Monday, 11 March 2013

Writing rights

To be successful in a workplace, communication is a critical, but very often ,a neglected  part of a person’s  skill set . It is commonly seen that a person may be highly qualified , efficient and very good at his or her work but fails to find success or recognition because of either a lack of communication or faulty communication. Of all the communication skills, writing skills are ,probably , the most underestimated but the most important  . Bad writing of reports may lead to miscommunication, ambiguous messages or even a wrong message. Writing skills are fundamental in business.
Significance of good writing
The importance of good writing starts from the time you write your resume or CV and forward it to an employer for consideration. A well written cover letter and resume will catch the eye of a prospective employer. A CV with a number of grammatical mistakes, incoherent thoughts and disjointed sentences creates a negative first impression on the interviewer. Have a look at how this  CV must have looked to the reader .


 For those in a job, reports are required to be written frequently, presentations are to be made, even Confidential reports need some writing. There may be applications for as simple a thing as asking for leave or more complicated ones like preparing a detailed project report , writing a press  release or even the  minutes of a meeting. A good report will present all the facts in a manner that is lucid, correct and easy to understand.  The reader must be able to understand exactly what the writer wants to convey. This can be achieved only by a well written report. Many times, the essence of the report gets distorted by a wrong choice of words or even by simple grammatical mistakes. A simple omission of an ‘e’ may lead to a result of ‘not approved’ from an intended ‘note approved’! There is likelihood of misinformation if a report is badly or shoddily written .
Many of us think that in this age of email and sms texting , writing can be slipshod and correct spelling does not matter. Furthermore , the nature of business writing has become casual which  is not actually correct. In fact, garbled, unclear, poorly and hastily written emails cause loss of time, money and productivity.  
Now that we have learnt how important it is to be good at writing ,the next question is what is good writing  and how  can it be achieved . One of the most important considerations when writing is the purpose .What is the purpose of the writing ? Is it to describe an event? Is it to argue a case? Is it to put up the facts of a case? Once the purpose is known , it becomes easier to have a well written piece of work . The second point to note is the person, or persons who will be reading it  i.e the audience . The style of writing will differ with the target group. Putting up a report to the Chairman and   putting one up to your immediate boss will require different styles of writing .
Another important attribute of a good writing is that it should be able to hold the reader’s attention. It should be engaging. The reader should not lose interest while reading it .Good writing   should have focus. The writer should not meander but stick to the purpose for which the report or writing is being done. It is easy to get sidetracked or to stretch a point too much. The writing should be sharp, direct and to the point.
 A well written piece should be free of grammatical mistakes. The vocabulary should be well chosen and slangs should be avoided at all costs. Experts caution against overly formal and stiff writing and the use of clichés   such as ‘at the end of the day’, ‘last but not the least’ , ‘In a nutshell’ .
An effective way of achieving good writing skills is to read. Read good writing and also read the bad writing. Learn to know the difference and then adopt the good writing skills. May attention to the grammar and vocabulary .Practice writing and revise what one has written. Always maintain simplicity of style. Good writing should have accuracy, clarity, spelling, punctuation, grammar and conciseness. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Swami Vivekananda says that 'We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one's own feet.' 
Education is not only teaching a child the formulae in Mathematics, the equations in Chemistry, the dynasties of history or the definition of longitude and latitude. It is this and much more. Schools are the place where students get knowledge, a trait very important and very different from information. Students enter the hallowed portals of school to start a journey of learning, learning about the arts, the sciences, learning about the world,   culture, society, morals and very importantly discovering themselves. As students they are trained to take on higher responsibilities when they grow up and become a member of the society, have careers, have families and be a citizen of the country and the world.
Each student has certain qualities, skills and talents within himself which need to be brought out and honed. Some children may be good in studies some in sports while some may have artistic, creative genius lurking inside them. Actors may be dormant in a child; a good sculptor may be carved by proper and timely training. A school is an ideal place for developing the skills of different children because it is a place where a child’s mind is focused on learning. Hobby clubs and school activities may not only help them discover these talents they may become lifelong interests. As children learn and do something they enjoy, it boosts their self-esteem and encourages a positive outlook. A child, who may not be good in studies or may not be working hard, may find that he is good in a particular skill and by doing well in that craft, become more interested in attending school. All activities which give enjoyment lead to stress relief. Students burdened with exams and lessons will find that a few minutes of activities they enjoy, lead to a better output in studies too because they are more relaxed.
Physical activities like sports and games are of course very essential for the young bodies to develop and grow. An annual sports day and competitive sports tournament instills a sense of purpose and direction to the sport activities in schools. Children develop team spirit, leadership skills and pride in representing their schools. This is very important this feeling of belongingness as its ultimate culmination is Patriotism.  This later develops in doing their best when they represent their country.
I attended my daughter’s school annual day function and I saw the pride in the students faces as they welcomed us warmly and cordially guided us to where we were to sit, looking very smart and very efficient, a  training which I have no doubt will stand them in very good stead over the years. Just sitting in classrooms would never teach them how to confidently interact with parents and adults with such aplomb.  The play, the choir, the grace and the perfect poise of all children, tiny tots to teenagers made me admire them and their teachers tremendously. The hours of practice put in by the teachers and the students was very much evident in the finesse with which the annual day went off. The discipline inculcated is a long lasting asset the young minds have acquired and will stand them in good stead over the years. Many a young actor would have been discovered, many a young musical note found a voice .There was dancing stars, and there were orators. There were students who must have discovered the skills of coordination and back stage management .A superb education ground undoubtedly!
I can hear people complain about the hours spent (wasted!) in annual day practice and the children being diverted from their studies. But they should see the development in the children’s personalities. A more rounded, multi-dimensional person is a healthier person, not only physically but emotionally and mentally. These activities teach the children multitasking, which is such an important thing in an adult’s life. To balance studies and extra-curricular, to realize that studies should not suffer because of annual day and to put in more effort to make up for the hours spent in practice is a good balancing students learn.
It is therefore essential that schools should focus on the overall growth of a child’s personality and parents should encourage their children to be involved in all activities in school. Participation in all activities will aid the student in making him a better person. The world is becoming more competitive and children need skills to be able to cope with changing times. Confidence in their abilities, enhancing their skills, polishing their innate talents will help them become happier and stronger in life. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

NDC experience in Haiku

Cold wave lashes
NDC welcomes warmly
New eager faces

OGs, Blues, whites
Sprinkling of CS, Guests
51st course begins

Ice breaking
Clinking of glasses
Warmth spreads

Rakshika cares
Prerna  spreads cheer
Smiles  so soft

Rustling of silk
Laughing Music  all around
Hands held Feet  tap    

A winter Sunday
Surajkund beckons 
Chatter lights up mela

Looking ahead
Summer months come
Flight to new lands

All over world
Shopping unlimited
Shared tales

Now the end
Friends ,bonds ,ties
For Lifetime .

Friday, 27 March 2009

Mohit ..his Recitation and Poetry

I heard Mohit say "Mangalbhavan amangal hari " in school once and ever since I have been wanting to record it.

The second video is of Mohit having been inspired after listening to my attempts at poetry .This is his first poem.I hope he goes on to write many many more .

Mohit is 10 years old and he wrote this poem on 17th March 2009 when on a visit to lucknow. Its a superb one .


Sun Is God

Sun is Life

Water is Live

Water is Life

Air is Sky

Air is Life

Fire is destroyer

Fire is new life

Soil is floor

Soil is old life

God is Nature

God is life !

Another one


Tiger is the biggest cat

But cat is smallest cat in the world

White wild dog is the biggest dog

While pet dog is the smallest dog all over the world!

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Visit to Salang

We had lot of discussions on which places we could visit in Afghanistan this trip being in all probability the last one for us to Kabul. Amit is scheduled to be back in India in March. Bomyan,Maza-e-Sharif,Herat we had to visit one of the places in our short 8 day holidays .As often happens when too much planning is done, nothing happens. So we decided to take Juma's services and make a day trip to Salang.
It is 26th morning and though my body clock has made me get up at 6 in the morning I am really loath to get out of the bed. Promptly went back to sleep and awoke again at 7.30 when Amit literally pushed the morning tea under my nose. The tea gets cold by the time it reaches the bedroom from the downstairs kitchen. It had become pretty warm thanks to the Bukhari and the two quilts I had covered myself with at night became suffocating.It was a nice sunny morning much to our disappointment because we so desperately wanted snowfall !
We started for Salang at 11.30 an hour later than our schedule and that after much shouting at kids to hurry up! We took Juma,paid him 20 $ and petrol for the journey .Though Juma did not take the 20$ and said the trip was a gift from him to us.Thanks. Its a nice straight road once one is out of Kabul. Some kilometres after Charikar the road runs parallel to the river and its a great view.The trees were barren.The small village markets we passed through on the way were busy.
We had gone to Salang in the summer of 2007 and then it was green and there were mulberry trees .There used to small kiosks with a table or two selling shahtoot and we had rested there and dipped our legs in the clear stream.But this time it was barren.The trees had no leaves and were bent by the force of the winds.
There is not much of traffic but lot of heavy vehicles ply on this road which brings supplies from Northern Afghanistan to Kabul. There are a number of tunnels on the way too but we stopped before the Salang pass and even the big tunnel.We had to be back in Kabul before dusk. Saw a number of POWERGRID towers .Stopped at a place with snow and a fairly even ground for us to have a picture session and some rolling on the snow.There a snowball fight ,but the snow was soft and our legs would promptly go under.
On the way back ,had another session near a stream. The water was freezingy cold and it was fun. A little ahead there some pottery shops selling stuff from the kilns of Isatalif. Stopped to take some pictures and buy some items.I opted for a small blue pottery tea set with a kettle and 4 teacups and Amit went for a decorative urn. To our amusement ,there were tea sets and some knick knacks having picture of Mihir and Tulsi(of "Kyonki Saas bhi kabhi bahu theee" fame) .I came acros two coffee mugs with pictures of Vidya and Kumkum,two leading ladies of the TV soap serials . We hadnt bargained much and had paid 500 afghanis for the vase.Later Juma went on his own to the shop and bought a bigger vase for 350afghanis which the shopkeeper had tried to sell to us for 700 .GOLDEN RULE: NEVER BE SHY TO BARGAIN .

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Kabul in Winter

Afghanistan is not the preferred destination at any time of the Year in the prevailing conditions ,but to decide to go there in in winter defied logic to anyone who came to know of our trip.But when one's husband is there and the whole family get has a chance to be together once in 6 months, probably they are more sympathetic and the decision to go there seems not so weird!
So we flew to Kabul on Christmas .There had been heavy fog in Delhi and flight schedules were haywire.In fact the Kabul flight of Indian Airlines on the 22nd had to be cancelled.But on the 25th it was bang on schedule and we were at Kabul airport at 9.00 Am Afghanistan time. Just before landing they anounced the temperature at 1 deg C and I shivered involuntarily .But it was not so cold as we descended the stairs steps. Amit ,ofcourse,had no faith in our capability to be suitably clothed and had brought caps and mufflers for us,which he distributed immediately when what we needed was only a warm hug from him!
Marium had gone for some shopping for her sister's wedding and I felt a slight twinge of annoyance at not finding her at home .But she manages the house well when Amit is there and is a good housekeeper.The "Bukhaari " which burns contnuosly in the room makes the room smell of diesel though one got used to it after a day . I refused to take a bath agin since I had already had one early morning at 4 before leaving fo the airport in Delhi. So my quota of one-bath-a-day -in-winter was done .

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Historic month

Two events of historic importance this month.
India's mission to moon successful.India's moon mission Chandrayaan 1 landed on the moon on 14 th November 2008 ,the birthday of our first PM Pandit Nehru.

Barack Obama elected as USA's first African American President. For a country like US ,it has taken a long time to have an African American in the top seat.This is pathbreaking and will be a turning point in American society I think. They have broken the glass ceiling so to speak and American have broken their own glass ceiling of thoughts and visions.Next step for this most dominant of superpower is to do what other countries have done much before it.Have a woman elected as President.Maybe the next time but I doubt if Americans will be willing to break the norm in two successive elections.Much will depend on Obama'a performance.