A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Looking to the future …

… is the only way to go, this day. Merely resting on the  laurels of our recent and distant glorious past, and some of the questionable and deeply debated parts of our history too, cannot take us forward. It’s the norm. Cliche though it be, the answer is what the future represents, and what we have with us, to take this country forward. The youth, the children, but of course. They are the greatest strength we have, and yet the weakest link, if not groomed, honed, and melded, and forged with the steel of resolve, to do the right thing, to not be swayed by the innumerable wayside lures and shortcuts to life. Is that going to happen?

Any school would be that melting pot where it can at least take frail wings, and if nurtured and followed up, a certainty of the success will follow. And while we seem to focus only on three or four days in a year to do that… THAT… to surround them with the colour, noise, and festivity, so that they remember something, anything, I still believe there is a chance that some hearts will be forged with that resolve of steely determination.

Today in school, we had the Independence Day celebration, as usual. I went with a heavy heart, and the weather seemed to echo the pall of gloom in my heart, which was filled thoughts of the families of the crew of the INS Sindhurakshak. How does one celebrate when the Navy and the families of the crew who are missing are mourning? But, as someone put it succinctly, life goes on. And we move on, from grief to hope.

DSC00463DSC00461At school, the atmosphere of festivity was infectious, and through the light shower that continued during the flag hoisting, the children stood steadfast, without a murmur.

The activity for each child that day was to make their own tiny tri-colour to don, on their uniform. I was lucky and got three 🙂

The tricolour display I carried around :D

The tricolour display I carried around 😀

The top, a printout of the sort we wanted to make for our class, finger painting; the second and third given by my students – in fact the third one is finger painting. The venue for the rest of the programme was the major auditorium where a patriotic song competition, a dance and a skit were to be performed, apart from the usual speeches that children give.

It was then that the tiny spark of hope, for me, flickered into a flame. One I hope will be fanned into a steady fire of love and deep sense of duty towards our country. I do have the faith. I hope they find it too. As the next hour unfolded, I was able to take a few pictures and videos of the performances. A couple of them are shared here.

The youngest group, with their song impressed me, for the lyrics, which bespoke of the hope I nurture, that the youth, these very children hold India in their heart and their hands. May they find the strength to nurture too.

****

I’ve only got a part of their song,  the lyrics that I created in the google transliteration page 🙂

देखो करम तुम्हारी
हर्गिज़ न डगमगाए

रस्ते बड़े कठिन है
चलना संभल संभल के

इंसाफ की डगर पे
बच्चों दिखाओ चलके

यह देश है तुम्हारा
नेता तुम ही हो कल के

तन मन की भेंट देकर
भारत की लाज रखना

इंसाफ की डगर पे
बच्चों दिखाओ चल

Translated to mean:

Make sure you never waver
While doing your duty

The path ahead is difficult
Tread that path with care

O children show how you can walk the path of Justice

For yours is the Nation, and you are the leaders of tomorrow

Keep up the honour of Bharat
With the gift of your body and mind
(By giving your body and mind)

O children show how you can walk the path of Justice

For yours is the Nation, and you are the leaders of tomorrow

Do excuse the translation which is at best a weak reflection on the powerful words of this song!

*****

The dance performance is by slightly older students, innovatively choreographing and enthralling the audience. With just a few days of preparation; the support of the PE teacher; ideas galore; creativity unlimited; favourite songs thrown in for good measure; there is hope for us, that the spirit is young, it is energetic, enthusiastic, and hopefully these colours will imprint in their hearts, for their country!I thought I had  taken the video, as they performed for the audience, only to find that I got carried away by the performance and forgot to start the recording. Grrrrr… I am SO mad at myself. The good thing was that there was still hope 🙂 (that word again!) and I got them quickly to do it again, immediately before they had to leave. So while it might seem a bit down,it really was an awesome performance!

And then, the fervour of ‘Go Back Simon’, with the youth of a long time ago, agitating against the Simon Commission.  Even though there was a bit of fumbling, the less than 10 minute skit sketched the entire period effectively.

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In the final count, yes, I do believe we have a future, and it is bright. However, till then, we have to deal with what we have, the best we can.

Jai Hind.

15 August 2013

It’s now a happy day. For some very special reasons too 🙂


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A Tribute; an Inspiration; and Optimism

This is an August month. 🙂 . That much I have already written about, rather endlessly, and made a tradition too, like the April month. But this is more than just birthdays, either of kids’ or the nation’s :).

A Tribute first, to a land that has seen much, groans under the weight of both, its population and it’s natives’ excesses, and yet exudes hope much like the lighthouse does, to lost sailors. The total contrast of its potential and its unexplored possibilities and the trauma of its existence continues to baffle many an Indian, not to mention the world at large. No matter how terrible things might seem, and are, in reality, I am proud to be an Indian. I just wish I had more guts and assertiveness to make a difference in my own small way. 🙂 Happy 66th Independence Day to Us. 🙂

***

I’m in a profession that continually inspires both the giver and the giveee 😀 And this works both ways, from both sides of the traditional teacher’s table! 😀 It has always been a pleasure to take from each batch of learners that pass through the Classrooms, something precious, and be inspired 🙂 Even if, sometimes, you have not had the honour of being that particular student’s “teacher” in class.

Shilpa V Krishna, in 2007

One such sparkling gem has been Shilpa V. Krishnan, a woman extraordinaire. I write today with such pleasure about her, even though I have perhaps interacted with her only very very few times, even when she was in school. As a young student, and even now she is exceptionally talented – academics, cultural activities,

Her painting on display at NUS, 2005

painting, cartooning, clay modelling, being able to spell words backwards, and many other gifts were hers. Yet never ever did she carry on with an “attitude” of vanity, or ever shirk from displaying her talents. I’ve always loved that about her. She went on to study at NUS, Singapore on a well deserved Scholarship, (and the rest of the details I’m guessing at, because I have never asked her 🙂) met and married her Soulmate, is a committed professional, made quite a few short films, and a couple of feature films,

Mausams, which won the Silver at the Dhaka Film Fest

one of which has won an award at the Dhaka Film Fest, last year, I think. She and her husband are now expecting their first child (and you should really be inspired by this, too), and right through what has been amazing is her committment to maintaining rigorously a fitness regime,

The committed Yogin 🙂 Do read that blog of hers 🙂

which includes yoga, even during her pregnancy. I’ve shared a few pictures that I have stolen from her FB Albums 😀 (do excuse me, Shilpa! )

About two and a half years ago, when she discovered she had 1000 days left to turn thirty, she decided to write about one wonderful thing each day and so was born this:

Chronicling the 1000 days before I hit 30

Tomorrow, 15 August, 1000 days, One thousand beautiful days, many splendoured, coloured in the hues of herself, her dreams, aspirations, tiny joys, and huge happinesses… comes to be! And this is just to tell you, Shilpa, that you are in inspiration in ways you cannot even imagine, to this learner who pretends to be a teacher. You truly are AWESOME 🙂 God Bless!

(Dear Readers, don’t forget to drop by at her blog and read about the 1000th magic day 🙂 It’s here. And this wonderful gift from her husband, on that magic day )

Soulmates 🙂

How it started is here.
13th October, 2010 was when I heard of this endeavour and wrote into her blog 🙂 I love the comments section on this blog 🙂
That wonderful post on how she did yoga during her pregnancy 🙂
There was a time when I think she was wondering if she suddenly got directionless… and I had this to write in 🙂
Her little poem 🙂 Creative? You bet!

Flowing, fluent 🙂

I’ve been reading a lot of her posts, in the hope of finding and sharing these nuggets, and once again, I am overwhelmed by her perseverance, and her sheer energy and faculties. Not to mention her creativity 🙂 Way to go Shilpa! Birthday Wishes for the Magic 30, and for a happy and wonderful day, and year ahead 🙂

***

Optimism. One of those die-hard words for me; considering I ought to have given up a lot of things by now, but suddenly I find myself  egging myself on, to push limits (mine and others :D) I wonder too, if that is what is making me singularly obstinate at times too; unwilling to just agree with another because… well, just because. And always seeking the gifts it gives, time and time again, when doors shut in your face, and the tunnel seems dark and long. It’s that firefly for me, always telling me, that no matter how dark it gets, there will always be someone or something to light up the moment, however small, or brilliant it be. Life, in other words, is promising. And there is a lot of it left, as far as things go, right now. The next moment, the next day, the next month… who knows. Right now, right here, life is happening. That, in itself, is a blessing. And so, is that energizing word. Optimism.

14 August, 2012, getting to tryst with midnight :), for
15th August, 2012


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I Have a Dream …

(sic) with due apologies to Martin Luther King Junior 🙂

I am not plagiarizing. I swear :D! The original with video is here:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

 

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history of our Interactions on Facebook and Twitter as the greatest demonstration for urging a victory in the much touted and tainted game of Kiricket in the history of our nation.

This momentous introduction to the GAME came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Indians who finally found a way to douse insults having been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their seeming helplessness! we Indians wielded the willow for the first time, quivering in the symbolic shadow of the English (Many score years ago)

But many hundreds of matches later, the game is mired in murk and  is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination! We have seen the glorious game thrown to the bookies, have had the underworld dons rule the roost and fix matches, we have seen the worst happening!  And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a return to the days when we loved it for what it was. A battle of wills. A class apart, in terms of style, cut and action : )

In a sense we’ve come to our own FB walls and Twitter Timelines with a score to settle and to  cash a cheque. We expect and pray and hope with a desperation bordering on violence that this cheque be  honoured, this sacred obligation, that the Cup that Cheers a Billion Hearts stays with us. Where it belongs. We have an inalienable right to it! Call it an earthworm vision if you wish, but it is also the vision of the eagle that flies on high… and sees that speck miles below, that it WILL OWN!

But we refuse to believe that the bank of victory is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of our dreams and aspirations to that very MOMENT!

We have also come to this hallowed spot our FB walls and timelines on Twitter with the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of victory. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of bad-mouthing and desperation to the sunlit path of radiating HOPE. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of negativity to the solid rock of brotherhood and blessing and prayers. Now is the time to make The Royal Blue Men’s day out superlative and a reality for all of us serenely madly-in-love-with-Kiricket folks.

(laughing away, cant type, holding sides, shaking uncontrolably* Pray God MLK forgives this blashphemy!)

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Mohali Environs will not pass until there is an invigorating freshness of fragrance of sweet gain. 30th March is not the end, but a beginning. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in here until the day is won. The cup is won.  The whirlwinds of comments, updates and review, views, tweets and smileys, and ^&*##@$%&^()^+%#@ will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of The Cup emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my cohorts-in-cahoots who are tagged with this: who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the realms of heaven, just thinking of the victory: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for victory by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our support on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative urging to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. (!) The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the FB community must not lead us to a distrust of all who detract us, for many of them, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that theirdesire to see the cup stay at home is inextricably bound to our very wish!

We cannot walk alone. They cannot play alone. We are there, each of us, to hit each ball, take each wicket, run behind the fleeing ball and catch it before it reaches the boundary, and always but always, have a smile and cheering word and a pat on their backs! NO MATTER WHAT!

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

Some of you have come fresh from narrow minded thoughts. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for victory left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of unhelpful negativity by others! You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to praying, go back to urging, go back to crossing your fingers, go back to your banishment by spouse/partner/ offspring/ self (lol!!!), , knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.We WILL MAKE IT!I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Kiricket Crazy Indian dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. But Sachin is the BEST!”

 

I have a dream that the little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and the HISTORY of this WIN!

 

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” For on a day that is was deemed to be The Day. We did what was to be done!

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the bed, and my papers with. (:D)

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together,  to stand up and cheer  together, knowing that we will be victorious THAT day.

All of us  will be able to join hands and sing in the words of from the Classic Film… My Fair Lady: And when this happens, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when

You(We) did it!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RT3cx1b9ZM

Sample of the lyrics:

You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did.

I thought that you would rue it;

I doubted you’d do it. But now I must admit it

That succeed you did. You should get a medal

Or be even made a knight……

LOL!

 

Apologies Apologies my dear friends and any human rights activists. The momentary urge to give in to this ridiculous temptation to unburden myself of these deepest desires was too strong to hold back. And also it’s Leenuka Reddy’s fault for egging me on. If you must stone me, pelt one at her too! 😛 She’s tagged with this.

 

And another one to Anita C Warrier, if she makes any remark on 30th against the Indian team :D! She’s tagged too!Leenuka, now to my papers :D!!

 

*Phew* *Wipes sweat off brow*

 

26 March, 2011

 

Pls to excuse any and all  typos in here. Am too exhausted to edit anymore :D! Thanks in advance! I enjoyed every bit of this. Hope this dream is yours too!


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A Republic Day Honour :)

In the tricolour of the Nation
Is borne the strength of a peoples

The sanctity of a saffron spirit
Seeking to express the divine within
Soliciting care, and depth of experience
Protector of a benediction of Heritage divine!

The Purity of white, that sees all!
That carries a universe of hues
That reflects the purity back
From whence it pours, on a land welcoming!

The fecundity of a green, ever fresh
In the prolific innovation,
In the creative renewal
In minds, souls and hearts, ever warm!

On a day such as this
When the land rejoices a birth
A coming of Age, once more
Let me too join, with a flight
Of the Tricolour, dreaming dreams
For my Land, hoping hopes
To ever shine, and be uplifting.

For, as with a Nation, it is
A day to celebrate, a treasure
A gift, of warmth, of appreciation
Of Honour, most high!

And this is in Thanks to the spirit
And creativity of Balvinder Singh
Who designed and awarded this
Beautiful motif;
Indebted Sir, and much more than that
Glad that in someway one shares
A common platform where perspectives
Meet, mingle, find acceptance and Grow!

Thank you Sir!

Salutes!

25 January, 2009

***
The Citation

On the eve of the Republic Day of our country, i take this opportunity to present this award to my blogger friends who have made a difference by writing their frank opinions in their blogs as well, as in the comment columns of other blogs. These bloggers have not written any sensational or luscious stories to attract traffic to their blogs, but they have put down in prose as well, as verse, whatever they have felt strongly about, may it be about their personal lives or about a burning issue of the society. The sole purpose of their writing has been to make a difference. I wish that their ideas may fructify and bring a change in the society for better. I salute them all.

***
Salutes to you too Sir!


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Dark Was the Night

Dark was the dusk
When the storm broke!

Long was the night
When the fires raged!

Deep were the wounds
that seared the hearts!

This is not a picture of long ago,
but of yesterday
when demons born of man’s mind
roamed the streets
to ravage, to pillage humanity.

I stood a mute witness
to this nightmare come alive
And thought – is this what we have
come to?
Is man merely a refined instrument
of death in the name of religion,
of land, of tiny man-made divisions?

Has he lost sight of his glorious
self?-
The one in all of us…

If he would only stop to think
to take stock of himself
look around

See… the trees, flowers, mountains,
valleys, plains, rivers….

Listen… to the laughter of a child…

Feel… the blessings his mother gave him..

Share… in the love of his comrades
And come home,
Into his heart… with peace.

Oh please! just pause a while
And thank god for giving you
A mother who has the
largest, warmest, most loving
heart of all…

She has suffered enough..
and now all her sons
and daughters shall join
hands and hearts and sing
with one voice –

God Bless you always..
Vande Mataram!

Written in 1993

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A Note:

It seemed appropriate to share this one now, with the fires still raging and shooting still going on in Mumbai. This was actually written post-Babri Masjid, when the riots almost shattered the secular fabric of our nation. But fifteen years later, how much has really changed, other than the faces? It is still humans, doing this, to each other, for all those twisted reasons they find, isn’t it? Not aliens, not extra-terrestrials! My heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost near and dear ones to these kinds of acts of violence. May God grant them the strength to bear their loss and live through this time of pain and anguish. The silent succor of our prayers are always with you all.

God Bless us all!

28 November, 2008