MORE TO LIFE THAN FULL MARKS

Parents these days are confused between getting their children onto a career track. In the earlier generations it was sort of decided by grandparents  wishes or something equally abstract. Become a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman, the family tradition has to be continual. And the progeny were often given no choice. Their education was channeled  into this narrow vision and they worked with singular devotion towards that goal. Often, there wasn’t any argument. What then happened in Indian education was the attention given to absorbing information and then regurgitating it verbatim, with memory retention serving most mistakenly as the measure of excellence.

 

This conspiracy loped along for many years after independence in a nation like India producing educational clones in what was a mass influx every year of mind numbed young men and women with skill sets severely limited to boning up facts and figures and lacking other skills.

 

This was the legacy my generation inherited at the turn of the century. It always surprised me that so much store was put by the marks one got and the length of one’s answers. What we failed to understand as parents, teachers and students that unless our skills were widened and given more dimension we would never really realise our full potential.

 

What I decided to do was add that extra tier by educating myself. Through books, through films and by using sheer common sense coupled with engaging in the human experience. I had good reason for this route. Take a school of 2000 children and more. There are ten in the debating team, maybe five in elocution, perhaps twenty in a sports team and a school magazine making  team of six. Not exactly a huge percentage.

Take our libraries. How many folks take out books when they can enjoy the self indulgence of whatsapp.

 

 Into the second decade of this century came this sudden competitive surge in which schools upped the ante by turning liberal to the point of absurdity where marking was concerned. Getting a 70 was poor, an eighty  an average, a ninety started the good times. This ridiculous hurtle just made a mockery of education and instead of a well rounded personality passing out through the portals of an institution we got these assembly lined products who believed in their own brilliance and were blinded by nit. Not even street smart and certainly not world smart their tunnel vision was evidence used to underscore the tenacity and exceptional nature of their educational entity. Not for a moment do they in this modern age realise that they are being condemned by a golden handshake that will not stand them in good stead in the future.

 

I did not have many years on earth nor, like Francis Bacon did I garner all knowledge into my province but what I did do was imbibe much more than the average teenager. So, if you are one, or the parent of one, enjoy the high markings but give your children the free rein to teach themselves and enjoy the experience rather than strive for full marks.

Happy Mothers Day

Hello lovely readers,

 

Here is another guest post by Vidhi- Mohit’s sister! Today, I am writing this post in honor of Mother’s Day. Growing up, mom would always tell me that we have been her world of joy and pain. I never understood what that meant being 15. At that time, I was living a life of privilege. It was not until I made some tough decisions like going across the world for pharmacy school, graduating and simultaneously transitioning into a new role in New York that I understood what Mother’s Day meant. It has been difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day without Mohit. The first Mother’s Day in 2017 was the hardest. 2018 was “normal”. 2019 is special. I have a special spot for Mother’s Day 2019. This is the month of mental health awareness. It has been such a tremendous journey to go through loss and move forward at the same time. There are several days where we we feel that Mohit is in our moments of sadness, just as much as in our moments of happiness. I have been so thankful to have my mother support me through some very tough times in life and over this time, we have become so much closer. I have learnt how to be a deeply compassionate person, have empathy, learn the value of doing good for other animals and people. All of this would have not been possible, if I had a life of privileges with everything set for me. As much as I wish there was no suicide, I have come to learn that it is so important to always have your loved ones in touch. Be it over the phone, or a visit away, never forget to tell your friend or family family that you love them! My biggest listener and Mohit’s biggest listener has been Mom. Through the years, it was Mom who inspired us to be ourselves, learn anything we wanted and has always been there to listen to us when we needed her. I am so thankful for Mom to be there to listen to us talk about how we truly felt, when we would be struggling with depression or anxiety in college. I am thankful to be one of the lucky few Indians. Within our small community, we were the only kids who had a lot of space to be while growing up. Mom has given both me and Mohit a time full of nourishment, Music, Debates,Tennis,Horse Riding  and much laughter. For this the memories shall always kindle a dark haunted corner, where we continue to survive the worst day ever. From August 27th, 2016 until today on, we survive and thrive…

So today, Mom- Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Love,

Mohit’s sister.

How The Mind Can Wire The Brain Into Positive Thinking

Hey guys!

 

Happy Monday! We are back on! Today’s post is a guest post by me, Vidhi- Mohit’s sister! I was listening to the most interesting podcast this week by none other than the supremely lovable Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye! The topic was a discussion with Dr. Leaf about why do we internalize on negative experiences more than the positive?

I know I have definitely been guilty of thinking in this way. An example would be in which I would think more about maybe a day gone wrong at work or maybe a flight I missed or a bad date more than the good experiences. Why am I tearing out my hair at the bad experiences in life?

 

Dr. Leaf raises an interesting point that the mind can change the brain. Once I can find the one thing that makes me happy, then our mind can control our brain and we have the ability to create our own reality with the way we think. I tried to apply this in the simplest way possible because as hectic as life is, I do sometimes feel that we can be very unhappy because of the negative experiences that happen to us despite of having all the joys in life. So I reversed back into thinking about what is the smallest thing that makes me happy? For me it is having my cup of chai and watching the sun rise, every morning. I then started to put that into practice somehow at night feeling more positive about seeing the sun rise, to waking up without an alarm and seeing the sun rise each morning. This simple thing changed my perspective completely and actually enabled me to put my negative experiences into perspective. Let’s say for instance, I made a mistake while the work day was just going crazy and was feeling miserable about it. The old me would have wrecked out my brains about it for a whole week. Now I think, “oh well, what can I change right now so this does not happen again?”.

 

It is so true that as human beings we are wired towards an optimism bias. Our brains are just so conditioned to expect only the positive things be it a good day at work, an amazing conversation with a friend or even a good date, we are wired to block out the complete opposite. When we are faced with the opposite, the thought or action is just so jarring that we cannot accept and naturally just want to block it out. We can control how we react to the negative things in life even though we cannot control what happens. When we start to see things as negative from our minds then everything looks negative and we are damaging our brain cells. If we think differently about the situation, we think, feel and choose differently. Dr. Leaf’s science is correct. The mind can change the brain, if we re-wire the way we think, and we can create our own reality.

 

Do watch the podcast linked below and let me know of your thoughts!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayrp_518DK0)

 

See you all next Monday!

 

Love,

Mohit’s sister!