Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review : A Book of Simple Living

Title : A Book of Simple Living
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Speaking Tiger

'The cosmos has all the genius of simplicity.'

Start reading first paragraph and one embarks on a journey into a world where time is no longer a constraining factor and where nature guides everything. Ruskin Bond offers a small peak into his routine and one gets to see the beauty in the simplicity of life. The way he describes his room and the window which opens into three different worlds - the mountains, the sky and the road - is fascinating. At least for the time when one is reading his words, one  gets transported to the same room amidst the same surroundings  - the never changing hills, the full of movement road and the author's preferred view, the sky. He feels the sky is never the same, it is always filled with beautiful hues from the divine palette.

As the much acclaimed author pays befitting tribute to nature, he subtly conjures the readers to acknowledge the presence of co-inhabitants of our mother earth, admiring their uniqueness and paying obeisance to the natural scheme of things. He shows us the side of the world and life which in the fast time-bound schedules, we are fast losing touch with. He talks about various flora and fauna that fill his life with colour, fragrance, music and liveliness. He has ample time - to listen to every natural sound, to drink in the scent of wild flowers and leaves and to observe tiny creatures minding their business.

'Live close to nature and your spirit will not be easily broken, for you learn something of patience and resilience. You will not grow restless and you will never feel lonely.'

He then talks about various other things, vicissitudes of life, his love and longing, his writings, how a new topic comes knocking at his door or through his window, the reassurance that one looks for at certain times and many memorable moments spent in the lap of nature. The narrative is abound with characters like cicadas, magpies, field mice, spiders, swallows, maidenhair fern, geraniums, marigolds, chrysanthemums, pines, oaks, walnut trees, tall deodars, maple, chestnut and many more names. There is a background score in the narrative which is sometimes bubbling mountain river, orchestra of crickets or rustling of leaves. The landscape keeps changing colours from pristine snow white, verdant green to riot of fall colours.

The simplicity of his life, his writing is just fascinating and one needs to read it to feel it, because he writes to connect. In his words, 'I want my readers to feel what I feel, to see what I see, and big words and big sentences come in the way of this sharing. It is clarity and honesty that I am striving to attain; there can be no lasting connection with my readers without these. And to be clear and open is to be simple.'

The reason why I cannot stop admiring the book is because it somehow aligns with my own feelings when I am close to nature. In the written words, I could actually read some of my own feelings that nature sparks
in me. While I get immersed in my daily routine, I often dream and long for - being in a wide open expanse of land adorned with verdure  or walking on a narrow pathway guarded by thick trees with huge canopies or driving on a thin serpentine road merging into the folds of mighty mountains or gazing at the endlessly stretched firmament to my heart's content or watching raindrops fall on the ground willingly accepting their new identity in unison with other companions. Just the thought of these bring in a deep sense of peace, perspective and a connection with someone supreme in every single entity.

Don’t let the beauty of the nature pass by unnoticed, unacknowledged and unregistered because it is the simplest and purest form of beauty. Let it tickle every sensory nerve of one's being. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review : She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Title : She Loves Me,
He Loves Me Not
Author : Zeenat Mahal
Publisher : Indireads

Zoella has grown nurturing a silent crush for Fardeen Malik for many years. She happens to be the best friend of Fardeen's sister but she knows her feelings would never get reciprocated as Fardeen is already engaged to a  stunning socialite. Moreover, the two engaged families belong to the same section of the society. But destiny has something else in store for all of the characters when Fardeen gets badly disfigured in an accident. The accident takes away a lot from Fardeen besides his handsome looks and his fiancée is one of those. From a prince charming he transitions into an annoying, hurtful and hateful person. Twist of circumstances brings Zoella closer to Fardeen but was she wishing for such a fate for herself and for his beloved?

'She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not' is a love story set in modern day Pakistan while keeping the soul of a classic fairy tale intact. Hopeless circumstances, sudden twists, fate playing a big role, some baseless notions, tempers and much more are beautifully dealt with in the narrative.

The author has painstakingly carved the characters Zoella and Fardeen. Zoella, a silent admirer of her friend's brother, sincere in her duties and a family person does all for her family without expecting anything in return. Fardeen has always been away from any troubles or imperfections of life till he confronts a situation where he comes face to face with his own not so pleasing new reflection. Riding different waves of emotions and feelings, they end up tying their lives together and what follows is a bumpy ride.

The way different perspectives are dealt with and are allowed to develop gradually is a commendable job done by the author. Readers would surely appreciate how Zoella matures into a confident and strong individual from a shy and timid girl. Moreover, the window that Zeenat has opened into Pakistan through her writing is quite alluring. Her description of that world's traditions and  customs is fascinating and keeps the readers glued to the story till the last page. However, a tighter editing could have cut down a few pages from the book that keep highlighting their mutual conflicts. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Article : Materchef in Every Kitchen (The Tribune : Feb 22, 2015)

Move over daily soaps, cookery shows have taken the nation by storm, as housewives from Kashmir to Kanyakumari are plating and presenting their dishes

Read the full story here...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Interview : Kavita Kane

Kavita Kane, the author of Karna's Wife and Sita's Sister shares her views and opinions through this short e-interview here. 

Your first book was Karna's Wife and the second Sita's Sister. There is a pattern in the characters that you pick for your books. Who will be the  next?

There is no conscious pattern as such. I select characters which fascinate me in all their ambiguity whose story can be retold in a book. Am working on my third book but cannot say much about it right now. Just that it would be unlike the previous two.

We see a lot of books on retelling of mythology these  days, with contemporary touch. Why do you think mythology has become the flavour of the season?

Mythology has always been popular, be it part of our folk tales, theatre, art, literature, music and dance. In contemporary times the popularity has been translated to a new medium - teleserials, novels, video games etc. The interest in mythology especially the epics is witnessing a resurgence due to our close connect with it and its fascinating multi layers can be unravelled from time to time.

How has been the response to your books? Are you satisfied with the same?

Both have received excellent reports but I honestly was overwhelmed at the huge response!

What is your dream story, have you started working on that already?

Each story I write is a dream story. I dream about it often and the nightmare is if I get stuck! But seriously, every story is written with the same passion and creativity -but how well it does depends on the readers!

Which kind of books do you enjoy reading yourself? Who are your favourite authors?

I am still hooked onto PG Wodehouse and the thriller genre for light reading. I have no favourite authors - I have loved each author whose works I have read. Those I don't like I never manage to finish their book! Like reading, your choice of authors depend largely on your mood, age and maturity. Once upon a time I never read non-fiction!

How has been the journey of being an authoress so far? What is the biggest joy of being one?

It's been a big pleasant surprise! And what really touched me was the huge help I received from other authors especially the famous established ones who took out time to encourage me. What I love about being a writer is that I get to do what I love!

Any tips that you'd want to pass on to the new authors?

Write a good story and tell it well. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review : Sita's Sister

Title : Sita's Sister
Author : Kavita Kane
Publisher : Rupa
ISBN : 978-81-291-3484-4

So  many questions keep flooding a thinking individual's mind, more so after reading thought provoking books like Sita's Sister. What is just, what is dharma, which is bigger - a role or an individual, where does duty of one end and the personal space of another begin, who decides which role takes precedence over another, does love mean being someone's weakness or strength, should love surpass duty or the other way round, and many more.

Kavita Kane brings to fore one of those characters of the epic Ramayana who have grossly been ignored by the center stage lights. Urmila is often remembered as one of King Janak's daughters, Sita's younger sister and Lakshman's wife.  Paeans have been written about the sacrifices of the prime characters of the mythology in whose shadow many characters have been eclipsed. Lord Ram smilingly renounced his right on the throne of Ayodhya to follow the promise that his father gave to one of his wives. His worldly consort Sita gave a glimpse of her fortitude by choosing the same path for herself as was destined for her husband. Lakshman chose to let his course get automatically sealed as he could not think of not being with his elder brother during the exile period of 14 years.  Bharat decided to spend the 14 years of Ram's exile in complete abstinence of all royal pleasures as a way of his penance. These are the towering embodiments of ideals in the epic story, but often, the larger than life sagas end up neglecting the contributions of some, who silently bear the consequences of others' decisions and promises. Their greatness lies in invisibly supporting the main players.

In Sita's Sister, Kavita Kane has lent that missing voice to Urmila. The title itself is extremely well thought out, true to the life spent over-shadowed and outshone. Here Urmila is portrayed as a delicately beautiful, spirited young princess who knows her mind and has no qualms in voicing it too. She is not the one who wants to live in illusion or any make believe world. She comes across as an individual who acknowledges and accepts her situations gracefully - whether it is of being a second fiddle to the adopted elder sister Sita or submitting to the fact that her husband would remain committed to his brotherly duties over and above her. But this does not push her down rather she reciprocates the favour by being a source of strength for her loved ones.

She displays the mettle and the fortitude to provide the anchorage to her family whether it was her parental one or later her marital kinship. She tries her best to sew the relationships and while doing so, she poses some very pertinent questions from time to time. Her voiced displeasure on Bharat's decision of spending the next 14 years in Nandigram is clear example of her confident and intrepid nerve. She questions his dharma towards his wife Mandavi - 'we have talked about all sorts of dharma - of the father and the sons, of the king and the princes, of the Brahmin and the Kshatriya, even of the wife for the husband. But is there no dharma of the husband for his wife?'

There cannot be any surprise on the plot front yet the narrative from the perspective of a different character makes it appear so very uniquely distinct.

Some other characters that make their presence felt significantly in the story are that of mother Sunaina and Lakshman. Though a queen, Sunaina is a mother first and wants happiness of her daughters even if it means disregarding the political bindings. The part where she confesses her conduct in front of Urmila, would surely touch readers' inner chords. 'Probably I expected too much from you. Or, because I felt you were mine, the daughter of my flesh and blood, unlike Sita or the motherless Mandavi and Kirti. That's why I was over-protective for them but harsher to you.'

Lakshman has always given an impression of being a person who is devoutly committed to his brotherly duties all through his life and his personal relationships and bonds never surface in prominence. But in Sita's Sister, he comes across as a person who is equally vulnerable and emotional as is any other individual. He also needs someone from whom he could derive his treasure of strength. To deliver on his lofty ideals, he depends on two women in his life - his mother and his wife. Separation from his wife is no less torturous for him either but he wants his 'Mila' to make it easier for him because he acknowledges what she is, in his life 'you are my strength but also my weakness'.

This story very strongly brings back the memories of MaithiliSharan Gupt's Saket, another must read by the connoisseurs of mythology and appreciators of subtle human emotions.

Kavita Kane's language has contemporary feel to it which makes the narrative more relatable for the present-day readers. Also, some of the questions that are raised in the narrative seem equally relevant. Personally I see nothing wrong in re-defining and re-analysing the age old mythology. I firmly believe that the way any story (epic or otherwise) is understood, analysed and presented has a lot to do with a myriad of factors - the time, and the prevailing mindset, customs and culture of that time. So when we experience almost complete metamorphosis of our society with time, perhaps mythology also looks for re-definitions from time to time. 

Cannot help quoting some pearls of wisdom from the book -

...when love surpasses duty, it is salvation.

Unhappiness makes us self-absorbed, it makes one think only of oneself- of the pain, and misery one is suffering.

Only with detachment one learns the value of love versus the range of emotions - exile from attachment. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Book Review : Hic!copotamus

Title : Hic!copotamus
Author : Geeta Dharmarajan
Illustrator : Atanu Roy
Publisher : Katha
ISBN : 978-93-82454-24-3

One lazy afternoon the inmates of Gulmohar Jungle are in for a surprise as a gigantic thing falls into the White Lily Pond. Some of the animals get really scared and run for their lives and in their confusion do not see the enormous thing walking out of the pond. Muyal the Rabbit is the first one who spots him and he is none other than a baby hic!opotamus (hippopotamus) - Hawasi.

He narrates his story to all attentively listening animals. He was blissfully sitting in a jungle in Africa, when a strong hiccup blew him away and brought him straight to the Lily Pond. He wails and wails and wants to go back to his mother now. His new friends are very compassionate and want to help him go back to his home. They all brainstorm to make him hiccup strong enough so that he is again blown over back to his home jungle. Does Hawasi find a way home?

Little readers will have a blast reading this short story. It is undoubtedly one of those fun stories to tell in story telling sessions with little children. Animal stories always fascinate young readers and if they are a little quirky, the fun quotient gets higher manifolds. Interesting facts, quizzes and trivia add extra flavour to the proceedings. The artist Atanu Roy infuses life and blood in the story with his colourful illustrations. Whenever Katha, Geeta Dharmarajan and Atanu Roy come together, the result is outstanding. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review : आँधी

शीर्षक - आँधी
लेखिका - गीता धर्मराजन
चित्रकार - अतनु रॉय
प्रकाशक - कथा

गीता धर्मराजन द्वारा शब्दबद्ध और अतनु रॉय द्वारा चित्रित आँधी नन्हे पाठकों के लिए कथा की एक  नयी भेंट है. कविता रूप में रचित यह रंगों से भरी किताब एक रोचक यात्रा पर ले चलने को तैयार है.

एक धूल भरी आँधी अनेक सूखे पत्तों को ले कर बह निकली है और उसका बहाव इतना तेज़ है कि वह अपने साथ एक नन्ही बच्ची को भी आसमान की सैर पर उड़ा ले चली है. वहाँ अनेक रंग-बिरंगे व खुशिओं भरे नज़ारे आतुर हैं उस बच्ची के साथ खेलने के लिए. जो-जो इच्छाएँ एक नन्हे बच्चे की होती हैं और जो-जो सपने वह देखता है, मानो इस आसमान की सैर में वे सब पूरे हो रहे हैं. बादलों पर जाना, तितली बन उड़ना, इन्द्रधनुष से बातें करना, पंख पसार हवा से बातें करना तथा हवा में तैरते रंग-बिरंगे गुब्बारों पर फिसलना. कौन नहीं जाना चाहता इस अद्भुत सपनों की दुनिया की सैर पर. तो देर किस बात की है? उठाइये यह किताब और भरिये अपने सपनों में सुन्दर सजीले रंग.

लय में बँधे शब्द हवा के बहाव के किल्कुल अनुरूप जान पड़ते हैं और विचारों को अनोखी उड़ान देते हैं. छोटे बच्चों में हिंदी भाषा के प्रति लगाव जगाने के लिए ऐसी कविताएँ अमूल्य साधन का काम करती हैं.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review : The Case of the Secretive Sister

Title : The Case of the Secretive Sister
Author : Nilanjan P. Choudhury
No. of Pages : 162
ISBN : 978-9383098552

Mr. Chatterjee is a middle aged man whose long experience in claims settlement for an insurance company has made him a confident candidate to open his own detective agency. His investigation skills do not get tested appropriately as the cases that he gets to work on range from lost documents, missing pets or runaway drivers. Not just that, the number of clients requiring his services have been 'as elusive as Dr. Manmohan Singh in a chatty mood'.

One fine day, Mr. Chatterjee gets a new client in an over-zealous mother, Mrs. Pammi Chaddha who does not want to give up after her four year old daughter Aisharadhya aka Pinky Chaddha (her 'home' name) has been denied admission in one of the most sought-after schools of Bangalore. She wants Mr. Chatterjee to make this daunting task of securing admission for Pinky in the same school, possible.

Though Mr. Chatterjee does not see any hope of succeeding in this case, he wants to give it a fair try. In order to do that he would have to confront the no-nonsense Sister D'Souza who is at the helm of her school as the headmistress. He devices his plans methodically which his smart secretary interprets as his approach to rectify his piles problem. What follow are, action packed pages high on cat and mouse, stalking, drama, comedy and much more. Well, what is a detective novel without any of these elements?

'The Case of the Secretive Sister' is the second book by the author Nilanjan Choudhury but he comes across as a seasoned author especially when it comes to the tautness of the narrative and the finesse in the language. Once the narrative takes a fast-paced turn, at no moment does the tempo slacken. His choice of characters is commendable, whether it is Mr. Chatterjee's secretary Ms. Jolly or Inspector Gowda. From the accented voices of characters, one can actually hear their respective 'native' (place) speaking. A true Kannadiga and Bangalorean, Inspector Gowda takes it personally upon himself to sanitize his beloved city of all - Chatterjees, Choudhurys, Chaddhas and Chaturvedis. 

When we are witnessing almost a dearth of true-to-genre books in the market, this book comes as a whiff of fresh air where intelligent comedy is served in its full glory. We are fast becoming a society where we seek maximum value for money which is exactly the case with books as well. We are being offered medley - comprising of various elements all together - comedy, romance, adventure, et al. 'The Case of the Secretive Sister' reminds one of the humour of the order that is penned by Bill Cosby, Bill Bryson and P.G.Wodehouse. It is a pleasant change from the comedies that have inundated the mainstream television and movies these days. If you are looking for a small, light and a hilarious read, don't miss this one. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Article : When Play Becomes Work (published in Spectrum, The Tribune : 16-11-2014)

ADULTS of today are a part of perhaps the last fortunate generation that can relate to the feeling of ‘playing with abandon’. When they talk about their childhood play days, a lot is laden with the feelings of freedom, the touch of verdant grass, the feel of mud, the rustling sound of dry leaves under bare feet, the feel of first rain on the face and much more. It was the combination of these that made the childhood play, a pleasure and a complete experience which the new generation may never get to experience.

‘Simplicity’ and ‘relaxed’ are two terms which have become extinct when it comes to the pace and nature of life now. Seeing the children of these days, it feels as if they are constantly on a treadmill running to meet some deadlines. Their schedules are much tighter than that of a person who is working full-time in a highly demanding job. A dance class on Monday, tennis classes on Tuesday and Thursday, art-and-craft class on Wednesday, music class on Friday, swimming class on Saturday, plus the regular tuition classes on all days or alternate days — yes, this could be a typical after-school schedule of a child these days. Whatever limited free hours are there, these get spent in front of one screen or the other.

We, as parents, are a generation who want value for everything — whether it is time, money or resources. We do want children to enjoy various activities for an all-round personality development but then the unstructured play has fewer takers now. Since the benefits of free-form play cannot really be quantified as such, so it gets side stepped easily in favour of scheduled times for everything, even play.

Innumerable stadiums, clubs and sports complexes are haven for people who, earlier, could not find any place to hone their skills in any sport but these same centres are now seeing beelines of parents with their children in tow right from the toddling stage. In the hope to see their wards grow up to become another Sachin Tendular, Saina Nehwal or Abhinav Bindra, parents want to start early. There may be some child prodigies who could get benefit at some level by early coaching and training but such children form only a small percentage of the whole lot. For the rest it is testing, judging, evaluating, appraising, comparing and training all the way with no foreseeable respite.

Playtime that should have been easygoing and carefree is losing its charm under regimented version of the same that rests on strict time schedules and evaluation-based promotion. Hobby/after-school classes is one of the most discussed topic among parents soon after they are out of discussing the sleeping-and-eating patterns of their infants. Number of classes that a child goes to and his/her performance in these become a sort of status symbol among many parents. Unaware of this, the tender minds of children get overwhelmed by trying to meet innumerable expectations at countless fronts.

With nuclear family system and surplus income on the rise, hobby classes have become a good way to keep the children positively engaged. This apparently solves security concern of many parents as well, who are more comfortable sending or carting their wards for guided playing than unguarded and unsupervised street play.

It is a proven fact that play nourishes every aspect of a child’s development from physical, emotional, social, intellectual to creative. Child psychologists believe that playing in the absence of any adult supervision is the best environment in which children learn to interact with each other on their own. They gradually figure out the nuances of social skills rather than being taught every step of the way in the fast-evolving ‘play-dates’ settings and instructions-driven coaching classes. By interpreting and trying to fill the gaps between children’s interaction, they are not being helped in anyway, rather their natural ability to understand and make sense of the world, get snubbed, overshadowed and overpowered.

We as parents are going overboard on various accounts — over protective, over indulgent, over paranoid…. Since children do not have anything else to compare their situation with, they take it as the norm of this world. They will not ask for their space and time but we as responsible and compassionate parents need to realise this basic requirement, which is a fundamental right of every human.

Sadly, the children of today when grow up will never be able to reminisce thus — Woh kaagaz ki kashti woh baarish ka paani... (that paper boat...and that rain water...)

Article published here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Article : Schooling at Home (published in Spectrum, The Tribune : 2-11-2014

Homeschooling : Parent led, home based education 

"What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world." - John Holt

Schooling routine begins early for children these days, almost as soon as they are out of their cradles. Queues for the admissions outside the prestigious schools of the city keep getting longer every year. Anxious parents find the succour only when they pay a handsome amount as school fees to the school where their children as young as 2 years, are ensured admission. Expectations of parents from schools soar sky high when their ward(s) secure the coveted seat in pre-primary. In the race and competition to provide more, better and early education to the new generation, parents as caregivers do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to preparation, application and payment of fees. Post admission, the education of the child becomes a shared responsibility of teachers as well as parents. Endless routine of rushed mornings, time-bound periods of teaching-studying, homework, assignments, evaluations and much more, ensues. Besides these, many other things come along with schooling - some good while some not that positive. While getting acquainted with a mini-world in a regulated environment of school, a child learns basic nuances of social interaction with peers, elders and the ones who are younger to him/her. The benefits of the same cannot be ignored, however there are parents who are opting out of the grind of the school system. They are passionate enough to take up the challenge of schooling their own children, allowing them to learn as they explore the world themselves.

Self Learning - Swashikshan

Homeschooling is a parallel methodology of imparting education to children. Parents choose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to a traditional public or private school. 'Families may choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons, including dissatisfaction with the educational options available, different religious beliefs or educational philosophies and the belief that children progress better when they learn at the pace that they set for themselves rather than being dictated by external impetus.' The homeschooling movement began in the 1970s when some authors and researchers such as John Holt and Dorothy and Raymond Moore started writing about educational reforms. Homeschooling as an alternative educational option was being suggested by these educational reformists. In Raymond S. Moore's words, "[Homeschooling]…recipe for genius : More of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons." The trend of homeschooling is on the rise all over the world and in India, the Association of Homeschoolers is known by the name Swashikshan. It was formally launched in July, 2012 and is a community which takes pride in celebrating learning and growing without school. While minds of most of us are attuned to only one style of education - the traditional system, there are many other educational philosophies as well. Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, classical, interest-led learning, unit study, leadership education - are just a few. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to pick and choose the mix that best suit their children's needs.

Praba Ram along with her husband began homeschooling her two children when they decided to break free from the limiting school experience. They are contented that they 'are able to provide an environment free from teacher triggered pressure and other unnecessary negativities. We also believe family values can be better incorporated and a child's natural learning methods can be nurtured and not squelched.'

When it comes to giving structure to education at home, parents use a good mix of unstructured studies and structured curriculum that follows either NCERT, CBSE or IGSCE. Institutes like National Institute of Open School (NIOS) offer plenty of flexible options to suit the requirements of learners of different streams.

Learning the art to learn
Homeschoolers at home adopt different strategies, some parents choose to give preference to only those subjects in which the child shows more interest while some introduce all subjects regularly encouraging the child to freely make his/her own curriculum. However there are some who do not adhere to any structure whatsoever.  Praba says, 'We determine a schedule around our needs and priorities, set the pace according to the child's unique interest, giving a balance of curricular and non-curricular activities with adequate time outside for them to interact with children in their age-group.' A homeschooling parent Sangeetha when asked - don’t you feel incapable of being the sole education provider, answered - 'I don't teach my children, I teach them to learn themselves. I provide material and expose them to different ways of learning, it is up to them to pick the one that suits them.' After having homeschooled her three children, she is one satisfied parent.

As the community of homeschooling families is growing rapidly, there is plethora of resources, curricula and social networks that are accessible to the desirables. The key objective of adopting the parallel means of education is to personalize and customize the education as per the individual talent and capability of the child and to let the students discover their passion and desire to learn in a conducive environment.  A parent-teacher gets the luxury to make it a reality which is unimaginable in formal school system with class strength of 40 to 60 students. Often homeschoolers say and believe that when you homeschool, all in the family learn rather than one teaching another.

When talking about this alternative form of education, lack of socialization is often mentioned as one major downside of homeschooling. But Dr. Mary Kay Clark, Director of Seton Home Study School for 25 years has an answer for this, 'don't worry about socialization. Wherever people congregate, there is going to be interaction, socialization. Where is it written that it needs to be in schools? ' Nonetheless, homeschoolers make sure that field trips, travel to see the places that one reads about, experiment based learning, play-dates, hobby classes, group outings and many other activities are included in this parent-directed education process.

Customized learning solution
When every individual is unique in so many ways, it is hard to find one method suiting all. If one goes by this logic then homeschooling is a great way which can be tailor made keeping in mind the needs and preferences of the learner. It may seem like an overwhelming proposition for the parents but then 'the only prerequisite of homeschooling is the desire to do so, along with a dedication to the educational process.' The idea of freedom from deadlines and strict time schedules sound very liberating. Moreover, the number of variables which can limit or interfere with the child's desired learning process can be reduced significantly. One gets the freedom from peer pressure, hobbies do not get ignored, family values are not compromised and as parents one can completely take control of the child's education.
 In Mahatma Gandhi's words, 'There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.'

Complete article here
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