Thursday, August 25, 2011

Different responses to the statement, “Guess what ? We bought a cat”

Different responses to the statement, “Guess what ? We bought a cat”
My fellow country man from India: “Why? Do you have rats in your house ?”
My colleague at work: “Hey. That’s great. What kind is it? Where did you get it?”
My fellow country woman(FCW) from Canada: “Why?”
Another FCW: “Why? You could have got a dog instead. Cats are not faithful”
Another FCM: “Why? Instead you could have had a child. Animals are not same as having children.”
Another Canadian: “Now you are a full Canadian”.
My sister: “That’s great! Is it a male or a female? What will you name it? Send me it’s photo”.
Another relative: “Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Another relative:” Don’t you have enough work? Why you want to get more trouble and work?”
Another relative: “How will you manage?”
Another FCW: “That’s great! I too have a cat.”
Another FCM: “Won’t it bite and scratch? How will you manage it when you travel?”
My dad:"Very good. You should have some pet at home."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Accident in Bangalore... and the need for "Contacts" to survive Bangalore

A couple I know were travelling by car on the Hebbal road. All of a sudden, a motorbike hit their rear and the biker and his companion fell of their bikes on the road. The couple got out and asked if the two were okay when their nightmare started!

The bikers, who were speeding and rammed into their car, from behind, started verbally abusing the couple and they were immediately supported by people on the road, none of whom had witnessed what happened. A police man was around, quickly came and took the report, as told by the bikers and did not heed the words of the couple in the car. The couple were so terrified by the hostile crowd outside the car,that they agreed to take the bikers to the nearby hospital and pay for the treatment.

The bikers started demanding to be taken to an expensive hospital (Columbia Asia hospital) and did not want to go to Baptist hospital, nearby. They relented only when the couple refused to pay for their treatment in Columbia.

The couple’s car was taken by the police and they were asked to pay a fine of 2000 rupees. No assessment of the accident was done, their side of the story was never heard and they were in fact told by the police that they were lucky to not be jailed!

This sort of incident happens over and over again, all over Bangalore, many times a day. What I learn from this incident is :

  • It does not matter as to who is right or wrong….the bully wins.
  • There is no assessment of the cause of the accident, no questions asked to understand how the accident happened, who is at fault, etc. The police who arrive simply write down the statements of the loudest guy and not of both parties involved.
  • The crowd which gathers around the scene, (if mostly of the lower class), will support the guy on foot or the guy in the smaller vehicle….the guy with the bigger vehicle automatically becomes the enemy of the crowd….there is absolutely no logic in their reasoning.
  • The best thing to survive this type of situation is to be aggressive from the outset, be aggressive/assertive with the other party and call in all your ‘contacts’ in the police or anyone with power to intervene. Do not be cowed down by the threats but retaliate. Do not fear the crowd but call for support on your cell phones immediately if the situation seems to be getting out of hand.
  • DO NOT expect Justice.
  • Be bold and be a survivor and I hate to say this but maybe, you should hit below the belt yourself if you are in danger. The Bangalore mobs are dangerous and will be against you even if you are in the right…..if you are not a Kannadiga; or if you are a youth who knocked down an old man(even if the old man jumped in front of your car when the lights turned green); of if you are in a bigger vehicle and the other guy is in a smaller vehicle. The crowd seems to become insane if a woman driver (God save her if she does not speak Kannada) is involved, even if she is entirely innocent!
  • Expect to be robbed when you are involved in an accident in Bangalore and you are in a 
  •   helpless situation…the chances of getting help from the crowd is about 50-50 depending on whether you had an accident in a ‘decent’ area or another area.

I know of an old lady, who was trapped inside an overturned autorickshaw. She managed to extricate her cell phone from her bag to call for help and someone snatched it from her bleeding hands even as she was trying to dial! (a crowd surrounded the auto to pull it upright and this guy stole it from her in the process of many people pushing the auto! Upright!)
I think anyone who steps out of their homes in Bangalore, should mentally prepare themselves for all eventualities and have some sort of plans for each of them. I am bitter and disgusted by Bangaloreans’ behaviour; by the increase in crime in that city and the utter indifference of the police and politicians.
Anyone in Bangalore should have ‘contacts’ to survive these types of incidents.
Anyone, who does not have ‘contacts’ and believes that he will get along if he ‘ is right’ and follows the rules, is sadly mistaken. You will be targeted and victimized in Bangalore by the unscrupulous and you will receive no support or justice from the people around you or the police. I have seen north Indian students victimized just because they do not speak Kannada. I have seen house owners harassing these students. Non Kannada speakers are victimized by bus conductors and auto drivers. And God save anyone who has to get any work done in a state government office! The insistence on Kannada, the use of Kannada in official documents, the refusal to talk in English to the clients by these government officers, once they know that the person does not speak Kannada is so disturbing.(Also the bribes to grease government employees to get the work done!)

If you are visiting Bangalore,I strongly recommend that you acquire ‘locals’ who are your friends and can help you in these types of unexpected difficulties
 . Contacts and greasing go a long way to making your life smooth in the current, corrupt Karnataka. I am a Bangalorean and I do know there are several decent people in Bangalore, but this couple’s accident and the people’s experiences I am hearing about now, is disillusioning me about Bangalore.
In my circle of about 200 families of friends and relatives, I have observed that the handful of families who have contacts (police and political and in high posts in the government), face less hassles in life than the several families without contacts! These privileged few seem to get seats in schools and colleges of their choice, face little difficulty in matters such as getting work done at a government office, getting jobs, etc. Because, these people happen to be my friends or relatives, I cannot even get angry! I am glad that at least some people have contacts/help which reduces their struggle! But I am sad that even simple things such as admission at a good school in LKG is such an enormous struggle for my family members and friends without  contacts (or enough moolah to bribe our way through)
I am advising a young lady, (currently in USA and planning to return to for good) to come back to Bangalore if & only if she has a powerful set of contacts in order to survive here.
In the USA, she was able to get all she wanted without having influence/contacts and without having to pay a single bribe….. She was able to get into a good university, get a good job, buy a house, put her kids in school, without any hassles. She thinks she can do the same here at Bangalore! No amount of my pessimism is able to suppress her bubbling optimism ! I hate to think of the let down she will experience when she finally comes to Bangalore!
I am off track again(from the accident) but let me add one last thing.
I may be a little biased in my perception but I am observing that youth from rich and or politically well connected families seem to want to return to Bangalore after their studies in the USA while the youth from less affluent families(without political connections) prefer to stay back in USA, Canada or wherever they go to study. The youth from certain areas of Bangalore want to return to Bangalore while youth from other areas, do not want to return. This demonstrates the impact of different experiences on the children who grow in different types of families and parts of Bangalore. Those who want to return had a great life in Bangalore as kids; those who do not want to, seem to prefer the life abroad than life in Bangalore.
I met a South Bangalore Girl (in USA)who said she misses her family, the eateries in Jayanagar, the shopping trips with her friends and wants to return.
I have also met a North Bangalore(Yelahanka) girl who faced so many disgusting experiences while growing up in North Bangalore …she hated the way women are treated by road Romeos in the buses and on the roads, she hated the autocracy of the professors in her college, the crowded buses, the attitude towards women at college and work places, even at home in families; she saw the difficulties her parents faced economically and other wise, and she does not want to return to Bangalore.
The sons and daughters of industrialists, politicians, etc return after they get their foreign degrees as their life in India is more comfortable and they can get in India what they do cannot get abroad…drivers, maid servants, cooks, VIP treatment in various places, huge bungalows, huge incomes and ability to evade taxes and connections which get them whatever they want as the law does not apply to them…they are ‘above the law’!
Life in USA or any of the other countries may have much to offer them  but they do not  relish being 'equal to others'. They  prefer the feudal hierarchy of India, where they are the top-dog!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Devil's Double

.....Saw this highly disturbing movie. I had known that it was based on 'true' incidents before I went to the movie  and I could not believe it when I actually saw the movie---how can a human being behave in such a depraved manner and be so heartless and cruel?

I was even more disturbed when I read more about this guy on the internet, after the movie. I think I will need more than a month, before I stop thinking about this movie.

I thought that Indian politicians and their families are the worst in the world...but even they seem like angels in comparision to this Uday Hussein!

Now, should I reccomend others to see this movie which so disturbed and nauseated  me... or should I keep quiet? Acting was good, direction was good but the character is so disgusting
.....should one pay to suffer a movie or should one pay and see only the enjoyable ones? 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MUST-READ for all Asians planning to visit Saudi Arabia

Culture shock: Saudi Arabia  A guide to customs and etiquette by Harvey Tripp and Peter North
Graphic Arts Centre Publishing Company. 2003

This book is interesting, quick and easy to read. The authors have not tried to shock  but  you do get shocked when you read some of the macabre goings-on in SA especially their justice system.

If Asians or women  read this book and still want to visit SA, they either have a death wish or need go get their heads examined!

Monday, August 8, 2011

normality and abnormality

If a person who cannot ‘fit in’ a ‘sane’ society is ‘mad’, then

Is a ‘normal’ person who cannot ‘fit in’ a pathological society ‘mad’?

I will not go into the details of normality and abnormality as you can read excellent articles on it in various texts of psychology and psychiatry.(Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry by Kaplan and Sadock, which edition I do not remember. Sorry! And the old text). My concern here is people’s adjustment today in the increasingly pathological world we are living in, especially in those parts of the world torn by wars, genocides and countries run by corrupt, fanatical and morbid governments.

Is the Muslim  girl who wants to play mad or the girl who obeys her parents and prays 5 times a day?

Is the person(Indian citizen) who refuses to give bribe and his work is not done or the one who gives bribe.

Is the person who protests

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why not idol worship?

To strengthen moral development in children, I think it is necessary to teach about religion and about Gods (religious mythology).

For children to accept the concept of God and religion, to enjoy the concept, to feel the thrill, they need the visuals and stories about God & the mythology around God (whatever the religion). Children delight in the magical strength, powers and Goodness of God, especially if told through the colourful mythological stories, fables and anecdotes.

It is only when they become older and their thinking becomes deeper, (see stages of cognitive development in any child psychology text) that they start asking questions about God, start challenging and attacking the concept of God, his omnipotence and his very existence.

After teen years, some come out as believers but with modifications of their childhood image of God and religion and some come out as atheists. Hopefully, all come out with a fairly okay moral character, conscience and sense of ethics.
This is the type of development I seem to have gone through as a Hindu.

Even to this day, as an adult, I find that the visual images of God/several Gods has several psychological advantages for me:

The picture of God (be it Ganesha, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Narashima, Shiva, Shanimahatma, whatever) in front of my eyes helps me to focus when I pray ;  praying without any image of God in mind is next to impossible for me!
 Frankly, I do not understand, how the people who are against idol worship can pray to an abstract God, when they are so pretty concrete in their thinking!

At times of stress, praying gives a lot of psychological relief. And Hindus have a God or Goddess for everything and every type of stress in life: They pray to Saraswati to pass in exams, they pray to Ganesha for success in their efforts, they pray to Lakshmi for money and prosperity, they pray to Shani if they think he is the cause of their problems, etc. Addressing a different God or Goddess gives them great relief ........ it is like going to a specialist doctor than going to a general physician! The pray-er feels a greater trust, when he begs the appropriate God for a particular problem!

Reading the Mythological stories of the several Gods & Goddesses and each God’s powers and feats in Amar Chitra Katha comics & reading the epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana in childhood, kindles the imagination of children, inspires and moves children towards positive thinking and actions. Besides the sheer enjoyment of the stories themselves!

The concept of the existence of several Gods has inspired creativity in the arts and in practice of daily living in so many ways….temple architecture, sculptures, paintings, poetry, literature, drama, puppetry, cinema, stories, clothes and jewels, cuisine, traditions and rituals, daily life and practices. I think the concept of one God and an abstract one at that(without form) would have dried up the creative flow in India over the last few thousand years!

For several(read millions) people, with a simpler and more concrete thinking style, for children, for simple folks with lower levels of education, with limited ability to think abstractly at least about religion, the multiple God concept is more comforting and acceptable than the concept of a single God especially an abstract one without form. (I find it difficult to visualize a God without form….What the hell! If he is really a God, and really has powers, can’t he create a form for himself! What kind of a loser is he that he is formless !)

If one reads Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, one will see that in the earlier stages of moral development, children 'behave' or 'do the right thing' in order to avoid punishment. The children do what is right because they 'fear' punishment.It is only as they enter the higher stages of cognitive development and thinking  that they are good because they want to be good( they are following their own inner code of ethics) and not because of society’s rules(external code of ethics).

From what I have seen of several people’s behaviours, most are stuck at the lower levels in Kohlberg’s moral development stages. They are adults and are no longer children;  yet they are stuck at the lower stages of moral development. For all these people, I think the concept of multiple Gods, concept of a God who will reward goodness and punish evil is necessary for maintaining moral standards.

I think the concept of idol worship and concept of the existence of multiple Gods ( or one God with many names and avatars) has several beneficent uses in our society.
True, the concept of multiple Gods  has caused several problems too such as the fights between different castes and sub-castes in Hindus. Some times the people of one caste accept one God (example Lingayats accept Shiva as supreme and get into fights with other caste people who accept some other God as supreme).....but these fights have more to do with economic and other issues than the Gods themselves; the arguments and fights between followers of different faiths and Gods within Hinduism but the good has been greater than the bad I think.

The reasons I wrote this piece: I have recently been browsing lovely books (with lovely pics!) about Indian art, textiles, sculptures, temples, etc. I also saw several photos of exquisitely carved but damaged sculptures of Indian deities (damaged by the Muslim invaders of ancient India who were against idol worship and so destroyed idols). I felt really bad about the damaged sculptures, especially when I think of the thousands of arduous hours gone into the sculpting of the hard granite stone.

I was also pissed off to see the best Indian works of art i.e. these temple sculptures, carved emeralds( beautiful emeralds with Koranic inscriptions carved on them), carved ivories, paintings, etc in all collections of the world except India!

The one piece which really bugged me was the fact that a lovely and cute ancient Krishna idol made of rubies is in a museum in Doha! And those guys are against idols or idol worship but they have it! I have never seen any idol made of gem stones like this. 

Photo taken from: Maharaja by Jackson & Jaffer, V & A Publishing, London. 


(1)Is it better to be a person with lots of ideas but who has an inability to communicate/be articulate
(2)is it better to be a person with excellent articulation, and not a single original idea in head?

This question has bothered me no end. I often think that (1) is better than (2) but at times I feel, what is the point of being (1)....the results are as empty as if one were (2).....

Is a literate, sophisticated smooth criminal worse than the illiterate, crude boorish criminal, givne the degree of criminality is the same.

My husband thinks both are equally bad while I think.....

 the first one is worse..... because he can con and hurt more people while the second criminal's crude behaviour will put people on guard and he can hurt less people than the first one.

A great book on saris and a comprehensive book on Indian handicrafts

Anyone interested in comprehensive information about the various handicrafts of India or Indian saris should read these two books. They are very informative, very comprehensive, have beautiful photos to illustrate and would make wonderful coffee table books….if you space and money.
Or you could simply borrow and read them.

 Handmade in India: A Geographic Encyclopedia of India Handicrafts

(1) Handmade in India : a geographic encyclopedia of Indian handicrafts 1st ed.
Contributors: Ranjan, Aditi. ; Ranjan, M. P. Year/Format: 2009, Book, 579 p.

(2)Saris: Traditions and Beyond by Martand Singh and Rita Kapur Chishti.

Above is a picture of the back and front cover.

PS: I am sorry that my family and friends in India do not have access to these two great books! They are too expensive to buy and as far as I know, hardly any libraries stock their shelves with these sort of  books(Budget constraints? Politics? Lack of imagination by the buyers for libraries?)
I got to read a lot more wonderful books about India in the Toronto Public library than in India! I had the wonderful good fortune to read books about Indian jewellery, palaces, forts, see wonderful and rare photographs of all things Indian. I can safely say, I got in touch with India after coming out than when I was in!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why do we chase the mirage called Perfection ?

Why is the west so obsessed with perfection? At least it seems to be chasing outer perfection.
 Outer perfection to me is nothing but a short-lived illusion, covering a multitude of inner defects and deficiencies.{Let me confess at the outset, that the basis of this partcular rant include the facts that I am very easy-going, I am okay with 'just okay' and I dont usually chase perfection! I am not picky about things; I prefer to work as briefly as possible and have as much leisure as I can get!}
I see loads of people ...not just the celebrities but the rich & less famous folks  spending on various processes to look beautiful or 'perfect'. They sweat themselves out in order to lose a few pounds which come back so easily, if they slack off for a bit.
I see women in India visiting dozens of shops in crowded bazaars in the heat and dust and traffic, searching for 'perfectly matching' blouse materials for their saris or bangles for their clothes. I see men who do not have time to play with their kids spending hours hunting in shops for a 'nice' tie or a coat which matches their pants perfectly.
I can understand that perfection is important in certain areas such as medicine, engineering, law, etc  as the absence of perfection can lead to severe loss and pain  to life or limb or damage to property. I can also understand/accept some efforts in the pursuit of perfection for aesthetic reasons. But this life long chase for a mirage called perfection seems such a waste.
Why dont people understand that chasing perfection in things such as moral values, ethics, decent and humane treatment of people, animals, plants is much more this chase brings a decrease in pain and some happiness to living things.
Let me give a few examples to illustrate what I mean. For looking good or beautiful or 'perfect', people depend on cosmetics, clothes and accessories. Several of these cosmetics are from animal products and the animals are often kept in cruel conditions and some are probably killed in painful ways too.
To look perfect, we are causing a lot of pain and this is definitely not perfect. But it does not seem to bother us as it is not 'visible' to us! As if, imperfection does not exist, just because we dont see it!
I have always been bothered (by always I mean on and off) by the question, "do plants feel pain'. When this thought gets into my head and nags me (sometimes!) I keep thinking about how much we trouble these plants and trees for our own selfish use. Harvesting a crop for us to eat(to live) is one thing...but trimming plants, uprooting weeds, cutting branches to make the garden look neat(read 'perfect') is another.
I know that if I ever come across a proven research finding which states that plants do feel pain, I will die of  remorse!
This pursuit of perfection in the west also leads to humungous consumption of scarce and dwindling resources. Ever since I came to Canada I have been driven to madness to watch  stuff thrown away simply because 'it is outdated', 'out of fashion' or because 'a bit of paint has peeled' or because 'it is chipped at one corner'. The west wastes so much for maintaining the 'perfect look'.

This pursuit of perfection in the west bugs me for two reasons:
(1) it seems to be a pursuit of the perfect appearence and perfect image: it does not seem to be deeper than that. This leads to mere cosmetic changes and not real changes for the better. For example, botox may make you look good but  does not mean you are either healthier or happier[ I am not criticising everything, mind you. I really appreciate the west's pursuit of truth in science, the phenomenol changes  in their thinking such as electing a Black President in America, the slow but sure pursuit of equality of races, decrease in gender discrimination, acceptance and apologies of past mistakes, etc]
(2)Pursuit of perfection is actually leading to a lot of problems in some areas and it would be better to accept nature as it is . Things like genetic engineering in agriculture for example. The fruits are huge and  colourful but the taste is not like the taste of the original fruit(by original I mean fruits from non-hybred plants)
(3)Pursuit of perfection means changing what already exists, as you assume that what already exists has defects and you want to iron out those defects to make it perfect. But when you change the order of things you do cause a lot of chaos and the person seeking perfection is indifferent to the chaos he has caused...he does not have the time to reset the hundred things he disorganized, in order to perfect one object. Things and people always are in context and not in isolation; you cannot pick out one object or person to perfect, without having an effect on the contextual objects or people. The professor in the movie My fair lady, disrupted the life of not just the flower seller but others too.

(4) To me perfection is a perception; An object's level of perfection is not fixed but varies depending on the eyes of the perceiver ! (a proverb in my language says that for parents, even a rodent like child looks good!){To me, everything is perception; I will write about that elsewhere.....Hindu philosophy states that the  entire world is Maya i.e. an illusion and I sort of subscribe to that philosophy}
As perfection is a perception, if the perception changes tomorrow, the perfect object is no longer perfect, even though it has not changed! And do remember, people's perceptions today, changes with such dizzying speed! In today, out the next!
Perfection is transient; nothing is perfect forever: it ages, it withers; something 'more perfect' comes along and displaces this 'perfect' object or person;
Perfection may be an illusion; the defects and deficits may not be visible at this point in time.
Perfection may not even be 'right'.....especially if it comes at some heavy expense such as a life, grief or pain.
Perfection can be boring after a while; Imperfections may make an object/person more interesting, add character, make an object/person unique & challenging.

I am not against the pursuit of perfection entirely; I do believe that we should pursue perfection intensely in  some areas; I believe we should pursue perfection to some extent in all areas.
 But always consider, what damage you are causing yourself and others in this pursuit; Is your pursuit worthy? what are you sacrificing and or losing when you pursue perfection? Is it worth the sacrifice?
 For example, when I see Indian youth of today spending hours and hours in the gym, to get the 'perfect bod' instead of  enjoying life, I wonder what for? In a few years time, they are going to be flabby anyway! Age, food, gravity will take it's toll, if not today, at least tomorrow.

When I see people, without OCN, spending time, money and energy and not really having much fun in their pursuit of  the perfect whatever.... perfect home, perfect garden, perfect whatever, I feel pity.

PS: Why did I write this?
 Because of my ADHD, I get bugged when I see people taking time to do things, 'perfectly' instead of doing things quickly and moving on. I click 50 pictures when my husband takes one photo and it drives me insane to wait for him to finish his one shot! ( I get at least 5 good pics out of 50 while his one shot may be lousy if his hands shook or he got the wrong lens or whatever! Moral of the story...Pursue quan instead of qual)
 So I thought I will defend myself by attacking 'perfection' and it's pursuit!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

thinking defects of the mentally retarded...seen in the general population

Inability to entertain the possibility of the hypothetical

is one feature I repeatedly see in the developmentally delayed clients I serve.

Example: A developmentally delayed client of mine is very rigid about many things. She insists on using the bathroom first (before others) every morning and makes no exceptions, whatever the situation. I told her to imagine a situation where her sister will have to leave early for an interview one day and that her sister may need to use the bathroom first that day. My client told me, "she does not have an interview". I told her again, that her sister does not have an interview, but if she did….again my client insisted that her sister does not have an interview. This went on for a few times, before I gave up.

Concreteness of thinking

is another feature of thinking of the developmentally disabled. If I tell a proverb to a developmentally delayed client of mine, the interpretation the client makes will be concrete. For example if I ask, what does this mean:" As you sow, so you shall reap". The answer is if you sow wheat, you will get wheat.

They lack the ability to abstract meaning from the proverb or to abstract the essence of what one is trying to convey. Children develop abstract thinking as they grow and mature. But those with developmental delay i.e. mental retardation do not develop abstract thinking or do so at a much slower pace

Inability to generalize from an example or from one situation to another situation

is also a part of the thinking of the developmentally delayed. Therefore when I talk to my developmentally delayed clients I do not expect them to understand and generalize the learning to other situations when I give one example ; instead I explain the same thing all over again, if I tell them something slightly different.

Inability to put oneself in another’s shoes:

and feel how the other person feels, is another feature lacking in the developmentally delayed. When some of my developmentally delayed clients have been verbally abusive to another person, I have asked them to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and tell me how they would feel if they were abused in a similar way. Many of them, said, the other person should not have done that or the other person did deserve the abuse. In spite of several repetitions, they could not put themselves in the other person’s shoes.



There are other features of the thinking of developmentally delayed but I am not going into those now. I am concerned with only these aspects as I see these aspects of thinking in so called ‘normal’ people too. These aspects or defects in thinking cause a lot of problems both to the thinker and the people around him/her.


Inability to entertain the possibility of the hypothetical:

I am myself unable to do this especially to think of ‘worst case scenario’! The anxiety level shoots up; my mind simply refuses to even consider the possibility of things going wrong, even hypothetically….. This leads to being ill-prepared for disasters and this in turn leads to severe trauma when the unexpected happens. This is probably a kind of defence mechanism, which unfortunately works against the person.

Concreteness of thinking:

Concrete interpretation of works such as the Bible, Koran, the Mythological and fairy stories by the common people and worse….by people with power and authority over others has lead to immense tragedies in the world. The literariness of thinking is seen in the judgements dealt out in Saudi Arabia by their great courts…An eye for an eye; a life for a life……need I say more about the concreteness of thinking in people who wield power???

Should I label the judges as retarded i.e. the judges in countries where the motive of the crime is not considered ;where the letter of the law is more important than carrying out eh spirit of the law. If teh highest law makers in these countries are 'retarded', then what hope is there for the poor people of these countries? They not only have justice without mercy but justice without brains.....what a terrifying horror!!!


Inability to generalize from an example or from one to another situation: That is to extrapolate or an inability to see parallels in two similar situations.

People never seem to learn from others mistakes; when they see a person commit a mistake and get into trouble…..they do not tell themselves…"I should not do that or I will face the same problem" Instead they have this blind belief about their invincibility, "That will not happen to me".


Inability to put oneself in another’s shoes:

When I see the frequent and callous behaviour of people towards others (frequent in India…rare in Canada…touch wood!)

I am always struck by the thought, Why cant they put themselves in that person’s shoes and think how bad the other person will feel. But the people who ill treat others do not seem to ever put themselves in others shoes.

The government bureaucrat who is nasty to people, the peons at their doors who gives old people the run-around; the wife beating men; the child beating parents; the kidnappers, robbers, cheaters, rapists, con-men, the mne who assault women, the people who mock, insult and tease the handicapped, the mentally ill, the children who tease the animals…………why cannot they put themselves in the victim’s place for one minue and try to fell what the victim feels???

I am surprised more people are not declared as retarded, judging by their retarded behaviours. Our beloved Karnataka from today ex-chief minister Yedeyuruppa for example!

Copying some aspects instead of the entire procedure and expecting similar results

Or they copy only superficially from the example and expect the same results! Buying the same figure hugging clothes of a beautiful lady is easy to copy…however, following her routine of jogging daily is hard!



I also want to add that, with several repetitions and intensive training, the developmentally delayed can be trained to some extent in abstract thinking, etc. The milder ones do grasp to some extent about abstract thinking.







PhD and philosophy education

This stuff below is somewhat irrelevant but I am hoping to develop this into another article.

....... And I hope people who study subjects like philosophy get well-paid jobs!
The world needs more philosophers today. But what happens?
There are very very limited job opportunities for philosophy grads; consequently no one wants to study philosophy these days(at least in Bangalore university).
Because students with ‘good’ marks choose to study courses with greater job opportunities, the students with the poorest marks end up getting into courses which have no takers, such as philosophy.
And philosophy, which needs the best brains to grow and develop as a field, ends up getting the worst brains, the society has to offer!
Thus the cycle of rot and destruction continues!

feedback is only in the form of markscards.

teaches would not tell which area the student had to work harder in

ganapati pooja and saraswati pooja done at exam time in some schools is okay in that it reduces anxiety in some students but it also sends the wrong message

teachers were teching some difficult things only once and this was definitely not enough for the average student.

i had a biology teacher who giggled helplessly during the chapter on reporduction....though she was a married middleaged lady with kids! If a teacher feels reproduction is a giggling matter, what about the teenage students?

relevence of studying old kannada
grammar was not taught in language classes.
classics were forced down our throats but the teachers never bothered to make it relevent, they never explained the context of the occurence of the events. Lorna doone was really weird and I was wondering why prescribe such a story for Indian students who are clueless about the culture of Lorna Doone's time and place.
A Kannada text was banned after I bought it because one of the chapters had a word i.e. 'bra' in it! Why did not the authorities read it before millions of texts were printed and sold? And, what is wrong with the word bra? Do they think the students in college will be corrupted if they read the word bra in one chapter of a text? Ridiculous!
we learnt theories in school and college but never tested their applications in the field. if we had, I am sure that the theories would be difficult to prove due to their irrelevence in the Indian context. This would have made us think and question and think of developing theories which are relevent and true in teh indian context.
I know of at least two guides (i.e. PhD students supervisors) who suppressed results ! as it did not agree with western findings and as it would prove that the work being done by teh Karnataka government was a failure! No amount of arguing would budge these 'professors' from putting the true results in the thesis!
If professors are fearful of the truth, what kind of an academic atmosphere do we have in India?
teaches in school were more critical of students haircuts than about teaching
teaches have to learn and use more adjectives. they are themsleves so minimal in use of language, who can he kids learn and use richer language.

Last walk at Sunnybrook park by the stables

Last walk because I can't take the mosquitoes.  I found this tree unusual... I dont know what these red berries are but th...