New additions to the course

Kaumudi and I had received many suggestions and comments of augmenting the animation course. Therefore we decided to add few new videos which will discuss animation principles and their application. The current course that we are offering on edX was a good chance to undertake this  augmentation process. Kaumudi initiated a new video which will talk about the principle of anticipation followed by an example where it can be applied.

48CC06C9-71C2-41A0-8CCF-30FFE9129699We are done with it and the videos are almost ready for release this Friday. The learners who have enrolled in course available on IITBombayX need not worry, since this video will also be added to the course which is offered there.

We will share the feedback of the learners who have a look at it with all of you very soon.

Keep watching this space

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विलास मामा | Vilas Mama

आत्ताच ‘हिचकी’ हा सर्वांगसुंदर चित्रपट पाहिला! Tourette Syndrome नामक आजारामुळे विचित्र आवाज करणारी आणि त्या मुळे सातत्याने टीका आणि उपहास सहन करणारी नयना माथुर पाहिली, आणि तक्षणी मला आमच्या जवळ राहणारा विलास मामा आठवला. मला माहित नाही की विलास मामाला Tourette Syndrome आहे की अजून कुठला आजार, परंतु बोलता बोलता मानेला झटके दिलेले आम्ही अनेकदा पाहिलेलं आहे. आम्हाला त्याची सवय होण्यासाठी काही दिवस लागले.

हा मामा काही तरी वेगळेच हावभाव करतो, हे आमच्या लक्षात यायचे. पण त्याचे कारण एखादा Tourette सारखा आजार असू शकतो, हे कळलंच नाही. आम्ही मुलं त्याची नक्कल करायचो, चेष्टा करायचो. त्यामागे त्याला त्रास देण्याचा हेतू कधीही नव्हता, पण त्याचे विचित्र हावभाव आणि त्या मागचे खरं कारण माहित नसल्यामुळे न कळत्या वयात झालेली ती एक चूकच होती! आज पडद्यावर राणी मुखर्जीचा अभिनय बघताना विलास मामाची आठवण झाली, आणि स्वतः ची खूप लाज वाटली.

ह्या काळात मला प्रकर्षाने जाणवलेली गोष्ट म्हणजे माझ्या आजीने विलास मामाला दिलेली वागणूक! विलास मामा मराठी पुस्तकांचे घरपोच वाचनालय चालवत असे. आठवड्यातील दोन दिवस पुस्तकांनी भरलेली पिशवी घेऊन तो आमच्या घरी यायचा. आजी दरवेळेस अगदी आठवणीने त्याच्या हातावर लाडू / वडी ठेवायची. माझ्या आठवणीत तिने कधीही त्याच्या सवयींचा बाऊ केल्याचे पाहिले नाही. नंतर आम्हालाही त्याच्या विचित्र हालचालींची सवय झाली.

 

आज ‘हिचकी’ मुळे ह्या सर्व आठवणी पुनश्च जाग्या झाल्या! नयना माथुर प्रमाणेच अक्षरधन वाटणारा विलास मामा आम्हांला तसा उशिराच समजला, ह्याचे वाईट वाटते!

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Just back from the theatre where we watched ‘Hichki‘. A brilliant movie depicting the struggle of Nayna Mathur, who suffers from Tourette syndrome. The movie reminded me of Vilas Mama, who was our neighbour, and I suspect he also suffered from this syndrome. We were too young and not aware of the exact name of the ailment, however I distinctly remember his mannerism of the ‘shocks’ he had out of the blue.

We realised that this person has peculiar mannerism, however we were too young to decipher the reasons. We used to make fun of him and also imitate him. It was the age I suppose, which was unable to process incidents rationally, however,  remembering it today leaves me with immense guilt! I don’t think we should have done it!

One striking thing which I remember is the behavior of my grandmother towards Vilas Mama. Actually, none of the elders ever pointed out his mannerism, however my grandmother was extremely affectionate to him. I remember Vilas Mama visiting our home twice a week, since he ran a door-to-door library. My grandmother always had the sweets ready for hm on those stipulated days of his visit! As time passed on, we became accustomed to his mannerism, and found nothing abnormal in that. Today, Hichki reminded me of him. Similar to Nayna Mathur, Vilas Mama offered knowledge to us.

I feel sorry, that we fail to recognise the real person, going beyond the appearance and mannerisms!

 

Lifelong Learner!

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Maria Athaide left us on the 3rd March 2018. A news that rekindled many memories of hers, during the span of interaction last few years. I met her first time when she was an academic consultant with the Azim Premji Foundation. I went to meet her at her office, and the moment she came to know that I had come to Bangalore for a conference to present a paper on educational animations, she immediately set up my interactive session at her office, and called her colleagues over. It was a classic example of her pursuit for knowledge! During my interactions later, I got many such examples!

She then invited me to her house and cooked most wonderful roasted eggplant slices, and choicest of chocolates as dessert! This meeting was also a trigger to a series of events, and her son Noel who was (just) a friend, became my brother-in-law (as he married my cousin: Pallavi).

During that stay with them, I realised that she was a curious learner. She not only wanted to know about new things (be it a craft, poem, teaching method, or even a new software), but also know it thoroughly! Every meeting always started with her question: What’s new?

After many years, when I shared the news of my first MOOC being launched on IITBombayX, she not only congratulated me, but also floored me when she said,

“I am going to enroll in your course. I have been thinking of learning animation for a long time now. It is a good time to start!”

She was 65+ that time, and an accomplished teacher already. She did not stop at mere verbal assurance, but surprised me one night, by asking about the installation process of the software I was using in the course. “I saw your first lecture”, she said, and added, “but I am unable to install the software”. I explained her the process, and she was up and going! I later reminded her to give feedback on my teaching, which she shared with some very pertinent comments!

Although technically, she was a ‘student’ in one of my online courses, Maria has taught me one of the most fundamental principles: Learning is a life-long process!

Rest in peace, You will always remain my inspiration to learn!

Cherished | संस्मरणीय

img_0088.jpgSome events are unforgettable, and some reactions make it memorable. Way back in 1984 (34 years to be precise), as a young kid, I chanted a Stotr (Ramraksha), for my grandfather. Like any other grandfather, who feel the pride when his grandson accomplishes a task, he decided to give me a reward. The reward was another challenge in itself, because, it was a book of Marathi verses (Manache Shlok) by Saint Ramdas. 

I remember cribbing about it that time, however, when I saw this book today, I laughed at myself. Even after a long gap of 34 years, I can not only remember the event clearly, but also cherish this tiny booklet (almost of the size of a passport, and priced at a rupee and a half!).

While congratulating, wishing, remembering each other on the special occasions in life, we typically resort to electronic message communication. Be it a phone call, a short message (SMS), a WhatsApp message or a video call, and many other variants. All these definitely make the person (you are wishing) happy, however, are you offering something that he/she can CHERISH? Probably NO.

Try and write a small note on a paper, a ready made greeting card where you can write a message, or make one yourselves, even a small book mark can provide this ever lasting memories of your wishes! Try out next time.

In fact the examination season around the corner is an excellent opportunity. Wish the kids by sending a two line best wishes. It will not only remain with them, but also avoid the disturbance they encounter of speaking the same thing to every caller who is calling to wish them luck!

 

PS: If you are looking for any other opportunity, my birthday is 23rd May!


काही प्रसंग अविस्मरणीय असतात, आणि त्यावेळी मिळालेल्या प्रतिक्रियांमुळे ते संस्मरणीय ठरतात. खूप वर्षांपूर्वी (नक्की सांगायचं तर: ३४ वर्ष, सोबतच्या छायाचीत्रावरील तारीख पहा!), मी रामरक्षा म्हणून दाखवल्याबद्दल माझ्या आजोबांनी मला एक बक्षीस दिलं. ते बक्षीस कमी आणि काम जास्त होतं, कारण ते ‘मनाच्या श्लोकांचं’ पुस्तक होतं! साधारण चाळीस पानाची आणि दिड रुपये किमतीची ही पुस्तिका बक्षीस म्हणून मिळाल्यावर मी खरंतर नाराजच झालो होतो! आज हे पुस्तक हातात घेतल्यावर, मी नाराज झालो ह्याचं मला मनापासून वाईट वाटतंय! आज ३४ वर्षानंतर हे पुस्तक मला रामरक्षा पठणाचाच प्रसंग नव्हे, तर त्यासाठी मिळालेली आजोबांची शाबासकी सुद्धा मला आठवते.

आपण एकमेकांना विविध कारणासाठी शुभेछा देतो, आणि त्या अनेकदा दूरध्वनीवर बोलून, मोबाईलवर लघुसंदेश पाठवून, किंवा व्हिडीओ कॉल करून एकमेकांना प्रत्यक्ष बघतो! ह्या विविध प्रकारे दिलेल्या शुभेच्छा त्या व्यक्तीला नक्कीच आनद देतात, परंतु त्या संस्मरणीय होऊ शकतील का? कदाचित नाही. मोबाईलवर आलेले संदेश, छायाचित्र कालपरत्वे पुसले जाऊ शकतात. परंतु, हाताने लिहिलेल्या दोन ओळींचं पत्र, भेटकार्डावर लिहिलेला मजकूर, किंवा पुस्तकात खुण म्हणून ठेवण्यासाठी बुकमार्क  मात्र सहजासहजी कोणीही टाकून देत नाहीत, आणि ह्या गोष्टी त्यांच्यासाठी एक ठेवा बनतात.

सध्याच्या परीक्षांच्या काळात ह्या गोष्टीचा उत्तम उपयोग करता येईल! सर्व विद्यार्थ्यांना फोन करून शुभेचा देता तेव्हा त्या विद्यार्थ्याची परिस्थिती लक्षात घ्या. त्याला/तिला अशा संभाषणात तेच – तेच ऐकावे लागते, आणि तीच उत्तरे द्यावी लागतात. त्या ऐवजी, तुम्ही त्यांना प्रोत्साहनपर दोन ओळी लिहून पाठवल्या तर त्यांना ते पत्र नक्कीच स्फूर्तीदायी ठरेल. प्रयत्न करून बघा…

ता. क.: माझा वाढदिवस २३ मे रोजी आहे!

आनंद! Happiness!

The earlier generations have so much to offer..! They had few occasions to interact with each other,, fewer mediums to interact, and very few resources to afford the interactions. In spite of these odds, they used these ‘few’ opportunities to maximise the effect.

Recently, I accompanied my mother for a family get together of her cousin, who became great-grand mother. The scene was exquisite! All the cousins (above 70 years of age), re-winded back in the time machine, and relived the wonderful moments they spent together. There were smiling faces, and positivity all around!

Looking at them, when they all posed for a group picture, I realised the true definition of ‘Happiness’!

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आपल्या पालकांच्या पिढीकडून अनेक गोष्टी शिकण्यासारख्या आहेत. त्यांच्या काळी भावंडांना भेटण्याचे प्रसंग खूपच कमी असायचे,  दळणवळणाची साधने कमी, संवादाची माध्यमे खूपच कमी, आणि ह्या सर्व सोयी वापरण्यासाठी आवश्यक आर्थिक पाठबळ सुद्धा कमीच! ह्या सर्व अडचणी असूनही, त्यांनी मिळालेल्या संधींचा उपयोग, आयुष्यभराच्या स्नेहामध्ये परावर्तीत केला!

नुकतेच मला माझ्या आईबरोबर तिच्या मावसबहिणीच्या एका कार्यक्रमाला जाण्याचा योग आला. कार्यक्रमाचं निमित्त म्हणजे: तिच्या मावसबहिणीला पंतवंड झाल्यानिमित्त सोन्याची फुले उधळण्याचे! सर्व बहिणी (सर्वसाधारण वय ७० वर्ष) जमल्यावर तिथलं वातावरण एकदम बदललं! सगळ्याजणी थेट ५० वर्ष मागे भूतकाळात गेल्या, जुन्या आठवणींना उजाळा देणं चालू होतं. सर्वांचे हर्षोल्हासात न्हाऊन निघालेले चेहेरे… नकारात्मकतेला थाराच नाही!

त्यांना फोटो साठी एकत्र उभ्या राहिलेल्या पाहताना एकच शब्द आठवला: आनंद!!

 

 

The story behind the pictures…

It was our anniversary on 29th November, and I wanted to use a nice picture to share with my friends. I was searching for a decent photograph of both of us, and I found a snap which was clicked by accident (See the picture on the left).  Savani had rejected the idea to click a picture with us few weeks back, and we were left with this!! I thought this could be a nice way to create a anniversary picture..and then came the savior: Adobe Photoshop.

I added the message and the relevant pictures on the notebook Savani was holding. However, my picture without glasses made me uncomfortable. Once again, used the Photoshop skills, and added a nice pair of glasses to make it complete (See the picture on the right):

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This triggered me for another spoof picture, and I added one more. This time I requested people to suggest text in the blank thought bubble shown in the picture. Thanks to all the friends who sent wonderful suggestions. These can be seen here. It was amazing to see similar concepts echoing in  different languages!!

Here is a a option I had created..!

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Thank you all for wishes and blessings!!