Do You See ? - Nibbrati Rathore

Observation - The Master skill

Some people see, some observe. 

Some see and yet don’t see!

Some see and observe but don’t comprehend. 

Some see, observe and comprehend, but don’t act!

Look at this picture, now observe it carefully.

Try to think of a one-line story for the picture. 

Now, think of 2 more aspects that can be drawn from this picture.




By now, you must have come up with various versions of your views. This is the power of observation. When we observe anything closely, we come up with many new findings.

Well, some of the one-liners which came to my mind are: 

Observation is an integral act every living being does. It is the fundamental requirement and a gift embedded by nature with the primary motive for the “survival “of all living beings. But in the case of humans, we go one step ahead beyond survival – “SUCCEED.”

To make observation worthwhile, you can keep in mind the following points:

  1. Sachetan (सचेतन ): Be mindful, means become “conscious”. A state where you are conscious of your acts, thoughts and observations. To initiate the mind consciously, one needs to live in the present. Which requires decluttering your brain every day through conscious efforts. Most of the time, we remain engaged in what others think of us, how have I spoken in the meeting, have I been able to impress others etc. this way, we spend a major quantum of our energy on ourselves. As an observer, you need to consciously notice the world around you and not just the world within you. 

  1. Purpose (उद्देश्य): A piece of note-sheet lying on the floor of a class could very well be overlooked by the teacher, but if it is an examination hall, the note sheet will get immediate attention. We observe better when we have a purpose behind it. If you wish to retain any observation for a longer period of time, try to attach a purpose with it. This works.

  2. Brainstorming: (मंथन ): Observations would be meaningful only if we ask questions like, why, what, how, when, etc. Sherlock Holms mesmerized people with these questions and could catch the culprit. His main skill was observation. The mind churns the inputs given to it with the churning rod of logic and past experience. Repeated churning helps to infer the true nature of things. Due to this nature of ‘churning’ minds, we are called manushya in Hindi, which means someone who continuously evolves to create something new (solutions, discoveries, etc.).

  3. The missing piece: (अनुपस्थिति): Power of seeing what is absent is another aspect of observation. For example, if a fire extinguisher is not present where crackers are made, it tells a story. Observe a situation for a period of time and set a baseline of what is normal. And then, you can compare the future events back to the normal event. This helps you in finding the changes. A conscious observer can quickly pick the missing things. 

As a class teacher, I happen to spend my zero periods with the same class every day. It’s a wonderful opportunity to closely observe the behaviour of the children and know them better. Only because of the observations I make through the year could I identify behavioural changes in my students, find reasons behind them, and devise solutions to manage them better.

Try and observe every child of your class, derive inferences and dig out ways to help them. And the only investment is your “TIME”. 

To give a kick-start to fine-tune your observation skill, leaving you with another picture. 

Try to observe it and drop a one-line story in the comment box.

Nibbrati Rathore is an educator at the Gyanshree School, Noida

She is a Life Members and volunteer on the National Training Team of Learning Forward India.

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