Again, a Sunday and a Sunday post.
After taking on this travelling life, Sundays are travel days for me. Sundays often mean a late morning flight out of Gatwick, with the goal to reach somewhere by Monday morning. Often, my mind is closed on Sunday morning, in anticipation of the sleepless night that would follow. And, indeed, there are other Sundays to play the same chore in reverse, to get into Gatwick early morning and then spending rest of the day catching up on all the sleep missed during the two week sojourns and indeed, the red-eye!
This is one rare Sunday without any of that, and that makes me so protective of it. This is my time to think and read, I would like to believe, though the usual life soon catches on - it usually reaches its full crescendo around mid-Morning, usually with the clarion call of Milk (or something else, most inevitably) running out. So, I stop my indulgent reverie and return to Planet Earth, usually manifested as a Shop Aisle, at around 10am! But, the moments before that, rare, private, indulgent, are still time to dream, spaces without anxiety, pure moments of being me. This post is one that I write with such a mood.
At a time like this, I enjoy the sense of authorship, not of this blog, but life itself. Nothing that I do was written, as the expression goes, and almost everything was willed. I guard against being too self-indulgent or arrogant (so even when I see myself to be the author of my script, the acknowledgements come obviously) but it is still the ability to will my life that causes the desire to shape my future. So, at this somewhat empty moment, when I feel the lightness of being, I imagine the future in my own terms.
In more than one sense, such will comes from failure. I have tried and failed many times, though I see the trying part of it more prominently than failing part of it. Right now, my life is somewhat a mess, at least if I succumb to bourgeois measures to money and mortgage to measure my life. As I was relating to a friend, all my adolescent dreams of being a shipwreck like Robinson Crusoe (and, the other role model, of Bohemian artist living in Paris) have indeed come to be true. But, then, failing and being a failure are two different things, and I, in this moment of playing creator, treat those failures as deliberate brush-strokes, even if dark, on the canvass I am painting. And, these hopes and dreams, which is perhaps the point of this very post, are the lighter edges of such darkness, which may either transition, as the canvass progresses, into bright lights or be subsumed into darker shades. But I remain the creator after all, at least in these brief Sunday moments.
So, returning to practical talk, I see this very moment in life as transitional. You can be dismissive about this and say I always do, every moment of my life, as I treat life as a collection of moments, and living as a journey (I remain a traveller, therefore), lived with no fixed purpose but only with Nietzsche's maxim that it must be worth repeating an endless number of time. Given that, each moment of life is best seen as a transition, laden with endless number of possibilities, rather than a predestined transition from one state to another. In fact, the idea that I am the one to will my life is intrinsic to both life being a transition and it being worth living, because, then, instead of being prescribed in advance, it is a continual progress of imagining and scripting on the go.
With that mood, then, content to be discontent, in the permanent state of non-permanence, with the only purpose of possibility, I will my next life, to be as different from what it is now. My next life, as I see it, will be of living where I am (so I postpone my plans to return to Asia at least for a few years) and pursuing a more creative life than I live now. This means taking up my writing more seriously - have I not done the selfsame apprenticeship for a decade now on this blog - and I am onto my first project right now. [My work is on the work of creation, as I reported intermittently here, and to study the lives of great creators. I have just finished reading the life of Einstein, and about to return to Freud's, and a general study of Enlightenment.] Indeed, all this means what I do for a day job, and my intent is to move to creative work rather than operational management work, as my current occupation could be described as.
So, a more strategic, creative role based in the UK that I am looking out for right now. This could indeed happen within my current engagement, either in the education company I work for, or the redefined education business that I set up and which may now get taken over. And, indeed, this could happen outside of either of those, something that I would seek out, perhaps after I have delivered on my current commitments, by October of this year. But this is one of those moments of defining and expressing intent, to affect a pivot in my life. This is another of those moments, uncertain, probably the start of another failure, but, surely, one of excitement, possibility and of will.
Popular posts from this blog
A friend has recently forwarded me a quote from Lord Macaulay's speech in the British Parliament on 2nd February 1835. I reproduce the quote below: "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation." The email requested me to forward me to every indian I know. I was tempted, but there were two oddities about this quote. First, the language, which
Introduction : The Business of Gift Giving Business gift giving has always been common and contentious at the same time. Business gifts are usually seen as an ‘advertising, sales promotion and marketing communication medium’ (Cooper et al , 1991). Arunthanes et al (1994) points out that such gifting is practised usually for three reasons: (a) in appreciation for past client relationships, placing a new order, referrals to other clients, etc.; (b) in the hopes of creating a positive, first impression which might help to establish an initial business relationship; and (c) giving may be perceived as a quid Pro quo (i.e. returning a favour or expecting a favour in return for something). The practitioners of gift-giving generally argue that doing business is often an aggregation of personal interactions and relationships, and gift-giving should be seen as a natural way of maintaining and enhancing these relationships. ‘Business gifts, especially one given in the course of the festive s
There is no other city like Kolkata for me: It is Home. The only city where I don't have to find a reason to go to, or to love. It is one city hardwired into my identity, and despite being away for a decade, that refuses to go away. People stay away from their homeland for a variety of reasons. But, as I have come to feel, no one can be completely happy to be away. One may find fame or fortune, love and learning, in another land, but they always live an incomplete life. They bring home broken bits of their homeland into their awkward daily existence, a cushion somewhere, a broken conversation in mother tongue some other time, always rediscovering the land they left behind for that brief moment of wanting to be themselves. The cruelest punishment, therefore, for a man who lives abroad is when his love for his land is denied. It is indeed often denied, because the pursuit of work, knowledge or love seemed to have gotten priority over the attraction of the land. This is particularly
Today, Helen Goddard, 26, a highly popular music teacher of a City School for Girls, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Her crime was to carry out a year long lesbian affair with one of her pupils, who appeared in the court and admitted that the affair was consensual and it was she who pressured Helen into the affair. For Helen, a bright musician and a devout Chistian, this is an extraordinary lapse of judgement. Also, she was teaching in the £13,000 private girls only school in London. She was surely aware what the consequences of her action will be. The fact that she still could not stop herself tells us that lovers do not always act rationally, something we always knew. There is more in this affair than personal tragedies. For a start, this has all the dramatic elements: a bright, beautiful teacher more in Julia Roberts mould [as in Mona Lisa Smile], a stiff upper lip school [not unlike Wellesley] and a story like Notes On A Scandal with an added twist. Indeed, Helen
Buzzwords have disadvantages. Right now, experiential learning is one, and that means we put the label on everything and it stops to mean anything. Also, this means reasonable conversation about experiential learning becomes difficult - at times such as this, either you preach experiential learning or you are traditional, antiquarian and hopelessly out of touch. But, overlooking the limitations of experiential learning can cause big problems. Experiential Learning does many things - putting practice at the heart of learning is an important paradigm shift - but not everything, and it is important to be aware what it does not do. Usually, we equate the terms Project-based Learning (the method) with Experiential Learning (the idea) and Learning from Experience (the ideal), treating them as one and the same and using the terms interchangeably. Any talk about distinctive meaning of these terms is usually seen as pedantic, but really represent very different ideas about education.
In most societies today, making profits are accepted as moral, if not especially praiseworthy. This was not as obvious as it appears today – people used to be embarrassed about making a profit not so long ago. Crazy as it seems today, it is worth thinking why it was so. Profits, as economists will put it, is the reward for risk-taking, for putting a business enterprise together in the pursuit of an objective. In this definition, remember, profits are not what it is commonly understood to be – the gross middle-line towards the bottom – but a figure net of entrepreneur’s earning [wages for his labour], dividends and interests on borrowed capital, and provisions for building and other physical assets [a sort of rent, offsetting what these assets could have earned if leased out]. This pure profit – surplus – accrues to a business as a reward to its organisation, for the act of entrepreneurship itself. Economists were divided on how this surplus comes about. The conventional wisdom was,
India's employment data is sobering ( see here ). The pandemic has wrecked havoc and the structural problems of the economy - service sector dependence, uneven regional development and health and education challenges - are more evident than ever. Something needs to happen, and fast. To its credit, the government acknowledges the education challenge. Belatedly - it took more than 30 years - India has come up with a new National Education Policy. It is a comprehensive policy, which covers the whole spectrum of education and perhaps overcompensates the previous neglect by advocating radical change. As I commented elsewhere on this blog, it shows a curious mixture of aspirations, cultural revival and global competitiveness put under the same hood. However, despite its radical aspirations, the policy document often betrays same-old thinking. One of these is India's approach to foreign universities. The NEP makes the case for allowing foreign universities to set up operations in Ind
Introduction: Hastings in the history of Indian Education Whether or not one includes Warren Hastings in the history of Education in India is a matter of perspective. If writing the history of education means writing the history of schools, the impact of Hastings' administration would be quite limited. If anything, the rapid implosion of local rulers in Eastern, Southern and Northern India during Hastings' tenure had meant a bleak period for the indigenous education system, as patronage and funds would have dwindled away for many of them. The Company administration really concerned itself with the schooling of the natives only after 1813, as Nurullah and Naik rightly pointed out ( see my earlier post ) and one can legitimately start the story at this point. However, if history of Education in India is to encompass the transformation of Indian Scholarship, on which foundation the new, colonial, system of Education would be built, the story must start with Warren Hast
It's not often that I get to do things I like, but, as it happens, the lockdown came with a little gift. I was asked to develop, by an Indian entrepreneur with a strong commitment to education, a framework for a Liberal Education for one of his schools. And, as a part of this exercise, I was asked to develop a critique of Indian Education, if only to set the context of the proposal I am to make. I claim to have some unusual - therefore unique - qualification to do this job. I am, after all, an outsider in all senses. I have lived outside India for a long time, but never went too far away, making it my field of work for most of the period. I have also been outside the academe but never too far away: Just outside the bureaucracy but intimately into the conversations. I worked in the 'disruptive' end of education without the intention to disrupt and in For-profit without the desire for profit. Along the way, the only thing I consistently did is study educatio
Nations are ideas. We try to fashion them as territories. But how can a river, a mountain ridge or sometimes an imaginary line in the middle of a field can explain the wide division in the lives, thoughts and futures of the people who live on different sides? Nations are not the people too. Indeed, people build nations and become its body. But the soul of the nation is an idea: People come together on an idea to build a nation. While that's what a modern nation is - an idea - and that way exceptionalism is not an American exception, very few nations are as completely defined by an idea as Pakistan. There was hardly any political, geographic or military rationale of Pakistan other than the idea of an Islamic homeland in South Asia. [In that way, the ideological brother of Pakistan in the family of nations is Israel] This, abated by the short term political calculations of some backroom colonialists, created a modern state which must be solely sustained on that singular idea. Reli
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.