Saturday, June 19, 2021

Jolly Jaipur

Jaipur has a lot of greenery. Walking through spacious footpaths and sitting on the benches to witness the passing cars. Every place has it's charm.

Neither forts nor its history is pleasing but, the spacious green stretches I can walk for hours and hours. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Movie- Section 375

 Gripping. Rightly named, it hints what the movie is all about. For two hours, the audience are presented a case from the victim's point of view and let the viewer empathize with the characters and shows the reality at the end. Well written and directed. 

Soliloquies- Empathy and Emotional Connection

Visiting hospitals and interacting with the doctors and medical personnel's, there's so much I could reflect on. Whenever I listen the little distress in the voice of a few security guards and medical personnel, I wonder how it's gonna impact the patients and the care givers. 

We visit hospitals because we're in pain. The physical pain as well as the mental pain, unknown of what we're distressed about. Will any harshness helps? 

There's plethora of tests to go through to analyze what we're suffering from. In the course of confusion and suffering, the harsh tone and loud voice does not help in any way. 

Thinking from the nurse shoes, there are hundreds of people clueless of where to go, what to do, how to go. Despite the knowledge of do's and don'ts the cluelessness cripples us to rely on the confidence our medical professional gives. 

We're not confident when we're in pain. These are the places, psycho social communication is highly needed. 

Holidays with Harry- Own it up

 After a few weeks break, Harry and I caught up over phone.  

"What's happening?," asked Harry in an assuring hearty tone.

"A lot. My friend left Sirohi. I'm also leaving for Jaipur. I realized I have to take a lot of decisions now." I shared my thoughts. 

"Yes. Decisions." affirmed  Harry. "To decide, we need to own up. Ownership seemed to be the key." he hinted. 

"True," I acknowledged his thoughts. Sleeping on the words, owning it up, I realized there's a lot I'm doing without owning it up. 

For instance writing, blogging. I write the posts but, truly I never own them as my writings. Since I don't own them, most of them are lying on the drafts and I don't share them. 

To own is to accept. I began to accept myself, my writings. This approach seemed to be working for me. It's driving me to act rather than ruminate, distance myself from my works and never own what I do. 

Thanks Harry for the words. 

Thoughts- To share or not to share

I wanted to be truthful and I realized, I m sharing my version of truth from the truth itself. So to share the truth( through story), I thought I can tweak a bit. But, often I wondered and struggled how much to share, how much not to share in the efforts of sharing the truth. 

Stories with Navnit- Book Suggestions

 “What books should I suggest for the library” I asked

"Lal Posthe Ke Phool.  I want that book. I am waiting for it." replied Navnit, adding on what he wants to do with the book,  "I am planning to host a session on the book as well. It’s about the history and culture of Tibet. By knowing the history and the culture of Tibet, we can discover the differences between Tibet and China."

Ask Navnit about books, stories flow. "Tibet is called the roof of the world." began Navnit.  

The conversation went on from books to Tibet. The kind of cold present in Tibet. He began describing climatic conditions. 

"There’s one person who wore clothes that couldn’t stop the cold. There was a family who saw him losing consciousness. He was taken to a home, fed hot water, put in warm clothes. Still, he was in a bad condition. There was a woman who came and gave warmth by sleeping with him. It’s about human warmth. The other warmth doesn’t help as much as the fire gives you at that condition." 

Ye boliye ji.Hamaari parivaar ka aurath koyi bhi aise soch sakthe kya? To help someone.?" He asked,

We need to have body contact to give warmth in that chilling cold. There’s a lot of history on the flexibility of sex and gender in the past. 

And the story went on to sex now. 

There’s a book, The Muria and their Ghotul written by Verrier Elwin, an anthropologist. "Ghotul is a tradition that a Muria tribe followed He described the culture of the tribe. The tribe is normal in it’s own ways. 

The outsiders came in and gave comments on their culture. Eventually, the tribe got vanished. 

Yeah, we always have negativity towards tribes. We do not bother to understand but, still, we comment and be condescending to others.

Yeah.. And the train of thought went in Navnit’s mind staring at the walls thinking of the tribes. "Navnit ji, I am unable to find the translation of the book you mentioned," I asked, listening to him while searching for the translations.

Tibet. Yeah. There’s this author who wrote of his travelogues so much that I don’t think I can ever read them whole. Rahul Sakrityan. What a writer. Navnit face got a new glow as he began sharing hte story of Rahul. Such a awesome writer. He wrote a lot of stories. He was at the verge of death because of the acts he made. He got the buddha Grandha and people were about to kill him. 

What about Buddha Grandha? I intervened and the stories went on about Buddha. 

I am not going to write about it in the way I interrupted hte storyof  Rahul Sankrityan

He wrote a lot of travelogues. If we have to thhink of influential writers of 20th century. Rahul will be on the list for sure. 

He visits a temple. He describes the stone, history of stone. The probability of of the sculptors. Their cultures. Their history. 

Their language. The language history and it goes on. What a writer. Itna mota mota kitabh! Navnit got that smile again. 

He used to write 6-7 hours a day. IF he had spent 6 hours on writing, imagine how much time he would have spent on reading. 

Azamgarh got great writers Ji, patted Saket. 

Navnit energy got no bounds as he began sharing his stories. I was happy to know Rahul Sakrityan as I began ordering the book, Volga to Ganga, A translation. Saket looks at the laptop and Navnit, surprised to see such a pack of energy by sharing a small story. 

Indeed, ask someone about what they love. The energy with what they share is contagious. 

What do you love to do?

Stories from Sirohi- Maxican Pizza Parlour

"In the whole Sirohi, he sells the best Manchurian," asserted Sandeep Bhai. Our favourite Dabeli's shop owner. There's a lot more we have to discover in Sirohi, Dyu and I told ourselves and went out in search of this best manchurian seller. We stopped at this place, Maxican Pizza Parlour. A few teens were hanging out clicking selfies. Most of them were ordering manchurian. May be it seems to be the best I thought. We ordered and realised that Sandeep bhai shared his opinion but not fact. It was not as great as we expected. Or did we expect too much from this seller. We don't know. Glad that we found this Maxican atleast. In this small town, finding joints itself is a big deal. 

Stories on wheels- Vinod's bookshelf

The Bookshelf. 

He was painting the doors by himself. I have work. I offered you what I could. You decide and let me know because, I have work to attend to. Said the old man. 

Vinod says, he cleans the rooms, he mops the floor, he cleans the bathrooms. he's the owner of the guest house. Also, he has invested his life in this guest house. 

Not a single tree hasn't bought. We didn't get it from outside. Over the years, we planted each tree. made the pot stand. We made all by ourselves. This is my house. If someone walks in, I serve them happily. I wish them to leave my house with a smile and peace. I try my best to serve them to my best. 

Azhar and I told to ourselves, pointing out to the bookshelf. “They got books in the house.” We returned to the bookshelf at night, after a long walk.

Looking at the books, Vinod came in and encouraged us to pick any book. “You can pick any book. Read it. And you can take it with yourself, finish it and later courier it to me. Pick up any book that interests you.”

We assumed that he had this for selling. We didn’t expect this. You trust your customers and share the books, inspiring.

Sir, I’m 60. I have no intention of deceiving. What do I get after I do all that deceit or suspect each other?

When did you start this? I didn’t start this. I am not owner of these books.

He began his journey. In 1998, when I began this guest house, there were hardly guest houses in Mandvi. We were 4th guest house to set up. I had 2-3 gujarati books with myself.

Whenever I get tired after all the work, I pick up a book. I pick up so that I get rest when I read. In that way, I have 3-4 books that I had at this corner.

There were a few foreigners who walked into guest house. They enjoyed our house so much that they spent almost for a month. They liked our place so much that, they gifted us books, putting next to my 3-4 books.

In that way, many people walked in and gifted me books. None of these books are bought by me. There are books in dutch, Japanese, English. All these books are a blessing. I can’t sell them. Many people come and want to buy these books. I tell them, “I’m not owner of these books. It’s a blessing. You can read them. Take them for sure. Whenever you’re leaving India or whenever you’re done, you can always post the books to my house.”

In this way, Vinod shared about his bookshelf. It’s inspiring you trust and respect others. “Frankly, when I expect my children to be respected or when I want goodness around me, I’m obliged to be good. I can’t afford to deceive. I give and I get a lot in return. I do not cringe for petty things. Business is not about manipulation. You can always trust yourself and be abundant. 

Azhar asked about the resorts, I suggested him. I do not worry about not finding the customers. I try my best to serve or help whoever walks into my guest house. And I never had to feel bad or feel less. In this way, I live and I’ve been living. It’s a blessing. I’m glad to catch up with you. Share a word about the bookshelf and his life.

Thanks Vinod. Inspired by your abundance.




Saturday, June 12, 2021

Drive with this doggy


Gratitude Diaries


Nice Song- O Kadhala (feat. Shreya Chilak & Nikhil Vanam)

Stories from Sirohi- Another change

 In a few days, I may have to leave this beautiful place that hosted me for 2 years, giving me a lot of memories, friends and love. 

I have never imagined, I'd walk into this beautiful place. Neither I imagined, I'd walk out of this place this soon. I'm willing to embrace the change and take up on a new journey. Scary it may seem to leave the loved ones and the friends, but, so is life. 

Someone has shared, Life is change that yearns for stability. All my life, there's a change in my life every a few years. This time, the change has come in this way. Grateful for the change. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Graphic Musings- Evening drawings

On one evening, I sat with the oil pastels and started drawing. One after the other, I continued and drew all these. Exploring without any guidance seemed to be interesting. In this way, I completely worked through intuition. At times, play of colors is all it takes. 


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Stories from Sirohi- Gretel with H in it

 To know the ground reality of how COVID is affecting the lives of people and the health workers, we visited a few panchayats and other places to interact with health workers. 

A young lady sat in a dim place with a shelf of medicines behind  her. Her small table was covered with her bag and other papers. She stared at us as we entered the compound. 

"Who are you?" she enquired. 

We're from Azim Premji Foundation. We replied and shared why we've come from. Discussing the COVID stories, she shared how she's new to the place Gol sub center.  "I'm on deputation. I work at village called Yevdi, two kilometres away from here. Do you have to go there as well?" she asked. 

"Yeah may be. We were listening to her and checking the possibility. Before we could decide, she advised, the village is full of dogs. They creep silently and bite you. I always carry a stick with me. You can instead call the sister there rather than visiting the place. She mentioned. 

To know her story, I thought, we should share our story. "I'm from Hyderabad. She's from Delhi. We thought, we'll get a chance to interact with locals also, that's the reason we're here." 

Listening to us, she mentioned her story. Her mother is LHO at Jawal. A month ago, she joined the government service as CHO. Her first job. "I'd get my first salary in a few days. I'm excited." she shared. 

"What's your name?" my colleague asked. "Grethel." She answered. All of us with our masks, I could see her eye brows and eyes and by the voice and the tone, I could sense, she's from Kerala. "I'm from Kerela. Kottayam and Kollam is where I hail from but, I'm local to this place. Proper Marwari. She answered. 

What's Grethel, we asked. If you know the story of Hansel and Gretel, that's where it came from. She replied. 

And sharing about her name, she shared more of herself. My dad added h in it and it's Grethel. I tell my dad why he hadn't named me Cinderella. I also would have taken a shoe searched for my prince. 

Grethel, glad to find some one to talk to, she shared her stories. Apna sundar sundar naam bataao. She asked us. "I'm Abhinay. She's Geetika." We replied. Listening to us, she asked. Abhinay karthe ho. I was smiling and nodding, while she had another story to share. I do a lot of drama. I ace the role of a wife who has to cry in front of husband dead body. My husbands kept changing but the role remained the same. I'm very good at wife role. 

Gretel went on and her voice sounded happy. She shared a few more phone numbers to contact for our work. Happy that you came, if not, I'd sit alone here and look no one has come. If they visit also, it's for hygenic things, she explained. 

I'm happy, we could cheer up and give a company to her for a while. Had a great time meeting you Grethel with h in it. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Stories from Sirohi- Pihu

 Last year, in 2020, during the pandemic times, I had a strict routine. I used to hit basketball court at morning and return by 9. The time when Pihu, Land lord's grand daughter would get up. She was amused by the basketball I used to carry every morning. 

A few days passed by the amusement. "Do you want to play with me?" I offered her the ball. She stretched her hands and took the ball. She played for a while. In that way, we broke the ice. A year old baby, she would only speak mono syllable words. 

Every time, I used to come down and go up, she used to greet me, "Oyeee" in her own style. Whenever I hear her calling me oye, I look at her and she stares at me and wait for me to turn so that she calls me again. We used to play this game for a while. 

After a few months, Pihu went back to her place along with her mom and Dad. Thanks to lockdown in 2021. She returned. This time, she learnt to speak. 

I greeted her 'oyee' and she took her own time to talk to me. Today, as I was walking up to my home, she walked in, looked at me and said, "Upar bhut hai." "huh?" I stopped. She looked at me. 

His grandfather laughed at our conversation. Shy of audience between our dialogue, she walked in to home. 

Glad to catch up with Pihu after long time. We have come from Oyeeee greetings to scaring each other. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Question- What helps us to communicate effectively?

We have every sort of mechanism to communicate across the places and time zones but, what helps to have an effective communication amongst the teams? 

Within a school group of 10-12 who work at a same place as well as different places, what helps the team to have an effective communication?

Book - The boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse

I remember reading a few pages on the net. The moment I found the hard cover, I loved the sketches and paintings.

I'm glad I bought this book.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Stories from Sirohi- Living the Dream

 Every time, we visit Pindwara, we're taken to a coffee shop famous for it's sandwich and the cold coffee. It's neither a village nor a town, in between the both, Pindwara has this beautiful Coffee shop. Dyu, Shankar and I walked into the coffee shop. It's been more than two years since Shankar visited the shop, however the owner remembers his old customer. 

'After a long time. Are you living in Sirohi now?" asked the owner. 

"Now in Reodar," mentioned Shankar in a greeting tone. 

How did you start this shop?

I used to prepare tiffin for my children. Sometimes sandwiches. We have a photography studio. I lived most of my life in Mumbai, running a photography studio. 

I have a dream of opening coffee shop. So I opened.  I keep learning new stuff and try to put them in menu. That's how I make these sandwiches, Cold Coffee. 

I hail from a small village, 5 km away from Pindwara. 

Happy to visit this shop and meet the photographer turned cafe owner. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Book- Costly Haul of Hard Covers

 Deprived of sleep, I rushed into the airport to reach boarding gate in time. A small room with two ways entrance in front of the boarding gate was there. Higgin Bothams it read. Familiar with W& H Smith in the airports, I went into check out if they got better collections. 

They had Thirukkural. The book Harry and I discussed to check out. Also, I eyed on the hard covers that I always wanted to own. Yuval Noah Harari's Graphic History, Charles Mackesy's  The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. 

Small place but, got good collection. They also had shuggie bain by Douglas, the booker prize winner, the code breaker by Walter Issacson, the biography i'm planning to read by the end of the year. The store has good collection, unlike the myriad books, I notice in W&H smith lying around for several months and sometimes years. 

I bought four books. I'm happy to own there hard covers.  

Universe of Music- A R Rahman

 He's always evolving and emptying his cup. Grateful to have him and be a life long learner.