Producing world’s best average

Jee Advance results were announced today. We have children in our house who gave the exam and everybody in the house is so so concentrated on the results.

Just had the most grounding discussion with my brother who describes the Indian Education system in its absolute honesty- producing the world’s best averages.

Consider the following scenarios: Person A has a knack for programming and can sit with compiler errors for hours. However, she doesn’t understand much of chemistry. Person B doesn’t have any specific inclination towards computers or programming but he is good at physics, chemistry and maths. In India, both these people will naturally give the exams for Indian Institute of Technology, which is JEE Mains and JEE Advance.

Now see what this exam system does: It judges you on how quickly and accurately you solve questions of PCM. An error of 2 question would make you loose ~8 marks and push your All India Rank back by ~2000. Now, person A, who has the talent for computers studies Mechanical and person B, who scores well studies Computer science without knowing whether they even like it or not. So, person A averages in mechanical due to lack of interest and person B averages in computers due to lack of having a knack- required for excellence.

So, the Indian education system has successfully managed in producing 2 great averages- incapable of ever being a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Zuckerburg! You would say that the silicon valley is full of Indian engineers- if we are so average, why are they recruiting us? My question is, if IIT produces crème de la crème, why does every one of them starts working in a company? Why are there no 100 Google or Microsoft from India? Heck, there is hardly even one.

Stifling creativity. Doing what the rule book tells us. As soon as a child enters the Indian education system, every path is set in stone. You choose without knowing. You learn, without applying. You come out- mostly without a job. Because, what you are taught is not what the industry needs. It doesn’t need you to solve complex math equations. There are apps for that. What it needs you to do is to Think of the Idea of developing such an app. This is what education must do. Supplement you in achieving what you have a skill for. And not choose for you the career you should now develop skills for. Why? Because you messed up 2 questions in a exam that accesses everything but your intellect for the field of study you want.

This system, is not about supplementing you. On the opposite, its about stealing opportunities. You, ideally (and like in almost every other country), study what you want or first understand what you want to study or develop an interest in something and then dedicate yourself in becoming an expert. Steve Jobs, took a class of calligraphy at Reed’s University- and gave us these beautiful font styles we now read and type in. How? Because he could. He could sit in a class and see if what its about. Did he need to pass an entrance in calligraphy, enroll in a diploma, pay fees and then study the class- No. Because that’s what Steve Sharma would have had to do.

Our constitution was made for the ideal society it wanted India to be. It wanted to set a ideal goal even when our society was in utter shambles. It strives for the country to reach the goals of the Directive principles and keeps evolving with the times. It looked towards the future.

Not our Education policy. It borrowed a stone from the Jurassic and inked the future of every citizen in this country. A country that produces the best averages in the world when the world (& we) ask for more.

Inheritance

This will be a “write as you experience” post- so this is just the start of it and it will keep updating

Our entire self is inherited from genes of our parents. The X & Y and centuries of information stored in the DNA. So, in terms of biology, most of our self is pre-defined.

what I want to talk about here is the behavorial traits that we first notice and then (probably) inherit.

The First inheritance:

both my parents are care-givers in their families. Of all the siblings/relatives/children- they are the ones who take care. Of their parents, of stuff that goes on. The others are pretty much non existent (or in some cases, selfish). Today was a emotional day for my grandparents and i realised old-age is lonely. You loose your strength and family. This year has really broken the structures close to me into bits of pieces for me to understand them.

i earlier used to feel that people who write about famliy are quite inward looking. Isn’t there like a million things in the world to write about? But I’m beginning to realise that the more honest you get with yourself, the bigger the role of the family gets (it seems) Its that core cirlce with people you didn’t choose but still know- more than your friends or lovers. How they impact you is deeper than we want to admit.

so, on the topic of inheritance, its the care-giving that i inherit (one of many) from my parents.

see you next time (hopefully, with more organised thoughts and layout)

Drunk writing

Hello to my only morning post, I guess. First things first, prelims got postponed by 4 months and I am sad/happy about it. The reasons are not important.

Now, recently a very kind person asked me about well-being cause sometimes my posts get too intense. I do agree. Post that feedback, I had to skim through this website and make multiple posts private. Well, when I write here, I write with all honesty. I may not be the most poetic of people nor am I a great writer. What this blog does for me is help me vent my emotions out. I open it only when I am feeling too much and well, don’t want to. Haha! “Why is this generation always running from emotions?”

I went back to read my bio, which is shady as shit- but accurate. There is no middle ground to writing. Not for me. I guess, for a lot of other people too. When you pen down something, it has meaning for you. And, life is most clear in these tiny moments of epiphany. The triggers which hit hard and the brain starts quantum computing the hell out of your life choices. The upside of blurting it out is that the heavy thoughts don’t stay in.

When Hemmingway said- “write drunk, edit sober”, maybe he wasn’t referring to alcohol after all. Cause, the corona cess in delhi is much and the effort of sanitizing oneself post outside-the-door adventure, too much.

Bye!

Pandemic self-quarantine

#1

Amongst all the personal worries ranging from food to health to brother living in a distant city (and his well-being), a constant thought that keeps circling back in my mind is how are people with lesser money coping? I see my aunty everyday and the worry in her eyes that should things reach a lock-down, what will she do? Her husband is a drunk, her children are still young. We discuss almost everyday about how things are progressing (read: degrading).  When you watch people around you stacking rice, wheat, sugar, oil by the kilos and you just don’t have that money. All the meager savings you have are in the bank, which might soon close. You can’t go to the bank because you cannot afford to miss a day’s work. I have studied informality of work for 2 years. But, the precariousness of it, gets to me every single time. How many homeless people are struggling because they can’t even beg now. Menial work is being suspended and shops are closing. This is an account of the state of things outside and probably a slight reflection of the mental state of someone stuck in this pandemic.

(Sorry, can’t sing to you to give you “hope”)

Women and what they shouldn’t do.

(thought trail)

There are times when you think that you can be everything you wish to be. I wonder for how many women has this been true. Being whatever they wish to be. With or without the thousand unsaid battles that are fought in between. We have rights and yet we somehow are always doing what we are told, unable to really choose what we want. Sometimes its our neighbor or mother or uncle or father or grandparent or sibling or even a random stranger. Whether we are walking, sitting, talking, standing, running, shouting. Constantly reminding us that we are women and what we shouldn’t do. Or rather, what we should do “instead”. Just anything other than what we chose. What I chose.

Some men I know, brush the existence of this. But a few of them are actually so surprised, they can’t come to terms with such a thing happening to anyone. How can someone else, out of the blue, tell you that the way you are (or were) sitting was inappropriate. Its strange. For them to think this happens and for me to watch them baffled. Ignorance, privilege or some other term which we are using to define this. Every woman knows how it feels. Every single one of them. What a world to live in.

 

Towards the final prelims

March, 2020 (1st)

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Entering the 3rd month of the year and speedingly heading towards prelims. Anxieties are high, which were discussed with a dear friend at midnight. Consequently, visited (imaginary) lbsnaa in dreams. Woke up happy. Orientation was fun, the rank- not so great. Finishing left parts of static this month. Yeah, not ideal but not bad as well. So, there is hope.

 

APRIL 2020

I think people kinda enjoy the quarantine life. It has become slower, the first time in many years for a lot of people. Every morning, the chirping is actually loud. That’s how accustomed we are getting to the silence. Voices that were never even heard are sounding loud.

50 days to prelims. Reading Polity and remember quite a lot of things. Its such a great boost. That, you havent forgotten it all and mulled the entire effort you did the first time. The PYQs were good. There were MANY ‘F’s ‘, which stand for questions I fucked up. Meaning, i knew/deduced the answer and then somehow in that process/fatigue/stupidity eventually marked it wrong.

I remember that I have missed marking a question last year and my heart just sank so so deep in that 3 hour break. It wasn’t a make-or-break question or even attempt. Very far from the cutoff but it could be a life-changing mistake this time and I won’t do it. I WON’t.

Rest is going, mocks after polity in 3 days. Its going quite fast which is the end goal.

See you

 

Dancing on the rooftops

Aren’t romantics the most hopeful people in the world? They still believe that someone, somewhere in the world would dedicate themselves to another and that it would last! I sure am a skeptic. What more do you expect from a person after a heartbreak?

The building right across the road has been a thing of curiosity for me since sometime now. Today, I just strolled to my balcony and saw one of the most picture perfect moment of someone else’s life. It is 1:30 am right now so pretty dark outside. I could see shadows of 2 people on the rooftop and they were actively moving. Firstly I thought it might be the boys with their usual. But the very next second I realized, it was actually a girl and a boy and guess what? They were dancing! That romantic movies kinda dance. Shit man! They danced for like a minute and then ran down the stairs. I thought I was watching some movie. Damn!

Before this, I never believed such things happened in real life. But I feel so happy that I got a glimpse. I am so happy for them. Such stolen moments are really  the ones which stay in people’s memory. I am sure the couple across my street would cherish it too!

(Note: For a couple of seconds after guessing that there is a girl there (and before realizing that they were dancing) I stared hard because I feared something non-consensual was happening. Yep, those seconds were shit scary.)

ART

Hmm.

You read it right. Art. If you think that all I’m going to write about is UPSC (aimed at the one visitor on my wordpress page today, in years), you made a mistake revisiting me.

When people say that some pieces of art are difficult to understand, I want to tell you that -that piece wasn’t meant for you. But you’ll find one. That one canvas or picture that will make you stop. Uneasily at first (hello! You aren’t really the biggest fan of the medium). Maybe you stroll/browse past it. But you will find yourself coming back to it. Staring at it. Wondering what is causing that sudden, unexpected chill to rise from your gut. Its possible to not find an explanation. Happens to the best of us. But, my dear friend, that’s when art has found you. After that moment, you’ll understand why a blank canvas can make someone cry. (Its an extreme example, but kindly bear with me). There are memories, pictures, dreams. Some we know about, some are buried. And there are certain things that push them into our conscious. That one piece of art, someplace, sometime does this to us. It makes us nostalgic and wanting.

I remember i used to draw these random thingies on sheets all though my childhood. I used to show them to my elder sister (who was conveniently my best friend too) and I remember her telling me that they must mean something. Or they will. I am not sure I understand that, even today. Or my scribbling, on that matter. They are long lost now. After storing them for a couple of years, they were thrown out in the yearly end-of-school cleanup. I miss making art. The downside of just studying is that you kind of stop making your own things. They wouldn’t be even anyone’s closet-worthy, but its that sense of calm when you draw your abstracts. There is a topper this year who made his notes with the most cleverly worded headers (AIR 51). Its good to see that all isn’t crushed in the pursuit of a single goal. You can tweak your way and find time for the things that are second in line. From this I remember that I need to register for a 5k. I have chosen my outlet and that has to be running. I guess painting has to be satisfied with the bronze medal in my wonderful life (pun intended).

Until next time.

(Artwork from the internet. Not one of those emotion invoking ones. I like the green-orange)

NOTE 1: The picture actually as more meaning than its carrot appearance. See! That’s what art does. Makes you add notes to your anonymous blog because it gave you feels during a re-read.

The Green Bug on my ledge

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Winters in Delhi can be brutal. Living here since the past 7 years, I can assure you that Delhi can surely throw a roller coaster in terms of weather. Last year, the cold was laughable. This year, I can’t even lift my finger to wipe my nose since conveniently they have swelled like sausages. I guess this city is giving me a fuck you for laughing at it the last time.

Anyways, New year came with one gift- the sun. And all the frozen janta was seen basking alongside a long line of clothes which haven’t dried since December. A hearty portion of that blanket cast a gloomy shadow on my balcony. But, I am a patient neighbor and decided to ‘only’ glare at the nonchalant aunty.

So, here I am, in my light blue Sarojini sweater and accidentally matching blue pants- placing my chair carefully at the edge of the balcony to catch the receding sun since I slept through half the morning. The Hindu is a staple and so is the constant line of ants that honestly are the actual residents of this building. Like its said, we are just passing by. But the ants, they are here to stay. While my mind is settling in and kind of enjoying how the sun rays reflect on my brown skin making it shine, the balcony has a new visitor. This green bug, on the very edge, its coat glowing. Let me tell you, I am no Steve McCurry but I click a decent enough picture. And then right there, I launched that bug’s career onto my instagram and (now) wordpress. Aren’t samsung phones handy!

For about an hour, I kept squishing slowly, till the very end of the balcony until there was no more sun to catch. Jealous of the people living in front of my house and cursing the residents on the roof, I dragged my not-so-warm ass (and chair) inside. As I wrapped my self in the triple-blanket fortress (inside which I am still cocooned), I wished for this winter to get over so that I can get my locomotion back.

Until next time!

End of a decade (1/2)

There are days when I feel that I have a story to tell. The trigger could be anything. A Berlin art-parasite post or maybe its hewhowanders. Today, it is a beautiful sunshine on a hilltop telling me that life is in the moments. It’s the smallest joke, the smallest gesture of kindness that makes this life worth. I am in that phase of my life where the crossroads are murky and I am scared to place my foot forward on any. So I am standing. Right there. Thinking.

There are other days, different from the ones above, when I firmly believe that no one would ever want to read to what I have to say. Why would you take my free advices when I haven’t been able to sail even my own boat to the shore. Way to go on feeling stupid as shit.

When my brother told me that the decade is ending, my first response was of total disbelief. “It would end next year! In 2020” Later I realized that it’s the change of digits which indicates the ending. This realization came with its baggage (ofcourse).

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