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Ekya / October 10, 2023 Posted by : administrator

A wordsmith, a thinker. Words wear silence the moment he dons his performance space. The singer-songwriter in focus is Leonard Cohen, the wonder boy of Alessandria, who speaks the language of love in his ambiguous ever-deepening baritone. Probably, he longed to meet Death face to face. Probably, he wanted to whisper the universal anxiety of Gen Y, “Did you ever go clear?”

What makes a writer modern? Is it the minimal effective lyrics underlying the acceptance of universal grief or is it the aura of self-immolation an artist requires for his art? What makes a writer modern, is still a question of ambiguity, rather a study of individual curiosity. But when someone talks about the discomfort and disharmony of human life with such jaw-dropping ease, when someone writes Man’s impending obituary with heart-wrenching prayers, we as the audience are left spellbound. He writes,

” If I am dumb beside your body while silence blossoms like tumours on our lips…

it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door. “

Blinded by grief, riddled with conflicts and saddled with sorrow, Cohen is as cold as a new razor blade. A songwriter, poet, novelist and the doyen who treats love as “a memory that betrays faster than friends,” Cohen is the manifestation of human collective consciousness. One moment, he seems deadpan, the next moment he turns dapper. He is unique in the sense that he aces the mundane heartaches with a sense of beauty to fill the void. Or, maybe, as an artist, he likes to think a little more about the philosophy of emptiness, which we all have felt somewhere in our lives,

  “like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir,” he has sung his ways to be free.

His watershed album Songs of Leonard Cohen, followed by Songs from a Room, Songs of Love and Hate, and New Skin for the Old Ceremony deserves special mention.

Cohen’s relevance lies in the fact that his literary works explore common but deep themes including faith and morality, isolation and depression, betrayal and redemption, social and political conflict, sexual and romantic love, desire, regret and loss. I, too, have grown up with a black and white poster of a 25-year-old Cohen sitting in cold rooms, walking past the streets of London, writing sad poems. He was a Bohemian whose first purchases in London were an Olivetti typewriter and a blue raincoat at Burberry.

The song “Blue Raincoat” he wrote in 1971 is a perfect mix of the various themes explored by Leonard Cohen. One of the predominant themes is, “To forgive or not to forgive?” The emotional conflict experienced by Mr. Cohen is concisely packed into one line –

“I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you.”

The stinging feeling of betrayal, from both his best friend and wife and the love he has for them, all came apart, little by little, “falling like ashes”.

The theme and feeling of isolation is perfectly expressed in his song “So Long, Marianne” when he writes,

“Then why do I feel alone? I’m standing on a ledge and your fine spider web Is fastening my ankle to a stone”.

This song expresses the longing the reputed singer-songwriter feels for his lady love Marianne and how he wishes for her to come back and for them to start afresh – a desire that remains unreciprocated, an eternal sadness drools from his eyes and he writes,

“I see you’ve gone and changed your name again

And just when I climbed this whole mountainside

To wash my eyelids in the rain.”

Suzanne, popular as one of Cohen’s best works, is reflective of the immense and boundless love humans feel for each other, as he writes,

“And you want to travel with her And you want to travel blind.”

Reflecting the influence of depression on his writing, Leonard Cohen, in his 1992 song Anthem, wrote,

“My feeling is that whatever I did was despite that, not because of it. It wasn’t the depression that was the engine of my work. . . .  That was just the sea I swam in.”

One need not look into any of Cohen’s songs to understand regret and loss in life. His songs are rather an inspiration that helps the sleepless fight their own silent battles. He pens down in one of his autobiographical entries,

“I suppose I will never lead the ordered life my father led, and I’ll never live in the kind of house he lived in, with its rituals, its dignity, the smell of polish.”

A short goodbye. A few sentences. But words of such clarity, simplicity and beauty are bound to stay with us. Before we conclude, let’s embark on a small personal anecdote:

“He heard that Marianne was dying and two hours later he wrote to her that he too was old and his body failing. He had, of course, written for her before, with the lyrics of So Long, Marianne and Bird on the Wire. This time he told her:

“Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”

Waiting Rooms. Four bottles of wine a day. Buddhist Monasteries. I wonder how one can compose songs on one’s favourite loss. In “So Long, Marianne”, he writes: “It’s time that we began to laugh/ and cry and cry and laugh about it/ all again.”

Unmatched in his creativity and insight, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed. A critic once wrote in a separate statement. “I was blessed to call him a friend, and for me to serve that bold artistic spirit firsthand, was a privilege and great gift. He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration and healing for generations to come.”

Debanjan Das,
Teaching Staff,
Ekya Schools, ITPL

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Ekya / April 03, 2024

The Power of Learning with Intent: A Guide to Purposeful Education

In a world brimming with information, the art of learning has evolved beyond the mere acquisition of facts. Learning with intent, a deliberate approach to education emphasises quality over quantity, depth over breadth, and purpose over passive absorption. It’s about cultivating a mindset that transforms knowledge into meaningful action and empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern age effectively.

At its core, learning with intent involves setting clear objectives and actively engaging with the subject matter. Whether exploring a new language, delving into scientific principles, or honing a creative skill, intentionality infuses each learning endeavour with purpose and direction. As Albert Einstein aptly said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." This quote amplifies the importance of active participation and hands-on learning, highlighting that true understanding arises from deliberate engagement with the material.

Furthermore, engaging actively with the material is paramount. Embrace challenges and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. This proactive approach not only deepens your understanding but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in any field.

Moreover, learning with intent emphasises relevance and applicability. Seek out opportunities to apply newfound knowledge in real-world scenarios, bridging the gap between theory and practice. By contextualising learning within your personal or professional sphere, you enhance its significance and utility, making it more likely to stick.

In conclusion, learning with intent is a transformative approach that transcends traditional notions of education. By setting clear objectives, engaging actively, prioritising relevance, and fostering a growth mindset, individuals can harness the full potential of learning to achieve their goals and thrive in an ever-changing world. So, embark on your learning journey with purpose, and let each lesson propel you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future.

By Sweta Pradeep Rao

Senior English Educator

Ekya School JP Nagar

Ekya / April 02, 2024

Gadget-free Summer Break

With summer vacation around, I urge parents to explore various ways to facilitate children to make healthy choices during their vacation time.

Last week, when we asked our Early Years to visualise their characters and create a story, most of them came up with stories about ghosts and monsters attacking others.  When we had conversations about what gave them this idea, we understood that these story ideas emanated from their online games. While gaming per se develops specific skills and requires focus, it also stifles the imagination of young children. Since it is visually appealing, children tend to remember those images in their heads all the time.

I often see parents providing very young children (1 year to 3 year olds)  with gadgets as the means to keep children engaged and entertained. I see children watching phones in the waiting areas of clinics, hospitals, school lobbies and banks.

This brings us to a fundamental question “ Should children be engaged by parents all the time?” Not necessarily. What is likely to happen if children were not handed over gadgets at the waiting lounges? What would they do? Some of them may cry, some may throw a loud tantrum, and some may crib. If parents show resilience and allow children to settle down themselves, they will soon find ways to keep themselves engaged. Likewise, during summer vacation. What if this is a “no gadget” vacation and parents do not take up the responsibility to engage their children? What would children do? How can parents show resilience here and facilitate children to make healthy choices? I leave the readers with this thought for this summer vacation.

Mathangi R,

Head of School,

Ekya NICE Road.

Ekya / April 02, 2024

The Eye of the Storm

In the hushed embrace of an Indian evening, our journey began, a symphony of anticipation orchestrated by the hum of jet engines and the flutter of boarding passes. The promise of adventure beckoned from distant shores as we boarded our flight bound for the United Kingdom, our hearts aflutter with dreams of far-off lands and newfound horizons. But as we soared through the velvet sky, a foreboding shadow loomed on the horizon, a harbinger of the chaos that was soon to unfold. In the blink of an eye, the tranquil serenity of our airborne sanctuary was shattered by a deafening crack, a burst of purple lightning that danced across the heavens with an otherworldly fervour. The air crackled with electricity as the plane shuddered beneath the force of the storm, its metal frame quivering in defiance against the tempestuous onslaught. And then, in a heart-stopping moment of sheer terror, the heavens unleashed their fury upon us, casting our fragile vessel into a maelstrom of chaos and uncertainty. The sky darkened to a shade of ominous charcoal as the winds howled with a primal ferocity, tearing at the wings of our faltering craft with savage intent. The cabin was awash with panicked cries and frantic prayers as we clung to our seats with white-knuckled desperation, each passing moment stretching into eternity.

And then, as if mocking our feeble attempts at control, the plane tilted almost 180 degrees, its nose plummeting towards the earth with a sickening lurch. Time seemed to stand still as we hurtled towards the ground, our fate hanging in the balance as the world spun wildly out of control. But just when all hope seemed lost, a glimmer of salvation emerged from the chaos, a beacon of light amidst the encroaching darkness. With a mighty roar, the engines surged to life once more, their thunderous symphony drowning out the cacophony of the storm as we clawed our way back from the brink of oblivion. As the storm clouds parted and the sun cast its golden rays upon the horizon, we emerged battered but unbroken, our spirits buoyed by the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. And though our journey had been fraught with peril and uncertainty, we emerged from the crucible of the skies stronger and more resilient than ever before. For in the crucible of adversity, we discovered the true measure of our strength, our courage, and our unwavering determination to defy the odds and chart our course through the tempestuous seas of life. As we touched down on solid ground once more, I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the world around us, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul.

Arjun Narasimhan Kuppuswamy

Grade 8C

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#TeacherBlogger: Strategies for Learners to Stay Motivated and Curious By B Rushitha Shetty , Ekya School, BTM Layout

Have you ever experienced a learning plateau? That frustrating feeling when you seem to hit a wall and can't seem to make any progress? It's a common phenomenon that many learners face at some point in their learning journey. Don't worry; this is entirely normal! There are strategies you can employ to overcome these plateaus and reignite your motivation and curiosity. By embracing a growth mindset and trying out practical techniques, you can conquer these challenges and continue on your path of learning and exploration. What is a Learning Plateau? First, let's understand what a learning plateau is. A learning plateau is a phase during your learning journey when you might feel like you're not making significant progress. It's like hitting a temporary pause button on your growth. But fear not, for this is just a natural part of learning. Here are few strategies to overcome plateau.
  • Embrace a Growth mindset

The power of a growth mindset cannot be emphasized enough. B lieve in yourself and your ability to improve with effort and practice. S e learning plateaus as opportunities to learn from mistakes and challenges rather than as signs of failure. R member, your intelligence and skills are not fixed; they can be developed over time.

  •  Set Clear and Exciting goals

Setting clear and achievable goals can give you a sense of direction and purpose. B eak down bigger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. C lebrate each milestone you reach, no matter how small, to stay motivated and inspired.

  •  Try Different Learning Techniques

 Discover what learning techniques work best for you. E periment with different methods, such as hands-on activities, visual aids, or group discussions. L arning can be fun when you find the approach that suits your style.

  • Please feel free to seek support and guidance

Don't be afraid to seek help and guidance from your teachers, parents, or friends. T ey are there to support you in your learning journey. S are your challenges and seek advice on how to overcome them. R member, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

  •  Explore New interests

 Are you feeling stuck on one subject? T ke a break and explore new interests. L arning about different topics can spark your curiosity and reignite your enthusiasm for learning. W o knows? Y u might find a new passion along the way!

  •  Practice Mindfulness and relaxation

Staying focused during learning is essential, but taking short breaks to relax and recharge is okay. P actice mindfulness techniques, like deep breathing or short meditation, to reduce stress and stay present in your studies.

  • Connecting Learning to Real-Life

 Learning is more meaningful when you understand its real-life applications. Try relating what you learn to everyday situations. S eing the practical side of knowledge can make it more exciting and relatable.

  • Celebrate Your progress

Don't forget to celebrate your achievements, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Please let me know your efforts and the progress you've made. C lebrating your wins keeps you motivated and ready for the next challenge. S ay positive, and remember that every step forward is closer to your goals. E brace the journey of learning and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with each milestone reached.

Remember that learning is a lifelong process, and making mistakes along the way is okay. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things; this is where actual growth happens. L stly, celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they seem, as each step forward is a testament to your dedication and progress. K ep pushing yourself, and never stop learning!  staying positive, resilient, and open to new ideas, you will conquer learning plateaus and continue growing and thriving. H ppy learning!

B Rushitha Shetty Educator - Primary School Ekya School BTM Layout

An Inside Look At…CHEMISTRY!

You all must be wondering what I'm talking about. Is CHEMISTRY just like a usual subject, No! It's more than just that. Chemistry according to the dictionary is the emotional interaction between two people. And that’s how my English teacher explained it as I was completing my Writer’s Effect question. English class was just over and I  was already bombarded with tons of words, synonyms and perplexing phrases.  Paragraphs and lines seem to be endless and the feedback for my answer was not what I expected. I was disappointed in myself. 

“I need a break’, I thought to myself, standing up as the Chemistry teacher walked in. But I desperately wanted to run to the playground. 

And here I was sitting in Chemistry class learning the periodic table. But all I was dreaming of was my interaction with my one and only friend, just relaxing in the corridor, endless conversations on topics which for the world might seem silly. 

“Surya, are you dreaming!” I could hear my teacher call out. “What did I just say? “

I froze. Jolted from daydreaming by her loud voice, I muttered “I was listening ma’am” 

“Then, if H2O is water, what is H2SO4?”  Giving one stern look she repeated her question. 

I blabbered “Swimming four laps in our community pool, ma'am”.

What happened next is for me to know and for you to wonder. 

Having said this, I have a profound appreciation for Chemistry. 

Chemistry is like Lego! Ideas and frameworks can be broken down into smaller pieces and then reassembled in different ways to build something entirely new. You’ll find with each new thing you learn, everything else you’ve learned before makes more and more sense as the concepts all start to piece together.

If you agree with me, put on your safety goggles, grab your periodic table, and embark on an adventure that will ignite your curiosity and ignite your passion for chemistry!

Surya Jain 9A                             Ekya School, Byrathi

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