Friday, October 31, 2008

Book review: To sir, with love.

Everyone faces problems. How would you like to read the story of an individual who faced some problems? Someone just like you and I – a struggle to find a job, facing a hostile environment, braving on through tough times and finally gaining acceptance. A simple story told in a straightforward and descriptive manner yet, different enough to be made into a movie. Pick up a copy of the semiautobiographical 'To sir with love' by E.R. Braithwaite.

A young black man – Rick Braithwaite returns to civilian life after the war. With the end of the war, the admiration that he had received as an RAF pilot, suddenly ceases. In his ordinary suit, he returns to be a black man on the streets of London looking for a job. Discrimination and racism do not exist – only on paper. He is unable to find a job because his skin colour and his high qualifications don't go together. He finally takes up a job as a teacher in an East London school.

Predominantly white but significantly poor - the children at the school are the kind whom circumstances have forced to grow up too early. Poverty, lack of role models, living in squalor - hey don't have much to look forward to. Braithwaite faces his first class who eye him with complete hostility. A bunch of boys and girls in their last year at school, they will be out in the world earning their living after this. Nearly adults, not mere children.

Pranks, indiscipline, rudeness – the youngsters leave no stone unturned to make their new teacher uncomfortable. After stumbling at the initial blocks, Braithwaite's patience and a demand of higher standards from his students works out well to change their attitude. The change he brings about amazes his fellow teachers. Among the children and their families - 'Sir' becomes much admired and trusted.

Our teachers become our second parents – considering the amount of time they spend with us. There is always some teacher we remember years later – who did more than teach and who moulded us by being someone we could look up to in that impressionable age. The story was made into an unforgettable movie starring Sidney Poitier. Even compared to that, I think the book is better.

*****First published in Bodheverse - October 2008 issue. ***** Read More......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What he does in play...

He sometimes picks me up without warning
And shakes me up pretending I'm a snow globe
Then sets me aside and watches, perhaps, amused
The uprising of emotions and the turmoil inside
I wish he'd let me be and not stir up the white stuff
It blinds me for some time, those feelings all around
And when things settle they are not where they were
And I'm left trying to find my self all over again.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A moment to remember

A handful of roses

            Half blooming buds

Held between

            Two hearts caught

In an illusion


Rapt eyes unaware of

            Any other presence

Or possibilities

            Gaze into each other,

Making up meanings.    


Their soft eager tones

            Holding many promises

Completes the spell.


A moment’s glance frozen 

To give reason and hope

To more hearts than two.

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