Salman Khan is a popular man in the Eicher home. His name is on our lips every day. We religiously turn on the computer almost daily to get our fill of the man.
We are talking of course about "Sal" Khan - the guy on the left! This Salman Khan is an American educator of Bengali origin (Dad from Bangla, Mom from old Kolkotta) whose amazing "Khan Academy" is a treasure trove of knowlege made accessible by the magic of the internet.
We are not talking about Mr. Muscle on the right hand side. Heart throb of millions. Cine star. Known colloquially as "Bhai" (brother). Whose picture is found in many a magazine, on many a phone, in many a barber shop (and whose hair has gone through a varied set of appearances over the years). This SK is a complex person and we will do well to skip his shenanigans (with women and the law and other sundry controversy).
Our true Khan is 'Sal.' Born in the USA of fine Bengali parents. Studied at MIT among other places - and who has set up the amazing Khan Academy.
A free online set of courses where Sal and his pals share mini-lectures on a mind-boggling set of mathematical and scientific concepts - all marshalled into a lovely set of learning plans which are non-threatening but really get you down into the actual foundational concepts.
For example, one of the other open tabs on this browser at this very moment looks like this:
We are just amazed at us getting access to this remarkable set of tools at just the right time. Asha and Enoch transitioned from a school that was using the state board for their curriculum to BSS which is under the ICSCE board. The level of science was a quantum leap ahead - with Asha never having had chemistry, biology and physics as separate subjects - she had a steep learning curve to catch up to. Enter Sal with his mini-lectures.... and also hats off to Sheba for her patient coaxing and measured teaching of Asha in all these subjects.
Yours truly shows up mainly when it is time to revise history or geography. And to give ideas for projects.
And yes, you can't just turn on good old Sal Khan on the comp, and then do something else, hoping that his vast body of knowledge will arrive in your head via osmosis.... You have to jolly well crack down and take notes and help facilitate the problems. But the beauty is that it is all so 'jolly well done.' With each mini-lecture / demonstration, a little more is understood, and a little bit more of science- or maths-phobia is removed.
Our kids swear by Sal Khan - and we don't mean Mr-take-off-my-shirt-aren't-I-a-star. The adult Eichers do too. And so we can honestly say that we love Salman Khan!
P.S. There is another Salman Khan too - or make that many other Salman Khans - the poor large goats who enterprising goat sellers have christened 'Salman Khan' after Mr. Beefcake and his other big film-star rival Shah Rukh Khan. Do you have between 10,000 to 1 lakh rupees? You can then buy yourself a goat and have it slaughtered for the Id fesival tomorrow. Stranger things have happended.
One of the goats that will most likely meet his end tomorrow as the Bakri-Eid festival is being celebrated in specific localities across our city.
We love Salmon Khan (both of them - though we do not idolise the filmi-walla). And we hope that you will rope in the Khan Academy for your benefit - and that to benefit others too.