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4,90,000 parent’s failed in IIT ! May 28, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in career guidance and counselling, Children n Students, National Issues, parenting.
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4,90,000 parent’s failed in IIT !

“Sir, my son is average in studies, he is not an extra ordinary student. Can you please help us suggest him the right career?” Working as a career counselor we come across such statements from accompanying parent’s more often than less. It is really heartening to see parents de-motivating their ward when it is their responsibility to be the source of inspiration for them. Most of the times this happens unintentionally but it surely devaluates the self esteem of the child.

IIT Jee results are out. Almost five lac students participated in this engineering race and less than ten thousand students qualified to get admission into India’s best engineering institutes. As per statistics out of every 200 student only 1 got to enter the prestigious institutes! By all means this is a very tough competition. I read in newspaper that son of a vegetable vendor qualified for IIT Jee in Chhattisgarh. In Bangalore a student who works part time as a bartender in a wine shop got through in the examination. These are those special cases where the hard work and preparation got an opportunity to meet success.

Almost every school in India had a list of few students qualifying in the tests. For the school authorities and management the success of their students in similar examinations becomes a matter of pride and fuel for their growth & prosperity in future. Appreciation goes only to those who get the winning certificate. Students who qualify in the entrance examination get a lot of accolades. It’s like a festival of congratulations where the whole world wants to hug the winners. The school teachers, the coaching institutes, parents, friends and seniors – all clamor around the winners to claim their share of the credit in making the student a success. Banners, Posters and Media play a prominent role in glamorizing the success of these successful students. 

I sit back to think about the state of mind of the majority.  When the demand supply is lopsided & there is a rush to get the best, majority never wins. In any such competitive examination the majority lies with those who could not cross the barrier. What about the balance nine lakh ninety thousand students? Are they good for nothing? Are they not worth making a great career for themselves? Had there been 1000 more seats available in the education system, may be those borderline thousand students would also have got an opportunity to celebrate success.  Tragedy happens when many parent’s forget that these examinations are just a means of eliminating applicants in order to offer admission to selected students in their institutes. Parent’s forget the fact that these examinations are not to identify how dumb or how intelligent their ward is.

Father of a meritorious student informed me that his daughter did not qualify for JEE. This was a rude shock for the school, the teacher & for the friends. While the father was demonstrating absolute cool de-mean-our I could see dejection on the face of the kid. Sometimes there are no answers to questions in life. May be the child did not fill up the answer sheet properly, may be the answer sheet got mixed up, maybe she did not write the roll number correctly or maybe she did not understand the negative marking pattern of the examinations. Something surely went wrong somewhere.  It was time for the family and friends to accept the result and move ahead. What the father further said was heart stimulating “There is nothing to be shocked about failures in life. I do not take this as a heart break. My daughter has many other options for success and we are going party today!”  I recalled the proverb “Failure is nothing but a delayed success!”

Not all children are lucky to have so considerate & thoughtful parent.  It is the responsibility of biological parents to evolve into matured parent. Examinations like IIT JEE or any other engineering / medical examinations actually put the parent of contesting students to test. It is their natural anxiety to ensure that they want their ward to get the best. Many parent sacrifice their happiness and wealth to ensure that the child gets the best academic infrastructure.  I know of a father who sold of his only property to get his son educated at one of the best coaching institute in Rajasthan last season. In spite of his inputs his son did not qualify. As a result the whole family got mentally derailed and went into psychological disorder.  There are many such examples in the country. Out of the 4,90,000 families of students who did not qualify for IIT JEE this year, I am sure majority won’t be prepared to take the negative results. Dejections in life should as well be taken with dignity. Rejection does not mean the end of life, it only means there is an area of improvement.

Recently in a leading national daily there was a news item which said that a few students from IIM Ahemdabad and Bangalore were asked to tell what part of their childhood they would like to change given they had such an opportunity. A few students cried and said they wanted to become something else in their career and definitely not a management graduate! Their parent’s coerced them into the management education! One family came to us for guidance & psychometric career assessment. They were taken aback & broken down when we informed that their child has an aptitude into fine arts. Engineering or medical might not be the most apt career for the kid. The father was a senior PSU officer and desperately wanted to father an engineering student. Reason being he missed the engineering race in his career trajectory. In most of the family’s parent inflict their children with their unfulfilled career desires. A father – mother combine can become the best counselor for the child. They should properly access the strength areas of the child and direct the child into similar directions.

My dear parent’s, it’s not your children alone who face the examinations, it is you who have to actually pass or fail. It’s time to take responsibility and show reasonable upbringing ability at home.  It is vital for today’s parent to create the right atmosphere at home. It is their responsibility to prepare children to take on the challenges & examinations in life. Majority of the parent’s will have to learn to hold their anxiety and control their emotions. Do not just scold your child for his / her not performing upto expectations. Show them the varied options for the future and appraise them on the opportunities for improvement. If you feel you are not really competent to do this, hire professional services but please do not mess up with the mindset of your child. Believe me your kid takes your words very seriously. Your words can make him / her a leader or a laggard. In private or in public, always use positive adjectives for your children. You may not see immediate results of positive affirmations but negative words will surely kill the motivation instantly.

Lessons for Excellence :

  1. Results of any academic examination should never be treated as the ultimate result. The menu card in the restaurant of Life will have much more to offer beyond these results!
  2. Children should always have fallback options in place. If career plan A does not work, Plan B might! In-fact one should have a career plan C also in place.   
  3. Parent’s please note: your words and actions are being watched by your children. Please demonstrate absolute maturity when addressing the child’s performance ( or non performance ) in public or at home.
  4. Parent’s – never push your unfulfilled career aspirations down the throat of your child. Let her personality evolve in tune with her strengths.
  5. Finally, if the child fails in any examination   – he/she should not be blamed alone for it. Parent, School & society should take the collective responsibility.

 

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

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face book fast & twitter holiday May 21, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Social Casue, Twitter.
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Recently I came across an anecdote which goes like this: When the house maid reported for her duty at home after being absent for 4 days in a row, the house lady went furious on the maid. She demanded an explanation as to how could she disappear from her duty without any information. What the maid replied was interesting “Madam I had updated my status on face book and I expected you to have read it!” Internet age has arrived in India! Sounds incredibly true – isn’t it!

My friend who works with a media company recently changed his job. He got an excellent opportunity to work with one of the best companies in media segment in Mumbai. He got this break through twitter. He spread a tweet stating “Looking for a media job in Mumbai, commitment to deliver results” His tweet got re-tweeted by many and ultimately it reached the eyes of one HR manager. Less than 140 characters on twitter made him get a job worth more than 14 lac rupees!

From media to maid, networking on internet has impacted each one of us. LinkedIn, Buzz, Orkut and much more – this is the age of social network. One in every 3 professional in India is on either one or the other social network and this trend is catching up like a wild fire. Professionally these platforms are helpful for an individual to develop a wide reach. On the individual’s personal front these networks are being used to identify lost friends and to share recent status update. Some people use these networks for productive purposes like : to identify a suitable place to stay in a new city, to reach to the prospective blood donor when in urgency, to connect with an overseas consultant etc. 

While there are various positive uses of these professional sites, I have experienced that there is a huge dark side to these networks. One of the biggest challenges in the new age socially networked generation is that they are connected but have no personal connect. A hand shake and a smile is very effective in enriching any relation but this is found missing in relationships of today’s generation. It is always easy to speak when no one is watching you. The internet network has encouraged people to speak out but only when they are behind the screen. This reduces the individuals confidence to speak out in public.

I have also observed that there is a mad rush to expand one’s social network on internet. Most of the users want to be connected to as many “contacts” as possible. There is very less or no discretion in making friends. These social networks defy Dale Carnegie’s theorems on how to win friends and develop relations. Anybody can invite, connect or follow almost anybody today. Especially when this tool gets into the access of naïve children it becomes all the more destructive. I see children less on sports grounds and more on computer screens now a days. If this trend continues, in the future generation it will be very tough for us to identify Tendulkar’s and Nadal’s and Beckham’s to represent the world of sports.

I recall my school days when my parent’s used to inspire me to develop a good social network. We had a “friends club” in the vicinity of our residential colony. Children from neighborhood were members of this club. Entry to this club was restricted, our parents  would keep a close watch on the quality of club members and also encourage us to organize events and activities which would include participation from people of various age groups. Festival season of holi, deepawali, durga puja, summer vacations, Christmas holidays etc were  days of jam packed social activities. This actually is the essence of social networking for me.

According to GoodMobilePhones survey the average user doesn’t know 20% of his Facebook friends.  The remaining three-fifths are acquaintances, folks we don’t really talk to. We are in general touch with at best one in five of our contact list in the network. I am myself present on a few social network sites and I try to use the networks in the most optimum and fruitful manner.

After reading the above survey I studied my social network statistics and realized that more than 70% of the friends on my network are connected just for the sake of being recognized as a network friend, either of us is just adding up the numbers to the friend list!  In fact I observed that there is absolute no communication with more than 60% of people connected on my network, at best if there is any  interaction, it is restricted to one click “like”. The sincerity and genuineness of being acknowledged with a “like” on facebook or linkedin is always a question mark for me.

To check the strength of my social friendship on these networks, once I decided to be on a fast – social network fast. This meant no post on facebook, twitter or linkedin for a period of seven days. It was like a twitter holiday for me. I observed my fast with complete honesty only to find that on eighth day life on the network was as usual. No one realized that I was absent for a few days, no one missed me, no one wanted to know any more about me! Unlike my school days social network when if I was absent even for a day there used to be so many knocks on my door, just to enquire the reason behind my absence!. When I made some new status updates / posts on the networks, the likes, the re-tweets and the comments started coming in as usual.  

Lessons for  Excellence :

1. Social Network should be used with a definite purpose, not just to add friends and kill productive time.

2. Learn to use your discretion to make friends on social networks, It is not just to add friends, we should also know to “UNFRIEND” unknown connections.

3. If children have to be exposed to social network it should be a controlled, monitored and restricted use.

2.  Proper virus protection should be used while operating on such internet sites.

1. Network sites may be the new age buzz but we should not miss on spending time with friends & relatives & being physically present with them.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Are you a good CITIZEN in QUEUE? May 14, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Uncategorized.
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“Standing in queue is not just the matter of individuals characteristic, It’s about the values we inherit from our parents as we grow up”

Friends this week I start with sharing one of the most frustrating experiences which I went through. However when I explored more on my experience I learned much more about life and it all became very interesting.

I had to renew my motor driving license from the road tax office. As per the new law I was required to be present at the driving license renewal office counter myself to get the record updated. Since biometric was to be scanned, no one else could do the job in place of me. As soon as I reached the RTO office on at 3.30 pm that afternoon I discovered that I was required to stand in a queue. This is where I realized that queues are a huge source of knowledge and learning.  There was a whole lot of variety of people standing in and around the queue. It was difficult to make out who was a part of queue and who was not. Truck drivers in various designer outfits and “ornamented” vocabulary were making their presence registered very strongly. It was 42 degree centigrade heat outside and no provision of air cooler around. The sweat being oozed out of the versatile crowd was making the atmosphere pungent and suffocating.

The most maddening aspect was that the queue was not advancing at a desired pace. Standing in a slow moving line reveals how impatient you are. The responsible officer behind the counter was busy relaxing in front of a water cooler. He was most of the time seen struggling to identify the right computer key and also waiting for the server to respond as soon as he uploaded a data.

There were a few college going students standing in the queue demonstrating all their youth by way of shouting & screaming. An old man was standing in front of me; all drained of his energy but was cool & calm. All that we wanted was to get rid of the queue. I realized we were more bothered about getting started for the job which made us stand in the queue while getting the job complete was the second priority.

All of us have to go through such experiences in daily life. At the rail reservation counter, airport check-in, in a hospital, at the restaurant, public service offices, car parking queues, bus stand, in school and many other places  – even at temple or church! Standing in queue has become  imperative in today’s world. We need to gain courage and learn necessary skills to be a good citizen – when in queue. I have seen the best of the human beings getting impatient as soon as the flight lands at the destination airport. People give a deaf ear to the security announcements and irresponsibly start rushing in the foyer to reach the exit door.

Slow moving lines are painful but this wait becomes all the more killing when the wait is unexplained. If you are stuck-up in traffic jam on a highway, first effort is to find a escape route. If that’s not possible frustration creeps in and we try to get information about the reason for the traffic jam. In case the jam is very long and we do not get to know of the facts it becomes very difficult to tolerate the road jam. Once someone informs the reason for the block, it gives us reason to be less anxious and wait patiently. I have observed that if we are not able to estimate ( or guesstimate) the amount of time we will be required to wait in the line, it becomes very tough to stick at one place in the line. The moment someone communicates that it will take another 30 minutes for the road to be movable, we tend to relax.

Human nature is very interesting. Sometimes a few minutes wiz by very fast and on some occasions a two minute wait looks like a weak long wait! If you are waiting for your turn in a doctor’s waiting room, the time will expand to show how jobless you are. In the same situation if you accidentally happen to meet a friend of yours, the wait is not registered at all! Surely unengaged time looks longer than engaged time.

Your wait in the queue is directly proportional to the perceived value of the service for which you are standing. More the value, longer the customer can wait. Once I was waiting for my turn in an ATM queue. The line was long enough and there was a crowd of people inside the booth aswell. Each one was looking beyond other’s shoulder as the poor guy in front of the machine hoped and prayed that no one gets to see his finger movement (password), that the ATM card comes out safe, that the money gets vended out of the machine, that the internet service does not hang up etc. The crowed was being unfair to the actual user of the service. There was a breach of security as well. However people were mostly insensitive to this social concern. Only those who were in desperate need of money waited for their turn in that queue, others decided to leave.

Recently Japan faced one of the worst tsunami. Huge amount of destruction was witnessed by the world. In-spite of such an enormous calamity the tragedy recorded was proportionately very less. One important reason behind this was that the citizen’s of Japan were absolutely disciplined. When under stressful & life threatening situation, it is very rare to see people adhering to queue. Even when they lost everything in the tsunami, they preferred to follow a strict queue discipline when food supplies were being distributed.

I realized that standing in queue is not just the matter of individuals characteristic. It’s about the values we inherit from our parents as we grow up.  It is also a part of our social responsibility to behave rational & respect each one standing in the line. Each one desires to reach to the head of the queue very fast. Let us not forget that it requires a strong social character to move ahead fast yet be sensitive to people around us. Patience and discipline is required to be a good human being when standing in queue.

Lessons for Excellence :

  1. When standing in a queue, the time will always expand to make you feel jobless and uncomfortable.

 

  1. When you break the queue, you actually  weaken your character and demonstrate it too!

 

  1. The wait in a queue looks longer when the reason for wait is not known or there is no estimated time limit to the queue.

 

  1. How you wait in the queue indicates the level of your anxiety.

 

  1. Remember every queue will get you to the destination, provided you have the adequate patience to wait.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

MAY of BENGAL May 13, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in National Issues, Social Casue.
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I am not an expert to speak or write on politics but still am inspired to scribble a few thoughts originating out of the recent state election results in India. As they say “bhagwan ke ghar deer hai andher nahi” i.e God’s mill grinds, may be a bit late; like wise in India Democracy brings in change, though it may take some time n some cases.

The message I wish to drive in is that we still have the power to change our government. Not everything can be purchased or sold in today’s world. As they say people get the government they deserve likewise political parties get the public treatment they deserve! The ballot can be hijacked but you can not steal public opinion for long.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee says , “This is a victory of people. I am dedicating this victory to people. We will establish democracy. We will bring back the lost glory of Bengal.”  I sincerely hope the glory of Bengal is restored. Hopefully the environment is made favourable for big industrial investments in the state. Hopefully the railway gets out of the no night running blemish, hopefully the people of Bengal and India get to see the change they have longed for.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you get absolute power where corruption has already made deep inroads into the system, it would be all the more challenging to keep up balance between growth and austerity. It might not be an easy road ahead for the new government to deliver what they have committed to the people. The lesson learnt is that when you do not confirm to your words, you get  thrown out of power. Hopefully this lesson is learned not just by the out thrown czars but also the just in Kings & Queens!

Hopefully the Didi will travel this new path with alacrity and business sence.  Not just new deeds to be done, a lot of weed need to be undone! Need of the hour for the NEW GOVERNMENT is  to be careful. May this “May of Bengal” be recorded as a real historic landmark of growth and prosperity. Best Wishes to  Ma, Mati & Manush (mother, land and man) of Bengal.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

What our Children can teach us? May 7, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Uncategorized.
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This is a short story from a small village in India. There used to be a particular tribe of people residing in the village. They lived in close community and demonstrated a lot of bonding and togetherness. Once the village faced a challenging calamity. There was absolute scarcity of water. The senior most members of the village discussed and suggested that they should do a particular prayer in front of God. It was a huge gathering of villagers and the specific puja was carried out to please the RAIN GOD. It was expected that after the community prayers the Rain God would bless the village with a lot of rain.

While each villager reached the prayer ground bare handed there was a school going kid who went to the prayer ground carrying along with him an “umbrella”. When asked about the reason that he is carrying the umbrella with him, he said : “We are performing this prayer to please Rain God and get rains. I want the rain but do not want to get drenched in the rain. Hence I have come with the umbrella!” WHAT a confidence!

Children are the best teachers for grown up and adults. They teach us the real art of living which adults tend to forget over years. Here I present a few personality trails which we should learn from our children and implement those in our everyday life. Let us all try to be like children once again irrespective of our age:

Belief :

The child in the story above had faith in the prayer and hence he came to the prayer ground with an umbrella. While the other villagers were hoping that their combined efforts would bring in rain, this boy had the confidence that it would surely rain. This is the difference in faith. Martin Luthar King Jr. said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the staircase”. Children demonstrate a specific confidence believe that they can get what they want. Adults tend to disbelieve in themselves. Tell a child that next week you are going to buy her an helicopter she will instantly believe it to be true. The grown up would on the contrary say I don’t have a car at home, stupid to even imagine of a helicopter! Grownups eventually gain a tendency to be skeptical and / or cynical about almost every venture.
The lesson learned is that believe in your ambitions and dreams. Once you start believing things start to happen but when you do not believe in yourself you do not even get to start. Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks required to build success. Children do not worry over future, they have an unshakable belief on tomorrow. Children never get the disease of high blood pressure or stress induced abnormalities. This is because they sleep well. They live every moment of today and believe that tomorrow will be better than today.

Enjoy :

We need to learn to enjoy what we do. More often than not one gets stuck-up in the monotony of our routine jobs and eventually loose the excitement. Look at a child, he enjoys whatever play he has at hand. Children not only enjoy the work at hand they express their euphoria without any hesitation. They never stop themselves from shouting out their excitement. However when we grow up and become mature ( sic!) we refrain from expressions. The shield of maturity covers up all our emotions. This sediment of emotions ruin the happiness and efficiency in life. We should learn o live life without sorrow from our children.

Ask Questions :

The most frequently asked question(FAQ) by a child is : “What is this?”
When they grow up, the question changes: “Why is this so?” When they become a bit more young the question again changes “Why not this in place of that?” Finally when they become grownup adults, the question changes into an excuse: “Because this is….. hence … I could NOT …….“. From question mark to excuse, this is the worst change to happen to us as we grow old.
Children ask questions to seek their answers. At times they frustrate you with the continuous firing of questions. It seems asking question is the biggest ammunition in their arsenal for growth. On the contrary adults do not seek answers, they accept the facts in as it is status. When we grow-up, we forget curiosity. We no more ask questions and as such our learning stops. When learning stops development stops. We grownups need to relearn the art and enthusiasm of asking questions from our kids.

Forget Fast

Children have the best memorizing power, teach them a lesson and they will mug it up in no time. The ability to learn, retain and recall lessons diminishes with the growth in biological age of an individual. Children retain lessons but forget emotions attached to those lessons. Scold a child and she cries. She laments the punishment given to her but only for a few moments. Immediately after some time you can see the same child back into the action. She starts playing with the same set of friends and in the same environment as if nothing had ever happened!

Now think of a similar situation for an adult. When he is served with a criticism it lingers on in his mindset (and actions) till ages. When grown-up we tend not to forget things. When we do not forget the past we do not get into new areas of growth. We prefer to carry the purposeless baggage. The need is to take things easy and let us all learn it from our children.

Lessons for Excellence :

1. Let not the gain in biological age make you loose on your child like characteristics. Feed the child in you & let it survive always.

2. Always posses a child like belief in yourself. A child is not exposed to fear and as such it can venture into the most daring act.

3. Keep asking questions in life. The day you stop asking questions, you start making excuses.

2. Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy. Never ever compromise on the fun element in life.

1. Learn to forget happenings which generate unproductive emotions. Forget and Forgive – should be the mantra for success.

Ajit Varwandkar
Email : info@fsindia.in

OBAMA renames OSAMA as DEAD BODY May 2, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, Life and all.
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A prince gets married, the bad guy is dead. Looks like good times are back again on earth.

OBAMA declared the death of OSAMA. A flood of searches on google and other engines are showing lacs of results. Live Videos of Prez Barrak Obama declaring the end of Osama Bin Laden is being flashed by various media channels. Huge celebrations seen in USA. I guess this is just like the victory of Lord Rama over Rawana. How so ever strong financially or politically you may be, if you are not on the right path you will lose it all one day. Saddam Hussain was one such personbality who thought he could defend himself by secluding in an underground multilayer safe container.

Britisher’s rules India and did a hoste of cruelties on (Hindustani) human kind .. but their era also had to come to an end. I remember Lt swami Chinmayananda used to say “remember this will also pass away” .. holds true for a good time or a bad time both…. if it is a tough time .. remember this is not for ever, if it is a good time for you, remember that the time may change any moment….

The day a human being stops breathing, people rename it as deadbody. All living beings from any nation, any religion, any colour, any sex, any caste gets the same rename “dead body”. From Benazir to Satya Sai Baba.. every one gets to come to an end in life. The day you change from ‘is’ to ‘was’, your name changes from whatever it was to “dead body”.

Just like the game of Chess, when the game is done, the King & the solidiers rest in the same set box! Life is like this.

Earlier the lesson learned, better and more fruitful for all of us. Let us learn that the sole purpose of this life given to us by GOD is to lead a happy life & make it a place where each one of us can live happily. If you are one such personality you will be always remembered as a great human being. You will be renamed not just once, but twice…. First rename surely would be dead body but finally you will be renamed as a “great soul” …

Friend’s shed your ego’s, start leading a positive life… be happy always and keeep every one around you you happy.. wish you a very happy second rename…

Ajit Varwandkar
email : info@fsindia.in