Thursday, 27 September 2012

The PUC Tragedy

 According to my Dad’s wishes I was finally in PUC college called Govt. Junior College, Byndoor, because it was in our village itself and my dad wanted me to make some friends in our native village. I have seldom been in Byndoor in my childhood, as I stayed in Bangalore and when I shifted there, I was in school which was located in another village called Gangolli. Most of my friends were from outside Byndoor. Therefore I did not have many friends in our village and my dad wanted me to make more friends in Byndoor. I did not have much option. I thought of joining the college for all the wrong reasons like it was nearby to our home and thought I could study in the time I saved by travelling,  but I was wrong. I couldn’t study well there as the school I studied earlier was quite different and we used to speak in English or Urdu. But here everyone used to speak in Kannada which I could not understand properly, especially the local dialect which was different from the Kannada in Bangalore. There was no proper place to sit the class room as it was over crowded, and most the good place was occupied by kids who could flex their muscles. I felt like being in some complete different world and couldn’t make many friends because of the language barrier. They used to joke which I never understood and that was another joke for them. Sometimes they made fun of me and I dint understand, so I used to laugh with them, which in a way I was laughing at myself. Sigh!

As for the lessons and classes, I didn’t understand what the teacher was teaching because they used to teach in Kannada as many students didn’t understand English. I did not like going there and every day I spent there was kind of torture for me. I would reach there just on time for the class to start and leave as soon as the class was over. I did not want to spend a minute more there then it was required, with that attitude I did not do well in my studies either. As for the languages, I didn’t have an option for Urdu, so I had to choose between Kannada and Hindi. As for Kannada, It was already proven that I was not good at it and it was very difficult in PUC. So I had to opt for Hindi. When all my classmates were studying and writing the notes, the teacher gave me all the basic alphabets to learn like A,B,C,D... . I used to sit in the first bench, right in front of the Hindi ma’am learning basics. It was very awkward feeling I felt back then, but I got used to it as I had in my school. Whatever effort I put, it was of no use and I couldn’t learn Hindi well. Mom gave me tuitions at home lecturer tried her best to help me out, yet I couldn’t not cope with the new language in my life. As for other subjects most of the things were taught in Kannada, as a result I didn’t understand anything. Sometimes I used to get lost in my own imagination of being a superhero, swimming in a flooded streets, a monster destroying the college etc but later on I used to study the subjects from my textbook in home but not much as I was not interested in the college or its studies anymore. The biggest problem was Hindi. I couldn’t even study that subject in home and clearing PUC looked hopeless to me no matter how hard I tried. I decided I couldn’t pass and I didn’t want to go through all the tension I had been through for SSLC. Somewhere down the year I gave up, and did not put much effort for the exams. I somehow wrote the exams and as soon as I finished my final exam, we left to USA.  There I could meet Paula aunty and Jay uncle, with whom I spent very nice time for four months. As for the result, it didn’t turn out good as expected and I had to choose for some other career.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

SSLC and After that...

SSLC is a scary demon that keeps lurking in the mind of the student right from his entrance to 5th standard or so. Once in high school, my main worry was of clearing languages in SSLC. I was doing very well in Maths and Science, which made many of the teachers worry, why I was not scoring in languages which according to them was much easier than those tough subjects. My mom tried to talk to them and explain that languages are not easy for everyone but I don’t think anyone believed her. Anyway, it was routine that the teachers would say, I was obedient, nice student, hard working but scored very less marks in languages and I should work hard to score passing marks in those subjects if I am to do something in my life. I was wondering why I would need more than one language to do something in my life. It did not connect well, but SSLC is not something for a child to argue about, because no one will listen.
My Mom and I both put efforts towards the SSLC exams. The pictures my Mom clicked would tell you how tough it was for me to study those languages for SSLC.

Concentrating on Learning

Concentrating too hard and drowned in book

Taking help from nature to keep me awake. I could not
afford to fall asleep sitting there ;)

May be I can hold myself  awake

No I cannot...

My mom says that I would talk in my sleep often and recite poetry either from Kannada or Urdu book. After all the hard work towards my SSLC exams and writing it to the best I could do, I had to worry about the results. My mom kept telling me leave it alone and accept whatever happens will happen for good. But I know she was worried too.
Finally the results were out. I had done very good in English, Science and Maths and OK in Urdu and Social but just managed to scrape through Kannada. Whew!! I had cleared all the subjects and missed First Class by 1%.  I let myself go I enjoyed for a month. We had lots of fun on beach, in my backyard and entertainment parks. Soon it was time for me to wonder what to do next. If I enrolled in PUC I had to take any two languages again and I couldn’t deal with them all over again. The next option was diploma where I had no languages or to go ahead and join animation. As animation was new at that time I was scared to take it as my career. I was not sure it would work out.  Other than my Mom no one supported me with my idea.  Later on, my dad told me to join the PUC College because his friend’s son was doing well there, and it was within our village itself. Parents sometimes forget that every child is different and what would be good for a friend’s child may not be good for their own kid. So I was in Govt. Junior College of Byndoor for all wrong reasons. Sigh!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Gathering Storm... the Natural Way

Once I had visited the Someshwara beach in monsoon season. We hadn't been there for few weeks due to heavy rains. The sun was out after a long time and we all decided to have a look at the beach we were missing so much....
You can see how the situation changed within minutes from a bright day to a dangerous stormy one. We left in a hurry but not before clicking a few pictures. The clouds, the way they started gathering and the hue, everything was different and scary. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Melbourne - Flight of My Dream

Amazing Coastline of Melbourne 

While casually surfing through Indiblogger, I chanced upon the contest by which promised two winners a tour of Melbourne. Not an ardent contributor to the contests on the site, I did not further look into it, but my curiosity did make me Google about the city, and also check out the link on Indiblogger wondering what memories could I bring back from Melbourne. What met my eyes was mind boggling amazement full of lights, adventures, beach and many more such attractions, which finally lured me into writing my second post for a contest.
My adventurous life :)
I have always been a great fan of adventures, be it swimming in the ocean, climbing hills, cycling away into jungles, or going to places where just nature surrounds us. I enjoy the thrill in it immensely, though it sometimes scares my loved ones. But with my studies, restrictions from family and other things called generally our lifestyle placing hurdles on my path; I don’t often get to have fun the way I want to. Most of my adventures do take place in my imagination, so no wonder seeing all those colorful balloons, welcoming beaches, museums and other equally enthralling images on the site, my imagination ran wild and said ‘…it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!’ , landing me bang on a balloon floating over the green meadows on the outskirts of Melbourne. 
New Way Of Entering The City
What an amazing experience to fly into a city like a bird! I landed in front of the sports museum, which held the split second of those wonderful winning moments of sportspeople, stopping the time, which brought glory to the player forever by allowing people to see and live the moment if their victory once again. There were nearly 3500 objects related to the greatest moments in Australian sporting history, I loved them all.
An Animators Delight

As I walked out into the streets, the animator in me had a great time, as the city was buzzing with dynamic cutting-edge arts and cultural companies.  There were Art galleries, Museums, libraries, theatres, musicals, performing arts and public art to quench the thirst of an artist. It was wonderful learning experience for me professionally to check out the work by local and international artists involved in the City Lights programme. Later I took a tram ride to the Art from the City Circle, and later walked through city streets, laneways and along the Yarra River to experience the city's countless public artworks. It was unbelievable that this city was holding underneath its bosom so much of amazing art.

Pacos Tacos, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Exotic Restaurants 
Fed Square New Years Eve
Fed Square

Running around the city had made me quite hungry by now. I checked out and found restaurants, cafes, and bistros that reflected the cultural diversity of the city. For the wine lovers, there were exotic bars too... but that does not interest me. I just enjoyed a good meal at a Mexican restaurant near the Federation square. Fed Square is a unique fusion of civic and cultural activities, which are recognized internationally as one of the world's great public spaces. There were amazing recipes of Indian food available too, but why would I travel to Melbourne to eat what I have to eat once I get back to India. I vowed not be seduced by the inviting Indian cuisines which gave out enticing aromas.

I had heard a lot about the Melbourne cricket stadium, but decided to skip it as I was not a great cricket fan. Now it was time for me to travel on my new Scott bicycle along the Great Ocean Road and beyond for one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. I came across the 12 Apostles, iconic surf breaks and waterfalls through my journey. I cycled all the way through to Victoria’s largest alpine resort where I decided to spend the night.
I woke up to the morning where the resort invited me to enjoy a wide range of activities including children's snow sports, attractions and events. I tried my hand at skiing and though not successful it was quite fun. It was so nice to watch even toddlers trying to ski. I went ahead to watch adventurers having fun with snowboarding too, but I was hesitant to try that on.
Whales, Warrnambool, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Whale watching
After enjoying the snow for the first time in my life to the fullest, I travelled back through the gardens of Melbourne situated on the Yarra river. I ventured into the Royal Botanic Gardens – an ornamental labyrinth of lawns, weaving paths and venerable old trees, which took my breath away. I had tough time believing that I was not in some kind of a wonderland.
Great Ocean Walk, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
 Amazing beaches of Melbourne
My next stop was at the beaches. I ventured deep into the ocean and had fun without any fear as most of the beaches were being patrolled by surf life savers. I could see lots of yachting and swimming going on the sea. Some of the beaches had facilities for boat ramp and an excellent foreshore reserve with picnic, barbecue and play facilities. What else would I need? I spent two days on the beaches because I loved it a lot.
Koala, how cute!

Couple feeding a kangaroo, Healesville Sanctuary, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia
Couple feeding a Kangaroo in Wildlife Sanctuary on Yarra River
I spent some more time in the wild life,watching the Penguins, Koalas, Kangaroos and many other wonderful sights of nature. This was the first time I was watching many of those animals for real, so far I had seen them only on computer or television.
I suddenly remembered that I had to take something back home to my family, especially to my Mom and Sister. They had given me their lists of things that I was required to buy if I was to be allowed back inside my home again. Off I went to explore the department stores and shopping centers. While I wandered through the city's myriad arcades and lane ways, who do you think I ran into in a shop? None other than my favorite star Hugh Jackman!  I was dumbstruck for a moment, but then went ahead and asked for an autograph. He obliged but I could not find anything for getting autographed. He made me turn back and autographed the T shirt I was wearing, but he slipped and pricked my back with the nib. OUCH!
All of the sudden I found myself crouched before my laptop, looking at the pictures of Melbourne. There was a mosquito trying to fly away, so he was the one who gave me the prick on my back and not Hugh Jackman. But who knows? May be I will be sent there through the contest and really get his autograph. Now this is the experience I would love to bring back from Melbourne… my dream to come true. 

All the Images of Melbourne are from

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Dyslexic’s Dilemma

Glimpse of Boat On Way To School
When I finished my 5th grade, we had to shift to my dad’s place, which was a village was called Byndoor. I had a tough time leaving behind my grandmother, grandfather, uncle and aunty. Before moving over, my mother promised me that she will keep me happy over there. And if I missed her family a lot or had tough time adjusting there, then she would move me back to Bangalore. She kept that promise, as  I was quite happy there.
TEMS, Gangolli
I did miss my family but then I had lots of freedom in Byndoor when compared to Bangalore. That made up for other losses. My grandmother never let me go out for long or alone, because she was worried that I may hurt myself. She was very nervous even about my grown up uncle. Here in Byndoor, my Mom allowed me to explore the world and learn about it myself. The problem of my languages was still there with me. The school I joined was a little far from my village so I had to travel for nearly two hours every day, but I did not mind the travel. Every day as we traveled, we all enjoyed sights of rivers, bridges, mountains, animals, birds and many other amazing scenes. Marvanthe beach always excited me though I saw it every day. 
Marvanthe Beach
I really had great classmates, but at first I didn't make many friends there because I was very shy and quite different in every aspect from them, but as days passed by I got used to that place, the people and the environment. 

As for the languages I had a bigger problem because I had to learn a new language, and that was Urdu. I took the challenge because; any way I was no expert in Hindi, so learning Hindi also required much effort. Another attraction was the assumption that Urdu might be easier then Hindi.  I was wrong!
Having fun after exams .. whew!!
It was more difficult than Hindi, and all I could remember was some kind of weird shapes. I named them, heart, 1, b etc and wrote the exams recalling sentences of which I created visual images in mind.

The situation of exams did not change much in my new school either, I would score poor marks in languages and teachers would try hard to give me passing marks so I could go to the next class. The real challenge came in 7th grade when we had public exam, which meant the papers would get corrected by other school teachers, therefore my teachers couldn’t help me. They were more worried about me than me.

Beautiful Scenes on way to school..

View from the terrace of our school

We would cross many such rivers to reach the school

Lucky for me the year I was supposed to write the public exam, the system changed and it got cancelled. It was made compulsory only for 10th from then on and somehow I managed to go till 10th without being fluent in reading or writing Urdu and Kannada, but scraping enough marks to pull through. Now to pass the SSLC exam I had to do well in the final exams. I and my mom talked it over and decided that I will work really hard for 5-6 months and pass the SSLC exam .So I started getting up at 5:00 in the morning and started studying. I started going to our neighbour’s home, who tried teaching me Urdu. The lady was very eager to teach me, but she did not have experience in teaching children and also she could not understand my dyslexic problem. I worked very hard but it was like running fast to stay on the same spot.
It was then that my mom decided to take the reins in her hand. She learned Urdu so she could teach me (she was new to that language), that was an inspiration and hope for me that I could do it. After 5-6 months of hard work I could write a full chapter, could write letters, one word answers, but the funny thing was, I didn’t know what I was writing. My mom was more of a smart worker than hard worker, so she found out all those questions that had chances of being repeated and had plan made for me to learn those, and one world answers etc.  So with all the effort somehow I passed in those languages.