Smoke

Smoke… is a suspension of particles, billions of drifting carbon molecules. Bits of living rooms, cafes, trees. People. 

– Anthony Doerr, All The Light We Cannot See

Image Source – Pinterest 

Where do we go when we die? 

Do we rise on a tree gnawing at its tusk?
Or we fall in the ocean floating on the bed? 

Do we blossom on weak stems with the flow of dusk?
Or we wilt from tire of the road ahead? 

Do we silt into bricks in that envious skyscraper?
Or we fade into fog leaving another lost lover? 

Do we fly onto walls, staring at grief?
Or we land into bars to get some relief? 

Do we refresh ourselves and come back?
Or we get removed from the unfortunate pack? 

Silence 

Silence is never a lack of thoughts. 

It is words that fail to find themselves. 

The road away from democracy 

‘The road away from democracy is rarely littered with overt ruptures in the formal rule of law. To the contrary, the modal contemporary path away from democracy under the rule of law relies centrally on actions within the law. Central among these legal measures is the disabling of internal monitors of governmental illegality by the aggressive exercise of (legal) personnel powers and related legislative reforms of institutions’ designs’, writes Aziz Huq. 

Source 

I learned that… Till I….

In my textbooks I learned that only men
are kings and soldiers.
Till I read a book in which famous,
queens ruled and fought against enemies.
In my textbooks I learned that only men
are doctors.
When I went to a doctor I saw that
she was a woman.
In my textbook I learned that only men
do farming in my country,
until, on a train journey I saw women
working in the fields.
I have learned that I have a lot to learn by seeing.
– Pooja, Ramya, Anuj, Utkarsh
Students of Class VII, Baroda, India

Source: Position Paper – National Focus Group on Gender Issues in Education, NCERT India, November 2006

Morning Scene

On a winter morning, the teacher asked the children to draw a ‘morning scene’. One child completed the drawing and then darkened the background, almost hiding the sun. “I asked for a morning scene! The sun should be bright!” the teacher exclaimed. She didn’t notice the child’s eyes darting to the window; it was still dark today, and the sun was behind heavy wintry grey clouds.

– NCF India, 2005

Image Source

On Toys and Games

When I was a child I had the freedom to make my own toys out of trifles and create my own games from imagination. In my happiness my playmates had their full share; in fact the complete enjoyment of my games depended upon their taking part in them. One day, in this paradise of our childhood, entered a temptation from the market world of the adult. A toy bought from an English shop was given to one of our companions; it was perfect, big and wonderfully life-like. He became proud of the toy and less mindful of the game; he kept that expensive thing carefully away from us, glorying in his exclusive possession of it, feeling himself superior to his playmates whose toys were cheap. I am sure if he could have used the modern language of history he would have said that he was more civilised than ourselves to the extent of his owning that ridiculously perfect toy. One thing he failed to realise in his excitement – a fact which at the moment seemed to him insignificant – that this temptation obscured something a great deal more perfect than his toy, the revelation of the perfect child. The toy merely expressed his wealth, but not the child’s creative spirit, not the child’s generous joy in his play, his open invitation to all who were his compeers to his play-world.

– ‘Civilisation and Progress‘ by Rabindranath Tagore