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Cut short that Short cut December 26, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Management.
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Cut short that Short cut

Computing in the new age is evolving every new day. A new invention today renders yesterday’s technology obsolete and a modish tool becomes tacky in no time. All those who use these devices surely have experienced the insidious nuances of virus infection. A media report tells that there are more than 75 lac computer viruses in the cyber world. Almost a ton of new furtive viruses take birth on the net every day. Still more heartening is to know that there are certain miscreant techies who not only misuse their grey cells to create new formats of viruses but also simultaneously develop virus protection tools for commercial use. Sounds over smart, and also short term, isn’t it?

I am reminded of an anecdote

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 

 

Ajit Varwandkar

Feedback : md@fsindia.in

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Parents – be your child’s first career coach December 12, 2011

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Parents – be your child’s first career coach

My last week’s blog post “If your child is at the career cross road” evoked a sweet and sour response. I got many calls from readers telling why they intended to debate on some of the parenting views referred by me. Most of the responses came from the rich and the able. One gentleman said it’s about giving the best academic amenities to the child. One doctor opined that in today’s era parent’s cannot track the likes and personality of their child.  One PSU employee could not digest my statement that “excess concern about child’s career borders paranoia”. A school teacher called me to thank for the write-up, she suggested me to elaborate on the subject and hence this sequel.

For those who might have missed the last week’s write-up I recapitulate the essence.

When at career crossroads, a child is in an very sensitive stage of evolution because career decisions bear a significant impact on one’s life. Children ought to select the career which they are desperate for and not the one which gratifies parents unfulfilled ambitious. However in the process of guiding the child parents should ensure that they guard her individuality & self esteem. Irrelevant tinkering into their space will only display a lack of trust and surely backfire. Too much involvement as well as too less involvement in child’s career building process is harmful. Parents must play the role of a light house & a guide post. The light which they show should enable the child to take a career leap and also warn when there is danger.  The student should be encouraged to take informed career decisions for a prosperous future.

 

Parents are child’s first career coach and there are certain basic fundamental rules which a parent must adhere while career mentoring the child. The messages which a parent delivers can impact the educational and career choices of the student significantly. As per one survey, almost 80% of  high school students stated that they look upon to their parents when it comes to career selection guidance. Children are very smart at observation and they learn a lot from the work behavior of their parents and other adult role models.

 

Children who are particularly gifted & super talented present unique set of challenges. We come across parent’s who boast of their child being much advanced in terms of technology. The frequently orated sentence by parents is: “My son is so smart, give him the latest model of mobile handset and he will not take more than a few minutes to explore all the features and apps tucked into it.” This brings a pseudo sense of overconfidence into the parents. Career selection is different to dissection of a technical device. It is important for parent’s to understand that their children might sound hi-tech & advanced but when it comes to career decisions, they might fail to take mature steps.

 

Parental involvement should neither be too high nor too low.  Appropriate and inappropriate levels of involvement can either help or hinder the childs career takeoff. A balanced intervention can deliver positive attitude in the student which in turn will ensure better grades and effective decision-making skills.  Decisions related to career swing around the fulcrum of family idiosyncrasies and students personality. In situations of dilemma, some parents offer unconditional support to whatever career choice the ward might opt for.  This happens to be a well intentioned but a mal functioning strategy most of the time.  A child  might be capable of doing many type of jobs but in case she enters into a world irrelevant to her personality, there could be sinister consequences.   Ideally at every such stage parent should offer two or three well researched choices and then leave it up to the ward to identify the most suitable out of those.

 

The key to a successful career is being happy and fulfilled at the end of the day. This can be achieved when there is a proper match between child’s interests, values, skills and abilities with the professional demands of chosen career. Being potentially influential in the career development process of their children, parents should know to explore and use career information properly. They should take interest to identify the potentials and abilities in their children and bridge it appropriately.

 

Lessons for Excellence :

 

  • Always share closed ended solutions with your child, never leave them wondering in the wild when it comes to career decisions.
  • Parents should encourage their children to day-dream more and more about their fancied job and develop an inventory of career dreams.
  • Never forget to ask your child to have fun, in the zest to get a perfect student out of their child most of the parents forget the sports needs of their children.
  • A successful parents is open to learn new things and accept the everchanging career scope around.
  • Be open to discussions with your child, even if he has an eccentric career choice!

 

Ajit Varwandkar

 

Feedback : md@fsindia.in

These children are brand ambassadors of strength November 12, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, Inspirational Story.
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These children are brand ambassadors of strength

Our state Chhattisgarh celebrated its eleventh state formation day by organizing a state level fest in Raipur called Rajyotsav-2011. In between 1st Nov’2011 and  5th Nov’2011 people from all across the state gathered in huge numbers to this expo. It was an influx of almost one lack footfalls each day.

Luck struck fair for me and I got to make my presence usefully registered on this occasion. Higher Education Department of the State Government of Chhattisgarh organized a unique reality show named as “Nano Career Guidance- ON THE SPOT”. I was given the responsibility to counsel students and extend guidance in this show. In the course of these five days more than 600 students visited us. Apparently the students who visited had an inconspicuous personality but still each one of them carried a unique history. When I spoke to the students at length I understood more about life. Some students had some characteristics so special about them that one could draw a heavy dose of inspiration out if it. I present here the real life stories of a few such students.

The first story is of Dhanesh Sahu who belongs to a small village near Raigarh. He scored 87% marks in class XIIth examination. His father is a cycle rickshaw puller and mother works as a house maid. He has two sisters. Father is a drunkard and has articulated a hell in their daily life out of his bad habit. Dhanesh had appeared for pre engineering entrance and qualified to join a reputed engineering college. However he consciously decided not to take admission into engineering because his financial & family situations did not support his education. He knows he will not have enough time and money to get an engineering degree from a full-time course college.

The most appreciable part of Dhanesh’s story is that his dream & desire to become an engineer is intact with him in spite of acute constraints in life. According to him “lack of motivation” is the first commuter which starts running along with an individual as soon as he steps on the lane of problems in life. Always stand directly under the “sun rays of motivation” so that the “shadow of second thoughts” is never seen. He has already acquired the qualification of ITI and has started working with an engineering organization as a machinist. I will work for two years, earn some money for myself and then attempt to become a diploma engineer. He says “When I get enough money to sustain myself I will surely study to become an engineer in life!”

Second story to share is that of Ramashankar. With a B.Com degree in hand Ramashankar is currently pursuing his management course. He has the responsibility to support his family. Lack of financial stability compels him to earn money simultaneously along with his education. He lost his father when he was a small kid and has been into some or the other kind of occupation since those days. What distinguishes him from others is the fact that he is also working as a waiter in one of the hotels in Chhattisgarh. He’s highly inspired by Amitabh Bachchan and refuses to accept tip from his customer’s who visit the restaurant, a la Vijay in the bollywood movie “Deewar”, ‘fenke hue paise mai aaj bhi nahi leta’ ( I do not accept the fee amount,  if a person throws maney towards me ). In his words, “My only challenge is the situation when I have to serve food to my colleagues as a waiter in the restaurant. However I have no complaints, my duty is to make every situation in my stride!”

Third story is of a blind girl. She lives in one of the blind girls hostel in the city. I was exhilarated to know that this girl was pursuing her Masters in Arts. It had been a tough journey for her to reach this stage in her academic career and this was not the end of road for her. She visited us at the career guidance fare to know about the future prospects of career growth for her. Her blindness, so far, has never interfered in her aspirations. The girl says she is happy in her life and her face radiates the pleasantness. Meeting her reminds me of the miraculous achievements of Helen Keller, in her words :

They took away what should have been my eyes    
(But I remembered Milton’s Paradise).

They took away what should have been my ears,    
(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears).

They took away what should have been my tongue,            
            (But I had talked with God when I was young).

He would not let them take away my soul –  
Possessing that, I still possess the whole.

Friends there are many such children around us who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and commitment in order to make life worth living. These are the hero’s who have defeated deprivation. Such children are surely the brand ambassadors of strength and will power. My salute to them.

LESSONS FOR EXCELLENCE :

  • Success and Failure have no direct relation with ones financial background.
  • Winners focus on the possibilities and not on the limitations.
  • Champion is determined by dreams, not excuses.
  • If you choose to stay motivated in life, one morning you will get up happier.
  • If you have the necessary will, you will surely find the rightful way.

(PS. I have changed the names of children in the stories to respect their individuality)

Ajit Varwandkar

Feedback : md@fsindia.in

Why do people kill people? July 30, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in National Issues, parenting, Social Casue.
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PRELUDE :  Recently there was a robbery in the town. The  lone housewife at home was murdered ruthlessly by the robbers when she tried to resist. The thoughts in this write-up originate from this incident.

 

The whole city is sad. The news of a gruesome murder of an innocent house wife has sent shivers down the spine. The bone marrow has curled up and down. It’s not only unfortunate but also unbearable. How can one be so ruthless and so cruel to stab a lone woman at home? How daringly brutal it is. Has humanity touched its lowest ebbs? Are we all not safe and secure anymore?  What about our future generation, will they face more of such instances in their life? Of all why do such accidents happen at all? Is it only a law and order issue? Has this to do with police and administration or humanity and parenting? Many questions pass through the gray area and keep shaking the spirit.

It is important for us to understand the reasons which prompt an individual to indulge into such unscrupulous acts of crime. 

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 

 

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Quench your thirst or cut your throat? July 9, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, Children n Students, parenting.
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Can you be the friend of your enemy? Think twice? It’s a request – read this question thrice & then answer: is it possible for you to be the friend of your enemy? In most probability you would reply in “a big NO”. It’s comprehensible, how can one befriend an enemy? This is sure shot impossible. Going further here is one more question “When did we first learn about friends and foes in life?” Was it at school or at home or while playing with friends on the playground?

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Be the “CEO of Happiness” June 25, 2011

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Be the “CEO of Happiness”

Everything in life is temporary in nature. Let’s look back to the days when we were kids. The house we lived in & the friends we lived with during those days would not be the same today. The life we lived in the past would have gone into the dark tunnels of dreams for most of us by now. In the process of growing up we come across various life situations and also learn to face them. There are surroundings we cannot change & hence we have to accept those as it is. All of us would have faced a situation when someone in the neighborhood died. We had no other option but to see the expressions of sorrow and pain demonstrated by the bereaved family. There was no choice but only compulsion to see them cry and in the process subconsciously we learned the fact of life.  I also had seen one such family in my school days who were crying loads of tears when they lost a loved one in their family. Things were very difficult at that very moment for them to accept. But as we know “change” is the only permanent element in life.  

…………………..  Complete write-up in my forthcoming book…. for announcement on the book title and launch, pl keep visiting www.aglakadam.com  ……………………………………… 

Change is nothing but a challenge, take it smartly.  Be happy always.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

Papa – are you happy today? June 18, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, parenting.
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One particular day my daughter gifted me a greeting card and demanded a party as a return gift. That’s when I came to know that the day was special for me – it was “father’s day”. Well friends, I confess that I felt a bit pampered as a father. It gave me an opportunity to meditate on my role in this universe as a father and I endorsed this to my kids. I realized that these kind of days viz. father’s day, mother’s day etc. would have been coined by someone who had a vision and realized in advance that man will be required to be reminded regularly about various vital elements of social life, which he tends to forget in the process of observing the vagaries of routine life.

An acquaintance of mine used to spend 15 – 18 hours a day at work. He never knew about the happiness or sorrows of his kids. He did not know the school timing of his children leave apart the problems faced by children at school. Whatever best the moderately educated mother could do to bring up her kids was the only parental contribution made. Father’s role was limited to arranging money for school fee and administrative expenses.  A year back when recession hit the industry, that father lost his job. That’s when he realized that he has a beautiful relationship at home as a father which he never en-cashed! Such an opportunity lost can never be compensated because children ALSO grow up with time!

We lead life as if it is a marathon race. Take a review of it and you will find that each one of us is running. When we run, we forget about everything else. A player when running on the 400 hundred meter track cannot think about his laundry bill! He has to think nothing and just run his way. This is what happens to us in life.  We keep running, sometimes aimlessly on the track or off the track. In the professional world most of the father’s play the role of a boss or a subordinate or a client or a consultant. Workaholic father’s kill their family time at workplace.  They get so much engrossed in their daily chores of activities and professional projects that they forget about their role as a father. The father always compromises & the professional always wins. This fact is hard to realize but many friends have confessed that even when they are playing with their children at home or putting them to bed ( if at all they do so) what runs over in their minds is not the happiness of being with the kids but something else related to work.

Once I saw a shopkeeper who was selling school accessories like school bags, water bottle, Tiffin box etc. There was a lot of crowd in his shop. While the children were clamoring on him to get the items of their choice their mother’s were ruthlessly busy bargaining for their purchase. In spite of all the brouhaha this gentleman shopkeeper was very cool and smiling. I could not resist asking him the secret behind his patience and peace. He said, “Sir when we start from home, every morning we keep a ice cube on our head. We know we need to maintain compose to do business.” I asked, what happens when he calls it a day at night? Shopkeeper “ “The ice melts and I vent it off on my family members!”

Father’s brash behavior at home makes things worse, children learn to make out easily how desperate their daddy is! While the kid is desperate to spend time with the father, the professional is only passionate about his work!  A project which did not take off at work will always mean dooms day at home. The five year old boy who desperately wants to see his dad happy at homes easily makes out that his daddy is miserable. When dad is back home all are supposed to be disciplined and silent as if a dictator has started his parade! Dad earns a forced respect but love depreciates. Communication stops and silence starts entering the family atmosphere. The small girl learns the lesson “father never smiles”!

A story goes round the internet where a child asks his father as to how much money he makes an hour, The father was busy with certain phone call and replies his son just to get rid of him. He says, Rs. 200/- only. After some time the son comes and asks, dad can you lend me rupees 75/-? Again to avoid the child’s disturbance the father throws a hundred rupee note at him. After some time the kid comes back to the father with Rs. 200/- in his hand now.  Seeing him back and this time along with money, the father lost his temper and screamed at the importunate child. “If you had all this money with you, why the hell have you been disturbing me for the last 15 minutes?” The kid had tears in his eyes which he tried to hide somehow, silently handed over a small envelop to his father and ran away.

Father opened the envelop only to find a letter and Rs.200/- in that envelop. The letter said :”My dear loving Dad, Here is Rs. 200/- for you. Can you please spend one hour with me today at dinner?”

The realization creeps in and hurts the busy father. You spend 365 days fulfilling your ambitions and business or work responsibilities. You take loans and build mansions. You spend your days in arranging money to pay back the debt. Commitments & promises at work steal away the precious loved ones from you. And one day you realize you are really missing the real pleasures in life. You did learn to architecture a house not necessarily a home.

I request all father’s to make amendments in their priorities of life. Compel yourself to have a few hours with your family. Re-organise your priorities or else I can honestly tell “at the end of the day you will not be happy dad!”

 Lessons for Excellence :

  1. We celebrate various kinds of days like father’s day, women’s day etc. The gist of having such days to celebrate is to remind us about our social and family responsibilities.
  2. Do not just add work days to your life, try adding life to your days!
  3. The best part of future is that it comes one day at a time, try to live each day, one day at a time.
  4. Happy fatherhood is not about provisioning for school fee or birthday party, but about spending quality time with kids.
  5. Time flies and takes away the childhood of your children, better relish it before it is too late.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in

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

Hang On, Look Inside March 21, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Life and all, National Issues.
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I am sharing one real life story of a car driver. This is what I observed once on the city main road. A high value car was moving at a very fast pace. While passing by a temple it marginally managed not to run over a flower vendor. Looked like the car driver was not in his proper senses. Coincidentally I and that car were both moving on the same route. A few yards ahead the car wrongly undertook a moving van and made a rash left turn on the road which would take us to the city hospital. I could make it that there was an emergency and may be the car driver was in a hurry to take the patient to the doctor. When it comes to saving life, a bit of rule breaking here and there can be overlooked. I sympathized with the sick person inside.

However what I saw ahead was an eye opener for me. That car did not move inside the hospital but whizzed ahead with full speed making brash horn noise daringly in front of the “No Horn” Hospital zone. There was no regard for the traffic signal’s mourning on the road side. The car was now running on the road to the city airport. Further ahead I saw this car suddenly dropping down its speed and moving very slowly over a large size speed breaker. A double standard behavior was demonstrated by this care driver; while he was driving so carelessly within the city he was extremely careful not to drive fast over the speed breaker!

The individual driving that car was not at all bothered about the safety of the people on & off the road. Neither there was any emergency nor he was drunk. In fact he had no respect for the traffic rules & no empathy for the patients struggling for health in the hospitals. He was though extremely careful not to speed the car over the speed breaker lest the car suspension system might get damaged and it would incur him inconvenience! He seemed to be extremely selfish and socially irresponsible. I thought it was a high value car driven by a value less creature inside!

Many times I had cursed those frequent large sized speed breakers on roads in many Indian cities. But I now realized that simply putting a go slow traffic sign post is not sufficient to inspire an individual to honor the safety & security rights of the people on the road. I have seen it many times; people driving a vehicle prefer not to respect the traffic sign when no one is watching them. With the ever dipping human sensitivity the height of the speed breaker on the road was proportionately increasing day by day. People who are extremely selfish, will stop or slow down only when it would threaten to impact them directly and not when others might get the blow.

Such horrible exposures on roads are not uncommon today. The hopeless person driving that car is not just one example of human insensitivity. One comes across many such incidents at various other occasions in multiple formats. It is said that man is a social animal but the fact is now changing for some people for whom I can say “man is less social and more animal”! (saying this might as well be a disrespect for most of the animals!).

I would like to quote one more road side behavior of unsocial people – ‘peeing on the roadside’. Invariably we find men using the road side for urinal even in daylight. This is so unhygienic and unfortunate. I consider this as a gross disrespect for the ladies and the society. Once upon a time a person used to look for a hide, deep inside somewhere, but now-a-days anyplace on the road side is not a problem. This is not because of the lack of hygiene infrastructure facilities, I have seen people from well to do families shamelessly defecating on the roads even in residential places crowded with families around. For such people the only criterion to release themselves in public area is to ensure that the place is far off from their home. As long as their near and dear ones are not aware of such a public demonstration, it is ok for them to convert anyplace into a urinal!
I have one observation here : with ever increasing insensitivity of such human beings, the majority of good people in the society is getting desensitized. Whatever may be the reason but the tolerance quotient of decent and sensible human beings is ever increasing now a days. Common man on the road prefers to close eyes and move ahead when unsocial people are found creating non sense on the road.

Yet another experience comes when people play colours on the road. Festival of holi is a wonderful way to celebrate & welcome a season change. It teaches us to accept various colours of life in totality and keep smiling. Unfortunately on the day of holi we get to see the weak side of human character. On the day when people play with colours, you will find many people making noise and yelling abuses on the roads! Is this what a festival is meant for? No, but it happens and the only reason why it happens is because people doing such notorious acts feel they have hidden themselves behind the mask of holi colours and as such no one will recognize them! They tend to reveal their true unsocial self!

Friends its time for all of us to Hang On & Look Inside. Generally we do not attempt to even admonish that rash car driver or the person using road side as a urinal or the one abusing on a festive day. Do we? Something within us is changing very rapidly. We have subconsciously started accepting unsocial behaviors as a part of life. We now subscribe to the philosophy that it’s better to be prepared & proactive than to react and raise voice against unworthy elements. This is what we teach our children today. We educate them more on self defense & self restraint.

My understanding is that we still have more than 80% of socially decent & sensitive human beings around us but the balance 20% is a potential threat for the progeny. It’s time we start inculcating social responsibility in our children so that the future generation reaps the fruits of socially sensitive environment. Only teaching vices will not work, we elders have the utmost responsibility to collectively execute “responsible behavior”! Austerity begins at home. We can start teaching social responsibility first by way of demonstrating the desired behavior at home. We will have to make everyone understand that “Character is what we do when no one is watching us”. It is my vehement appeal to our schools, societies and parents to take an initiative in their own capacities to address this issue. A journey of thousand miles starts with the very first step, please do take one step in this direction. This write-up is my first step, I invite all of you to join here and convert this attempt into a social movement.

Ajit Varwandkar
Contact : info@fsindia.in

Papa Don’t Preach February 19, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, Children n Students, parenting.
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If there was a stress barometer to read family stress, the mercury would have shot up very high these days because a lot of examination borne stress is showing in families. Where there are children, there ought to be schools and where there are schools, examinations are must! Come March – April and most of the schools in India shall be conducting the final / yearly evaluation examinations.

Most of the students are worried about the exams. They go through phases of sleepless nights or peace less sleep. They don’t feel like eating well and constantly keep feeling irritable. Irony is that their parent as well experiences almost similar symptoms. To add to the impact they are emotionally stressed too! Students are worried because they have to “face” the examinations and their parents are bothered about their performance.

Students are the only ones who actually are aware on their level of preparations for the examinations. Some students may have well prepared and would be in the final lap of revision while many others would not be so lucky! But the common factor for both the category of students, those who are prepared for examinations and those not prepared for exams, is that “stress” attacks all of them!

These are the days when students spend most of the time at home preparing for their next test. Parents are not far behind, I have seen many parents take leave from their office and sit along with their children while he/she is studying. Some of the parents care too much for their children and continuously keep following it up with them for completion of course curriculum. Some such parent even extend support to their children in finishing up with their subject practical’s or assignments. Parents would getup early morning along with the children to help them in studies and won’t part till they see off them the into the examination hall!

While examination season is actually the time when the kid requires absolutely stress free atmosphere, the over indulgence of parent sometimes makes the situation further complicated. The parent has all good intentions to support their children but generally what evolves out of their sudden involvement is additional stress and irritation to the children.
“All study and no play makes Jack a dull guy” – we tend to forget this knowingly. While the examination days when the student needs to concentrates better on the learning process they are not allowed to play or turn on the music. In the guise of studies there is an atmosphere of gloom & panic at home. Students are not exposed to such restrictions, extra attention and it finally distracts them.

Competition is tough and peer pressure is already very high for the student; under such situation the otherwise dormant parent makes a mistake to suddenly start over discussing the syllabus with their children. Parent does not realize that their emotional outburst invariably affect their children directly. The child is not really prepared to take on the fresh set of expectations. With so much of hi definition emotions & complex stress at home, every individual in the house needs to support the examinee by taking proper care of his or her own emotions on their own. Child’s emotional need should be allocated the highest priority and parents should not allow their emotional state to disturb their child’s routine. When a parent gets into the trap of emotional examination stress, the child is likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms: disappointment & lack of confidence, apathy to study & appear for examinations, unable to learn because of memory lapse, heath disorders like headache, fever, irritable bowl, nervousness & temptation to end life etc.

Parents I suggest you to please relax & not over react at this juncture when the student is on the verge of examinations. Behave very normal and let the child follow the normal course of his day routine. Be like a genie & a guide post for your student. My prescription is be affectionate and never make the child uncomfortable with over-attention. A dose of zappi ( hug ) an hour would work wonders.

As the final countdown for the examinations starts for the students here are a few more suggestions for the parents to de-stress their children :
• Try to have least one meal with the family and spend some light moments with children.
• If the student does not perform well in one test allow him to forget about it and plan for the next paper. Ruminating over the failure is never fruitful.
• Apart from examinations, discuss about other interests and hobbies of your child. This will help him / her to relax.
• Do not set fresh examination rules for your child, examination timetable should be made well in advance. “Revision timetable” should be decided only by the student. However the parent could always assist the child in coming up with a routine, if the child so desires.
• Take care of the child’s nutrition & health.
• Sometimes children are not able to cope up with their social network (friends and internet sites), you can help the student to shield these pressures.
• Be a good listener, never react without understanding the complete story from your child. It may just be that the child is reacting out of some situation but actually addressing a different stress.
• Motivate the child, he/she may not show but could be disheartened within. Help your child with positive thoughts.
• Last but not the least, Parent should consult a counselor if the child is experiencing alarming stress or behaving abnormally.

Parenting is a very responsible art. Parenting decision should be made in mutual consultation by mother and father. As a parent you are best positioned to understand the aptitude and ability of your child. Accordingly ensure that the child goes through the process of examination freely and smoothly. My dear parents, do not just preach but also teach your child to be positive about examinations because this exam is not the end of the journey. Life is much more beyond these examinations.

Ajit Varwandkar
http://www.aglakadam.com
Email : info@fsindia.in