Jul 17th

Mahakavi Vallathol

By soman

VALLATHOL, HIS POETRY AND MESSAGE

 

 

n  BY VLADIMIR ROGOFF,

Russian Author and Translator of Vallathol’s poetry into Russian.

(Abridged version of article published in the Vallathol Memorial Souvenir 1965).

 

When a man is old and beloved by his contemporaries, a strange belief arises in them – that the venerated patriarch will never die.  More bitter their grief when he does die.  But if the departed is a poet, and a great poet to boot, he has more friends than any ordinary man, and the grief grows all the greater.  Such was the death of Mahakavi Vallathol.

*

He is no more, but we still hear his sonorous chants, reciting his poems - and their echo shall reverberate through innumerable centuries.

*

His sight was sharp - it was at once a telescope and a microscope. His poems are luxurious tapestries, whereon are woven intricate designs of the poet’s impressions of the material world.  He had an astute brain and a super-sensitive heart. …And his ideal was: HARMONY – of life and art; the true harmony; the Harmony that only Liberty can bring. The venerable bard never considered himself a person apart from his people.  No ivory tower could lure him away from the steep and glorious road he was treading, to his dying day.  It was for his people that Vallathol wrote his poems.  He made great efforts and achieved remarkable results in preserving the true national culture of his country.

*

In 1951 Vallathol visited my native land, the Soviet Union.  He appeared before a Moscow audience and recited his verse. …  And what applause there was when he ended! The vast Hall of Columns seemed to crack – the language was foreign, but the sentiment it conveyed was magnificent.

*

 

Vallathol lived a long and noble life.  Never did he make a single compromise, but unflinchingly followed the way he deemed right. … We in the Soviet Union are proud of having had among our allies a person so remarkable as Mahakavi Vallathol, Poet Laureate.

Jul 13th

Drowned

By Rajeev

Country is dominated today

by strong right wing views

and retaliation by those at the other end

with extreme views of their own.... policy is

totally disagree with what the other articulates

 

The real need is saner, sober, balanced voices

which sadly get drowned in the din

generated by those who insist on ' black' or 'white'

with no place for the grey

for them it is simply " either you are with them

or with us, decide quickly, you cat on the wall..."

 

 

Jul 11th

1971 War hero Commander B N Kavina, Vir Chakra

By Shernaz

http://www.differenttruths.com/editors-picks/the-1971-war-hero-commander-b-n-kavina-vrc-passes-away-in-australia/

Commander Bahadur Nariman Kavina is the Navy officer we are talking about. As a husband, father, friend, boss and even stranger he was extraordinary, adoring,

Jul 7th

From the Notes of Yesteryears- 4 Leader in Deed is Leader Indeed

By Rajeev

In this post I am sharing from my notes, some sound and sensible advice to freshers joining the industry. It is given by none other than the veteran corporate leader Mr  R.C. Bhargava, former CEO and current chairman of  Maruti Suzuki. Many students tend to believe that once they have acquired a degree in engineering or management, they automatically gain respect and success. The wisdom shared by Mr Bhargava challenges such notions. According to him leaders need to earn the respect of their subordinates.

 In most companies, subordinates, particularly workmen are convinced that the management's aim is to extract the maximum work and pay as little as possible. They believe that the management thrives and prospers on the efforts of their workmen. Management itself contributes very little and since managers are highly paid and enjoy lot of perks, profits would increase if the number of managers are reduced. If managers are to become leaders and motivate all employees to give their best, they should be able to dispel this image

  One of the ways for earning respect and demonstrating real contribution is by being highly proficient and knowledgable in your work. Degrees will not suffice. If a worker makes a mistake or encounters a problem in his work and the supervisor is not able to guide him or provide a solution, he is unlikely to respect him as an engineer or manager. It is therefore necessary to combine academic knowledge and intellectual brilliance with practical experience. This would enable one to gain the skills for doing the work that he is responsible for supervising and guiding.

  You would be able to supervise and control only if you are totally familiar with the rules and procedure applicable. One should also know the company policy and objectives. The leader must be able to show total command over the work in his charge, to get noticed and identified as one with the potential to rise.The more aware you are of the overall functioning of the company, beside your own area of work,the more are the chances of your being able to make value adding suggestions. What is required is hard work and an intention to learn all the time. You cannot expect to succeed with the attitude- " Work only the prescribed 8 hours and do only what you are asked to do."  

  Focus during Training Period

  The training system should be designed for providing opportunity to the trainee to practically do the tasks that he would be supervising later. This would mean providing hands on training to the engineer on the production lines and on various machines. The training should include knowledge about various aspects of the company's policies and regulations. This firsthand knowledge of the working conditions and systems on the shop floor will stand the trainees in good stead in future, for making changes that will improve productivity and work environment. In the Japanese training system a great deal of importance is attached to 'doing the job yourself '. There was an instance of a senior manager who was on his way to a hotel as a guest. On learning about a breakdown problem, he was not afraid or reluctant to get himself dirty repairing the car before proceeding to the venue.

  In conclusion, the youngsters starting out on their career should understand that the importance of practical, hands on experience cannot be overemphasized. Degrees are only passports to enter the work place. There is no substitute for hard work, continuous learning and willingness to do work with your own hands. It is these attributes that will ensure future growth and success.

 

Jun 27th

Saying yes Always? Say NO too

By Shernaz

Being compliant at the drop of a hat is a metaphor for ‘I am a door mat, walk all over me with your dirty feet.’ We need to exit this club of ‘people pleasers’ in a hurry and put back the word ‘no’ in our personal interactions. Shernaz dwells on the art of saying no, something that’s not easy, in the weekly column, exclusively for  Truths.

 

 

Jun 16th

Unbox: Theater based learning experience on Bias/ Prejudice

By Rajeev

NHRD Bangalore Chapter organized a theater-based discussion on the above subject on 30/3/2017. In view of the novelty of using theater to convey ideas, the attendance was very good with the conference hall being jam-packed. The speakers/performers for the day were Ms Aruna GaneshRam of Visual Respiration, a performance company committed to designing unique audience experiences and Ms Nirmala Menon, Founder CEO of Interweave, a company focusing on organizational diversity and inclusion solutions. The objective of the evening program was to create heightened awareness and inspire better inclusion for all.

 In our society, we tend to look at a person not as an individual but through the lens of gender. What people are capable of doing or whether an action is right or wrong is perceived from the gender of the person, whether male or female. The program started with a theatrical presentation by Aruna who drew attention to the plight of women in society, whether at work (interviewed for a job, being considered for an assignment or promotion) or in personal life. She adopted the style of a  Sutradhara, a story teller or narrator In Indian Theatre of yore in a singsong exaggerated voice. I am sharing below a sample of what Aruna related in her performance:-

“Boxes boxes everywhere”

Men and women in clear separate boxes

Categorizing people one way or the other”

“A woman’s chores include

apart from attending official work.

Attending PTA meetings, bank work and others.”

“she is to be commented upon

no matter what clothes she wears

be it Biz suit, hot pants or salwar

if nothing else, you can’t help asking

“What’s with the new look?”  “

 “At work it’s always doubt

Can you arrange, manage, co ordinate

They say, “I’m not tough enough

Fast enough, not networking

Not capable enough, not worthy enough”

“For promotion Nikhil is chosen over me

Take a break they say- adding insult to injury

“In a way it’s an opportunity to chill out

Look after the kids, take up

Your hobby of gardening”

“Boxes, boxes everywhere!

What’s in your box?

How did it get in there?

What do you want to keep?

What do you want to throw out?”

“Boxes, boxes in the air

Boxes, boxes everywhere

It starts from the time of childhood

Boys get blue

Girls get pink

Boys are brave, girls do cry

Barbie dolls are girly

Video games are nerdy

Girls to the left, boys to the right”

“Boys are good at maths

Girls good at crafts

Boys have to be bread winner

Girls need to worry about being thin”

 After the theatrical performance by Aruna, the baton was passed on to Nirmala Menon who brought in the necessary professionalism and focus to the exercise. What does the insights from the performance mean to the HRDians assembled for the evening? Whether an appreciation by HR leaders, of the negative aspects of boxing employees based on their genders could lead to policies that are progressive, more egalitarian and inclusive? As a person engaged in sensitizing corporates for some time now as a diversity professional, Nirmala admitted that all problems would not disappear instantly as if  by waving a magic wand. Yet, baby steps taken in this direction in more and more companies would yield results in the long run.

 Nirmala underscored the fact that it is not women alone but both genders, who are victims of the practice of boxing people. As for example in our country, society would not view kindly or appreciate a male’s wish to be a ‘home maker’ based on his natural traits and inclination for that role. In the work situation, if the capabilities of women are constantly judged unfavourably due to biased prejudices, it would amount to ignoring 50% of your talent pool. Why would any organization want to do that? The success of diversity management at the organizational level would be possible only if concerted efforts are made by managers and the spirit is reflected in the culture of the organization.

 Nirmala concluded by stating that notwithstanding the efforts of organizations, the challenges to the problem included comfort and psychological safety felt by women, societal influences and the psyche of the women themselves. There has been change in   women over the years and they are demanding more of their rights. However, more change or corresponding change is necessary in the mindsets of men. It is in the interests of the organization to have a balance of the masculine and feminine energy. In this connection, a few courageous souls need to break the status quo and the others would follow.

 The evening provided all of us present a lot of food for thought.By recreating the evening for you here readers, I am passing them on to you also to mull over- How much longer are we going to continue  at the work places and in all spheres of life with a limiting perception of seeing people in boxes?How long will it to take to break boundaries, realize full potential of indivduals and claim the palaces of possibilities?    

 

Jun 15th

Prayer - A unifying force

By Shernaz
Jun 7th

A Thin line Between....

By Rajeev

There is a thin line between poverty and prosperity; between sanity and insanity, between being witty and being hurting/insulting and yes between perfect health and ill health. You could be a very rich man on one day and be on the street the next day due to an unexpected financial calamity. Similarly, we cannot take our health for granted. We may be seemingly doing appropriate physical exercise and eating sensibly and yet be struck by a health issue from out of the blue.

 It happened to me. I was enjoying fairly good health except for a mild diabetes that was well under control.It is true that recently there were some changes in my life style after being  drawn to spirituality. This included getting up very early in the morning at 4 AM for meditation and then going for classes daily for one and half hours. I gave up my morning walk but felt that this was  being compensated by the walk to the venue of spiritual class. I also turned vegetarian.  I got less sleep as I was not able to go to bed early to balance for the early rising.

 Perhaps I did not realize it,when signs of ill health were showing up. I felt very sleepy during the morning classes but attributed it to loss of sleep. Yet,slowly and steadily I noticed that I was becoming lethargic, getting very tired and feeling depressed. I was not able to concentrate; not even enough to write my blogs. Most of the time I just felt like lying down. At this juncture, I got a thorough master check up done  at the Apollo clinic. As nothing much could be revealed from it, except a moderate rise in fasting blood sugar, the doctor made changes to this medicine. However, my condition did not improve and  I sought help from an Ayurvedic doctor.This doctor apart from giving general tonic like medicines, suggested that I check for thyroid as well as it could be the cause of the symptoms. By now, I was hoping earnestly that this test brings out something abnormal so that I can at least take medicines to address the basic problem.But the results turned out to be negative.

 As I continued to suffer from fatigue and back pain, I consulted another doctor who suggested tests for vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency. This time finally, the culprit was identified. I had vitamin D deficiency. Older people and women are more likely to suffer from this deficiency. Exposure to sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. According to a  pan-India study, the best time to get exposed to the sun is between 11 AM and 1 PM.since the wavelength of ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is 290-320 nm during this period which is essential for skin to make vitamin D. About 40% women and 30% men in India develop vitamin D-induced osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin.

 The study also suggested that winter months, in view of decreased sunshine, may make Indians more prone to vitamin D deficiency . Natural production of vitamin D from one's own skin is definitely better than having to depend on pills . Vitamin D is the only vitamin that the human body can make on its own which helps the body to absorb calcium from diet. Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth.Parents should get their children tested for vitamin D deficiency if the child seems lethargic, fatigued, depressed, easily falls sick or takes longer than usual to recover from injuries.Natural foods high in vitamin D include fish oils, fatty fish like tuna/ salmon/ mackerel, mushrooms, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.

 There is also the option of including supplements and vitamin D  fortified foods in your diet. Malted drinks like Bournvita also contains the recommended amount of vitamin D. Excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol interfere with the normal metabolism of the vitamin and should therefore be consumed minimally to enhance absorption of the vitamin. Healthy fat (such as that available in nuts, seeds sunflower/ flax seed and seed oils, pure ghee)  should be incorporated in the diet to improve vitamin D absorption,"

 As I had the deficiency for some time now I was prescribed Uprise-D capsules that are to be taken once a week for eight weeks. I have now taken three of these capsules and exposing myself to the sun. I am feeling better now. The aim of this post is to educate readers of this malady that may strike unexpectedly if we are not prepared. As for me, I hope to become my old self by the completion of the treatment course....

Jun 6th

The Ripple Effect of Kindness

By Shernaz
Jun 4th

The Witness

By Poetravinder

A helpless girl she hardly knew

What it was all about

Afraid, trembling she recounted

‘It started with a shout'

 

Marauding mobs with swords and spears

They came with bloodshot eyes,

The children’s gleeful laughter then

Turned to screams and cries.

 

Father, mother, friend and foe

Lay stabbed against a wall

Was a frenzied mob that so

Even stomped her doll’

 

She had seen her kith and kin

Dying bleeding and in pain,

And had sobbed and prayed to God

But it had been in vain.

 

There was nothing now she could

Call her home and ground,

Hiding, shivering in the night

She feared from every sound.

 

Through the night from far away

Came sounds she could hear,

Every moment she could feel

Them coming near and near.

 

For two full nights and a day

She hid behind a wall

Waiting expectantly to hear

Her mother, to her call.

 

Exhaustion, hunger, stench had then

Started her to tell,

She would have to look for food

Away from the putrid smell.

 

Littered barren streets she saw

And not a friend in sight,

Looked for shops she thought she knew

Deep into the night.

 

To her horror she had seen

What all had been done,

‘Men into beasts had turned

To have some gory fun’

 

‘Keepers of the law surfaced

Questioning around

Looked and pocketed things that lay

Undamaged on the ground’

 

To the grey haired men with truth

She told through misty eyes,

What she saw and would remain

With her till she dies

 

‘But will these grey haired men’ she thought

Give her something to eat,

Or would she be left alone

To fend for on the street ?

 

................@poetravinder

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