Archive for September, 2012

Know your Learning Style


There’s no end to gaining knowledge. Our entire life is a process of learning which we should nurture. We are all aware of this so I’m not writing anything new. But sometimes these words just come across as a cue in our otherwise busy lives, especially after we learn something new.

begin to realise how special you really are

begin to realise how special you really are

Of late, I have been fascinated with the idea of multiple intelligences. Thanks to the head mistress of my son’s school, who incorporated this concept as part of their learning curriculum.

When we were taking psychology lessons in college, multiple intelligences was just an emerging term. It would have been nice I told her, if such concepts were introduced in our time – I remember a few of my friends making wrong career choices because of parental or peer pressure. This is one thing I never regret. I think my career path is a well chosen one. Writing is what I’m comfortable with and it suits my pocket and my psyche.

Now, coming back to multiple intelligences…

We often see kids struggling with English lessons, but when it comes to playing an instrument, they rock. Some write well, but maths is not their cup of tea. Or maybe you are okay in maths, but when it comes to sports, you’re a runaway hit. Our brain functions differently and we don’t think and feel exactly the same way as someone else’.

Howard Gardner, a professor of psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education redefined the concept of intelligent after he founded the multiple intelligences theory. He brought about a radical change in the way the world looks at a person’s intelligence – through a single measure that is IQ .

Gardener believes IQ testing was not the only measure for intelligence and that intelligence should be measured in eight different ways.

Linguistic intelligence: If you’re good in language, reading writing and or speaking, you have linguistic intelligence.

Logical or mathematical intelligence: If you are good in math and have good reasoning skills, you excel in this intelligence.

These two were already found in the traditional theories of intelligence.

Spatial intelligence: If you’re good in visual imagery, film, pictures and you’re a visual learner, this is your intelligence. This is an intelligence that is becoming increasingly important in our visual age.

Bodily or Kinesthetic intelligence: If you excel in sports, you possess this intelligence. Don’t let anyone tell you that this is not a valid intelligence. Many people don’t have the intelligence you have.
Musical intelligence: If you’re good in music, you possess this intelligence. You usually do better in maths as well if you possess musical intelligence.

Interpersonal intelligence translates to “people smart”. You’re the life of the party, but more than that you have a way of organising and inspiring people. You’re a leader who brings people together and gets things done. The new age entrepreneurs are you hearing?

I know what I'm good at...

I know what I’m good at…

Intrapersonal intelligence: You know about yourself, how you work, what you do well, how you learn and you are able to maximise every opportunity because of it. People possessing this intelligence can accomplish a great deal because they understand their brain and make the most of their time.

Naturalist intelligence: You’re nature smart. You know how to interact with nature and get the most out of the environment while working in harmony with the environment.

So, now if you know at age five, your little daughter or son has musical talent, should you nurture that skill and spirit in the child.

It’s important to be aware of these intelligences so you can better understand how you learn. You’ll also begin to realise how special you really are. You can be confident in your strengths and work on your weaknesses when it comes to learning. You can explore more about MI to assess your learning style and enlighten me more on this.


Star Trek and Reminiscence of Doordarshan Days

Doordarshan Days

Doordarshan Days

My grandparents were one of the “early adopters” of Television. I was also born in that house and ever since my birth, I saw a big television set at home. Friendly neighbours – uncles, aunties, kids used to come in groups or single to watch the various TV programmes – whether it’s a cricket match, a movie, serials or even the hourly news. Seeing those people visiting home at all regular and even odd hours, I often had a “neighbors’ envy, owners’ pride” kind of attitude which thankfully went unnoticed though.

We didn’t have a TV in our new villa where we later shifted, something my mom often regretted. Then finally, dad got the first TV set when I was 8 year old in 1986. It was an Oscar TV – black and white. I often felt like an astronaut operating the buttons and switches and looked on with wonder as if through the digital medium I can see the world beyond my capacity.

Those were the days of Doordarshan. What I remember the most was DD news. There were no breaking news flashes, no news tickers and no unnecessary prolonged and repetitive conversations on the same issue like today, yet news reading was so powerful and engaging.  I used to look at the news readers with awe – to me they seemed to me the most amazing people on earth – Rini Khanna, Gitanjali Iyer, Nithi Ravindran, Tejeshwar Singh, Mini and Sunit Tandon, and so many… cant recall. Well, I should not miss out on names like Shammi Narang, Salma Sultan and Avinash Kaur Sareen as well. Their calm facial expressions and great vocabulary used to fascinate me.

There was a game I remember playing with mom. I’d quiz her on the names of the news readers while she was in the kitchen and let me tell you she was hardly ever wrong in guessing the names.

My next favourite on Doordarshan were the advertisements. Remember, the ads of Lalitaji’s Surf, bajaj bulb’s jab main chota ladka tha, badi sharat karta tha, Prestige-cooker –jo biwi se kare pyaar, who prestige se kaise kare inkaar, chal meri luna, Rasna ads, la laralala liril ads, Fevicol ka mazboot zor, Gold spot – the zing thing….and many many more. (For more moments of nostalgia, you can check this one out:

Of course, commercials of today, to a large extent – except for the dim-witted fairness ads and et al – have kept pace with the current trends and are creative.

As children, we would wait for Sundays to tune in to our favourite animation series beginning with Mickey & Donald, Tom & Jerry, Mowgli and Spiderman. I remember watching The Famous Five on DD though the enjoyed reading them more. Star Trek was one big wonder that gave me the opportunity to explore a fantastic universe teeming with exotic life – my love for aliens began with them!

The other programmes that leave behind a sea of nostalgicmemories are Chitrahaar and Rangoli – I feel even to this day no other music programme (forget the reality shows that are horrendous) have stolen that limelight. No prizes for guessing the most popular National Integration song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara and before I realised, both the men, already stole my heart – Shiddharth Basu with his intelligent  Quiz Show and Pronoy Roy showing us bits and pieces of happenings from across the world in The World this Week. A Mouthful Of Sky still remain a landmark – my first virtual encounter with model cum actor Milind Soman began with this serial – such memorable days still brings back a smile!

I was never too fond of the regular TV serials which were a part and parcel of most households, but I cannot forget the rib-tickling comedies like Yeh jo hai Zindagi starring Satish Shah and Swaroop Sampat, Wagle ki duniya or Jaspal Bhatti’s Ulta-pulta. Yes, seeing the elderly members enjoying Buniyaad, Malgudi Days, Kachchi Dhoop, Byomkesh Bakshi and many more, I also sat through and grasped whatever I could.

And then there was Mahabharat – that was the show stealer.

They made us live, laugh, cry, applaud, sympathise with all those characters who were surreal yet so life-like for us. I’ve still not come in terms with the satellite TV soap operas as they call it, marked by the never-ending, messy plots, where vamps spotting a scary bindi with matchy jewellery and outfit and the camera focusing onto the faces of 20-odd members of a typical household to capture their reaction after every dialogue is being uttered.

Oh well, and not to forget ‘Rukaawat ke liye khed hai’ – the crazy one liner that flashed time and again on screen. All said and done, Doordarshan also showed us if you do not change with time, you become antique – only to be appreciated in a museum. But even then, that does not take away its past glory.

And just like the spirited logo of Doordarshan that marks the start and end of good times, I need to say goodbye to all my readers, but stay tuned as I’ll be back with my next post…soon!

The Lady of Shalott and the song of freedom

The song of freedom

The song of freedom

Those of you who have read the poem know that it narrates the tale of a woman with a mysterious curse. She lives in a tower and weaves images on her loom without looking outside the window ever. Instead, she looks into a mirror from where she sees the reflections of the busy road and the people of Camelot which pass by her island.

At first she delights in her weaving, but as she begins to see life unfolding in front of her she starts to become discontent. Then comes a day when she sees the image of Sir Lancelot in a field below and falls in love. To take a glimpse of him, she looks out the window and casts her eyes on him. When she does that her mirror cracks and she knows that the curse has come upon her.

Instead of waiting for her fate to befall her, she rushes from the tower and finds a boat. She allows herself to float down to Camelot – just that moment she experienced true freedom. By the time she reaches Camelot and Lancelot finds her boat, she has died. “But Lancelot mused a little space; He said, “She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott”.

As I was reading the poem today, I had a different thought. I thought may be there’s a bit of lady of Shalott in me. This is not to dramatize but I felt many of us are like the lady of Shalott in some way or the other. Being trapped in a tower of our own making, we often refuse to connect to the real world and tend to become content that way.

We wait for that one or two moments to come in our lives when everything would change. It is then that we are no longer content to stay in the tower and watch the world pass by.

That moment comes in most of our lives when we stop existing and come alive – open to the world and feel the freedom – it can be a person or an occurrence or just anything that can make us feel this way . The Lady of Shalott didn’t have a happy ending in the traditional sense, but for me, her ride on the river, surrounded by the real world, was preferable to the one  she spent  inside the tower – in solitude. It gave her the eternal freedom. Sometimes it’s fair to take a chance and embark on a journey!  Adios!



Solitude is like a silent ghost – I can feel its presence, but have never seen it! It walks up to me slowly and envelops my whole body… and before I could succumb to the fear, it embraces my soul.

light tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

I feel I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but darkness clouds over the dimming light before I reach it … And then it turns into total blackness.

Again I’m lost in the depth of my thought. It’s become a way of life now. May be I had never seen light. Those were mere delusions – at least that gives you the comfort.

Solitude makes me feel how animated my surroundings are – they are all like speedy cars on a highway. They just dash through the busy road – one by one, to their own destination; the speedier, the better.

Life doesn’t stop. It’s the art of survival that we’ve learnt.
I too sit alone in the confinements of my life and consider my next move. Solitude thy name!