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What is your Freedom?

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Freedom is a purely personal prerogative. It is inclusive and unique. To each his own.

WWhen the fervour of the celebrations and the big questions of the nation got mellowed into the rhythm of quotidian life, one evening, quite unexpectedly, I found myself inclined to ponder on the word 'Freedom'. It's contemporary relevance in my life. In our lives.

So much has been spent and so little saved of this abstraction, which is, by the way, the most potent emotion, that for a moment I was incapable of even having a thought on it. But then the urge to look at it simply, without its baggage, swelled up within me.

I felt that for the unborn child, release from the amniotic sac and into a blurred but beautiful world was freedom. An unsteady crawl and an ardour for the unexplored could set a baby free as did school and friends to one in his growing up years. A movement beyond the familiar walls is the first taste of freedom that one can relish, I realised.


As years yield to eagerness …

Children are Special

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Every child is special. Do we have the heart to feel it?

These days my 9-year old seems to be obsessed with Ninjas. She loves to watch their movies, read about them and even use the primary karate moves (picked up from weekly lessons in school) to emulate them.


Last night as she was intensely watching an animated Ninja episode, she blurted out a phrase. Without any conscious effort, it caught my attention. ‘Ninjas never quit!’

As I moved out of the room and into the verandah to take off my daughter’s uniform from the clothesline, my eyes fell upon the ‘Niketan’. The school-cum-residential that stands just across the street.


It is a home in which, not one, two or even a few children live. It is one which accommodates 150 - 200 children. They live there, not with their parents or relatives but under the supervision of caregivers and special educators. Though they are like us and our children, they are often referred to as ‘special’. Apparently, they have physical, mental or sometimes eve…

Nurturing beyond AI

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Teachers and parents have their work cut out to shape our kids for an AI world.

Children are the future. Shaping them, along with their parents, are their teachers. But when Sophia, the world’s first humanoid, grabbed headlines three years back, it threw a challenge to the teachers of today.

Among the various areas where Sophia could be of use, forecast by creator Hanson Tech, education was one.

Artificial intelligence (AI), of which Sophia is one of the finest examples, is permeating every sphere in our lives. Its expanding reach is shrinking the scope for human employment, through automation. Teachers could soon find themselves replaced by AI.

IBM’s AI tech, Watson, is famed for being able to beat human intelligence. AI’s appeal lies in being super-fast with 100 per cent accuracy, an enormous memory and malfunctioning that is logically deducible, unlike a capricious human temper.

People will have to come up with new ways to add value to their profession to stay on the top. Science f…

Let's talk

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Engrossed in our gadgets, we now find it intimidating to have a real chat.

Words, words and more words. Not just feed, I feast on them. But communication today is being threatened and usurped by addictive, numbing and readily-available audio and visual entertainment. We just have got to do something about it.

Conversation is crucial. Be it a coming-back-from-school story session between a child and a parent, a sweet (and yet-to-become-bitter) têt-à-tête between lovers, a storytelling stretch between an indulgent grandparent and a little one or even an unabashed venting-out bout between friends, such exchanges are the lifeblood maintaining the essence and integrity of relationships.

It was only last weekend when I had gone for brunch, a hybrid meal meant for leisurely days, that I distinctly noticed one thing - people were hardly talking!

They were immersed in their gadgets. Shockingly, even children (at least one in all but a few tables) were using a virtual portal to shun the fun an…