Sunday, 29 October 2017

I moved.... (PART 1)

I moved....I have moved....I think I will keep moving....Sometimes I wonder why I do what I do...Sometimes people wonder why I do what I all the thinking and wondering...I realise I have moved ...again ...
It is not that I do not want settlement ... It is not that I do not wish for permanence ...but because I move ... I am unable to define "settlement" or "permanence" in my life.
Till 16 years of age, I moved because my family moved. My dad had a transferable job and he took every new assignment his organisation where he worked for 27 years asked him to move. 
So, YES! he moved but he did not move from the organisation where he started his career!

At 16 years of age, I moved out of the security of family-home-mummy's food to a hostel life.
This part of the move was important because it is that phase in your life where you "MOVE" to make a career for yourself "MOVE" to build your own professional identity! 
After an under-graduate program which was more of a space and time where mid-way the 3 year program I was already thinking of where I want to move next...while I had a boyfriend completely in love with me who thought I would STAY on to finally "move" in with him...

I was moved by all the love and attention but this is where the "settlement" "permanence" factor set in. At 20 years now! did I want to settle? or do I want to move?

I got out of that dilemma miraculously by getting admission for my post-graduation into an institution which was a life-long dream! When one's dream comes true...nothing can stand in the way not even love! So, I moved.

At the institute, I was moving everyday ! With creative work happening in every corner of that institution, it was impossible for a restless soul like me to have found a small corner and stayed there...I moved from the textile studio to the apparel studio to the furniture studio to product to the auditorium ...the basketball court....OH! there was so much to do .. so much to learn .. so much to listen much see... so much... that I was moving all the time !

We were asked to "move out' of our hostels when the earthquake struck in 2001...We were asked to move to Kutch to volunteer for rehabilitation work... We worked and we were moved by what we saw and what we felt... There was a change.. The HEART moved this time...

Exactly one year later, we were asked to STAY IN and not move out of the campus...this time because a deadly human disaster called communal riots had engulfed the city ! We had to stay in to protect ourselves...but we could see in close proximity how people. groups of people, were moving on the roads with swords, and torches, and guns ready to kill and destroy everything that they thought was the "OTHER" religion..

Two continuous disasters ...of two different natures ...all affecting human life ...moved me in more ways than one ...while at the institute ...while I was still a student ...while I was still being restless and super enthusiastic ...

I found love there too...I found love there twice...(YES! you can find love more than once!)
But, THEY moved ....

So, the solution to the heart break was to move...rather this time post my 3 years again.. with all that I had seen..felt..experienced..found..lost..gave away..

I HAD to move because now I had reached the phase where I was no more a student but a professional and an it was the time to get out into the world of WORKING PROFESSIONALS...earn a a life ...prove your worth to the world...make your family proud !
I moved to the city of dreams - Mumbai ... 

I had arrived...I thought I had arrived...I felt I  had arrived......

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

thinking about the "World's Children"...

I was switching channels to find something to watch till 9 pm post which I try to catch the drama Blue Bloods, but while browsing I landed on CNN, telecasting live a session of UK Lawmakers hearing the plea of 3 families of girls who went missing on 17th February from UK. The girls are 15 years old, and travelled to Turkey without the knowledge of their families or schools, and are now believed to have crossed over to Syria to join the extremists.
I just thought it was just a small piece of news, but, it was the complete hearing being telecast. Blue Bloods seemed to lame to watch in front of this news.
What came out of watching this entire telecast was a horrific feeling of how the internet / social media sites are affecting the minds of young people. How families have become so disconnected that even after living under one roof they have no clue about what their children are thinking or doing? What kind of training or work is going into building teachers / mentors / guides who can brain-wash 15 YEAR OLD children, especially girls to take such drastic measures. We are not talking about running away to another city in your state or country, but going across Europe and then moving from a secure family, city and country to a volatile, war-inflicted zone.
Of course, this hearing, had the families tell their story who blame the UK Metropolitan police to have been slow with their investigation… the police saying they worked within the means of their set norms and methods of handling such situations… the school was not brought in but it was said that the schools have mechanisms today deal with these situations… and it went on… with the lawmakers questioning what could have been done to avoid the situation and what SHOULD be done in the future to really not have this happening…
All this debate and conversation made me think  -
This is how impressionable the young mind is, and that is why we all need to question if today just by sending our children to school where they learn various subjects and get grades, by providing them the latest of gadgets in terms of computers, mobile phones and others and being their friend more than a parent, are we really getting to know what our children want?
Someone may argue with me that this has happened in the UK, so why is it bothering me I live in back and beyond India? All I have to say is this – these are children… and the stories of children globally don’t change much… as dependants most children go through similar experiences everywhere.
We need to change the way we think or interact with young minds…we have always known young adults (13 -17 years) are very emotional, vulnerable and rebellious if they want to be, this is the time when they are going through immense changes physically and mentally… we need to be more alert about them and really build much deeper bonds as parents, teachers, friends, educators, guides and mentors.

In my own years of experience working with teenagers, I have observed that it takes much more to get them to trust you than it would with a child in the primary school age or younger.
We must protect our children but not over protect them also that they don’t learn how to face adversities or challenges. Today information is available at the touch of a button what we need is the sense of knowledge which will enable an individual to observe, analyse, question, look for options, and make the choices so as to act responsibly and with ownership.
Somehow, I wish we can work on an education system where instead of the main subjects being Science, Maths, Social Studies and Languages, we actually create spaces to grow in subjects like Responsibility, Ownership, Appreciation and Perspectives, because perspectives drive an individual to make choices, making individual choices creates a sense of ownership, the ownership inculcates a sense of responsibility to face the consequences of the choices (good/bad, right/wrong), and it’s the consequences of our choices that create a sense of appreciation or self-critic which motivate an individual to carry on in the path chosen, or make the changes required, without getting into the web of blame-games, accusations or passing the buck to another.
Be it UK, US, India or any other country… we have to realise the world is becoming smaller and smaller because of the reach of this bane or boon called the Internet… so we have to start thinking and training ourselves in perspectives which will give a more wholistic attitude or method on looking and perceiving situations, more importantly create open spaces for an individual to feel safe and free to make choices more responsibly and consciously.
It makes me sick in my stomach to think how vulnerable or impressionable or deprived were those 3 girls that at 15 YEARS they could take such a life-threatening decision without any fear(or they were scared but had no choice)… and probably it is this vulnerability or naivety in an individual that makes him / her a victim of social evils.
Today, it is not only the question of “India’s Daughters” but the “World’s Children”.

It’s A Small World…A Simple World… all we need is a clear perspective. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Why does everything have to be about name and fame?

Last week I was in Mumbai, as a guest of a corporate company, who was conducting a Design Thinking Workshop for their senior management staff, as a problem solving exercise.
The workshop was being held at the Taj Lands End (most corporates today like to use 5 star venues for workshops as an encouragement factor for their employees)
We were in the Malabar Room of Taj Lands End conference rooms area, right across the Malabar room is the Konkan room, where there was a press conference to be held by UNICEF in honor of Mr.Sachin Tendulkar, who has now been named the first ambassador for South Asia for UNICEF and will be working on a large scale sanitation project for children of South Asia.
When I walked down to the conference area and saw the posters of UNICEF with the ambassador’s pictures, and registration desk and activity, all I could do was smile.
The smile was because I felt its only fate that he, Mr.Sachin Tendulkar, UNICEF, and myself, TARA TRUST, Sonja, my colleague are all if you see in a way working in the same field. The difference being that UNICEF and Mr.Sachin Tendulkar don’t need to do anything much to call for a press conference, to lock up other people in the conference room area for “security” reasons while Mr.Sachin Tendulkar walks in to the conference room where he is supposed to give a speech on the plight of the children in India and how he is going to endeavor to make the changes …blah..blah..blah…
The ground reality is this – as a celebrity it is so easy to do “social work” everyone will fall at your feet and commend you for the noble and good work you do, even though you basically fly into a village, spend 2 – 4 hours shaking hands with people, maybe inaugurating a toilet facility and returning to the comforts of your home. While, we who work 24/7 for a cause because we know that a one to one relationship with the underprivileged is how we can make the change, get nothing by closed doors wherever we knock.
While standing outside the Malabar room where we were, I began talking about the struggles we face as a unknown non-profit which was overheard by a “consultant” of UNICEF, who walks up to me and asks me to explain myself. I tell him that there is nothing to explain except the fact that we are the groups that actually do the dirty job and the limelight is taken by celebrities.
He goes on to explain that Mr.Sachin Tendulkar is working for free for UNICEF..and he has been all over South Asia working with children. His asking rate per day is 2 crores of rupees but he has been humble enough to accept the position from UNICEF for 1 rupee a year fees, etc etc …so we should be admiring his character.
All I said to this “consultant” is that I have no doubt that he is a good man, but, a good man and a celebrity like him will only work for UNICEF because everything is provided, whereas if I as a nobody even try to approach him for help and support, I know it will be virtually impossible to reach him. First of all, how will I approach him????
What bothered me the most was, this so called “consultant” of UNICEF from England in India says to me “ wives like you of politicians, know only how to accuse others! “ – he does not know me from adam ! he has no experience of grass root work in India ! he is a consultant to UNICEF assuming my husband is a politician !!!!
Yes! I should have tried to explain to him who I was, where I came for and what drives me to really work for a cause but it would make no sense to a man who obviously too highly of himself and the “work” he is doing for the world.

Why do people think that social development work is only done by people who are backed by riches or fame or status?

Why is it assumed that people who work for social development have nothing better to do in their lives and hence do social work?

Why do people become bigger than themselves because of the position we hold? 

Why do we belittle others who in their own way are trying to make a difference? 

Why is that because a certain someone knows a certain someone in the high ranks of society feels he/she knows it all?

Are the big organisations in the social development sector really taking a look at all the small ones across the country who are actually doing the ground work.?

Why does one think that an organization with the name and fame is credible and trustworthy, and the ones with no celebrity backing or surplus funding are not productive?

I applaud every celebrity who endorses and works for a social cause, but, what I don’t understand is that they should try to hold the hands and provide support to the lesser known rather than attach themselves to organizations which can easily implement whichever project they want without their support because they are rich enough and resourceful enough to do so. 

The point I am trying to make or trying to get answers is that Does everything have to be about name and fame?
It is a Small World, a Simple World, why do we want to complicate it by making things easily accessible to some and difficult for others. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Small and Humble Beginning ...

My personal journey since my teenage years has been to make a difference in whatever little way we can in our society for the betterment of our country. I believe we owe it to our freedom fighters to only make our country a better place to live in everyday.
Tara which means a star has come into my life as a shining star, giving me direction and a way forward towards my dream.
Tara is a trust based in Goa, working with children and women from the underprivileged communities of the state. Tara also collaborates with various other organizations around India to support them in imparting value based learning thru art related workshops and activities.
This is my way of giving back to the society we live in, and the country that I am very proud of. If each one of us privileged Indians hold out our hand to even one Indian who needs our help and support, we can make a change.
I am not a Philanthropist, I am not an Activist, I am a humble Indian, who loves my country and in my own way now wants to help to make it a better place to live in !

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Life Explained !

The above link is a story sent to me by a very dear friend a couple of years back, and the message struck a chord. 
I am not propagating that we all give up our chosen lifestyles or ambitions, but, what I learnt from the story is that and it is a question I am still seeking the right answer to - 
Why is that most of us stop ourselves from living and doing what our heart wants, with the hope that thru the perfect game plan we shall achieve the time and space to do exactly what we want? 
In this materialistic world have most of us lost the way to our heart?

Its Simple, work hard but work hard in a way that we keep our minds and heart healthy and stress free! We have one life, lets live it to the fullest !

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Its Small World After All - Part 1

This is a photograph taken by me on the eve of India winning the Cricket World Cup. It was the most over whelming scene for me on the streets of Mumbai. Every one who is proud of this lovely country, India was out there with their flags, banners and slogans. Complete strangers cheering together, dancing together, waving flags together, just goes to show that we are all a part of the same world, and aspire for the same things. Its just about keeping it 'simple'
Welcome to my blog - A Small World, A Simple World !