Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Movie- Mimi

A foreign couple needs a young healthy surrogate. A young healthy girl dreams to be of heroine but in need of money to make her dream true. Both meet and what happens next is the story. It's a entertainer. Enjoyed watching this movie. Loved the cast. 

Whenever there was a child, I could think more of what child could go through in reality in such circumstances. A good watch

Jaipur Journals- The Close Connection

 It's been a month since I moved to Jaipur. I'm struggling to find a chicken shop in my vicinities. I've ordered meat from big basket. And that's becoming a habit which I don't want to do.

Today, Altaf from Sirohi, my meat seller called to find out where I'm doing these days. The way small town engage their customers makes out a meaningful connection. Though it's a transaction, there's a sense of feeling valued for being the customer and the seller.  With this online services, the messengers, couriers are turning faceless. To cater the needs of the fast pacing public, we do need such systems. 

Glad to catch up with Altaf after a long time. 

Movie- Sarapatta Parambarai

July 2021. 

Covering India's emergency times, this film is set on the life of a boxer. His mother despises his boxing as it turned out to be a bad fate to her family. However, the son ends up to his destiny, to turn out the best boxer. Amidst the clash of clans, this boxer wins for himself, for his coach, for his mother. A well written movie. And 2 hour 54 movie without lag is brilliant. Every visual is appealing. Loved the efforts by Ranjit to bring the dialogue on caste into commercial cinema. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Leadership Lessons- One, Zero & Work

Talking to J about the work and responsibilities, he mentioned an anecdote. 

Consider our main responsibility as 1 and other works as zero. If we complete our maintain responsibility first and then keeping doing the other works, our value increases as adding zeros to one would increase the value. 1000000.

If we keep prioritizing our additional/other works first and then deliver our main responsibility, it'll still be only one. 


On to the main work now. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thoughts- Public Libraries for growth

Watching this video about how libraries are supporting a lot of people to use digital resources, I wonder how libraries and public spaces can be actively supported and guided by the state to bring a lot of masses to avail the resources that are currently available only to the rich. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Friends- Lunch with Shankar

Shankar visited home for the first time after I shifted to Jaipur. We went out to BBQ spending good time over conversations and also wondering how different we spend time in a small towns and state capitals. 

Whenever Shankar, Azhar or Dyu are around, I don't do much in the kitchen. Lunches and dinners are credited to this master chef for the day. 


Soliloquies- Why I don’t drink tea

Because I never got conditioned to drink chai or tea. Growing up as a kid, I never saw mom preparing chai or coffee for us. It’s only made when we have guests at home. Even at that situation, tea is not for us but, only guests.

 Mom does not have a habit of drinking tea as she had a lot of other options. Grew up in a village with a lot of cattle and sheep, mom drank milk, if she had to. After getting married to Dad, she did not develop the habit either. Grandpa has the habit of drinking tea with a lot of ginger in it. I do not know if Dad had a habit of drinking chai during childhood. He hardly drank tea or coffee as a routine at home.

In the mornings, he wakes up too late to have a tea or coffee. Dad always came home late by the dinner time or beyond dinner time, so never saw him having coffee or tea at home. He does have tea at office and wherever he goes for the camps. But, not at home.

Back then, he neither used to demand for chai or coffee  at home. But now, he requests often.

Having no one who drinks tea or coffee, I never got inclined to both. Boost, Bournavita were my favourites all throughout my schooling days. When I got shifted to hostel, we had option of chai and milk. I chose the latter.  I began drinking cardamom tea during my corporate days.  After a while, I gave my friends company over lemon tea. Not a big fan of tea or coffee but sure, I’m interested in the stories of how tea and coffee made ways into our country.

Living in Hyderabad for long, I couldn’t resist to love Irani Chai, on a condition. Irani chai along with Osmania biscuit. Without Osmania biscuit, I don’t drink Irani chai.

If I’m insisted to have any drink, I choose coffee, thanks to Usha aunt who offers me best coffee whenever I go to her home.  I always have coffee whenever I visit her house, also anywhere in TamilNadu & Karnataka. Both states because of the best filter coffee I can get. Other ways, I choose not to drink anything.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Graphic Musings


Friends- By chance meet

 Through Microsoft Teams, I get a message from Shaik Ibrahim. Who uses MS Teams to communicate with me, I thought and replied back. The familiar face and name. I could relate and when Ibrahim shared my personal details, I could recognize that I'm speaking to my 8th class friend. Immediately, we caught up over MS Teams. I was waiting to see Ibrahim. Alas, I got a chance to meet Srikanth as well. Morning, I communicated with him through mail. Never I knew, I was talking to my childhood friends.

We spent good time catching up after 13 long years. Glad to connect with all my friends. 

In dialogue with Abhinav

 Abhinav(changed name) is associated with theatre since many years. I got a chance to interact and find out his story. 

Hailing from a middle class family and growing up with a father who's inclined to art, Abhinav pursued drama. For five years, he tried to join in the National School of Drama as a student and in the sixth year, he got an opportunity to join as faculty. Since then, he continued to work with the National School of Drama till ten years. 

Retiring from the school, he freelanced for a few years and joined the foundation. 

Discussing on art, social media and experiences, I could get some interesting insights. Here's the conversation. 

AR: How do you see social media as a medium?

A: It has a immense potential to strengthen democracy. But, being influenced by power medium, it's sailing through it's own strides. It'll take it's own time to reach it's saturation point. 

We discussed how social media is altering the reality.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Stories on Wheels- Banas Bhajri

Highway road from Jaipur till Kota

 On our way to Tonk, we noticed a lot of trucks lying aside. Showing the deserted road, Raghuveer singh, the driver said, "You find this road in this way till Kota. Five years ago, it was all packed with trucks." He added showing the trucks, "Ye sab do no. gaadi hai. Ek ke paas permit nahi hai." He began the story of Sand Mafia. 

There are five police stations in between Tonk and Jaipur. There's a ban on sand digging near the river, yet there are hundreds of trucks that take the sand every night, and it's every night. 

Each truck has a gang to cover up. There's one scorpio behind and a motor bike ahead. Each of them check with the police. If they find that there's some checking they stop the truck mid way through call and ask to halt or find a route into interior village to hide. "Lakh ka business hai sir. Isme. Sona se jyaada mehenga hai." He pointed. 

The Banas River

All our journey, we had a lot to discuss on this mafia. How does individuals take out in trolleys, save it near their fields, villages and whenever a buyer comes with their truck, he find 5 of such trolley people and buy sand from them and send it off away. 

"What does police do?" I asked.  "Every person in this thaane is rich. Har truck se 1000 aatha hai. Har station mei ye jaatha hai."  The first station that's near this river basin gets the large chunk of money. 100 trucks go by night and by one day the police make a lakhs. In such way, the system is well maintained. 

Listening more to  Raghuveer, He told how construction hasn't been stopped in Jaipur despite COVID situation. I wondered how there's dark business behind every construction we see in the cities. 

Soliloquies- It's more internal than external

 It's been months since I laid my hands on the draft. I get the perfect time and place to start working on it, yet, I stop myself from working on it. Sometimes, I escape from it. There's no one who knows what I'm working on and what I'm doing yet, there's a fear of judgement, fear that I may not finish. With that fear, I don't even start.

Even now, I'm not starting the book yet, I'm becoming comfortable to pen down my fears. Hope I'll get peace with my fears and act on it soon. 

Book- Shiksha, My Experiments as an Education Minister

Being in Education Sector for a few years, I have decided to check out this book. Also, Delhi Government has changed the ways one perceives government schools because of their reforms and initiatives. There's a lot that the AAP Govt has done in the field of education. This book gives out  the journey of Delhi Education reforms. Beginning with the budget and proving they mean business when they say, they want to change the face of public education system in Delhi. 

The govt has focussed on infrastructure first, then leadership, teachers, community. Step by step, they worked in every  field that helps to attain better education. The book is easily understood by everyone. 

I enjoyed reading all the chapters but, the journey is written more about the achievements and less about the challenges that pushed them hard to stay convicted and strive for change. The last chapters Happiness classes and Entrepreneurship classes were written in detail explaining the challenges and the specific details they've gone through to make it happen. This book is just a tip of ice berg, there's a lot that can be learnt from this team.  Looking forward to read more in detailed accounts of how they brought changes in the education system. 

Movie- Malik

 A young boy drops out of the school and is swayed by the ways of the other world. Finding his ideals and sides, he supports his people. Spanning form 1960s till 2018, the Malik has been a spectacular film. Be it the beginning single shot or the background score that's layered through out the movie, I enjoyed it. The whole cast couldn't be altered by any other else. With an open ending to the movie, there's a lot that can be explored. I found the film well crafted and executed. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Soliloquy- Reflective thinking

Being in the field of education, we talk a lot about reading, writing. As an individual, what's reading and writing to me? 
I began writing diary from the age of 13. I enjoyed writing my thoughts on paper and read how I think. I had no one to share my thoughts, feelings and emotions hence, I began expressing them on the paper. From then, I enjoyed writing happy, difficult, sad emotions on paper. In early twenties, I stopped writing best and bitter moments telling myself that, it's tough to express them in words. I didn't knew that It was too tough to think through those emotions. 

I still continue writing diary. When we're teaching children to write diary, journal, leaving learning outcomes for a minute, can we think of  what do we expect from a child.? 

We can expect the child to become a reflective thinker by processing his thoughts, emotions and feelings of how he perceive the world. Somewhere we lose this simple thought of letting children reflective thinkers in the game of vocabulary, words, ways of expressions. 

For that, we need to reflect on writing and the value it has in our life. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Course Learnings- Conflict resolution through Dialogue

 Today, we discussed on active listening. Discussing prior on hostile talking and neutral talking, we've moved further and reflected on active listening. What it takes to actively listen.

 We can actively listen by paying attention to

1) Facts

2) Feelings

3) Emotions, values, issue

4)Body Language

One way or the other, we'd be judging but, we need to postpone our judgements before we listen. We need to value and acknowledge rather than denying their problems, feelings and emotions. 

We've seen two examples where in one case, we can see how people hear, in another people actively listen. 

I liked the way, Sourav could relate the actively listening example to Gurpreet's article. 

If we were shown this topics in the beginning, there'd be of no context and value to why we're learning this. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Course Learnings- Conflict resolution through Dialogue

In the course of conflict resolution through dialogue, we interacted about multiculturalism, the need of it through Gurupreet's article. How is different from liberalism and why acknowledging and accepting identities is the need of the hour. 

As a part of accepting the identities and accommodating minorities, 'empathy' is discussed. How do we practice empathy. 

Through the lens of 

  1. Anthropological school of thought
  2. Gandhian way
  3. Feminism care ethics
Anthropological way is of how we need to understand where the person is coming from. What he is intending.

After this, we got into interesting topic, dialogue. 

1)Neutral Talking
2)Hostile Talking 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Jaipur Journals- Still Shifting

 It's been more than a week since I moved to Jaipur. The first week was a haze. I was trying to settle in right from the moment I came. I was not ready to take time to get used to things. In few situations, I was settled. I had no issue with sleep but, I was not okay with other living spaces. I never set  up kitchen by myself. I had to push myself over the weekend to clean it and settle it. Finally I set the kitchen as well. 

The dish I made over the weekend is Chicken Biryani. Well it didn't come out well as I imagined but, I'm proud of my efforts. I never thought, I'd cook biryani by all myself. When I told my friends, they thought I was doing it for others. 

Movie- Aanum Pennum

It's an anthology themed on love and lust. In a chronological way, first film is about a comrade sheltering in the lustful landlord and scheming to teach him a lesson. The conflict in this film is quite interesting. 

In the second movie, a woman lives her life in the hill station waiting for her lover to return, who ran way in fear. 

The third one is about a young couple who is in search of organic orgasm. 

In all the films, the female characters are strong and help to explore the themes of lust and love. 

In one movie, it's used to silence and in other, it's used to persuade. Good watch. 

Gratitude Diaries- Guavas

On a Sunday morning, I woke up entering the kitchen to see these nice little ripen guavas set aside for me. Thanks neighbors for the gesture. We got a guava tree in the house. When they plucked them, they thought of me and placed them for me as I was busy sleeping late on a Sunday morning. Will begin the day with these. Hoping for a great day ahead. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Soliloquy- The Good Messy Mood


It's been two to three days, I was bored. I tried my best to stay productive. I tried watching something knowledgeful, read something interesting. I stopped myself from all these and asked why am I trying to stay productive when my body and mind is trying to soak in the new change and accept things as they are. 

I let the situation as it is and tried doing things for the sake of things. Sketched a bit and started listening to music. It brought me a solace. Sometimes, it's better to take the back seat and plunge on to things with full force.. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Movie- Haseen Dilruba

Enjoyed the actor's performance. The story was bit suspenseful but, the dark shades of characters were too superficial to believe. 

Jaipur Journals- The Art Ghar

The first thing, I wanted to explore in Jaipur was art spaces. Jawahar Kala Kendra is one obvious destination. Other than that, I found this space, The Art Ghar wonderful. It has store, studio and a cafĂ©. I was welcomed by a lady showcasing the space. With pleasant music in the background, I settled at a corner, focusing to write. Hope I make a move on my draft. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Jaipur Journals- Gardening

 Today I walked up to the terrace finding Piyush watering the plants. Strolling along with him, I asked what he was doing. With a lot of zeal, he explained me little things that matter in the farming. At first, I thought the yellow card was futile. It's an insect trap. At the early stage, in an acre they put 20+ cards that attract the flies and get stick to it. This is one way to eradicate the flies. 

He mentioned. Spotting the bindi flowers, he pointed out the red web. This is red smitten. One simple way is to remove it with water. And he went on cleaning  the leaves. Amazed by a lot of leaves, He shared how chemicals works, fungus work how chemicals are interconnected. 

"It's just like human body. If we don't have calcium, it can't take other chemicals. It's complex. 

Cutting the fresh vegetables, he got an instrument discussing, there's a ph value in the soil. We need to check the soil. We can check in this way. 

First two years, it went well. Despite putting fertilizers, I couldn't understand. Then I understood the acidity of the soil is becoming low. In that case, we can add vinegar or bit lemon. 

Discussing the plants, he advised me to not put too much of water to Aloe Vera. Once in four days. At beginning, water the plant well. He told. 

While Ambika  and I were discussing the office , he went on and cleaned the space. Coco was down with vaccination. I was walking hard to burn all the delicious aloo paratha, sabji, dal, kheer I had over the day. 

Excited to learn a bit everyday with Piyush about gardening. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Music- Enjoy Enjaami

There are a few tracks, that I'm listening immediately. There are a few more tracks, I'm avoiding, just to get away from the hype. I missed Enjoy Enjaami in the same way. A lot of the crowd was talking about it. I never put efforts to listen to it and as it came with a lot of opinions. 

Today, I finally listened the song fully for the first time. Crowd was right. It's wonderful. Am I enjoying the song, because of the visual aspects, I thought. I began listening to the audio. It's fabulous. More interested to know the story of the song. 

Movie- Sherni

Gripping. Thanks to OTT platforms, the story is becoming the hero. Without any superficiality, this movie depicts what a protagonist struggles to tackle with man made and natural dangers. Good one Vidya Balan

Stories from Sirohi-Bideu

Officially, I'm moving out of Sirohi. Everytime I walk into office, I'm asked, "Abhi bhi idhar ho. Jaipur nahi Nikla?" Looks like, everyone wanted me to move to Jaipur asap. Finally, moving out of Sirohi for Jaipur. Shankar picked me up and both of us took a bike ride to Aburoad. From there, I got a train to catch up. As ever, Azhar hosted me and together, Azhar, Shankar and I had a dinner. Mutton rice and salad. Lovely dinner. It seemed one of those usual times where we're together, making food and enjoying the day but, it's not the same. We may not meet at the same frequency. I'm no more an hour away to them. It's been two years three months in Sirohi. There's a lot that I miss in Sirohi. I miss Sandeep who welcomes heartily and chats with Dyu and I, sharing his life. Thanks Sandeep for bidding me farewell by offering me your special Dabeli.  Altaf who's the reason for most of our happiness. Just a nod and a wink, he understands the order and keeps the meat for us. There are a lot of people whom we interact with. For a few, we matter. For others, our departure may not make a difference. Grateful for everything. 

Life seemed to be all about enjoying what you got, relishing in every moment and cherishing all you had in the past. Thanks everyone for making my stay at Sirohi beautiful. 


Jaipur Journals- Zomato's Pizza


If not anything, my biggest achievement in metro would be relying less on zomato and cook for myself. I shared my thoughts with Pallavi. She nodded, understanding what i'm upto. 

However, as I reached Jaipur. I couldn't feel like going out of home. I looked the map manytimes wondering what I'd get if I get out. I chose the latter. I ordered a pizza through zomato and had it. Hope I don't get habituated with this. 

Jaipur Journals-Paintings

On Jan 2020, Sruthi gifted me this painting. I carried this painting to Sirohi via railways. Everytime I fly but, then I travelled through train. Of all the luggage, I always carried it close with me, trying to avoid any damage.  Again, in 2021 I had to relocate to Jaipur. I chose to travel through train. Of all, this is one painting I carried with me. The first artefact to shift at home. Happy to see this painting in new background. Once again, thanks Sruthi. 


Jaipur Journals- New Place

Officially got shifted to Jaipur by today. When I realised that, I can get down at Jagatpura railway station, a station near by house, I got reminded of Lingampally station of Hyderabad. Spacious, deserted it seemed. I found these creative walls on the station. Rang De Jaipur, it's written. Glad to live in the city that's colorful, artistic and what not. Excited. 


Stories from Sirohi- Mansi & I

 On my last day in Sirohi, as the truck left, I was ready to leave. Mansi's mom called out Mansi to tell that I'm leaving. Mansi ran out of home and asked, "Jaare ho?" The little kid is worried of choclates. "Ab kaun dilaayega chocolates mujhko?" She asked. For the last time, I bought two chocolates and offered to Mansi and Nyra. 

Nyra was a year old kid who didn't speak a word when we came. Now she calls out names. "Dyuuuuu. Abhinayyyy" She calls. 

Living in Sirohi for two years, I had good time with these little children neighbors. They used to imitate the way we used to go to our school, call out whenever we're going from home and coming to home, have a chat with Dyu and I during the COVID times.

I cherish the times I spent with these bright kids. 

Amigo E-Bikes- A new Venture by Shreya

Shreya never fails to surprise. This time, she came up with her new venture, e-bikes. They got a various ranges catering various groups. We can also fit this to our old bikes. Interesting idea Shreya.

I like the way they're reaching out to the crowd on social media platforms. Pitching on wellness and calling for action. Good one.

All the best for everything Shreya. 

Here are the details.

Thoughts- Friends and Conversations

I never had to put a lot of efforts to catch up with friends. I'm glad I've decided to put efforts to reach out and not get disappoi...