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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DO WE NEED THIS NIGHTMARE???

 DO WE NEED THIS NIGHTMARE??? 
continued from English Vinglish

                 EXAMS have a purpose, but is it served???

DISCLAIMER: This is a true insight into EXAMs in school.
                        Any resemblance is not a coincidence.
                        No animals, except sentiments of school loving                  beings were harmed during the making of this blog post.
                     The Internet, author or Blogger is not responsible for your child flunking in this term’s exam.
And there are only three reasons I write this post:
One, the exam period is nearing and I see my friends tired and exhausted-studying to get good grades.
Secondly, I had to write about something to take HOW I LEARNT LEARNING ahead…I found the time right
And lastly (this is gonna be funny!!!) -recently a photo saying: this is the guy who invented EXAM was circulating, or is circulating on a social networking site! Although I didn’t bother much with it- I glanced through the thousands of comments made by all types of people, in all languages-possibly teenagers or parents who could see how worked up their children are getting. Here are some of the comments:
May his soul never rest in peace!
If he’d alive id hit him so much he wouldn’t be able to recognise himself
And why the heck did he do such a thing?
Although, this may seem to be an article where I curse the guy who invented exams, and give a condemnation against exams; I am quite “with” Henry A. Fischel… yes, he is the guy.
My question is- What is the reason behind him inventing exams? Even if he didn’t and what I am talking about is a false rumour (as it always is!), yet the one or group or committee to have the examination system had a reason behind it. Everything has a purpose. Nothing comes into being without a purpose.
         So definitely exams weren’t made to be laughed at and cussed a century later on social media! It had been created for a reason, a reason we are unaware of! Nevertheless, its existence has a cause. It was created for the benefit of the students of course…if I know the reason someday, I’ll share it. But for now, I’ll tell you how difficult it was to take the decision of home-schooling, which would remove such an essential part of a child’s life in today’s society!!!---
       Exams, maybe the only reason for which, I, or maybe we, were sceptical about home-schooling. It would mean moving away and missing a complete experience.
For a typical childhood life, without that one thing called-EXAM is like a school without exams!! Confusing?
Definitely! If this system described in a line remains confusing, let it; because tons of chaos and disorder lies within!
From lesser place to write in evaluation papers to the amount of time given to complete it; from correction errors to all sorts of funny but unacceptable occurrences, I’d say.
Of course the pride and happiness of securing the highest, the joy of competing with friends and that feeling of giving an exam can’t be replaced. But then the sorrow of missing the highest by a mark, unhealthy competition and jealousy came along. And then again the cons were more than the pros… writing a paper with the knowledge that a teacher who pronounces PRONUNCIATION as PRO-NOUN-SI-A-TION is going to be the one who will be checking that paper is really bugging.
 (I don’t want to imply that SCHOOLING, EXAMS are bad for some it may be a good experience too.)
Exams were held almost daily-the continuous comprehensive evaluation (they took the word CONTINUOUS too seriously!!!). The feeling of giving it was secondary. Because prior to that was a tough and serious session of studying-mugging-or ratta mar as we call it…here there are three types of people-
Firstly, THE HARD WORKING AND DEDICATED CLAN- this was a very frequently occurring group-one in a million (frequent enough???). These ones got their rewards but these were the ones with maximum jealousy for others in their group. It was the highest in the ladder- if the school students had to be divided in a caste system. And this group had a majority of girls (not to mean much offence- ENVIOUS is the first adjective I give!!!). I was the only boy, along with a few others!
Secondly, we found an enormously large group of students who believed that whatever, however and how much ever they study, the tide wasn’t in their favour. They did a commendable job, however by sitting with books and reading and reading and reading but not just getting it right!!! They would usually get average marks.
                               
They are hard-working, though- they make it a point to complete their writing work quickly- so as to impress the teacher in some manner. They impress the students belonging to the first group. And if the to-be-impressed is impressed than he will definitely lend his book to complete the homework(of course, the return ticket of the book isn’t finalised… and trust me one of the books that were lent to a student this week, from any school in the suburbs of Mumbai are lying in his bag even now!!! If not, I give you my GOOGLE password and intellectual rights to this blog!!! )
 And beware, these guys the ones who make the maximum, least productive and frequent questions to ask the teacher while she teaches. These questions have highly annoying effects- like any of these:
       

Yeah that’s possible

 
Count it in!!!
And then, we have a bunch of the most motivated students… motivated to never do what they are told to, and do exactly the opposite. These ones don’t get any rewards (now, what do you expect) they themselves don’t care what they get and how they do!!!
But then where am I? Of course, I believe, at least that I belonged to the first group. I was a topper- the characteristic scholar-silent, observant. But then, I was a human being-with errors, bad habits and also made mistakes. (OKAY! OKAY! I am a human being yet…) I would definitely be congratulated by my friends even before I attempted the test. I would be asked to give them a part of my brain (please don’t call me possessive because I didn’t) But for that I have something for you guys:





Hey dude Congratulations!!!
What?! We are yet to attempt the the test paper.So what? Anyways you are going to top with full marks!Really? You have more trust and confidence in me than I do in myself.Yes, I am. Also, I know that you know what is the third point of difference between…Renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, right? Of course, it’s that the non-renewable sources take a long to be replenished and the renewable…Ok I got it! That word “replenished” is so damn difficult to remember! Ok thanks and congratulations again!
Sigh! Sigh! Sigh!


            That is what the typical scenario would be like. I was quite sincere and would always be prepared for the exam a day before!

 So I would get good marks, usually the topper. My friends made it a point to say “Congratulations” even before I had attempted the test!!! Oops, go back, further, and further!!! Did I say “prepared for the exams a day before” and “topper”??? Yes, if exams are to be connected to any WORD, PHRASE or QUESTION, then these are one among the many! Honestly, if something could’ve made me not home school, then the adulation, appreciation and competition I got along with exams! But then again, questioning, decompressing and asking relevant QUESTIONS did the trick.
 At the moment, the first term exams are going on or are about to begin in a number of schools. I am sure there will be many of my friends who will be stressed out, some will get good marks and be applauded for and congratulated. But I never, ever feel that I am missing something by not going to school! And even if I go, then what for? And…I think the questioning can wait… first, I am going to voice my experiences-before exams, while attempting, the post-exam period and the aftermath.
Firstly, exams are considered to be the most taxing and stressful exercise for students. A day before the exam is like studying, reading, memorizing, practising. I am not sure of learning! I would be drained, exhausted, tired and was “even more synonyms of tired than MS Word can suggest!!!”Although, I would be quite sure of getting decent marks the next day, it would be a very taxing and strenuous job. First of all, the notes (questions and answers) for chapters would not be given. Moreover, the system demanded us to prepare for everything. Any question from anywhere from the textbook would be given. However we were never told how to attempt those questions and what kind of answer is expected. Especially, in English where the scenario was worse than any other subject: English Vinglish
The English papers would have two or three annotation sets. An annotation would be a dialogue a sentence from a given chapter. With reference to the extract, answers had to be written. And of course, who is the one responsible to give answers to the questions? The students!
I had seen many of my friends struggling to get answers for English annotations. However, no notes were given. I agree it would help us to improve our thinking capabilities. But at least the students should be given a rough idea as to how the answers have to be written.
I would easily be able to answer the questions, credit to my mother and her intensive training and exposure. I read books avidly so it helps me to formulate my answers. But I could also see my friends. Many of them would write irrelevant stuff and some would write a correct elaborate answer but marks would be cut for miniscule errors.
Marks, did I say? Yes, believe it or not marks are ultimately what rule the exams. No matter how well one has understood the subject matter and can also apply it, the answer that he/she writes is, according to the examination structure, the basis of what they’ve understood!!! Here’s an example:
Is “Aurangzeb was a pious person” any different from “Aurangzeb was very religious” or “Aurangzeb was a reverent devotee of god”??? No not all! But what the system demands is a Xerox copy of what is in the textbook! “Aurangzeb was a pious person” although the child has understood, ok, the Aurangzeb was a devout or in simple words…religious! So, even though the student has understood the crux of the matter, then why the same word and phrase and sentence required.
Secondly, even if he has to know Aurangzeb’s character, what is he going to do by writing a four marks answer? When is the next time s/he is going to meet Aurangzeb, or for that matter Lord Dalhousie, or King Pratap. Okay, I agree he has to have an idea of the past and present and future (who teaches time machines and talking robots???). But, do I need to prove to anybody that I know this or I am well aware of that. I wouldn’t mind lecturing my friends or mates on the Battle of Panipat, but I would hate writing it! And that is what the problem is. Students prefer writing picture perfect answers in tests and semesters but they shy away from speaking. (However, not all!!!)
Which archaeologist remembers the third answer to the second part of in the second class test of the second term of his seventh grade??? I don’t! But does it affect my life today? Is writing about something that happened two thousand years back more important than knowing that the Mangalyaan has reached Mars’ orbit? Yes, it may be an aide- as a weapon of knowledge, but what matters is how I apply. If I am going to talk like a humbling mumbling fool but have elaborate and loads of knowledge to share its futile. I can’t speak as if I am giving an oral take up for an answer.
 So, to put it straight it is not that I should not know about North America and its climate and wars that took place three thousand years ago; but writing a memorised answer that I am eventually going to forget within a fortnight is futile, according to me!
Coming back to preparations, I always felt, a lot of pressure while I was studying for an exam. Eventually, it would lead to me losing interest in the subject. It was like: I don’t care who Michael Faraday was, I don’t want to know more about this guy who is responsible for adding an extra brief answer to my syllabus! I just want to read this, memorise and forget it!!!
Now, does that make any sense to you, or to your two-year old niece, for that matter? So that’s how preparations went by-no interest, just exhaustive work, pointless practise and a toll on the health!
If the next I would see a single student carrying his/her bag to the room (where bags are to be kept….ooops, dumped) without a book in his/her her hand, I’d be compelled to know from which direction the sun had risen from…definitely, not the east! Students would open books and randomly turn pages. I too would do the same in times when I thought I wasn’t prepared enough.
When I sit back and think, I imagine, if I would be able to memorize an answer, which I wasn’t able to in the past 24 hours, in 2 minutes? This is elegant!!!
                                      
As the system believes that if children are seated together, they would copy! Cool! Students, at least the very talented friends I had, could and would copy from each other, irrespective of distances between them.
I was the one targeted the maximum times! “What’s the answer Shahen?” “Tell me I’ll give you a Cadbury in the lunch break” “please, please…” and all sorts of offers and deals!!! What I feel is, if one is going to answer for the other than what is the use of exams? Some teachers were stern enough to control the children as they became restless, once they were done with their test! However, some teachers were totally unable to do so. The students would take advantage! No more did the examination room look like one, but a “FISH MARKET”. The favourite word of all who visited the class, in an attempt to make the class silent!!!
The test papers, at least in the school I had been to, had very less space. It was a mystery, as to why supplements weren’t given! Nevertheless I managed with those papers for 2 yearsJ!!! The answers looked like a mess. An answer that required hardly half a line had been given three and the ones requiring 6-7 were also given three!!! Fortunately, I had tiny handwriting style, so my answers would fit in claustrophobically. Nevertheless, some of my unfortunate friends, had potato sized writing styles…so a two minute silence for them!!!
Once the papers were given everyone would rush back to their classes. The reactions would be like:
Student 1: hey, what did you write for that one? Nitrogenous wastes?
Student 2: Oh gosh I wrote something else! NON- Nitrogenous???
Student 1: Thank god I changed it at the last moment
Student 3: I am going to fail. I didn’t even touch the books yesterday
Student 4: No that’s not the right one I bet you!!! I’ll show you when we reach the class! You come along.
Student 1: I’ll lose a mark in objectives! And the answer you told , let’s check it out!
And the one who weren’t interested:
You saw the movie FINDING FANNY it is superb!
Hey! Did you play smash hit! That game is awesome
What did you bring for the short break?
No doubt somewhere not bothered how much marks they got. They weren’t bothered with competition. Before I move on to the Exam results and reactions, I’d like to tell you something about the by-products of exams! Yes, you read it right! It is a by-product caused due to examination system prevailing in schools! In the types of competition I’ve witnessed, here are the two types:
Healthy Competition & Unhealthy competition.
Unhealthy competition comes out of jealousy and and envy. It is quite prevalent and causes a lot of people to lose friendships and important relationships! This unhealthy competition makes one lose trust in the other. I have experienced this, a lot of times. Some of them do not return with a simple thank you, if I congratulate them for whatever the reason. Some may tease.
However, there is a thin line between teasing out of affection and teasing to put the other person down. Teasing beyond a certain limit may appear to be the latter, although you may not mean it.
Coming back to unhealthy competition, one may go beyond limits, to get back to you. I feel it, and shall honestly tell that some would actually behave in a very rude and ungrateful manner towards me. The ones doing this were usually the ones who were toppers. Apart from that they couldn’t take competition from a new entrant. Here, I point out that not all toppers behave in such an untoward manner. Very few of them became friends.
However, some remained neutral-they maintained competition, acted with dignity but did not become too friendly. Nonetheless, this is a much better behaviour. These are the ones who maintained healthy competition.
Competition is everywhere. There is no field, work or place where competition doesn’t prevail. It is a key to progress of a society. Although, exams are created and competition is created, very few truly know how to handle competition. In life there will always be times when there is a race where everyone gets to the top. But it’s about getting to the top. Not pulling others down. We have seminars on fire evacuation, sports, general knowledge, talks on things like CAPTIVITY which no one has ever experienced(if getting stuck in the elevator is being a captive, then I have experienced it thanks to the wonderful lifts in school!) !!! I wonder why there aren’t any workshops on stress management during exams or conduct to be maintained while facing competition!

                              The Results are Out!!!

Definitely! Finally, the results are after what seemed to be like millennia.
No hero in any Hindi film has to wait for the heroine for as much time a child has to wait for his papers to be corrected.
So, once our results are out after a twenty five thousand three hundred and sixty eight years, I experience varied reactions! The Class, in which the corrected exam sheets are distributed, is the only place, where you will find everything. Happiness, ego, crying, laughing, praying, giggling, sorrow, pain, anger, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, bonhomie, COMPETITION! All in one room!
While I was a part of school, the results day were always exciting. My stomach would tickle. I would await my roll no. I was always confident. I never  cried even if I got ‘not so great marks’… only once, when I had got seventeen in a geography test in the sixth grade, I had cried like a baby! Now, I laugh when I think about it and realise how stupid I was!!! But that are results for us.
But that was the last time. I had cried out of disappointment. Although, 17 out of 25 is not a very bad score, but for me to get those marks was depressing. I had never expected myself to get that low! The next one and half year, on two or three instances, I got lesser than 17, but had never sobbed. I had learnt to cope with failure. With failures I would set targets for the next time I face a situation. However, let’s get back to assessment marks and responses that came along!
the ones who had achieved what they had expected, would be happy. They would smile broadly. Some of them would take their papers and look at it with glee and satisfaction. The long wait would usually make me very curious to know how I had fared.
If the results would be on dot or in the range of the target,  it was shown with a sigh of relief and a faint smile! Here, I am talking about an average ranking…

However, there were some who were opposite to this clan. They would be the ones getting marks, more than they had expected from themselves. So, if they had thought of securing mere 15 and end up with 20 or more, they would be pleasantly surprised. This expression was clear from their facial expression…wide eyes and a “yippee!!!” however, this case was as rare as a road without potholes in my city!
Thirdly, some students were there who would get less than what they had expected. This happened to me quite a number of times. Although the margin of difference would be a mere ½ or 2, some would get five to ten marks less then what was expected! This would usually happen with those who were over confident and had airs about their brilliance. But this would cause them to get very depressed and sad. This was easily visible L -the tensed brows and half open mouth showing utter disappointment!!!
And then we arrive on a topic called “DOUBTS” Doubts??? Yes, once the papers were given each child, would come (one by one in case of a strict teacher, and in swarms in case of a lenient teacher!) to the teacher. They would ask as to why were my marks cut here? OR Why did you not give me marks over there?
 Usually these complaints weren’t accepted because they would be incorrect or the answer written was irrelevant, according to the teacher! Some, however, were corrected instantaneously…and some would go for correction in the first term and given at least by middle of the second term! Efficiency and speed, uh…?  
What really irritated and bugged me was that, although I and some of my friends would come out on the top, we wouldn’t be appreciated! Some teachers would say “Well done!” or “Good Work” and some would make the class clap for the toppers. But this wasn’t the appreciation or felicitation for the ones who showed improvement! Nothing for the ones who excelled! Nothing for the ones who deserve to be known for their hard work…maybe among a mere 2000 school mates, but it is necessary for the moral development and confidence of a child!
If I sit and think, what is the importance of me giving an exam? I study, memorize, write, wait for papers, get results, be congratulated by two of my friends, and then file the paper…as a memory of life! As if at 80 I am going to open this file that is broken due to the tonnes of papers inside and say “Ah! The good ol’ school days!!!”
I felt confused! Why was the focus on:
The dull students would feel bad if the toppers are felicitated in front of them
The “DEFAULTERS” should be talked about daily on the mike, but no; the students doing well shouldn’t be acknowledged even once!
Sometimes I felt being an insincere, lazy and stupid child in the school was better than being a sincere, hard working intellectual! That’s what any good student feel…he loses his dedication, determination and would not want to put in so much effort…if s/he isn’t even going to be appreciated once for his work!!!
So, I’d end this year. I thank mom for this article. She was adamant and made sure I wrote it. When, I started this earlier, I just couldn’t build it and now I feel as if I have written so much!!! Nevertheless, I have poured out all that I had to say! By for now!

                  From The Same Series...
How I Learnt Learning...
Good Morning Continues...
~Let's All Assemble~
All Assembled, Now The Suffer Begins...
English Vinglish




                                           Attempted by: Shahen Pardiwala (please don’t make me wait for decades for your comments! It was better than any test you attempted!!!)
                                           ©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved                                                                           

Sunday, September 21, 2014

WordUp-My First IndiBlogger meet

        

word up, BigRock

blogger

        On my way back from the WordUp event, I got maximum traffic. No! No! Not on my blog, but on the road. Although I wish there is as much traffic on my blog as much there is in my city!!! I was exhausted. It was informative and very well organised! And being a blogger, home schooler and a nocturnal creature, it was very difficult to wake up that early. Even if the event would be at 12 noon, it would've been early for me!!!
So, as I entered my 10 year old complex (that some people call “new complex” since 2005!!!) I met this guy-a friend. He asked me more questions than anyone asked at the event. He asked stupid and irrelevant questions about the event…but it all started when he saw the bag I got from BigRock at WordUp!!! (Thank the Almighty he did not set his eyes on the speakers!!!Shhhh….it’s a secret)

BigRockBigRockFriend: What’s that?       (Pointing at the big rock bag) 


Me: That’s a bag I got at this event I just came back from. WordUp! An initiative by Indiblogger & BigRock & .me domains!
Friend: Oh so you’ve been to another blogging event to have free lunch.
Me:  Just zip up your big mouth. It was a very good meet. Informative interactive and I also made many new friends.
Friend:  yeah I saw. You were active on twitter throughout the afternoon. Gone to take selfies, naa?
Me: Now just shut it. Now are you going to ask me anything worth answering or should I leave. I am very hungry, you see. 
Friend: Okay so how did the event begin? 
Me:  It was my first meet. So it took me time to open up. I took selfies while we waited outside. 


Nozzer Pardiwala Shahen Pardiwala Selfie
Selfie, BigRockFriend: okay. Okay. The selfie where you look as if you are just out of bed and someone has pumped air into your mouth.



Me:  Got your point! Please do not elaborate. However it was a damn good selfie! I took it for the contest. The best selfie wins, or rather, has already won!
Friend: No doubt you did not win. And breakfast. You said breakfast was good.
big rockBigRock, WordUp, Breakfast, Indiblogger, nozzer Pardiwala, shahen

BigRock WordUp

Me: It was. But not better than the IndiBand that followed breakfast! I felt it was helpful. You know we bloggers don't wake up before eleven. At quarter to ten it was required for us to get geared up. 
Friend: who was the guy? Jordan? 
IndiBlogger, BigRock, Wordup





Me: no. but it was definitely the best rock show I’ve witnessed.
Friend: this was the only rock show you have witnessed.
Me: And then...don't you dare interrupt me hence forth. I forget what I am talking about. 
Friend: Sorry pal go on…
Me: Yes and then we had our host...no not BigRock (that’s a web-host)-lively and entertaining, who took us through the program. He introduced us to the only person who works at BigRock!!! Apparently! 
Friend: Yes I was sure even in my dad’s office he is the only one working. The rest 
play candy crush saga! 
Me: Come on I was kidding! How did I select you as I my friend? You completely lack sense of humour. 
Friend: Please stop briefing me about your friend election policies and tell me what happened next after the big rock guy came. 
Me: It was more of an intro to the meet-WordUp. How it all came about. Thanking them, who made it possible, surprising us by telling what's in the bags...and most importantly confirming that everyone present at big rock works and does not play candy crush saga or whatever! 
Friend: And then? 
Me: Then I remembered you.
Friend: Really?
Me: No! Not not at all!! Who would?  But next, or actually the first speaker was Vinit Goenka.
Friend: Another political speech??
Me: No he made it clear at the beginning. Seemingly he flushed the original speech in the toilet while the band did its magic.
Friend: So he talked about e-governance supposedly. 
Me:  Yes and how the new government has understood the power of the internet world. How it will help the central authorities to connect to everyone and their problems.
Friend: seems to be interesting and insightful. 
Me: yes but he was asked a lot of questions; which he answered satisfactorily, to an extent. 
Friend: and what next? 
Me: And the next one was, according to me the best of all. The owner of Labnol!
Friend:
oh! Harsh Agarwal?
Me: no you dumb guy! Amit Agarwal. He was confident, very confident indeed! Maybe, because he was well aware of a lot of things! He had answers to all questions. However he wasn’t imposing his knowledge over us. As if, he is the only guy in the world who knows about what he is talking about. He also gave us a long list of different sites and apps that would help us take our blogs and websites to the next level. He admitted, he was lucky enough to create a mark at a time when blogging was at a naive stage. 
                                             Amit Agarwal, BigRock, IndiBlogger, WordUp
Friend: (with the most stupid look he could possibly give) Okay. Labnol! That's where my dad got his sitemap from.
Me: WOW!!! So I was blabbering something so significant, and you were yet wondering what is labnol! I’d get myself a burger instead of talking to you.
Friend: hey wait up. Tell me what else did he say?
Me: Something that broke my heart. 
Friend: It’s fine if you did not get a selfie with him. Nothing to...
Me: I'm talking about moving to WordPress!!! And in fact, most of the speakers said so. Maybe because Google is blocking them in search engine or because it may just be scraped off. No offense or judgement but just a suggestion... 
Friend: So you took it? 
Me: I will be able to take it only after you let me go! And he said no for writing content for others.
Friend: That’s fine you are too selfish to do that anyways! And who came in next? 
The next guy was as confident as Mr. Amit. The founder of youthkiaawaz! He was damn fluent, young, of course, and handsome! But he too had a lot to share. Youthkiaawaz is a website that helps young minds to speak up about social issues and problems they face. Very inspiring, though! But what insight his story gave, was that one has to stick to what s/he is doing. Be focused and dedicated ..........and that's what you should be doing, focusing on what I am telling. And at least not look at that red headed aunty fighting with the watchman!!! 
Friend: And who was that? The guy you were talking about.
Me: He is Anshul Tewari. And next...hmmmm yes Lakshmi Rebecca.
Friend: And who is she? 
Me: Have you seen Koffee with Karan? Yeah so she hosts an online version of the same, an online talk show which is very engaging. Chai with Lakshmi.
Friend: So, then you drank tea?
Me: No and anyways I prefer coffee! She described her journey. What came out was that a team is a must to carry out a successful venture. It is required to invest in the video making tools recording it and editing... 
Friend: Yes one person can't do much I agree! At least in this field where muti-tasking is required! But it is a risk.
Me: Of course it is. The riskiest thing you've ever done is sneaked into the kitchen and eaten a chocolate!!! (A hearty laugh was complemented by a pinch by the idiot!!!)
Me:
And the next speaker came along with Lakshmi. Chai with Sunit that's what it was called. He works at ClearTrip...
Friend: Oh yeah. We had considered it for the Diwali trip but mom said online registration isn't reliable...
Me: May I continue if you are done with your vacation plans for the next thousand years?... So Sunit talked about easy navigation and good design on a website. He also talked about responsive templates for different users and readers. And then lunch.
Friend: Presumably, the only thing you went for! But I want to know what you did after you ate and stuffed your tummy!!!
Me: Then, the founder of FoneArena talked about blog monetization.
Friend: Monetizing...oh like earning money, writing!
Me: No. not LIKE earning but actually earning. What do you mean by like earning??? However, it was more of what blogging is and what it is not and his journey with FoneArena. Although he pointed out things that made sense with relation to blog monetization! Adsense! Made sense! Which means it was of absolutely of no use to you ;)
Friend: And then he sold phones??? 
Me: Yes and told me this iPhone 6 is especially for your friend who is going to irritate you tonight!
Friend: (frowning, it took some time for the joke to seep in) Okay and then? 
Me: Then it was Krishna Chepuri. From the Unreal Times! Talking about legal aspects of blogging.
Friend: Oh Men in Black? 
Me: (Ignoring his comment) he had good satire and literally they got popularity due to controversy. That also tells it again that risk taking is important. They had the courage to go forward and spread UNREAL news...and then they got the popularity and traffic and whatever you call. It is this section 66(A). Honestly it can put you behind bars for everything!!! 
Friend: Even for asking stupid questions, like, who came after this guy? 
Me: I just wish it could. But the next one was worth searching on Google. He is the founder and the only one working at ShoutMeLoud. 
Friend: How do you know? 
Me: Because he is the only guy present so he's the only guy working. And he knew a lot! A lot about SEO...precisely what he talked about!!! I managed to ask him a number of questions. He has a lot of information, knowledge and thought process. He answered my questions very satisfactorily and resolved my doubts!!! 
Friend: I don't know what you are talking about. And that term, what is that, CEO?
Me: No its SEO. Search Engine optimization. He gave some really useful tips. Somewhat like---
Friend: Please spare me! Quickly tell me what’s next. Mom's calling me for dinner.
Me: Good! Just what I wanted to hear! And then Sherry Shroff came up to speak. The full name is - Scherezade Shroff; came and had the most informal talk compared to the rest. She writes on Fashionalized and also has a YouTube channel…Her take was quite contradictory to Lakshmi Rebecca. She does everything all alone- no team! 
Sherry Shroff, BigRock, IndiBlogger, WordUp



Friend: But why is it contradictory to Lakshmi?
Me: So you've already forgotten! Chai with Lakshmi!!! Because Lakshmi said it was important to have a team and on the contrary…
Friend: Oh OK OK! And what else did she say? 
Me: She (Sherry) said that it is important to believe in what you are writing about. You should be truthful to yourself. She said she doesn't believe in SEO and all the technical stuff. She does most of it all alone. But yes she really gave good insight into her ideology...without talking for too long. But it was very engaging!!!  Basically she was speaking about the day in the life of a blogger. What she meant according to me, was that a blogger should continuously be in touch with her/his audience, who are the ones, your blog, ultimately breathes on! 
Friend: Okay Okay. I’m impressed
Me: Seems that you are going to be the speaker next meet!!!
Friend: My pleasure, but tell me who was next? Too many people came to speak!  
                                                BigRock, IndiBlogger, WordUp, tea trunk
Me: Yeah; first they created their own blogs and now helping fellow bloggers! But the next one was someone really inspiring and had a good story to tell. And also tell how to tell a story. She has a website called Tea Trunk. She sells teas and various combinations she makes. She also narrated how a story is told-giving seven secrets or ways in order to implement a story. And Story Ninja is a very good living example!!! But what I earned as an experience was that each story should have a personal touch. In each tale of yours should connect to the audience his or her own story. One should be able to picturize the events in his mind. And it should be crisp. No long drawn descriptions, but a journey that moves on and takes one through different phases of life!!! And and that's all. Next a stand....
Friend: Hey you didn't tell me who was the speaker of this Tea trunk and… 
Me: Story Ninja. Yes she is Snigdha Manchanda. After her, Bhavesh Ailani cracked some jokes what I'd prefer calling stand-up comedy show...
StandUp Comedy, BigRock, IndiBlogger, WordUp



Friend: In English??? (Surprised that comedy can also be done in English!!!)
Me: Yes in English…And he gave all of us a hearty laugh after this exhaustive day where we learnt and unlearned so much!!! 
Friend: And then you had Coffee. 
                                      Coffee, Selfie,BigRock, IndiBlogger, WordUp
Me: Yeah. Okay. You saw it on Twitter didn't you?  And it was Hi-Coffee for me; I always prefer it over tea. I hope Snigdha and Lakshmi don't mind! And later all prizes were distributed. The Moto G and whatever the other one was. Choose from the remaining 25 alphabets...
Friend: You won anything? 
Me: No but... I tried my best-I tweeted a lot of photos. If I had tweeted just one more photo, I would be marked as a spammer!!!
Friend: See I told you to attend the Photography workshop...
Me: Now, I have better work to do than attend a workshop like that, where one just keeps speaking like a guru…here, none of them had any airs about themselves and was much more interactive. After all the speakers were given what they deserved, prizes awarded, the Indiband were back. All bloggers bashed their heads and the leader of the Band doing it with maximum conviction strength and energy. If I'd had bashed my head harder I'd not be able to write for a week!
Friend: Would've been better. At least you would've come to play football for a week.
Me: And then of course I missed something, hmmm yes! I didn’t mention; Renie concluded the day on a note thanking everyone. Then all of us said bye. Took selfies! Promised to meet up on the place that was the reason for our meeting- the Internet! I also made some new and cool friends. I found so many people who now are on my blog list! 
Friend: Oh I should’ve come with u.
Me: What ‘bout me? I’d be kicked for bringing along spam! And anyways it was for bloggers. Why don't you start blogging?
Friend: What do I blog about? Talking to my friend till 9 in the night while my mom is calling me for dinner! OK bye!
Me: Bye and please change your stupid profile pic on Facebook! It’s disgusting!!!

So guys that's how Mr.Idiot irritated me no end!!! But it was fun reliving those moments!!! I thank Indiblogger for the initiative. The Orange Team of BigRock who deserves gratitude. I give my gratefulness to all speakers. I thank Bhavish for the comedy! I also thank Blue Frog! No not the one who made place for us to park our car, the place where this #WordUp was held. And thank you all involved in giving us these gifts: All those who attended WordUp, please do give a feedback because---
                            Your comment is the food for da soul of da blog…!!!

                                                                          WORDED UP by SHAHEN PARDIWALA



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tummy Or Yummy???

                     Tummy Or Yummy???

  Food’s yummy,
            But what about my tummy???
            
over eating

This question pops up to me when I am on the dinner table…it pops up to any foodie who is enjoying Chinese fried rice! Licking his fingers covered with chicken curry! Savouring the taste of the vegetable biryani!
 It may come up to a son having his mother’s home-made chapatti-sabji. A wife eating a delicious soup made by her husband! Friends munching on a franky after a tiring cricket match!
 This is a question that each one who is in front of the so-called energy giver, stomach-filler, muscle-builder, nutrient-provider, but most importantly taste bud soother: Food! This is my interpretation; dictionaries can go take a jump!!! (I’m sure dictionaries are well-equipped to find at least one place where they can safely jump!!!)
But, then there’s another devil-question:
Should I listen to my tummy?
I’ll miss the taste of this amazing Manchurian rice if I do so! I’ll miss the rajma-chawal if I do so! What’s wrong in just one last helping? Nothing! Let me go and tickle my taste buds…But then there’s dilemma. Mom says it’s bad for your tummy, to over eat! The science magazine says, “Over eating causes headaches, acne! But just look at this gravy, dude!!!”
Now, here, listen to your taste buds! Okay…do not go over-board; sometimes I do too...But then it hurts my tummy…At the same time (or maybe half an hour ago) I relished those delicious pastas in white sauce. [You may choose red, but white is always better ;)]
Here’s what Mr.Me does:{MS Word is underlining “Mr.Me”…it has absolutely no sense of humour. Dumb Cat!!!}
I just take a small little helping, just for the taste. But then those three morsels are made the show stopper! I don’t exactly close my eyes, just cut off from the television (bah!, shoot down that idiot box!!!)
Television While Eating!!!


Also Read: Idiot Box, eh?

 I focus on the food and enjoy what I’ve kept aside. TV has become a huge enemy- yes, an enemy but one that we are totally unable to cut off from. The rest of the dinner-I do relish; I am a dedicated foodie! However, the feeling of taking in the food is mixed up with the hero killing the villain or sometimes the mother-in-law firing her daughter-in-law (maybe for wearing modern clothes!)
              The point is- the meal usually is not savoured-and the deserved respect not given to the one who has spent his/her time making that food: A mother has cooked it for children-even if it is ordered food, a cook taken the effort of cooking it-someone has delivered it. In most cases, it may be you yourself who has cooked the food! Wow! Now do you deserve respect?
It’s not about switching off the TV. Nor am I telling you to do so. It’s unreasonable; at least in 2014! Of course not, the dinner time and my favourite serial’s timings coincide. Then what do I do? I eat. I watch the TV. But while I eat I need to remember a few points:


Ø  Someone has dedicated time to cook this food. I need to respect that fact. If its me who’s cooking and me who’s disrespecting- I don’t know how to get myself kicked.
Ø   The food I am eating is vegetables, a farmer’s hard work, and nature’s gift.           Farmer working in a field
Ø  I know how much I want and how much I can eat. I’ll take no more that causes waste. I have a voluntary system within, I don’t allow the TV remote to control it.

Ø  There’s a tummy down there that is an organ-I have no right to abuse it. It’s no Virar-local that can be stuffed anyhow.
                                                   Virar Local
Ø  That’s it, now Mr.Me can enjoy dinner!!!

    What would a website be like without people, let alone features, options and fancies?
So what would the body be like without food? So, I need to eat-it’s a sin to keep oneself hungry when s/he feels the need to eat something! Not for stupid reasons at least…one faces himself for this! Facing yourself is more challenging than facing anyone else!!!
But when it comes to being a foodie…DON’T CROSS THE LINE…VERY CONTRADICTORY TO THE EARLIER “CROSS THE LINE”

So even when we eat with the television screen in front of us, we shouldn’t over eat…
In my view, anything eaten happily, with a smile, being enjoyed-is what keeps us healthy! It’s not about hogging or voraciously stuffing the mouth!!!
It’s about enjoying the food-no matter if you are the last one to get up from the table, no matter if you finish after all the utensils are in the dish washer or washed…
So, go ahead and enjoy the biryani rice that’s just arrived on your dinner table…
But have you decided YUMMY or TUMMY?

                                       TASTE BUDS or STOMACH? Go Comment. It’s the food for da soul of da blog!!!

                                                        fed by: Shahen Pardiwala!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finding Five Stars!

                              Finding Five Stars!


Finding fanny!!!

What do you expect before the interval,(which is usually the first 1 hour and thirty minutes) of a typical BOLLYWOOD film?

       Ok, the hero and heroine fall in love. Good, you are a one star BOLLYWOOD buff!
          Second, you expect the entry of the villain just 5 minutes before the interval. Very good, you’ve watched a good amount of intelligence draining films!
        Third, you’ve heard or rather tolerated three songs-a party song for the nature of the hero’s character, a song where he is wooing the girl and finally where both fall in love. This leaves two more after you relieve yourself in the interval! A sad one and the last when finally they get married after what seems to be a 10,000 years of Chinese torture!
You expected this, I’m impressed. (Just hoping you expected and not accepted!!!) Three stars to you…And half more to tolerate the crap!
         Lastly, you might expect the protagonist of the film in a depressed state of mind…and a crying heroine…and a laughing villain, no need to mention!  This is a complementary, supplementary or whatever package the director offers. If you anticipated this, I give you four stars…

          But, can you imagine a Bollywood film, to tell a story that bring a smile to your face, gives a meaning to the story, to your day. Yes? Okay shut up you’ve already seen Finding Fanny!
Shake your Bootiya on the floor
                  
 And truly, with a run time of 1 hour and 46 minutes, this is worth a watch…for Homi Adajania making a sheer master piece…for Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah who plays his role of an eccentric and the Casanova of The Konkan, with the same conviction as he always does)…for Angie (Deepika Padukone who lights up the screen with her presence)…for Mai or Rosy (Dimple Kapadia who with her quirky dialogues and wittiness clarifies why she is an integral part of all three homi adajania films)…for Savio(who plays the arrogant mechanic of Pocoli and the lover of Angie! And to be the driver who willingly drove into a mental state!!!)…Pankaj Kapoor (the passionate lover of Miss rosy and of his own art! He’s the most elegant flirt, I’d say)…for Rabo(Ranveer singh’s short-lived performance-being in love with love with himself as he always is!!!)…finally, for Miss, no, Mrs., no the late Stephanie Fernandes without whom this wouldn’t have been possible…
This film depicts all different forms of love-and different meanings for each one. Each one has dedicated himself/herself to their respective roles! Even the boy who shows “the finger” to Savio!!!

               I just hope that Homi Adajania keeps making chef-d'oeuvre…

Homi Adajania

And what the heck are you doing? By now you should have been shaking your BOOTIYA on BookMyShow!!!

                                                                       found by SHAHEN PARDIWALA






Sunday, September 7, 2014

Magnificent Mary, Magnificent movie...

              Magnificent Mary, Magnificent Movie...


         Nearly 2 and a half billion of citizens in India! 650 million women! The same number of men! But only one Mary Kom! At the age of 31, this lady already has written an autobiography, has won the 3rd highest civilian award and has a movie released and already successful within a span of two days.
         Some at this stage are yet to stabilize their career, some yet to complete their academics and many yet thinking of what they want from life. The reason why there is just one Mary Kom is because she crossed the line. ??? This is another must watch video.
Yes she did. It doesn’t have her mention but has a connection with her life. Because this is what she did-crossed the line! She committed her life to boxing. She focused. She dedicated her life to it. She did not get pulled down by any relationships, credit to her hubby-Onler. Wait a minute, should anyone be pulled down by relationships?
     Also read:Relationship Circle
She wasn’t deterred due to gender bias. She didn’t get discouraged by the many many obstacles that lay in her path to what she wanted to achieve-her goal.    
Back to the film: 
It is a beautifully directed 120 minute film on Mary Kom. This film has Priyanka Chopra gotten into the shoes of Mary Kom, playing…enacting…no living the life of this living legend- Mary Kom.                     
           Repeating the name is incorrect literature, notwithstanding what it stands for-Her achievements, dedication and commitment.
          It is directed in the most subtle manner, conveying more speaking less. No over dramatized scenes. No unnecessary dialogs, no stupid songs for any sort of cinematic relief. The story is told in the most refined manner!
 There is no section, in this film where there is a halt where you feel nothing is happening (except the interval! Too much happens in the first one hour which leaves you with high expectations from the next) It is a quick paced film.
     Yet, justice has been done to each aspect of Her life- from being an ambitious teenager who is stubborn but dedicated to her dream...shown in just one song: Ziddi Dil
Abhi tak toh fighter hain! Par tum sikhaayega toh
boxer  bhi ban jaayenga!!!
       
    …With Coach Sir finally giving into this stubborn girl. “Tu bahut ziddi hain.”  

      When asked to select between her father, and Boxing without any long drawn scene full of typical Filmi dialogs, she tells that nothing is going to stop her from becoming a boxer!!!
    Just a simple “Boxing!!!”. Now you would expect her to pack her bag and run away from her home. But no!!!
     Now, if I tell you the entire story of this film on the very third day of its release, then I am being unfair to the producers who have invested in a masterpiece.
From a teenager she reaches that stage when she falls in love. No, neither in the rain nor in her saheli's sagaai!  But she has found a really better and more caring husband then any of those who fell in love on the tunes of Palat or Saturday Saturday. 
     And yes, that moment when she wins her first world championship-that happiness that thrill that WOW I’ve done it kind of feeling” and her father... Although sad and upset at the beginning is now proud and smiling. He looks into her eyes that appear to be looking at her through the television. There is this telepathic communication, though, a distance of hundreds of kilometers lies between them.
      Next, she moves on to say YES to Onler, who proposed by her, at a Pani puri stall, just before the final. Coach Sir however, is unhappy, he feels it shall destroy Mary’s career. She’d be bound by relationships, children and customs.
    Of course, it is out of concern for his favorite student (most probably) .He doesn’t give in easily-as stubborn as his pupil.
 Later, Mary becomes pregnant. This is the phase where she begins missing boxing. Here, I admired the way her withdrawal symptoms were portrayed (now, I prefer keeping this a secret!).
   Throughout her delivery, she expectantly wants to know if she will be able to do boxing again, she regrets this fact! No not a fact…!!!
   Because her will, determination and support from her hubby dear helps her to give a comeback.
She spends quite a long time in nurturing her twins- she (PC) plays the role of a mother with conviction. But does it mean she is done? After becoming the third time boxing world championship, she gets married, gives birth to children; so, her career is over?
      This scene where she is sitting in a bus opposite a man talking to his daughter: “If you study, you see this aunty here (pointing at MaryKom, PC whatever, by this point you already begin believing that Priyanka is indeed Mary Kom). She will give you Mary Kom’s autograph!!!
            Here a quick insight has been given as to how quickly people forget. How short lived is the public’s memory. Even a woman, who achieved a feat that no one else possibly could, she is neglected, forgotten and no more respected. All the pomp, show, celebration, recognition only till she is in the eye of the people!
However, she goes forth and fights the national level boxing round. Here, she loses to a junior. An official to be blamed for this! He had a grudge against Mary because she had got mad at this guy earlier.
“India mera dharm hain!!!”
  She knows she has won the game. She knows that she has hit her more number of times. She knows she ought to win. She knows they aren’t letting her win because she is from Manipur. But she knows she has won for INDIA! But why isn’t there any justice? All this anger is shown in a scene- full of rage and fury. “India mera dharm hain!!!”

     From here begins a story where she goes back to her coach and trains to become the boxer she was. She has to build up stamina. Remember and recollect all that she requires. But for this she needs her coach sir. As she says,”Apke bina hum boxing kar sakta hain, jeet nahi sakta!”
          Coach Sir prepares Mary to now get ready to fight all odds. She has to begin from scratch, but one thing is in her favor- her will.
Next, she goes back into her “Dus by Dus ka duniya”, the boxing ring. She reaches the final. Here, she has to face the ruthless Sasha, who Mary defeated to win her first Gold in the world championship. But before this she finally words her feelings for the abusive official(the one that she threw the chair on):

Kisiko itna bhi mat darao ki darr hi nikal jaye!!!


The news of her child Nainai, having a hole in his heart had been kept a secret to avoid it to hinder in her training. But when it is disclosed to her, she breaks down. The heart of a mother sinks with grief, fear and helplessness.
The first two rounds of the finals see Mary being punched and whacked, bleeding….but this is not as pain inducing and grievous as is the situation of Mary at the moment. The next five minutes are…cannot be described with words. Heart breaking certain moments…where your heart screams “Fight Mary fight! And then it says wake Nainai, breathe!!! Although, you have researched wiki and know that nothing’s going to happen to Nainai, you are broken along with everyone else when the heart pulse reads 0_________________
And when Nainai gets another life, Mary’s heart says, “Everything’s good with your child”, she fights back and in a span of seconds knocks down her opponent. 

She is given the title “Magnificient Mary”.

Then, the coach assisting him (not coach sir!) assures her with thumbs up that everything is okay.

     She looks at the national flag with pride. She knows she has made everyone proud. She has made Tonpa(her father) proud. She has made Akham (her mother) proud. She has made Coach Sir proud. She has made her village proud. She has made her tribe-Kom proud. She has made Onler (her husband) proud. She has made that guy who had a grudge proud. She has made the gunda of her town proud. She has made her children proud! She has made her country proud of her! She has made INDIA proud!!!

Jai Hind!!!
But most importantly, she doesn't regret crossing the line...!!! she is proud of herself!  She is Proud of Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom!!!

                          punched in by:                                                        Shahen Pardiwala


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