My new e-book on my personal India-US experiences is out!! Please download to read more:
Read about some of the myths as one prepares to step into the US…
Is it possible that Yoga will cure a host of health problems? Read on…
My thoughts on the ‘reading’ habit….
Read about my stay in Detroit for 7 years….
Read about some of the Blockchain trainings that are available:
It is the month of March in India. Parents and students are studying more than ever. TV time is cut, after school play is cut, after school activities are cut and it is time to cram with the books.
The final exams for most grades are here and the 10th and 12th grade students and parents are under more pressure than others! Why is it this way? This is because this is considered to be the turning point in their young lives. The 12th grade scores are supposed to be the stepping stone to getting admission to good colleges – which in turn will ensure that they get placed in good organizations too four years down the line (taking a engineering degree as an example)
But even as I see a number of campaigns telling us, parents, to ‘Release the pressure’ and not stress the students that much(and quotes such as ‘Marks is not everything’) – is it really possible in India? Here are my thoughts on why it is not possible:
- India has a huge population and along with it comes competition. Only when you are in India, do you realize how stiff the competition can be. Each and every student is brilliant and each and every student will motivate the other student to study even better. This definitely puts pressure on the students to study harder and slog more!
- Most organizations that the students will eventually work for will ask for ’10th grade mark sheets, 12th grade mark sheets, degree mark sheets'(why? I wonder – is it not enough just asking for degree mark sheets)
- Most of the parents themselves(like many in my generation) are in good positions today just because of studying and getting good marks in all our board exams and colleges. So, this in turn puts pressure on the students of today – they have to do as their parents did or better them in academics and career!
With the points mentioned, is it really possible to ‘Release the pressure?’ 😦 The only way that I think the pressure can be reduced is if :
- I think most colleges do not ask for 12th grade mark sheets – but it is better if all the colleges only rely on entrance exams to select candidates for their programs
- Organizations not asking for 10th and 12th grade mark sheets when inducting new candidates into their organizations.
Until the colleges and organizations stop asking for 10th and 12th grade mark sheets and we as individuals and families stop making a big deal of marks and grades, the pressure will not be released!
Read about a mother’s cooking journey!! 🙂
Will driverless cars or autonomous driving be a reality? Read more about this in my husband’s post:
Read about my Pinkathon 2018 experience!
Read about the use cases of ‘Blockchain’ in this post:
Read my thoughts on why Indian state has their own language…
Read about the concepts that go to make ‘Information security’!
Read my thoughts on the toughest job in the world.
Read about ‘social engineering’ in this post!
Read about a young girls driving experience !! 🙂
Read more about all the trending ‘Biometrics’ in this post!
Merry Christmas !! 🙂
Read about Whatsapp’s latest feature
Source: Did you know?
Source: Missing India?
Read about zero day vulnerability in this post!
Source: What is Zero day vulnerability?
Read about the US and Indian school education system:
Source: School education in India and US
Read about the newer features of Java 8 in this post:
Source: The ‘Apple’ of my eye! 🙂
Read about the different types of hackers
Source: Types of hackers
My two cents thoughts on whether one should move abroad or not! 🙂
Source: Should I or shouldn’t I?
Learn about the different protocols in this post!
Source: How did I become a writer?
An amusing observation on who talks more: Men or women…
Source: Who talks more?
Read about first and last names
As the morning of 29th of May dawned, many of us who were mothers, fathers, grand-parents and well-wishers of 15-16 year old 10th graders were again eagerly awaiting the results of the ICSE exam. It had already been an agonizingly long wait for all of us and there was already one false report stating that it will be released on May 15th and it wasn’t. Finally the day dawned and the clock started its slow march towards 3:00 p.m.(the time when the results were to be declared online)
I was nervous and was sitting glued to the laptop. I had kept the online portal open to check the results as soon as it was declared. My son, Balaganesh Manikandan(a.k.a Bala) the ‘unique’ one (who has never liked to play and is always wondering what to do in a soccer field :)) – was as cool as ever, just going about doing his mundane everyday things. He spent his time ambling along and reading his favorite books(‘Tinkle’ :)) while his parents and grand-parents were nervous wrecks.
The time was finally here and the online portal to check the results was initially jammed. Finally, at 3:10 p.m. I was able to login and was able to see the results of my darling son, Bala and lo and behold -he had scored the most amazing marks:
Math -99/100, Science – 99/100, French-98/100, Computers – 100/100, Hist/Geo – 98/100 and English – 91/100!! 🙂
He had scored 97.4% and stood 3rd in school!!
The absolutely shy, introverted boy who rarely talks to anybody and keeps to himself most of the time (or at other times he is wondering ‘what to say to people and how do I say it?’ – the exact opposite of his mother!! 🙂 ) was totally calm and serene while the parents/sister/well wishers went completely bonkers with joy!! 🙂 While the phone rang incessantly, congratulating him and us, he walked nonchalantly away onto his next project…..doing his FIIT JEE assignments! 🙂
Message for Bala:
A boy of a few words and not having any fancy needs and wants and racing towards your sixteenth birthday, you are an easy going boy with simple likes and dislikes. But most of all, I like the fact that you can state what you do NOT want rather than what you do want! Here’s hoping all good things come your way and we are always there for whatever decision you may take!! (within mom’s rules ;))
Good luck my son, as you take the first few steps to spreading your wings into adulthood,
Happiness always in all you do,
Mom, Dad and Maha!
After having lived in the US for 14 years spread across three states(Texas, New York and Michigan) I have always been asked this question “Why did we return to India?” and have always been amused by the question. Recently, one of my friend’s husband posted about it which tickled me into answering the same question in my personal blog post as well! 🙂 As he correctly noted – nobody ever asks you “Why are you going to the US?” but we are always asked the question when we are back.(why, I wonder)
While most of us vow to always return back after a few years abroad(whether US, UK or any other country) it is but difficult to say who will actually return back and who will not. There are variety of reasons for people to not return:
- Love the meticulous way and organized way in every facet of life(from getting the driver’s license, to get getting admission for kids in schools)
- No corruption at all(at least in the areas where we transact our day to day life)
- Perfect well laid roads and highways(we don’t see people digging up newly laid roads the very next day!!)
- Always think of making ‘X’ amount of money and coming back
- Just got used to the Western system and might find it difficult to re-adjust back to Indian system(for parents and children)
- Scared of living together with family at a short distance 😉 (this is probably true for most families – most go abroad in their 20s and have no clue how family relationships work when they return in their 40s – we would rather watch the happenings from a distance!! :))
- Wondering how they will adjust to a new work life in the Indian sub continent
- There are still others, who are not able to come back because of medical conditions as they age in a foreign country
- When one spouse agrees to go back and the other doesn’t – it is better to stay back after all….
- Those who have built a good family network there(they have their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, parents, in-laws and everybody else there – they wonder who is there in India to see?!! :))
- Those who are always thinking that they will return the “next year”!! 🙂
- Those who have never thought that way at all…
- And finally, those who do not want to come back at all!
And I am sure there are several other reasons that I have not listed as well…
The reason we decided to return back to India:
IT IS INDIA!! 🙂
Elaborately though, as the first year of our marriage gave way to successive years and the American life of luxury enveloped us, there was a small but certain hole that was certainly forming in our lives. It was not very evident in the initial years(we were very excited initially like everybody else 🙂 – new country, new life, new customs, new traditions) but the hole grew by leaps and bounds as the kids started growing up.
The social life for most of us, Indians in the US is always a very narrow circle – there are a group of 10 or so families who stay tightly knit and celebrate Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. Things that we take for granted in India like stepping out and meeting your neighbours(I have written about this already?! :)) , authentic way to celebrate festivals in India was sorely missed. I missed the color and vibrancy and buzzing life of India.
There is also a slow and but sure communication gap that occurs in everyone’s life(in spite of all social media channels) when staying abroad for a prolonged period of time.
These reasons might look small as I write it but it can envelop your life as you live alone and see life in a different way. All these reasons propelled us to return to India for good!
Note: All these reasons are solely mine alone. The bottom line for those wondering whether to return or not depends on you and your circumstances alone! Stay where you are happy!! 🙂
My last personal post(which seems ages back!) was on arranged marriages in India! This post is in continuation of the last post…
Most Tamilian weddings shown in movies show the “boy to be” “seeing” the “girl to be” at the girl’s house and deciding whether they are in fact “made for each other”!! 🙂 The “boy” and his family eat sweets and savouries and talk and decide the relationship for life! 🙂
It should be noted that even in this day of digital relationships, a lot of marriages occur only via word of mouth. We in our families have a novel way of having an arranged marriage! (no, we don’t have much say in who we are getting married to!! 🙂 ) – but before the “seeing”, a lot background match making occurs.
- First, the “match fixing” occurs. X who is connected to Y might fix an alliance for Z who is A’s cousin!! 🙂 ‘
- Once it is made sure that the boy and girl are indeed made for each other by each other’s families, pictures are exchanged, horoscopes are matched and the pair is made sure that they are indeed the perfect celestial pair! 🙂
- Finally, after a lot of talk the boy and girl are allowed to “see” each other. The girl will be shown to the “boy” – not in anybody’s house….but at a public place, like an “exhibition”(“a carnival” , for my Western guests!) The “girl” is not supposed to be knowing that she is in fact being “shown” to the boy and his family(but in all probabilities, she will be knowing, considering that she is in fact all dressed up!) (There is actually a time of year in my hometown when eligible parents of boys scout the “exhibition”for girls who might be dressed up! 🙂 )
- Once the “boy” is satisfied with the “girl”, the girl is also given the go-ahead to see the “boy”and the relationship is given a “green”flag to move ahead.
- Phone calls begin and the date of engagement and marriage is fixed and all is bliss! 🙂
“Love marriage” is one way of getting married and there is yet another way of getting married which is highly prevalent in Indian homes and it is known as an “arranged marriage”.
India is so beautifully diverse with its languages(all of the four southern states have a different language) , cultures, religions and climates (If you ask me how diverse India is – I could do an entire blog post on that too!! :)) , but they are all united by one novel way of getting married which is the “arranged marriage”.
What is arranged marriage?
‘Arranged marriage’ is when a boy and girl get married as per the parents and/or grand-parents wishes! 🙂 There is no “getting to know each other phase”, “living together phase”, “seeing each other’s parents phase” – some arranged marriages get completed in a matter of months.
How do the parents know that the “boy” and “girl” are made for each other? 🙂 ( well, that might be for another post ;)) – for now, they just “know” that they are made for each other!! 🙂
Given the complexity of human personalities and the constant change it undergoes with respect to its environment, it is truly amazing that arranged marriages work and continue to work. “Arranged marriage” is in my opinion -one of the most surreal of all relationships! 🙂 I don’t know how it works and till this date I try hard to wrap this thought around my head “how two people who have absolutely no clue about each other, each other’s personalities, each other’s habits and most importantly each other’s families are told to spend the rest of their life together and they successfully do! 🙂
Given the huge success rate of arranged marriages, it is a sure bet that this unique and blissful relationship will continue for more years to come!
What is the beverage that wakes you up from slumber in the morning? Is “coffee” the magic elixir that peps you for the day ahead? Or is it “tea” that brings you upto speed to the beginning of the day’s drama?
In my younger days I have never had a preference between the two beverages, but as the years rolled by I soon realized that I favored one more than the other. Coffee in India in the ’80s and ’90s had only two versions, the “south Indian filter coffee” or the “instant coffee”. South Indian filter coffee is when the freshly boiled milk meets the coffee liquid that seeps in through the south Indian coffee filter along with adequate amount of sugar that creates the magical refreshment!
Moving abroad for sometime revealed the amazing incarnations of the caffeine drink. There were Cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiatos, Black coffee, cold coffee etc. All of the variants were absolutely divine taking one to coffee nirvana! 🙂
Not to be left behind, tea evolved in its own way too! Traditionally tea leaves were added to a pot of boiling water and milk and sugar were added to a create a marvelous beverage! Soon, I realized tea had its variations too like black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea , Kashmiri Kehwa tea which were all equally magical! Tea also often had the argument that it was more healthy than its caffeinated counterpart.
As I relax with my cup of Joe, I see each of the beverages undergoing a sea of changes to allow one to experience the perfect cup!
Images source: Google images
If there was one thing that you would like to change about your life so far, what would it be?
Warm wishes for a great New Year!! 🙂
Driving in India has also been equally exciting and much more different than driving in the US. While US driving is more of a defensive one, we really cannot get to our destination on time by being defensive in India! 🙂
Driving has always been one of my favorite things to do. The feeling of driving a fast moving vehicle(safely :)) can be compared to a free flying bird with no restrictions and barriers. I got the first feel of a vehicle 20 years ago(!) and it has been an exciting experience all along. The feeling of exhilaration and independence, we can get from driving one’s own vehicle cannot be described!!
If mirrors had memories, how would it be? 🙂