Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
“कहने को तोह बहुत है हमारे पास, बोलने को शब्द अनेक। आवाज़ हमारे वाणी की जैसे दिल से निकली एक चीख। मगर बिन उपयोग किए शब्द जो निशब्द वाणी से हम कहे सके, उसी में हमारी जीत्
(We have a lot to speak about, and plenty of words that we want to say. Our tone of our voice is like the cry of an anguish stricken heart. But it is only in the unspoken silence of our words that our message is carried. And that silent message is our victory)
...As a group of individuals we have a certain direction and a holistic perspective that we present to the world through our activities. It may not be a likable and a perfect vision that is at all times conformist, but it is nevertheless what we see and what we perceive of our world through our many eyes. Many of the things of life we miss out on, while some we are taught to ignore, but then there are a few instances of life that we speak up for and against, through our dramatics, humour and nautanki to remind people that though ‘Life’ is of myriad hues and although the perspectives are different, in essence it is still the same.
The task is not a tough one, just a walk along a redundant and an over-accomplished route towards reaching out to the world as it is and to share our perspective of the same world.
But what matters is that it is a journey that we are all embarking on together...
...let's see how far we go from here...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
sometimes, you know, you just have to give in to temptations...who ever has said that, "Eat to Live, and not Live to Eat." I am sure has never been to India. we are the land of mysticism, legends, beauty, colors and spices, of a million Gods and over a billion and half people...but most of all, we are a land of FOOD!!
हम ज़िंदगी को केवल जिकर नहीं बल्कि उसे चख कर उसके ज़ायेके का मज़ा लेते है । यही है हम भारत वासीयों की पहेचान ।
...We are Indians. we live to eat and there's nothing wrong about it. yes, we are health conscious and even paranoid at times about the way we look and how the world perceives us. but for most of the times, we indulge in food. life is about food for us. our marriages, our funerals, our festivals or be it simply traveling from one part of our foodie nation to the other. for us, it's all about the food.
...and one of the many sheer indulgences that we have to succumb to are Jalebis! mmmm, hot hot Jalebis...
better still, put the jalebis overnight in the fridge, and then put them in a glass and top it up with warm milk. now that is pure heaven...and it's resting right here in my tummy!
Monday, December 08, 2008
S: Hello! where are you man?
Me: hey! just got home...why what's up?
S: come over to the Friends Society na! there's something that's come up...
S: just come over...tell ya when you get here.
Me: no hints or guesses, eh?
S: chal be...come fast.
Me: ok ok ...i am on my way.
...so 15 minutes later there i was at the Friends Society. for the first time in almost 3 years in Baroda i entered past the little gate that i had walked past like a million times by. to the voluntary organization that i was coerced and lured into joining in the past, and had walked away from with equal disdain each time. finally taken into the folds...both S and I...
half an hour later. i had agreed to work on a script for a play on social awareness for the 'special children' whom the Friends Society took care of and for whom they were organizing a sports meet. the next day i was discussing a few ideas with an equally flustered and new recruit, G, and by the end of that day, i was directing a Mime on a social cause that i could respect at a personal level and advocate at a social one along with a bunch of people i had never before met in my time in Baroda. 2 days later, we had a full on performance...a stage, a background score, a mime troupe and an audience!
life can be fast and spontaneous...and creative.
...the actual video of the performance and the performance pictures are in editing and processing. so for a sneak-peek here is a backstage shot of a part of the mime troupe!
Friday, December 05, 2008
...just a 'something' that has been a long time in the making, writing and getting done. an idea to unravel and relish the life and times spent in good ol' Baroda and to speak my mind while dripping in a pool of nostalgia...
...some people just have a lot to say. doesn't matter even if they are dead!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
"Did God himself really write the holy scriptures of all the religions? If yes, then why did he write so many of them?"
...kids sure have an uncanny knack of asking the 'right' questions just as much as we adults have the habit of ignoring them and failing to answer them...
one of the many joys of being a teacher is that such moments are not rare and often in presenting themselves to me. and when they do arise, i suddenly find myself in the situation of immense power. the power to influence and mold young minds today that tomorrow will do the same to many others. the power to make and break the fragile harmony of existence at the knife's edge that our society lives by. it would be so easy to dismiss it all off. just one wave of my arm and one shrug of my shoulder and the inquisitiveness would be squashed. the preposterous clamouring of the young minds would be disciplined and life would be much more easier and the syllabus i set out to complete would be followed. and over time, repeating the same attitude over and over again i will eventually be able to chain down the childlike voice of reason that questions everything and blind the curious eyes that see the world for what it is and what it can be. finally to lead them to believe what i want them to believe and to see the world as i want them to see. in black and white.
yes i can do all of this. it would be all so easy and convenient and so self assuring in the sense that i would never have to face a question again that i may not be able to answer and discredit my capacity as a teacher by admitting failure. i am smarter then them after all. i am the teacher.
...or i can choose the other road...
tell them that i am just a human being who is susceptible to failure and ignorance just like anyone else. that i do not know the answers to a lot of things in the world. that the world is not perfect, and i cannot change that fact by saying otherwise, and that i will tell them what i believe to be the truth and that once i have spoken my words they can choose for themselves.
i can tell them that God is most definitely not someone with the capacity to sit down and write words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, volumes and books on religion. God, for all i know, does not even bother with religion. God is too busy looking after his children who are innocuously playing out their lives just like a mother who watches her child play in a park. we rise and fall, hurt and feel joy, and live and die while God watches over us; similar, to the child who runs and trips, laughs and cries, makes friends and breaks a tooth in the park while his/her mother looks on from the bench. she never stops the child from climbing the ladder for the fear of falling. similarly God never stops us from committing mistakes for the fear of going wrong. the mother and God, well, they just carry us back 'home' once the day is over with the same infinite love with which they carried us here.
No, God does not write anything...
"So is that all false?"
...Not really. in fact, i believe the contrary. God may not be dictating to us directly, but there are ways in which we are taken care of and spoken to. a gentle word passed down to us, reminding us to be careful and not to misbehave. to respect life everywhere for what it is and to never undermine our own capacities and doubt our conscience. like a mother speaking to her child.
the true essence of our religious teaching are but words that are passed down to us through the ages by wise people who understood the gravity of the muted whispers from God's lips and who were enlightened enough to give them a voice of reason and love that we all would understand. then over time the words begin to grow faint, and we felt the need to write down those words, just in case we ever forgot them. but in our Babel-istic ignorance we wrote them down in such a manner as to make it more and more ambiguous.
but that is not reason enough to discard them altogether, is it? No, God may have not written down a list of 'do's and don't' for us, but we most certainly have made a chart of how to live a good life. just as how a child playing in the park must not forget the mother's words of advice, so must we follow the loving guidance of God and God's people.
a teacher has to be very very careful. the words once uttered cannot be pulled back and they leave a lasting impression on the supremely malleable intellect of the child. it is my job to guide them towards understanding. i have to teach them to accept failure and never to give up; to strive towards understanding the world and towards maintaining an open outlook; to learn to share and love and at the same time to be smart enough to be able to survive in this 'man-kill-man' world of today; not to become too complacent in thought by acknowledging the existence of possibilities beyond our imagination; to fight when necessary and to back down when required...
and you know what the best part is??
...i myself know nothing about all of this. i myself am groping around in life coming to terms with myself and the world and the complex relationship that we share. i am myself undergoing changes all the time and learning how to 'just about scrap' through. and here i have to lead by example despite being an example in imperfection.
being a teacher most certainly is not easy. cause i have to be honest.