked to follow what was being said. Thanks to creative thinking I could overcome all the fear in myself. At one stage in my life, I have thrown the fear and started realising of being conscious to ourselves.

Children are the best gift to us. They should be handled in a nice and simple manner. Some of the parents compare their children and keep talking about all the negative things of their children to other parents and friends. They should bear in mind the way they behave with their children. It is really funny to hear few parents’ comments. I have seen a lot of parents expecting their child to be a readymade piece with all they wish. They need to realise that children cannot be all-in-one readymade doll. They need to be moulded and it requires lots of patience in bringing up good children.

Fear cannot prevent the negative things. It may be deceptive. It may look like it is producing the best result, but indirectly it harms the personality. It is age old technique. In present world it will not work. Children may pretend to be afraid, but you gain nothing than hatred from them. This may have adverse affect and parents may have to pay a huge penalty for their behaviours.
So those who are dealing with children, please wake up! Teach them right. Tell them the consequences. Please be in detail and try to deal them with patience. It is difficult. They may repeat the same negative behaviour. But teach them gently and do not lose your patience. Keep explaining them straightforward. It will fetch you the result. Please do not spank or terrorise them with punishment and fear. This will not work.