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 

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

A Song About Myself 

           – John Keats 

                    l.

There was a naughty boy,  
A naughty boy was he,
He would not stop at home,
He could not quiet be-
      He took
      In his knapsack
      A book
      Full of vowels
      And a shirt
      With some towels,
      A slight cap
      For night cap,
      A hair brush,
      Comb ditto,
      New stockings
      For old ones
      Would split O!
      This knapsack
      Tight at’s back
      He rivetted close
   And followed his nose
      To the north,
      To the north,
   And follow’d his nose
      To the north.
                    II.

There was a naughty boy
   And a naughty boy was he,
For nothing would he do
   But scribble poetry-
      He took
      An ink stand
      In his hand
      And a pen
      Big as ten
      In the other,
      And away
      In a pother
      He ran
      To the mountains
      And fountains
      And ghostes
      And postes
      And witches
      And ditches
      And wrote
      In his coat
      When the weather
      Was cool,
      Fear of gout,
      And without
      When the weather
      Was warm-
      Och the charm
      When we choose
   To follow one’s nose
      To the north,
      To the north,
   To follow one’s nose
      To the north!

                    III.

There was a naughty boy
   And a naughty boy was he,
He kept little fishes
   In washing tubs three
      In spite
      Of the might
      Of the maid
      Nor afraid
      Of his Granny-good-
      He often would
      Hurly burly
      Get up early
      And go
      By hook or crook
      To the brook
      And bring home
      Miller’s thumb,
      Tittlebat
      Not over fat,
      Minnows small
      As the stall
      Of a glove,
      Not above
      The size
      Of a nice
      Little baby’s
      Little fingers-
      O he made
      ‘Twas his trade
   Of fish a pretty kettle
      A kettle-
      A kettle
   Of fish a pretty kettle
      A kettle!

                    IV.

There was a naughty boy,
   And a naughty boy was he,
He ran away to Scotland
   The people for to see-
      There he found
      That the ground
      Was as hard,
      That a yard
      Was as long,
      That a song
      Was as merry,
      That a cherry
      Was as red,
      That lead
      Was as weighty,
      That fourscore
      Was as eighty,
      That a door
      Was as wooden
      As in England-
   So he stood in his shoes
      And he wonder’d,
      He wonder’d,
   He stood in his
      Shoes and he wonder’d.