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Notes to Myself

Month

September 2016

माझे इंग्रजीचे शिक्षक

 

आज माझ्या दहावीतील इंग्रजीच्या खाजगी क्लासचे शिक्षक यांची निधनवार्ता वृत्तपत्रात वाचली (वय ९२ वर्षे). मी त्यांचे नाव सांगत नाही, पण ह्या लेखासाठी त्यांना जोशी सर म्हणू.

मी मराठी माध्यमातला असल्यामुळे इयत्ता ५ वी पासून इंग्रजी विषय सुरु झाला. ५ वी ते ८ वी मला माझे  इंग्रजी शिकवायचे. पण मी ८ वी मध्ये असताना त्यांचे निधन झाले. १० वी ची बोर्डाची परीक्षा (त्या काळी) महत्वाची असल्यामुळे मी जोशी सरांकडे जायचे ठरवले. माझा लहान भाऊ, चुलत भावंडं, अजून काही मित्र त्यांच्याकडे आधीपासूनच क्लास ला जायचे.

जोशी सर त्या वेळेस ७०-७१ वर्षांचे होते. माझ्या आजोबांपेक्षा ७-८ वर्षांनी लहान. गंमत म्हणजे माझा भाऊ किंवा चुलत भावंडं त्यांना “जोशी आजोबा” म्हणायचे. मला मात्र तसं कधीच जमलं नाही. हा माझ्या स्वभावातला अवगुण असेल (माझे मित्र माझ्या आई-वडिलांना “काका- काकू” म्हणायचे. मी मात्र शक्यतो तसं म्हणायचं टाळायचो…खूप उशीरा हळूहळू त्यात बदल झाला) किंवा मी आजोबांच्या खूपच जवळ असल्यामुळे दुसऱ्या कोणाला आजोबा म्हणणे मला जमले नसेल. थोडक्यात… मी त्यांना जोशीसर म्हणायचो.

आमच्या घरा शेजारीच त्यांचं घर होतं. दुय्यम निबंधक (sub-registrar) या पदावरून ते निवृत्त झाले होते…अतिशय कर्मठ आणि शिस्तशीर (पण भीती वाटावे असे नाही).

मला अगदी सुरुवातीलाच त्यांनी सांगितलं की फक्त क्रमिक अभ्यास किंवा गुण मिळवण्यासाठी मी शिकवणार नाही. तसेच अजून एक गोष्ट त्यांनी सुरुवातीलाच स्पष्ट केली: “I may not teach you good English. But I can certainly teach you correct English. Because concept of Good will change from time to time.” त्यांचे हे शब्द अगदी १००% टक्के खरे ठरले. आता WhatsApp किंवा इंटरनेट च्या जमान्यात इंग्रजी चे ही अवमूल्यन झाले आहे. पी. जी. वुडहाऊस पेक्षा चेतन भगत जास्त लोकप्रिय आहे. त्यामुळे त्यांनी त्यावेळेसच त्यांचे उद्दिष्ट स्पष्ट केले.

१ तासाच्या क्लास मध्ये १० वी चा मी एकटाच विद्यार्थी होतो. म्हणजे त्यांच्या घरी ते आराम खुर्ची वर बसलेले असायचे. आणि मी त्यांच्या समोरच्याच पलंगावर बसायचो. वेळ सकाळी ८ ते ९. त्याकाळी महिना रु. ५० फी होती. आधी गेल्या गेल्या जोशीसर स्वतः हातानी लिहिलेला एक उतारा भाषांतरासाठी द्यायचे. तोपर्यंत पाणी भरणे किंवा पूजा करणे इ. कामं करायचे (त्यांच्या पत्नीला ते “मंडळी” म्हणायचे…त्याची सुरुवातीला गंमत वाटली होती). नंतर काही महिन्यांनी समजले की तो उतारा हा गांधीजींच्या “My Experiments with Truth” मधला असायचा.

त्यानंतर साधारण ४०-४५ मिनिटे ते पाठपुस्तकातला अभ्यास घ्यायचे. आणि शेवटची ५-१० मिनिटे पुन्हा एक पाठ्येतर उतारा द्यायचे – तो नेहेमी इंग्रजी वृत्तपत्रातला असे. पण त्याचा विषय नेहेमी वेगवेगळा निवडायचे – कधी राजकारण, कधी क्रीडा, कधी संपादकीय इ.

मी त्यांचा लाडका विद्यार्थी होतो (१० वी ला फक्त मी एकटाच होतो म्हणून नाही, तर इतर सर्व वर्षाचे विद्यार्थी जमेस धरून)…माझ्या आईला घरी बोलवून त्यांनी तसे सांगितले देखील होते.

विशेष म्हणजे फक्त माझ्या बाबतीतच ते पाठपुस्तकाबाहेरचा अभ्यास करून घ्यायचे. तसेच इतर विषयांबद्दल देखील बोलायचे. एकदा गेल्या गेल्या त्यांनी एक गणितातला प्रश्न देऊ का असे विचारले आणि पुढील प्रश्न दिला…

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Sum of present ages of A and B is 63. A says to B: “I am twice as old as you were; when I was as old as you are”

Find present ages of A and B.

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म्हटलं तर हा गणितातला प्रश्न होता आणि म्हटलं तर इंग्रजी वाक्यरचनेचा…

मी तिथेच बसून तो प्रश्न सोडवला आणि त्यांना दाखवला. माझे उत्तर बरोबर होते, पण क्लिष्ट होती. त्यानंतर त्यांनी मला तो प्रश्न सोडवण्याची अजून एक पद्धत दाखवली. त्यादिवशी “इंग्रजी” चा क्लास झालाच नाही!

 

 

तर अशा प्रकारे ते विविध विषयांबद्दल मार्गदर्शन करायचे. त्यांना माझे अक्षर खूप आवडायचे. त्यामुळे “माझ्या नातवाला दाखवायला तुझी वही ठेऊन घेऊ का आज” असं म्हणून माझी वही एक मागून घेतली होती.

सरांमुळे मला इंग्रजीची भाषा म्हणून आवड निर्माण झाली, पण त्याही पेक्षा महत्वाचे म्हणजे मला शिस्त, वक्तशीरपणा, झोकून देऊन शिकवण्याची वृत्ती इ. गुण प्रत्यक्ष पाहायला मिळाले. पहाटे ४ वाजता उठून, आंघोळ, व सोवळ्याने पूजा करून ६ वाजता ते क्लास ला सुरुवात करायचे. त्यांच्यामुळे कधी क्लास ला सुट्टी मिळाल्याचे किंवा उशीर खाल्याचे मला एकदाही आठवत नाही…आणि माझ्या आठवणीप्रमाणे १-२ दिवस वगळता मी देखील क्लास बुडवला नाही.

दहावीत मला इंग्रजीत शाळेत सगळ्यात जास्त आणि बोर्डात दुसऱ्या क्रमांकाचे गुण मिळाले (प्रथम क्रमांकापेक्षा १ गुण कमी). तसेच माझ्या आजोबांच्या नावाने वडिलांनी “१० वी ला इंग्रजी विषयात प्रथम क्रमांक मिळवणाऱ्या विद्यार्थ्याला” ठेवलेले पारितोषिक ही मला मिळाले.

जोशीसरांना १० वी चे पेढे दिल्यावर त्यांना झालेला आनंद मला आजही आठवतो आहे. त्यानंतर इंजिनीअरिंग पूर्ण झाल्यावर आणि नंतर नोकरी निमित्ताने परदेशी गेल्यावर आईने त्यांना सांगितले होते. गेल्या काही वर्षात त्यांच्या मुलीकडे राहायला गेले होते. त्यामुळे त्यांच्या तब्येतीबद्दल काहीच माहिती नव्हती. आणि आज अचानक त्यांच्या निधनाचे दुःखद बातमी वाचली…

त्यांच्या सारखे शिक्षक मिळणे – विशेषतः प्राथमिक आणि माध्यमिक शिक्षणात – ही आज खूप मोठी गरज आहे. नंतर आय.आय.एम मध्ये किंवा U.K. ला काही मोजकेच शिक्षक जोशीसरांच्या सारखे जीव ओतून शिकवणारे सापडले.

आय.आय.एम.मधल्या एका प्रोफेसरनी एकदा “Teachable Moment” बद्दल सांगितले होते. तेव्हा मला जोशीसरांची आठवण झाली होती. मुलांना शिकवण्याच्या उपक्रमात ते स्वतः अशा क्षणांच्या शोधात असायचे असे वाटले.

शिक्षक म्हणून काम करणे हे माझे एक स्वप्न आहे. आणि कोणासारखे शिकवण्याचा प्रयत्न करायचा हे पण माझ्या मनात स्पष्ट आहे!

 

 

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Usain Bolt and New Performance Metric

 

 

Usain Bolt has won 9 gold medals in last 3 Olympics and he has run less than 2 mins on the track.

That’s economy of effort…

Usain Bolt ran for less than 115 sec in total in his 3 Olympics career and made $119 Million!

That’s more than $1 Million for each second he ran!

That’s a new unit of speed for the “run” for money… $ 1 Million /sec

But for those 2 mins he trained for 15+ years ! That’s investment…

 

Very good chess puzzle

White to play and win – Pinned but still wins…

https://www.chess.com/emboard?id=6612&type=dailypuzzle

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/daily-puzzles/9-6-2016-pinned-but-still-wins

A lesson in Economics

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on this plan. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A….”(substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that communism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

  1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
  2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
  3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
  4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
  5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

 

Krishna – Uddhava Conversation

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Krishna – Uddhava Conversation

Why did Krishna not save the Pandavas when they played dice with Duryodhana & Shakuni?

Wonderful explanation by Krishna himself:

From his childhood, Uddhava had been with Krishna, charioting him and serving him in many ways. He never asked for any wish or boon from Sri Krishna. When Krishna was at the verge of completing His Avatar, he called Uddhava and said,‘ Dear Uddhava, in this avatar of mine, many people have asked and received boons from me; but you never asked me anything. Why don’t you ask something now? I will give you. Let me complete this avatar with the satisfaction of doing something good for you also.’

Even though Uddhava did not ask anything for himself, he had been observing Krishna from his childhood. He had always wondered about the apparent disconnect between Krishna’s teachings and actions, and wanted to understand the reasons for the same. He asked Krishna, ‘Lord, you taught us to live in one way, but you lived in a different way. In the drama of Mahabharat, in the role you played, in your actions, I did not understand many things. I am curious to understand the reasons for your actions. Would you fulfil my desire to know?’

Krishna said, ‘Uddhava, what I told Arjuna during the war of Kurukshetra was Bhagavad Gita. Today, my responses to you would be known as ‘Uddhava Gita’. That is why I gave this opportunity to you. Please ask without hesitation.’

Uddhava starts asking – ‘Krishna, first tell me who is a real friend?’

Krishna says, ‘The real friend is one who comes to the help of his friend in need even without being called.’

Uddhava: ‘Krishna, you were a dear friend of the Pandavas. They trusted you fully as Apadhbhandava (protector from all difficulties). Krishna, you not only know what is happening, but you know what is going to happen. You are a great gyani. Just now you gave the definition of a true, close friend. Then why did you not act as per that definition. Why did you not stop Dharmaraj (Yudhishtra) from playing the gambling game? Ok, you did not do it; why did you not turn the luck in favour of Dharmaraj, by which you would have ensured that dharma wins. You did not do that also. You could have at least saved Dharmaraj by stopping the game after he lost his wealth, country and himself. You could have released him from the punishment for gambling. Or, you could have entered the hall when he started betting his brothers. You did not do that either. At least when Duryodhana tempted Dharmaraj by offering to return everything lost if he betted Draupadi (who always brought good fortune to Pandavas), you could have intervened and with your divine power you could have made the dices roll in a way that is favorable to Dharmaraj. Instead, you intervened only when Draupadi almost lost her modesty and now you claim that you gave clothes and saved Draupadi’s modesty; how can you even claim this – after her being dragged into the hall by a man and disrobed in front of so many people, what modesty is left for a woman? What have you saved? Only when you help a person at the time of crisis, can you be called ‘Apadhbandhava’. If you did not help in the time of crisis, what is the use? Is it Dharma?’

As Uddhava posed these questions, tears started rolling from his eyes.

These are not the questions of Uddhava alone. All of us who have read Mahabharata have these questions. On behalf of us, Uddhava had already asked Krishna.

Bhagavan Krishna laughed. ‘Dear Uddhava, the law of this world is: ‘only the one who has Viveka (intelligence through discrimination), wins’. While Duryodhana had Viveka, Dharmaraj lacked it. That is why Dharmaraj lost.’

Uddhava was lost and confused. Krishna continues ‘While Duryodhana had lots of money and wealth to gamble, he did not know how to play the game of dice. That is why he used his Uncle Shakuni to play the game while he betted. That is Viveka. Dharmaraj also could have thought similarly and offered that I, his cousin, would play on his behalf. If Shakuni and I had played the game of dice, who do you think would have won? Can he roll the numbers I am calling or would I roll the numbers he is asking. Forget this. I can forgive the fact that he forgot to include me in the game. But, without viveka, he did another blunder. He prayed that I should not come to the hall as he did not want me to know that through ill-fate he was compelled to play this game. He tied me with his prayers and did not allow me to get into the hall; I was just outside the hall waiting for someone to call me through their prayers. Even when Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were lost, they were only cursing Duryodhana and brooding over their fate; they forgot to call me. Even Draupadi did not call me when Dusshasan held her hair and dragged her to fulfil his brother’s order. She was also arguing in the hall, based on her own abilities. She never called me. Finally good sense prevailed; when Dusshasan started disrobing her, she gave up depending on her own strength, and started shouting ‘Hari, Hari, Abhayam Krishna, Abhayam’ and shouted for me. Only then I got an opportunity to save her modesty. I reached as soon as I was called. I saved her modesty. What is my mistake in this situation?’

‘Wonderful explanation, Kanha, I am impressed. However, I am not deceived. Can I ask you another question’, says Uddhava. Krishna gives him the permission to proceed.

‘Does it mean that you will come only when you are called! Will you not come on your own to help people in crisis, to establish justice?’, asks Uddhava.

Krishna smiles, ‘Uddhava, in this life everyone’s life proceeds based on their own Karma. I don’t run it; I don’t interfere in it. I am only a ‘witness’. I stand close to you and keep observing whatever is happening. This is God’s Dharma.’

‘Wow, very good Krishna. In that case, you will stand close to us, observe all our evil acts; as we keep committing more and more sins, you will keep watching us. You want us to commit more blunders, accumulate sins and suffer’, says Uddhava.

Krishna says, ’Uddhava, please realise the deeper meaning of your statements. When you understand & realise that I am standing as witness next to you, how could you do anything wrong or bad. You definitely cannot do anything bad. You forget this and think that you can do things without my knowledge. That is when you get into trouble. Dharmaraj’s ignorance was that he thought he can play the game of gambling without my knowledge. If Dharmaraj had realized that I am always present with everyone in the form of ‘Sakshi’ (witness), then wouldn’t the game have finished differently?’

Uddhava was spellbound and got overwhelmed by Bhakti. He said, ‘What a deep philosophy. What a great truth! Even praying and doing pooja to God and calling Him for help are nothing but our feeling / belief. When we start believing that nothing moves without Him, how can we not feel his presence as Witness? How can we forget this and act? Throughout Bhagavad Gita, this is the philosophy Krishna imparted to Arjuna. He was the charioteer as well as guide for Arjuna, but he did not fight on his own.’ – Realize that Ultimate Sakshi/ Witnesser within & without you! And Merge in that God-Consciousness! Discover Thy Higher Self – The Pure Loveful & Blissful Supreme Consciousness! – Tat Tvam Asi!

 

🙏

(from a forwarded message)

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