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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Keeping up with an amazing brain

Every child comes with its own unique characteristics and built-in talent which shows up in various ways and takes a keen eye and patience to identify and nurture the seed into a thriving plant.
We could see the twinkle in Tanmay’s eyes as he marveled at the LED displays in Stockholm public transit showing the station names and various numerical displays. What we were thrilled to learn was that not only he was observing but rapidly learning also.

At the age where children are mastering their motor skills, this is what Tanmay was working on

Reading numbers

Tanmay is naturally curious and always ready to explore,  learn and discuss things. He is able to learn master topics within 1-2 attempts. True to his name (Tanmay) he becomes deeply involved, both physically & mentally in whatever he does.

At the mere age of 14 months, he was able to recognize and utter numerals 1-20 just by watching rhymes. Recognizing his curiosity, we provided him with charts of English alphabets, Hindi varnmala & numbers. In parallel, he picked up French, Spanish, arabic & tamil alphabets from relevant rhymes.

He is always eager to explore and expand his knowledge and understanding of the topics being taught at school with help of books from school library and other aids out of his interest.

To illustrate an example, we had provided him a World map puzzle to learn about the 7 continents, but he went beyond just that and ended up learning and able to recognize countries, their capitals & flags as well.

Hindi Varnmala read through


Writing his own name with Hindi block letters


Hindi Varnmala


Arabic Alphabets

French Alphabets

Geography sessions

Countries of the world

Countries of Asia

Countries of Europe

US states and capitals



Dwarf Planets




Multiplication / Division

Human Body

Longest word in the dictionary

Reciting Maha Mryutinjya Mantra

Hindi Reading

Gayatri Mantra

While there is so much to cherish and feel proud, it also brings in the sense of  consideration of how to channelize and continue him on his journey so that he doesn’t lose interest and expands his knowledge and vocabulary without feeling bogged down with the normal routine of school life which obviously he is well in the advanced stages.
What we did not do is to pursue an agenda of active learning but let him pick topics of his choice and aid him learning them.
Montessori schooling system so far has provided him the liberty of choosing his pace and activities to work and also to observe his elder classmates do activities which he is happy to accomplish, which he did after coming to home and working on them.
I often wonder when he lands in the day long school system with the defined set of classes, how his concentration and patience will hold on subjects which he is already aware of and has a tendency to play a teacher’s role by instructing his fellow students which comes very naturally to him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Wolf in the Sheep's clothing - Tribute to emergence of Arvind Kejriwal's species

It's been a good couple of years since India woke up to a promising movement which on the surface seemed to generate enough momentum to bring about "Aam Aadmi" scenario into the elitist Lutyen's zone and convinced enough educated middle & other classes of Indians to pitch in with their efforts - physical, emotional and monetary wise.

What it actually ended up was use & disposal of the face of "Jan lokpal movement" Anna Hazare who in typical feudal style was used as a stepping stone to launch careers of a new breed of politicians & a marginally promising new politicial party which hailed itself as the doyen of "Swaraj Wapsi".

Enter the IIT-K educated IRS officer Arvind Kejriwal from the shadows of Anna who honed his "Dharna" skills to such precision that out of his habit, he even ended up practicing it when he was looking like serving as Chief minister in his T20 style "49 day" government.

So brazen were some of the acts that politicians of yesteryear would have marveled at what IITs can produce when politics is the ambition of its alumni. In a short instant, transforming from a anti-corruption crusader to giant killing Cong rule in Delhi state elections, Kejriwal attained a feat few would have rivaled or even dreamt of.

But being a cat with nine lives, this was just start of the journey where the craze to use "shock value of unpredictable behaviour" overcame rational considerations and dilution of the office of Chief minister, that he attempted to self-immolate a decent start to throw cat among the pigeons.

Coming back after forcing the taxpayers money for a 2nd election within 90 days, it was a stunning victory, which for reasons still not very clear to me, resulting in even better showing in the election. It wiped out everything but 4-6 seats which was a consolation to the two national parties put to shame 2 times in a row.

What was assumed would change Delhi's fortune and brighten up the hopes that the various "scam kings" would finally face trials for their acts fizzled out faster than a soda bottle left in open.

Even faster were the numerous "U" turns which now Kejriwal has mastered which caught few of their founder members on the wrong side of the road left huffing & puffing and finally shown the door.

The tall promises made such as Free-WiFi, half-priced electricity, water, pollution drives, some of which might not materialize before their term officially expires have kept people wondering, whether things are in works or it is all "smoke" and no "fire".

What we have learnt with enough clarity & evidence is that Kejriwal has brought in a new era of showmanship unseen within the political circles, where "Is it true" re-tweets on unverified news & claims is his daily routine when he is not

  • reviewing movies & recommending them on twitter
  • finding tweets to show BJP & its members in bad light
  • claiming astounding achievements which fall apart when facts are analyzed
  • doing "U" turns on everything under sun given the direction of the wind
  • crying foul on media when his ego is trampled upon
  • & finally when anything which doesn't go according to plan anywhere in India, he creatively finds a way to question and frame the Centre Govt as the possible cause.

Astounding it may seem that a Chief minister who has nearly the whole assembly for his party would drive & devote time to construct his future in Delhi and latter embark upon to make a dent at the National level instead chose to duel in a visible and deplorable manner with numerous entities, it was very easy to see that after Anna Hazare, the Delhi citizens are being taken for a ride to fuel AK's quixotic ambition to attempt at eyeing the PM seat which has anything but deeply disappointed normal Indians who can see beyond the dramatics and the ever occurring blame games of AK vs. Centre / Modi / BJP.

My hopes of AK being different than the other "wolves" in the political circle were quickly laid to rest with his 1st tenure dramatics. However, he did affirm the "different" tag in his 2nd tenure where he has demonstrated what "different" can mean in scope of degradation of political discourse to a shocking new low, that if I were to call him the "Reality TV" version of Indian politics, the pioneers of reality television might sue me !!

But in the end, the aim is the same, maximum attention & diversion from "reality" serving as a nice irony to "Reality".

Indians have yet again, especially Delhities have been shown "Babaji ka Thullu" in a different style. What is interesting to be seen is how the Punjab elections play out along with the Goa elections where AAP has already claimed victory without any votes being polled.

If the "wolf in the sheep's clothing" is indeed well covered, Punjab & Goa falling prey to AK's antics would prove one thing for sure; that people are so sick of the traditional political players that they are desperate to gamble their future with someone who can't keep his house in order & gossips like the "Dehati Aurat" which excites and feeds the "Presstitutes" to keep their studios busy & noisy for TRPs and news creation. 

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