Sunday, 29 December, 2013

Indian education system

Indian education system

Status of Indian education system
Indian education system is broken. Our universities haven’t changed their syllabi in last 20 years. Our existing education system is archaic and follows age old syllabus which has not been updated by experienced teachers and people from industry.

Our education system trains students in rote learning and believes in hard core step by step universal method at arriving at answers. It sometimes creates mental block and unwanted mindset. In all real life problems, what matters most is the final solution. The solution or goal can be fixed but there may be many ways of reaching the final solution. In our current education system there is too much emphasis on fixed, conventional approaches and very little room provided for using creative brains.

The aptitude tests in exams like CAT, GMAT, GRE, Bank PO etc makes us realise the need to focus on our mental aptitude. Sadly there is any stress on developing mental aptitude in our present education system. Most of the questions asked in the objective paper require unconventional approaches similar to real life situation. However students are not exposed to these unconventional or flexible methods of solving questions in their school curriculum.
Our ancient sages were the first to use such methods and the classic example is the different sutras for mental calculation popularly known as Vedic mathematics. Infact students from UP Board and Bihar board are better in calculations as they are not allowed to use calculators in school.

Statistics : PISA result
According to PISA (Program for International Student Assessment),a triennial survey that tests the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students in 65 countries,most of the Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and China have the best results. However, they sometimes stress on extreme pressure tactics and turn students into test taking machines. Out of all education system, Finland turned out to be the role model where the philosophy is any student can be turned into a great student.

The most surprising results from PISA is India stands way below the average rankings and did not even care to participate in the last PISA survey. For a country with teeming 1.2 billion populations, this is disgrace.

The ever changing World

Globalization, new technologies and changing demography are inexorably and continuously changing the face and frontiers of opportunities. The equations are continuously changing. In fact, we are living in a volatile, uncertain, complex world. Rapid globalisation and the resulting interdependence of financial markets, technology and economic systems have made this a more complex world to manage. Never before we have seen such rapid explosions in the global population, shifts in economic power or resulting pressures on natural resources. Enormous swings in currencies, raw material costs or climate have become the norm. In this ever changing scenario, it becomes imperative to train the next generation. Shouldn’t we have tailor made education which prepares students to face the world?
 Let us together raise the threshold of India’s advancement.

What is education?

Education generally represents an opportunity for children in an undesirable situation to pull themselves out of the rut in which they would otherwise remain. Education is the awakening of mind and to understand the intricacies of being a part of this world.
 Vivekananda says: “My idea of education is personal contact with teacher. The universities in India are not producing any original man today; they have become merely an examining body.” It is said in ancient scriptures that within man is all knowledge even in a child and it requires only an awakening and that much is the work of teacher.

Digital revolution

India is on the cusp of connectivity revolution.  India should make the transition from 2G and 3G to 4G technology as quickly as possible because 4G makes far more efficient use of the spectrum and users can get so much more bandwidth out of it. Internet has now transcended boundaries and made it possible for anyone to learn any new course with the best in the world.
If one cannot come to education, education must go to him. Let us connect our entire classroom and teach our teachers to adapt to this revolutionary method of teaching. Why cannot anyone who desires to do exceptionally well be given a fair chance in life?
Technology never underestimates the power of teachers and their teaching methods. You can get all information today on Google but it is the teacher who can guide through the clutter of information.

Philosophy

To conclude the state of education in India, no one can put it in a better perspective than Rabindra Nath Tagore.
“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 the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father let my country awake”


Sunday, 16 January, 2011

New decade, same old whining and ranting

Well I am writing after a year, long time. A busy year, became a mother and an entrepreneur. Phew!! what an adventurous year it was. I feel good to blog after a long time and to be able to write in detail specially after developing the new habit of tweeting where the grammar n spelling all goes for a toss. The new age is impatient, dont have time to read, write n ponder. Friends are available on facebook, views are expressed through tweets, job info shared in linkedin, photos are clicked for any goddammn reason and uploaded. What is with this generation. I am totally sucked in it and yet lamenting about the good old days where letters were written, emotions expressed, treat happened with friends, books were cherished, news were read and magazine pages were flipped.
I remember my mom stressing the need to own a nice cursive handwriting,cramming grammar rules and multiplication tables. Now with the new gadgets none of the above skills is required. Infact schools have started using Ipads, laptops basically technology to impart knowledge. If you do not own a facebook or orkut or linkedin accounts, you are classified as primitive. Even the older generation have adapted the social networking sites. All uncle, aunties, grannies have their accounts these days.

What privacy? No one bothers to change the settings to expel spectators from their social network accounts. Even facebook is not taking responsibility to keep info safe.

The year 2010 belongs to Mark Zuckerberg and Assange. Nothing is private anymore. Oohh I like the transparency, to hell with RTI, wikileaks n radia tapes rock.

The year 2010 was a year of scams,rogue politicians and bureaucrats, tainted media , failed big budget movies and Aam admi burdened by spiralling cost of daily items of living.

India still grows, thanks to the efforts of each individual, corporates.The government continues to be impotent and redundant. We do not care about religious fanatics, Pakistan or Taliban. We love movies, festivals, shopping. We are melodramatic people and we love the drama.

Let us embrace the new decade with new hopes and dreams. Already we have a new zodiac sign. Hope 2012 remains only a movie.

Friday, 11 April, 2008

OBC quota- Is it justified??

Well, here we are again at crossroads where instead of going forward, India is stepping backwards. No matter how hard we try to turn an ostrich eye to our bureaucracy, it keeps hounding us in some way. We are here at the threshold of proving our mettle to the world and out comes those politicians with their dumbfounded ideas and ruin the life of a nation. The whole system sucks. Arjun singh sucks, Mayawati sucks, Ramadoss sucks. How can we give power to such power hungry politicians who can only think about the votes. Elections are on the anvil and they can only think about capitalising the votes. We call this system democracy, by the people and for the people. The government has no right to crush the dreams of millions of young life. The media has a breaking news story which will sell for a day . This will quickly be forgotten as soon as some kid falls in a hole or a creek. No pun intended.

I feel so saddened by this new development. I remember when i was preparing for the Engineering entrance exam and how some dumb student gets a preference just because his mother married a Collector who became a Collector of District by sheer power of SC certificate. I remember so many of my friends used to dream of belonging to a family of SC or ST or some freedom fighter. One of the reasons i decided to take Engineering exam instead of Medical exam was the number of seats left for general after all quota sucks in the seats. How sad is this that a hardworking student toils all of time and some idiot simply shows his certificate and get a better chance in life. How unfair is this? Hey i am not against backward caste. But this is not the way to promote backward caste by nipping young talents. IITs, IIM's , AIIMS are the dream destinations of hard working students especially from small towns who have no other platform to prove their worth. Cannot believe that they have reduced the seats to 50% for the general category. How is classification justified for a graduate to be called backward caste??

What an irony? Instead of taking care of the plight of the farmers, instead of providing better medical facilities in village, instead of taking care of inflation, instead of taking care of providing better primary schools for children in villages, ( oh, the list is endless), the Government is simplty hell bent on proving its authority over IIM's and IIT's. The best part is that the Govt wants to implement this rule immediately in IIM's who have objected to follow this year. The list of meritous student is finalised and when the IIM's were planning to announce it to the students, the new rule pops up. So again the fate of so many students are in doldrums. The worst part in a students life is the LONG wait, where they cannot do anything but simply wait and watch the sad turn of the events. They must be wondering, why it had to happen now. Why me?
Does the Government think that India will be uplifted once you reserve seats in IIM's and all premier institutes for all unworthy students who come with the backing of a mere certificate. Does the Government have the statisitics, how many students are we talking about here. How many of us would not even have an idea whether we belong to OBC or not. I think i have some distant connetion. Here i would love to bring the certificate and show it on the face of an intelligent and hardworking peer and sign " Prisoners of Birth".

Tuesday, 30 January, 2007

Indian Movies,

I went to watch the movie, 'Salam E Ishq' right on Thursday without waiting for the verdict of the movie. I was quite curious about how the director had managed to squeeze in so many leading characters and well yes the songs of the movie, which is quite catchy, and so I went to enjoy them. When one goes for a Hindi movie, they very well expect songs and the melodrama which is always an integral part of packaging of commercial cinema. The director successfully gave a sincere portrayal of love across various genres and situations. The story of anil kapoor facing mid life crisis at 40 strikes a chord. You almost can feel his longings for the firebrand young girl. The love marriage between John Abraham and Vidya Balan was also quite refreshing. Equal treatment was meted out to all the six pairs almost. Vidya balan, Anil kapoor, Akshay Khanna again proved their consistent acting skills.

The movie was quite long as in almost 4 hours including the break. The second half could have been trimmed. Desperate need for an editor out there. Some people did get cramps sitting for that long. By the time 3 stories were coming to an end, the thought about another 3 stories was getting into the nerves. The ghost of Karan Johar kept on scaring the audience. Ayesha Takia was wasted and infact it was ridiculous of her to just marry under any circumstance.


But the thing which I found very irritating was the attitude of the audience. I went to a multiplex where the crowd was quite affluent. Infact, they constituted many students from a premier engineer institute. They were commenting right through the entire movie criticing the Hindi cinema in general. I wonder why people go to watch Hindi movie right on the first day show. Why don’t they wait for the movie reviews and then venture out to watch a movie. They need not come to the theatre and waste their precious time and money. They always have an option of watching Hollywood movies.

We Indians thrive on our movies. It is the easiest available option for recreation. Even when an Indian settles anywhere in the world, they cannot do without the Hindi movie with its generous dose of masala. Infact our Bollywood movies and songs are an established brand.

Friday, 12 January, 2007

The inheritance of loss- Kiran Desai

I got to know about the book as anyone could guess after the knowledge about the Booker Prize, about the young Indian in the circuit, Kiran Desai. There have been columns written about Indian writing skills. I remember how I have grown up thriving on foreign authors from all over the world except for Indians. How I loathed Indian writers especially for their hypocrisy except for few like R.K. Narayan. No definitely now I perceive Indians are happening for example the book “The Hungry Tide” by Amitav Ghosh was such a delight, so captivating that I had nearly tasted the fish curry cooked on the sunderbans.

Kiran Desai has perfectly etched the details of the character which ranges from grudging judge who did his graduation from US to the poor cook who pines on his son who is working in Amerika as a cook illegally. The story traverses from Kanchenjunga in India to New York. It is the story set up in early eighties with a panoramic background of the small village on the border of India. The peaceful place with rustic inhabitants gets changed after the insurgency when gurkhas, native of the place revolts to get their power back over the migrants.

The story about the Indians leaving India in seventies in search of opportunities and the treatment meted out to most of them is very revealing. The desperation of the Indians to get a green card and somehow reach America to escape from poverty. How families saved their last penny to send one child to America in hope of getting dollars and prestige for the whole family. The prodigal sons then have the burden not only of surviving in a foreign land with foreign language and carve success but also to cater to a huge list of relatives who dream of coming to America and change their destiny.

Tuesday, 12 December, 2006

PAIN Can I handle pain?

Can I cope with the death of a loved one? I often have these questions posed in front of me at times when I hear about the death of a person I know. Here I am not talking about physical pain but the pain inflicted by death of a loved one. I do not mind dying but I know I will never be able to bear the void left by passing of a loved one. People do say time heals every pain. I doubt. It is easy said than done. I have seen people coping with this pain and moving on with life as if they had an alternative option. But for me it is something unfathomable. Should we love someone so much that it becomes impossible to think of a life without that person? Should we love less to make pain less painful? Should we love only oneself and nothing else! Since life is so uncertain, should we bother about blossoming of a relationship which can end on a death? Can we contain death? What happens after death to that person?

Here I would to quote from “The Speaking Tree” “Why can’t we endure pain? There is no way one can avoid feeling pain in the course of one’s life. So why not accept it gracefully when it comes? It could be pain stemming from separation-maybe the death of a loved one or injustice you experience at work or home. When faced with an emotionally draining situation, it is indeed difficult to say ‘I shall endure this; I don’t need an escape tool’. But we have got to try. For it is only endurance that takes you away, broadening your perspective and impelling you towards infinite horizons. Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain? And could you keep your heart in wonder at daily miracles of your life your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy. And you would accept the seasons of your heart. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Feel the pain, recognize it, and deal with it as another part of life. Then it will touch your core and help you navigate life’s up and downs. A painful episode in your life could serve as turning point that made you see the positive side with greater appreciation. The next time you are faced with pain, look pain in the eye. Endure it. Don’t try to drink it away. “

Wednesday, 19 July, 2006

Poem....

Alone And Drinking Under The Moon Amongst the flowers
I am alone with my pot of wine drinking by myself;
then lifting my cup I asked the moon to drink with me,
its reflection and mine in the wine cup, just the three of us;
then I sigh for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I too must be happy with all around me;
I sit and sing and it is as if the moon accompanies me;
then if I dance, it is my shadow that dances along with me;
while still not drunk, I am glad to make the moon and my shadow into friends,
but then when I have drunk too much, we all part;
yet these are friends I can always count on these who have no emotion whatsoever;
I hope that one day we three will meet again, deep in the Milky Way.

A poem by Li Po.

Tuesday, 13 June, 2006

Communism- the myth and reality

Ayn Rand’s “we the living” is yet another beautiful story about men and issues of freedom versus dictatorship. The protagonist Kira Argounova is born in Russia and the story revolves around Russia in nineties-twenties. It is about communism and their ideals that men must exist for the states, how a man is robbed of his dreams and aspirations made incapable to think and transformed into a degenerated being. Ayn Rand draws the point that not only the communist methods are loathsome even the ideals. The ideas, which harps, on men must live for the state, destroying the self, which distinguishes men from fellow men, sacrificing the few talented ones for the masses who are supposed to think collectively and chew on the thoughts put into their brains by state. Men are not equal in ability and hence they should not be treated in the same way.

The plot is set during the rise of communism in Russia, the birth of U.S.S.R. Against the panorama of political revolution and personal revolt, the writer shows what the theory of socialism means in practice. Kira Argounova is a strong character who dreams of building bridges, towers and never succumbs until the end, struggling for her existence behind the red banners and slogans of communism. She is a fighter who fights until the end. The other character portrayed is Leo Kovalensky and Andrei Taganov. Leo is an egotist, an individualist, a man who lives for his values. His life under the rule of physical force become endurable for him and his beliefs are crushed. He retaliates by drowning his mind and thereby losing the ability to care any longer what is done to him. Andrei by contrast, is explicitly committed to opposite ideas; he accepts the principle of selflessness and collectivism as his moral idea and even spills blood for them but deep sub conscious he is at war with his actions. When he discovers that his whole life was a lie, he commits suicide.

The rise and fall of Soviet communism is one of the most amazing stories in human history. The principal figure in the genesis of Russian communism was the radical socialist Vladimir Lenin. Like Marx, Lenin believed in the necessity of political revolution to achieve communism. He urged Russia’s Marxists to build a party of professional revolutionaries that would shape the consciousness of the masses and fight unflinchingly for the revolution. In time, the Communist Party emerged as the real power behind government under leaders such as Vladimir Lenin, Nikita Khrushchev, and Mikhail Gorbachev. In theory, private enterprise did not exist under Soviet communism. However, in practice, it thrived, with the tacit approval of Party authorities.The government nationalized banks, insurance companies, railroads, and large factories, forbade most private commerce, and seized grain from the rural population, undermining peasant support for the regime. Under the rigors of War Communism, inflation soared, production plummeted, and millions of urban dwellers trekked to the countryside to feed themselves by working the land. Famine, disease, and deprivation became rampant, and much of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed. In total, an estimated 7 million to 8 million people died during the Russian Civil War, more than 5 million of whom were civilians.

Thousands of intellectuals perished in the terror wave of the 1930s, and smaller numbers died in persecutions. The war promoted the centralization of Communist power and a preference for force over persuasion. The party had become increasingly coercive and authoritarian, and was now a bureaucratic apparatus beginning to be dominated by a ruling elite of senior officials. In addition, the economic situation in Russia was catastrophic. Under the notorious Josef Stalin, it created a society that was long on fear and repression and short on personal initiative and material goods. Under Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko, it established a system that seemed not to care about its citizens at all. It is amazing to know about the harsh truths of the soviet life as it was actually lived and later leading to the collapse of the entire soviet structure.

Sunday, 21 May, 2006

NEO-ECONOMICS

"SAVING IS SIN, SPENDING IS VIRTUE" “Japanese save a lot. They do not spend much. Also Japan exports far more than it imports. Has an annual trade surplus of over $100 billions. Yet Japanese economy is considered weak, even collapsing.
Americans spend, save little. Also US imports more than it exports, and has an annual trade deficit of over $400 billion. Yet, the American economy is considered strong and trusted to get stronger. But where from do Americans get money to spend? They borrow from Japan, China and even India. Virtually others save for the US to spend. Global savings are mostly invested in US, in dollars.

India itself keeps its foreign currency assets of over $50 billions in US securities. China has sunk over $160 billion in US securities. Japan's stakes in US securities is in trillions. Result: The US has taken over $5 trillion from the world. So, as the world saves for the US, Americans spend freely. Today, to keep the US consumption going, that is for the US economy to work, other countries have to remit $180 billion every quarter, which is $2 billion a day, to the US! Otherwise, the US economy would go for a six. So will the global economy. The result will be no different if US consumers begin consuming less. A Chinese economist asked a neat question. Who has invested more, US in China, or China in US? The US has invested in China less than half of what China has invested in US. The same is the case with India. We have invested in US over $50 billion. However, the US has invested less than $20 billion in India.

Why the world is after US? The secret lies in the American spending, that they hardly save. In fact they use their credit cards to spend their future income. That the US spends is what makes it attractive to export to the US. So US imports more than what it exports year after year.

The result: The world is dependent on US consumption for its growth. By its deepening culture of consumption, the US has habituated the world to feed on US consumption. But as the US needs money to finance its consumption, the world provides the money. It's like a shopkeeper providing the money to a customer so that the customer keeps buying from the shop. If the customer will not buy, the shop won't have business, unless the shopkeeper funds him. The US is like the lucky customer. And the world is like the helpless shopkeeper financier.

Who is America's biggest shopkeeper financier? Japan of course. Yet it is Japan, which is regarded as weak. Modern economists complain that Japanese do not spend, so they do not grow. To force the Japanese to spend, the Japanese government exerted it self, reduced the savings rates, even charged the savers. Even then the Japanese did not spend (habits don't change, even with taxes,do they?). Their traditional postal savings alone is over $1.2 trillions, about three times the Indian GDP. Thus, savings, far from being the strength of Japan, has become its pain.

Hence, what is the lesson? That is, a nation cannot grow unless the people spend, not save. Not just spend, but borrow and spend. Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, the famous Indian-born economist in the US, told Manmohan Singh that Indians wastefully save. Ask them to spend, on imported cars and, seriously, even on cosmetics! This will put India on a growth curve. "Saving is sin, and spending is virtue." Before you follow this neo economics, get some fools to save so that you can borrow from them and spend. This is what US has successfully done in last few decades."

Thursday, 27 April, 2006

CAT - A retrospection

CAT (Common Aptitude Test) over the years have witnessed numerous changes and structured with some pitfalls of leaking of a paper. Still it boasts of one the most transparent exam system in the world. CAT is even giving GMAT a run for its money. International business schools have started recognizing CAT scores for admission. The transparency of CAT goes all the way from written test to Group discussion and Personal Interview. Common Aptitude Test ensures that out of a sea of applications of at least 1.5 lakhs, it can eliminate the best out of the rest. There could not be a luckier generation of managers being groomed to take India to higher peaks than we could ever imagine. India is going to become a global destination. It is on the cusp of something big.

Indian economy continues to grow robustly and has been doing so for two decades contemptuously ignoring our series of coalition governments. The last decade particularly witnessed a boom in financial services, IT and consulting which now comprise the bulk of jobs at MBA institutes Post liberalization, the private sector has been in resurgent mode with India being the second fastest growing economies in the world. This has resulted in serious demand for quality managers. Students are increasingly seeking that cutting edge that comes with MBA degree and given that sky rocketing salaries, the return for investment far outweighs the cost. Stanford, Harvard, Kellogg etc are some major B- school brands, which are ranked among the best. However, statically it is difficult to get into IIM than Harvard.

Now what makes CAT one of the toughest exams? How can it gauge the potential of students in 2 hours? CAT is not an adaptive test unlike GMAT. CAT checks out the managerial skills in a student. It is a timed test where a student has to attempt maximum number of questions with good accuracy, as there is a penalty for getting answers incorrect. A student have to perform equally well in all sections which automatically builds pressure and gauges the decision making ability of students under set conditions. Normally it is pursued as a test of intelligence but it has more than that, it requires good reasoning skills along with an attitude to handle the test. CAT from 2000 to be more specific have changed in its structure from incorporating elaborate questions on English and mathematical concepts towards logical questions. It merely requires a presence of mind. It is no more of remembering only mathematical formulas and vocabulary.

Majority of CAT aspirants have the fear of mathematics. Most of them perceive maths as ghosts buried deep in the past, which again resuscitate with CAT. The thought of again studying different formulas, which keeps on changing with conditions, haunts them. Number crunching is again an area where people fear to tread. Again, many of them have lot of misconceptions about CAT. Some feel that they should be intellectually strong and a good communication skill. Some feel it is all about mastering short cuts and plugging in values on some formulae crammed. Engineers are anxious to solve last 10 years of paper, the practice that they religiously follow in college. Commerce students believe that engineers have advantage because of their curriculum. However, Maths, which many believe, is tough and requires and engineering background is a myth. CAT tests on universal math, which any student who has cleared 10 standard can understand. It never asks question purely on calculus that an engineer is more comfortable or on stocks, shares and dividends that a commerce student is comfortable. It is all about selecting the right questions from the paper. Knowledge of concepts gives the confidence to handle a question. With a thorough practice and good confidence, maths can be easily tamed in exam. In all real life situations, what matters most is the final solution the output. The solution or the goal can be fixed but there might be many ways of reaching it. The mission of life is to continuously aim at improvising and improving our approach to problem solving and reach to the final destination. Most of the time problem solving in CAT requires unconventional approaches similar to real life situations we face everyday.

In our current educational system, there is too much emphasis on fixed conventional approaches and very little room provided for using creative brains. Rot learning is instilled right from kindergarten. Students are then discriminated on basis of their marks. In this system, the only unaudited danger is the development of a handicap called mental block that the students develop over a period. Many a time the smart thinking ability of students gets seriously impaired due to inability to overcome the mindsets developed in schools. Recently there was some news in TOI, which had an article on banning on mathematics in school level. Instead, they should look to ways in which maths can be made fun.

Students should be taught why they are learning mathematics in the first place and where do they apply in real life. Annihilation of maths is definitely not the solution The success in solving any problem in CAT depends on how well the students focus on final answer. The final answer is more important than the process of getting it. This is the major difference in the aptitude tests compared to the university exams where 70-80% of the weightage is the approach and hardly 20-30% is allocated to final answer. Finally what is it, that takes to crack CAT is well groomed and finely honed common sense with a fire in the belly.

Saturday, 11 March, 2006

Do we need Women's day?

This is the question that people ask if woman's day be celebrated. Some show solidarity and some comment about giving undue priveleges to women. Some feel it only encourages sex discrimination. I myself ain’t any feminist but I still feel that the situation has not changed much in India in 21st century. When I came across with blank noise project,which has taken the cudgel to create awareness about exploitation of women, it gave me a grim reminder of problems encountered in my life as a woman.

Harassment of women happens everywhere in villages, towns, cities, metros and not to leave our capital state. These rumblings are related to the problems I faced coz of gender not that I am ashamed of being a woman. When I was 12 year old, it was for the first time, I realized to my horror about molestation. I had developed camaraderie with an old man who was on a short visit to his daughter. I was looking for help for an elocution contest and he being a retired professor, came to my rescue. He introduced me to the concept of pen friends. I used to write regularly to him for a year. When he came for another visit to his daughter, he came down to my place. When he bade me goodbye, I was surprised about the kiss on my lips instead of cheek. I did not protest, as I never quite understood the situation. My parents were only in the next room. I just figured out that something was not right. When I related the incident to my mom, she was quite distraught and then she patiently explained me about a male touch which is bad and I was quite confused about how can a touch be bad. Anyway i learned my first lesson in quite the hard way, that a woman should not easily trust men, age no bar,education no bar.

Next time I realized about my gender was when I was preparing for IIT. My teacher who used to teach me at school did not quite like the idea of a girl bunking her classes and preparing for IIT. My tuition mates for the IIT classes were all boys and the treatment meted out was like for a downtrodden class. I had to prove myself every time painfully that a girl is not as bad as you think. She has some goddamn brain. While in my final year in engineering college, I found how some boys did not quite like women getting placed before them. They have a theory that when a girl honed with BTech degree is going to get a good catch (husband), what is the point in wasting a precious seat of the professional college. They are infact ruining the life of some guy who could have got that job and support his family and future wife.

There was another incident,during my graduation which I still remember vividly. I was on my way to my granny’s place and so I boarded a train for Mahe. There is no separate ladies compartment in Kerala and I was pathetically alone. While climbing overboard along with a huge crowd, I felt someone grabbing my stomach from behind. I got so agitated and scared that I literally scratched some parallel lines on that hand with my sharp nails. Throughout the journey of two hours, I was painfully aware that someone in that train would avenge for the terrible pain. I was luckily spared but the moral of the story is that definitely long nails come handy for girls. I still feel very content on teaching that pervert a good lesson.

While I was working alone in Delhi, I remember how my parents used to live on the edge. On one edition of Times of India, when Delhi was declared unsafe for women,my dad hit the ceiling. It was so difficult convincing my dad that I want to chase my dream and I will be safe.While I used to return from north campus to south campus on bus, it was scary when there were no women and some men curiously watching you. I used to keep my finger on the mobile or in some situation act as if talking to someone on mobile. Huh! On top of it, you have to prove repeatedly that you are not “that type of girl”. Don’t ask me the definition of “that type of girl.”

Bombay is comparatively better than Delhi in that respect. Buses in Mumbai are much safer than Delhi’s yellow line or blue line. Thankfully, there is ladies compartment which definitely makes life easier. Talk about getting accomodation for single woman in mumbai, it is like looking for needle in hay stack. The building society will infact ask you to prove virginity and grill thorougly on your personal details .The fact still holds true that life for a single woman is tough. She needs a father, brother, boyfriend or boys to take care of her otherwise all her energy is chanelled on defending her everywhere and everytime.