Saturday, 23 January 2016

When Parents FAIL their Children all over again

Some parents I’ve noticed have this annoying habit. A habit they do not realize does more harm than good; a habit that discourages instead of bringing improvement; a habit that affects the psyche instead of the outlook; a habit that is akin to kicking someone who has fallen, laughing in their face, and then telling them how much you love them.

This is the habit of parents showing the whole world what spectacular and utter failures their children are by putting their shortfalls on full display before all to see and then inviting some more people to come and have a good laugh that’ll brighten up their day. This will then probably lead to an innocent either jumping from the terrace or hanging from the fan if they’re not strong enough to take the insult or smart enough to understand its purpose.

Let’s face it, there are such parents. And what’s worse, they are more in number than those parents who like to show the world that their children are the best in the whole wide world. Admittedly, that isn’t any good either, extremes rarely are, but at least it is talked about and ridiculed. However, the other end of the spectrum? It isn’t talked about in the way the adulation is spoken of. It is hardly ever criticized in society that is.

Image Courtesy:

There is rarely one who is strong enough to stand up to the parents and ask them to stop the rigmarole because at that moment, the child is the one who has let the parents down, who has tarnished the family name, who has failed in class, who has lost the competition, who has bunked a class, ho didn’t get into a good college, who didn’t get that gold medal, who didn’t care about what parents wanted. The child is to blame fair and square.

But one would think that parents, before using this innovative method of insulting their children before family and friends, would stop for a moment and think about what this would achieve.

Does ridicule raise confidence?

Does insult dull the injury of failure?

Does shame induce self-confidence?

Does derision ensure better performance?

Does humiliation beget better results?

Does indignity tend to inspire?

These are the questions that these parents need to ask themselves before going out into that party and shaming their children before others because you never know how someone will react to such shaming.

Your children might not understand that you do it out of love or desperation or some other sort of correctional method. In that moment, they just know pain all over again.

For some, it is too late. For others, it is not.

Please find a better way.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for quite some time now and a friend fortunately brought it up on Facebook recently. She saw this happening on an Indian soap opera and spoke out against it which led me to ultimately writing this piece. If you do think the problem is real, share this post with either the student who is suffering from this, or with the parent who thinks ridicule only makes things better.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Kim Jong-un's Six news ways to kill Traitors

Pyongyang: After having his Defence chief executed for treason because he dozed off in a high profile meeting titled ‘Dealing with Traitors’, eternal leader and Dictator par excellence Kim Jong-un sent a memo to the Pointless Killings Committee elaborating on six innovative ways to execute future sleeping beauties.

Sources deep inside the North Korean government indicate that Kim formulated this memo on the way to the classified nuclear missile silo where he was scheduled to oversee the execution of the chief scientist for making missiles with rounded heads. These pointers are meant to be taken as an express command of the benevolent leader and are to be inducted into the formal execution methods for all time (and beyond it).

Here is a copy of the memo that an anonymous source sent out to Faking News before mysteriously disappearing two days back. The document contains illustrative photographs to help the committee better grasp what the leader has in mind.

This dude!

Top Secret Document
Six New ways to annilate anihilatte destroy Traitors

#1 Running them over with Monster Trucks

Technique: Two monster trucks gifted to me, your leader, your God, your everything, by my best friend Putin will be used to run traitors over in the garden of my palace.

Priority status: Slaves bonded labourers.

#2 Tying them to Test Missiles

Technique: Any traitor who happens to be convicted on the day of a test launch of our missiles shall be tied naked to the missile and then launched. Sex appeal will get more attention from the world press.

Priority status: All military personnel, my family members.

#3 Air-dropping them over South Korea

Technique: Traitors attempting to cross over to the prosperous hated nation south of our borders shall be air dropped without parachutes in their territory.

Priority status: Civilians looking for a better life.

#4 Making them eat Radioactive Vegetables

Technique: Defectors working in sensitive national security fields shall be made to eat vegetables stored in uranium 238 contaminated storage.

Priority status:  Scientists, researchers, historians.

#5 Feeding them to the Sharks

Technique: Enemy citizens captured within and beyond the boundaries of our glorious nation shall be sent to sleep with the fishes. I have waited to use this line from a long, very long time.

Priority status: Spies, prisoners of war.

#6 Injecting them with the Ebola virus

Technique: Old people and the sick are of no use to the economy (thus becoming traitors) and must be disposed off. However, this must be done with compassion. To give them a natural death, they must be injected with the Ebola virus which our outsourcing partner Boko Haram has sent us.

Priority status: Old, sick, unemployed

Note: This is a Faking News report that I did some time back for MyFaking News. It is to be taken with the humour with which it was written.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Maybe George Orwell was Wrong about Journalism

There’s this quote going around that people credit to the author of works such as ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’. It goes something like this…

Yeah, this quote.

Now, let me confess something right at the beginning.

I don’t really know if he said it or if it means something else altogether or if he meant it as a very complex metaphor to say something that I haven’t understood, but from what I gather from its literal meaning is that journalism is about letting people know about things that other don’t want them to know.

Now maybe he might not have used this quote to convey an absolute definition of journalism but seen and understood on its own, without a point of reference, it does seem like a very confined view of the field to me.

Saying that journalism is printing what others don’t want printed defines only one aspect of the many possibilities journalism holds. Information, knowledge, awareness, peacekeeping, gate keeping and even revolution are some of the various aspects of what one might call journalism per se.

Printing only what others don’t want printed seems to then be a very stunted view which implies that only the bad side of human nature is what journalism should strive to portray.

But journalism, as far as I understand it, stands as a mirror before society, showing it its true face, pretty or ugly, sane or insane, free or enslaved. But always what society really looks like, not only what-must-not-be-said.

Image Courtesy:

Some might today claim that the media has become biased, that it does show only what it wants to, that it all depends on the interest of those who control the media. Others claim that ‘breaking news’ is all what the media is about today. And still others believe that the amount of bad news being printed and broadcast is more than the good that is happening in society.

Does that mean this quote holds true?

Not necessarily. One has to look beyond the bad to search for the good. It does happen all around us and it is reported. Maybe it’s just that we are so attuned to the bad that we cannot find enough good to make it count.

As someone actually working in this industry, I know how hard journalists toil to search for a good story amongst the murders and suicides of everyday life. These stories then appear in print and are broadcast, but are we open enough to give the good news enough credit?

Are we ready to admit that George Orwell might, just might, be wrong?

Are we?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Year is New, but are Your Priorities?

Everyone’s excited about the new year that began on January 1st. Excited about a new beginning, a new resolution, a new twist to lie, a promise to oneself, new changes, new attitudes, new, new, new…

But is that really the case?

Do we really look forward to a new year or look back and enjoy the memories of milestones past. Are we just content to look back and not bother much about what lies ahead?

Image Courtesy:

If yes, then why rejoice for all the things accomplished at the end of this calendar year? Why not think of what didn’t happen this year? Why not think of what more could have been done this year? Why not reflect upon things that still require attention?

Some examples if you please.

Everyone in India went gaga over the fact that the country now has 1 billion telecom users. Yay! The country is now connected, right?

But what about the fact that India’s population is 1.2 billion, which leaves about 0.2 billion people still without a phone?

And what about the fact that there are 4 billion people in the world still not connected to the internet according to CNN Money? That’s four times the people who just use telecom services in India.

How about the 1.6 billion people in the world who have no sort of electricity at all if the World Bank is to be believed? How come these people don’t have a light in their homes this new year while we celebrate?

But the best and most apt comparison is that the United Nations claims there are 1 billion people in the world who defecate in the open even today. Well, how about that? What about them?

If you need to think, think of what is still left to do instead of lying back and basking in the glory of things already achieved. These are the things that need to be done this year.

Make a promise to help in whatever little way you can, for every small measure helps in making this world in the words of the immortal Michael Jackson:

A better place for you and for me and the entire human race…