neelwrites/ThreeLineTales/atal-aremmebrance/obituary/17/08/2018

ATAL – IN REMEMBRANCE

atal pic ಗೆ ಚಿತ್ರದ ಫಲಿತಾಂಶ

By NEEL ANIL PANICKER

They couldn’t hold a candle to him, none could, none has, none ever will __ at best they were and are mere cubs still learning the ropes, still struggling with the everyday processes of life.

He was the lion, always will be, the pride of all, the one who strode above all and took masterful care of his pride; the one whose mere presence was enough to strike the fear of the Devil among his opponents; the one whose one roar that originated from deep within that soft, golden velvety mane was enough to send all lower beings scurrying into their rabbit holes, cowering in fear and fright.

Today we have lost such a lion__a lion who lived in such absolute majesty in the concrete jungle of life, that we wonder when another would come and take his place for such a being doesn’t simply evolve out of the natural selection process but is an engineering marvel that is designed with utmost care and affection by the hands of God.

#neelanilpanicker #atal #india #obituary #remembrance #lion

http://www.forbesindia.com/aperture/slideshow/atal-bihari-vajpayee-a-lifes-in-pictures/51025/11#photo

Three Line Tales, Week 133

three line tales, week 133: two lion cubs staring at you like you're lunch

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neelwrites/a’holy’affair/keralachruchrapescandal/18/07/2018

A ‘HOLY’ AFFAIR

I am a Church Priest
Ordained by the Pope
Mankind’s last big Hope
Your Chief Pain Reliever 
Oh my dear, dear Believer!
What you can do least
Is your sins you confess
What I can do most
Is my love I profess
And so meet we must
In the name of Holy lust.
#neelanilpanicker #poem

neelwrites/examinationmania/CBSE/classten/essay/nonfiction/08/03/2018

 

EXAMINATION MANIA HITS INDIA cbse-board-1

By Neel Anil Panicker 

Her’s a quick quiz. Which one month of the year is it when the blood pressure levels of parents with school going kids in India touch the roof?

You guessed that correctly. It’s March but of course. March is that one interminably long month when it is examination time all over India for students, especially for those  who are appearing for their all important 10th and 12 Board papers.

Yes, the Ides of March strikes big time this third calendar month whether one’s kid is appearing, has appeared, or will be appearing for their ‘life making’ examinations.

So, is this period tension time, or fun time? Well, a bit of both, or maybe midway between the two?

It all depends on what demographic category you belong to__ a male parent, a female parent, a male or female parent with one child, a male or female parent with twins, both of whom  appearing for the exams, or a male or female parent with two or three children, at least one of whom has already appeared, one is to appear this year, and the other the next year.

So here’s the drama unfolds on D-day.

DAY ONE, 8 AM:  I and my better half am standing outside the school gates with kiddie dear and all I see around me are hordes of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and of course school children in their monochromatic uniforms, the ubiquitous bags strapped to their shoulders, albeit relatively less light.

Like mice the children are being herded inside the school compound while outside the parents, in groups of threes and fours huddle around, the women to one corner, the men to  the other___all talking in low voices, a few even gone silent, each one of them taken in by the solemnity of the occasion.

8:30am : The students troop out of the main hall and are led to the school bus that awaits them, ready to transport them to their examination centre, which incidentally is a good seven kilometres away.

“Thank God for this service. Otherwise how would the children have gone everyday to such as far off centre”, says a parent to be immediately retorted by another, “Till last year it was easy as the students had to just to walk across to Bal Bharati, referring to the school that’s a hop, skip, and jump away.

8:45am : Anxious crease lines appear on more than a few mothers’ faces as the bus slowly edges its way out of the school gates. A flurry of quick bye byes are exchanged from half open windows as I hear more than  gasp from the crowd of guardians.

“Where’s Rajat. Is he in the bus. I can’t see him”, half cries out a woman.

“He’s inside. Where else can he be. I saw my son go in. They are best friends, you no. Don’t worry, ” assures another.

We watch as the bus hits the road and takes a bend.

“It’s going from the Ghazipur side. That place stinks worse than a pig. Why can’t the driver take the regular route via Mother Dairy?”, shrieks out another parent even as she grandly declares that she is going to the centre.

That was it; an impromptu decision is made and everyone hops onto to one or the others’ cars, bikes, or whatever means of transportation.

9:15 am: We are standing outside the massive gates of Plato Public School, the CBSE allotted centre for the students of Salwan Public School.  We are al happy again, having united with the children. The kids are now huddled to a corner, exchanging last minute notes, while their parents stand guard, respectfully standing a few feet away, discussing amongst themselves, trying in vain to ease out their worries.

9: 45 am:  The subject teacher elbows her way past the choc-o- bloc crowd and reaches upto to her wards for some last advice.

“Stay calm. Do all the questions in  a sequence. Be mindful of time, too”, she speaks out, her voice an epitome of calmness.

10 am: The gates open and one by one the students troop in but not before they are kissed, hugged and served ample dozes of “best wishes” by the anxious parents.

10:30 am The exams commence while outside the parents await. A few women have retreated to a corner and started chanting, their voices breaking out in silent prayers, their eyes half closed, the fingers of their hands joined together as if reciting indecipherable Sanskrit shlokas.

Others too hang around and having nothing better to do discuss the importance of the Board exams.

“Remember, even today, wherever one goes, they ask you for your School Certificate as proof of  your date of birth.  It is that important. Others nod in acquiescence.

11: 30 am: The throng of parents and kith And kin has thinned. Most of them have gone but promises of coming back in an hour.

“ It’s a three hour exam. It’s better to go now and an hour or so. Now there destiny is on God’s hands,” one parents almost wails out, a tad philosophically.

All of us concur and leave for the time being with promises to meet shortly.

For us, the battle has just begun; the war is not yet over.

#NEELANILPANICKER #CBSE #SALWANPUBLICSCHOOL #BOARDS #STUDENTS  #ESSAY #NON-FICTION

neelwrites/newspapers/essay/710words/26/01/2018

OH LORD! GIVE ME MY DAILY NEWS, OR 

WHY NEWSPAPERS WILL NEVER GO OUT OF FASHION  

Image result for NEWSPAPERS
By Neel Anil Panciker

A recent nationwide survey conducted among 25,000 students between the ages of 12 and 20 threw up certain revelatory statistics.

A staggering 82 percent of them were unable to answer all the 20 questions that were put to them. Only three percent of the interviewed received a centum; answered all the two score questions correctly. Worse, 48 per cent of the children failed to answer even one question correctly.

And pray, what were these questions like? Well, as simple as ‘Who is the President of India? What is our National Anthem? What is the full form of UIDAI?

A pithy aside to all this is that over 77 per cent of the interviewed had at least three social media accounts and logged on to one or the other of them for at least two hours every single day.

One would like to believe that the knowledge level of these tech savvy children, exposed as they were to such a dizzying array of mind boggling media platforms would be very high.

Alas! that is sadly not the case.

Which brings me to my contention, which is that despite living in this fast paced technologically advanced age when every single thing that we want and need is available at the click of a mouse, our children are intellectually stagnating and not growing. Their understanding and knowledge levels are at best rudimentary, superficial. They have become the unwitting victims of a huge business enterprise  that believes in serving low quality, half baked, at times absolutely untrue news and information__all served in the garb of ‘insta’ hot news, breaking news et al.

‘Breaking news’, I fear, is just that__broken.

Instead, what we need is wholesome, holistic, well researched information that is unbiased and doesn’t slip through our doorways as advertorials and self serving

Promotional material.

And who best to fulfill this other than the tried and tested, our centuries old daily intellectually cuppa__ the newspaper. It is the not the paper that is of relevance here but the news that comes embedded in it.

News, in a newspaper, doesn’t just break unlike in Twitter, Facebook and all other ubiquitous newsfeeds platforms that are dime a dozen in the worldwide internet space. The ‘news’ in the paper, is real, actual, and meaningful and is broken down into its identifiable parts, its every single component, analysed threadbare, the ramifications thoroughly researched and made intelligible sense of.

And to top it all, simply have a look at the kaleidoscopic array of options that are available in the hands of a discerning readers.

Open any reputable national newspaper and you will find there is everything of something for every single one of us cutting across age, gender, social, ideological  and intellectual spectrums __all systematically arranged and segregated into neat symmetrical columns that are easy on the eye as well as easily identifiable.

Block headed into standalone pages such as CITY, NATION, INTERNATIONAL, OPEN ED, BUSINESS, LEISURE, SPORTS et al_, none, not even the most hardcore online news junkie can undermine the quintessential supremacy of newspapers over all other Johnny come lately ‘news’ sources that pop out of tablets , mobile phones and laptops__ all high sensationalism but rock bottom when it comes to content doing nothing but merely feeding into our inner depravities and innate voyeurisms rather than satisfying our intellectual curiosities.

On the other hand a good newspaper functions as a mid-path, quite removed from the puerility of ‘insta’ news and a mere arms stretch away from the great books that lie awaiting us in bookshelves to be picked up and read in depth.

To all those naysayers who aver that newspapers are an endangered species soon to be as dead as the dodo, to them I say that’s time they woke up and smelled the coffee__ with the feel of crispy newspaper pages in their hands.

For, such is the paradoxical nature of life that the more the internet grows and serves us ‘breaking news’ the more we will gravitate towards newspapers because unlike the former the latter doesn’t take recourse to short cuts merely to capture more and more eyeballs at the cost of ‘news’ that questions, probes, analyses in complete depth, not just for the moment but for the days and weeks that follow.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #newspapers

neelwrites/taketwo/reena’sexplorationchallengeweek#17/25/12/2017

Hosted by Reena at https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/reenas-exploration-challenge-week-17/

Challenge 17

  1. Past – My resume line

Professional journalist with a particular fascination for ferreting out and writing about the dirty underbelly of life.

Gaps 

Journalism was a career I stumbled into, more a lazy indulgence that slowly turned into something deeper.

It served as an enabler, a force multiplier in terms of helping me first identify my true self through a very vigorous though painful process of trial and errors.

  1. Present

I am an author, a passionate writer and avid blogger besides a Communicator__ of ideas, thoughts, and skill sets.
Coach, career counsellor, trainer and writer.

The fields that I work in are chosen fields, closer to my core. Yet, it is a fluid state, as I need to zero down on one or maximum two options that will rule the course of my remaining life. I am yet evolving.

  1. Future

I plan to be a successful author and a better human being..

The future awaits me and it is for me to stretch my arms and embrace it in my fold.

I believe life is the present and its beauty lies in its unpredictability.

My metaphor

I am a solitary ever vigilant light house that looks out into the sea and decodes its signals for the benefit of all.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #reena’sexplorationchallengeweek#17

neelwrites/x-mas/non-fiction/25/12/2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS 

BY NEEL ANIL PANICKER

The merry season is upon us. Yes, you guessed it right__ Today is Christmas.

Unfortunately the yuletide spirit has slightly soured, marred as it were by the loathsome activities of a few lumpen elements, at best grossly misguided, at worst mere thugs and criminals, masquerading as self appointed and self anointed torch bearers of Hinduism.

Image result for christmas violence in india?

How else could you justify the umpteen attacks on Minorities especially Christians in the past few weeks?

Here, chew on this:

A group of Catholic seminarians and priests were attacked, forced to abandon what they were doing, which is but singing carols in Satna, in Madhya Pradesh, the heartland of India.

Worse, their car was set on fire, cases slapped against them for “hurting religious sentiments”, FIRs lodged booking them under the stringent Anti-Conversion Law.

In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the Hindu Jagran Manch has let out a not so veiled warning to all Christian-run schools of Aligarh not to celebrate Christmas.

And the icing on the cake: A serving Chief Minister’s wife  is castigated and viciously trolled on social media. Her crime: she suported a Christmas-themed charity event.

 She should have known better. For wasn’t it our very own recently re-crowned ‘omnipotent’ PM Modi who had so grandly announced in 2014 that December 25 would henceforth be celebrated as ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY.’

So friends, here I am, painting the town red celebrating Christmas  for who knows for all we know there could be no Christmas to celebrate next year onwards.

That’s what good governance is all about, right Mr Modi?

Merry Christmas to all, and especially to those who see singing carols as a precursor to forced conversions.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #X-mas #non-fiction

 

neelwrites/pest/thegreatindianbanparty/sundayphotofictioneer/20/11/2017

Hosted by  Sunday Fiction  at https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/sunday-photo-fiction-19-november-2017/

GREAT INDIAN BAN PARTY-

Playing at a theatre near you

17 Anonymous 19 November 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

A ghoonghtaless brave Rajput princess bedecked in mesmerizing regal wear, prancing around in her own magnificent gold bedecked palace courtyard, dancing her heart out in gay abandon, her swirling lehanga swishing wildly in huge concentric circles while her dainty hennaed hands rise up to the skies above, her beautiful kohl-lined eyes sparkling with divine love, her lips a prayer, ever seeking blessings for the earthlings below.

Deepika-Padukone Ghoomar-song_1

Or, a near desperate woman forced to step out of her home in search of her ‘missing’ husband, overnight losing her moniker Goddess Durga; instead finding herself metamorphosed into a mere object of man’s lascivious predatory instincts.

Still another, bogged down by the vicissitudes of fate, compelled by the dire need to keep body and soul together, sheds her clothes under the harsh glare of arc lights, only to rejoin her starving family of five including a paralytic father and three mother-less younger siblings, their hollowed eyes hooked onto to the bread crumbs that she clutches in her hands, her paltry wages of the day.

Disturbing, uneasy, uncomfortable… is that what these images evoke in us?

Yes, and that’s because it’s we, the male of the human species, who decide the status of women in this world. It’s we who decide whether women are to be revered or reviled.

For us, especially, the men of India, women are a binary.

It’s easy slotting them. They are either good or bad, the compartmentalization arrived at from the periscope of our ever vigilant male eyes.

We decide who is to be worshipped and who is to be crucified; we decide who is to be hailed as a princess and a goddess, and who is to be hauled to be coals and branded a witch, a siren, or a slot. It is we and we alone that decides who is a good woman and who is a bad one.

And woe betide anyone who dares to defy us, challenge us, question our unquestionable hegemony over all such matters.

We vow to throttle all such voices; swear to ban, burn and bust them, crush them to pulp__all ye ‘uncultural voices’.

Such pests must best be put to rest.

Long live the Indian male, long live India, the India of our dreams, the India of our vision, the India of only our vision.

©NEELANILPANCIKER2017 #358WORDS #PADMAVATI #BAN #THEMOVIE #RAJPUTKARNISENA #SATIRE

 

 

Note: I have slightly deviated and written a longre non-fictional piece as i felt this is a story that needed to be told in the present context that is playing out in India. Hope you shall forgive me for this rather off beat, long piece.