Monday, September 07, 2009

King of Pop

"The ghost of Michael Jackson is here", informed Pushpa, our housekeeper in Bangalore. Michael Jackson had died while we were in Los Angeles. Mona and I belong to the generation that grew up on Thriller and Bad. We experienced the media frenzy following his death. But we never fully understood his global reach and appeal until we were back in India.

Our housekeeper seemed to know every detail about Michael Jackson's life. The Kannada TV channels broadcast every detail about Michael's life, his music, the Neverland ranch, his kids etc. and everybody was watching it with fascination. The employee newsletter at my company featured the King of Pop on the cover. Music stores are featuring his old and newly released albums (which are flying off the shelves). News items about the "ghost" of the king of pop appearing on TV did not go unnoticed in India.

Pop culture knows no boundaries and unites us all from Hollywood to Bangalore!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A proud moment

Aanish completed his IGCSE (Grade 10) exams in June before we left for Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The results were expected in early August. The Grade 10 exams are crucial and the results will be an important consideration for college entrance. He had worked really hard for a couple of months leading up to the exams. Mona and I were feeling very anxious as the day of the results (August 10) approached.

On the day of the results, the scores are available on the internet at 5am IST. Mona was the first one to wake up and check the results. She woke me up within a few minutes. Aanish had done remarkably well. He received an A* in 6 subjects, an A in 2 subjects and a B in 1. The surprise grade was an A in Spanish. Just three months ago, he was struggling in the subject and his teacher had recommended that he take the simpler core curriculum instead of the advanced extended curriculum. He was unable to make that change since the deadline had passed. So he ended up doing his exam in the advanced curriculum and still scored an A.

Students must study a minimum of 7 subjects for IGCSE and must score at least 5 As and 2 Cs to achieve a Distinction level. Aanish completed his IGCSE math in 9th grade and had scored an A. He took Additional Math in 10th grade and scored a B on that. So, he ended taking 10 subjects and scoring 6 A*, 3 A and a B.

It was a happy and proud moment for both of us. We had seen him work very hard for many months and were it was a joy to see his hard work pay off.