Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Empty Spaces- Hotel Emerald Green

 In Dehradun, I got put up at Hotel Emerald Green. The hotel has a spacious reception to check in. I had a easy check in and got into room 405. This room have a smart lock which is accessed through card. This would be the space for a night. 

It's has a balcony that has view of Mussorie. If we look down from the fourth floor, one can see the flowing traffic. Even though, I reached Dehradun all the way from Delhi, I didn't wanted to get down on to the road  and indulge in the following traffic. The honks and vehicle sounds were so dissappointing. I couldn't wait to get into the hills and stay in peace. 

This hotel has a swimming pool. Early morning, I got up for a swim and had 30 minute swim. Swimming seems to be the perfect work out for me to rebegin my fitness. I had a choice for complimentary breakfast at 7am in the morning. I got sandwich, juice packed and began my journey to Uttarkashi. 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Jaipur Journals- The usual preparation

 This time It's Uttarkhand trip. I take my time to pack and everytime I assume that I'd pack swiftly but, I keep fiddling with clothes, paintings, books until I push myself to focus and work. I realised that I fiddle as I want to distract myself from the feelings I go through when I leave home. I leave home, not to return in a day or two. Whenever I leave home, I may return after 10 days or 15 days. It's almost half a month. 

I like traveling but, somewhere just to behave like others, I try to nag. Actually, I don't need to nag about my lifestyle or my job. I love it. I don't need to compare my life with others and see what I'm missing. I can focus on what I'm living through. 

Anyway, I parked my cycle inside. Threw away the trash. Cleaned the kitchen. Put the clothes in drawer. Time to sleep early and leave early for a early morning train. 

Jaipur Journals- Transfers Window

Amit is relocating to Uttarkashi. Best wishes to Amit. 

When he was in Jaipur, I used to catch up with him once in a month. Now, I'd be in touch with him regularly as he is getting into one of the schools. Will have more stories to share with each other, when I meet him in Uttarkashi. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Stories on Wheels- A day at Pali

Late to sleep, late to awake. We had a good sleep at Shanti's place. Withouth hitch, we slipped into afternoon, without noticing how morning went by. 

Azhar made Bread omelette. Shankar bought kachori and sweets. Over these, we had a hearty brunch and continued to play UNO until, we all began to work for lunch again. if we had brunch at 12 then, the lunch was meant to eat by 4PM. No wonder how we skipped morning breakfast. 

After a lot of decisions, we decided to hit the swimming pool and spend the rest of the day at Pali. 

We visited a few resorts and finally, this place was available for us.  In a 6 ft swimming pool, we jumped into water, trying to stay afloat at times and also, with fountain kinda system, we had a rain feels. Never expected that Pali would have such sophisticated swimming pool. 

Good day. 

Stories from Sirohi- Independence Day at School

Delighted to see a lot of these familiar faces celebrating independence day. I met Nanu, Lonu and saw Ashok from far. These are my three little friends with whom I used to hang out a lot outside the classroom. 

As I met Nanu(Aditi), she was all smiles walking around. After our little conversation, she went away and came with her friend, introducing me as Abhinay Bhaiyya. So sweet of her. I got reminded of my young 5 year old self where I put the similar efforts to introduce my mom to my friend when she visit school, bringing lunch. 

I met Jigar, Mayank, Shravan, Payal, Mahi(Class9), Heena(Class9) Shaheen, Kelam, Chiku(Class4), Lalit during the function and  Diva, Nisha, Arjun, Mahi, Guddi outside the campus. 

There was a musical performance by students of Class 7 playing instrumentals of different songs. Loved  the performance.

At the end, we had a group picture with couple of kids who were hanging around for the balloons on the stage. 

Stories from Sirohi- An evening trek

Sirohi has a alot of Aravali ranges. R suggested for a trek. Along with A & S, I went in and began our trek from the hotel of  Baba Ramdev. We had our chai with the hide and seek biscuits. This is the place where we have cows, oxen everywhere. They run into us, sometimes making us spill the tea and scaring us to death. 

Soon after the chai, we headed to the outskirts of Sirohi. Sirohi is a small plain area surrounded by the aravali hill ranges from three sides. The clean skyline reminded of the days I spent here. 

A and I went on one bike, watching the mountains turned green in this monsoon. These are the mountains that turn dry during summer. These are the mountains that has a different trees and leafes which look more rugged and rough. 

We began our trek and 40 steps, I was already panting. Without a break, R continued walking. Followed by him was S. Behind S, A & I were trying to match their speed. 

We continued climbing the steps, trying to catch a rhythm. As it began to drizzle, our foot steps turned firm, our hands found a trail to hold. My body knew it better way before, I thought, how I gotta trek in the  hills. The steps were steep, the mountains had a lot of trees all around. Away from the bustling highway, we were surrounded by tiny water falls and a lot of langoors hanging around the trees. 

Up above there's a temple constructed. A couple was trekking down & a family of 5 youngsters reached the temple and were resting. 

Watching around the temple, we continued our trek. The steps were disappeared and there seemed to be a  way paved by human foot prints. A narrow path amidst the trees. Trekking up and above, the breath became short, the feet was finding it's own place on the soil. I was surprised by the way my body wasa reacting to the trek. Every step I took had a different pressure applied to trek up and the other foot was finding it's place at right spot in right angle. The body seems to have it's own knowledge to act in the nature. 

A little walk, we came across a huge water body where a lot of buffaloes were submerged in the water. There's a huge wall constructed out of stones in the middle of those hills. I wonder who walks around these hills. Shepherds & cattle herders would be finding these spots for sure. 

R & S began to record the journey discussing some shayari and stories around aravali ranges. Taking a few long breathes, we enjoyed the view and tried to spend time in silence. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Jaipur Journals- Chat with Tenzi

Thanks to these people, I was attending a conference on education, listening to some discussions on national education policy and all the pitches done by people who are in education sector trying to sell their product. 

During breaks, I was able to catch up with people whom I wanted to catch up with. Teachers of Jhamtse Gatsal community. Tenzin is a teacher at Jhamtse Gatsal community. He teaches social science in higher school as well as teaches sports. 

Earlier, he was working in a college at Bangalore. He felt that there's no connection with these young adults and he wanted to catch up with children. He also got to know about the communtiy. Without a second thought, he chose to relocate and moved to Tawang. He feels home as he works here. 'Regarding teaching and learning, there's a lot we need to work on as adults.' he shared his opinions discussing how difficult it is to understand love, compassion and to practice it. 

Tenzin also shared few experiences from his DharamShala days where he used to work in Tibetan college for a while. 

Tenzin is a biker and he was happy to catch up with a fellow biker, Jimmy. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Colorless Journey

It's been four months since I began with the idea of Colorless. I'm optimistic about working on this project and getting it out. I'm still surprised by how a few projects give us a different energy to work on, despite our self-doubts. 

Theatre Play- Deewaar

This play is also hosted as a part of Theatre in Education intership project by the interns. 

Deewaar is a play written by David Holman, devised by Pooja, Somesh & Kamlesh. There were two kind of people, red people and blue people. They lived in peace and had a bridge where red walks into blue land and blue people walk into red land. Due to one small misunderstanding, red and blue people fought and it broke into violence. To solve the problem, they built a wall. 

The wall divided everyone. The blue does not know how red lives and red does not know how blue lives. What happens when they meet is the story. I find a lot of power in this play. 

I love this play for the way, it triggered the audience. Somesh facilitated a dialogue between actors and audience. Actors turned into characters. Audience turned into actors, becoming the part of play. 

On being asked more about the process, Abhishek explained about forum theatre. This form of theatre is created by Augusto Boal. Augusto Boal is a revolutionary in the theatre. The way,  he created this form is interesting.

In 1960s Augusto was touring int he poorest places of Brazil staging productions where the actors encourage the locals to act against the oppressors and spill their blood. One day, a peasant comes in and asks the actors to join them to go against the land owner. 'But our guns are fake.We don't kill in real.' they decline to go with the peasant to fight. 

Peasant was dejected as he realised that the actors don't participate in what they encourage others to do. 

Augusto realised that he was not prepared to take the same risks he was asking others to do. Then he stopped writing the plays which gives messages. From there, the forum theatre is born.

Back to Deewaar now. 

After the actors performed, we, audience, had a long dialogue about the play and what it is about. A few said, we can't resist powerful. A few shared, we can start questioning our traditions. One suggested the importance of thinking. Other appreciated the guard, finding father in him. 

After that, the guard guard who makes sure no one crosses the wall was welcomed for a dialogue.  Ankit, who played, as guard was stating his position well while we, the audience were coming up with a lot of thoughts. Not everyone were on the same page.

After two hours, I realised that the dialogue is a huge takeaway for me. From mere spectator, i became, Spect-actor. Good work team. 

Mohit, Shreya, Kritik, Ankit, Shefali, Kalpana, Vaidyanath, Ashish & others were in the play. 

Poetry- What's the Night

Mama, what's the Night?

Mama: Night?

The Night that turns a world blind
The Night that awakens another world from the blindness
The Night that holds light in its womb
The Night that spreads light in its darkness

Night, dear, is what you neglect by watching blue light screens, binge watching your traumas.

Night, dear is what you neglect. Shut your screen. Sleep tight.
Little kisses. Warm hugs. Good Night Dear.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

The lovable Genla

Genla is set to leave for Tawang. I got a chance to spend time with these lovely people. I wanted to gift him a painting. As they're traveling long distance, I thought painting on card would be easy to carry. Thus, I gifted him one of my painting. 

I loved the way Genla received it. He was genuinely happy to receive the gift. He opened the camera and welcomed for a selfie. Let's ask others to take a picture, I suggested. 'Selfie is more intimate. Come' he showed up the painting and clicked a picture. 

Thanks Genla for the time and words

Storytelling Session by Vikram

 I was suggesting Bangalore friends to attend Vikram's storytelling sessions. I never thought that I'd get a chance to attend Vikram's storytelling session in Jaipur. Vikram visited Jaipur as he was on Ajmer tour for another storytelling session. 

We had this session at Maah Space, a lovely contemporary space for theatre, storytelling sessions, dance show and alot more. It's small and has a lot of artsy vibes. 

I got a chance to meet Khusbhoo, a batchmate, with whom I did  a workshop together under Vikram. Also, I got a chance to meet Jyoti, Shreya, Humaira, Genla and all the lovely teachers from Arunachal Pradesh.

As ever, Vikram's sessions takes you to a journey full of emotions. From light laughter to enlightening insights. He doesn't have lines to mug up, doesn't have a script to follow. He goes on with improv, involves audience, interacts with them and makes session full of laughs, silences and make audience feel satisfied, as they walk through those doors. 

Theatre- Nazar by Rajesh, Sandeep & Anuranjan

 As a part of Theatre in Education five month internship programme, the interns have worked on the play 'Nazar' an adaptation of Munshi Premchand's story, 'Mantr.'

Theatre fellows Sandeep, Anuranjan & Rajesh has devised this play. It's a story of an old man, Bhagat, who visits doctor requesting him to save his son after losing 6 children for unknown ailments. He is denied the service as he's late and came beyond hospital hours. 20 years flash forward, the doctor's son gets bitten by snake and needs help. The old man is a specialist in the area to save people who get bitten by snakes. Will the old man save the child or seeks revenge?

The play was not as simple as the log line. The facilitator has devised the play in such a manner where there's an interaction between actors and participants freezing the play. The interaction went on the solutions and also the dilemma the character was living in. 

A few were very sure of their stand in such situations. A few voted for outright revenge. A few became idealistic  and suggested to forget everything and save the child. 

A few questioned the character's morale. A few empathised with the old man and supported him to not help the kid. 

I found this participatory theatre very interesting. In this form, the audience become the actors, the actors become the characters and the dialogue initiated keeps churing in th minds of all who are involved in it. 

After a lot of discussion, the play was resumed to see what Character is going to do. The actor said,'Mere Dil ko kya lagta, woh karunga.' He goes behind and gets the knife. 

That one sight of actor taking the knife with him has heightened the dilemma and conflict to the peak to me. My mind was racing with a lot of possibilities. The way the directors have showed the dilemma/ conflict is brilliant. 

Sandeep was also a narrator in the play. Aditya played doctor, Ravi & Vritika played as Neal's friends. Dharmendar acted as Bhagat. Charu acted as Bhagat's wife. 

I've been following the group right, from their rehearsals. It was delightful to watch them rock the stage. Brilliant work guys. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Inspiring Story by Saurabh

This blog written by Saurabh is very inspiring. I asked Saurabh, 'how was it at Jhamtse?'  He replied, 'I never left Jhamtse. Having finding Genla,  I can never walk away. Jhamtse is my home and it'll be.'

After reading this story, I can relate, what it means, when he says, I never left Jhamtse.


Documentary - Tashi and the Monk

I met Genla at Vikram's storytelling session. He looked very simple, approachable and smiling. When I got to know his journey I'm inspired. 

Genla story in his words:

I spent couple of days with him, engaging with him over lunch and snack breaks at Global Educators Fest 2022. 

A few lessons I could ponder on are:

1) Do not take seemed-to-be-little-things for granted: Often we focus on work and consider food, lunch, dinner, breakfast, to be something which can wait.  Food is basic. 

2) Consider cleaning as meditation: Often we do not value trivial things. Give respect to what it deserves. 

3) Think beyond numbers, profit and money making. 

4) Love and be compassionate

Two filmmakers created a documentary on Jhamtse Gatsal community. It has won many accolades. It surely deserves many more. 

Here's some article on the process

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