Friday, June 28, 2013

Audio Files for Short Quizzes - Doordarshan, Random History of India, Indus Valley Civilisation.. etc.

Quizzes are a great way to enhance our knowledge, to kill time and to test our awareness. Whether you are just going around or killing time, nothing excites the head like a quick quiz.

Did you know that we have over 20 quizzes in CLABIL? Whats better is that a lot of these quizzes are bi lingual - in english and hindi, so you can learn English as you answer the questions!

Today, we added 2 more quizzes - the hugely popular Open Source Quiz from this blog, and a basic quiz i'd made earlier on Gandhiji.

NB: The Open Source Software quiz and the Gandhi quiz are not available in the online library through the catalog yet. We will take some time to update the catalog. Enjoy them here!

Some of the quizzes we have, with a direct link to the file.

Computer Abbreviations Quiz
The Delhi Quiz
Random History of India
Indus Valley Civilisation
Ladakh and Sikkim
Capitals - India
Indian Folk Crafts
Political Science Question Bank - 15 questions
The Doordarshan Quiz
Abbreviations - Indian Financial Institutions
The Ramayana Quiz
Mughal Empire Quiz
Asian Countries and Capitals
First Aid Quiz
Random Quiz 1
Random Quiz 2
Random Quiz 3
Random quiz 5
Random Quiz 4
solar system
Constitution of India Quiz- Part 2
Constitution of India Quiz- Part 1
General Awareness Quiz
The Open Source Software Quiz
MK Gandhi Quiz

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Preeti Monga - Esha Achiever of the Month - Concluding part of the guest post by Sandeep Koul

This is my favorite part of the interview. Because to me, it was the most inspiring part.

“Did you have to struggle a lot to get where you are now? Can you talk about one incident that encapsulates this phase?” In an incredulous tone of voice which seemed to suggest that she had been talking to a retard the whole while, she replied, “Of course I had to struggle all the time, I still have to.

I am not able to decide which incident I should tell you, as it will be very difficult for me to do so. But one thing I wish to say is that no matter what my struggles were, I have had a great life! I have enjoyed every moment, every struggle; no matter what it was! As I said, there is always 2 sides to everything. For example, I walked the streets  and markets with pickle bottles, selling  with the temperatures from 47 degrees to 1 degree, bumping into things, tripping on the stones and potholes, slipping in mud, being asked to get out of shops who did not want my product… having doors shut in my face from houses I was trying to sell at; yet I loved it all as all this physical activity kept me fit  and slim, allowed me to eat everything and anything without worrying about my weight! Plus, I had my boyfriend cum lover with me all the time, for he was my official assistant! What more could I have asked for?

The  Struggle was that I was a single mother of 2 little kids, plus had hardly any money to call my own plus did not know when that day will come when I could earn enough to support the three of us? Plus I was fighting for my divorce. Yet I focused my thoughts and energies upon all the fun I was having learning new things, meeting new people and enjoying the attention I was getting. Well I can go on and on about all these things, so my book is what needs to be read for the real secret.” With this obvious plug for her book, “The Other Senses” I was drawing towards a close. I had run out of questions here, canned or otherwise, so I asked the final b-school closure question next. “What is your current goal?” She replied, “My current goal is to take Silver Linings to becoming a company/organization  worth Ten Thousand Crore. And once I achieve that, no one, I mean no one will ever again take a disabled woman for granted!” Worthwhile ambition for a special person – we wish her all the best at achieving it ASAP.

My heart was overflowing with gratitude towards ESHA for providing me this brilliant opportunity to interact with such a magnificent person – hey, wait- I’ve run out of superlatives here…
Thank you, Sandeep, for the fantastic interview. Thank you, /Preeti ji, for sparing the time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Preeti Monga - Esha Achiever of the Month - Part 2 of the guest post by Sandeep Koul

“Ye Bandar adrak ka swaad chakh chuka hai”, she quipped. “Ab ise aur badi adrak chahiye.”

Made sense – for a visually impaired entrepreneur who, instead of moping about her fate made it her job to motivate “healthy” individuals – though she soon dispelled the myth about this purported “health” too. As she said, “Those of us who look “healthy” on the surface are the ones who need the most help – they have been on their own the longest”.

My next canned question fit in nicely here, so I asked, “It is so easier to accept the pity you are offered than to soldier on at an equal footing. What makes you choose the tougher route, and where do you get the energy to do it?” While I got a decent answer to the first half of this question, the second half remained unanswered – probably because she, like the rest of us, has no idea as to what keeps her ticking, “I see life as a choice between being a giver and a taker, and I choose to be a giver”, she said.

“In the early “struggle” days, how did you handle naysayers, and more importantly, your own self doubt?” I asked. She replied, “In my early struggle days, I was a little girl and I used to be very disturbed by the attitude of people around me. I used to get left out of almost everything and used to cry nonstop. My mother and my father were my counselors and they always helped me to look at all that I had and others did not have. They helped me to recognize my strengths and made me happy with that.

As for naysayers, an example here: When visitors came home my mother made sure I served them water, made tea for them and served them. This would be done amidst horrified shrieks of, “No, No don’t bother Mrs. Singh, we will help ourselves! Don’t get the poor girl to do all this! “ And then when my mother would happily smile and encourage  me to continue my duty with a smile; and all the work was done, all would be OK! The visitors would settle down to the normal chit chatting and go away crestfallen as they realized that their pity was not at all required or welcome! And all ended well, slowly the condoling about the loss of  my  eyesight came to an end!

My next question was, “Who has been the one significant influence on your life and how? She replied, “My parents,  My Mami (my mother’s brother’s wife), Helen Keller,  and many  others. How is  a difficult one to answer in just a few words. They inspired, and motivated me and still do.”

Here, I decided – enough personal stuff let’s get general here. I asked, “Do you think the silver line philosophy applies to today’s dirty political world too?” Without batting ane eyelid, she countered “There is  nothing dirty or clean. It is how you choose to look at it. There is always a Silver Lining to everything; it is you who has to develop the  sensibility to look for it. There are always 2  sides to everything.”

Fair enough – it was a valid point of view, and I understood that I wouldn’t get far talking about global stuff here. Safety lay in sticking to personal stuff. So, I changed pace again, and asked, “Do you not often encounter cynicism (external as well as internal) and if yes, how do you cope with it?”  She replied, “I just be myself, everyone is welcome to his/her prospective.  Also, I try not to judge, everyone is entitled to be as they are.  Same goes for me too.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Preeti Monga - Esha Achiever of the Month - Guest Post by Sandeep Koul

I was new to this, had no previous experience taking such an interview (although I had been on both sides of the table for countless job interviews…). So, I kind of looked forward to the experience, hoping the exercise would enrich me – give my overloaded resume another skill to boast of. Alas, it was not so – speaking to Preeti Monga ( Director, Silver Linings ) was just like having a friendly chat with one’s mom. I had kept a few canned questions prepared, so that I came across as a professional guy, and hoped that their answers would lead to further questions. I had also decided to admit up front that this was my first time and seeing the extensive media coverage that the subject had been exposed to previously, I thought she would have a better idea about how to go about it than I would.

With this, I launched into a planned spiel about Esha – what it does and why. This did not go too well, since she began telling me about the visiting cards she wanted Braille inscribed and began asking me how to go about it. I had been mistaken for a Salesperson from Esha, and I set out to correct this mistake as soon as possible. I gave her Nidhi’s coordinates, and said I had called for an interview. This non – vegetarian who loves to read, knit, travel, chat and investigate spirituality took the hint, and allowed me to move on.

With that, I jumped into my first brilliant question, the reply to which I hoped would generate enough new questions to last me the interview. I asked, “Tell me the story of your life in your own words.” The answer I got, though factual and informative, did not do the trick for me. She said, “That’s what I have written an autobiography for. You can get the info you want at our website too -”
Touche, maam – guess  that was the first lesson to at least conduct background research before barging into someone’s life. Then, I wheedled that this question had been my “master question”, which I had hoped for it to lead to many “corollary” questions – so she gave me a perfunctory response about being a “successful granny”.

Hey, I just realized that I am committing the cardinal sin – writing about the interviewer and the interview, not about the interviewee, as I should. So, to set the right tone here and in the interview, I jumped to my second “canned” question – “How do you motivate yourself to face the world every morning?” The answer to this one had me stumped for a moment – she said, “how about you, how do you do it?” I sure as hell hadn’t been expecting a counter – question, and my mumblings were ignored, as they deserved to be. Then, finally, we got a quotable answer, and the interview was underway. She said, “I set goals – and drive myself to achieve them. Once I taste success, I set larger, tougher goals ad infinitum”.
In between, she made an attempt to make me more comfortable at this by telling me that her younger brother was also named “Sandeep”. Our identical taste in music, in terms of loving Rafi saab and oldies, was another source of comfort. Though the similarity did not extend to the kirtans from Granth Sahib she adored.
My next canned question fit in nicely here. “The kudos palls after a while – so why go on?” “Ye Bandar adrak ka swaad chakh chuka hai”, she quipped. “Ab ise aur badi adrak chahiye.”
On that note.. to be continued...