Let's Share Emotions, Thoughts


Have you noticed this

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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You are mostly accepted, befriended, welcomed and treated according to

“Who you are, or Who you know”

Not because of

“What you are, or What you know”.

Sad but true. Most people want to know your status, designation, wealth, or what contacts you have, who you are related to, and who you can influence.

Shouldn’t you be accepted for what you are i.e. your abilities, your temperament, your way of interacting, and for what your skills or achievements are, what you can share with others etc?

Look around and observe carefully – you will find a few, just a few people who will interact with you for the second reason…...

Cherish them, nurture your relationship with them, and you will never have a shortage of good friends.

About the author



Education is Head, Heart and Hands

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/education-is-head-heart-and-hands-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

I often keep wondering at the education system and how we have been blindly following it for decades. Many generations have gone through the rote-learning techniques. The world has changed, needs have undergone tremendous alterations, but year after year children are made to “learn by heart” when the First Battle of Panipat took place, and to do “long division” without making “silly mistakes.”

Education is Head, Heart and  Hands

I doubt if we can change the system in the near future. So can we supplement the learning by some more additions, innovative, creative and curiosity-based? Can we give some relief to children by providing them with some exciting learning which they will enjoy and actually look forward to?

I have a few tips and techniques that I keep practicing whenever I get a chance. I will welcome more such inputs so that we can all put our heads, hearts and hands together and do something challenging.

About the author



Travelling with …..

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/travelling-with--by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

A sea of humanity, most of them with a far-away look, moving like robots following the arrows on the walls. Some have a worried look, some are in a hurry, others have the resigned look of having to wait for hours.


Travelling with …..

All of them are travelers. The mode of travel may differ, plan, train or bus. The comfort level and cleanliness may vary significantly from airport to railway station to bus stand. But the humans are the same – their destination written in their minds, their bodies going through mechanical rituals of security checks, ticketing, baggage deposit.

Each individual has a different reason to travel. Some are excited, others are in anticipation. A few in anxiety and some more with sadness of parting. Some people enjoy travel, even look forward to it. Many take it as part of a routine to achieve something at the destination. There are also travelers who have to force themselves to make the journey.

To many individuals it is the company that determines their joy of journey. Friendships are formed, bonds are strengthened, discoveries made about co-travellers. It is as though a new window is opening, giving them a view and perspective hitherto unseen. For human relationships are far more important than the mode or luxury of travel.

Travelling with …..

I try to travel with people I wish to know. It is a legacy from my grandfather who decreed that you really get to know a person well when you travel with him. He was an avid walker, trotting miles and miles to any venue he had to visit. If someone offered him a lift, he would ask the person to get down and walk with him – longer time spent together, no distractions, and very meaningful conversation.

Of course, no one walks any more.

About the author



Managing one’s own time is definitely a great skill and asset

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/time-is-the-one-resource-that-never-comes-back-if-it-is-lost-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Time is the one resource that never comes back if it is lost. Hence those who value time know that it should be treasured. Managing one’s own time is definitely a great skill and asset, but we also need to evaluate whether we are giving our time to others who need it badly.

Perhaps the greatest gift one can give to another human being is our time: Giving full attention, doing tasks for someone, involving in activities that the other person wants… and most important, listening to a person who wants to be heard. There are innumerable people around us who wish to speak out, to pour out their emotions, and have the joy of knowing that someone cares enough to give them undivided attention. If we can do that, at least to a few people around us, we would be doing wonderful service.

Look around for someone who is not necessarily your close friend or relative. If you sense that the person is lonely, isolated or feeling left out, just sit with him and give him your listening ear. You need not comment or advice, you can just be there for him – and experience the joy that you are giving him.

About the author



We neglect people who become
strong pillars in our life

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/we-neglect-some-people-who-become-strong-pillars-in-our-life-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

We neglect some people who become strong pillars in our life

He was much older than me. Unassuming, humble, no great achievements to his credit, he lived a simple life. He would drop by once in a while, but always when I was alone or feeling isolated. I don’t know how he could sense it, but he knew exactly when I was by myself and in need of company

He would just sit with me for some time, or walk me down to a nearby tea shop and treat me to hot tea and biscuits (always HIS treat). He was not my counselor because I would not share anything with him. He was not a friend because we had nothing in common. He did not teach me anything – in fact he used to make very limited and light conversation. But somehow he was there to fill in those odd hours when I had no one else with me.

I moved away and was out of touch for quite some time. Then much later I got news that he is no more. It set me thinking about how we neglect some people who become strong pillars in our life without making it obvious, and we do not appreciate how much they have contributed to make our lonely moments peaceful and serene.

If you have someone like that in your life, cherish him or her !

About the author



Technology is taking control of human life and impacting engineering and medical science

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/technology-is-taking-control-of-human-life-and-impacting-engineering-and-medical-science-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Technology is taking control of human life and impacting engineering and medical science. What the students need to look for

At the turn of the century the IT and DotCom boom along with the advent of mobile phones, brought in a new era not only in application and use of technology but also in lifestyle. Similarly the medical profession started getting influenced by the support that electronic gadgets could provide to doctors. This trend is likely to continue at a rapid pace, and students entering into these fields need to not only be aware of the changes that have come in, but also need to anticipate and adapt to the developments most likely to happen in the coming years.

Firstly we need to be aware that working lifespan is increasing continuously and hence career planning needs to be done for longer duration. Retirement, which used to be at around 55 years of age one generation ago, has gone up to 60-65 at present. Individuals starting work in the next few years are more likely to continue to work actively beyond 75 years of age. In the mad scramble for ‘campus recruitment’ and chasing the ‘scope’ of particular careers, students (and more so some parents who unfortunately often live in the past) become short-sighted. Having counseled and guided people of almost two generations, I have seen that the ‘scope’ of the most lucrative careers can go down drastically, and sometimes even disappear.

If a student selects a career visualizing 50 years of working life, he or she stands a much better chance of smooth progress and satisfactory earning. One of the major effects on working styles and even human interactions will be the new technologies that are round the corner – so let us visualize how it will affect the lives of professionals.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics

AI is likely to play a major role in almost every profession and organization. To begin with, let us see how CEOs are getting efficient staff to take care of their routine work. Log on to www.x.ai and you will be offered for a few dollars per month, a ‘bot’ who becomes your Executive Assistant, taking care of your appointments, reminders, schedules, 24/7. A marketing person trying for a meeting with a prospective customer interacted with his Secretary Aditi for a number of days through email. When he finally visited the customer’s office, he was keen on meeting Aditi and asked for her. Imagine his embarrassment when he was told that no one by that name works in the office, and it was the name the boss had given to his Bot!

Dealing with developments like the above is not taught in colleges, but they will become an integral part of life. Aditi will soon remind you that it is your daughter’s birthday, the colors you should choose for her dress, which restaurant she would like to party at, the menu, reservations, who should be invited, entertainment etc. On the other hand you may have to come home to an Intelligent House that decides what room temperature you like, which food to heat up, what music to play and what entertainment you will enjoy most. More important Aditi will take over a lot of ‘intellectual’ functions at work, either making you redundant, or freeing you to do more meaningful or creative work.

Medical Profession

Aspiring medical professionals need to be aware that the doctor in the white coat and with the stethoscope round his neck will become a minor player in the future hospitals. Robotic surgery, remote sensing and monitoring body parameters, data analysis of medication, providing the right environment and comforts to patients, and even anticipating health issues as the patient grows old, will also be done through technology. Paramedical professionals will gain significantly in playing vital roles of health-care. Already in many hospitals in advanced countries the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is being headed by experts in medical electronics, with doctors being called in for specific requirements.

Students who take up medicine because they like life sciences and are not particularly fond of physics or math, will need to do a re-think. As treatment becomes more dependent on CT scans, MRIs, key-hole surgeries, and monitoring the patient through Apps, doctors will need to know how to make the best use of these facilities. Innumerable career alternatives to MBBS, such as Speech & Language Pathology, Operation Theatre Technology, Dialysis, Optometry, Physiotherapy, will flourish in the years to come.


In the past decade computer science engineers overtook all others in terms of jobs, salaries and progress. The primary skills required from ‘techies’ is programming and coding, hence those who were sharp in mathematical, logical and analytical tasks zoomed up the ladder. Machine learning will soon change the scenario. Routine programming work, including de-bugging, upgrading and applying to different fields, will be done by the computers themselves. Engineers will be required to go back to their core strengths and also ensure that they develop good intuition, out-of-box thinking, creativity and decision making skills.

Emotional Intelligence, already playing a very important role, will continue to grow and become the major factor in handling technology. Emotional intelligence is constituted of self-awareness, management of emotions, motivation, empathy and social skills. Those who sharpen these traits are likely to be the most successful ones.

One of the most important aspects for an engineer is to differentiate between use of IT based Apps and developing technology. I come across students who are fascinating with gaming, get high scores and prizes, and hence assume that they will make good game ‘designers.’ They need to do some serious re-think. Skills required in sunrise fields such as Data Analytics, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will be far beyond being able to do mathematical calculations or logical thinking. Developing Life Skills will be the key to success in any bright and competitive career.

Last word: Technology can be a wonderful slave but a cruel master. Young people who are getting addicted to using freely available Apps or being dependent on gadgets may find that their ability to succeed in the real world of work has suffered badly. It is possible to live without dependency on gadgetry – I still do not have a smart-phone and am very happy without it !



The Universe and Human Consciousness

Author: Raju Thomas

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/the-universe-and-human-consciousness-by-author-raju-thomas

‘The more I see, the less I know for sure’. This is a statement ascribed to John Lennon. This is very relevant today in an age of information explosion, with all kinds of information and knowledge about any subject one wishes to seek literally available at our fingertips on our phones and computers. But there are some areas where our knowledge is still incomplete, both in respect of our external and internal worlds- of the working of the universe and of the mind of a person. What do we really know about the universe, in which our earth is just a miniscule object? How vast is the universe? How many billions of galaxies exist in the universe? Is there any extra-terrestrial life? For all we know, there may be millions of earth like planets out there teeming with some forms of life. We really don’t know what all is going on at unimaginably distant corners of the universe, with distances being talked about in millions or billions of light years, a light year being the distance light covers at a speed of about 186,000 miles per second. Scientists have determined that the universe had its origin 13.7 billion years ago through a phenomenon known as Big Bang, and our earth came into existence about 4.6 billion years ago. Notwithstanding the various theories by which cosmologists explain the origin of the universe, it is beyond the comprehension of most people as to how something as infinitely big as the universe came out of nothingness. It has also been discovered that physical matter occupies less than 5% of the universe, the rest of the space being filled with what is called as dark matter and dark energy. Another question about the universe is whether it remains in a steady state condition or it is continuously expanding or changing its form in some manner.

Our concept of time and space also gets challenged when considering the working of the universe. Some of the perplexing questions for which there appears to be no simple answers are: What happened before the Big Bang? ; What is the expanding universe expanding into? It has also been discovered that there are a lot of ‘black holes’ in space which are swallowing up physical matter with their tremendous amounts of gravitational forces. Will these black holes one day swallow up the entire universe, and once again reduce the universe to nothingness? Such are the questions which continue to remain imponderable.

A quote ascribed to John Haldane (Possible Worlds) states that “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” But it is not only the universe and our outer world which appears to be an enigma wrapped up in mysteries; our inner world of mental processes is no less mysterious. The reality that we perceive in our minds is a process that involves our consciousness. What do we really understand by consciousness or conscious awareness, and how is it related to the mind? And, how does the mind relate to the brain, a truly amazing device having about 96 billion neurons processing information in their neural circuits, much like an unsupervised, complex parallel processing computer. Is consciousness the result of the electro-chemical processes going at a molecular level in our brain cells? The thoughts and the decisions that we make are essentially the outcome of the mental processes going on mostly at a subconscious or unconscious level, and it is only after the decision is arrived at that we consciously become aware of it, within a fraction of a second, or even after a few seconds. In effect, as has been stated by somebody, we don’t actually make decisions, the decisions make us. This fact has also been scientifically established through brain mapping techniques, making it possible to actually see and bring to light unconscious cerebral processes in real time and with a high resolution. It is also possible, through these techniques, to read the thoughts, to some extent, of persons who are in an unconscious or a coma state.

The consciousness (arising out of cerebral processes?) is unique to each individual which makes the reality of the universe also a subjective experience. This is similar to what Quantum Theory says in respect of the state of a particle being subjective and observer dependent. While a lot of research goes on to understand the various mental processes at a conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels, there has still been no clear understanding of the meaning of consciousness.

It is not only that the working of the universe and our mental processes remain mysterious, but they also seem to be related in some sense. Both space and time, which are the main attributes of the universe, and our consciousness are intangible entities. It has been shown by Quantum Theory that sub-atomic particles which are said to be ‘entangled’ can sense each other’s states instantly even if they are separated and located in different corners of the universe. Perhaps this sort of instant communication can take place between consciousness of individuals regardless of the distance separating them. As Physicist Andrei Linde of Stanford University says “The universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the universe that ignores consciousness. I do not know any sense in which I could claim that the universe is here in the absence of observers.” It is only through our consciousness that we can try to unravel the secrets hidden in the universe. Perhaps this will forever remain a mystery. Socrates has very wisely said that “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing“.



Nature Decit Disorder

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/nature-deficit-disorder

Richard Louv, many years ago, surveyed habits of children, and coined this phase, to highlight that children are spending lesser and lesser time outdoors, and that this could lead to possible behavioral issues. Though it is not yet a ‘disorder’ as per medical manuals, but it should be taken seriously as surveys have shown that children visiting parks is continuously coming down, and use of electronic media is increasing by leaps and bound.

The reasons include: Parents keeping kids within the house to protect them from danger, resulting in their inability to learn how to protect themselves, and also reducing their connect with nature. Added to that is the shortage of natural surroundings, particularly in cities. Even when children are taken to parks etc, they are told to keep to the pathways, and not to touch anything. On the other hand, starting from TV and internet, to video games and social media, children have greater attraction to stay indoors and ‘touch’ the screens and keypads, giving them a sense of control. It is estimated that children in USA spend about 44 hours a week with electronic media – one wonders what such surveys in India will show.



DATA versus Intelligent Analysis

Author: Jordan Ellenberg

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During World War II, numerous ghter planes were getting hit by anti-aircraft guns. Air Force Ofcers wanted to add some protective armor/shield to the planes. The question was “where”? The planes could support only a few more kilos of weight.

A group of mathematicians and engineers were called for a short consulting project. Fighter planes returning from missions were analyzed for bullet holes per square foot. They found 1.93 bullet holes / square foot near the tail of the planes whereas only 1.11 bullet holes/square foot close to the engine. The Air Force Ofcers thought that since the tail portion had the greatest density of bullets that would be the logical location for putting an anti-bullet shield. A mathematician named Abraham Wald said exactly the opposite: more protection is needed where the bullet holes are less -- that is -- around the engines. His j u d g m e n t s u r p r i s e d everyone. He said, "We are counting the planes that r e t u r n e d f r o m a m i s s i o n . Planes with lots of holes in the engine d i d n o t return at all."

If you go to the Recovery Room at the hospital you'll see a lot more people with bullet holes in their legs than people with bullet holes in their chests. That is not because people don't get shot in the chest, it's because the people who get shot in the chest don't recover.

Remember the words of Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”.

Story source from the book “How Not To Be Wrong” by Jordan Ellenberg. Contributed by Shireen Hussain



Travails of old age

Author: Syed Ameen

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“Grow old with me, the best is yet to be” -- so said an English poet who was welcoming old age optimistically. It is debatable if the best is reserved by nature and providence, to the end. Old age could be a sort of a curse on man. The advent of dotage is accompanied by a gradual loss of energy, vitality, which could lead to loss of enthusiasm and zest for life. As one gains in strength and wisdom during the process of physical and intellectual growth, so does one encounter the inevitable decline in these spheres of life as ageing catches on. True, one can still counter the evil effects of senility through cultivating “engaging” hobbies and keeping busy.

In these days of blindly aping the Western way of life, nuclear families have nearly shelved the idea of living together. Parents are conveniently packed off and told to live on their own, at the mercy of servants and caretakers with 'cold' comfort provided by mechanical gadgets and aids of pleasure. The warmth and cosy comforts of the living presence of the near and dear ones is becoming a thing of our glorious past.

'Homes for the Aged' spring up to cater to the physical needs of the discarded adults. The world of medicine, research and technology has successfully bloated up man's longevity. We live to be old, more easily than before.

The problem with man is, 'Every man desires to live long but no man wants to be old.' The famous writer Estienne reects on the weaknesses of youth and age when he says, “If youth only knew, if age only could.” An aged father admonishes his young son. He says, “Of all the things you have been told my son, remember I know more about being young than you know about being old.”

Old people do not form a large proportion of the population. They are not 'Old fossils' though they might try to uphold old permanent values and virtues of life. Youth feel they are immortal. Their youth is endless and old age does not touch them. It is time they realised their folly and learned to love and respect the wisdom and green spirit of drying bones and weak limbs.



Simplicity at its best

Author: Priyanka Wagle

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As we walked past the busy streets of Mumbai, the shops, the gadgets, the colourful intermingling of people from all cross sections, I heard my ten year old's amused tone, “Mom, look! I want that toy, my toy rack looks so empty”. And those streets, that must have witnessed all such pleas and replies a zillion times before, heard my orchestrated reply, "yes, yes, why not, let's see a little ahead, may be there's something better”. With his excitement soaring and his face becoming smaller with my every noncommittal reply we moved around, absorbing the beautiful hues the city streets were offering.

And then, suddenly we were accosted by "Dhoom, dhoom, dhoom, tin tin tin tin". Our attention turned towards the three children on our left who were beating a used tin box and a wooden table with a stick, merrily singing “Ganpati Bappa morya, pudchya varshi lauker ya!” (Salutations to Lord Ganesha, come early next year!)

“Mom, isn't it December, why are these kids singing it now? We hear this only during Ganesha festival around August-September", questioned my little fellow. My mind said “Ditto”, and directed him to ask the three children, as they were his age. A closer look at their Ganesha pandal revealed a chair on which some sacks were placed, and below that was a cute stage setting - the screen made from a blue saree and the base from a plastic sheet, on which seated the orange coloured Lord Ganesha grandly! The children were playing their heavenly drums right next to the pandal. As we conversed we realized that the three children had their December break, and in a lets-play-character, decided to turn the chair into a pandal, something they never got to do during the actual festival. Since they had very limited resources (owing to their parents economic status), they picked up whatever they could get their hands on to do up their Ganesha pandal.

My son instantly took a liking to his newly made friends. He spotted a toy shop in the vicinity and Simplicity at its best asked me to buy a small toy drum for his new friends. With great enthusiasm he picked up the drum, saying that it's Santa's gift for them. My heart warmed up to this gesture, and as we bid goodbye taking a photo of the threesome with their pandal, I wondered if we are becoming too dependent on the 'to-do videos' for every little project?

Does creativity best spring up from limited resources?




Author: Lata Bhaskar

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/spring-by-author-lata-bhaskar

Tree beside my house started shedding its leaves. Within a few days I noticed that there were no leaves and the tree looked barren – but was very strong and well rooted. Nothing was charming and interesting in the tree and the days were headed normally.

One day I saw something amazing – the barren tree has lled herself with very tiny, tender green leaves all-round. This put a big smile on my face and believe me I was very thrilled to see this unexpected phenomenon.

Every morning I go out to meticulously look at each and every change in the tree.... It was such a mesmerizing view to see those different shades of green colored leaves throughout the tree.

Bees and butteries are already visiting to suck the nectar of the spring owers. The blissful cool breeze in the evening as soon the sun sets is rejuvenating and an unheard voice buzzing in my ears saying new hope, new life and new beginning is right here.

This wakes me up and inspires me to think that nothing is permanent and there is a pattern everywhere... Nature follows a pattern, months have a pattern, season has a pattern and even the ECG has a pattern of its kind.

Likewise life too will follow the pattern of ups and down. So always have hope and patience to see the beautiful new goodies which are awaiting around the corner just for you …. stay strong and rooted to embark the beautiful life ahead ... Happy Spring !!



Agony of Singles

Author: Krishna Kumari M.

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/agony-of-singles-by-author-krishna-kumari-m

Life is like a train journey. One has to get down when their station comes and others continue their journey till their station comes. During the journey of life, everyone has their own family i.e.; parents, siblings and friends and unknown faces etc while continuing life journey. Some are lucky they make appropriate choices and circumstances are also conducive to them and they shine in life. Some opt to be singles by choice because of their experiences right from childhood. Such people can cope up with challenges of life very well and they are quite independent in their attitudes. Some are singles caught in the net of circumstance, and they may not be that independent. Some become single after losing their partner and children settled in foreign countries.

Some elders can manage to transform their negative emotions, turn them for their benet, but some others cannot even differentiate between negative and positive emotions and some get grounded in negative emotions. For such people the journey of life seems to be tedious. Such people get perturbed even for minor problems, they think only in one direction, they cannot look at the issue from many sides, the result is that they worry unnecessarily and their health gets affected. They imagine about their death, if at all they die suddenly or in their sleep, how any outsider will know about their death and who will do the needful rituals.

When I started looking at the issues expressed by some singles, I started thinking about what could be the best solutions, then it struck me that such people should have master keys for their homes which they can keep with a trustworthy person, they should have good rapport with their neighbours, friends and relatives, so that they are in touch with someone or other as result if at all if their imaginations come true. Secondly, they can get an alarm system installed within their reach so that the message gets passed to the nearest helpline. People are not that harsh as not to extend the help in the hour of need. Paradise on Earth Agony of Singles Certainly help comes in. some way or the other in the hour of the need, so singles can rest assured that they need not get grounded in their fearful imaginations of what will happen to them – and try to develop their hobbies which they could not pursue in their prime life. They should also maintain good health by doing meditation and simple exercises and opt for home medicines to cope up with simple health problems and plan their life to be cheerful till their station comes.



Ancient Aviator Anecdote

Cricket in the Forties

Author: Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Cecil Parker, MVC

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/cricket-in-the-forties-by-author-cecil-parker

Some of us from my generation (which predates Midnight's Children by 15 years) are still around and are quite au fait with our national obsession i.e. cricket.

During World War II (1939-45) our boarding school in Bihar, along with its extensive playing elds, was taken over and converted into a major British military hospital. We were relocated to a city in UP for four years (1943-46). At Independence we returned to nd a large number of new buildings on our erstwhile playing grounds leaving just one eld for hockey, football and athletics in their seasons. Post demobilization after the war, some British armed forces personnel chose to stay on in India. Among them was an ex- Sargeant from what he termed as the 'PBI' (Poor Bloody Infantry'), who was appointed as our Games and Sports Master.

Sarge, as he was known to all of us was very popular (not only for his earthy language!) but for a very likeable, friendly and helpful personality. He was also an extremely keen and experienced cricketer. He set up 'nets', acquired cricketing gear and taught us the rules of the game and skills required for batting, bowling, elding and umpiring fairly. Under his guidance we improved our team work, leadership attributes and other character building qualities. If any of us ever hesitated at the crease over a perceived doubtful LBW decision, he strode down the pitch, pointed to our makeshift pavilion and proclaimed imperiously, 'Mr._______, we walk!' (Our subsequent private mimicry of his accent / action generated many laughs for us, but we did learn the meaning of discipline – an attribute I needed in great measure in my air force years). Other games were not neglected but all of us seniors (1947-48) practiced hard to make it into our very rst ever school cricket XI.


In our nal year, we played our rst interschool cricket match watched by our faculty, their families, guests and (most popular of all) the senior girls from our girls school…….of course 'Cheerleaders' were still in the distant future! We won that match narrowly and Sarge was the toast of the school. In the air force, cricket was conned to just a few centres which did not cover any of the ghter air bases where we young pilots spent our formative years.

Cricket as we knew it, has of course changed over the years, as much else has, in our lifetime. In 2004, in my early 70s, I was invited by my old school to be the Chief Guest at its Platinum Jubilee celebrations. I was given a tour of the school buildings by the Head Boy and was amazed at the transition of our school from less than 100 boarders in my time to one that accommodates 1850! Seeing no playing elds, I asked him about games. His response was, 'Yes Sir, cricket is very popular; we have TVs in all our Common Rooms and are allowed to watch outside class hours'. I instantly decided to say nothing about cricket in the 40s; am certain Sarge would have approved – as did my grandson!

The author is a retired air vice marshal of the IAF and a freelance writer who can be contacted at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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  • Are you stressed about your child?
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Just mail your counsellor now, sharing your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your fears. Your counsellor will reply to you, and be there for you until you need her to help you cope and get going.

Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja


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