Thursday, April 30, 2015

Essay On "Why is there an increase in violence amongst students in Tamil Nadu?"

Recently, “Nandini Voice For The Deprived” conducted an essay on the topic “Why is there an increase in violence amongst students in Tamil Nadu?” I submitted this article. Here I am giving it for your reading. Feel free to comment!

TOPIC: Why is there an increase in violence amongst students in Tamil Nadu?

Violence refers to acts of aggression. It denotes the quality of being wild, and using physical force to achieve a goal. When do people become violent? One, when they are unable to achieve their goal through skill or logic. Two, when they have always been pampered and suddenly face an opposition or a refusal. Three, when they have grown up seeing violence right from their young days as a justified act. These three arguments prove to be right in the case of students in Tamil Nadu, too.

Writing about students in Tamil Nadu includes school and college students. Resorting to violence when unable to achieve one’s goal is mostly seen in college students, not among school students. That is because, only after coming to college do students come to understand the tough world, and face stiff competition. Pressure builds up on them. They tend to realise that they don’t have the required skills to go into a well respected institution for work. They prefer doing wrong things to achieve their goal, rather than not doing it and starving in the world.

Way to easy money- that again is a greedy thought in students after they finish their college. They want quick money. Violence or nonviolence simply doesn’t matter at that time. ‘A little violence… Nobody’s gonna find out!’ is what those students think. This propels them forward on to vehemence, contributing to growing violence amongst students.

Now let’s take a look at why there is violence amongst school students. Nowadays, the size of families is very small. Maximum includes the grandma, grandpa, mother, father, and an only child. The child gets whatever he/ she wants, from chocolate to bicycle to anything else that crosses the mind. He/She has never been refused, never been scolded, never ever  faced opposition. His/Her verdict had always stood to last. Parents go to office to work all day, and cannot spend any time with the child. And, to convince their conscience, they laud the child with anything and everything in the world that the child wants. Now, what do you think the child’s reaction would be if it ever was refused or opposed? Violence. He/She will not be able to reason out, or even listen to the reasons of the opposition. The first thing that comes to their mind will be ‘How dare you oppose me! Refuse me! Just wait till I beat you up!’ Here comes violence at such a young age. Finally, when they grow up, they will be just the same- with even more ego, and even more fury when there is a refusal.

Also, school children have high energy levels as a natural quality. Amongst these students, some have really high levels of energy that can turn out in a negative way if not guided properly. When such energy is not used productively, it paves the way to a lot of fury and violence. This is not a mistake on the child’s part. They just have to be engaged continuously in activities that supersede or match their energy levels. As proof for this, my dad quotes examples of a lot of “troublesome” kids during his days, who when channelised by PT masters properly, went on to achieve great heights in sports. This is a very important aspect that helps in controlling violence amongst students. Naturally, this applies to students in Tamil Nadu, also.

Seeing violence from young days instills violence. Students generally don’t see people beating or thrashing others on the roads, or other public places. But where they see violence most is in movies. Tamil Nadu is very famous for its movie culture. Every Tamil movie has a hero who will beat, punch, slap, smack, kick and strike the villains, very heroically indeed! And, they do it for the silliest of reasons based on the story. This always ends by  sealing the fact that nothing can be done without beating up people. Also, our present culture seems to believe “might is right”. Why! We even have a tamil saying that literally translates into- brothers cannot help like how beating helps. Great. So, why won’t the school and college students, who make it a point to see every single movie first-day-first-show, not be influenced by these heroes on screen? Many think themselves to be those heroes. They see all situations as if they are like the hero on the screens. And, they adopt violence when they think they ought to, just like the hero they envision themselves to be. To add to these already existing problems, some students around them look up to them as heroes, too, instead of talking sense into them. This only encourages the students to take up violence more confidently than ever. Why not? They seem to have a whole fanbase under them!

Now, a note on how this situation can be stopped from getting worse. Students must be counselled in  colleges, and opportunities have to be given in various fields for them to identify their interests. Parents mustn’t pamper their children. This doesn’t mean that they should completely have their children under control, since that also gives way to violence. Children must understand the concept of liberty with responsibility. Parents must also look for the child’s interest, and channel the child’s energy in a productive way instead of letting it loose to take the route to aggression. In this case, any kind of  sport can help. Finally, it is not at all wrong to watch movies. But, students have to be educated to sufficiently distinguish between the ‘real’ and the ‘reel’.

Let us go back to our middle-school lessons, and recall that India itself came out of the British Raj through non-violence! Anything is possible, not just through violence, but anyway.  
If students understand these causes, and the impacts on themselves and the rest of the society, the situation can certainly turn for the better in Tamil Nadu.

After all, where there is a will to set things right, there is always a way to do it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Akeelah And The Bee

Movie: Akeelah And The Bee
Genre: Drama
Directed by: Doug Atchison
Produced by: Laurence Fishburne, Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis, Daniel, Llewelyn and Michael Romersa
Story by: David Soren
Music by: Henry Jackman

Akeelah Anderson, the 11 year old girl from South Los Angeles, attends the school for the blacks in Crenshaw. She is amazing at spelling words, and registers herself for the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest. She gets special attention at school, and also gets a personal coach, Dr. Larabee,  for herself. She wins the school level contest at Crenshaw, and proceeds on the district level.

At the district level, Akeelah goes on to the contest without taking any training with Dr. Larabee, and almost fails there. But then, her sister, Kiana discovers one of the participant’s mother to have helped her son when he is on stage, and thus Akeelah qualifies. At this level, she makes friends with a boy from Woodland Hills named Javier. She also gets introduced to Dylan, the boy who came second twice in a row at the spelling bee.

Her mother is not very happy at the fact that Akeelah is missing her summer school to train for the spelling contest. Seeing that her mother is not for the competition, Akeelah signs the the consent letter by parents with her dead father’s name. She gets in to the regional level. She trains hard from Mr. Larabee and becomes thoroughly ready to take on the challenge.
She goes on to the venue of the competition and also gets through many of her opponents. But before her last turn, her mother comes to know of Akeelah forging her father’s signature, and demands that she get out of the contest right then. Mr. Welch, the school head, supports Akeelah, but Dr. Larabee agrees with Mrs. Anderson, saying that it was bad on Akeelah to have lied, and that she deserves to get out of the contest. But Mrs. Anderson realizes that her daughter must have wanted to go to the contest so badly to have lied even to her, and so, allows her to go on, with other punishments.

Dylan, Javier and Akeelah qualify for the finals. There, Javier ends up being the fifth. Dylan and Akeelah battle it out with the others. Finally, the contest comes down to just the two of them. They get a break to refresh, and at that time, Akeelah catches Dylan’s father pressurising the boy to win the contest. Akeelah decides to give up, and make Dylan win. She intentionally misspells a known word- Xanthosis, which she had first learnt from Dylan himself. Dylan realizes that Akeelah is trying to give up for him, and thus, purposefully misspells the word during his turn.

During the water break, he asks Akeelah why she did so, and tells her that he doesn’t care about what his father says. He tells her that he wants to win the contest fairly, if at all he has to win. So, Akeelah and Dylan, gear up, and spell all the words right. Finally they become co-champions, making all of their family, friends, and community proud. Dr. Labaree gets a more-than-satisfied smile, and an overwhelming hug from Akeelah.

The movie was very nice. I liked it so much. I especially liked the way Akeelah uses her “50,000 coaches” around her- family, friends, neighbours, classmates and the community. I also liked the part when Dylan says to Akeelah, “I don’t care what my father thinks. He hasn’t won anything in his life!” and they both battle it out to become co-champions!

I loved the movie and it was a good one to watch.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Turbo

Movie: Turbo
Genre: Fantasy, Animation
Directed by: David Soren
Produced by: Lisa Stewart
Story by: David Soren
Music by: Henry Jackman

Theo, the garden snail, loves racing, and is inspired by Guy Gagné’s words, “No dream is too big, no dreamer too small”! Theo is scoffed at by all his snail friends. Chet, Theo’s brother, is worried. One day, while the snails are on their duty of collecting over-ripe tomatoes, one of it falls into the lawn. Theo goes forward to get back the tomato, but just then the land mower starts, which means that the snails are in DANGER. Theo imagines himself to be a racer, and imagines the land mower as his competitor in the race. In this version of Theo’s race, the tomato becomes the goal! Theo almost gets crushed, but his friends save him.

After that, Theo wanders off on his own to see the city cars, and accidentally ends up ON a racing car. He gets sucked inside, and the fuel goes into him. After his small accident cum adventure, he returns to his group. To his glad surprise, he finds himself acting like a car! His eyes become the headlights, his mouth becomes the radio, his shell becomes the engine! And, he is able to zoom around at top speed like a racing car!

But he literally creates destruction for his snail friends because of his unusual, nature-defying speed. The leader of the snails throws Chet and Theo out of the group. Just when Chet is getting mad on Theo, a crow attacks Chet and carries him off. Following this there is a fight between three crows for the snail while Turbo follows the flying birds on the road at top speed. He saves his brother from the crows. But they are taken away by a man named Tito, who sells Tacos with his brother Angelo at a restaurant.

In the snail racing contest between Tito and his friends, Theo tops, and becomes a favourite among the snails, and Theo even joins the group of racing snails! The only people against the whole thing are Chet, Theo’s brother, and Angelo,Tito’s brother. But, Theo and Tito, decide to enter Theo into the upcoming racing competition - Indianapolis 500 or the Indy 500! Tito convinces the rest of his friends to invest money, and Theo gets in through to the competition, in which his idol- Guy Gagné- is also part of!

For the sake of the championship, Theo officially becomes “Turbo”! The racing starts. Theo does very well! But Guy Gagné is wicked and breaks Theo’s shell, which is actually the engine. So, Turbo becomes a normal garden snail again. But he wins the championship in a snail way, following the advice of his brother, Chet- tuck and roll! He wins the Indy 500, much to the anger of Guy Gagné! The Tacos man’s and his friends’ life change for the better.

The film is awesome. I like it so much. My favourite characters are Tito, his group of friends, and their snails. I also like Chet, Turbo, and Guy Gagné!

It was real fun watching the garden snail zoom through the race track!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ratatouille

Movie: Ratatouille
Genre: Fantasy, Animation
Directed by: Brad Bird
Produced by: Brad Lewis
Story by: Jan Pinkava, Brad Bird and Jim Capobianco
Music by: Michael Giacchino

Remy, the rat has an indispensable taste for gourmet, anything related to food. His greatest wish is to cook, create and relish, instead of stealing, which is what the rats usually do. In the clan of rats, his father is the chief, and has laid the rules perfectly clear: none of the rats are to go too close to human company. Remy defies the rules of the clan, and takes lessons from the neighbouring house’s television on which the show of the greatest chef of Paris, Gusteau, is aired regularly. Remy learns a lot from the master chef and tries out different things, carefully so as to not wake up the owner of the house.

But one day, he takes his brother Emile with him, and explores the kitchen making Emile stand in guard. But the owner wakes up and starts shooting at the rats. The whole clan of rats get into trouble. While running for their lives, Remy goes back to the house to take a book of Gusteau’s titled “Anyone Can Cook”. But Remy loses the rest of his family and friends, while doing so. He finally reaches a dark place, unhappily. He sits sadly thinking he has lost everything. He becomes hungry, but doesn’t know what to do!

He then starts exploring, and finds that he has reached the top of Gusteau’s restaurant! He goes into the kitchen, and sees that a young boy called Linguini has been employed as the garbage boy by the current master chef and owner- Skinner. The boy, without the knowledge of anybody, spoils the soup that it boiling near him, thoroughly, by adding random ingredients.

Shocked to see this, Remy moves quickly and corrects the soup, adding a little of his own inventions. But Linguini, the garbage boy, sees the rat busy working at the soup, and is astonished. By this time, the master chef Skinner sees Linguini fiddling with the dish, and is extremely angry.  When the soup is served by mistake to the customers, they think it is fabulous, and Linguini gets the popularity!

Linguini and his little chef Remy, work out an understanding, and Remy creates many wonderful dishes through the hands of his human friend Linguini, making his dream come true.

But Skinner the old master chef is jealous at the growing popularity of Linguini. Also, he finds that Linguini is the late Gusteau’s son, which means that Linguini is the rightful owner of the restaurant of Gusteau’s! Worried that this might come out, he grows very mad, and acts peculiar! Also, he comes to know of Remy, the rat-friend chef of Linguini.

The climax is amazing! Remy is captured by Skinner, but his family saves him, without the knowledge of Skinner! Anton Ego, the restaurant critic, who doesn’t believe in Gusteau’s motto- Anyone Can Cook- finally comes to Gusteau’s because of the growing popularity. Remy manages to come back to the aid of his friend Linguini, and they serve the simplest and the most plain dish to Ego- Ratatouille! Ego is flabbergasted! He congratulates Linguini and tells him that it was the best Ratatouille dish that he has ever had in years. They tell him the truth- that a rat prepared the dish, and the whole story behind it comes out.

Gusteau’s gets closed. But, Remy, Linguini and Colette, together start another famous restaurant- La Ratatouille- that serves for both the rats and the humans!

It is a very nice movie! I loved it. Especially the scenes where Remy controls Linguini by pulling his hair, and they practice to cook that way is amazing! It is must-see movie!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Monsters, Inc.

Movie: Monsters, Inc.
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
Directed by: Pete Docter
Produced by: Darla K. Anderson
Story by: Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon and Ralph Eggleston
Music by: Randy Newman


In the city of Monstropolis, the city of monsters, several monsters work as scarers of children, so that they can derive the screams of children that powers the city. Star scarer Sullivan, fondly called as Sulley, and his best buddy, Mike Wazowski, top the records in the number of scares, inviting jealousy from their counterpart Randall Boggs.


Randall Boggs tries to kidnap a girl, and accidentally Mike and Sulley come in the possession of the girl. They get terrified as the monsters have always been informed that the touch of a human child can kill then. So, the CDA- the Child Detection Agency- had been formed to detect human children. Sulley and Mike try to protect the child, who is lively and not afraid one bit. But Randall Boggs also keeps trying to kidnap the child.


The child, who is named as Boo(because she keeps saying that) by Sulley, creates all sort of trouble for the two star monsters. While trying to escape, Boo and Sulley discover a secret passage formed by Randall that leads to the place where they get to know of Randall’s horrible plan.


Finally, they go to Waternoose, the CEO of Monsters, Inc., and explain the situation hoping that he might help. But to their shock, they find Waternoose part of the conspiracy teaming up with Randall Boggs! They get kicked off to the Himalayas, and the child is taken away from them. But, Sulley and Mike come back, and rescue Boo from the hands of the capturers.


Then the climax comes, which is really very nice. The bad guys get defeated and they are arrested. The Monsters, Inc. stays on but with a new role. Monsters make children laugh and power is derived from laughter rather than screams!


That was a very nice ending! I especially liked the parts where Sulley and Mike experiment with the kid but thinking that they might die if she touches!


The story is very nice. The animation was very good. I loved Boo and Mike Wazowski!

The movie is fun to watch!