Newsletter-cum-magazine of Oasis Movement YEAR 1 I ISSUE18 I Sept 1, 2008

Light The Lamp Within, Teacher

Excerpt from the convocation address at the International Academy for Creative Teaching, Bangalore. by Subroto Bagchi

The people who write my textbooks and the ones who prescribe the syllabi will not tell you how important inclusion is for me to do well in life. Without the sense of inclusion, I will not know that boundaries are meant to be pushed - not to be lived in.

Take for example the fact that I clean my house but empty my garbage on the road. That is because the road is not "included" in what I deem to be my own.

I feed my own child but do not enquire if the maid has eaten today. Her hunger is not included in my hunger. So, Teacher - teach me inclusion.

Teacher, teach me "sense making" in an increasingly senseless world. Teach me not just what is good or what is bad. I may not always be lucky to be in situations that will be simply either black or white.

As you teach me to deal with moments of crisis - teach me how to come out of them without residual toxicity.

For there will be moments in life when I will see the failing of those I have admired. I will see cracks in the walls of those who had taught me the meaning of strength and solidity. In those difficult moments, I should know that sometimes situations make people who they are. Teach me such that cynicism does not impair my power to behold the beautiful nature of creation of which the human nature is also a part.

I pray to you to make me learn. More than that, Teacher, teach me how I can learn to learn.

As you prepare me for the wide world in which I need to fend for myself and for others, one-time learning will not be good enough. I will have to have the ability to learn newer things and more difficult things. Some of it I will need to learn in increasingly lesser time. In all this, what will become critical is the


process of learning itself, more than just what I am able to learn. Help me to learn newer ways to learn. And that will make learning a joy for me.

As you teach me to learn how to learn, I pray to you to teach me to learn from unusual sources

Teach me to learn sense of duty from the driver of the school van who must rise before I do.

Teach me to learn to work unsupervised like the ant and the bee who do not need anyone to breathe down their neck so they add value each new day as they wake up to work.

As I learn to learn from unusual sources, I pray that you teach me to appreciate the interconnected nature of things.




Teach me, not just about the way the waves rise but what causes them to engulf. Teach me to appreciate that the trees I fell, the small creatures I kill with indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides on the ground, the urban decay I cause with my consumptive ways - all catch up with awesome imbalances in the natural state of things that cause death and destruction and can one day, engulf me and whatever else I am trying to leave behind.

I pray to you to teach me humility so that I am able to receive

Our minds become mountains of ego as we know more things and become more successful.

Mountains cannot hold water as the clouds rain on them. The mind has to be a valley and not a mountain, so that it can become a reservoir of life. Make me meek and humble and ordinary so that I empty myself and gain the power to receive.

As I learn the power of humility, teach me about how all things that sustain life on earth, come free

The cow does not get paid for the milk she gives us. The earth does not ask for money for the crops we get. The sea does not come to get royalties on the catch of the day. The sun and the air and the river and the clouds do not get paid for their services.

Finally, I pray to you to teach me to develop a world view of things

Teach me to appreciate that poverty disease and hunger have no nationality. For hundreds of years, I have lived in a world with narrow domestic walls. In that world patriotism was founded on religious bigotry, racial intolerance and man's remarkably short view of time. It was bounded by barbed wires and smoking guns. In the future that I want to create, I want you to teach me the power of loving another fellow human being.

Teach me to appreciate diversity and dialogue.

Teach me tolerance and teach me to remove the word "foreign" and "foreigner" from my vocabulary.

This is my world, Teacher. In this world, I do not want to be a foreigner to anyone and I do not want to treat anyone like a foreigner.



From the convocation address at the International Academy for Creative Teaching, Bangalore. Subroto Bagchi is Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, MindTree Consulting Pvt. Ltd


A Miracle Worker

From Darkness to Light....

Helen Keller (with her prized doll in her lap) with her Miracle Teacher - Ann Sullivan. Doll was the first word that Ms Sullivan taught Helen.


Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, activist and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to graduate from college.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Annie Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic set up of 'The Miracle Worker'.

Helen Keller was born in Alabama, on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. Keller, a former officer of the Confederate Army, and Kate Adams Keller. She was not born blind and deaf; it was not until nineteen months of age that she came down with an illness described by doctors as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain".. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind.

Her parents contacted Perkins Institute for Blind to find tutor for her.

The School delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to become Keller's instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship, eventually evolving into governess and then eventual companion.

Sullivan got permission from Keller's father to isolate the girl from the rest of the family in a little house in their garden. Anne loved Helen dearly and loved her like she was her child. Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. Keller's big breakthrough in communication came one day when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on her palm, while running cool water over her hand, symbolized the idea of "water"; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world (including her prized doll).

In 1890, ten-year-old Helen Keller was introduced to the story of Ragnhild Kåta, a deafblind Norwegian girl who had learned to speak. Kåta's success inspired Keller to want to learn to speak as well. Sullivan taught her charge to speak using the Tadoma method of touching the lips and throat of others as they speak, combined with fingerspelling letters on the palm of the child's hand. Later Keller learned Braille, and used it to read not only English but also French, German, Greek, and Latin. Later she wrote 2 books and acted in a movie. She also received Oscar Award for her autobiography, ' The Story of My Life".


By nature she was a conceiver, a trail-blazer, a pilgrim of life's wholeness. So day by day, month after month, year in and year out, she labored to provide me with a diction and a voice sufficient for my service to the blind.

—Helen Keller, writing about Anne Sullivan

Our children give us the opportunity, to be the parents that we really wished we had!

Instead of making children do and achieve what we aspired in our childhood (but could not do) and feel gratified, should not our energies be more focused on giving them what we actually lacked and because of which could not fulfill our own aspirations.




Only when we have shown each other the worst side of our nature, are we truly ready for the task of love. Then we are ready to begin. How tragic it is that so often we stop everything just as we reach the starting line.

Many a times, we find ourselves involved in activities (including following certain rituals) for which we are not even aware of their implication. For eg, keeping fast on particular days.

This is because we have formed paradigms. Here is beautiful PPT to show you how Paradigms are formed.

I hope it makes us rethink about things that we so often do without sensing their importance.

To View Click here>>>

This Elephant has a paradigm that he is not strong enough to break the chains and be free.

Are we too not stuck up somewhere due to our Conditionings?


Want to heal yourself through Yoga? Here is the solution. Click here to find a crisp, to the point chart depicting which Asana is useful in which Disease, importance of each of the movements. Identify your problem areas and start straight away.

However, if you have never done Yoga before, please do it in supervision of a Yoga Teacher.







The biggest challenge in life perhaps is to accept ourselves as we are and feel adequate at all times.


  Editor's Note

Dear Readers,

This issue is dedicated to teachers who have contributed to who we are today. Teachers are not only the ones who taught us abc.. ; they are in form of all people who in some or the other way made a positive contribution in our lives. Our parents taught us to walk, teachers with their lessons, taught us to walk through life, our parents taught us to speak, teachers gave understanding of those words and gave meaning to our entire lives.

As our country celebrates, 'Teachers Day' on 5th September, we too would like to take this opportunity to thank all our teachers and wish them the Best in their lives.

- Team Alive


One Can Never Teach,

One Can Only Learn.

To Learn,

One Has to Teach.



You don't actually have to take the quiz. Just read straight through, and you'll get the point, an awesome one. .....

Take this quiz:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five winners of the Miss Universe contest.

3. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Achievements are forgotten.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a five teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you. Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in our life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones WHO care.


"The future of the world is in my classroom today, a future with the potential for good or bad... Several future presidents are learning from me today; so are the great writers of the next decades, and so are all the so-called ordinary people who will make the decisions in a democracy. I must never forget these same young people could be the thieves and murderers of the future. Only a teacher? Thank God I have a calling to the greatest profession of all! I must be vigilant every day, lest I lose one fragile opportunity to improve tomorrow."
--Ivan Welton Fitzwater, Teacher


  Inspiring Quotations

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind".

- Khalil Gibran

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.

- Author Unknown

“A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”

- Thomas Carruthers


  Events Calender


Teachers' Day
Farmers' Meet
Children's Day Celebration at Bangalore
Youth Exploration (Mumbai)
24th - 25th
Farmers' Seminar - State Level
International Volunteers' Day
Farmers' Meet

L3 - Graduation Day Celebration

  Alive Archives


Forpast issues of ALIVE please click here>>>


Team Alive

  Poonam Golani

  Kshama Kataria

  Sheeba Nair

  Ami Nanavati

  Umesh Patel

  Jwalant Bhatt

  Jolly Madhra

  Sanjiv Shah

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