Vector 2015 Happy New Year background

Image from boilergrants.org.uk

It was like yesterday when I sat to scribble what I wanted to accomplish in 2015 and how I wished it should be. I wonder how the year went just like this (snap!). Throughout the last few days of december 2015, I tried to recall what I did apart from the incidents I used to write in my everyday journal. When I say what 2015 has taught me, I am very grateful for people who entered, and re-entered in my life. I also acknowledge people who choose to stay with/leave me in my life.  Without all those people, I m not I’m.

Confronting fears: I never really understood that I have been running away from certain things that I was afraid to face. However, I did not choose to confront them but this 2015 made me to do so. It was a severe downtime of my life I must admit for I was not even able to comprehend my feelings. The moment I had no choice but to accept I am failed, I was nervous, ashamed, guilty, and what-not! Somewhere in the corner of my heart, belief on healing time stick. Now, I see how 2015 also had a way to heal me from inside out. Eventually, I felt not just better, but best. I feel liberated.

Confronting makes you stand naked but, trust me, its all only for good. 

Say ‘No’: I have got this valuable advice from at least 3 of my mentors years ago. It is in 2015 that I actually used it. I let people took advantage of me that I ended up doing all their works or not doing anything for myself. I gained some courage and finally said NO – although with much difficulty. I faced the consequences and finally decided to move away from them. 2015 taught me that our life is too short to make every single person entering our life happy. On the other hand, I also realized that it is very important to think before you decide on who you would like to keep in your life. Also, it is important to make sure that you don’t give up on relationships without trying your best. My struggles with certain people went beyond my thoughtful decision and several give-ups. I not only decided to move away but to be careful of not falling again.

Certain personalities are simply incompatible with ours and the best we could do for anyone is to cut them off. 

Travel anywhere: One of my 2015 resolution was to simply visit 12 new places. However, I was able to manage only 5. Those were an Anjaneyar temple, few places in chennai, Kutrallam, Nilambur in kerala, and Chandigarh/New Delhi. Among these, chennai and chandigarh/ND are academic. I enjoyed a lot in Nilambur (a tiny travelogue is still in my draft) among all because it was purely non-academic. My second voting is for Chandigarh/ND as I got to meet so many people and see a different India. Although chennai is my least favourite, it is still close to my heart. 🙂

Make travels mandatory to break your routine and relax!

Reader-me got busy: Just like travelling, I had a resolution to complete 10 books (non-academic). I completed only 3. I love to read slowly. I found I had no time to focus on reading something non-academic when I have heaps of text-books and articles for exams. Therefore, considering my other commitments, I decided on 6 books for 2016. 😀

Read slow so you enjoy more!

Journal differently: I decided to write my journal everyday in 2015. When I read it over, things were very mundane unlike 2014. It might be because everything happened is still fresh on my memories. I also realized that I miss writing in Tamil, my mother tongue. So, its time! ❤

Write in your mother tongue despite mistakes. It will only get better! 

Gracias, 2015! For all the big and small lessons! 

 

“Why should boys have all the fun?” says an ad girl and flies away in a SCOOTY!!! (a bike without gears). That flabbergasted me “But girl, you are riding a different bike!!!??!!” I wonder why not gear bikes just like those guys. Perhaps, that is more fun and why should only boys have it?

dear-santa

Image Courtesy: Earlyyearschildcare.com

I decide to learn to ride a gear bike. When people turn 18, they usually get a driving license regardless of their need or passion. It never occurred to me that I must learn to drive too. Neither did I have any need or passion until recently ❤ ❤ ❤

It’s not that I have the urge to show that I (a woman) can also ride a gear bike. I used to see guys zooming in bikes with annoying sounds and I just keep walking thinking “what is so big about riding a bike! Doh!” NOW, I can’t believe how much I want to be riding bikes. I transitioned to a feeling of excitement. “I too wanna experience that!” It is an ineffaceable feeling when I see guys zooming in and out in their bikes leaving me in horripilation.

The way the bike needs control in clutch, gears and two different breaks with two hands and legs at the same time is actually difficult for any beginner. As a beginner I understood that it not only needs concentration, but also some strength, and confidence. I believe that I have the last two qualities and waiting to get the first. I started to see this as a new skill that I desire to acquire soon.

My dear abdominous and wonderful Santa, please get me a gear bike. Take all the time you need and make it in next Christmas. By the time, I will be ready with a license! 😀

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Image Courtesy: quotesfrenzy.com

This is my first post for WRITE OVER THE WEEKEND , an initiative by BlogAdda.

Written and Directed by Majid Majidi, “Children of Heaven” is an amazing family drama that portrays two siblings as the main characters.  Released primarily in the year of 1997, it depicts the innocence along with the sense of responsibility of two children of a poor family in Iran.

children-of-heaven

Image from Google Search

Ali, a nine year old school going boy, is the eldest of three kids in the family. While Ali helps the family with buying things and other outside works, his sister, Zahra, does little household works and baby sits their youngest sibling. Their bedridden mother remains at rest as surgery has the chances of making her crippled for the rest of her life. Their father, who does not have a regular job, works ethically and hard to meet the family needs with small temporary works given by the neighbourhood. The costumes, especially girls and women’s hijab and men’s fatwa and pants, their language, Persian, being written from right to left, represents the Iranian Culture very neatly. Ali, Zahra and their parents are wearing the same clothes on many scenes representing consecutive days. Most of their clothes are dull in color that clearly distinguishes them from the better off families. The barter salesman appears occasionally in the streets selling things pictures the country sides very carefully. The un-concreted and unpainted brick-walls of the poor neighbourhood suit the mood of the movie. Despite poverty, the parents have taught their children to be honest, and trustworthy. For example, the family has inculcated good will to their kids explaining why he should not use the sugar given to him with trust.

This great movie that not only portrays the behaving nature of Ali and Zahra but also puts a step forward to delineate the children’s efforts to cope up with their family’s financial situation and to meet their needs on their own. The movie begins with Ali losing her sister’s pink shoes that was given to the cobbler for mending. When the shoes are not found after searching, Ali and Zahra plans to use the same sneakers one after the other on the same day. Zahra returns early to switch the slippers and Ali goes late to school every day. The movie created a curiosity of how the children would fight their problem of not having a pair of shoes. One day, Zahra finds a girl who wears her pink shoes and stalks her until home. Here, the curiosity arises whether the children would go through a bad means to get back their pink shoes. Day by day, the situation of the kids get worse making Ali lie to their school headmaster and Zahra more desperate to get back her pink shoes from her schoolmate. Sooner, Majid majidi draws a fine demarcation between the children’s understanding of the good and bad means of obtaining shoes. After Ali and Zahra find that the girl’s father is visually impaired and poor like them, they give up the idea of getting the pink shoes. This highlights the good will of the children that is either taught by their parents or possessed by them naturally. The story then revolves around the effort that his brother to buy a new pair of shoes for her sister.

children-of-heaven-poster

Image from Google Search

The music and camera shots brilliantly add spice to the twists and turns in the story. While unexpected incidents put the audience in despair, Ali shows a keen interest in winning a running race which gives a pair of shoes as the prize. However, what happens at the end may completely horripilate or disappoint the audience.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I could have chosen any organisation for my internship to fulfill the course requirement. Why a detective agency? Its just that I have been recently feeling a bit philosophical in each and every decision that I make in my life. I don’t want to regret later in my life for things that I did not attempt.

kid-detective-clipart-Detective-Girl

Image Courtesy: From Google

Last year, I was excited about detective works and was thinking of interning as one. I was not too into it to think about a future career in this field. Further, I know there are certain things that I am not good at to be a good detective. For example, I don’t usually notice things well, nevertheless I definitely want to experience how it feels like to be a detective.

Finally, I decided to intern in a detective bureau/agency in Chennai. (Not interested to reveal the identity of the bureau/agency) It was a 21 days of internship excluding Sundays.

I was assigned to various cases related to identity verification, certificate verification, infidelity, security intrusion, etc. and I also learnt about other cases that are undertaken by the agency. Some of them are matrimonial verification, missing person/property investigations, etc. There were also some peculiar cases that has the potential to change the traditional detective works. There was a grandmother who wanted to know how her first granddaughter was doing after her son and daughter-in-law was divorced. She wanted to do it without disturbing the mother as she might have moved on to a new relationship.The other case was to deliver a letter to a person whose address is unknown. The client worked in Chennai several years ago and made some good friends whose addresses was lost. After decades, the client wanted to contact them. Therefore, he approached the detective agency to find the person’s current address and deliver the letter. Both of these cases were considered as innovative services brought up by the people and not the agency. People’s needs and awareness have made them to think how detective agency can be used to achieve their tasks despite the traditional cases dealt by the agencies.

Amidst the horrible climate and traffic in Chennai, I enjoyed being in the city. Having jovial friends like G, S, N and V and elder sisters N, J, K and others to hangout with, I started considering the city as one of my options to settle in. 🙂 Despite the learned society, my experience with the detective agency was horrible. By saying so, I am not demeaning the good intention of the people working there. The main goal of the bureau is to help their clients with their best efforts and alleviate their problematic situation. I would like to list why detective works does not suit me. 😦 😦 😦

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Image Courtest:  123rf.com

  • From relationship point of view : Most of the cases were filed either by a wife or husband of someone who suspected that their partner might be cheating on them. They requested the detective agency to find whether there were any illegal affairs. As a consequence, the other partner was followed, evidences were collected for or against the claim. I really don’t like the way how resolution within relationships are being carried out in these cases.

 

“தேரான் தெளிவும் தெளிந்தான்கண் ஐயுறவும்
தீரா இடும்பை தரும்.”  –  திருவள்ளுவர்                                                                                                                                                                            Translation from a blog: “To make choice of one who has not been examined, and to entertain doubts respecting one who has been chosen, will produce irremediable sorrow. “

First of all, the complainants were not able of carry out a personal talk with their partners to sort out the problems among themselves. Whatever maybe the barrier, involving a third PRIVATE agency into a personal relationship spoils the bond. Some people needed to have the private investigation done so that they could make a decision on their relationship legally i.e whether to apply a divorce or not. As far as my knowledge and experience, I don’t know to comment on this. However, I condemn cases demanding investigation over the girlfriends or boyfriends. One of the cases I would like to brief is about A’s information report on his girlfriend B. Since B was not talking with A for a long time, A doubted whether her parents were arranging a marriage. Therefore, A wanted to know whether there were any marriage talks and B had agreed marry someone else. There were many cases dealt that were similar to this. In India scenario (though I am sort of generalizing it), it is true that the girl/boy friends tend to leave their partners without providing information that they deserve. As a result, one would have hard time moving on with their life with the unanswered questions, or follow and force their partners demanding answers or to get married to them. It might all be because relationship and break ups are still viewed as taboos. I learnt that many private detective agencies in Tamil Nadu more or less deal with similar cases.

vector-illustration-inspector-detective-22079808

Image Courtest: From Google Search

  •  From Privacy point of view: In many cases, the works breaches the privacy of an individual. The detective not only gets to know relevant information about the case but also gets to see and understand many aspects of the person’s life who is being followed.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary “right to be let alone; the right of a person to be free from any unwarranted publicity; the right to live without any unwarranted interference by the public in matters with which the public is not necessarily concerned” – Says Hinailiyas in Right to Privacy Under Article 21 and related conflicts

Although the agency puts efforts to understand the intention of the complainant before filing the report, they don’t have norm sets to follow up. They hardly know what happens after they provide the information they gathered. However, the agency protects its complainant’s details, case details, their subject (tho I don’t like using the word subject) information, and their conclusive report and ensures confidentiality to their clients.

I am a person who values individual’s privacy and always grimace at certain cases. I just can’t control that reaction. 😛 Apart from these two main reasons, I am physically not a very hardworking person. Though I enjoy meeting new people, visit new places, I would love to do the former at my own choice and later in a good weather condition. 😀

Some reasons I learned why people approach a detective agency..

  • People don’t believe in police and want to get their work done quickly
  • Detective agencies have connections with forensic experts and police officers
  • Detective agency works are secretive
  • Gets a nominal fees

🙂 🙂 🙂 However, this internship helped me understand the city better and learn ways to commute between places easily. I met many experts in the field who shared their insights with me related to the Indian criminal justice system. I am grateful to all the people who allowed me to have this intern experience.

Chennai

So glad to travel around these places in Chennai. I wouldn’t have explored this much without this internship! 🙂 – Thanks to Google Maps!

 

**This is not to defame/demean any private detective agency in particular.**

**The content is my personal learning, experience and opinion and does not reflect my institution** 

 

This is a prompt and great reminder of using five senses into our writing. Thank you, also, for adding the beautiful five more magics: think, speak, laugh, feel and love! 🙂

M. M. Rochford

Frog Music 31 May 2015.jpg

I went to a wedding recently set in the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. It was a hot afternoon and towards the end of the evening I wandered down to a row of grapevines and looked up to see a black sky full of endless glittering stars. Only in the country can you see the night sky at its majestic best. After a few minutes I noticed something else – the slow steady chorus of sound welling up around me until all I could hear was the throaty croak of frog music from the nearby dam.

I realised then just how important sound is in conveying a sense of place when writing. It’s just as important as the visual picture we draw with words in a scene.  That night made me think about all the five senses we have to work with when writing –  to see, hear, smell, touch…

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Laxmiarum

Hola!

Screenshot of the menubar Screenshot of the duolingo menubar

Learning a new language opens up a new world. I read somewhere that the best time to learn a language is during childhood. However, I believe it is never too late to explore your language learning abilities. With this in mind, I have some interesting stories and insights to share. This is not just my attempt to learn hindi, then the so called national language but also a way, I discovered, out to learn any language. (FYI, India has no national language)

Back in those days, all the school going kids take up learning hindi in private classes as their hobby because of the parental pressure or maybe whatever. Passing through the levels such as Prathmic, Madhyama, Rashrabhasha, Pravesika, etc, you can finally acquire a BA (? I still doubt that but never cared to verify it) in Hindi. Regardless of the degree…

View original post 1,147 more words

Hola!

Screenshot of the menubar

Screenshot of the duolingo menubar

Learning a new language opens up a new world. I read somewhere that the best time to learn a language is during childhood. However, I believe it is never too late to explore your language learning abilities. With this in mind, I have some interesting stories and insights to share. This is not just my attempt to learn hindi, then the so called national language but also a way, I discovered, out to learn any language. (FYI, India has no national language)

Back in those days, all the school going kids take up learning hindi in private classes as their hobby because of the parental pressure or maybe whatever. Passing through the levels such as Prathmic, Madhyama, Rashrabhasha, Pravesika, etc, you can finally acquire a BA (? I still doubt that but never cared to verify it) in Hindi. Regardless of the degree, I have seen how passing those exams are a matter of pride. I believe that a good institution and a right motivation can help in really learning hindi through those set of levels. I do know many people who are skilled in Hindi through this way of learning. However, I should also not deny the fact that so many people simply copy the text books and pass the exams only to get a certificate and advance to the next level. Obviously, nobody can see the point in that. After all, why do you want to ‘learn’ a language like that? I have been a ‘good’ student at school as I usually get into some top ranks.

Photo from Dewey’s Treehouse Blog

Until 8th grade, I was going to Hindi tuition yet learned for the sake of ..(well, I really can’t figure out that). Unlike my elder sister (Oh, she is always good at studies), I did not learn Hindi well enough to complete. I do not even care to which level I have my certificates.  😀 By saying so, it would be so unfair if I say I learnt nothing. It is only because of those private classes; I can read and write in Hindi and also converse a little (a little).

While my years in Bangladesh, I realize how I am capable of learning a new language. Again, I had to take up few Bangla classes but those are mostly to help us survive outside our university. It was a good start yet the real learning came from the environment around.  It was not only those Bangladeshi friends, but also the news channels from the neighbouring apartment, ricksaw wallahs (with whom we pretend that we are Bangladeshis too), shopkeepers, strangers on the road, field trip experiences, etc (sigh!) are the factors that contributed much to my Bangla. Eventually, I was able to go anywhere and get things done with my Bangla speaking skills. Although I did not learn enough to read and write the language, I am so glad to learn Bangla that always sounds sweet (now a lot nostalgic) to me. (sigh!!)

Bangla Letter. Photo from onkur.sourceforge.net

Yes, there were several moments that gradually taught me the way I can learn a language. Those self realization moments helped me understand myself better and accept the way I learn things. I think it’s by living with the people, one can learn not just the grammar but the funs intended with the words, phrases and intonations! I can feel I am among them. I am never offended or bored when people around me talk in their mother tongue that is not mine. There is nothing more intriguing to guess the meanings and assume what it is about. (Definitely, not eavesdropping!).

green bird

Screenshot of Duolingo logo

While my bangla learning happens naturally, I came across this initiation to teach foreign languages. That is duolingo with a green bird as its logo. If you think, learning, especially language, should be fun, then, duolingo is for you. I have known their work since their inception. Serving as a great example for edutainment, duolingo is absolutely free and is available as mobile applications. “Practice makes a (wo)man perfect” – how true! But, really, how many of us are bored to do our routines? Well, duolingo has implemented several techniques that can keep you inspired everyday to practice your language. It provides you a virtual environment where you can hear, speak, read and write the language. Awesome! Isn’t it? Also, you can earn and invest lingots into lessons that can teach you idioms, and flirting. 😀

Just as any other websites, duolingo requires a signup and that can be done ‘manually’ using your e-mail account or ‘automatically’ using your facebook or google plus login details. Although the latter method is not highly recommended when speaking of cyber crime prevention techniques, it helps you to find your friends who also use duolingo. As the whole purpose of the duolingo is for learning, it only allows you to follow your friend to get updates about her progress and, I guess, comment. After you sign in, you can choose the language that you want to study and the language through which you want to study.

duolingo leaderboard

Screenshot of your progress along with your friends in duolingo.

A set of lessons appear that you can start with. As you complete the basic lessons, new lessons will be made accessible for you. If you already knew the language and just want to check yourself and learn more, there are some test outs in between those lessons. If you complete those tests, you need not go through each and every lesson to unlock new ones. Once you complete the set of lessons for a topic, your strength bar will be full. However, as you learn your new lessons on different topics, with certain time lapse, the strength bars in some of the previous lessons will decrease. Definitely, there are a lot of logical thinking and programming skills going behind this technique. You may occasionally deal with fulfilling the strength bars in the old topics or you may simply move forward.

I can remember that I have used this app some years ago but only twice until April 2015. As much I know the importance of this app, I have also been lazy in practicing. The good news is that I have figured out my routine and I am on it now. Therefore, I use duolingo more regularly. I am not a fan of any virtual games (online/video games). And, competing with others is also not my way of getting inspiration to learn. Yet, I love to see my progress and achieve my vision.

duolingo dailygoal

Screenshot of my progress on daily goal

According to duolingo, I have reached level 9 of Spanish lessons and acquired 36% fluency in the language. Can’t wait to attain 50% by the end of 2015! I have set my daily goal as only 10XPs which can be earned with the completion of just one lesson or by strengthening once in an already learnt lesson. When I get more than a week of holidays, I planned to set my daily goal as 50 XPs. Although these past two months were my vacation, the real challenge is the upcoming months. I would like to stick with 10XPs everyday as it is attainable in few minutes, increases my streaks, thus, keeping me an everyday Spanish learner.

duolingo my profile

Screenshot of my profile in duolingo

5 out of 5 stars to Duolingo.com. Therefore, if you think you are someone who can only learn a language in its environment, then go and Duolingo! I would love you read your replies to this post if you have something or anything to say! Also, if you have any suggestions for websites similar to duolingo, I would love to try it out.

Muchas Gracias!

South of South

Posted: June 12, 2015 in Photo Posts
Tags: , ,

One year of the expected two years stay in Tirunelveli has ended. Following are some of the pictures that are taken on happy days.

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We, the teaching volunteers,  started our journey to Bandarban very early in the morning at 7:15 AM last Friday. This is my first time to Bandarban and I found it very similar to Rangamati. All the villages in Bangladesh are very green and people live with the nature.

We had hiking on Friday morning and visited some places to do some shopping. The next day we went to a waterfall area where two kids were actively posing for our cameras till we were around. Later that day, before going back to chittagong, we went to the golden temple of Bhuddha. It was such a peaceful place that I wish we have in Chittagong.

I have been taking Stanford’s Designing New Learning Environment online course from the beginning of this fall. It is a massively open online course provided by instructor Professor Paul Kim with the help of venture lab. Throughout the course we learned a lot of essential concepts that should be considered for developing a new learning environment. To say a few, we learned incorporating the relevant subject context, pedagogy, sustainable resources, etc. I am part of a team “School on Wheel for the 21st Century” where we identified issues in children education in Bangladesh and came up with our target group, relevant technology, and business and implementation model. As yesterday was our project submission, we made a short video summarizing our project goals and to highlight our main ideas.
I am so glad that my first open online course went smooth and productive.