Chess, My thoughts, Personal

 Unschooling Diaries #13:- Something about chess and life

There is a phase that chess players go through in which instead of creating play of their own they just react to their opponent’s and if he is playing without one they just make waiting moves until he comes up with one. But the problem with this approach is you will either draw or lose, you can’t win. I can’t speak for everyone but there are a number of reasons this happens. One of them is fear – ‘I can’t mess up if I don’t do anything.’ Another one is laziness- ‘this requires too much brain. Let him do the hard work of coming up with something.’ 

And I certainly know what it feels like, because I am going through the same phase. Well it is better than before:- now I can make plans, take initiative, etc earlier to win I would solely rely on the opponent to mess up. But the problem, tournament class players almost never blunder big time. Plus, chess is a game of war, you need to trick your opponent, take him by surprise, you need to be one step ahead, which you can’t if he has the lead. He is in control, he is literally making you play the moves. There is another saying in chess:-  Every move you make should have a positive base and be geared to increasing the advantages you already possess. It is so true, and so amazing how these two things connect in chess as well in life. In chess if you lay back and give free rein to your opponent, you will get knocked down in no time, same way in life if you keep waiting for something to happen, one day you will be beaten up and disappointed. I mean that is what I have learned about life from chess and my dad would be a great example about this. Because he started learning guitar recently, at this age he left his job and started a business, he started meditating two years ago, he also started dieting and exercising completely turned his health around. Now did he have some kind of divine revelation or anything else like that- No. He just decided to take the lead. We can do the same for ourselves:- you know instead of waiting for something amazing to happen, we make those things happen like doing at least one new thing every week, taking control of our health, working with our fears, etc. And just like that we are in control…

My thoughts, Parenting, Personal

First Human Beings..

Today, my nose was paining, my head was throbbing, I probably pulled a muscle in my right leg, and my throat was croaky with the cold. Sorry guys for starting this blog with such a gloomy line, but when I thought about the major things happening with me today, I wanted to share this with you. After all life is a mix of sweet and sour. Despite all this going on I will say today was a great day, because I managed to beat a chess coach in an offline classical game, and I helped a old lady cross the road. It makes me really happy when I get to help other people, even though it’s just small things. There are many other things that I wish I could change, For example, when I saw an adolescent boy selling corn on the street to make a living. Or, when I see so many hungry and injured dogs on the street daily.  I know the saying – “ Be the change you want to see in the world” . I believe in this saying, but I don’t believe one person is enough to set everything right. I believe it takes joint awareness and conscious action to bring a significant change. Even if everyone contributes just a little, we can change the world, for example, maybe teaching a poor kid near your house, taking in sick and hurt animals, etc. 

I hope to be that change, If not now at least when I grow up. 

I had met a special needs teacher, who runs his own Waldorf School. He told me the first and foremost principle of any educational model should be to first make human beings out of the children. Beautiful, isn’t it? I will never forget that line. If not in schools at least in our homes are we first making human beings out of our children or not?

My thoughts, Parenting, Personal, Well being

Unschooling Diaries #12 :- Clashing Dates, Evening Cycle Rides, and Apartment Cats…

This has been such a great week, with many ups and downs and twists and turns.

At the start of the week, I had submitted my form for an Ameutur Boxing Championship to be held in Banglore. It was an inter-club tournament and I was so excited, it was going to be a lot of fun. But, here is the plot twist, the boxing tournament was to be held on 1-2 October, but it got postponed to 8-9 October, and I have the State Women Open Chess Championship on those days😔.  I definitely cannot miss it because I already missed the U15 girls one. However, it was fun preparing for the boxing tournament. It has given me motivation to work harder for the next one👍.

Meanwhile I would like to state some things which made me really happy this week. 

  1. Coming home by my cycle in the evening after boxing class


It is a wonderful feeling to return home by cycle in the evening. The air will be blowing in my face, and the weather will be nice and cool. We all agree that two wheelers in the evening is just a different mood. Yes, that time there is a lot of traffic, pollution, and the roads are not good, but sometimes when I get to see a sunset followed by beautiful twilight, I forget all about the rest.

  1. The confidence and fitness boxing has given me

I am so happy and really grateful to my parents for making me join this boxing class. Because it has given me a level of fitness I never had before, and that makes me feel nice and confident.

  1. Feeding my apartment cats

I am glad, my parents don’t keep my schedule very packed and I have time to do a lot of other stuff. Like feeding the cats near my apartment. 

  1. The confidence I have to talk to people now

This week I just noticed how confident I have now become to talk to people. Before (pre-covid) I had literally had no idea how to, if some guest had come or we had gone out, I would just become speechless ( in a literal way). But now when I go to people’s houses I can talk nicely, I can entertain the guests whenever they come. In fact I am hosting a chess meetup at my place tomorrow, and I feel so proud that I have the confidence to host the entire thing on my own now.

This is the second one, we had hosted one more last week also. Don’t forget to tune in to find out what happens tomorrow. 

Please send me a few things that made you too  happy this week, I would love to hear them. 

My thoughts, Personal

Unschooling Diaries #10 :- What is the Greatest Spirituality?

Today, my mom and I went to Ashram to take a Level 2 Kriya Yoga class. So, basically Kriya Yoga is a path of spirituality, like the Gyan Yoga, or Bhakti Yoga. To get initiated into Kriya Yoga you are required to complete 4 levels, and 9 – 11 classes. So, my parents and I had taken L-1 together, around 3 months ago, and my dad had also completed his L-2 last month. 

But this time I felt the teacher was not that good. Like many people won’t come back, simply because the class failed to touch their hearts. This event reminds of a quote, I wrote about a few days ago:- Life should be chiefly service. Without that ideal, the intelligence that God has given you is not reaching out toward its goal. When in service you forget the little self, you will feel the big Self of Spirit.” On the first line I had written how Yogananda Ji, means to develop a seva attitude in everything we do. There is a nice story from my Vrindavan trip related to this

On Janmashtami a group of the volunteers were decorating one of the ashrams. So everybody was trying to decorate the altar, because that would be the center of attention. I was blowing balloons with another volunteer. Inwardly I was thinking, ‘what an insignificant job, I want to do something important too.’ Naturally with this thought process even the action was being done halfheartedly, Then, a bit tired I  went around the Ashram to take a look as to what was going on. When I came to the entrance I saw that some of the staff were decorating it, and they all were working hard doing a good job. So, I got inspired to help them. I noticed that there was a shortage of balloons. ‘Oh, so this is where they were getting used” I thought. I quickly went inside and blew up many balloons of different colors and helped them decorate the entrance. Decorating the entrance was as important as decorating the altar, after all the entrance was going to be the first impression of anybody that was going to come. That day I realized that even blowing balloons was such animportant task, its fruit might not be taking place in front of me, but I was helping someone. This means that all jobs are equally important, and everybody should do their work diligently and honestly.

Coming back to today’s L-2 class. Today, the teacher had a very important job, she was preparing everyone for initiation into Kriya. Unlike the L-1 class, which was taken very nicely and almost all students had come back for L2 and L3, I don’t think there will be this much success rate in this class. There was no personal interaction, no proper explanations, etc. Because she lacked that enthusiasm, that thought of “oh, today I just want to fill these people with the essence of kriya yoga” was not there.

So, this is why I consider doing your job correctly the greatest spirituality. Today, she could transform some people’s lives and consciousness forever but she failed. Similarly if governments functioned honestly, parents parented correctly, schools thought properly, we would live in a different world. Think about it. Are you doing your job properly?

Parenting, Personal

 Unschooling Diaries #9: Why the Schools System is the Way it is

If we ask ourselves why the school system is the way it is instead of how you will never send your kids to school again. Because by asking ‘why’ we get to know the real intention, motive, and purpose of the entire school system. What do they want to make of children? 

So, tell me why is the school system the way it is? Why do they murder creativity? Why don’t they teach anything related to practical life? Why do they refuse to evolve with the times? Why don’t they give proper financial education? Because they don’t want us to think, grow, evolve,  learn, and dream. The child’s mind is so conditioned in these institutions to kill all ideas, creativity, and curiosity. What does one do when one has no imagination and thinking, A job! Or should I say modern-day slavery?  Yes, that is the purpose of the school to get people ready for jobs. They don’t want to create musicians, sports players, artists, travelers,  entrepreneurs,  or writers. No, they just want to create servants for the system. Is that all you want your kids to be slaves to the elite? Or do you want to make a happy and smart human being who lives life to the fullest and on his own terms? 

Why in schools is creativity murdered, financial literacy ignored, and talent suppressed, is a very important question to ask.What do schools want to make of children, if it is artists, sports players, or entrepreneurs?

Are schools just institutions designed to make a person ready for a corporate job? These days in the world of internet and technology, there are many ways for a person to earn money, instead of a 50-60 hour per week desk job. There are many skills which have less work hours and high pay like Content writing, content creation, Private tutoring, etc. Shouldn’t there be a healthy balance between studies and all this? 

Tell me what you think? Shouldn’t skill development be a necessary part of the curriculum in today’s world?