Saturday, 17 January 2015

Book She Wrote

She is I. Or I am she.
Whatever.

No, it's not a post about any deep philosophical question like Who Am I?
This post is however still about me. And about a little book I wrote.

******

But first, let me tell you about the birds. And about the beautiful sounds I am hearing as I write this. The sweet sounds of chirping of birds in my garden, flitting on the neem and coconut trees and around the jasmine and passiflora creepers, their little and loud voices entering this room from the big window near me is providing the perfect ambiance for writing this post. 

Oh wait...there is also the sound of a loudspeaker somewhere in the neighbouring village, playing a Tamil devotional song that I don't understand. The people are still in the festive mood of Pongal. 

And there is also an occasional sound of a car horn from the road in front of the house, and yes there are some sounds from my kitchen too where my husband is puttering and doing something. 

It is as if Mother Nature is helping me remember that you are allowed to make a bit of a chirping noise to announce something or to gain attention, but don't forget that your chirping is simply a small part of the larger sound of the world around you. In Nature, in World everything is mixed up. You may falsely think of yourself as separate from all the noise and action around you, but you are in truth an integral part of it all. Don't let your little sound, your little voice, get to you. Be humble, be modest, learn to say your piece and then let it go. 

******

You might have read about the book, ABC's of Indian National Education in a previous post on this blog.

Today I share with you a bit of news about the book. And also a couple of reviews.

First up....

31st December 2014. Late afternoon. I received a letter from the PMO. Yes, that's the Prime Minister's Office. Of India.

The letter was signed by private secretary of the PM. The letter, dated 22 December 2014, was simply a nicely worded thank you note saying -
The Prime Minister has received your letter of 28 November, 2014 and has asked me to thank you for sending him your book titled "ABC's of Indian National Education."
Of course, I was thrilled to receive the letter.

Even though it was just an acknowledgement of receiving the book, to me it was an acknowledgement of the fact that when the highest executive office in the largest democracy of the world takes the time to be responsive to an ordinary citizen, there is definitely hope for good times ahead.

The only reason I sent the book to PMO in the first place was because I wanted someone in that office to have a copy and possibly go through it at some point. Maybe an idea or two from the book might stick in the mind of someone who has the power and authority to take it up for discussion as the government continues its work on its new educational policy.

Too much to hope? Perhaps. But one never knows unless one tries. My work was to send the book, and I did, with a thoughtfully written covering letter introducing myself and the book. And I got an acknowledgment that it was received. What happens next is left to forces stronger, higher and bigger.

Second bit of news, actually a review...

Gunwant Agarwal, a professional from Mumbai, a spiritual seeker, a parent and a life-long learner, wrote a wonderful review of the book:
In India, we look upon education as a means to get lucrative jobs and earn money. But education is just not about securing jobs in MNCs. Indian civilization had a vast knowledge base which focused on all aspects of the individual and the society. The prosperity and contentment was a by-product of the whole process of living in harmony with oneself, society, Nature and Spirit. Today's education misses out these vital points resulting in slave mentality of students. This book enables the reader in simple way to understand why and what needs to be done for transforming education in India. This book is a must for educators, teachers, educational institutions, universities, education policy makers and parents.
An author feels completely understood and gratified when he/she meets a reader who totally gets the reason why a book was written in the first place. And reading Gunwant's review gave me that moment of joy. Thank you so much, Gunwant!

Speaking of reviews and moments of joy....yesterday another wonderful writer whose inspirational words have brought so much joy and positivity to many readers, wrote a glowing and absolutely flattering review of the book.

Dagny Sol is a belief coach, an educator, a writer, a parent, a seeker of true things and a weaver of beautiful things - with words as well as threads and fabric.  Using a beautiful analogy of gardening, she wrote in her review:
The ABCs of Indian National Education is a means to tend to our garden in the second way. (To know more about the "second way" read her full review).
She continues:
In her introduction, Beloo gives a clear and concise manifesto for the book- what it IS and what it is NOT. Her purpose is to Put India Back In Indian Education; a purpose in which - if her ideas were to be implemented - she will surely succeed resoundingly.
The title of the book is not haphazardly put together. With it, in five short words, she declares her intention.
I was naturally very thrilled to see such genuine appreciation and full support of the ideas presented in the book. And at the same time I had this feeling - o wow, she makes my book and me look so good! I wish I had words to say how ecstatic I was after reading her review for the first time. And yes, I have read it a few more times since then :) Egoistic of me? Of course, yes.

But then as I let her review sink in a bit more, it occurred to me. I wish I could write like Dagny. I wish I had used similar analogy of gardening. I wish I had laid out so clearly in the book who its intended readers are. I wish....I wish....I wish....

Yes, similar thoughts have occurred to me earlier too, in fact almost every time I have looked at the published book. I wish I had done more research for some of the topics, I wish I had expanded more on some of the ideas included there, I wish I had written some parts differently, I wish....I wish.....

But wishes alone don't make things happen.

******

What makes anything happen is our persistent effort. But that alone is never sufficient. We also must have a sincere readiness to let go of the effort. Yes, let go.

What makes anything happen is our intense will, and also our genuine sense of surrender of everything we are, everything we do. Only then our work becomes a true offering of that which is the best in us.

Our work truly means something only when we can do the work without any egoistic motive like fame or riches, only when we allow our work to become a means to grow within, to evolve, to make progress in our inner journey. Because only then we can become what we are truly meant to become.

I am learning these important life-lessons from this experience of writing, publishing, and reflecting. I can't say I am always a good learner but I hope to continue to learn everyday.

And just like those sounds of chirping of birds, horns of cars, songs on loudspeakers and utensils in my kitchen made me hear the truth - everything in nature and life is mixed up - I hope this experience will also make me hear another equally true truth - everything is indeed mixed up but only through your sincere focus and aspiration you can figure out what you want to concentrate on.

******

So there, I have said my piece and now it's time to let it go.

Thanks for reading this rather long post.

And for your further reading pleasure, let me suggest you a thin little book. How about clicking here to order a copy?

It is the spirit or consciousness in which the work is done that matters most; the outer form can vary greatly for different natures” (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Vol 2, p. 671). 



******
Linking this with ABC Wednesday, B: B is for Book