NOURISH WITH UNADULTERATED EMOTIONS

Adulteration is that when something impure or of lesser value is mixed with something pure and original thus destroying its purity, originality and values.

Food materials usually get adulterated by business-minded people for unethical gains which Aastha pointed out beautifully in her article. Values get adulterated as well, which my co-authors Sreepriya and Rajnandini explained in their respective articles. Pradita emphasized on education getting adulterated and that was so rightly pointed out by her. Finally, Kalpana stressed on the innocence in a child that is so rare to see these days as it is either adulterated or lost completely.

But my recent life experience gave me another thought about this subject: ‘The Age of Adulteration‘. Adulteration of Emotions… Can this be possible? Yes… it is very much possible.

Let me give the examples through my recent life experiences…

It was just two weeks ago and there I was lying down on the hospital bed. I was just blank and was thinking what suddenly happened to me. A serious illness is a time when we usually become very tired, worn out, weak, vulnerable and extremely emotional. And I was feeling the same. Tears were rolling down my eyes. I was missing my family and friends. I was feeling extremely scared. My family members and friends called me and spoke to me, gave me and my wife a lot of strength. I want to share few special calls and messages that really strengthened me.

It was on 12th September 2017, afternoon time:

Kalpana messaged me asking, “Can I call you?” and I replied immediately, “Call”. And she called on Whatsapp from Belgium. The talk didn’t last more than 10/15 minutes but I could feel her heart and emotions for me and that gave me so much strength.

On 13th Sep 2017 around 5:51 PM:

I saw a missed call at 3:42PM. And the name amazed me, “Sreepriya”. She is very new in the team and to me and had never spoken to me even once or chatted with me much as yet. Yet I just called back immediately as soon as I saw the missed call. And we spoke. I felt the same care and same concern in her voice as I felt talking to my old buddies. That was heart warming and extremely soothing. That call touched me a lot.

That’s the strength of an Unadulterated Emotion. It pierces the heart and works within it amazingly.

On 11th Sep 2017 at 2:12 PM, :

Saakshi messaged. “Please don’t worry…Nothing will happen to you… I know you are suffering…. And in pain… But you trust in Jesus so much… He has to come for your help… He can’t sit back and watch… Everything will be okay. I am holding your hand. I won’t let it go.

She messaged again at 8:19 AM, 14th Sep 2017: “How are you? Good Morning… Please tell me you are better… Listen to me… Don’t hold back on your treatment if money becomes issue… I am there…  Are you listening? Your Jesus will help you… I am sure… I am an atheist… But you are a resilient believer… He won’t desert you…  He will come to your aid and get you out of this trouble… I have confidence in your prayers… You are a fighter… Remember my passage I wrote for your heart… It’s weak but it’s strong… You have won against odds… You will do same this time as well.

Poor she… I could not respond to her right away as both the times I was sleeping. But I could feel how troubled she was for me – her mentor, her father-like friend.

But the message which really made me cry a lot though gave me a lot of strength was when Preeta messaged me. Probably the timings were critical when she messaged…

At 10AM, 10 Sep 2017:

Preeta: Gear up boss! Lots of best wishes and hugs to you for you to get up and get moving…

Me: Thanks Salma

At 10:39 PM, 11 Sep 2017:

Preeta: How are you fighter?

Me: Not great… finally feeling bit scared.

Preeta: Arrey why? You will be fine, keep the faith.

Me: Gum bleeding

Preeta: Look, you are a born fighter and remember that. You are going to be fine very soon. Your Salma is missing you, like your other angels… come back to your normal self with a bang… Just remember you will be recovering soon. Don’t stress much on your phone. Take care dearie…

At 7:42 AM, 12th Sep 2017:

Preeta: Hey man! See I’m going to write this Friday, after so long, so u better get ok.

You won’t believe how strengthening these words were. I could feel her pained and worried heart yet she never failed to encourage me. She tried to distract my focus from my problem to other things, to the things which interest me… That encompassed me with loads of pure emotions around my heart like honey covering around a scoop of ice cream.  Thank You Preeta!

Apart from these people there were Aastha, Rajnandini, Prabhjot and all others who were constantly calling, messaging and strengthening me. Avinash came twice to see me and pray for me. That was strengthening as well.

If I write about the words of my sisters and relatives it would be too long an article. 😉

This was an amazing and unforgettable event of my life though I suffered a lot. And I had to mention all of them in this article where I am talking about Unadulterated Emotions and how it nourished me when I needed it.

Emotions are something that makes humans different from animals. Animals have senses and instincts, not emotions because they don’t have spirits as we have. That’s a different subject altogether though. But sometimes the emotions that we express towards someone can be faked, adulterated with ease and very cunningly.

Just imagine why we love to hear those authoritative statements from our friends, relatives and family members? Because we feel and understand that the emotions of that person which is surging out for us are real and pure. But sometimes we don’t feel the same pure, unadulterated emotions surging out for us and that makes us sad and disappointed when someone says he or she loves us yet avoids us and ignores us and so on…

We need to remember that unadulterated emotions always soothe our spirit, calm our mind and nourish our hearts. But adulterated emotions hurt us brutally, leave deep scars in our hearts and make us sad in our life.

Emotions are integral part of us and I have always been honest in expressing myself. I never show a second side of myself. I say what I feel. I admonish, reprimand and show my love wholeheartedly with my unadulterated emotions surging out for the concerned person. And that really touches people and nourishes them emotionally.

Have you ever felt nourished or malnourished emotionally? Check for what you are receiving… pure, unadulterated emotions or fake and adulterated which can drain you out completely. Think about the other way around as well. Nourish… Don’t let people struggle emotionally.

Stay Blessed!

PURITY OF INNOCENCE IS LOST

Hello Everyone,

“Childhood is a golden phase of life laced with innocence – try to keep it intact”.

When I look at the kids of this generation  (yeah I can use this word “generation” as I am already over three decades) I find them very smart, competitive and raring to go. Be it studies or other than that, there is always a rush.  And I have this question at back of my mind “What’s the rush?” Why is there a rush to win at any cost?  Why is there a rush to grow up too fast too soon?  Who is prompting it after all?

I am 31 years old and strongly feel that I belong to a different era.  An era of Tom and Jerry, Jungle book on Sundays; an era of carrom board games during the day time and badminton in the evenings during summer vacations.  And the most important and beautiful aspect of that era is “innocence”.  Fights were there but sans guns,  questions were there but relevant to the age and never absurd, competition was there but never ugly.

Now when I see kids of this generation, I am amazed and sometimes agonized too.  They are way smarter and informed than what we used to be.  A six-year-old kid of this generation is a pro in surfing net than me and you.  A ten-year old kid talks about a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, a fifteen year old is old enough to experience smoking and by the time eighteenth year arrives, well they are already ADULTS!  I can bet on that.  Is it the smartness or loss of innocence or childhood or an era of adulteration where the proportion of purity of innocence is disappearing with every passing generation?

Thanks to the nuclear family set ups, intrusion of internet in lives, impact of television, never-ending chase of goals resulting in less family time, peer pressure…. Our kids are at risk of losing their childhood faster.

I would like to support my argument with an example. Yesterday I was watching a random movie which showed a kid of around ten-year old teaching hero of the movie tricks to woo a girl.  I was irked by that because this is something unexpected from such a young one.  In an article from the social media that I read about a month back, an Eighth class student poisoned a classmate just because the classmate happened to score more marks in examinations.  This is outright repulsive and disturbing.  Increase in number of Juvenile Crime Cases of all sorts all over the world by leaps and bounds is an indicator of the issue that is grave and needs to be addressed.

What and Who is responsible?

Television, I am not kidding:  Talking about the impact of television on young minds, it is really worrisome that most of the cartoons viewed by children showcase guns and wars and nothing is funny about them.  This provokes the violent streak in them.  Recently while surfing the net I came across few articles that showcased the concern of parents whose kids are watching a particular cartoon called “Peppa Pig”.  The central character of the series is a very spoilt and ill-mannered child of a dysfunctional family.  And imitation which comes naturally to kids are imitating Peppa and it’s unacceptable (read rude) tone and behaviour.  This is concerning the kids of younger age when they have a more fertile and impressionable minds.  It’s nothing short of polluting their minds and thoughts.

Parents please don’t push your kids too hard:  It’s all about competition nowadays.  Too much emphasis on competing is making it unhealthy for the kids.  Parents want their kids to excel in every activity.  You may be thinking how it could be considered as something harmful.  There is nothing wrong in letting a child pursue his or her interests.  There is nothing wrong in letting them compete or participate in events concerning their interests as long as it is only meant to boost their confidence and develop their interests to the perfection.  In this perspective, I would like to mention about the plethora of  reality shows which showcase kids of as young as 3 years doing stuff like dancing, acting, singing etc. in the full glare of camera.  Purpose – to be famous; to earn money; to rate your talent.  I condemn it wholeheartedly.  I don’t see a reason why the burden of parents’ dreams are dumped upon tender shoulders.  It is simply denying their right to live their childhood.  It irks me to no end that kids who haven’t even started speaking properly are given dialogues that they can’t even mouth.  Believe it or not they are made to smile, laugh, play even cry for the perfect shot to be captured in camera as everything is scripted.  Isn’t it cringe worthy?

Result: Just like steroids induce unnatural growth and a child matures way before he or she is supposed to in due course of time, it has nothing much to do with circumstances other than the aspirations of parents.  Isn’t it a kind of adulteration?

There’s nothing wrong to be mature and informed.  In fact our preceding generation might hold the same view about us as we do for our next generation.  Then where lied the difference?

The major factor that made and could make a whole lot of difference is “family time”.  I still remember no matter how busy the day was my father always made it a point to spend quality time with us (me and my brother), enquiring how our day was, how our studies are going; we used to have one time family meal together, cook for us occasionally, play with us.  Such simple gestures make a lot of difference.  That strengthens bond between parents and children and could refrain them from going haywire.

A glance at current situation  presents a weird picture.  In a family of four, everyone is busy with their respective gadgets on dining table, communication is more or less about Facebook updates, concept of individual space is so twisted  that questioning is considered an intrusion into personal space. And when there is no tab and secrets dwell within,  there is every possibility of children being misled and misguided be it by social media, television or a person.

Therefore believe it or not, the role of parents is of utmost importance when children and their future is in question.

  • Talk to them
  • Listen to them
  • Try to understand them
  • Stand with and for them

Remember one thing always:  your gifts may go obsolete with time but not values imparted.  It’s on us to keep the innocence and childhood intact.

Here are quite a few things that parents need to understand ASAP:

  • Teach your kids to be happy at first place.  Let them grow up at their own pace.  Let them enjoy their childhood, don’t force them to grow up out-of-the-way.
  • Know the difference between literacy and education:  If a person can read and write and sign his or her name he or she is merely literate.  Education in true sense imparts values and wisdom.  Give education to your kids, that would count in the long run as it would help them to differentiate between what’s wrong and what’s right, period.
  • Let their interests blossom before you pluck the fruit.  To compete or not, should be a child’s prerogative. Never ever force your decision and whims and fancies on your child.

A lot more has been said already in this context and a lot more will be said after this and the question will be same every time, “Have we realized yet or not?”

ADULTERATION IN EDUCATION

‘Wait, what?’

I hear you say. You must think I’m crazy. How is it possible to adulterate education? It’s not milk or masalas. Right?

Ever come across any of these situations?

  1. Students seeking admission to colleges don’t know how to spell the word ‘college’.
  2. Students from English medium schools don’t remember the Hindi alphabet.
  3. Students in Senior School do not know the names of North-East Indian states or their capitals.
  4. Students with over 90% marks in English make silly grammatical mistakes.
  5. Student’s who have apparently passed High School, don’t know how to read or write.

Don’t tell me you have never come across a single scenario like the ones enumerated above. If you have had your eyes open to the world, you will concede that each and every point I have written above is true. I have written from an Indian perspective, but I’m sure in your native countries, this must hold true as well.

Now comes the next question. If our students are not able to do even simple things like remembering the Hindi varnamala, then what exactly are they learning in school? Also, if we are supplementing our children’s education by an array of educational aids, like tuition classes, videos, interactive sessions, blah, blah, blah, then why are they faltering in the basics of education?  

Can you see where I’m heading with this? Yes, I’m trying to say that we are adulterating the education we impart to our children by feeding them knowledge that is doing the opposite of what education ought to do. To put it plainly and harshly – we’re making them dumber.

If you don’t want to believe my claims, I’ll present to you these alarming reports I came across –

The Hindu reported that in rural India only 53.5 percent of children were able to solve a simple two-digit subtraction problem in the year 2012. India Education Review quoted the Annual Status of Education Report 2014, where it was found that there was a steep fall between 2007 to 2014 in the number of children in Standard V who could read a Standard II textbook, in both government and private schools. Then,  a World Bank Study published in the year 2014 provided that around 1/3rd of all third graders in Indian schools could not read in their own native languages. The biggest shocker for me was reading the 2009 published OECD-PISA International Survey where India, much to our shame, was ranked 72 among 73 countries for the quality of our education. Ever since then we have stopped taking part in the PISA survey.  Any guesses why? Here’s another shocker – over a lakh of schools in the coutry have only 1 teacher per school…. yes, PER SCHOOL!

And the joke is that we have apparently brought down the number of our out-of-school chidlren from 32 million in 2001 to 1.4 million in 2011.

If this does not raise the question ‘what are we teaching our children in schools’, then I don’t know what else does. And if this does not prove the point that we have adulterated our educational system, then I don’t know how else to prove it to you.

I understand and appreciate that we are all loving parents who are doing their best to provide their children with the best education that their means can afford. But dear parents, the problem doesn’t lie in your intention or in your child, the problem lies in the system that is imparting education and in your blind acquiescence to its gaffes. Your nifty International schools with the air-conditioned classes and computerized educational aids may just be a money-making racket, guilty of teaching your kids the wrong things because they are too invested in providing unnecessary gimmicks to your child, while completely ignoring the point of education. Tell me what use is knowing how to operate a tablet if the child does not know how to read the words on a screen? Tell me what use are those fancy picture books, when all the child wants to do is stare at the pictures, and ignore the text?

Schools and their modern corollaries, tuition centres, are camouflaging noise, wrapping it up in glitzy software and serving it up to our starry-eyed children on the pretext of giving them ‘quality education’ and ‘helping them beat the competition’. Have you ever wondered why the octagenarian Dadaji living next door can still rattle off a poem by Wordsworth or Mahadevi Verma, while your Engineer child needs a calculator app on his smartphone to do simple arithmetic? It’s because Dadaji was taught to first clear his basics and internalize what he learnt, unlike we who want to learn things as soon as possible. Learning is a slow and gradual process that is best dealt with when it’s done step by step. Rushing it by too much data and too many distractions only hinder students from receiving true education. This is what adulteration of education is.

My point is, we need to separate the grain from the chaff here, get back to the drawing board and draw a line between what is cardinal to the education of our youth and what is frivolous. Imbibe the cardinal, leave out the frivolous. I agree education does not stop at teaching them the alphabet. But an education does not mean cramming and learning by rote, like how we are encouraging in our schools and tuition centres these days. Can you justify writing in bullet points for a Literature paper, when the point of learning Literature is to understand it subjectively? But this happens, like in our CBSE system where students are taught (I was one of them) that to gain maximum marks in the Boards, we must write our English Language answers in bullet points containing the main points of the ‘right answer’!

A huge part of learning is the struggle to learn. If we keep providing our children crutches, how will our children ever learn anything? A simple example will further clarify my point. If your child can’t count from 1 to 10, he can’t do addition or subtraction. Then please, stop giving him aids like calculators in the name of ‘good parenting’ and further ruin his chances of learning. Teach him how to count instead. AND teach him yourself instead of providing him aid from a tutor or a phone app.

Remember that education does not necessarily come from maximum exposure. There have been greats like Beethoven who was a musical genius inspite of being deprived of the sense of sight, hearing and voice.

Pradita Kapahi.

THE ADULTERATION OF VALUES

Sugar was found mixed with fine plastic crystals that naked eye can’t see. However, if sugar with crystals is added to cold water, it will not dissolve and settle at the surface of the container. If this test is done with milk or tea, the result may not be conclusive as even adulterated sugar gets dissolved.

White chilli powder is dyed with ‘sudan red‘, an artificial dye to turn it into an expensive red chilli powder. Whole red chillies are adulterated with coal tar to enhance their appearance.

Adding glucose, dextrose, molasses, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, corn syrup, starch, or any other similar product, other than floral nectar to honey, adulterates it.

Adulterated milk is what we end up drinking these days. Other contaminants like urea, starch, glucose, formalin along with detergent are used as adulterants. These adulterants are used to increase the thickness and viscosity of the milk as well as to preserve it for a longer period.

When we hear the term ‘adulteration’, the imagery that immediately appears before us is that of adulterated food products. The word ‘adulteration’ comes from the Latin word adulterare which means corrupt. More than any other thing, the word ‘adulteration’ aptly applies to a degradation/corruption of value systems.

Civilizations have become advanced. Technological know-how is on the rise. Awareness levels have increased. Independence has increased. Economy has shot up. But, the latitude of acceptance has come down. Tolerance levels have plummeted. Conditions have taken the place of trust. Virtual relationships have taken the place of real-world relationships. With dysfunctional and single-parent families on the rise, the definition of family is gradually getting skewed. Lust has replaced love. Corruption has become a part of life – shell out money and your work is easily done without delay.

A group of teenagers came to me with the question, “Do values and integrity matter in this day and age?” I paused for some time before answering them, thinking that we are living in times where the very existence of values and integrity is being questioned! The information explosion at the click of a mouse, the lure of reaching heights of accomplishments, settling for mediocrity in place of excellence with a ‘chalta hai’ attitude has diluted the desire to conform to existing values.

We are living at times where a substitute can be found for almost everything. Live-in relationships as substitutes for families, internet games in place of the sweat and laughter of playing on playgrounds, extra-matrital relationships in place of the warmth of one’s own spouse – you think of it and you can list the gross adulteration.

Not that such things never ever happened previously. While the rarity of such occurrences in the past made people startle, the rarity of such incidents not occurring today, makes one marvel.

No matter how powerful the pull of the world may be, if our equation with the Almighty is strong, the likelihood of getting sucked into this whirlwind of adulterated values will be lesser. Yes, we may end up being victims to it all for the stand we take, but our conscience would remain clear of not victimizing anyone or ourselves of such dilution.

THE UNREAL WORLD WE LIVE IN

What is real?

What is unreal?

Everything is churned and become the new world around us. The world now we see is the adulterated version of the real world. 

Where are kindness, care, love, affection, and values?

Everything is now a corrupted version of life, that we are living. There is no bond, no empathy, no selfless love, and care. The whole world is centered around greed and the root cause is power or money that we all crave to attain in one or the other way. Emotions are drained and people have become like mannequins standing in the glass house watching the street filling with the colors of violence. 

Friendship is a treasured gift, I always kept close to my heart. During my childhood, if a friend of mine who, never bothered to talk to me asked for help, I used to give them my share of help as much as I could. But in return, there was not even an acknowledgment from their side. I was always taught that a help should be offered with utmost clear heart, without expecting anything in return. Hence I neglected the thought that came to my mind, as it was hurting me. The scenarios repeated, yet all I got in response was complete negligence. Everyone came to me only when it was required until then I was a trash to them, I realized that they were never worthy to be my friends. It was hard indeed to keep away and deck my face with the fake smile. Yet, with years of betrayals, I learned the fact that ” No one really cares”. True faces were totally difficult to be found in our network. Everyone just utilizes the friendship hand we offer and then go ahead to do the backbiting. 

To my surprise, there are friends who without even us expecting, come and stand with us in the realm of our problems, holding us like a single piece and never let us shatter away. These friends are the unadulterated version of Friendship, whom I treasure the most. I am abundantly blessed with such ones, whom I can rely on even in the middle of any circumstance. It is said when we share a secret with a friend, either the friend utilizes it or keeps it safe like a hidden treasure. The latter categories are hard to find and difficult to keep. 

Honesty and trustworthiness have being deteriorated in the present world. Everywhere around us, we find pestilence. The true picture is now faded away , what we see are the remains of the true world. 

Adulteration of Food is very commonly happening in our society. Companies and Manufacturers aiming to attain profit malpractice with the food products, which the common man survives on. Even if it is water, food or anything, adulteration has crossed its limits. 

Once I remember reading that the canned water that is supplied to households and other areas are brought from the contaminated water, without even being purified. It just broke my trust in everything. The thoughts clouded my mind :

” how could ever they do like that? 

If they could not drink it, how could they offer it to others? ” 

Yet that is the world around us now. Everyone aims their comfort and joy. People just show care and love in words, but in reality, they just become meaningless jargons used to win over.  

Even in this contaminated world, I always had my eyes and hopes on to find the true selfless beauty of life. It is like adulteration has clouded the world, hiding the real ones, yet the clouds do not remain in there always. 

Let us believe that there is sunshine ahead of us beyond these dark clouds and hope to be an unadulterated version in this society to at least keep the candle of hope burning.