Reveries

A mishmash of spirituality, human relationship, adult and children's literature, news analyses and anti-road-rage tirades

Three life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life

Janmashtami_20190824_Devs_Ver_2.0

Illustration by Devangshi Sharma

Janmashtami is celebrated across the world with great fanfare. It marks the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Nobody in the living world today has seen Lord Krishna. We all have come to know about him from the writings of ancient sages or from our elders. Krishna’s life has inspired many to do good to the society, while it might have also misled a few of us to do otherwise.

What are the takeaways from Lord Krishna’s life in today’s world? Can we inculcate them in today’s so-called practical world? Most importantly, do these teachings have any real-life applications?

First of all, Krishna’s Bal Leela teaches us three parenting lessons.

1. Do not differentiate between the dark and the fair. Treat all children as equal.

This might have implications on those among us who have an unnatural fascination for fair skin and go to any extent to demean dark-skinned children. This might also lead some of us to re-think whether we should give preference to fair-skinned brides or grooms.

2. Allow children to play. Place equal importance to studies and play. Do not force children to stick to academics only.

Perhaps this might have a bearing on those who employ children in their factories, shops, and homes. Children should ideally be left to play and study and not work to earn a living. 

3. Treat each child as a representative of God.

This has implications on those who go to the extent of inflicting crime on children. This has lessons for those teachers, fathers, guardians, or paedophiles who see children as objects of desire.

Secondly, Krishna’s Raas Leela during his youth has lessons on women empowerment and equality.

Krishna treated his women friends at par with his male friends. He would share his problems and moments of joy with his friends, whether they were Sudhamas or Radhas! He had sixteen hundred Gopis or female friends. He never saw women as objects of desire. His relationship with women was Platonic and non-carnal. He was completely devoted to his only wife Rukmini.

This has perhaps a bearing on those of us who desire to have multiple sexual partners. Those of us see women as objects only, and not co-humans capable of being good friends. Perhaps this will also have a bearing on those who have accounts on flirting apps like Tinder. We need to be faithful to our spouses.

Thirdly, Krishna’s lessons during the war of Kurukshetra are well known, as they have been recorded in the hymns of Bhagavad Geeta. 

An important lesson from Geeta is that we all should do our duties and give cent per cent to them. It should not bother us whether on completion of our duties we will be awarded or not.

This has a bearing on everyone. Every person on this planet has a duty. In fact, the Constitution of India also incorporates a few Fundamental Duties for its citizens. If a soldier performs his duty well, if a housewife performs her duty well, a student performs her duty well, a cleaner performs his duty well, and so on and so forth, I think the world will automatically become a better place to live in.

This Janmashtami, if we are able to reflect on these life lessons from Lord Krishna’s life and restructure our lives, I think we would have celebrated his birthday in the best way.

Advertisements

Filed under: Heresy, parenting, Philosophy, Relationships, , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m a girl

human-3056693_640

Image courtesy: cocoparisienne/Pixabay.com

I’m neither greater nor equal.

I’m unique.

I’m a girl.

 

I’m neither stronger nor feeble.

I’m just me.

I’m a girl.

 

I need neither pity nor overprotection.

I only need understanding.

I’m a girl.

 

I deserve neither infanticide nor pampering.

I need only care.

I’m a girl.

 

Do not treat me as a boy.

Do not identify me with a boy.

I’m a girl.

 

© Ranjit K Sharma | 18-Apr-2018

Filed under: Children's Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, , , , , , ,

A regulatory authority for school textbook publishing in India?

book-958108_1280

Image source: Pixabay

Recently, there has been a lot of hue and cry among private publishing houses in the business of making textbooks for school children. This is because of a news that supposedly says that the Indian government is banning textbooks from private publishers and making it mandatory for schools to use textbooks from the government-funded publisher (NCERT) only.

I think the issue stems from a clash between two divergent schools of thought revolving around textbooks published by private players:

  1. PARENTS ARE VICTIMS. Textbooks from private publishers, although not required by law, are being prescribed by schools because of the schools’ business interests. So all schools should adopt only NCERT books, which are cheaper. Most newspapers in India subscribe to this view.
  2. PRIVATE PUBLISHERS ARE VICTIMS. By bringing in a ban to use textbooks from private publishers, the government is supposedly trying to shut down an entire industry comprising highly-paid authors, content developers, editors, illustrators, graphic designers and allied professionals. Most newspapers in India do not even discuss this as an issue, although an utter fear psychosis prevails within the industry.

But somehow the debates seem to ignore the most important stakeholders—the students using the books. In fact they are the victims.

Regardless of the fact whether the books are published by NCERT or private publishers, textbooks require to maintain certain standards in quality. Here is a non-exhaustive list of quality parameters for textbooks.

  • content
    • pedagogical requirements
    • level-appropriateness
    • treatment
    • extent of coverage
    • accuracy
    • sensitivity to genders, races, faiths, disabilities, common stereotypes and misconceptions
    • adherence to syllabus
  • visual appeal
  • utility in classroom situations
  • supplementary audio/video/multimedia material
  • production quality
  • support system and hand-holding to teachers
  • efficient and timely deliver to meet demands

In most cases, barring a few, textbooks from most private publishers score far better on almost all counts. But quality comes with a price. Hence, these textbooks come with much higher price tags. In the absence of any regulation, at times the prices can be just whimsical.

The NCERT books on the other hand may score considerably lower in terms of quality and definitely lower in terms of meeting the demand. These books are available at throw-away prices.

Seemingly, the children seem to be exposed either to the best or the worst depending upon how much their parents are affording. And parents, without the expertise to evaluate books on the required parameters, think that they have every right to choose affordability over quality.

My question is—do we have such a right to decide the children’s future in monetary terms only?

In the interest of the learners, who are the future of the nation, I would rather propose a new idea. In my opinion, both government and private agencies should come together to formulate an unbiased, not-for-profit regulatory authority in the line of IRDA, TRAI, etc. This authority can keep an eye on all the parameters discussed above.

The sooner this happens, the better for the nation.

Filed under: Children's Educational Books, Current News, , , , ,

My Workshop on E-Learning Products

Ranjit K Sharma conducting the sales presentation

Ranjit K Sharma conducting the sales presentation

See me conducting a workshop on the new e-learning projects of Madhubun Books for the national sales personnel.

The event is a part of Madhubun’s annual National Book Launch Conference held between October 4-6, 2010 at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra. It was participated by a strong audience of 200 professionals comprising 150 Madhubun sales personnel and 50 invited dignitaries that included authors of Madhubun books and principals and senior teachers of leading schools from Agra, Kanpur and Lucknow. Dignitaries also included, among others, Sajili Shirodkar, Director, Vikas Publishing; Deepa Baruah, Editorial Manager, Madhubun Books and Sanyukta Ludra, Editor-in-Chief (Hindi), Madhubun Books.

Here are the links to my photostreams:

Filed under: Children's Educational Books, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Read(?)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Mortimer Adler in 1988 Photo Credit: Wikipedia

When I was in the tenth standard, the following essay by Mortimer Adler had a lasting impact on my mind. It was a part of our English curriculum in the form of a textbook, Learners’ English. Years later, I am still fascinated by its relevance to the current times, more so when the good, old habit of children’s reading books is in its way to the coffin, what with the advent of e-books, intensive study-packages, et al! I am thankful to him (whom I wished I could meet one day; but alas, he left for his heavenly abode in 2001, much before I could afford to visit the U.S.!) and M/s Sawpon Dowerah (who also served as my teacher for sometime) and T. C. Baruah for having included this piece in their anthology.

Please click on the following link to download a PDf document and read: What is a Great Book?

Filed under: Children's Literature, General Awareness, Philosophy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Stats

  • 5,182 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,619 other followers

Pages

Support My Blog!

Did you enjoy reading any of my blogs? If yes, do support me in continuing to provide you with free, useful essays, discussions and articles on road rage, Ayurveda, children's educational books, children's literature, current news, general awareness, heresy, philosophy, relationships and web metrics.

My future plans include a unique blog on "Word of the Day" and another on "Flash Prose." Needless to say, all these will be offered to you free of cost!

You can support me by any of the following ways:

  1. In Kind:
    Subscribe to my Blog by providing your email ID in the Follow Blog via Email section above.
  2. In Cash:
    You can offer me a tip of any amount you feel like contributing. My email ID is ranjitdear@gmail.com and PayPal Merchant ID is SL9JTQPEA4PDW
Blog Directory & Business Pages - OnToplist.com

© Ranjit K Sharma, 2008-19

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material (in the form of text, images, graphics and/or any other media) appearing in this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ranjit K Sharma with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For copyright permission, the author can be contacted by sending a mail at ranjitdear@gmail.com.
Author does not patronize and is not responsible for third-party or external links appearing on this blog.

%d bloggers like this: