A Walk

By Bhuvi M

Since long I’ve been thinking of resuming to my morning walks. Today morning I was able to pull myself out of the bed. Hurriedly, I freshened up, changed, slipped into my walking shoes and stepped out. As I started walking, I felt morning chill. It was still dark, dawn yet to break. The air had moisture from the last night’s showers. I could feel the dampness against my skin.

The tranquility of early morning was a blessing. The silence was singing its song that I could hear. Calmness was soothing my mind which loses focus so easily. It was an inexplicable feeling. The smell of calm fresh air was feeding my soul. The life of cities hardly gives a choice to have it at any other time of the day.

As I proceeded, I saw a very few of early risers of neighborhood. In today’s world most are late night owls rather than morning risers. They were busy with their walks and exercise routines.

I could hear the birds chirping. It was a lovely feeling. The watch dogs were up and occasionally barking at unknown vehicles. The barking dogs as well as the noise from early morning vehicles were irritants for mind, disturbing the calmness. By that time I’d reached the walking track in the park. As I walked further, a few pebbles on the track was rustling whenever my shoes established a contact with them. They were music to ears.

As I increased the speed, my heart was filled with morning freshness. I continued walking for another quarter-hour. There were gold of daybreak on the horizon. I loved it. By that time my heart and mind was satiated with freshness, beauty and the nature around. I slowed down and decided to return with an exhilarating experience.

Happy Walking!!

Note: Day 1, Writing 101: Unlock the Mind by the Daily Post

“Life” The Greatest Teacher!!

By Bhuvi M

Teachers-Day-Greetings

Though each day of life is special, then remembering everything on each day for an average human is practically impossible. Additionally celebration breaks monotony. Paying gratitude to all those for their role in our development and wellbeing is must. Hence we started the culture of marking days for all those special people, occasions and things; to remember them in our special ways.

Most of the countries in the world have their own dates for celebrating teachers. In India 5th of September is marked to celebrate Teachers Day. The day is chosen well. It is the birthday of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan; eminent educator, academician & philosopher of our times and 2nd President of the nation. All our growing up years we have been celebrating teachers day paying gratitude to educators. As grown up individuals, people remember their teachers with reverence sending out messages, praying for them, thanking them.

Of all these teachers we do forget paying gratitude to the greatest teacher “Life” which gives most vital teachings to all of us. Most of the lessons we learn is in practical situation. In ancient India Gurukuls (Teacher’s Family) existed for imparting education. The child was imparted lessons while living a life in a Gurukul. Gurus or teachers were ascetics and lived hardy life. Along the lessons, the child was also exposed practical living situations and its realities. Guru also exposed them to situations as of debates and negotiations while visiting any person of significance. The Gurukuls had their drawback too. Not all got an opportunity to be taught by a Guru. It was reserved significantly for higher class of society. One prominent example is mythological story of outstanding Eklavya.

The system of education changed and evolved with foreigners coming to India and thereafter on independence and with new policies. We have Madrasas to Convents; from Government Institutions to Public Schools; the exposure to practical situations has been limited rather negligible. The child gets not much of opportunity to learn and develop competencies much-needed to excel in real life situations. Even after completing formal situation it takes almost a decade of exposure to real life scenario that one learns to manage real life situations. Mostly from ones’ own experience, observation, ones’ own quest for learning and if lucky, one crosses path with some wise soul will guide. Life remains the only teacher all along the person’s journey. It throws the child in unexpected waters and to let them swim. In that situation some learn to dive, swim, float and some do get drowned.

Can we pledge on this Teachers Day to make the education system more realistic, life oriented based on developing capacity and competency to steer life well? It is long journey towards an optimal situation to evolve, it may take generations. We can contribute to it by taking one step at a time.

Wish Teachers Day to LIFE. Cheers to LIFE!!

Picture courtesy internet

Is Independence and Freedom the same?

By Bhuvi M

As 68th Independence Day of India was approaching by, last few days, the words “Independence” and “Freedom” had been hitting my mind to make some reason. I thought; why are they coming to me again and again? What is the significance? I gathered they were reasoning with me about their individuality which was blurred because of often interchangeable use by common mass. When I gave it some conscious thought, I was able to figure out magnanimous difference between these two. I was astounded how easily they are substituted one for the other.

Soaring High with Freedom  Photo credit Parul K.

Soaring High with Freedom
Image credit Parul K.

So what is the difference I fathomed?

  • Independence: is the physical or tangible form, like the country or person being independent. Where one is free to form rules, policy, govern and take decision. It is like being free body regulated within set of rules, practices and policies. These rules can be explicit or implicit, set by government or society or community or religion.
  • Freedom: is of higher form of having liberty to make choices. It has an intangible element along with physical element. One has an option to think, speak, act as one wants. In true sense the mind is free. There is no fear in actual freedom. It is powerful, where one can express.

Freedom gives one with choice hence entrusts with power. It renders one fearless. Along with its virtues, freedom brings in enormous responsibility; responsibility to use discretion, to be wise while exercising power. The power gets centralized in the individual. It should not be mistaken with anarchy where it is freedom making one powerful without responsibility.

Such a humongous role can be managed by a very mature individual. To have discretion of making right choice requires wise personality. Maturity and wisdom can be innate qualities of an individual, though rare. Maturity mostly evolves with time, experience and conscious practice. Such mature individuals are rare to find. Hence people experiencing freedom too is a rare phenomenon. Now it would be clear why independence is being misconstrued as freedom.

I will love to relate Freedom to the poem written by Rabindranath Tagore and included in the collection Gitanjali

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Coming to the last question, whether Independence and Freedom can co-exist and how do they relate to each other. I would say that independence is subset of freedom. Freedom always has independence within its ambit, though vice versa may not be true. Some scholars can debate; both can exist without each other.  One can be independent but can’t be free. The reverse can be right too where one is free but not independent.

I leave this debate for the readers to think and respond!!

Quote

Be Grateful

Don’t take anything for granted in life even if you have got it easily; things, people, resources, blessings; each needs to be respected for what they are. The day you start taking them for granted, the time they will start you taking for granted will be just round the corner.”

– Bhuvi M, Tapestry of Life & Soul