Posted in In the News

Anitha’s suicide: Is NEET solely responsible?

NEET. In the UK, this term means Not in Education, Employment or in Training. And there is a stigma attached to this word. Especially because of the number of crimes and teenage pregnancies associated with it. But in India, this acronym stands for something else that has recently become notorious. NEET is National Eligibility cum Entrance Test in India. It is an entrance examination that Indian students should take if they wish to graduate in medical, dental or postgraduate medical courses (MD/MS) in Indian medical colleges.

Anitha, an ambitious 17-year-old girl who weaved dreams of becoming a doctor, ended her life on 1st September 2017. She left her family, friends and students across India in shock. She had scored an impressive 1176/1200 in her Class 12 exams. But she did not qualify for a medical college seat. Because her NEET score of 86/700 was below the cut-off marks.

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Posted in Spirituality

Astrology: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1 – Zodiac Signs)

Born and brought up in India, I knew about astrology in my younger days. I am not going to lie – I found it intriguing and interesting. Back then, the whole concept of how the constellations determined our personalities, compatibility and future filled me with awe. But as I grew up, I began to read many books on astronomy. So gradually, my belief in the system of astrology vanished. In this series of articles, I will share some of my viewpoints on this subject.

 Astronomy is a natural science and is the study of celestial objects like stars, planets and galaxies. While Astrology is the study of the movements and positions of celestial objects for predicting human affairs and world events.

One of the key concepts of Western Astrology is the Zodiac Signs. It’s especially relevant that the concept of the Zodiac exists in both astronomy and astrology.  So in this first part, I will share what I found out about the Zodiac Signs.

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Posted in Relationships

Does Familiarity breed Contempt or Contentment?

This weekend, I was reminiscing our school days with my childhood friend. And we both jointly disagreed on the age-old adage – “Familiarity breeds contempt”. We have been friends for over the last three decades. We have the boarding schools, international phone booths, digital gadgets and mobile apps to that for that. And yet, after all these years, we still look up to each other with love and respect.

By the time, I grab my morning coffee, she is settling down to sleep. She is a very private person and isn’t into social media, very much unlike me. And I am pretty sure that I am the only friend she has on Snapchat.  But in spite of the different time zones and personalities, we have made this relationship work. We found activities we could do together, across the oceans, like the online Bible Study at Arise & Shine Club. And we share intricate details of our boring lives with each other on Snapchat. But all this oversharing hasn’t lead us to feel contempt for each other. Instead, each day, we are finding more ways and reasons to stay in touch.

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Christian child forced into Muslim foster care

The first-page title of today’s The Times newspaper read: “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care”. The news report by Andrew Norfolk, the Chief Investigative Reporter for The Times, was about the six-month ordeal of a five-year-old girl. The local authority took her from her family and allegedly forced her to live with Muslim foster carers in London – not once, but twice. One of the families allegedly removed her necklace with a cross, prohibited her from having her favourite Italian carbonara meal because it had bacon and encouraged her to learn Arabic. The child also showed distress in returning to the foster family because “they don’t speak English”.

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