Posts tagged ‘colors’

TV Serials, Balika Vadhu & all of us

Balika.....

Balika.....

Sita (name changed) walked in yesterday when my house was full of guests. She swayed in with confidence and  disappeared into the kitchen. My guests turned to me and asked “who is that lady?” They were astonished when I said she was our maid servant. She carries a cell phone (with different caller tunes each week), dresses unlike a service providers of her ilk, oozes confidence externally. Her children go to a private school, attends tuition classes, study reasonably well. She moved to a larger hutment two years back. She has a bank account and some savings in post office.  She also has an insurance policy.

She is also a “Balika Vadhu”- that is married much before she saw her 18th year. This is in Mumbai and not Rajasthan Surely, these kind of things happen in backward States (BIMARU States), with under educated males lording over more uneducated population. No. I found to my dismay and that of my wife, that even in Mumbai arranged marriages at teenage is not uncommon.  Another instance I saw was of reasonably good looking school going girl, who was suddenly married off  even before reaching matriculation. The change post marriage was  saddening. A confident girl had become cowed down, frightened  and bewildered woman- post a last minute miscarriage.

I am not sure what I state above is the exception or rule as in both the cases the persons were related to each other. But what is clear is that what is shown in a very beautifully bedecked manner in the TV Serial Balika Vadhu telecast in Channel “Colors”, is not some remote event fictionalised for the entertainment of  city folks. It is a reality whose impact is seen and felt- latently or otherwise by all of us.

Why do such things happen? Don’t we all witness growing opportunity around us due to continuous economic growth- simultaneously with grinding poverty.  I believe that at least some portion of the poverty is due to missed opportunities. Let us take some examples.

First is literacy and education. Most states have some minimal schooling facility to give basic literacy. To reach beyond that, the economically and socially backward segment of the population needs initiative and efforts. This initiative is often missing. Female education is the backbone of any society. This is often missing. The difference in several human index parameters  between Kerala and Uttar Pradesh could be due to this factor.

I divide skills into physical and mental skills. It needs more efforts to earn living using physical skills. Moreover, to scale up the ladder, constant improvement of skills is required. My favourite example is carpenter. The skill needed in this profession is apparent. The wages paid for a skilled ‘karigar’ is known to all. But many of us would prefer to be unemployed rather than do such a work. This brings home the point that vocational education is important as education emphasising numerical and literary skills are not meant for all.

Next, the spreading urban lifestyle dictates the need for new types of service providers. Working couple do not have time to cook food. In urban locations it is common for a service provider to come two times a day and cook basic food needed for the family. The rate is based on number of Chapatis and corresponding vegetables and dal to be prepared.

Am I pointing out isolated instances which can at best help only a small portion of the Below Poverty Line population? Perhaps it may be so. But I still believe that there are enough opportunities in India (as compared to a developed country) if mental inhibitions existing at various levels are removed.

Then why do people take a comparative level of poverty for granted. My theory is that India has always been a poor country. The politicians and others have created a myth that India was a land of milk and honey plundered by invaders and lastly by the British.  The poverty of a farmer is glorified. The loss of dignity and suffering a subsistence farmer or a person with similar economic status is rarely mentioned correspondingly.

Next, Indians are lazy and easily contented. What are our working hours as compared to USA ? The offices in USA start at dawn. Most persons are in office there  by 8 am or 8.30 am. The courts in USA start at 9 am. Most routine tasks get done in the expected way. Everything works as per a pre-determined plan. Our life is like the sporadic victories of our cricket team. One victory is enough to quench our thirst for a long time and forgive consecutive defeats.

How many reports have we seen about corruption in private sector? Are people aware that corruption exists in private sector in the same manner as in Government? So it is not that Government employees are corrupt, it is that corruption is in Indian blood- some are corruption positive and some negative.

So why do we see so much poverty? Why does  at least some portion of the economically weaker segment of the society spent money on alcoholic drinks (Sita’s husband is, in my view, an alcoholic  and earns less than Sita due to this additiction) and put in those efforts in improving skills? Why do we still read reports of oppression of Dalits in newspapers? I saw a report today which states that health workers do not touch Dalits. School children belonging to non Dalits have separate marked plates for food. If these are the issues which some portion of our population is concerned, then we deserve to see this poverty and misery.

Will it change? Hard to say…  Today’s world allows only survival of fittest. So would India grow or Pakistan grow? Obviously India as Pakistan is mired in issues irrelevant to their well being. Would India grow faster than China? Well, that deserves another blog.

Image Source: Ananthv

May 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm 1 comment

Pulau Tioman, The great journey

Pulau Tioman, The great journey!

 

Day 1: The Journey begins….

 

I waved goodbye to my parents as the bus sped away.

 

It was still 6:30 in the morning in Singapore and two Grade 6 classes were going to Pulau Tioman. I felt excited and happy and I was looking forward to the trip. I was soon in conversation with my friends, and before I realised, we were at the border between Malaysia and Singapore. I got off the bus; collected my passport, got it stamped, and made my way back to the bus.

 

In Malaysia, I mostly looked out the window and saw the beautiful trees, aligned line in line. We got off the bus, took a bio break and entered a ferry. The seats were inside the boat, but most of the students preferred to stand on the open balcony outside to enjoy the cool, refreshing, soft sea breeze.

 

As I got out, I just expected to have a little bit of wind blowing, but as soon as I was out, a gust of howling wind struck me. I felt delighted and enjoyed the ride all through. Tioman Island was in sight in around 3 hours. As I glanced at the island, the first thing that caught my attention was the size of Tioman. It was massive!

 

We handed out our luggage to another boatman who was with us and got ready for the mountain climb that lay in front of us. The climb was 8 kilometres through a jungle that was on a steep mountain. My friends company did not let me realise the severe hitting that my feet were taking during the long climb.

 

We reached the resort in around 3 to 4 hours. We were told our rooms and roommates and were sent to settle in. The room was extremely messy but I realised that I should come out of my comfort zone. We were instructed to take out all our snacks and put them in a large, deep orange coloured box that was placed near the place where we had our meals. This was so that the snacks didn’t attract any more bugs to our cabin.

 

Day 2: It’s time to play the games!

 

I woke up to the enchanting colours in magnificent sky. It was still the beginning of dawn and the spectacular sunrise hadn’t even started! I changed into my swimming shorts and UV top (we had to wear our swimming gear from the time we woke up till the time we were given to have showers, which was right before dinner.), I then headed out for breakfast.

 

Before mealtime, we were meant to take a pleasant walk to the nearby jetty and back just to energise us up a little. After having a scrumptious meal, we played a game called ‘bird on the perch’. The rules were that we first got a partner. One of us had to be a bird, and the other was the perch. Then both of us had to walk around a lengthy line in opposite directions. Whenever the person conducting the game shouted out “Bird on the perch!” the bird had to get on top the perch in such a way that no part of their body was touching the ground. The last team to do this was disqualified. My partner and me made it to the top 3.

 

After this electrifying game, we were split into two different groups and sent to our first activity, which was sailing for me. The other group would do something else and after lunch, we would switch activities. We were sent off to our activities, but for sailing we needed to know different safety rules. The method of sailing was explained and we were also taught how to get back into the boat if we capsized. We soon set off into the deep, dark, blue sea. I found this activity exceedingly enjoyable although I did tip over a few times J.

 

After a heavy lunch, we were given 2 hours of free time after which we swapped over with the other group, and did ‘beach arts’. We had to choose a person that we admire. Then you have to make an art piece, using only natural items that we found near the river. We weren’t allowed to uproot any plants or pluck any leaves.

 

I made a design around a growing plant using bougainvilleas, palm tree bark and mud brown leaves that had dried up in the heat. Everyone liked it and complimented me a great deal.

 

Then, after dinner, we played a game or two more and at 10:00, it was lights out.

 

Day 3: A new learning!

The routine began as the first two days, but today our first activity was going to the turtle hatchery for which we took a speedboat to the hatchery. Once we were there, we saw a few baby turtles and Jo, the blind turtle. The hatchery was a protected area with turtle eggs buried in the sand (like they usually are).

 

When the turtles are born, they are released into the ocean. If the turtle does not go into the water that means it has some disability.

 

Jo did not go into the water and that is how they found out that she was blind. We helped clean their living areas, and then we learnt about how we can help them (not using too many plastic bags, etc.) and how we could raise awareness in the community. We walked back to our resort, which was quite a long distance away. On the way across the stretched seashore, we had to pick up as much litter as we could so that the beach looked neat and so that items made out of plastic couldn’t affect the turtles. After lunch, we went to do our one star kayak training in the river. We were told different methods of kayaking and then we had to carry our kayaks into the river and we kayaked around one kilometre.

 

It was extraordinarily thrilling and I think that was my favourite activity in the whole trip. We also played a game. The rules were:

  • We got into teams
  • We had to be touching different ends of the river (the width, not the length which is countless miles)
  • The referee throws a buoyant yellow ball and both teams have to try and get it
  • If the ball hits you, your kayak or your paddle by someone in the opposite team, you are disqualified
  • If it misses you and falls into the water, you can fetch it and throw it at your opponents

 

It was a great load of fun although my muscles were pounding in pain because of the kayaking. We were given some time to swim in the sea before changing and going for dinner. After dinner we started to note down some things so that we could remember what we did in the trip later onwards. Then it was time to sleep.

 

Day 4: Thoughts in solace!

I opened my eyes as the teacher woke us up by knocking on the door. We were directed to wear clothes appropriate for trekking and headed out into the striking morning. After our walk, and during breakfast, we were told that we were going to trek towards a waterfall that was on a mountain nearby.

 

The snacks from the ‘Orange Box’ were divided and an equal amount was given to each student to carry. Later at the waterfall, we were going to have a feast where we were going to distribute the snacks.

 

The hike started, leading us into the jungle. We were soon deep in the forest with rocks in our way and trees all around. Suddenly, we came to a halt. Rob (from the outdoor education department at my school) explained that we were going to do an activity called SOLO. As the name suggests, we were going to spend some time (we are not sure how long as we were meant to be unconscious about time- they even asked us to give them our watches) alone in our own space. The closest person will be more than fifty meters away.

 

After explaining what to do in the case of emergency, we were spread across the area of 1.35 kilometres (27 people x 50 meters) and we thought our own thoughts. We were also not allowed to talk.

 

The jungle itself was deadly quiet, as if a tough, enchanted charm had been spread across the rough woodland. But it was also alive with noise because it was so quiet, I could hear twigs snapping, monkeys chattering, leaves flying in the strong wind that was howling in my ears. I saw trees, as I couldn’t see much; my path was totally blocked by grand, tremendous, towering trees. The most interesting thing I saw must have been the tree that was shaped like a dog. It had a hole in the branches for eyes, leaves for ears, and through another hole, I could see the emerald green leaves from the other trees behind it and the hole looked just like the mouth. I felt tired and energetic, both at the same time. Suddenly, my group appeared and I realised that my SOLO time was over.

 

We resumed the stride and marched over to the waterfall. We sat on some rocks and took out the snacks. After having an admirable feast, we went swimming in the flowing water. The water was freezing but it was still fun. The fall was only around 6 meters high from the ground. There was a place in the waterfall where we could climb up to and glide down, as there was a structure like a water slide. After about 30 minutes of fun in the water, we started strolling back to the other hotel where the other grade 6 class was staying (both of the classes stayed at 2 different hotels. Their hotel was near the turtle sanctuary) and had our lunch there. We returned back to our hotel, dropped our bags, changed into our swimmers and we went jetty jumping. We could jump off right from the top or from a lower area. I wanted to jump from the top one but my legs didn’t act upon my thoughts and so I got 2 jumps at the lower spot. It was still great fun. We then had dinner and then came the moment we were all waiting for…

 

THE BONFIRE!

 

The bonfire was only 20 minutes but everyone still enjoyed it, telling jokes and horror stories. We also learned a campfire song that a tribe of Africa sung every night during their campfire. They lived in the desert and they sung it so that if there were someone lost in the desert, they would know that help was near. Every one slept without any effort, as we were extremely tired.

 

Day 5: Taking the route back home!

That morning, we woke up earlier than usual to go snorkelling. It was exciting and adventurous. We saw schools of minuscule fish, firm coral reefs, vibrant multicoloured fish, and countless other things, which I can’t, record here because there are too many to list. We had a quick breakfast, made ourselves sandwiches for our lunch and packed them in a waxed plastic bag. We headed off to the jetty to take the ferry back to Malaysia’s mainland. The ferry and the following bus ride back to Singapore took over 9 hours. I was incredibly happy to be back home because after all it’s always, Home Sweet Home.

 

Thank you for reading and do let me know your comments and views on the same.

 

Aditya K

October 18, 2008 at 8:11 pm 3 comments

Even this will “PASS!” – no pun intended!

first class pass train ticket 

There was a total blackout. I could hear blaring sounds in my head. Voices, objects and people in scores, thumping and banging around with drums of steel making clanking noises so loud that it seemed my eardrums were to come apart.

Soon enough there was absolute silence as I dwelled into the beautiful home of ‘nidra’ meaning sleep, without a reason and without my own realization of it.

It was only after about another 10 minutes or so, that I regained consciousness. My severe attack of migraine had just passed me with a small objectionable visit that was impactful, but was thankfully not prolonged.

I left my workplace and was heading towards home as one of my workplace employee got me a rickshaw to get back home safely.

The drive was going to be lengthy so I rested in the luxurious and cramped vehicle.

Luxurious because anything and anyplace that let me just slide in now felt so comfortable and cramped as the ‘jhankar beats’ in the rick was in full swing all of a sudden that was clobbering my head.

I asked him to ‘Just shut it’, as he looked back with a not so contented face, he sure did.  I was in no mood to explain why to him but damn, I just should have.

As the alacrity of that awesome machine and the not so positive feelings of the driver got together, the vehicle kept swirling across many bewildering lanes and pathways, I felt as if I was being taken for a ‘ride’ and I double checked to look at the roads.

He was heading in the right direction. I guess it was just my head that was still raging with the earlier impact then.

Soon enough the resentment and frustration of not allowing him to play the wild and horrible songs in his vehicle caught up with him and he was showing no signs of slowing down.

Bang….. Bam….. thrash!!!

Our awesome flying saucer was hit by a ‘lorry’ and the little vehicle rolled sideways.

Strangely and by god’s grace nothing happened to me as I came out of the vehicle with not even a scratch, except for my head that was now screaming with the rising agony called migraine.

The rickshaw-valla was hit roughly and I with few others took him out of the vehicle.

He was still able to stand as he looked at himself and then at me as if I was some alien.

I took him to the nearby traffic policeman who escorted him to the doctor as I left for the close to railway station.

I was in Sion station soon enough.

Now the effect of the collision and my now very active and boisterous headache was taking its toll on me. I was getting extremely exhausted and could not even descend the steps to reach to the platform. But it was me, so I eventually did.

I got in the first class compartment and just lied down inside. It was noon and it was quite empty.

I was woken up in a not so subtle fashion by someone who by looking at my face which was too weary by now probably thought I was drunk. It was the TC.

He asked me for my pass and as I reached my hand towards my pocket, I realized I had unknowingly donated my wallet apparently in the road accident. I explained to the TC but in vain as he asked me to get down and go to the place where the ticketless travelling classes of people are given due and generous attention by more than one TC.

All my explanation was futile but I told him of what had happened from the start of the day, he then looked a little bit more convinced. I was not in a position to talk as I sat down on the seat and it was just then that one of the sessions from my management class just hit me hard.

Brand sells.

I searched for my bag and showed him my student id that I had with me of one of the most elite institutions in India and the name just hit him hard. I guess, it is true, Brand does sell.

He mellowed down and asked me where I work and got few other details. He also asked me if I had any money to buy a ticket. I told him, my wallet was gone and had none.

He asked me to get down with him in the next station and believe it or not, he bought me a ticket for second class for my way back home and got me in the train compartment safe and sound.

That was a very positive experience I had that day.

Sure I have heard of gruesome stories about them, but that day, needless to say, I was impressed to see humanity still to be so much in existence. They too have too many cases of not so genuine reasons many a times I guess. Anyway, I was also glad that I was awake when the lecture was taught in the class saying, Brand sells!

As I continued my routine journey in the train from the next day, I met with the same TC by the end of that week again. It was the same TC in the compartment of the first class and I reminded him of the incident.

I gave him my fine that was due from the other day, took the receipt and for a change happily got out off the train.

It was never about the money I guess. It annoys people normally because of the way they treat you many a times.

But I guess, You give something good and you get something good in return.

I don’t know whether every person could deal things this way always like that TC did, the world would be so much a better place then and if they don’t, as the old saying goes….. Even this shall PASS! No pun intended.

Let me know your views and comments on the same as you always do:

Mail me at techdivine@gmail.com

Be well

Ananthanarayanan V

October 13, 2007 at 7:06 am 22 comments

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October 10, 2007 at 7:14 am Leave a comment

Life: Ups and Downs! « THE ROAD TO ETERNAL BLISS!

Ups and Downs! « THE ROAD TO ETERNAL BLISS!

October 9, 2007 at 9:21 am Leave a comment

A ‘Desire’ to quote it just right!

flower 

A ‘desire’ to quote it, just right!

Last week’s questions and discussions on the current spiritual scenario: On youth, desire and spirituality:

“Desire is the root of all evil. Ancient wisdom says, stay away from desire”

Now this line caught my notice which said, Desire is the root of all evil.

Desire is never evil. What you desire and the approach in which you desire might lead you to evil. The issue was uncomplicated and yet had lot of depth in it as the master’s quote read: “I may always desire more than I accomplish – Michelangelo

So, now the person, who had laid this query to us, perceptibly did it with an intention to set off something in me. Probably a nerve which was tickling my funny bone or may be a nerve that held my tolerance level high.

In any way, I thought of jotting this down by asking the same question to few others in the last 24 hours in the Q n A session on – current spiritual scenario: On youth, desire and spirituality.

An overall gist of people’s response was like this:
• Desire, if you do not, there is no need to live.
• If you desire more than you can, you will always be unhappy.
• If I do not desire, then nothing in life I deserve.
• Divine and spirituality is for old and retired people.

Ok. So there was a slight repairing or oiling required may be.

This is for all our youth out there today, saying ‘another day, another dime earned.’

First of all, desiring something is the whole basis and idea for survival.

Reason, the person who asked me the question had no job putting this personal question before me. But he desired to do more than his job profile demanded. So he asked.

I desired more, to know what people had to say, even though I am going to jot down at the end and express my views on the same, because I desired the need to bond and get in touch with all of them and get into their minds. And at the end still hold the power to speak and express….. hey, it is my blog!

On a more serious note, I did it to know and feel their pulse on the same.

So when we take a look at a term like desire, we see that desire is nothing but convincing. Convincing others or yourself. But this time, convincing that, there could be more to life. Convincing that this is how it has to be or not to be.
Desire is why a society stays alive. Desire is why we have grown beyond a religious or spiritual round table conference and are able to do this online today. Because someone desired to do more than there was.

Now coming back to the divine part, Desire is never bad.

The holy books have always shown us the technique to get what we yearn for. Being spiritual does not mean giving up on worldly pleasures. It means understanding what the earliest knowledge has left for us to learn and be paramount in whatever we ‘desire’.

I have been born into a very religious family. But luckily I never followed or obeyed the customs nor was I asked to. I chose to follow them by choice. I am not religious, but definitely spiritual. It helps me concentrate better than I can, which is fantastic.
Believe it or not, religious customs and traditions are what gives us more discipline and focus in life. People tend to take it in the wrong way.

A person who reads and is able to understand the books of such immense knowledge, can accomplish whatever he or she wants out of life.

You want to be rich, you want to be a superhero, you want to have a castle, you want to get a Ph.d.?

It’s all in there.

But, you take it and drink it as a whole. Do not try to take the gist of it. You cannot just smell your food and say whether it is perfect. You have to taste it and eat it properly to know.

I feel hilarious when people say, spirituality means giving away worldly desires or when I hear that these things are for those who are old. I feel sorry for both of them. Not because they do not believe in it.

Each of us has a choice to lead a life that we want to live, as we ‘desire’ (no pun intended).

I know that those people are already brilliant and talented enough to such an extent, that these disciplines if they acquire, each of them could have what they desire or seek out of life faster than they would.

And like one of my management lessons quoted: ‘A dime earned today, is more than a dime earned tomorrow’. So let us build our passion with the words of the wise and use it in our foray.

And mind me; it is also not something that is gained over just five to10 years. It’s an on-going process. It’s like having an MBA and applying that to work for 10 years to become the CEO instead of just doing it with a bachelor’s for over 20 years and ending up being a manager at 60.

At the end of it all, it’s each one’s choice and each one’s way of life. But it is always good to know, that there is something out there for us that can help us reach our goal faster than we desire.

Self

So desire with spiritual knowledge or self-realization is great. Is victory. Is success. So let us desire and stay alive, kicking and winning. There are no regrets when you desire and dream.

So let us Desire, Dream and De-stress!

Happy reading.
———-
Ananthanarayanan V

techdivine@gmail.com

October 7, 2007 at 11:44 am 4 comments

Ups and Downs! « THE ROAD TO ETERNAL BLISS!

Ups and Downs! « THE ROAD TO ETERNAL BLISS!

October 6, 2007 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

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