Are we proud of Education in India?

Below are the excerpts from old newspapers.

KANPUR: A 23-year-old Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) student, Shailesh Sharma, on Wednesday committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room. A resident of Pande Mohal, Nariya in Varanasi, the deceased was a final year student of dual degree programme at the chemical engineering department. IIT-K officials claimed that the student might have taken the extreme step under depression after coming to know that he had failed in two courses —advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics.

LUCKNOW: Pankaj Kumar, 23, a student of Bachelor of Technology (electrical) in Babu Benarasi Das College in Chinhat, committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his rented room in Chinhat area on Monday. He belongs to Etah district. An elaborate suicide note was found in the room. According to the suicide note, he had done badly in his first semester exams.

NEW DELHI: A college-girl in west Delhi Thursday committed suicide a day before her English exam, police here said. Heena Singh, 20, who hanged herself in her Uttam Nagar home, was a second year BA (Bachelor of Arts degree) student at the Delhi University’s School of Correspondence Studies, the police said.

BANGALORE: At 85 per cent, Nandita Nandkishore is among the rank students of the CBSE Class XII batch of 2005-2006 of National Public School, Indiranagar. The results were declared on Tuesday, but it was too late for the 18-year-old. It may be little solace to the grieving family of the “meritorious and ever-smiling” Nandita — as the associate principal of NPS, Shantha Chandran would like to remember her — that their eldest daughter scored a high percentage in her board exams.

Do you notice a pattern here? You do? What is it? Death? Of course. But what else do you notice? Look harder. You will have to do better than this. I request you to please look harder. You will have to look beyond this article, beyond these headlines and into the lives of hundreds of such stories in our country that happen at the same time every year to be really able to see the pattern that is stitched into this disturbing fabric.

You will have to go beyond the news to comprehend the mindset of these individuals. Young men and women destined to bring glory and unsurpassable intellectual fortune to our nation. Bright minds with strengths untapped and options unexplored. Buds that never really got a chance to blossom since they were busy nipping themselves off. They now remain as mere names in a forgotten headline with other peers who took that path. Bodies dangling from a ceiling fan somewhere or a carcass that resurfaced from a grim lake outside the city.

India, to the world, is a fascinating place. A place where snake charmers roam free and temples protrude out of thick woods majestically. A country where ‘everything is on sale’ and everyone is a genius. A gentle reminder of the fact that magic and logic reside in the same bosom like two faces of the same coin. This was not supposed to be India’s future. Not based on the predictions the super powers had made about a decade ago anyway.

With religion being India’s curse and poverty being its only visible shadow who could have possibly imagined that this starving nation of a billion would leapfrog into a future that the world was not prepared for! Not a soul could have appropriately prophecied the strong manpower and stronger willpower India has now become synonymous for.

American television is having a field day with the endless speculations of when is it that India will emerge as a super power. The international market is showcasing us as the powerful underbelly of the knowledge pool that floods the subcontinent.

Special television programs and economic forums are going blue in the face debating how India’s fortunes have changed overnight. The Indian movie industry is getting a lion’s share of all this attention and is raking in big moolah while the technology sector is said to be at its all time high. Ah! What a time to be alive, is it not?

Or is it? The people mentioned above in the headlines certainly did not seem to think so. For had they been even remotely enthused by the apparent publicity India is getting in all fields across the world they would not have taken the extreme step that they did.

On an average India loses at least two dozen bright and potentially priceless minds every single time an examination result is announced. Be it Kanpur, Mumbai, Bangalore or Chennai. Some young adult somewhere has decided to call it quits.

When I used to read patriotic tales of our beloved freedom fighters who were not more than 21 when they took to the gallows with a proud smile on their face and an enviable shine in their eyes I always wondered what invisible force drove these seemingly regular people to find bliss in death. Today when I read the same aged young men and women end a precious life for something as trivial sounding as an examination I cannot help but start getting a better picture as to where India really stands.

There are many factors that drive a person to do such an unthinkable act. Strict parents who condition their children from Kindergarten that succeeding is everything. Failure is not an option. That component of fear is what grows into a monster within them, eating away at their soul bit by bit and eventually enveloping them and gobbling them in one giant gulp.

The kind of parents who have time tables of study for their children when they are in elementary school. The kind of parents who are so insensitive to the innocent mind that in the process of making a better adult they manage to successfully kill the child. The kind of parents who make the child feel worthless if he/she were to get, what according to them, is a ‘bad performance’.

The second obvious factor is our beloved education system. A cruel and heartless soul laundry of a factory that heaps loads of work for the young minds without leaving them any other option except to memorize the most mundane details about some meaningless piece of information. The monster-manufacturing unit that works 24/7 day and night tirelessly dishing out new assignments and new ways to torture the developmental process. With time this process has only become more meaningless and more abundant.

While these seemed like internally manufactured electric chairs the third factor is the world outside. The global community that is expecting India to keep pushing the envelope in this insane race towards an unknown goal. Is the need to succeed so important that it is becoming unbearable by the child and the hands that rock their cradle?

The competition in the current market in almost every field is so ridiculously Herculean that there is no way to even start to comprehend its solution, as it were. With changing lanes and growing pains this factor is only becoming worse each day. You are either in or you are out. No other choices offered.

The only question I have for all these factors is – Are we training these individuals to live or to die?

What use is this ‘cutting edge’ concept making in India if it turns out to be an evil which is cutting the throats of our future? What is the point of such a meaningless rat race if it is going to end up becoming one vicious never ending cycle of distress and suffering? What is it that eventually matters? And who decides that?

The aim of this article is not to offer solutions since the solutions are not out there. They are within us. Each one of us who is a cog in this systematic eradication methodology behind applied by the education and economic system in our country. Solutions that need to start at the grass root levels of our up bringing and social platforms. Solutions that will hopefully lessen the burden on the child who now takes a bag-on-wheels to school like an international tourist in an airport. Solutions that help the future understand that succeeding is not everything.

A solution that hopefully teaches a child to follow its own heart and not that of a looming shadow. Could this scene be more tragic? Is there a way out?

I leave you with these questions to ponder on. Meanwhile we lost a few more Einsteins, a couple of more Kalpana Chawlas and one Sachin Tendulkar this year. All hail this successfully implemented educational euthanasia

Adieu to KG, Kunal and Haricharan!

Long time since I actually blogged my feelings.. down from my heart.. Lots of things have happend in the past couple of weeks, both good and worst. But this is something that has affected me to the core. Yup! Losing my very good friends. And guess atleast once in a lifetime some of u out there must have undergone it but losing 3 ppl at the same time over a trivial issue is devastating. U may think I am being supersitious or something but what I feel is that I should not have even written a blog entry on my fight and patch up with my (ex)friend KG.  I was happy to blog on it ‘cos I had that nearly losing my friend feeling and I did not want to lose him in the future and how much his friendship meant to me. But, the worst thing unimaginable happend. 😦

It was in September 2006 that Me and Vivek went to MNM Engineering college culturals. We had a friend SR, studying there. Thats when we met Ashwin, Kunal and Haricharan and in no time we were fast friends sharing all emotions, going to movies, coffee days, hanging out at someones place and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S and of course group studying for our semester exams and calculating the marks post exams. We attended the same GRE classes and had fun. We helped each other with applying to the universities and what not? I dedicate this post to Ashwin KG, Kunal and Hari…

 Dear guys,

Sometimes deep in the corner of my heart, I ve always felt that I had some difference of treatment from you. I did not know if it was just my perception or it was for real. ‘Cos whenever I used to call uto my home, you would never come stating the fact that its far. Well… How many times have i come to ur place irrespective of the sun,rain and wind just to spend time with u… to be in ur company.. have some memorable time.. How was i to know that everything was to go down a drain.. I may have this inferiority complex that am not from a well to do family as each of u.. but i assumed friendship is more of love and emotions and “being there when u need” than some stupid money or a prank played on u…

When I lie down on my bed and see all those flourescent stars stuck on to my bedroom ceiling, I am reminded only if the times that we all spent at SRs home and coffee world and eatallica and Alwarpet! Even on the day we met at beach for reconciling, I thought it was a very trivial issue and that it would be solved and we would probably head to another coffee joint to have some fun.. But instead, it was the last day that we met each other in person..

WHo loves to get blamed for something that they did not do intentionally? YEs, i came forward to meet you guys and say sorry but u guys kept criticizing as if I did a wrong thing. Pulling ur legs was wrong, KUnal? Vivek advising Kunal was wrong Ashwin? And ordering me to apologize to KG and Kunal was hurting, Hari without knowing who was wrong.

Anyways guys, I thought we may be friends forever. Now its like even if we want, we ll be friends for NEVER.

@KG: KG, if u r reading this post, I d like to tell how much i ve loved you and I know shouting at u the other day was not my cup of tea but everything has a threshold. If not for friends who would shout at u for some wrong u ve done?

@Hari: I ll miss all ur future concerts and whenever I hear ur songs, I ll be in tears.

@Kunal: Kunnu.. I ll not have anyone to flirt with on Yahoo msgr or do that Ctrl+G thingy on the falling hearts IM Environment just to annoy you for fun. Annoying you has taken a new dimension now. Its no longer fun. It made me realise a worth of friendship.

I am not sure how many times u guys have thought about me or even tried to patch up. Even yesterday i felt sorry for having shouted at KG. Its too late for a reconcilement. Words spoken in anger can never be taken back.

All you guys..  Have a great future in the US..

@Readers: SOrry for the totally depressing post.. I needed to vent my emotions 😦



Sometimes I think whats the purpose of this life.. Sometimes people who think U love leave you and sometimes people who u hate help you..

Sometimes life runs on serendipity (for me most of the times 😉 ).. Sometimes life is a journey where you meet interesting people or at least they stumble on u. Sometimes you feel like rolling on the floor and laughing while sometimes you feel like crying out on the top of you voice.

Sometimes you dont get what you expect and sometimes you get what you detest. Sometimes you must learn to appreciate what you have and sometimes you must do some hard work to get the extra luxury in your life. Sometimes life is full of misery. Sometimes its a chain of happy events and then a chain of sad events followed. Sometimes life teaches you a lesson the hard way when you are least expecting it.

Sometimes I feel lonely. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I blog. Sometimes I wonder out loud about friends who have betrayed me. Sometimes I wish I was rich, money wise. Sometimes I wish I was famous so that I get all attention. Sometimes I wish i was the only kid of my parents. Sometimes I wish college life never ends. Sometimes I wish that I never grow up but remain the same.

Sometimes I search within myself for an answer that noone can give me. Sometimes I am irritated to know that am such a confused girl. Sometimes I feel why I am still dependent on my folks. Sometimes I wonder why I am I not able to achieve certain things in life. Sometimes I feel why am i not born as a boy to enjoy unlimited freedom. Sometimes I want to fly on the clouds.. Sometimes I wonder why India is such a deprived country when so much resources are available. Sometimes I wish secretly that I had an Alladin’s magic lamp to cure all the miseries around me.

Sometimes now you might secretly wish that this blog post comes to an end cos its so energy draining 😉 .. Sometimes I wish life has an answer to all my questions.. Sometimes…..