Tag Archives: education

Amartya Sen’s reflection on contemporary issues

The auditorium was jam packed during Amartya Sen’s reflection on contemporary issues at the India International Centre, in Delhi where he had come to discuss his new book, “The Country of First Boys”.  “This book is a celebration of the mind which sees, judges but does not necessarily pass a verdict on,” says Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was the moderator at the meeting.  Hiranya Mukherjee is described by him in the book as one of his heroes and Hiranya Mukherjee has said famously in his speech that what is true and what is unpleasant has few speakers and few listeners.  What is true and what is unpleasant is spoken by few people in our recent century and Amartya Sen is one of them.  This book contains Amartya Sen’s reflection on matters which are beyond what is regarded as his main preoccupation coming from his discipline. His knowledge of Sanskrit is that of a person who has authority over Sanskrit.

According to Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Amartya Sen uses lots of ’em-dash’ in the book. ‘Em-dash’ is the long dash, with the width of capital ‘M’ and the ‘en-dash’, the width of the capital N.  The hyphen is smaller than the capital ‘N’. So between the hyphen, the ’em dash’ and the ‘en dash’ we have a gradation of pauses in which lie a great deal of Amartya Sen’s reflections. He has given through various ’em-dashes’ qualification to what he says in the main.  He says for instance that ‘The central question is not – indeed cannot be – whether or not to use the market economy’.  “So, in the clause of this book, in the subordinate clause of this book, lies some of the valuable thoughts of the thinker,” He says very importantly in this book that today in India it has become very easy to hate.  And he quotes Ogden Nash to say that “Every kiddie in School can love like a fool but by God to hate is an art.” Now that Art, by artist and instigators has been raised to a fine art in our times.  And the weapon of choice is identity.  The identity of each one of us becomes more important.

One of the most extraordinary essays in the books is about the system of calendars. The calendars in India may mean ‘The Gregorian Calendar’, the official calendar – we have a plethora of calendars. And one of the calendars, the ‘Bengali calendar’ is followed by the Bengalis for all significant ceremonies in Bengal.  In the essay, Amartya Sen says that Bengali calendar follows modifications made by Akbar, know as ‘Tarikh-e-Ilahi’ when he brought it in line with the  ‘Islamic Hijri Calendar’ in which the first year was the year when Prophet Mohammed went from Mecca to Medina. So highly ritualised observances in Bengal are following a Hijri Protocol.   But going beyond that, Amartya Sen talks during the interaction about the tumult of dates and definitions of date mean for us in India.

amartya sen's reflection on contemporary issues

What does Calendar mean to the culture of India?

“I got involved because I was struck by the multiplicity of calendars in India.  One or two of them are very much based on Imagination about Kalyug of the calendar. But most of them are based on Astronomical observation.  And some of our great Mathematicians like, Aryabhata comments on Shakha Calendar in 499, and he talks about the nature of these calendars. Aryabhata was a person who believed already that Sun did not go around the Earth. And it was the motion of the Earth that made Sun go round.  In Arabic literature, Aryabhata was translated three or four times; Brahmagupta 7 or 8 times. Al Biruni, who came to India at the turn of the millennium, he discusses Aryabhata and his views about gravity. If it is the case of the earth churning how come things are not being thrown out and Al Biruni said – Aryabhata claims that every object attracts another object and Earth being a rather large object compared to us, we don’t get thrown out because we are pulled back to the Earth.  So this was one of the early discussions of gravitational forces. But one of the issue he raised is about Prejudice and Open Mindedness. Aryabhata was the great originator of the School of thought.  But Al Biruni had many reasons to believe that Brahmagupta was probably a bigger mathematician eventually because many of the problems that are still regarded very more prominent had come later than Aryabhata.

But then Brahmagupta followed Aryabhata in mathematical thinking and developed it. Brahmagupta does not want to break from Hindu Orthodoxy. He claims that Aryabhata should be denounced on grounds he did not believe in the Hindu Orthodoxy.  However, he follows Aryabhatta in Mathematics. He draws extensively on that. Al Biruni tells Brahmagupta that he recognizes that he has made a bigger contribution to mathematics than his teacher, Aryabhata. But why is it you denounce Aryabhata for being Agnostic because you don’t give any argument? And when it comes to calculation the eclipses why is it that you follow Aryabhata method rather than those you think it is important for you to admire and defend.  Which means why don’t you calculate eclipses by Rahu and Ketu and so on, rather than the mathematical calculation. I think that is a kind of reprimand, which comes from someone outside.  And it is a kind of brilliantly delivered question.  The great scientist and mathematician Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace, makes a brilliant point saying that one thing that becomes evident in the Indian Calendar is that this is a civilization, which is much more concerned with analytical thinking and mathematics and not with observational science. He gives the other cultures, the Greek and the Chinese, higher marks for observation-inference; and a higher score for Indian mathematics for that period for Analytical Excellence.

The ‘Kaliyuga Calendar’, sounds like it began 4 million years ago.  It is a possible world from the analytical point of view but then, of course, it is not the world in which we live.  But then some people believe that it is the world in which we live and keep on denouncing others who try to talk about the world that we live.  As the debate, we have today.

The oldest probably is the ‘Nirvana Calendar’.  But the Hijri Muslim Calendar is a Lunar Calendar, and it happens to be ahead of Bengali Calendar.  Akbar thought, for the sake of integration that he was wanting, he wanted calendrical unity.  He took the Hijra counting up to the date and converted from that point onwards into the solar system.  Akbar converted the date from the date that he ascended the throne.   The lunar calendar was going ahead while the Bengali calendar was going slowly. The calculation is very simple. You can easily do the calculation by comparing a Hijri calendar with a Bengali calendar. A calendar has many things to offer. The Bengali calendar, the important thing is, no Hindu ceremony in Bengal completes without invoking the time when Prophet Mohammed went from Mecca to Medina.

India’s Fascination for hero worship?

There were the Dynasty like the Mauryas, the Guptas and so on. The Hindu period, the Muslim period, The Hindu period is a period of 5000 years, which is the bulk of the written history. The kings were Buddhist, and the country was Buddhist. It wasn’t a Hindu period in fact. You can call it ancient period. It was never separated from religion.  Nalanda was established in 420 A.D., and it has a Buddhist foundation.  The mixture of culture was tremendous then.  When Nalanda was started, the Buddhist powers were declining, and the Hindu powers were re-establishing. They happily continued to support Nalanda. That show a degree of magnanimity that would be good to see today.

There was a kind of absorption of world culture.  And there is no dishonour to note that there are riddles in Atharvaveda but no maths.  The maths came much later through Aryabhata and Brahmagupta.  Aryabhata and Brahmagupta were inspired by the Babylonian region and that influence matured India into a Trigonometric Invention.  The transmission of scientific knowledge and mathematical knowledge have crossed the world by some of the texts. For example, if you take the Trigonometric term like ‘Sine’ – Aryabhata called it ‘Jya’ which means a ‘bow string’. When the Arabs translated it Centuries later, they translated ‘Jya’ as ‘jiba’. But ‘jiba’ did not have any meaning in Arabic, so the later translators in Arabic did change ‘jiba’ to ‘jaib’. Now ‘jaib’ means a ‘bosom’ so in 12th-century, Latin translator, Gerard of Cremona, used the Latin equivalent for “bosom”, sinus; thus, jyā became ‘sinu’.

The interesting thing is when you think about this you have Arab mathematics, Indian Mathematics, European Mathematics. And Indian mathematics inspired by Babylon. As you can see, there is a kind of secularity of movement. And it is that we have to give a regard and not allow ourselves to be localised.

Regarding Sanskrit as a language coming from a particular religious era

Sanskrit is a vehicle also of Textual Buddhism, Jainism apart from Hinduism.  There are different types of Sanskrit – Classical Sanskrit, Vedic is different Sanskrit.

Originally Buddhist texts were in Sanskrit, but Buddha was egalitarian. But he said that the text should be in colloquial, which was then practised and that people could not follow in sophisticated Sanskrit anymore.  So ‘Dharma’ became ‘Dhama’. So they had to do Pali and Sanskrit. There was a Sanskritisation that took place in Buddhism. When the great philosophical works were done, they were using proper classical Sanskrit.  Buddhism went from a written Sanskrit to a colloquial Sanskrit and back to a very classical Sanskrit. When I was visiting Thailand, I talked to some of the Buddhist scholars. They were very well versed in Sanskrit.

The great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, whose book ‘Al-kitāb al-mukhtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-ğabr wa’l-muqābala’ (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing) was the source of Algebra, was also a Sanskrit teacher.  So there is a kind of a whole movement of ideas.  I think we have to give the languages the life and the dynamism that they have. And recognize what they are rather than freezing them.

Supreme Court order that debars persons without requisite education, no toilet, more than two children, leprosy, from contesting Panchayat elections. 

We have to distinguish between what our objectives are and what the state of the country is.  If you say that everyone should be literate, and everyone should have toilets in their houses, that does not mean that until that happens these people are not people; and not citizens.  Those who don’t have these facilities are the strongest influences in fighting for that and to eliminate them from contesting. And to say those who already are privileged will decide. That is what happens in India in general, the privileged take decision and they do not worry about the lack of privileges of others. These people do not have an education. They do not have a toilet they are already suffering.  And to add something more, on top of that you won’t even have political rights.

Climate Change

“Climate change could be addressed at different levels. One level of addressing could be – what can be done to reduce global warming.”

Favourite Book

“I have no favourite books; favourite books are like favoured books.  And it is one book that some societies have favoured – Books that are in favour. I want my Milton, I want  my Tagore, I want my Shakespeare, I want all of them.”

How the helmet wooed my heart…  sorry my head!  and a bit on Life coaching…

When I started with bikes, I never liked the inconvenience of wearing a helmet.  First of all, it messed up my hairstyle and made my head look like that I have been glued with my hair; maybe a fashion statement today, but not so in that age….  Second, it covered my mouth and people who smiled at me didn’t know that I was also smiling back at them.  I don’t know even today whether that helmets saved my head from being hurt but surely cost me a few friends and thereby did hurt my heart…

But on long journeys, I preferred even then to wear helmets.  You will not ask me why if you are familiar with driving in Indian roads, even via youtube videos.  If I was to travel more than 10 miles without a helmet, and if I was to meet somebody, that somebody was very unlikely to recognise me because of me wearing a suit, sorry, soot over my face..  I was fortunate that I never had any major accidents with the bike except when I hit a dog which was trying to chase me, changed its mind to get ahead of me, and block my bike with its torso…  That was the only time in my life I managed to do a semi-somersault with the bike which I was on, changed roles and was on me within a few seconds.

Well, though I hated helmets and deemed it an inconvenient necessity, my attitude towards helmets changed one afternoon while  I was travelling with my friend in a car. I was witness to an accident where a bike which was hardly travelling at 10 miles per hour at a speed breaker on a highway (speed breakers sometimes could be spelt as life breakers the way they were implemented at that time) got hit by a jeep.  Both the bike travellers didn’t have helmets and the pillion passenger fell down at the impact of the hit.  His head was sliced open at the back and ‘gruesome’ would be an understatement to describe that sight…  He was unconscious yet breathing and I don’t know what happened to him after that.  But, that was the defining moment where it was impressed on my heart indelibly, how important a helmet was to a biker….

And, now you might be thinking!  What is all this have to do with Life coaching?

Life coaching is more like a helmet or better, since it saves not only your head but has the power to enhance exponentially the quality of your lives be it in the area of body, mind, soul, career, finances, relationships etc.  The benefits are mostly overlooked probably because of ignorance, neglect or the uncomfortable or rather depressing acknowledgement of things you always know but seldom do.   One might think why he has to pay for something, which he already knew, though in his heart he would agree that he didn’t do those things he knew…  

Many a times, the organizers or attendees don’t know the importance of life coaching or rather life transformation (which I would like to call them) seminars.  They are clueless on what to expect or they expect an overnight change.  They expect it to be a magic pill of sorts for an immediate and long lasting transformation of all aspects of their life without any conscious effort from their part.  Well, it does have an immediate impact and depending more on the attendee; his expectation, receptivity, decisions and follow through, the effects could increase and multiply and impact all areas on one’s life and even last for generations…  

Since they themselves don’t know the value, they try to get such courses cheap, a seemingly smart move.  We all think (we are) smart when we do some of the most stupidest things.  We all do, have done it and will do it again…  They think about it as an expense rather than an investment.  They would have no second thoughts when it comes to solving a heart problem.  They would go for the best medical support they could afford or even beyond their means.  Life transformation classes are meant to provide long lasting solutions which would avoid lot of heart and head aches for oneself and the ones who they are in contact with…  Just as one won’t neglect seeking the best medical support for life support or enhancement, one should never neglect or devalue such courses in academic institutions or organisations or even social units and should always try to invest in the best and on a continuous basis…  It is better not to spend on cheap alternatives because that would be worse than having nothing at all.  

I was recently having a discussion with another coach and he was saying how during the economic recession, in the west, the Companies who never neglected people training or rather invested more in that area were the ones who thrived (not survived) the tough times and the ones who tried to save on such investments on maximizing the utilization of human potential ended up closing down their business.  It is true for a business, it is true for a student, a family, a professional…  When you invest in yourself, you gain; when you neglect, you risk harm to yourself and others who care about you…  

And, please don’t wait until tragedy happens to learn what is best for you.  Remember, it is no benefit to anyone to learn the advantage of wearing a helmet after one has lost his head….  And once the head is gone, there is nothing you could learn really and the helmet then is of no use…  Don’t wait until it is too late…

For Life Coaching Videos in Malayalam and English by Manu Stephen please visit here

About the Author: ManuManu Varghese Stephen is the CEO of Trade Integre Ltd, UK.  He can be reached at steve@tradeintegre.co.uk, linkedin profile at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevetgl

Trade Integre Ltd are turn-around experts (of course towards the best!).  They have a history of turning the worst case scenarios to best case testimonies for individuals as well as corporate. They love to work with people to help them achieve their full potential, be it a graduate student get a dream job in the Big 4 OR a Company with absolutely no history or experience with their new service launch to become the leader among their competitors in less than 6 months. “Their success and then ours”, is the passion that drives us…  

Major direct and indirect accounts they have worked with / working with include Saudi Aramco (the world’s largest Oil Company),  Woodfarm High (Scotland, UK top Senior School), Saudi Ministry of Interior, Motorola, Kuwait National Petroleum Co, SAIC (US Fortune MNC), Atos Origin, Cisco, Saudi Telecom Co, Philip Morris etc.

In brief, though they do have multiple lines of business, they like to term themselves as solution providers for their clients be in the area of products, services (Headhunting / Specialized recruitment) and enhancing the quality and empowerment of their personal, professional and social life.  They have decades of experience in solving impossible situations for individuals or organizations be it in the area of sales maximization, academic and extra academic performance maximization, bringing about massive improvement in lifestyles, physical and emotional energy levels for best performance etc.  They have experience offering direct and indirect consultancy to varied industries be it the World’s largest Oil Co or UK’s top Senior Schools; professionals who worked with, or went on to work with, world’s leading Companies after just a few hours of life transforming sessions formally or informally..

Dear Parent, Life Skills dosen’t mean just Leadership skills

Most of my friends told me that they enrolled kids for Life Skills class on the behest of the school teacher. And the rest of them asked me astonishingly, ‘Life Skills! What’s that”. So in toto none of us know what Life Skills training actually means.

Life Skills are the skills we require to deal with the challenges we face everyday in school, office, family, society, etc. There are no specific list of life skills. Depending upon your age, work, environment, you require certain life skills to survive and succeed. Any skill that makes us better equipped to effectively carryout our work can be called as Life Skills.

After talking to many parents and Life Skills experts, I find that there is lack of awareness, and confusion, about what to expect from Life Skills Classes. When we send the children for Life Skilss classes we expect there will a complete metamorphosis and our kid  evolves to become a smart Leader; a leader, who always comes first and outsmarts everyone around them.

We want the kid to be an all rounder both is academic and co-curricular. We rate the kid and compare them with other bright students to find out what else is required to perfect our kid’s future. We involve the kid in different  activities to make them perfect -music, dance, song, sport, abacus, cookery, personality development classes.

In the recently released movie ‘Maritian’, an astronaut was accidentally left behind in mars. He grows potatoes, to survive, using the skills he acquired during his training as a Botanist. He survives and comes back to earth.  We cannot train our kids to grow potatoes in space, atleast we can equip them to expect the unexpected in life.

We learn many of the problem solving and thinking life skills from our family like computer operation, cooking, tying a shoe lace, etc. As kids grow up they require various skills to survive in the schools, university, family, office, etc. They have to sharpen their study skills, negotiation skills, presentation skills, time management skills, organising skills, conflict resolution skills, problem solving skills, etc. These and many other life skills are acquired through life skills training.

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Why life skills are important?

The changing global economic scenario and advancement in technology has greatly impacted the education system, workplace environment and lifestyle.  Modern day student need to acquire new skills to equip themselves to deal with the stress and pressure. They need to be flexible and learn to work under pressure as they will have to do many different and new kinds of jobs in their lifetime. Life skills are not only beneficial to the individual but also the work place and the community.

How the community gains?

Today’s world has become a single entity .  Life skills help  to communicate as easily with the international counterparts as they do with their native friends. They gain the skills to respect and adjust with diverse cultures and develop negotiation skills.

How the individual gains?

As an individual they learn to take responsibilities. They also gain out of the box thinking and  problem solving skills. They shed the inhibition to speak and learn to work as a team.

Career Gains

Employers not only look for academic excellence, but also other skills like people and time management skills. The employers search for candidates who can understand the business environment and adapt to different roles.

Most parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of Life skills training. There is certainly a communication gap between the life skills training classes and the expectation of the parents. Only an expert can provide an answer.

Once a parent told about her ward like this: “My son was very bright from childhood and scored 100 percentile in every subject. He was good at elocution and essay writing. But in college he performed badly. He blamed me saying I destroyed his childhood by not allowing him to play with other kids”.

Bringing up kids is not an easy job anymore. Our experiments on kids can cost them their career. It is always advisable to consult an expert. If you have any queries or doubts regarding life skills please write to ancy@lifestyletodaynews.com. A seasoned life skills trainer, who gives training in renowned universities in the U.K. will provide the answers.

Lessons I learnt from my psychologist Uncle

On the world mental health day I would like to dedicate this post to a  Psychologist, about whom  I know more than I know about mental diseases and mental patients. The Doctor is my uncle, my grand uncle’s son. I call him ‘Appachan’. I don’t have enough material to write an autobiography about him, as I meet him only during some family functions or while paying a flying visit to his home. I know more about his father (my grandfathers brother) who died few months before I was born.

Appachan, the only child of his parent, left home at the at age of 18 to carve a niche for himself. He is 14 years older than my father (Papa). Grand Uncle, my father and siblings affectionately call him ‘Papa-Appachan’, now only had his younger brothers kids to shower his love and nurturing. The cumulative effect of the nurturing is that my father and his siblings quote papa-appachan’s jokes and sayings in every conversation. His jokes and saying shaped their thinking even in their grown up days. I grew up listening to Papa-appachan jokes and in my grown up days I find that those jokes can be applied to solve everyday problem.

Appachan is a celebrity in Kerala. In fact he is the most famous person in our family, so every relative likes to use his popularity to earn a higher standing in the social circuit.  There is one person in our family who introduces himself as “myself, cousin of Dr…………..”. Family relations are like that. No wonder the proverb goes ‘Blood is stronger than water’.

Since my fathers and mother have many siblings, when I used to go to Kerala for vacations I only had time to catch up with my immediate cousins. So I never knew about this uncle. One day, when I was in my teens, papa excitedly spread that days newspaper before me. The page had the pictures of all the contestants for assembly election. He asked me to spot a familiar face. I couldn’t. Then he pointed at Appachan’s picture and proudly said that he was his cousin. I think that was the day our big extended family unofficially anointed him as the family icon.

There are many doctors who give up their profession to become celebrities in music, film and sports. Appachan is unique – though he donned many hats, he remained true to his calling. In movies he acted as Psychologist; he wrote columns in magazines,as a psychologist, answering queries of readers.I can hardly think of any other doctor whom even the children consider as role model. Malayalees above 35+ know him as a famous Psychologist, Columnist, Cartoonist, Humorist, Author, Political aspirant, Actor, etc.  It is very simple to describe his physical appearance – with his tall figure and goatee beard he resembles the former Prime Minister of India, I. K. Gujral.

He was much ahead of his time. A self-learned man, as a youngster he applied on himself many of the tips that we learn today during leadership training.  We are told in career counselling classes to write down our short term and long term goals. Appachan says that in his younger days, he wrote in a diary, ‘Dr……….., Psychologist’. After five decades he discovered the diary in his ancestral home.

He is a wonderful writer, he was the first to write about Sex related issues in Kerala. He says as a novice when he met an editor of a famous magazine, the editor asked to write an instant essay. When the editor saw the essay, he was amazed, he asked Appachan “where from did you get this amazing writing skill”.  Using his amazing writing skills, and psychological expertise he answered the complicated queries of reader in simple words. He became a household name for providing answers to complicated relationship issues, at a time when discussing such issues were a taboo. A story goes that he was called to give a message at a gathering but as his talks were seen as too explicit for the audience he was interrupted in the middle. Nowadays speaking about human relations in no more a taboo.

When someone grows in stature – fame and money, the relatives and friends usually complain about their arrogance. Not in the case of Appachan. All his relatives are aware of the unwritten rules and etiquette that we are to follow at his home. Appachan will be always busy with consultation in the upper floor of his house. When we call on hims, after sharing pleasantries with the other member of the house, we patiently wait for him. After finishing the consultation he comes and spends a few minute with us and ends the conversation with an invitation: if we are ready to wait for the lunch to be prepared we can have, or if we are in a hurry we can leave.

He is down to earth and lives is a simple house. When we visited Appachan’s house for the first time after our marriage,  my husband told me that being a celebrity he expected appachan to be staying is a palatial bungalow. A normal two storied home cum counseling centre also serves as space to unleash his creativity. Before meeting him, I heard a lot about the wash basin in his house where the tap was shaped like an Elephant Trunk. So on my first visit to his house I eagerly awaited to see  two thing- a celebrity uncle and his famous wash basin.

He is not taken aback by false propaganda as is proven by a review about him in a consumer forum. When you google his name, one of the first result that shows is “Dr…………….The worst psychologist”. More than the review, the responses made to the post are more convincing. One person commented “Dr …….. is a good person and lives a simple life. Where others would have made money, his life is still very simple. You can check it out for yourself, just visit his home.”

Now he is 80+ and age has taken toll on his health. Psychically he is weak but his mental power is still as vigorous as few decades back. He still continues his work through counselling sections; and by setting an example through his simple lifestyle.

Kerala Tour with a difference: A visit to the historical onattukara

Kerala, which is popular for lush green tourist destinations like Munnar, Kumarakom and Thekkady, also has many historical places and monuments dating back to the stone ages.  One such place is Onattukara (the land of Onam), a feudal kingdom believed to have existed from 12th to 19th Century. Mavelikara which was the Capital of Onattukara is relevant in the modern cultural history of Kerala as Onam is celebrated in memory of the great king Maveli who ruled here.

History of Onaddu

Many historically relevant places of ancient Onattukara feudal state are found in the towns of Mavelikara, Kayamkulam and surrounding villages. By sparing a day of your Kerala tour to visit the historic Onattukara region you can get an insight into ancient religious, cultural and political history of Kerala. You will be visiting two Towns which are just 10 kms apart – Mavelikara and Kayamkulam.

The must visit tourist spots

Mavelikara

Mavelikara was the capital of the Onadu dynasty from 11th to the 15th Century, until the head quarters was moved to Krishnapuram, in Kayamkulam. Mavelikara still remains the cultural centre producing many renowned artists including Abu Abraham the famous cartoonist. The internationally renowned Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma, married from the royal family here. Raja Ravi Varma School of Fine Arts is located here producing many eminent artists like famous cartoonist R. Shankar Pillai. There is also a Buddha statue dating back to the 9th Century which shows the presence of Buddhism in Onattukara dynasty.

Kayamkulam

As the name suggests ‘kulam’ means ‘pond’ which indicates the presence of water bodies in this area. From the 15th to the 18th Century Kayamkulam was the capital of Onadu and Kayamkulam became the commercial centre. Even today Kayamkulam is a commercial centre because of the road and waterway connectivity. There are many temples and traditions here reminding the history of Onadu.

Buddha Statue 

buddha statue
Buddha Statue at Mavelikara

The statue of Lord Buddha which was discovered in a paddy field, near Kandiyoor Temple, is said to date back to the 9th Century. The statue indicates the prevalence of Buddhisim in Onattukara. Now the idol is installed beside the road that leads to the Sree Krishna Swami Temple. The 4ft. tall idol in a sitting, meditating posture with a smile on the face, is kept inside a pagoda like structure. You can easily locate the monument as the place is called Buddha Junction.

Kandiyoor Temple

kandiyoor temple
Kandiyoor temple

This is one of the ancient temples in Kerala known as Thekkan Kash (Kashi of the South) which has around twelve sub shrines. The Kandiyoor temple, some historians say, may have been an old Buddhist temple as the temple architect is different from that of other Kerala temples.

Evoor Temple(The Fire Temple)

Evoor krishna temple
Evoor Temple

This temple is famously known as the Guruvayoor of Onattukara. According to tradition Evoor Sri Krishna Temple is mentioned in the Mahabharata (burning of Khandava Forest) and  believed to be built in the presence of Lord Krishna.  “Raktha-pushpanjali” is a special offering here which is unavailable in any other Vishnu temples. About a century back the temple caught fire, and the king of Travancore reconstructed the temple with all the latest infrastructure available in those days.

Krishnapuram Palace

Kayamkulam palace
Krishnapuram palace

It is said that the Kings of Kayamkulam ruled from here when the Onadu capital was shifted from Mavelikara. The exact date of construction of the present palace in not known however it is said to have been built in the 17th Century by Marthanda Varma, the King of Travancore after defeating the Kayamkulam King. The palace is an epitome of the traditional Kerala architecture consiting of gabled roof, inner courtyards, narrow passages, ponds, etc. The greatest attraction is the 49 sq.m mural painting, Gajendra Moksham done with natural vegetable colours depicting a Mythological story of Lord Vishnu redeeming an elephant caught by a crocodile. The painting, is believed to be the biggest in Kerala, is place at the entrance of the bath area of the palace so that the royals can pray soon after bathing.

There is also an archaeological museum exhibiting ancient coins, the famous two edged Kayamkulam word and ancient urns used for burial. Outside the Palace, there is a beautiful garden with native Kerala flowers and plants. One of the four Buddha Statues discovered in Onatukkara is installed here.

Shankars Cartoon Museum

shankars museum
Shankars Cartoon Museum

A few kilometers away from Krishnapuram you can visit the museum of the famous political cartoonist of India, K. Shankar Pillai, whose cartoons were appreciated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Apart from his work, personal belongings like reclining chair and table that he used to create world famous cartoons are exhibited here. Also, there are sculptures made by  renowned artists depicting the culture of Onattukar.

Also Read: Food Fest Delhi confirms Delhiites love Good Food

Beaches

After visiting the historical sites, you can enjoy the cool breeze from the sea at the Azhikkal Beach (Aayiram Tengu) and Valiya Azhikkal beach (Kochiyude Jetty). These beaches are new and relatively unexploited destinations in tourism hence you can enjoy the beach and sea in all its natural beauty.

House boating in Backwaters 

Houseboat
Houseboat in Kayamkulam

Finally, you can take a house boat and head for a three hour cruise to the Venice of the East – Allappuzha through Ashtamudi Lake watching the Sunset. Or else you can enjoy a boat ride in the lagoon watching the lake opening into the Arabian Sea. If you visit on the Fourth Sunday of August you can watch the boat race held in the backdrop of the famous Chinese Fishing nets. The story goes that when the Kayamkulam King was defeated by the King of Travancore, he immersed all his wealth in this lake and escaped with his family.

There are many more monuments and traditions that preserve the ancient culture of the Onattukara region. Another town Karunagapalli was also part of the dynasty. You can visit the Ochira temple, which does not have an Idol. You can also see the procession of the Chettikulangar Festival know as Kettukazhcha where the devotees display decorated chariots with large colourful pyramid decorations.

Legend of Mahabali

maveliAs everyone knows Onam is the festival of Kerala, celebrated by all Keralites without religious or cast differences. The legend of Onam is that when the benevolent King Maveli/Mahabali (great sacrificer) ruled Onattukara there was peace, prosperity, wealth and harmony. He was so powerful that he became the ruler of the heaven and earth under the guidance of his guru Shukracharya.  Lord Vishu came in the form of a boy, Vamana when yagna was being conducted by mahabali to get a powerful weapon against Indra. The boy asked the King for land as much as three paces of his foot. The kind king agrees, but when the boy kept his first foot the earth was covered, the second measured the heaven and so the King asked the Lord to place his foot on his head as there was no more land left. Lord Vishnu sent him to the underworld, but granted him a gift that he could visit his subjects every year on Onam day.

Mahabali in history

According to experts the written history of Onatukkar is less in comparison to the songs and poems of those era which narrates stories originally without adding creative element. According to one such story King Maveli in his old age abdicated the throne to lead an ascetic life. To his emotion ridden subjects he promised that he will come to see them every year on Onam day. Until his death he is said to have visited his people on Onam. A popular Onam (Maveli) Song gives the heavenly atmosphere prevalent during  his reign:

Maveli nadu vaneedum kalam,
manusharellarum onnupole
amodhathode vasikkum kalam
apathangarkkumottillathanum
kallavum illa chathiyumilla
ellolamilla polivachanam
kallapparayum cherunazhiyum
kallatharangal mattonnumilla
adhikal vyadhikalonnumilla
balamaranangal kelppanilla

When Maveli ruled the land,
All the people were equal.
And people were joyful and merry;
They were all free from harm.
There was neither anxiety nor sickness,
Deaths of children were unheard of,
There were no lies,
There was neither theft nor deceit,
And no one was false in speech either.
Measures and weights were right;
No one cheated or wronged his neighbor.
When Maveli ruled the land,
All the people formed one casteless races


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Importance of personality development for teachers

The managements are emphasising on the quality behaviour and focusing personality development for teachers as they are the link of trust between parents and the school.  Parents communicate with teachers to judge their children’s activities and progress in school. The personality of a teacher just doesn’t play a crucial role on students in enhancing their growth and development but it builds confidence among the parents.

personality development for teachers

Personality doesn’t mean just the characteristics and appearance of a person which grows and develops as age proceeds instead it needs constant self-direction towards sincerity, personal integrity, sociability, courtesy, morality, wisdom etc. These characteristics should be a part of one’s teacher life. They are the necessary ingredients of a successful teacher.

Dr W. H. Burnham said, “everyone knows what personality is, but no one can define it.” Has he said rightly, understanding and developing a personality is quite tough and everyone has their own statement to define? One can improve their personality by admitting that our personality can and could be changed which is not inherited. At the current scenario personality trait of a person dealing with the public is given lesser importance both by our society and educational system.

With competing edge in the educational field branding of an educational institution is in hands teacher for maintaining parental and children relationship. Speaking in general, teachers act as a brand ambassador of a particular school.

Here are four success mantras for Personality Development of teachers:

  • Communication Skills: Being a teacher communication and presentation skills are critical in teaching and as well to commute with the parents from different class and field who are concerned in particular of their ward. A teacher has to understand the parent’s needs and then communicate with them at a horizontal platform. It needs to be effectively satisfactory and meaningful. It should neither be confusing or incomplete nor suppressive.
  • Trustworthiness: As said earlier teacher and parental relationship with effective communication provide guidance towards a child’s growth and development on a timely basis. The teacher enhances the faith and trustworthiness of the parents towards the institution/school.
  • Morales: Teachers are a vital part of the education system, and their level of morale has a direct influence on student achievement and learning. Parents trust the teacher and their promise. So, the teacher needs to adopt a mutual helping attitude with them to meet their expectations in bringing up their child. A teacher needs to be active, optimistic, convincing and committed. With these traits, one can win the faith of parent’s and create a joyful working atmosphere at the institution.
  • Motivation: Mainly, appropriate and planned teaching behaviour is the key to motivate students and every teacher has to keep motivating their pupil to succeed in academics and in life. A teacher in his professional can’t depend on other external sources to support and stand by him. He needs to be self-motivated.

About the Author:  
vinay kumarVinay Kumar. C is an Environmental Researcher at NRCLPI – The National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India. He is a multi-skilled professional having an excellent track record of managing complex functional projects in various environments.  

 DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

Success is a result of passion and persistence

View Success.pptx and other presentations by ancyabraham.

God gifted at least one talent to each person, and some may outperform others with their talents. We need to discover talents  God gave us, and develop them with passion, hard work and sincerity to achieve success in life. Read this post to know how work from home moms can work professionally. 

Every successful person worked hard to shine their talents. Every time they get money or recognition they worked even harder to give a better performance next time. Sometimes there are failures and hurdles, but  their previous successes keep their hopes alive, and they persist with passion for higher achievements in life.

Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Usain Bolt, J K Rowling, are known for their winning streaks, but they too had their bad times and failures. However, successful people have the following winning trait in common:

PASSION + SUCCESS + PERSISTENCE

The never daydream, they do not wait for things to happen rather they work passionately to make things happen. Success comes at the least expected moment.

Watch the presentation to find out how success, passion and persistence helped these famous people reap rewards in the form of money, fame and awards.