The tasteless story of Indian Education System

Reading. Copyright – Xlibris.com

Let’s discuss about a topic which is very familiar to us all, our very own Education system. As a child I never understood why our education system was like this. This system, as we all know developed doers not thinkers. We as the building blocks of our society were told and taught that we have to get good education, in order to achieve good jobs. Why is education known to be a medium which propagates learning to earning? I agree earning is important, but why it is known as the end for everything?

 

Let’s recap to a little incident of mine –

I was in class ten. My board examination was knocking on the door. I had to get some books from a senior. I went to his house, he was studying integration at that time. I came to him in a desperate  attempt to make a conversation. I said, “Woah! that looks tough”. He said, “It is bhai”. So I asked him, Why you need to study it? What does it do?.  He said, “Ami janina” (I do not know). I thought he was joking so I asked him again. Then he replied, “Boi te ache tai porchi” (It is a chapter of the book that’s why). He did not care why it was important to study or why it has to be studied.

Copyright – studytechnology.org

Some years back, My Mama (Brother of my mother’s) asked me a very interesting question. We were in a middle of a conversation. We were talking about my Physics syllabus. I memorized very accurately all the laws of Newton. He then asked me, “Do you know why it is important to learn these laws?” I said no. He then counter questioned me, “After learning or memorizing, do you think with what you learned?” I felt shame I did not think . At my way back home I thought to myself why do not I further think after I studied. I came to the conclusion that the teachers and exams do not ask for extra knowledge. They only ask us to memorize and copy paste. Even better if you can cut-copy-paste. They do not motivate us to think so it becomes less interesting for us. So it becomes our job to be knowledgeable, to cultivate and to think.

 

 da Vinci once said – “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes.”

 

Now today, after some years I came to know why Indian Education produces workers and not knowledge seekers. Do you ever think why there is such a craze for engineering in India? If a student is good at science or mathematics, their parents push them into engineering. Why not push them into the fields of research or for once ask them what they want to do?
This mindset grew a long time back. Back when British were establishing colonies in India and wanted to set up an industry in India, East Indian Company was going to be built. At first they were having communication problems with the Indians. So a man named Thomas Babington Macualay told that, we have to teach them English for communication. Then they needed workers, they needed clarks who would do what the British told them to, without much thinking or being creative. Hmmm, a job for someone else without the freedom to think out of the box or being creative, sounds familiar?

That culture still runs in India. People think earning money, having a spouse, having a family, a car and a house is the end. In past it was okay to think that money is everything because they did not have a luxury to even read a story book. When my grandmother says, “Bhalo kore por, bhalo kore taka pabi ar thakte parbi” (Study hard so you can earn a lot money and can stay happily), it is understandable. Because when she was young, she had to make dinner for 20 people. She never got to learn a thing, she never had any type of education because they were poor. At that time only the rich could have a good life and study in school. That’s why she tells me to study and earn money. I get why my grandmother have this kind of thoughts, but why a doctor also thinks that the goal is to teach their kids engineering and have a job?

This is not right, think people. Learn more, think more and be creative. There is a lot to change, a lot to make right. Nobody else will do it, we, the new generation as a whole have to think out of the box.

I feel upset. People who have the abilities to be creative, the right people who can influence good goes abroad because they do not get right resources here. India is filled with great talents but if they have to shine, they travel abroad for proper resources and freedom. Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google, Satya Nadella is the CEO of  Microsoft and Indra Nooyi is the CEO of Pepsico. India suffers a lot from brain drain. We cannot let India fall behind. We have to work together and change to be good. We can build a better ecosystem.

Leonardo da Vinci – “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

 


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Pet Photography

Hi guys, this is Bishak Dey, a photography enthusiast who would love to share some of his experiences and views as a photographer. In this blog post I’ll share some tips and experiences regarding shooting pets.
As students and amateur photographers the most common thing we love to shoot is animals. They indeed are great subjects to photograph. They are beautiful, colorful, vibrant and most of all we humans just adore them, don’t we?
But most of all people, we do not get a lot of time and also money to travel and find rare animals. So the easiest, cheapest, and a beautiful way to photograph cute animals are to click pictures of pets. And be honest, each and everyone of you have tried clicking pictures of pets’ and you love that, don’t you?

Here are some tips photographing them :

1. Be patient.
You can’t rush it, take some time at first every time when you shoot. You’ll know that hurrying and taking random pictures of pets’ doesn’t make a great composition. You have to go with the flow ease, making them relax is very important in extracting the natural pets’ personality. Give them plenty of time, and when it’s time you’ll feel confident and see it.

 

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2. Think different angles.

Most of the people would take up the camera, stand high and take a photo. That composition would not be that  much gorgeous, I will say shoot from ground level or from really top positions.

3. Use good light.

Outside, an overcast day would be great for shooting and also the morning. Stay away from direct lighting which results in harsh shadows which won’t be that flattering. And also window lighting. Inside, always use diffused lighting with a softbox and etc.

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4. Use the correct focus point.
It is advisable to use the Centre-Focus point for accurate sharp images. Focus that point on the eyes’ of the pets for correct focused images.

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5. Use fast aperture lenses.

Lenses with greater F-stops are recommended for shooting animals as they can produce fast shutter speed. Also greater F-stop value will result you in blurry background which always looks stunning. I would not recommend you to use any wide angle lenses, use a normal to telephoto lens depending upon you and your subject.

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Personally folks, I am more of a dog lover than a cat one. I did not find any decent looking or clean dog at that time. Maybe I will get and post some good dog portraits later on if I am lucky.

I hope you all go outside with your pets and have some fun.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE UNPROCESSED, STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA. THE COPYRIGHTS OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE RESERVED BY BISHAK DEY.

Holi with Chauu and Natua Dance in Purulia

 

HOLI TRIP IN PURULIA

 

It was the time for festival of colours in India. But this time I decided to spend these few days anywhere outside my locality, where I am not familiar with the type of celebration and customs people have. I wanted to explore this time that what other communities do in Holi (Festival of colours). So, I was stuck with this much plan and did not have any clue how to step forward with this plan. Until one of my brothers helped me to launch my plan rapidly and helped to contact someone who was organizing a trip to Purulia for Holi.

Purulia is one of the twenty districts of West Bengal state in Eastern India. The town of Purulia is the administrative headquarters of the district. Purulia is one of the drought prone districts of West Bengal. It has a sub tropical climate nature. Temperature is very high in summer and low in winter which varies from 2 degrees in winter to 52 degrees in summer thus causes dryness in moisture. The economy of the Purulia district is mainly driven by the industrial sector and tourism. Among these, the industrial sector is the backbone of the economy of the district. Purulia has rich cultural heritage. It has the mixed culture of Bengal, Jharkhand, and Orrisa as it was a part of these areas for various times. Every cultural event has got a tribal touch in it, which is the specialty of Purulia. Purulia got a distinct folk culture of Jhumur, Tusu, Bhadu songs. It is also the birthplace of a traditional martial dance of Bengal, Chhau.

AJODHYA HILLS
We took shelter in a small resort which was situated beside the Ajodhya hills. It was such a great feeling to stay in a resort which was beside the hills. I loved the ambience of that place, the lovely cold wind, the chirpping of birds to cries of foxes and the views surrounding the resort were such beauty. With clear blue sky and the Ajodhya hill, that place gave me tremendous opportunity to photograph landscapes.

Ajodhya is a hill located in the Purulia district of the state West Bengal, India. It is a part of the Dalma Hills and extended part of Eastern Ghats range. Highest peak of Ajodhya Hills is Gorgaburu. It is a popular place for young mountaineers to learn the basic course in rock climbing. There are two routes available to reach Ajodhya Hills. One is via Jhalda and the other one is via Sirkabad. According to Hindu mythology, Rama and Sita had come to Ayodhya Hills and stayed during their exile. Sita was thirsty and Ram pierced an arrow through the Earth’s soil crust and through that water gushed out. Sita quenched her thirst. The place is known as Sita-kunda. During the full moon day in Baisakh every year tribals of nearby areas come and join in the game of hunting wild animals.

 

Panaroma
Panorama of Ajodhya hills    

 

Chauu dance

They day of Holi was celebrated in Purulia by playing with coloured powder and watching the Chauu Dance. The dance is a must watch for every individual in Purulia. It was bright sunny day and every trip member was dressed in white for this occasion and I wore a jacket because I might had to hide my camera underneath it whenever I saw someone throwing colours at me. Wearing that was indeed helpful. So everybody was out of the resort to watch the dance and play with colours. We reached the place early, where they were about to perform the martial dance. So, as they were busy getting ready for the show the tourists spend that time playing with colours. Soon after 20 minutes, the show was about to start.
Chhau dance is a genre of Indian tribal martial dance which is popular in the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. There are three subgenres of the dance, based on its places of origin and development, Seraikella Chhau, Mayurbhanj Chhau and Purulia Chhau. During Dussera all the Akhadas celebrate their annual festival. In several prosperous villages display of traditional gymnastics, acrobatics and the dance by various village-groups are arranged on competitive basis. Each group participates with great enthusiasm. For all such displays, special grounds are prepared with soft earth sprinkled with oil and water. The Chhau dance is mainly performed during regional festivals, especially the spring festival of Chaitra Parva which lasts for thirteen days and in which the whole community participates. The dance is performed by male dancers from families of traditional artists or from local communities
In 2010 the Chhau dance was inscribed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The village where we stayed, the Chauu Dance was performed twice. The first time it was performed before the day of Holi and second time on the day of Holi.

One of the Chauu Dancer
One of the Chauu Dancer

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People throwing colours at Chauu dancers :

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  Natua Dance

Natua Dance is an ancient folk dance of Purulia district, much lesser known than the popular Chauu. It is believed that Natua is about 600 to 700 years old. Similar dance moves can be identified between these two, which proves there is a little connection between the two dance forms. Knowledge of Natua is essential to the practice of Chauu.
Not so much of a ‘dance’ as a display of vigorous, phisical acts to the beating of drums, the form is primarily tribal. Natua Dance is performed by spirited men with chalk painted bodies. Colourfully dressed and with bright strips of trailing cloth tied to their arms and wrists, the Natuas present a mix of martial art and acrobatic stunts. When they perform, the spirits and atmosphere remains charged with energy  and tension. The beating of drums (Dhak) encourages the performers to go forward and perform acts involving great risks, cheered on by the whole crowd surrounding them.

The Natua dancer playing with fire.
The Natua dancer playing with fire.

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The children around the area of Holi :

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Things I’ve learned :

  • First thing, do not be an introvert. Being an extrovert really helps !

As I am little shy, I spend my first 5 hours being really quite and alone. As time went by, and I started to talk and share with the rest of the people and it really helped. It provides knowledge and increases your confidence.

  • You really do not want your equipment letting you down !

When you travel for a long period of time, say for 3 weeks or in my case 3 days is also a long period of time as I am only 17 years old, you really want to carry the the best helpful equipment. As I went for this trip with a 50 mm prime lens and a ordinary kit lens, I faced difficulties a lot of times to frame a shot. These lenses are not helpful for traveling. So, personally I recommend super zooms like 18-135 mm and 18-200 mm lens which gives you great flexibility. And also the wide angle lenses like 10-18 mm, 11-16 mm, 18-35 mm lenses are great for travelling purposes.

  • Don’t disturb the people celebrating the festival to compose your shot better !

If you go inside any group who were celebrating, playing with colours then there is a very good chance yourself getting splashed or catching yourself covered in powdered colours. Then don’t get irritated by that, its not their fault, its actually your own’s. You should not barge into the groups to compose your shot better, you should not disturb them during the time of celebration. I would recommend to roam around to groups keeping a good distance between the groups and you and start finding interesting subject and moments.

  • If you are a beginner or an amateur, BE HONEST ! It gives you really good feeling and it truly helps.

This one time, I went to the tent of the workers to know about Purulia and its people. As I entered, there was another photographer just like me, an amateur wanted to gain knowledge. He identified himself as a photo-journalist which was fake. After he finished and went outside, I began to question and one of the workers asked me,”What you do? Where do you work?”. I simply answered them that I was just a student and wanted to learn and believe me they explained everything to me in great detail. Then I realized that I got more information and respect compared to the fake photo-journalist, this made me really happy.