Come on in!

Hi! I’m Justin Raj, a stock broker by profession, is also a freelance Journalist, an amateur Filmmaker and an enthusiastic Marathoner who possesses the ‘bad habit’ of writing too much. And as long as that ‘bad habit’ stays with me, I keep on posting to my blog.

A blogger is basically a tech-savvy writer. He is a keen observer with a sharing mind, not a silent spectator to all events which happen around him. If a reader is a person who loves to gain knowledge, a blogger or writer is one who loves to share his knowledge and dare to speak out his opinions and ideas. Like a singer expresses by singing, dancer by dancing, actor through acting, a blogger blogs his feelings and ideas out. Literally, Freedom of Expression is his shield and the blog is his Sword.

Here in my blog, write-ups are archived in 9 labels. In ‘Sweet and Bitter’ you can read about my diverse life experiences and valuable lessons I learnt from it. ‘Published Articles’ offers you my articles which have been published in Daily Newspapers. In ‘Random Brain Waves’ you can meet up with my random (or at times, weird) ideas. Poetry writing has eventually become a new hobby as well as a part of my blog. You can read my poems in ‘Verses’. In ‘Marathon’ label, you can read about my marathon experiences, challenges and how running a marathon can shape a man’s life.

‘Vlog’ is a recent addition to my blog as I realize the potential future of visual media. Sometimes, a 3-minute video can do the magic of expression than a 3000 word article. In this label you can watch the short films, documentaries, advertisements et al I have made. ‘Favorite Articles’ consists of articles which have influenced my outlook and attitude on life. Being a tireless traveler, ‘Travel’ label takes you to various travel experiences of mine. Conducting researches is a part of Journalism. In ‘Research Articles’ label you can get articles which throw light on various researches I have conducted.

Every life meets with various challenges, diverse experiences and at the end, all those teach us valuable lessons for our future. Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own said H. G. Bohn. I learn more by my own mistakes than others. It doesn’t mean that I’m a fool! I learn from other’s lives too. My blog is a platform for sharing not only my life experiences but also the valuable lessons, ideas and poetry triggered by them.

To my mind, blog is a thinking man's tool. Blogging is more a passion than a hobby for me. It is as if talking something to someone somewhere in world. My words keep on talking to the visitors of my blog. I can feel the magic of words! And that’s the power of blogging!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Molding Tomorrow’s Global Citizens

This article is written for the School of the Week column of Times of India which awaits publishing.

Since its inception in 2005, PSBB Millennium School has been on the mission of creating global citizens rooted in Indian values, traditions and culture.

Driven by technology and efficient management, PSBB Millennium School, GST road has come a long way. Today, this institution consists of 120 teachers who diligently educate above 2400 children. “Every child is unique and it’s our duty to cater to their needs. Creating citizens with a global outlook with a respect for our rich culture and heritage is our aim”, says Rukmani Mothilal, academic adviser of the school.

Cycle tests are conducted on a regular basis and this helps eliminate the examination pressure on children by enabling them to focus on one subject at a time. The school also has unique programs such as the biannual ‘Parent observation week’ during which parents are allowed to sit with their children during class hours. “We believe in the coordination of the ‘golden triangle’ – children, parents and teachers. That is why we conduct the monthly Parent Teacher Meetings and quarterly Open Days”, says Sita Umamaheshwaran, school principal.
Collaborating with Educomp Solutions, every classroom has been converted to interactive ‘smart classroom’ equipped with audio visual technology. The classmate PC program was launched last year by which every third grade child was provided with a laptop which was used with assistance from teachers.

The school has its own cultural wing called Bharathiya Sanskriti which exposes the talents of students and helps them choose their own career paths. It also hosts activities like yoga, music and veda chanting for the students. Yuva Deepthi, a monthly magazine, showcases children’s talents especially creative writing and painting.The institution has its own science and quiz Club, Sanskrit Club and a Tamil Club which encourages student participation. “My child loves going to school and has no monday blues. Various innovative initiatives of the school helps develop the communication skills, confidence and creativity of every child”, says Swarnalakshmi G, parent of B. Arjun, a student of class 3.

The institution has lot of tasks in store. The school is in the process of signing up for DEAS (Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme), a student exchange programme with UK.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gurukula of Modern Times.

Edited version of this article got published in Times of India on September 25th 2009

Started as a small school in 1983, Maharishi Vidya Mandir Higher Secondary School imparts Consciousness-based education to thousands of students today.

Tranquil ambience and disciplined way of life is what one experiences first while entering into the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School. Founded in 1983, Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School has been providing education from pre-school level to higher secondary level. “Unlike other schools our daily classes begin and end with yoga training for half an hour. This helps the students to remain attentive throughout the day and also reduces the stress level” says S.Namasivayam, Principal of the school and the recipient of National Award for Best Teacher 2007.

Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School accommodates 5200 students and 200 teachers. “We appreciate active participation of parents. So we came up with innovative programmes like Eureka Saturday and Self Empowerment Programme. These are kith and kin programmes which creates a community feeling among both parents and students” says G. Vijayalakshmi, Vice Principal of the school.

“Our school is founded on the ideals of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. We believe in the Consciousness-based education rather than conventional educational system.” Says V.Sankari, Social Science teacher. The school on its mission to widen the pupils’ horizon beyond academics included activities such as Keyboard, Martial Arts, Yoga, Vocal Music, Calligraphy etc into the curriculum. The school also conducts Heroes of the Week programme to recognize outstanding achievements and inspire students. The school also publishes a quarterly newsletter called Papyrus Clubs.

“Here, the fees structure is affordable. My children enjoy school life. The teachers are very friendly and also recognize individual talents. They inculcate creativity, shape personal behavior, and enhance language skills in children. It ultimately helps the children to grow up as responsible citizens” says Janani Hariharan, parent of two students studying in Maharishi Vidya Mandir.

The school is active participant in the activities of NSS (National Service Scheme), NCC (National Cadet Corps), NGC (National Green Corp), Consumer Club and lot more. They also work closely with Junior Red Cross and Exnora International. “Partaking in all these activities instill leadership qualities in children which is very essential to face today’s challenges” says Radha Sairam of Administrative Department of Maharishi Vidya Mandir. The school’s alumni include Civil Servants, Bureaucrats, Entrepreneurs and Journalists.

Maharishi Vidya Mandir boasts of cutting-edge infrastructure with hi-tech computer labs, air conditioned yoga practicing rooms and laboratories. They have evening courses on CAT and FIITJEE. Till date the school had qualified 130 students and 90 students to join IITs and NITs respectively.


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