Archive for January 9th, 2017

Evolution of math teaching over the years (explains economics teaching too)…

January 9, 2017

A really interesting picture popped in my Facebook account showing how math teaching has changed over the years.


An open letter by a former journalist on the terrible state of affairs in media…

January 9, 2017

Usually, one likes to ignore such letters but case against Indian media is getting stronger by the day. More and more people complain about the paid news, fake news and what not.

But then when an insider writes about the state of affairs which largely concur with what people think, it is time to take note.

Samrat who worked for Free Press Journal writes and stings against the media emperors:


How local people in Kerala are learning Hindi due to inward migration!!

January 9, 2017

I am not sure how true this story is but it does make for interesting reading even if some of it is true.

Usually, we find that migrants to a region learn the local language. Though, in Kerala the opposite seems to be happening:

A working knowledge of Hindi has become an essential ingredient in the Malayali’s survival kit in his homeland, thanks to a cosmopolitan population and a growing number of migrant workers

Kochi’s cosmopolitanism is throwing up a new challenge to its citizens–the need to learn Hindi or better their Hindi speaking skills. In addition to the floating population of North Indians, there is a burgeoning number of migrant labourers from the Hindi heartland and the North East. Gardeners, house helps, drivers, waiters, mechanics, salon staff, shop assistants and watchmen are invariably non Malayalis and the need to speak Hindi has never been greater for local denizens.

Earlier it was in the Naval establishments in the city where Hindi was spoken regularly, but now it is heard commonly in public spaces. Hindi signage appearing on buses and stores is another example of how the use of the language has spread. Angrezi davakhana, (English medicines); atta chakki (flour mill) have come to be used in common parlance.

For someone like Prithi Sinha, a North Indian who works in the city, however, this is working in the reverse. “I have been trying to learn Malayalam and now, I don’t really think it is necessary. Everyone is beginning to speak Hindi,” she says.

🙂 It seems what we are seeing is opposite of the trends in other Southern states.


The Patna-Bihar Express, a chain of small hotels that caters to the Hindiwallas, who work in the city, is an example of how the city’s demographic has changed. “I used to get special mithai made from a halwai in Bihar, now that is available here, made by a migrant sweet maker,” Preethi says.

Not that Hindi was alien to the Malayali, in fact, he speaks the language much better than his Southern neighbours, but of late a working knowledge of Hindi has become an essential ingredient in the Malayali’s survival kit in his homeland.

 Police and traders have begun to take Hindi lessons to communicate better with the nearly 25 lakh migrant workers spread across the State. Homemakers too have taken to learning the language to make communication easier with the help or the gardener. Retail traders and grocery shop owners in small towns and villages have started to display their price list in Hindi.

It is usual to hear the owner of a small hotel in Tripunithura shout out instructions or customer orders to his staff, most of them from Bengal and Orissa, in Hindi. “I know that I’m not really speaking Hindi. But what I have found is that you need to only augment your Malayalam with a few Hindi-sounding words and they seem to understand you. That way things go on much smoothly than struggling to communicate through gestures and sounds,” says Raman (name changed).

“What I have realised is that Malayalam is not an easy language to learn for some one from the North. I have eight men from Bihar and in all these years they have not been able to speak or understand Malayalam properly. My main job is to act as an interpreter for the tailor, the cutter and the customer. Some of the customers speak a smattering of Hindi all mixed up with Malayalam and English which makes matters worse leading to some really funny situations and weird results. The other staff is slowly getting a hang of Hindi. Surprisingly, my gardener who comes from Bengal, speaks flawless Malayalam with words that we have long stopped using,” says Mini Jayan of Kiara.

Loved the hotel chain name – Patna Bihar Express.

This cultural movement and mixing is all so interesting. Though, it is hardly new to those living in Kerala. The region has seen all these migration movements for centuries now. Would like to learn more about this topic though..

How Zimbabwe sells elephants to pay off old debts…

January 9, 2017

I had no idea that this happens too.How animals are used to pay off debts incurred by humans:


Would postal stamping the old notes have helped in cash crunch?

January 9, 2017

JP Koning’s blog is the goto blog for monetray history especially post demonetisation.

In his recent post, he highlights how the postal stamping of old notes could have helped the government tide the cash crunch.

He starts with how the government missed a monetary historian in the team:


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