Tag: Patna

The long lost fireflies

Growing up, electricity was always kinda playing hide and seek with us, especially during nights, in my hometown. Power outages were a regular occurrences and part of everyone’s lives. These outages were more frequent during Summer season, cause of increased demand. Though, I am pretty sure that the number of households with air-conditioner, would have had been very few in those days (at least in my hometown), the distribution generally does not depends on the needs of one city. Other than the increasing demand, I am sure the production and output of power would have been less than the normal demand of the days. It has been like that in India, as long as I can see in the past. A gap in the supply and demand!

But, this post is not about the power situation in India. Not about, the production, supply, and demand of electricity. But, this post is about recalling those summer nights, when electricity was out, and we used to sit outside in the lawn, under the moon and stars. As soon as the power went out (it was almost a fixed time, every night), we used to pull folding chairs outside, and then sit and talk. The neighborhood used to come alive during those power cuts. You could listen to conversations going on, across the boundary wall, shrill cries of babies getting irritated due to the heat, sharp noise of children trying to play and have fun in the night, under the light from stars, moon and candles or emergency lanterns peeking from the open windows of the houses.

Those days, fireflies were quite common and present everywhere. At night, as kids, you could enjoy the faint yellow glow and marvel at those flies. It amazed us as kids. I remember, we used to catch few of them between the hollow of our palms, and then peek through a slit between fingers at the yellow glow. At times, I remember, catching a few of them in glass jars and then doing nothing but staring at the yellow tail. As soon as it was time to sleep, even if the power did not came back, most of the times, we used to release the trapped fireflies back to nature, their natural habitat.

It’s been ages, since I saw a firefly. The same way, it’s been ages spotting house sparrow. The fast change to climate, must be causing changes to the ecology on the whole, which has disturbed the eco-system for many birds, insects, animals. I am counting on seeing the fireflies once again, sometime in future!

Weird Assignment in School!

These days, I am in my hometown on a short vacation. Yesterday, while visiting my grand-father (in-law)’s place, I happened to look into the school books and school diary of my cousin who is in 5th grade. He studies in D.A.V. Public School, Anisabad branch. Let me tell you that DAV comes into the best schools in the city and this particular branch “used” to be very good for primary education. I studied there in my childhood.

Anways, so while asking him  about what all he learned on Friday in School, he was telling me what happened in each class. Then I asked him about the homework. On which, I was shocked when he told me what was his homework in Sanskrit! The Sanskrit teacher has asked the students to “draw the picture present in the book of a specified lesson”. Now this is shocking as it shows the absurdity of the teacher in giving assignments. I am also forced to question his ability to teach the students. I am seriously not able to understand how drawing a picture (and that is also a complex one which has crow, trees and something else) is related to learning Sanskrit! Maybe, this absurd and idiotic assignment idea came to the teacher as they MUST give something to the students in homework every day. But still, how come you ask students to draw pictures in Sanskrit or English or Hindi class? Isn’t that supposed to be work of the drwaing or arts teacher? What are they giving in the homework – are they asking students to learn a poem and then recite it in the drawing class?

These things raise serious questions on how teachers are assessed by the school authorities. I am not sure if they are even assessed. But, today when parents are paying huge amount of fee to the schools and sending their kids to good schools, thinking that they might learn better, there’s something else which is going on. In India, there should be a district education council type of body which should time and again assess schools and all teachers. The process may be cumbersome and lengthy but it must be incorporated. The body should be given authority over all schools – public as well as private. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that private schools are complying and are imparting proper education and values to the students who are attending those schools. Being privately funded does not mean that a school can do whatever it wants to!

Education is still a serious issue which needs more attention from the central and state government.

Home

The weather has been so good so far in Patna from last Saturday. Not a single day has passed without rain or drizzle, and a cool breeze has been there every day. Today, the breeze turned into strong gusts of wind with heavy rains. All this added to the low temperature and relief from what I have been going through in Noida. Noida was so hot and humid, it was almost unimaginable to switch off the fan/a.c. and open your windows for that natural air! Here, it’s altogether different in an obviously good way.

I really enjoy this weather where I can feel the wind and the slight cold which it carries, which at times make you run for covering you up 🙂 Well, such a good time to be home 🙂