A Unique Education System- Gurukul

Another fascinating post from KK which I’m only too happy to share. Now I know where the oft-used term ‘guru’ comes from. Thanks KK.

Kaushal Kishore

In 1822, when there were no normal schools anywhere, there were about 7,32,000 gurukuls across India, one in every village. At that time the literacy rate of India was 97%.

India has a rich tradition in the field of learning and education since ancient times when people from abroad used to come to India to get quality education.

One of the famous education systems prevalent at that time was the Gurukul system. It was a residential school system that originated around 5000 BCE and was more prevalent during the Vedic era.

The word Gurukul is derived from the Sanskrit words guru (teacher) and kul (family). The Gurukul was actually the home of the teacher or Acharya and the centre of learning where the disciples resided until their education was completed.

Everyone in the Gurukul was treated as equal and the Guru and the disciple lived in the same house or…

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A Duty Of Care

Last night, I needed to clean out the cricket habitat and I was extra careful as I did so because these little critters jump out and I have already lost one which ended up as food for a hungry spider in the corner of the room. Anyhow, 2 escaped. I managed to get one back in no problems. The second one, I was super careful with however when it was safely back in the enclosure, it just died. There and then. That really upset me. How could something be there fully alive in one second and be completely gone the next?

I felt I should have just let it escape but my mind was on it perhaps enduring the same fate as its predecessor and so wanted to get it back at all costs. Some might say “Look Jon, they’re only crickets and in 3 months they will all be dead anyway.” That’s not the point. I brought them home because I didn’t want them to be live food for reptiles. I have a duty of care towards them for one thing. I have bonded with them and love them for another as I too love the snails in their enclosure. As I love my mum and the cats. There are gradations of feeling/emotion within that of course. However, I want them all to have the best things. A nice clean place to live with lots of space and ready access to water and good food.

I am now dreading the next clean and change of food. If they stay too long in their surroundings without a clean, ammonia gas builds up and they will suffocate. A part of me feels I should not have been enticed to where they sat on the store shelf because of their beautiful chirping however again, I couldn’t bear the thought of them being eaten alive. Some sources online report that they feel no pain however I don’t believe that. I was at a local nature reserve and inside were reptiles and in with them were live prey and I saw agitation as they tried to escape their fate. I saw fear writ large in their reactions to where they were and what was to befall them.

I strongly believe in reincarnation and so I believe they will return as something with a longer lifespan and a more auspicious position within the animal kingdom to come, however I am still their custodian while they are here and I want them to know they are cared for. I put some new lettuce in for them this morning and some cucumber. Both were fresh and moist. It didn’t take long for them to motor over to their latest food offerings however I couldn’t help but think about their friends who are not here today, friends they may miss and could be grieving for.

This brings me to Eric Clapton.

I love his music. He is my favourite musician of all time even if his recorded output over the past 25 years or so has been extremely boring. He shoots animals for fun. He fishes. He has played concerts in support of organisations which like to hunt down beautiful animals for ‘recreation.’ It has always weighed heavily on my mind. I feel conflicted over it.

Do I just listen to his work up to the time he first took to a field with a shotgun or do I bypass it (his music) altogether? What does he get from pointing the barrel of a gun at something living and flying carefree through the air, a creature nurtured and looked after up to its day of release? I am distraught over losing a cricket, which is a living creature in my care. Why does he (EC) feel the need to want to shoot at something so lovely, for ‘sport?’

Deep down, I know I have to stop listening to him altogether. No one else delivers so much to my brain receptors as EC does. His tone, feel, playing approach, note choices, what he doesn’t play as well as what he does. His magnificent bends, that vibrato. I have been listening to him this morning. As soon as he starts playing, all my concerns pertaining to this matter fall away. The trick then is not to start listening and then that can’t happen. Easier said than done though.

Returning to my crickets for a moment. I didn’t intend for any of them to die however my intent in wanting to bring them home with me came from a place of purity. I feel a responsibility, a duty of care to those around me. This is why I became vegan. Why was I distinguishing between my pets whom I doted upon and other forms of life which I sat down and tucked into without a care as to their living (and dying) conditions beforehand? In some countries they eat cats and think nothing of it.

So, just as I care about my crickets, snails and cats, I also tend to the birds in the garden. I make sure they have plenty to eat on a daily basis. I am mortified if even one feeder is running low of food let alone run out altogether. The birds won’t starve if one or two feeders are empty until the next day as there are still 10 others of various kinds in my garden plus neighbours who also feed birds. Why then am I squaring away the love of a person’s music over the lives of lovely creatures who very likely won’t be dead when they fall from the sky and hit the ground, after they’ve been shot at by the maestro in bird killer mode? Why is this okay for me?

It isn’t.

I have listened to EC daily since my 12th birthday in 1985. I had seen him play Live Aid in July of that year and was taken by his music. I wouldn’t stop going on about him so my parents bought me a cassette, which contained music of EC’s from the Robert Stigwood management years. Two songs stuck out to me right away – Have You Ever Loved A Woman? and Key To The Highway. I wasn’t just introduced to the most important musical influence of my life but also to Blues music which is my favourite genre of them all.

EC has been the mainstay of my life since then and I can say with complete honesty, he has kept me afloat on more than one occasion. Hundreds in all likelihood. Some may again say “Come on Jon, there are probably loads of musicians who are into all kinds of shady stuff far worse than what EC’s up to, which we will never even know about. Keep listening if his music brings you enjoyment.” That’s not the point. I do know and it’s still about a duty of care, this time to the truth. EC likes to shoot animals for a hobby. How would I feel if he showed up at my house today with a shotgun and asked where the birds are and would I point them out to him cos he wanted to shoot them? I wouldn’t only tell him to F*ck Off, I would escort him off the premises and guess what? I would never listen to his music again.

I know what I must do.

Wednesday 24th May 2023 – The day I begin my journey of getting clean from my addiction to EC’s music. It’s going to be hard but worth it. It won’t save the lives of the birds he is going to kill however I’m no longer feeding into that cycle by listening to & buying (into) his music. I have a duty of care after all.


This is a terrific compilation however there are no timestamps for the music. The track starting at 31.58 I find most beguiling. I have no idea what it is though unfortunately.

Mango Season

I too love mangoes. Beautiful tasting fruit. I enjoyed reading this blog post Kaushal so I have reblogged it for my readers. Have a blessed day my friend.

Kaushal Kishore

Mango season is here once again. All types of mangoes are now available in the market-
Alphonso (Hapus) from Ratnagiri,
Langra from Varanasi,
Chausa from Lucknow,
Dashehri from Lucknow,
Banginapalli from Kurnool
Badami from Karnataka,
Totapuri from Bengaluru,
Safeda from Andhra
Kesar from Gujarat
Malda from Bihar
Himsagar from West Bengal etc.

People are throwing mango parties in this season. India is the land of this juicy fruit called the king of fruits. About 1500 varieties are grown in different parts of India.

The sweet and juicy taste of ripe mangoes is relished by people of all ages. Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as magnesium and potassium. They are a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

The sticky texture of mango makes it a great treat to enjoy as juices, drinks or as an…

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Everything All At Once

2 weeks ago in the garden there was still a sparseness to everything even though buds and blossoms were forming on branches.

There were noticeable gaps along the boundaries. I could still see into other people’s gardens.

There was an absence of daisies, dandelions, buttercups and wildflowers. Not anymore. The gaps have been filled. The garden is like a meadow and beautiful blue flowers which have been dropped by the birds in seed form now stand resplendent on the edges of the lawn.

Nature has arrived all at once and it’s beautiful to see.

It’s time for my early morning ritual of Indian Masala Chai spiced tea made in a teapot, with a dash of oat milk and savoured while this music is played.

A further cricket update…

Today I ventured out to get a better container for my cricket friends. I needed to get some vermiculite to layer the base of said container. I popped into B&Q and having found the product, I noticed right beside it some decent sized propagating trays with lids. The lids had sliders inset into them to vary the amount of air that gets in and that was perfect because I was worrying about how I was going to make the relevant holes in the top of a clear plastic container for the crickets. Too big and they will get out, too small and they won’t get enough oxygen. Plus, there’s always a worry using that method, about cracking the lid.

I then walked into the garden centre part of the store and they had dozens of flowers and plants which were being sold off reduced in price. I thought it was because they had already flowered however they hadn’t. Most will flower through to August and a few into October. I bought some Impatiens, the regular variety and ones from New Guinea, some Petunias, some Marigolds, some Bidens (which I had never heard of before), some Sweet William, some Snapdragons and a few others besides. I’m glad I went there now.

I returned home and in transferring the crickets, 2 escaped. I managed to recapture one and put him into the container while 1 is still at large. I lost 1 last night, who ended up going behind the refrigerator. I hope they’re not a male and female because that could result in a house filled with crickets endlessly multiplying. I think it’s unlikely as they need regular food and water and without that sadly they will perish. That and the fact there are numerous large spiders walking about the house, so I think they’re doomed in reality. I’m keeping an eye out for them in case they crawl up the walls. I can then place something clear over them, slide a thin coaster between that and the wall/floor and bring them back home again.

5 crickets have died since yesterday. I don’t know whether it was the shock of being transferred initially from the smaller container to the interim container and then moving to the bigger and better one today. I was ever so careful. It might not be that though. The lifespan of crickets is about 90 days and I don’t know how old they are, where they were bred and how far they have travelled to get here. I will be broken when my little waving friend dies however. She has sat atop one of the egg crate spikes today, just looking across at me. She’s lovely.

Anyhow, here they are in their more salubrious surroundings:-

Water gel in the top left of the screen in the orange lid. Powdered food packed with vitamins and minerals in the bottom left which is one half of an egg carton. Cardboard inserts from toilet rolls in the centre which they love walking about in. Raw carrots beside those. The small round bowl in the top right is moist and will serve as a place for them to breed. In the bottom right is the remainder of the egg carton which apparently crickets also love walking about in. My only concern is how I’m going to be able to access the tray to add/remove things without them jumping out. That would be a concern however whatever the size of the container though as they can jump up to 3ft in the air.

I found a really good Jimmie Vaughan album to listen to today, which I have included below. Jimmie can sound a bit plink-plink-plink tonally at times and almost like he’s phoning in his performances however this album has a beefier guitar sound, I can hear his commitment to the music and I’m really enjoying it. The crickets really love Clair De Lune by Debussy! My girl cat went and laid out in the garden this afternoon. It was a lovely day weather wise however it got cold very quickly. The garden birds have enough food out in the various feeders until tomorrow and the snails have been tended to so their container is moist, clean and tidy, with a fresh supply of food inside for them to munch away on.

I can’t believe we’re already 3 weeks into May. It’s my Stepdad’s birthday today. Had he lived, he would have been 106! He’s been gone 26 years and I miss him more than ever. He would have loved the world as it is now, with all the technological advancements, especially the immediacy of recorded music as he played drums proficiently and was something of a music aficionado.

Anyhow, this has been my day. A good one all in all.

Crickets update…

Tomorrow I will get a vastly bigger container, some sand and also some vermiculite for the bottom of the container as well as dedicated areas for their water gel and bug food. Apparently, they can also have selected fruit and veg. For now though, I discovered they like to run about on/in the cardboard inserts for toilet rolls so have added a few of those into their temporary enclosure. I already have a friend in the form of a cricket who waves at me. I have tried to film her using my camera but on every setting I have tried, she comes out blurred.* I hope my newfound friends sing their hearts out tonight.

*Here she is. You can make out her ‘waving.’

Some ‘new’ EC releases..

EC is releasing some songs which were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in the very early 1990’s including full shows from the Blues, Rock and Orchestra nights.

I was at one of the Orchestra nights and seeing my musical idol on stage alongside the magnificent composer/conductor Michael Kamen as well as The National Philharmonic Orchestra, was incredible.

Anyhow, this is his version of the Bob Dylan classic Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. It features Nathan East on bass/vocals, Greg Phillinganes on keyboards/vocals and Phil Collins on percussion/vocals.

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