शुक्रवार, अगस्त 17

Are you afraid of mathematics? No need to be

Shagun Khanna has barely stepped out of her teen years, yet the positive attitude with which she has faced struggles in her formative years and has come out of them with flying colours is enough to motivate many youngsters and aged people alike. The struggle is likely to continue for many more years but now she knows where she is heading to and is marching towards it steadfastly.

When we learnt about Shagun and her dedication for her work, we met her and had a long and intimate talk. Here are the excerpts from our tete-a-tete with Shagun Khanna.

Editor: Shagun, I happened to see some of your calligraphic work and it inspired me so much that I called you for a meeting. And here I am sitting in front of you, sipping wonderful coffee which your mom has made for me. I am all ears, quite eager to know how and when it all started.
Shagun: Hehehe, thank you and welcome Sir. My mom makes yummmy coffee. Well, if you ask my mom and my badi ma i.e. Dadi, they will tell you what a problem child I used to be for them. I had a compulsive desire to write and draw figures on anything that I happened to have nearby - writing on school desks, chairs, walls, even my school bag, my clothes. I was frequently scolded and sometimes even thrashed by my mom for writing on my hand and legs. My badi ma used to save me from my ma’s beating. (laughs).

When I was in 10th , my father passed away. While my family i.e. my mom, grand mom and grand pa provided me with all the emotional support and protection I needed, I had to think of continuing my studies without draining my family’s financial resources. So, EARN WHILE YOU LEARN became my mantra ever since then. I did my +2 and graduation. Even now while I am doing my M.A. (English) 2nd year, I have already been working for the last 7 years.

Editor: Well, while I am extremely sorry for your loss of father at such an early age, it does tell a lot how this tragedy has moulded you into what you are today. Good going for you.
Shagun: Thank you, Sir. Writing everywhere was my hobby in childhood but gradually it became my profession. Now I am teaching students at my home and various schools as a visiting faculty. I am even being asked by the administration of various schools to train their teachers also.

Editor: Okay, you have told me about calligraphy but what about Abacus?

Shagun: It started quite late. In fact, just two years before. I had sort of phobia, a hostile relationship with maths during my school days and used to get just pass marks in Maths. मैथ में तो लुढ़कने का भी डर बना रहता था। (hehehe). But again, when someone showed me abacus and explained how it is used, I decided to give it a try. Doing calculations with it appeared to me a great fun. I thought ki अगर मेरे जैसी लड़की इससे मैथ सीख सकती है, तो दुनिया का कोई भी इंसान मैथ सीख सकता है। I arranged its training for me and have been teaching it ever since.

Editor: Isn’t abacus an Indian invention?

Shagun: Vedic mathematics is indeed a gift of the great Indian mathematicians to the world but the abacus, in its present form appears to have been developed by Chinese people.

Editor: Okay.

Shagun: I find that calculations are far more easier and faster if instead of abacus, we use our both hands. The 5 fingers in each hand can easily replace the beeds of abacus. (please see attached video).

Editor: Well, abacus or no abacus, my relationship with math has always been very much hostile. So, I won’t dare go deep into your tryst with math else I may never recover from it. Tell me more about calligraphy. Is it still relevant and important in the present day digital world when we perform all of our written communication by typing on mobile, ipad or laptop?

Shagun: It sure is. Tell me Sir, which one would you prefer - a handmade greeting card made by me or a printed card?

Editor: Obviously a handmade card is far more preferable.

Shagun: Why so?

Editor: Because it would carry your feelings, your personality and your emotions in a more realistic manner. It would be unique and not mass produced. No one else can have the same card!   Isn't it strange, Shagun?  I came here to interview you but you have started interviewing me!  But never mind. 

Shagun: Hehehe.  Sir, you have answered your question yourself. When we use pen and paper to write or draw, it reflects our individuality, our creativity and is unique to the one who has written or drawn it. Experts can even analyse and visualize the person who has written something on that piece of paper. There are employers who specifically demand a hand-written job application. The hand-written applications tell so many things about the applicants which even they won’t be aware of. Long form of handwriting is never going to be obsolete or irrelevant.

Editor: Very nicely explained. But why a student should learn calligraphy?

Shagun: Because it makes that student a better person. By writing patiently, painstakingly, skillfully and artistically, a person finds that his character is getting moulded too. His skills are improved. He would be able to think in advance, would be able to sense and solve future problems even before they surface.

Editor: Wow, you make it sound so interesting and useful. I think I should also learn some calligraphy myself. By the way, what are your other hobbies?
Shagun: Why not Sir. You are always welcome. Hobbies.... well, I have been attracted towards calligraphy since my childhood and now haven’t got time to pursue anything else. However, I do like travelling, exploring new places. Recently, I have had the opportunity for some anchoring and I found myself liking it a lot.

Editor: Great. Well, Shagun, it has been really nice meeting and learning some new things from you. I wish you all the best on behalf of myself and www.the-saharanpur.com. Stay happy and stay blessed.

जो विशेष पसन्द किये गये !