Essays & Composition


Essay (Advantages and disadvantages of the cinema)

The influence that the cinema exerts on the minds of those who visit it is at once beneficial and harmful.

Today, there is a cinema in almost every town. The cinema provides so much entertainment that few people fail to visit it. One of the reasons for the popularity of the cinema is that it entertains all types or people, young and old, literate and illiterate. Because it is so popular, it must exercise some influence on those whom it attracts.

The films shown in the cinema are often very instructive and informative. Almost every film shows something about the activities and customs of the people in other lands. By seeing such films, one learns a lot about human activities. One also gains a better understanding of people of the world.

Further, some films show the battles that were fought in the past. They also sometimes show very vividly how man has struggled through the centuries to remove discomfort from his life. In this way, some films have given many people an insight into the past. Even illiterate people have benefited from such films. What they cannot acquire from books owing to their inability to read, they can acquire from films. School students, too, often benefit from a visit to the cinema. What they see and hear in the cinema makes a better impression on their minds than only the spoken words of their teachers. For example, a teacher of history can hardly describe a battle scene to his students as vividly as a film does. For all these reasons, the cinema is often regarded as an important means of spreading knowledge.
It must be admitted, however, that some films have exerted an evil influence on many people. Films which show the activities of criminals have encouraged many youths to commit acts of crime. Other films, too, such as those dealing with sex and other natural weaknesses of man, have corrupted the morals of many people. As a result, the governments of many countries have been compelled to interfere in the display and production of certain films. Yet, the cinema continues to retain its popularity.

(Essay) Advantages and disadvantages of television

Nowadays many people all over the world spent most of their free time watching television; but since its appearance, television has brought to man many advantages as well as disadvantages.

First, television plays an important role in our daily activities: it keeps us informed of all current affairs in the world. Events through television are more vivid than those through books andmagazines.

Second, television helps us enrich our spiritual lives. Our knowledge is broadened in many ways. Through language teaching programs, we can learn the language we like such as: English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese and so on. We can become skilful and clever at doing jobs, making cakes or arranging flowers through practical courses taught on television.

Finally, television is a source of recreation. Humorous stories and funny films bring us minutes of relaxation after a hard day’s work. For me, sitting comfortably in an arm-chair to watch an international football match on television is more interesting than having to queue for tickets at a crowded stadium.

Apart from its advantages, however, television also brings lots of disadvantages to viewers too.

First, television viewers gradually become passive in their action. Television may be a splendid media of communication, but it prevents us from communicating with each other or with the outer world. The world seen through television is only the restricted one: It separates us from the real world.

Second, television, with its fascinating power, makes people of all ages sink into oblivion: whole generations are growing up addicted to the telly. Pupils and students are so absorbed in television that they neglect their school activities. Food is left uneaten, homework undone and lessons unprepared. Housewives are so keen on watching television that they neglect their duties toward their husbands and their children. Instead of watching television, we may use the time for a realfamily hour. Without the distraction of television, we may sit around together after dinner and actually talk to one another to know and like each other better.

Finally, the evil influence of television on the young generation is inevitable; it encourages them to commit crimes. Spectacles of sadism and violence on television lead them to robbery, theft, rape and murder.

In a nutshell, television is useful to us when we know how to use it: Be careful not to overindulge ourselves in it and use it in a discerning manner.


Essay (Advantages and disadvantages of money)

Everybody knows the value of money. Nothing is more powerful than money.

In fact, if we have no money, we cannot buy goods, clothes and other necessaries we need. Without money, we cannot go to the movies, theatres or other amusements places.

How can we spend our free time pleasantly on rainy evenings without a colour television in front of us? Music from a new hi-fi can relax us quickly after a hard day of work. But how can we satisfy our needs, our desires and our pleasures when we cannot afford to buy them?

Thanks to money we can improve our spiritual activities easily. We can go to any schools; any universities we like to further our knowledge. If our parents are wealthy and powerful we may be sent abroad to study. Moreover, we can enjoy pure happiness by contributing our money to Charity funds to help the poor, the wretched and the victims of other disasters.

But money not only brings us the good but the bad as well. This accounts for much of the wickedness in the world. The rich often depend on it to oppress the poor and millionaires sometimes treat their servants with great cruelty. Many young people, being purse proud of their parent’s wealth and richness, neglect their school activities, always play truant and indulge themselves in alcohol, gambling and debaucheries. They often commit suicide after playing ducks and drakes with all their parents’ fortune. Money, in this way, is the root of all evils.

To sum up, happiness does not depend on the quantity of money but on the way how we use it. We should use our money properly. The right use of money may bring us a comfortable life and a cheerful heart.


Essay (Childhood is the best period of one’s life.)

Many a time, I have longed for my childhood days. This is especially true at times when I would like to escape from the torture of examinations and homework. Furthermore, my childhood was filled with countless memorable moments that I would love to relive. Many, who have happy childhood memories, would also, I am sure, feel the same.

Childhood is a period which is associated with fun and play. The child hardly cares or knows what the adult thinks of him. He frolics with his childhood playmates in the sand, mud or water. Through his mother may chide him for his pranks, she may, secretly in her heart, wish that she too could be as carefree and happy as her child.

Children normally do not have any major responsibilities to shoulder. Political, economic, social and family problems do not disturb them. They may be confused because they can not comprehend the problem, but most of them will not go through heartbreaking moments over them.

However, the above beautifully painted childhood phase is not true in the case of all children. There are children who are abused and exploited and who suffer from dire poverty. In Ethiopia and other poor countries, children are afflicted with many diseases and continually suffer the pangs of hunger. They have to shoulder the responsibilities of adults, looking for food and taking care of their younger siblings.

These cases, however, may be considered as exceptions. Many still feel that the average child’s life is much merrier. Adult life is filled with responsibilities. Yet, responsibilities need not be viewed negatively. There are many joys that come with responsibilities. For example, I always experience great joy and satisfaction when I do well in my exam after studying hard for it.

Therefore, in my view, childhood can be looked back upon as one of the best periods in one’s life. With a positive attitude, a person can experience happiness in any period of his life.





(Essay) Necessity is the mother of invention

This proverb just means that there is nothing like a pressing and urgent need for setting people to work to find a way of meeting it. If we could get all we want from nature we should not bother to invent anything; as we can’t, we are forced to find out ways and means to satisfy our needs.

In the early days of mankind, the necessity of communicating with one another led men to the invention of languages. Later, the necessity of keeping some record of what they did or said led to the invention of writing. Later still, the necessity of spreading news and knowledge led to the invention of printing.

These are only few illustrations to prove that from the very beginning of the human life that man has been making inventions and discoveries out of sheer necessity. Hence we recognize “necessity” for the progress of the human race.



Essay (A visit to a famous city)

A few months ago my father and I visited Singapore, one of the most famous cities in Asia.

Singapore, a small island, lies at the southern and of West Malaysia. A long and narrow piece of land joins Singapore with Johore Hahru, the southern-most town of West Malaysia. Singapore is now an independent state.

The city of Singapore is extremely beautiful. It is well known for its centres of business and other activities. There are many places of interest such as the Tiger Balm Garden, the Botanical Gardens and Raffles Museum. There are also many important centers of learning such as the University of Singapore, Science Centre, the Nanyang University and the Polytechnic. Being a famous city, hundreds of people come everyday from various parts of the world to do business or to enjoy the sights of the city. Singapore therefore has large and beautiful airports and its harbours are full of ships.

There are many night schools where people who cannot go to the day schools for some reason or other can continue their studies. And, the government of Singapore is still doing its best to make further improvements in the city for the benefit of the people.

During my stay in Singapore, I went out everyday with my father to see the beautiful and interesting places and things in the city. One day we went to the Tiger Balm Garden where I saw several statues of people, animals and other strange creature beautifully made and kept. The sea near this garden makes it a pleasant place to visit. We spent almost half of the day at this place.

Another day we visited the museum where I saw hundreds of curious things preserved for scholars and others. It was indeed an education to see all those things. There is so much to learn here that every visit by any person is sure to add to his knowledge.

I also visited some of the harbors and saw the large ships anchored there. The sight of the ships aroused a desire in me to cross the oceans and go round the world. I was indeed deeply impressed by activities at the harbor.

Then every night, I went round the town and visited some of the parks and other places of interest. The numerous lights and the constant stream of traffic kept the city alive. I visited a few of the cinemas as well. In short, I enjoyed every moment of my stay in this famous city of Singapore.


Essay (The pleasures of living in a village)

A village is a quiet place where the influence of the city is not felt much. It is indeed a very good place for rest and relaxation.

In a village people do not live very close to one another. Their houses are far apart. Each house therefore has a lot of space around it. So, almost every house is surrounded by flower and fruit plants and vegetables. All these make the village look green and fresh. There are also tall trees everywhere which provide shade from the sun and keep the village cool.

Some villages are surrounded by paddy-fields or mountains. There are also many streams and riversin most villages. All these add great beauty and variety to the village scene.

The people of village are very simple in thought and behavior. They are therefore very friendly and helpful. So, the crimes of a city are almost unknown in a village. The people here work together and live in peace. Whenever they celebrate a festival, they dance and sing together and the whole village is in a gay mood.

Living among such friendly and simple people, in such a quiet place, is indeed a real pleasure.


Good manners

Good manners play an important part in maintaining peace and good-wiling in a community. A man who has good manners does not hurt the feelings of others, and therefore he is on good terms with his friends and neighbors and also with others. In this way he helps to keep peace in society.

But a man whose manners are bad has no respect for others. He uses words carelessly and behaves rudely towards other and causes a lot of ill-will and unpleasantness. In the end, it is he himself who suffers the most. Everyone avoids him and he is forced to live almost in isolation.

To live well in a society, money alone is not enough. We should also have good manners, for it is human nature to seek friendship; and friendship cannot be bought with money. Friendship with others makes life pleasant and it has to be earned through our own attitude towards others. If we are kind to others, they will be kind to us, and kindness is the essence of good manners. Bad manners not only drive away friends but also others, including our own family members.

Even the richest man cannot afford to have had manners. For a man may have enough money to buy all things than he wants; but if his manners are bad he will have no friends, and no one can live happily without friends. Even the members of his own family may not respect him and finally he will become a lonely man.

On the other hand, a man whose manners are good has many friends. He commands the respect of all those who come into contact with him. He does not talk ill about others. Even when he is provoked, he tries his best to use words in a way which will not offend others. He is also sympathetic towards the weak and ignorant and does not poke fun at the deformities and weaknesses of others.

There are, however, many people who behave so well outside their homes that they are respected and admired by everyone outside. But in their own homes they are worse than the devil. Such people could not be said to have good manners. Their whole behaviour is pretence and it does not take long for others to discover this.

If one’s manners are good, one behaves well everywhere, even when one is away from the critical eyes of others. Only such a person can live well in society. It is therefore essential for everyone to cultivate good manners.


An incident when you were faced with a difficult problem.

“What is the meaning of this?” Grandma questioned in a frightened whisper as she thrust the newspaper at me. I took it from her tremulous hands. A picture of me stared back and my parents’ plea for my return was stated in bold print. Now, I had to tell my grandmother the truth.

For weeks, my parents had been bickering. I never understood what started the quarrels and neither of my parents explained the problem to me. When the bickering finally stopped, it was only to be replaced by a cold war between them. They were no longer on speaking terms and they made me relay messages from one to the other.

I was very confused. My performance at school was affected and my teachers thought that I was becoming lazy. This compounded my problems. Finally, I decided to run away from home.

One morning, instead of going to school, I went to Johore Bahru where my grandmother lived. I told her that it was my term break and I had decided to spend the holidays with her. I fabricated a tale about my parents going on a business trip to Australia, as the reason for their not being able to accompany me. However, since my disappearance from home had come to light, I confessed everything to my grandmother. She put her arms round me and comforted me. That afternoon, she took me back home.

My parents were relieved and happy to see me. Before they could question me, my grandmother took them aside and they talked for several hours.

That night, as I prepared to go to bed, my mother quietly came and satisfaction by my side. She apologized to me for not having been sensitive to my needs. She told me that there were irreconcilable differences between her and my father and that they had filed for a divorce. She also said that I was to live with her. She hoped that I would try to be strong as we went through our crisis together. Her soft and soothing voice made the news easier to bear. I now know that running away from a problem will never solve anything.


Keeping pets is wrong.

“A dog is a man’s best friend.” People all over the world keep dogs and other kinds of animals as pets. The more popular pets in Singapore are dogs, cats, birds and fishes. In some countries, people even choose to keep snakes elephants and lions as pets.

From the point of view of most people, keeping pets is not an evil deed at all. In fact, keeping pets nurtures desirable qualities in the owner such as responsibility, care and love. Young children are taught how to take proper care of their pets. They save their pocket money to buy bird seed, worms or other necessities for their pets. Further more, keeping pets can be educational. It stimulates great interest in the particular pet. Pet owners also read and discuss much about the pets they own.

In my view, however, it is wrong to keep pets. Man assumes that animals do not have much intelligence and hence have no rights. He just assumes that animals like being kept as pets. This is especially true in the case of caged birds. By nature, birds are meant to fly. It is most pitiful to see a creature that can fly around the entire globe being imprisoned in a cage.

Keeping pets is even more wrong when people fail to take proper care of their pets. Many pet owners do not ensure that the cages, fish tanks or dog kennels are clean at all times. Sometimes, they even forget to feed their pets. I strongly feel that the very act of caging animals and depriving them of freedom is a form of evil.


Examinations should be banned.

School examinations are something which most students dread. Yet, there is hardly any educational system that does not set examinations.

Many feel that examinations should be banned because they test the students’ memory power rather than their analytical or reasoning powers. Such examinations require students only to memorize facts regurgitate them during examinations and conveniently forget them soon after.

Passing examinations could also sometimes be a matter of luck. Lucky student who spots questions accurately will probably do better than one who just studies his books. Moreover, there are some students who perform better when they are not under pressure. These students may panic and perform poorly under examination conditions.

Though reasons for banning examinations may be many, there remains one basic explanation as to why examinations have not been abolished. That is, all educational systems need a standardized method of testing the students’ understanding of what they have learned. No one has thought of a better substitute in that respect. Whether examinations test a student’s memory power or analytical power depends very much on the type of questions asked. Therefore, there is no need to abolish examinations. Rather, examinations could be set such that they truly test the student’s understanding. Some even argue that the students’ ability to withstand pressure during examinations do reflect a certain form of capability.

Furthermore, students need examinations to act as a form of motivation to learn. If examinations were banned, many would become complacent and would not do their best.

In conclusion, it can be said that examinations should not be banned because of the need to assess a student’s ability.


Qualities of a good teacher

Teachers play an important part in training children, teenagers and even people in their early maturity. Some qualities of a good teacher that are crucial for determining one as a good teacher are the teacher’s sound knowledge in his/her major and its related fields, certain devotion to and great love for his/her students and his/her ability to inspire the students’ passion for studying either in or out of class.

There is no doubt that knowledge is a quality/must for a good teacher. In addition to his/her professional knowledge, the teacher need to enlarge his/her general knowledge on culture, society, humanity, psychology, methodology, politics, history, etc. to provide his/her students with what they need to know, satisfy their curiosity and meet their requirements in any case.

Another quality that a good teacher should have is his/her devotion to and great love for those who call him ‘sir’ or her ‘madam’ in class. Generally speaking, the students are not mature enough to behave properly. They are sometimes really stubborn. Consequently, the teacher has to learn how to handle the students’ troubles in a gentle and affectionate manner. He/she should pay adequate attention to the students and know how to keep calm in any situation so that he/she can give the students some advice when they are in need or help them distinguish the right from the wrong.

Last but not least, a good teacher always succeeds in inspiring his/her students’ passion for studying both under his/her guidance in class and out of class by themselves. I highly appreciate this third quality of a good teacher because of its undeniable value. It is not always easy to provide his/her students with all the required knowledge in class; therefore, a good teacher can manage to make the students motivated enough to carry on their active and successful self-study at home. Obviously, teaching his/her students how to study independently, creatively and effectively is what a good teacher must do in any academic setting.

In conclusion, to be a good teacher, anyone who devotes himself/herself to the “coinage” of a succession of young generations must keep on working really hard to enlarge his/her skill and general as well as professional knowledge, to accumulate experience in how to deal with his/her students properly and to be able to inspire in the students the true love, the increasing hope and the ever-lasting enthusiasm to reach higher and higher levels of education in their life. Those are important qualities of a good teacher.


Money is the causes of all evils

Money is the instrument of exchange, helping in buying and selling and also in fixing a value on things and commodities. It may be in metal or in paper. With the market getting more and more complicated, there are other negotiable instruments which are as good as the minted coins or the printed notes. Money gives purchasing power but this power is not absolute as it is on various factors. In such a case it is termed currency and according to their purchasing power they are termed hard, soft and weak. Though coins and notes are issued by the Government of the country, there is a limit to their minting.

Let us see why money is needed. It is simply because it helps the processor to buy things. The days of battering are gone though it is indirectly resorted to at international level. Money is helpful as a standard of price. Money helps the owner to have power not only in buying things but also in influencing many human activities. Money is used for good things such as using it to build a temple, a church or a museum. Great educational institutions can be built. Students can be helped by providing them with scholarships in furthering their studies. The Nobel Prize would not have been there but for the huge sum of money earned by Alfred Nobel.

Money can buy men as it does things. Thus money plays an important role in fighting and winning elections. Money mars men’s and women’s morals. It is the evil influence in corrupting people. “Sell out” is the new term used for bribery.

There are people who could do anything for the sake of money. Moneyed people can buy many things which the poor cannot do.

With the power of money, individuals as well as states can dictate terms. The Middle East countries have found new wealth because of their oil deposits and they have become a very powerful group.

This kind of power should not go to one’s head. One should remember that the money coming into him was by chance. He must not use it for evil purposes. But wherever there is evil there is usually money involved. Other motivating forces for evil action are jealousy, vengeance, hatred and so on.

Money is normally the fruit of labour. The question is how one spends that money. Great thinkers have suggested that one who has money enough and enough to spare must look upon himself as the trustee of the money and see to it that it is spent in a wise and useful way. There is nothing good or evil about money. It depends on how one puts it to. The same money which could help bring relief to the suffering million, can be used to build up armaments. The hope of getting money spurs one into action. The power decides how to spend the money. Money can be used morally or immorally. A morally strong man may not use money in evil ways and vice versa.


A journey by train


The house in which I lived before was near the railway station. Trains used to pass by at regular interval and I had become so familiar with their sound and sight that I took little interest in them. It never occurred to me that I might make a journey by train some day. However, when my father decided to take up a new appointment in the place where we now live, it was decided that we should travel by train. It was only then that I discovered how pleasant a journey by train might be.

My father, mother and I boarded a train one afternoon. As the train moved out of the station, I began to think of the days I had spent in our old house which I could still see from the train. But soon the house went out of sight, and I began to think of my journey itself.

The train was now moving quite fast. The first thing that impressed me was the beauty of the landscape. There were green valleys. Tropical plants could be seen everywhere. In certain places there was tall grass. All this reminded me of the geography lessons I had in the class room. Several palm-oil and rubber plantations could be seen now and then. Sometimes I saw a few houses here and there. I also saw many vegetable gardens at several places.

The train stopped at many stations, and soon it became dark. But sometime later the moon appeared and the landscape looked romantic. As I looked outside, I felt a thrill of admiration for the great artistry of nature.

Inside the train, too, everything was interesting. Some restless passengers moved about aimlessly and their restlessness was amusing. Some were sleeping with their mouths wide open, into which some mosquitoes blundered. Others were reading magazines and newspapers. Occasionally, the ticket-checker passed by. At one corner I saw two policemen keeping a close watch on a man who was hand-cuffed.

At every station a few passengers alighted from the train while a few boarded it. Whenever the train stopped at a big station, I saw a large number of people on the platforms, smartly dressed, and often smiling. As the train moved out, many waved their hands and the passengers too waved in response.

After we had passed several stations, I felt sleepy and closed my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the dim light of the dawn. I looked outside and saw the mist-covered plants. The air was fresh, and some birds were flying about. The scene looked extremely beautiful and I was lost in admiration of it. But we soon arrived at our destination and my enjoyment came to an end.


If I were the Prime Minister of India

            Our country, India, is going through a difficult phase now, Though we are progressing some fields we still see much corruption, suffering and mismanagement. I wish I were the Prime Minister of our country, to that, I could do something about these problems.
            First, I would gather a council of honest, qualified and committed men as ministers. Their worth would have been proven in the past. No dishonest member would be chosen. Next, I would end corruption !, Starting from the top and up to the bottom. The punishment for corruption would be severe. The public would be informed not to tolerate such people but to complain if they were dissatisfied. Officers would be made accountable for their employees performance. The whole concept of accepting corruption as a part of life would have to be changed. This would be the first item in the list of priorities.
            Today we are facing communal problems. Riots and violence have become common. These problems would have to be solved. I would start by giving primary importance to education. To make people aware of the results of such violence, I would bring people face to face with the loss, suffering, death and agony that such senseless action cause. The punishment for anyone committing such acts or being responsible for such acts would be at least ten years in jail. The required amendments would be made in the criminal code.
            Today we find that people have little faith in justice. Out courts are very slow. People have to wait for years for their cases to come to court for hearing and final judgment. I would put an end to this by filling up the vacancies of judges existing now and setting up more courts and appointing more judges.
            I would make sure that no one in India starved or had difficulty for getting clean water to drink. The poor would get foot at subsidized price. Education for the backward classes and the poor would be free or subsidized to a greater extent.
            There are many other areas that would need immediate attention. But I would give top priority to the poor and to justice, above all others.        


Trees - Nature’s Gift to Man.
            Of all the living beings inhabiting this earth, trees are out best friends. Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has gifted them to man to live in harmony with him and to be of great service to him.
            Besides fruits, trees provide important raw materials for our industries. Industries provide employment to people. The wood for furniture, housing, railway carriages and ships come from trees. Wood is also used for fuel and for making charcoal which is used as fuel. From trees we get wood - pulp to make paper and artificial yarns (like nylon). Trees also give us products such as spices, rubber, turpentine, eucalyptus oil and gum. We also get honey and many valuable things for medicine from forests.
            We get so many things from forests that forests are rightly known as ‘ green gold’ Trees provide shade to tired travellers and animals and shelter to innumerable birds and insects. Trees keep the environment clean. They absorb harmful carbon dioxide from the air and fill the atmosphere with precious life - sustaining oxygen. In this way they reduce air pollution. Therefore, trees are called the lungs of nature. Forests retain humidity and attract rains. There will be no rain if there are no trees. It is for this reason that trees are known as rain catchers.
            In fact, all our basic necessities like, air, water, food, clothing and shelter come directly or indirectly from trees. We thus, owe our very existence to trees.
            If there were no trees, there would be no rain and land would turn into an arid desert. Mankind would perish for want of food, drinking water, fresh air and sufficient humidity. So we should ever remain grateful to trees.


Pollution

            Pollution is the price we are paying for modern civilization and material progress. Pollution means making foul or filthy. Pollution is our enemy number one today. There is pollution everywhere, in the atmosphere, on land, in the seas and rivers. Our air is polluted or made foul by smoke, gases and chemicals puffed out by vehicles, and factories, and by the use of various chemicals. Besides this, there is noise pollution in big cities resulting from the noise of vehicles, machines, loudspeakers and crackers.
            Tonnes of industrial and chemical waste thoughtlessly dumped into our rivers, lakes and seas kill fish and other marine life. Polluted water destroys plant life. It corrupts the soil and makes it useless. Atomic radiation also pollutes the air and poses terrible health hazards. Radioactive pollutants are most dangerous as they affect human chromosomes and bring about permanent hereditary disorders. Unplanned growth of cities brings about more and more slums where dirt, disease and death breed. The tragedy in Bhopal which took the toll of thousands of innocent people killed by toxic - methyl - Isocyanate gas leaked into the air from Union Carbide’s chemical plant, is a fearful reminder of how dangerous air pollution can be. Among our cities, which are getting dangerously polluted each day, may be mentioned Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Rajkot. These cities are on the brink of total ecological disaster if pollution is not ruthlessly checked.
            Pollution poisons the air and harms the ozone layer of the earth which protects us from the radiation of the sun. If the ozone layer is destroyed, mankind will perish through the harmful radiation of the sun.
            We must take immediate and effective steps to fight pollution. We must reduce vehicular and factory smoke. We must shift industries from the cities, we must find some efficient system for the quick disposal of garbage. We must stop the dumping of chemical wastes into our rivers, lakes and seas. We must grow more trees, protect our forests, and have more gardens and open spaces. People should be more concerned about the continuing pollution of the environment. The sooner effective steps are taken the better it will be for mankind.



An Hour On A Railway Platform

            The Indian railway is one of the largest in the world. It has its own share of problems, lime accidents, delays, manpower shortage, shortage of space and so on. One such problem is lack of punctuality. Thousands of people all over India are affected when a train is late or is delayed.
            Once our family had gone to Solapur for a few days. On our return we planned to catch the Jayanti Janata Express from Solapur to Bombay. The train was arrive at 7.50 p.m. We were at the station by 7 p.m. There was an announcement over the public address system at 7.45 p.m. that the train would be 90 minutes late because of some derailment. We found seats and bought a few magazines.
            I soon lost interest in the magazines and wondered how I could spend the time. I was restless.
            Then I began noticing the people around me. The vendors at the stalls were all busy, some arranging their wares and some were cooking. Some passengers on the platform were checking their luggage. There were beggars counting their money. The sweepers were doing their jobs. There was an electrician repairing some connection. He was being helped by another man, also in uniform. Some porters were sleeping, others talking and playing cards.
            The Station Master came out of his office and went into the next office. I wondered why, so I got up and had a look. He was talking to the telegraphist. Others were coming to report to the station master and going about their work.
            I started observing and wondering how the stations were run so smoothly. I was amazed when I thought of the many employees and people working night and day to keep the railways and all the thousands of stations and kilometres of rail tracks, in working order.
            I also saw something of the life of the number of people who lived off the railways and of people whose life and livelihood depended on the travellers and the railways.
            When the train arrived 3 hrs. Late, I did not realize how late it was ! Because I was so interested in what I was observing. I never thought a 3 hours delay could turn out to be so enjoyable, interesting and educative.


Life in a crowded city

           A city is the centre of trade, commerce, industry and education. It is the foundation or seat of administration. It is, therefore, full of activity, movements and changes. A city no doubt offers many tempting comforts and conveniences, pleasures and pass - times, openings and opportunities, and that is why people from the country - side are pouring into it in thousands. In a city, there are schools, colleges, business houses and technical institutes, hospitals, charitable institutions, hospitals, cinemas, play - grounds, stadiums, parks, gardens and easy means of transport and communication. If we have sufficient money, we can have the best food and clothing, the best accommodation, the best education, the best of medical treatment and the best of entertainment.
            In spite of all these good points, city - life is far from being happy. The city is overcrowded, stuffy, noisy, dusty, filthy and smoky. Life is violated by evils like pollution, slums, noise, corruptions and crime. Life in a city is hurried and worried. In a city money is worshiped and money is indeed the root of all evils.
            The city with its crazy race for money and pleasures does not provide proper environment for an all - round development of the young. Some of the young - city dwellers fall into bad company, take to smoking, drinking, gambling, drug taking etc. These conditions of a city - life pose a grave threat to social peace and national progress. A society filled with crime and violence can never hope to progress and flourish. A city - life is more prone to all these evils than the peaceful and placid country life. It is precisely for this reason that it is said “God made the country and made the town”
        We are so dependent on electricity and the comforts it provides, that without it we are literally left in darkness. In this modern day such black - outs are frequent because demand is more than supply. Our population has increased manifold and so has our consumption. Hence there is over - loading and power breakdowns. The day is not far off when we will face an acute power crisis.
            We just cannot imagine what our life would be without electricity.


If there were no Electricity!

            Electricity is one of the basic forms of energy. Of all the forms in which energy exists including motion, sound, heat, light and radio waves, electricity is the most versatile (having many uses). It can be generated from many different sources. It can be sent almost instantaneously over long distances, carrying either messages or power and it can be converted simply and efficiently into other forms of energy as needed.
            Because of this versatility, electricity plays a part in nearly every aspect of modern life. It provides light and heat, and mechanical power and makes possible the telephone and telegraph, radio and television and countless other necessities and luxuries. Nowadays,  we take gadgets like the light, fan mixer, oven, iron, refrigerator, air conditioner so much for granted without giving a thought to its working.
            We often hear our grandmothers talking of the good old days without electricity, when one would rise with the dawn and sleep early. All studying would be in the daylight hours; cooking on wood - fire had its own flavour and meals would be family meals to be eaten together at a fixed time by candle light. Once when we had no electricity for 8 hrs. life came to a standstill. The bells didn’t ring. The washing machine wend dead. TV sets was dark and silent. The radio was just a box without voice. The food spoiled. The electric clock about without flashlights, knocking on each others doors instead of ringing doorbells. Travelling by trains (electric) would be affected leaving millions stranded. In other words, chaos reigned supreme. Such power failures are a housewife’s nightmares. Chores which are quickly attended to remain unattended.
            We are so dependent on electricity and the comforts it provides, that without it we are literally left in darkness. In this modern day such black - outs are frequent because demand is more than supply. Our population has increased manifold and so has our consumption. Hence there is over - loading and power breakdowns. The day is not far off when we will face an acute power crisis.
            We just cannot imagine what our life would be without electricity.


If I were a Teacher

            When I was young, I was fond of playing the role of a teacher. I would imagine a class of children in front of me, a black board on the wall and myself - an ideal teacher. Everything was imaginary except the ruler in my hand.
            If I were a teacher, I would give greater importance to example that to precept. I would make the children understand the worth of polite speech and decent behaviour. I would never go late to class, i would avoid taking casual leave as far as possible.
            When I would enter the class I would bid them the time an expect them to bid me in return. ‘Good morning, children’ would be the beginning of the day. I would plan the lesson well and ensure that every child had understood the day’s topic. I would give special attention to the weaker students, unlike some teachers who only care for the clever children and neglect the below average ones. I would consider it my duty to analyse and solve the problems of every child without any partiality.
            I would not approve of learning by heart. I would try to make every lesson interesting by giving practical examples from every day life. The children would be encouraged to collect information from newspapers and magazines. I would encourage the children to participate in games, sports and cultural activities.
            It would be my principle never to make any personal remark which would hurt any child’s feelings. I would never tolerate selfishness, rudeness or dishonesty. I would encourage them to love their home members and their friends, and make them happy.
            Throughout my career as a teacher, my air would be to instil in every child real and noble values of life and mound him into a responsible and productive citizen of the world.


My Favourite Hobby.

            A hobby is a kind of amusement, an interesting pursuit which fruitfully occupies our leisure hours. There are many kinds of hobbies like collecting things, games and sports, photography, painting, reading or even gardening. Hobbies may be constructive, lucrative or even useful, but what really matters is that they provide constructive and interesting recreation.
            My favourite hobby is collecting stamps. I have a lovely album in which I fix the stamps. I have separate pages for each country. I also have separate pages for stamps on birds, animals, great leaders, historical movements, etc. I have about 4000 stamps in all. My friends and relations who are not stamp collectors collect stamps for me. This has helped me to collect stamps from all over the world. I also exchange stamps with my friends. Whenever I get two or three identical stamps, I immediately try to exchange them for one that I do not have. I have managed to collect some very rare and old stamps. Whenever the postal department issues a new stamp or a commemorative stamp I see that I buy them.
            There are many benefits from stamp collecting. The birds, fishes, dresses, people, buildings and other emblems on the stamps tell us about the various countries, their culture, the lifestyles of the people, etc. It thus broadens our mental horizons and gives us a peep into history.
            Whenever I glance through my stamp album and look at my rare stamps. I am filled with a sense of pride and joy. My hobby fills my leisure hours with interest and keeps my mind well occupied. My hobby will continue and with the passage of time, I am sure that I will have an extraordinary large, stamp collection.


Lets Stop Child Labour

            A newspaper report the other day mentioned that the Child Labour Act 1986 is only partly effective. The Act does not prohibit employment of children below the age of 14 in several hazardous industries that exist in the unorganised sector. At present, the Act bans the employment of children in only 25 present, the Act bans the employment of children in only 25 hazardous processes and occupations. It is estimated that there are around 44 millions child workers in India of whom nearly 85 percent are involved in agricultural work. The hazardous occupation listed in the act include beedi – making, carpet weaving, tanning, construction work, and manufacturing of match sticks, firecrackers and state pencils.
            But there are several other unknown, small industries which are hazardous but whose existence is unknown to the public. The artificial pearl – dyeing industry in Bhiwandi is one such unit. Around 300 small workshops, each employing around 20 children and women have sprung up in several slum localities. The children work for nine hours a day in a small room filled with fumes of toxic chemical. Their daily wages is Rs.15/- The fumes of dyes and toxic chemicals is so strong that a 10 minute visit to any of these units leaves one coughing and breathless.
            Let’s stop this child labour. Many social workers sincerely feel that if the Government enforces free and compulsory education, this exploitation of children will stop. But while the Government must take this step, we also can assist them. Let us report cases of child exploitation wherever we see them. Alternatively let us promise that we will not employ child labour in our factories and will persuade our friends and relatives, also to refrain from doing so. Let us make a conscious pledge to allow each child to enjoy their childhood in school and leisure activities only.


A Road Accident I Witnessed.

            All men are human and this fact was driven home the other day when I waited at the footpath to cross the road. An old woman stood a little ahead, and was quite busy counting some coins in her hand. Suddenly, she turned and lost in her own thoughts, she stepped on to the road. What followed is a nightmare that is nearly impossible to describe. A jeep coming at high speed knocked her down, and the old woman lay in a crumpled heap in the middle of the road.
            She was badly hurt on her forehead and blood gushed out like a spring. With a start, I realised that she was dead, and that death had been instantaneous. A small crowd had gather, and the jeep owner was trying to prove his innocence, but nobody was prepared to listen. They were all convinced that it was his rash driving that had caused her death. Luckily for him, the police station was quite near, and a constable soon appeared and took charge. Otherwise a physical beating would also have taken place.
            The ambulance arrived and the old woman’s body was carried away. Someone mentioned that she lived in a nearby chawl and had two sons. They also said that she was slightly deaf. Whatever the reason for the accident, I felt that was an example of hoe the forces of fate also rule our lives. Logically, it was her inability to look after herself but as a traditional Indian I felt that her time on earth had ended. The accident was merely an excuse!


The Place of women in Indian Society

            Traditionally, there have always been two attitudes towards women, either it is that women are weak, they must be protected, kept at home and looked after – the daughter, the wife and the mother. The other is – she must be worshipped. We see them as goddesses – Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. The reality is that Indian women are neither. They are not stone statues but they are human being to be treated equally as man. 
            The place of women in Indian society today is an uncertain one. She has not totally stepped out of the past exploitative role that the society had designed for her. Today we have the constitutional guarantees, the legislation that makes a girl equal to a boy, but social change is slow. We cannot brainwash the parents and gender conditioning still treats women as the weaker sex. The New Education Policy, the dream child of our late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, guided in an age of equal rights. Yet the thousands of young women who have passed the institutions of higher have not caused a major revolution. The question still remains – after almost 60 years of planned development, in what way has the lives of women really changed?
            Millions of women are still illiterate. They face dowry problems, malnutrition, discrimination, offences of rape, violence in the home and outside. There is a way to change this. Each educated women to whom knowledge has been given, must now understand the value of being a committed citizen. They must question the value of traditional practices. Above all, there must be a liberality of vision, a caring spirit that would like to reach out and help the less fortunate. All women must be prepared to be agents of change and instruments of women’s liberation. Only then will Indian women find their true equal place in society. 




If there were no newspapers.

Newspapers are truly an addiction. Every morning it is delivered to your door step and you spend nearly half an hour eagerly digesting the recent happenings of the world, the country, the city and the locality. If there were no newspapers, our daily routine would be interrupted. The relaxed cup of tea would no longer taste the same. Indeed, our very mornings would no longer be the same.
The next change would be that we would be less informed about our current affairs, the political situation; the new stock marked downs and ups, etc. teenagers would be very disturbed to find that the entertainment column is no longer at their fingertips. They would have to waste time investigating the theatres for movie of their choice. Stock marked investors would miss their favourite page with the innumerable quotations – the latest index figures of their blue shares. Others would miss their favourite comic strip, and sports fan would cry for the lack of coverage about the IPL series.
The T.V. and radio could be seen as valuable alternatives. Both of them would try to offer many channels and the latest news every half – an – hour. This would give us information with live video coverage but the habit of reading would be lost for ever. For many gown ups, the newspaper is truly a gateway to the world. So for these people, a world without newspaper is a disaster that must never happen!