Beat the Chill

How our students can use winters productively by reading some good books
Beat the Chill
"How you are going to steer the course of this ship in which not only you but also your family, peers, kins, your institutions and your society is travelling with you depends on how best you think, act and utilize your present."Haseeb Ibn Hameed for Greater Kashmir

There are around 8.7 million species of animals inhabiting the beautiful earth. Almost every species is concerned about its own kingdom, phylum, class, order, family and genus.

Being humans, we are the epitome of this care and concern. Our teachers care for their students, our doctors think of the wellbeing of their patients, our lawyers care for their clients, our bureaucrats care for the welfare of common people, our engineers strengthen our infrastructure, our sweepers make our living and working places clean, and our politicians provide us better governments.

All these people and many more not mentioned here work to make our living easy and affordable and our society a beautiful and better place to live in.

Being a teacher, I think of my society in general and of my students in particular. Winter vacations have been announced in the government colleges of Jammu and Kashmir for almost 50 days, from 27th day of December 2021. It is the high time to provide some sort of homework to our students, so that this vacation can be a bit different and productive for them as well as for the society in the long run.

Dear students, you have stepped into the fountainheads of knowledge from different quarters with varying socio economic background. But believe me the ways are untrodden, the deviations are innumerable and the competition for survival is stiff. The more you will go up, the better you will realize it.

At the outset, let me remind you that you are the pillars of society and the future of the nation. To give your society a happy, peaceful and productive vision or otherwise depends on you only. How you are going to steer the course of this ship in which not only you but also your family, peers, kins, your institutions and your society is travelling with you depends on how best you think, act and utilize your present. So in crystal clear terms, you have to be very careful without wasting even a jiffy in making your moves and taking your steps.

For winters, let me prescribe some syllabus for you. For those students who are bibliophiles, Start with reading some good books on morality and ethics like “What we owe to each other” (T.M Scanlon), “Ethics: The fundamentals” (Julia Driver), “Beyond good and evil” (Neitzsche Friedrich) etc. Those among you who are interested in religious scriptures, try to understand the basic and core principles and crux of Vedas, Holy Bible, Guru Granth Sahib and Holy Quran and start building a habit of living by these basic and essential tenets of life.

A large proportion of students are of philosophic taste. For those intellectual minds, I would say some good books like “Man’s search for Meaning” (Victor Frankl), “Polity” (Aristotle), “The Argumentative Indian” (Amartya Sen) and “Clash of Civilizations” ( Huntington) etc. would make their vacations enjoying and productive.

For motivations in life and novel lovers start your vacations with “You can win” ( Shiv Khera), “Wings of Fire” ( APJ Abdul Kalam) and “Train to Pakistan” and then pass on to read “The Fountainhead” ( Ayn Rand) and “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Arundati Roy) etc.

Some students who are more inclined towards virtual learning, they must utilize their time in watching videos on UnAcademy, Mrunal, Study IQ etc., as per their academic taste as well as join suitable channels on telegram which will boost up their preparation for competitions. It is also not wrong to watch movies or TV shows in your free time, but those must enhance your knowledge and boost your talent. For that you can watch movies like “Gravity”, “The Core”, “Pompeii”, “Avatar”, “Gandhi” and many more or even watch Comedy shows by Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean etc.

It is obvious that chilly winters for consistently longer duration of two to three months are going to create boredom. The students can avoid such situations by building reading habits as well as groom themselves in the best possible ways. But in whatever you do and wherever you go, don’t forget to give time to your family, friends and kinship. These are the agents of your socialization.

Once we succeed in producing laborious, hard working and morally well equipped individuals, we are going to build a strong base on which we can lay the foundation of a complex and diversified edifice. Not only this, the seeds of ethical, moral and productive social setup can also be sown by inculcating positive and competitive thoughts and ideas in our students who are the inalienable parts of our future and engines of social change.

Dr Rafi Ramzan Dar teaches Geography at GDC Kulgam

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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