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Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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Someone nicely said that a child goes through three stages before he reaches adulthood: “Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone.” Babies want to be held, toddlers want to be put down and explore on their own, and teenagers just want to be left alone! I was thinking that often this happens in love relationships also – the honeymoon phase (hold me tight), then wanting some space and independence (Put me Down, or ‘Let me Do it My Way’), and unfortunately in many cases if the relationship has not been nurtured over time, it becomes ‘Leave me Alone’.

Hold me tight, Put me down, Leave me alone

At the intellectual level we know that this could happen both to children and to our partners – but do we work on it practically, try to bring about better bonding? If we can anticipate that this is a natural progression of a relationship, there is a lot we can do to improve on it, and keep the warmth and togetherness alive. Becoming aware of the individuality of the other person, ensuring that we do not develop emotional dependency, resisting the desire to control – are some of the lessons we need to learn.

Regardless of which stage you or your child is in, do work on it. We should aim for a situation where our loved ones always love to be held tight by us. It takes some hard work, sacrifice, compromise, but it works in the long run.

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Producing More Idiots?

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A senior professor quoted in a reputed academic journal:

“Scheduled Tribes (ST) refers to such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities, who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Consitution as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.”

Do you remember the definition of ‘machine’ by Amir Khan in 3-Idiots? No wonder our educational institutions are not bringing out the best in our very talented students.

The same universities journal had another gem. Please translate into English and tell us what it means:

“Throughout life we are in quest of peace which is the state of full immersion and bliss. The reflections begin with evident and real dichotomy and its resolution. The validity of the cause and effect relationship knowledge has been questioned. An attempt has been made to find peace through symbiosis, education, sacrifice, resilience, giving and forgiving, unconditional love and affection becoming and de-becoming, justice, happiness, laughter and tears, search and research. An illustration has been made on Pig Predators and savor and some poems presented to revive peace.”


 

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Stay Relevant, Stay Sure:

Taming the automation tiger

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On a random day these days if you open any newspaper or switch on any news channel the probability that you read or hear about any automation is very high. Along with that you are more likely to read or hear about the consequential jobs that will be lost and the growing threat of unemployment. This may seem overwhelmingly frightful scenario especially for entry level college graduates and post graduates. After all they are at the cusp of starting off their careers. It may seem like you are facing off with the all too powerful automation tiger.

What should one read into this kind of forecasts? I believe that things are much brighter than one would read into at first sight.

The fact of the matter is that as people prosper economically new industries come up and replace some others which vanish. Old jobs give way to new ones. Steno typist as a job opportunity has almost vanished but the opportunities to do such wonderful desktop publishing and design has created many, many jobs and made several entrepreneurs’ pockets jingle. When people prosper Leisure travel and tourism industry grows and creates more jobs. Fashion, lifestyle goods and luxury goods and so on are on the rise creating jobs associated with those sectors.

The message for college students and faculty is not to dread job shifts due to automation. I believe JOB SHIFT is a more appropriate word not JOB LOSSES. The students should be ready to learn and adapt to changing technologies and areas of work.

Various new jobs are arising in Analytics, AI, Regulatory and Compliance that did not even seem like attractive options earlier. Statistics and Econometrics which looked like doomsday options are today hot cakes.

The IT industry has seen several shifts. Mainframes, COBOL, and Fortran gave way to JAVA, .NET and other programming languages and today even those have matured and are on the decline. Digital programming languages, Big Data, Hadoop, Python are the new emerging fields to build careers in.

Same goes for the surgeon in today’s corporate type hospitals, the pilots in today’s hyper-competitive airline industry or the hairstylist of 2017.

The mantra is to be relevant by up-skilling, recasting the knowledge you have and unlearning the things that you so methodically mastered. To do this we are very fortunate today to have access to latest knowledge at our finger tips on our palms and in our pockets. Real time nano learning has made it possible to learn in small chunk as and when needed and the ability to connect the dots by adding the stuff just needed in the next installment of learning.

So the reassurance that one should stay with is that the automation tiger is not going to destroy jobs and people’s careers. It is only going to need you to be agile and stay relevant and that way we will be able to tame this tiger like we never thought before.

Condensed from article by Dr. Rajiv Noronha,VP and HR Head (Analytics and Insights) at TCS which was published as a part of the TCS AIP News Letter Vol. 12, April 2017.

Republished with permission.

 

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Cry of the Youth

Author: Emma

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We are not sad,
We are not crying
But inside our restless bodies
Our hearts are dying

 

You will see us smile
Warmly in all places
But we are first monsters
Wearing human faces

 

We may not be perfect
We may not be smart
But there is beauty in what we do
For we are art

 

You cannot tie us up
You cannot keep us down
For we are kings and queens
We will claim our crown

 

We burn all our feelings
Except for hate
But don’t blame us for we are yours
We are what you made

 

We always live young
We always live fast
Because we are damaged
And running from our past

 

We are running from our innocence
Innocence is bad
Another entry to be added
To the traits that we had

 

We are the youth so feel our team spirit
Before you catch up and before you kill it.


 

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Appa, the Daughter’s favorite

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Appa, Thandri, Nanna, Thande, Father, Pappa, Dad, Dada, Bapu and may other Names to call the father.

Fathers are generally inexpressive of their feelings be it any relationship; with great difficulty they would tell their wife. Father apparently looks tough by nature, but he does have deep feelings for his family and children. He has his responsibility to support his family to a secure future, he has to earn for them. He is focused on hanging on to his job and get pay packets month after month.

More than two decades the daughter lives with you, and you have missed all her happy moments. Then comes your responsibly of getting her married, society demands “when are you getting your daughter married?” The worm gets into your head and you start looking for the groom knowing that she will not be with you forever.

Father, with all his mixed feelings and emotions of happiness, anxiety, curiosity, nervousness etc, gets promoted as father in law. His all-time happiness has gone to somebody else.

What an irony, when she was yours, you were not with her, you missed all that happiness from her in shaping her future, and now she is not there, you cry for her.

If required any father will lay down his entire wealth or life in the interest of his daughter. If the daughter is happy, father has no bounds for his happiness, and if she is unhappy father will bleed in his eyes… because of his helplessness.

Request to the current day fathers: girl child is a true blessing, never feel unhappy that you are blessed with a boy child, it hardly matters, love the girl child the best you can… Remember she is a limited resource once she is married you have only the memories, and the bundle of pictures to look at with a small face on them. So the girl child is the precious one, care for her.

A Father


 

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Ancient Aviator Anecdote

Life on the Edge

Author: Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Cecil Parker, MVC

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Seven decades ago the ancient aviators of today were young lads, many of whom were fascinated with the idea of flight and dreamt of becoming pilots some day. Pre-Independence, very few Indians were in the profession of aviation. In those days most parents considered ‘flying’ as a dangerous occupation that kept one living on the edge. However, unforeseen events often influence mind-sets and a sudden medical crises in our family brought about a re-think on the part of my father and co-incidental consequences for me.

In 1946, as a young teen-aged school boarder, I came home for the summer holidays running a low fever. As the temperature kept rising and I went off food, our family doctor recommended immediate hospitalization. I was admitted into the PG hospital in Calcutta/Kolkata where my condition continued to worsen. I grew listless and responded to no treatment. My condition got critical and the hospital prepared my parents for the worst; in fact, I was measured for a coffin.

Suddenly my fever broke, I opened my eyes and felt weak but better, I had no idea that 22 days had elapsed but I slowly regained strength sat up in bed and kept down fluids. A very cheerful doctor, along with the ward nurse, visited me frequently and assured me that I was going to be fine but away from school for a few months till I recovered fully. He told my parents that he had no explanation for my ‘return from the edge’, did not believe in miracles but had just seen on.

Five years later, with the active support of my mother and the reluctant consent of my father, I found myself a flight cadet in Air Force Academy in Secunderabad. At a social function I was introduced to a pretty young lady teacher with the same surname as the doctor. In fact she was his niece and informed me that her uncle had married the nurse and the couple had immigrated to Australia. I courted the young lady for five years before we married in 1956. In the next 30 years we moved 15 times on postings while she adapted and coped with running a house, raising two wonderful children, kept teaching, carried out all her commitments as an air force wife and stood by me through all the ups and downs of life on the edge. It was many years before we could build a house of own to retire in. Now, in the 62nd year of our marriage, she is busy overseeing the travel arrangements for our next trip abroad to be present at the wedding of the first of our six grandchildren who are spread over three continents both sides of the equator. Notwithstanding the risk element in any fighter pilot’s career, ‘life on the edge’ has been very good to this ancient aviator and his family.

The author is a retired air vice marshal of the IAF and a freelance writer who can be contacted at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

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Rough Book

Author: Sonal Patel

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Rough book

Do you all remember our days of school where most of the work was done in rough books and then we used to write in fair books which we could show for corrections to our teachers or share with others. Life is so similar to Schools. If we adults can be children’s rough book and allow them to scribble, draw imaginations, erase uncountable times, tear some pages to make artistic folds or make planes and just try to fly??? This rough book was very important till the notes were written in fair book, which had systematic description of all that was required. Till then everything written or drawn with arrows and flowers and what not, was a hint to remember the rest that we wanted to actually write but due to lack of time only those hints could act as reminders.

Rough book

Many times I hear people expressing their love care concern for children but they do not have time to give on a regular basis. Can you become a rough book page for them? Most of the time mothers or the loved ones are the rough-book for their children. Children throw very easily all their emotions and questions on her and when he has to present himself in front of the neighbours, friends, relatives or even father we would have eliminated the “what will not be approved” and present only the best of ourselves. How significant are these rough books? Have you time and again acknowledged the importance of their existence in your life? Do think about it.

 

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Craving For Love

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People who do not trust easily, who are very careful in forming relationships, and who will not allow anyone to get close to them – are lonely people deep inside. When they start maintaining a distance from others their distrust increases. At some point they realize that they are getting isolated and they cannot fit into society like others do. They build a shield around themselves, and they blame everyone for being distrustful.

But the loneliness keeps growing subconsciously, and they get desperate for love. Then comes a moment when they perceive and identify the “right” person. Without realizing it they give out signals of how much they need love from that one person. They go out of the way to do anything for the person they “love”.

The other person enjoys this flattering attention, unconditional love and a sense of being put on a pedestal. He does reciprocate love, but only on his terms and as much as he wants to give. A one-sided relationship develops, but the first person does not realize it. She feels she owns the others. She turns a blind eye to all his shot-comings, his selfishness, and even the fact that he is taking advantage of her.

Until one fine day when stark reality hits! She feels let-down, cheated. She cries out in anguish, pleads, fights, but the relationship is over. She sulks, goes into depression and takes up the victim role of “why me”.

Slowly, steadily time heals the scars and she moves on looking for the ideal relationship which can bring her back into the ecstasy that she craves so badly…

 


 

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Where has all the love gone?

Author: Mary A. Vinayak

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“Your bag smells of India”
“You need to buy clothes. Yours are very outdated Dad”
“Your handbag looks so cheap Mum”
“The house smells of curry. I will do the cooking from now on Mum”
“You always keep food in the wrong containers in the fridge”
“How did you manage to finish the jam so fast?"
”Mum please do not come during the holidays as you spoil the kids!”
“Mum, Dad, you collect so much junk in your house in India”

We plan a trip to foreign countries, tell our relatives and neighbors we are going to US or UK or wherever. We carry all sorts of things that our darling children ask for not only because we love them but also because they are going to give us a good time on our visit abroad, that we need to come back and talk about.

We reach our destination and see happy faces greeting us. The babies are delighted if they remember their grandparents. The older members look happy while scrutinizing us and our styles which may not be in vogue over there. The first few days seem to be pleasant. Slowly the fault finding starts. The conversation reduces, there is nothing much to talk about anymore.

Many parents go through these experiences and start longing to return home where they are treated with respect and live with dignity. It is an eye-opener for many Indian parents. It is heart breaking, but this is what I have observed although parents rarely talk about it except to their immediate families. Instead they praise amazing USA or UK or wherever else and how well our kids are doing and how they looked after us, at the same time harboring heartache and disappointment privately.

There was a time in their lives when the children loved the smell of home and home food, they thought their parents were so stylish, they loved to be spoilt and the junk in the house was what they used to play and enjoy with. The above comments were not made by their parents to them in their growing years!

So where has all the respect and love gone?


 

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Humiliation

Author: Reena Banaji

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It is very sad to see a child cry due to the parents or teacher’s humiliation, or a boss who hurts his subordinate creates weakness in them and totally spoils their life. These instances reveal how dissatisfied a person is that he vents all his anger of somebody else on innocent beings. Taking revenge on people how have done no harm to you is very wrong, next time be cool and think before you fire for no reason. Never feel broken hearted if the world offends you as this will give you strength to face life with confidence and no fear.


 

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Created or Evolved?

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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Created or Evolved?

I sit on the balcony and look out. Some fields below, cows grazing, and birds flitting about. A dog wags her tail when I call out to her, a cat ignores my greeting and walks away majestically. The gaze goes beyond, and the land rises up to lush green-covered hills. Not very tall, but majestic by themselves. Serenity all round, everything moves slow and in measured paces – even the sun casting longer and longer shadows on the hills.

Though green dominates, other colours merge smoothly, even the bright yellow of the sunlight as it turns golden and then a dull orange. A spattering of red, purple and blue complete the panorama.

Whether we humans go there or not, nature flows. The dog chases the cat, the bull eats up the grass, and wild animals eat their prey. The lush green landscape turns a barren brown – until the torrential monsoon rains bring back the green from nowhere. The trees voluntarily shed their fruit, the crop is razed to the ground. The old tree faces the brunt of thunder and collapses. Yet the fact is that nothing changes – unless man goes on a merciless mission of wiping out the bounties of nature.

I smile when Creationists debate vociferously with Evolutionists. Was the world created by an omnipotent god, or did it evolve over millions of years to its current state, they argue. I have a question to both - is it important? Is theorizing about the origin of humans more important, or is preserving the world of utmost priority?

City dwellers: next time you go out to a vacation amidst nature and come back to your concrete jungle, do ponder over what you inherited and what you are leaving behind.

 

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Headmaster of a school said, just after the Second World War:

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“I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness: Gas chambers build by learned engineers, children poisoned by educated physicians, infants killed by trained nurses, women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates. So I am suspicious of education.

My request is: help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.”

 


 

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The Future

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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The future

We spend less than Rs. 80,000 crore annually on education in our country, which works out to about Rs. 640/- per Indian. On the other hand much bigger amounts are spent on other areas of development. For example we pour in Rs. 3,60,000 crore annually for defence alone. A recent announcement was made that we are going to spend Rs. 1,10,000 crore for the Japan-collaboration bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

It is said that a nation or society that progresses most is the one that takes deepest interest in the welfare and development of the next generation. If we could ensure that we are putting in more effort towards the well-being and proper growth of our children, we can look forward to a peaceful and happy old age.

The future

Mrs. Sunanda Ali, who heads the unique Peepal Grove School in rural Andhra Pradesh has well said:

“Children do not need to be prepared for the future. They are the future.”

What are we doing about it?

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Creative ideas come in bed, bath and bus

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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Creative ideas

Someone gave me an interesting food for thought. He said: “Creative ideas come in bed, bath and bus”, i.e. when you are about to sleep, when you are leisurely taking a bath, or when you are travelling. I do find it true to a great extent.

Give it a thought. On my part I ensure that I have a pen/paper or my electronic notepad handy when I am travelling or about to sleep. I don’t take them into the bath, but often I am desperate to come out and jot down the inspirational thought that occurs to be in the bathroom.

When the mind is free and is allowed to roam without restriction, that is when the best of thoughts and ideas come to us. Not if we are perpetually stuck to our mobile phones.

Creativity

Footnote: A long- struggling Bollywood lyrics writer, Mr. Anjum Jaipuri, who subsequently become fairly successful, had told me long ago: “beta, geet (songs) air-conditioned rooms mein nahin likhe jaate hain, they are written on the back of bus tickets.”

 

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FREE Online Psychological Counselling by Banjara Academy for anyone, anywhere in the world FREE online counselling for the depressed

  • Are you stressed about your child?
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Just mail your counsellor now, sharing your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your fears. Your counsellor will reply to you, and be there for you until you need her to help you cope and get going.

Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

 

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