Monthly Archives: March 2014

My dream trip

Today is GudiPadwa, the marathi new year. Everytime a new year comes I look back at the previous year, the wishes I had, the resolutions I made and the improvements that happened on me. At times the passing year makes me sad as all the resolutions are never fulfilled which makes me repent over my laziness. I often wish we had an opportunity to travel back in time. I couldn’t help writing it when I read this blog.

If I have such an opportunity, I would go to the time when Magadh empire was replaced by Maurya age. Its a part of ancient Indian history. I have always marvelled how a simple boy Chandragupta Maurya could topple an entire established kingdom. He just proved that even a village boy can become king. Leadership qualities are not dependent on inheritance and can be developed with the help of a proper mentor. He was guided by Chanakya who had written a book on politics. I would also travel the education center Nalanda and Takshshila. They say that was a golden age of Indian literature and arts.

We have forgotten the teachings of that age. I hope the learnings from that trip will help me build a better future for today.

Exams!!!!!!!

The academic session in India begins in June and ends in April. The end of March signals the beginning of exams. This has more effect on human life than any season. The neighbourhoods become quiet and kids spend more time indoors. Most of them have tension on their faces. These days the competition begins right from kindergarden and so even the parents move around with a very serious face.

As a kid I used to become very scheduled during this time. Getting up on time, studying and reducing on watching television. Everyday when the morning alarm used to ring, I used to tell my lazy self, “Its just for a month and then you will be free after the exams”. When I see the kids today, nothing has changed it seems. The same tension, the same schedule and the same anxiety. The exams make a child realize the importance of being regular with studies. It also explains the need to take up the responsibility of one’s studies. At my home, there used to be a new tension after exams. My mother used to be a teacher. As soon as the exams used to be over, her paper checking used to start. I still remember watching television endlessly whereas mom checking for hours.

The only people happy are the ones who are in 10th and 12th grades. The board exams get over by march end and so does their ordeal. The 10th graders are the happiest as the first challenging exam is over. Consequently the multiplexes are filled with them.

To all the people having exams, just put in your best. All the best.

Third week of March

In my school days, the Indian academic session began in june and ended in april. March was the month of orals and inspection. This meant a revision of the final exam syllabus. It also meant ensuring all your books have been checked, are covered and in good condition. There were many of us who would change covers towards the end of the year. After this week none of us would lend our books as the final exams would start in April. This was the time to prepare the schedules, list out the weak areas, discuss with teachers and be ready to study for the exams.

The tension was more on the parents than the students which is the case even today. Recently I heard two mothers speaking in my neighbourhood. One was telling the other that their children really need to be fit now as the exams are approaching. Also the neighbourhood becomes quiet as the kids are studying. Even so many years after school, I can feel the exam approaching everytime the third week of march ends.

Celebrating Holika Bonfire

Celebration of Holika bonfire

Celebration of Holika bonfire

There was a mail on friday for holi celebrations in building on friday. Holi is on 17th march this year. The night before holi is a full moon night and it is called phagun poornima or doll poornima. A bonfire is made using dry sticks and dung cakes. This fire is made as a mark of respect for Prahlad who was a strong devotee of Lord Vishnu. It is the killing of holika, the demon, to protect Prahlad. A mark of victory of good over evil. Hence it is also called Holika Daahan.

This bonfire is generally done in the neighbourhood and so it is attended by all the people. As I saw the kids playing around, I was reminded of my school days. I have early memories of going to see it with my mother, much before I came to know its reason. The fire is bounded by small bricks. Ladies come with water, sweets and coconut and these used to be offered as a part of the prayer. One such plate is visible in the photo. For kids it marks the start of holi. Holi is a spring festival and so it is celebrated with colors. We already have the colors at home and the pichkaris(water guns) ready. On the day of holika daahan, we used to fill the pichkaris with plain water and start using it on our friends. We used to plan out the time when we would start playing with colors the next morning. Even today I saw a few kids playing and one of them even had an idea to dry up “I got wet while playing and then dried up in the heat of the bonfire”.

Although it was a bonfire, but it used to give everyone a reason to meet up and greet each other. Holi also was the last festival of the academic session and right after it, we used to start preparing for final exams. As I saw the bonfire today, I couldn’t help wishing for the carefree school days. Happy Holi to everyone.