Saturday, November 15, 2008

conversation with coffee...

My coffee table muse,
Hot black coffee
Stirring, whirling, flowing.
Eyes meet across
Streams of hot vapour
Emanating…Vapid wandering through
Thought laden clouds
Drifting fleeting
Words appear,
Choices, Voices..opinions unfold,
Life stories told…
Loves, Laughter,
Heartbreaks – Tears?...
Shared dreams….?
Broken… asunder…
By choices, Voices, Noises…
Stir, stare,
Ponder, wonder…
I wonder…if you have a phone number….?


Mother Nature...

Valleys talk to you,
Gazing from the height into the valley,
Pulls you with love,
One word comes to one’s mind,
What an experience,
What an amazing glamour of nature,
Eyes catch the scene, as a camera,
Heart deposits it as a shutter,
Soul engraves it as an edict,
Mood swings with the breeze,
Walking on the hills, reaching heights,
Gives you beautiful sights,
It’s the journey to the destination, full of life experiences,
Where embracing you, are standing the mountain ranges.


* Here it’s the experience during the learning journey to Dhramshala.

BODH ...redefining the education system

The experience at Bodh has been the experience of the life time. It’s an organization , which works for the slums kids at Jaipur. This is the organization which reaches to those kids for their self - development, and gives the true meaning to India of being a welfare state. The Bodh experience of the 11 of us Gandhi fellows, was an experience to the new world of education system, where equality could be seen among the students. The kind
of work the school is doing there is filling the gap between the community the slum and the faculty, where they bring education to their rooms.
The three days spent in the organization Bodh , at Jaipur and visiting its Bodhshala, Amagarh, was very crucial , in understanding the wider horizon of education system. This organization is the one which puts the ideal into practice. The idealist system of education is practically followed here, where the interaction with the organization workers, the teachers, and the founder Mr. Yogendraji had an added on input in the learning. It works for the poorest .

It works for the poorest of the poor , it reaches where the government do not reach. The Bodh strengthen and defines the essence of welfare state.
interaction with Madhuji working as the facilitator of Kishori Sabha in the slum, was an enlightened experience, for me where how the organization takes the education to the rooms of the slum, delving into the staunch patriarchal set up.
Being there for more than an hour what I could feel and have practically seen was how on the name of security the girls are made insecure for the whole of this birth of theirs. They are not allowed to move outside their home because they are unsafe………….I wonder what is their safety?

How insecure they are made just because they are women.
“to just walk few steps out of their house and reach the most nearby school, which is only 5 steps away (sometimes the reality speak) ……..
One needs to walk miles and miles …and sometime the journey never gets completed.
Here, Bodh plays the intrinsic role whereby , Madhuji as a facilitator takes the classroom, the education into their rooms. The classes taken for these slum women in such constructive ways to see are real life experience.

To see the success of the Bodh in making community responsible was another practical experience of how the slum people can be made responsible to shoulder their duties towards the kids’ education.
The one of the most striking point of this place was that it has been successful in making every one realize their responsibility, everyone shoulder their responsibilities whether it’s the community , parents, teachers , kids or society. “ Nothing is impossible , one’s you think it can be made possible.”
The Bodh is the place where it seems for the kids to be ………….
“ My class, my space, my world”. It empowers the kids mentally , overshadowing their actual condition to an extent


Chipkali... main aur mere bacche:):):):):)

wo mere gandhi fellowship ke shuruati dino ka sabse amazing experience tha...ek field visit ke liye mai udaipur wati ke ek school me tha. Pata nahi kaha se Stephney ne mujhe bol diya ke ek class tum le lo aur ek mai lene ja rhai hu.Tab mai jyada dara nahi tha,class thi 1st and 2nd.:):)
sO mai class me chala gaya,kuch pata nahi tha ke class me ja k kya karu? Unse naam poochne k baad unki english ki book le li..socha k pyaar se padhaunga aur sab parhlenge ,simple!!!..mai unki kitaab se photos dikha k unse naam poochne laga...pata nahi mai us din khud ko kitna bada teacher samajh liya tha ,galti kar di pooch kar k kisi ne chipkali dekhi hai...?Bass ek bacche nenazar ghum k class me dekh li....fir kya wo utha aur apni chappal feink k diwal par chipkali marne laga ...shayad ye leadership thi...baaki saare bachhe bhi shuru ho gaye...mai bichara kya to unhe bitha saka na hi padha ....bacche apni msti me the unhe maar padne ka daarr jo nhi tha....:):):):):)


Unke sapne...

Kehte they padaenge,
itihaas naya Banayenge
in bachon ka ujjwal
bhavishya hum sajayenge.
Inko aankhon mein jo chote chote sapno ka bada sa pahaad hai
us tak inhe pahuncha ke dikhayenge
lekin aaj who bacho ke sapne kahan hai,
Ye unhe nahi pata, shayad unki yadon mein band hokar reh gaye.
magar kya ye wade sirf sarkaar ne kiye they,
woh teachers jinko Maa Baap bhagwan mante hain,
aur apne bachon ko saump dete hain.
aakhir who bhagwan kya kar rahe hai?
unke paas iska jawaab hai kya?
Unhe pata hai kya unke bachon ki kis cheez ki zaroorat hai,
unke mote dande ke alawa?
Khair chodo ab hamari baari hai aayi, ab hume sabko milke kuch karna hai bhai,
HM ho ya Teacher sabko is baat se Rubaru karayenge,
Ki yeh hamaare pyaare bache bahut door tak jayenge.
sirf kitabe hi nahi , unse bahut zyada hai seekhne ko,
ye hum samjhenge aur aage badte jayenge.


Friday, November 14, 2008

A new morality...

She looks at him playing with pieces of paper

She watches his hands as they pick up the pen

She is a wistful spectator of carefree actions

Defined as the sole privilege of men.

Going about her daily work

Surrounded by life, yet quite alone

Taking solace in all things familiar, yet

Heart aching for pleasures unknown.

She passes by the old school building

Like everyday, quietly sets down her urn

Straining her eyes, hidden by the door

The boys are unwilling, but she’s desperate to learn.

She yearns for education, to go where no one has tread before

But she’s of age now, and must be married off instead.

Gazing into the heavens, reaching out for the stars

Her dreams all shattered, her life is a farce.

A voice is heard, she speaks out at last

Unheard, unheeded, frail, withdrawn

The solitary voice falters in the silence

Defeated, she falls, and her heart is torn.

They laugh bitterly at her fruitless endeavor

Tears fill her eyes, she’s imprisoned forever.

Is there a new morality?

One day, some day but not just yet.

There’s need for old shackles to be cast away

Traditions to be re-built, new rules to be set.

Have we moved forward, has India progressed?

The gap between men and women compressed?

Are the counsels of history thus to be unheeded

And change to occur, except where needed?

It’s time to wake up, to gain what we lack

For each pace forward, there’s been a step back.

It’s time to gaze into the horizon

It’s time to welcome, face-first, the dawn

And be swept along as change unfolds

And face with courage what future holds.


My learning...

I remember my first class of psychology in B.A 1ST year in which my teacher repeatedly explained ‘what is learning’? At that time my acceptable definition of learning was something like this…
“Any relative permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of practice or experience.”
I remember the first lecture on the topic Learning, in which our professor gave us a new definition of learning which was given by Gordon Allport.
But, here I find something different and something very confusing. I recapitulate the story of one of our school in which 2 kids were fighting with each other and during fight one of the kid pushed another kid’s head on wall and the reaction of this was a bang of cry. Meantime the teacher entered the class, and queried about the incident. The reaction of the teacher was unbelievable to see. He banged another kids head on wall and asked “do you now feel the pain”? This was the way of justice by the teacher .I was shocked to see the way teacher dealt with the situation . Many questions came to mind, the questions which were unanswered.
At that time, I wanted to ask the teacher what sort of learning you are giving to these kids? Are you teaching them how to take revenge? Or you are teaching them blood for blood concept? Is this the learning ? What sort of learning took place there? What’s the way of learning? And whom we blame when these kids do a crime in future?
But, now here after spending my two months in primary class with school kids, my whole definition of Learning has been redefined and I feel learning can be defined in many ways in different contexts. Today with my practical experience, I can explain learning , as “ a continuous struggle of organism with environment in order to achieve equilibrium for survival in which the genetics act as a barrier.”
I have a hope that in this journey , in future I will be much more closer to the exact definition of learning based on my experience.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ankush: The sincere 'Sarpanch' of the lot!

Abhyudai: Unintentionally funny, preserving his own picture of the cosmos!

Stephney: The Laughter Enthusiast

Gitanjali: When not lightening up the atmosphere with her theatrics,ask her if she's ever seen a silent film?

Sugandha: The Steady Steam Engine

Preyansi: 'Mother Superior' of unwavering spirit

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vaibhav: The mature, levelheaded 'Handyman'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sometimes Seen...Sometimes Felt...Impact

The journey of the last four months, here has been the journey full of new destinations. Playing the role of a facilitator in the government upper primary school of Uttrasar village in the interiors of Jhunjhunu, was a platform whereby somewhere there was a new world of horizon in front of me. Acting as a facilitator here, for the 4th and 3rd std kids, for eight weeks, I explored many avenues of impact at the grass root level in subtle way. The impact gives a meaning, whereby the insight of the fact, that yes the impact is something, which if sometime not felt can sometimes be seen and sometimes not seen can be felt. While acting as a facilitator in the classes, I did not know when it took me closer to the village people thought. Visiting the community, meeting the members at their places, gave me an insight that the beginning of an impact starts from the road, where your journey starts. Meeting with them in their house and then being a part of them, for the time being gave an impetus, of how slowly the impact starts whereby your step toward them start the process of impact . I remember my first few days of the school where I was there standing with the agenda of the need of quality learning through the alternative based learning, with my understanding, I also saw the day when the mathematics teacher of the school, was standing giving his thought on the need of quality learning, with positive roles played by the alternative based learning. At least this thought , has the beggining , an initiation towards completion of the journey.


Youth, A Power

O! Youth, their remains a lot within you. A lot to be created, a lot to be explored,and a lot to be defined for our self .
The power to realize the strength is within us, and the courage to explore it is lying with us, in our thought process. When this power within, is realized and made use of in any venture, what is significantly inherent, to come out of it is the change, a change which starts from the individual and then create a ripple which affect the whole outside world.. The creation of that ripple, no doubt is a long process, in the sense that it sometimes takes a lot of time to foster that spirit within. But, the inherent quality to see through, is what makes the difference. The spirit of taking initiatives ,is what matters more than the result of one’s initiative. The inner strength is the input to visualize the outside world. The world expects from us to act in a particular manner. Its we, who can prove to them to expect from us in the manner which reflects what we want from us.

Self Creation

"Essentially there is one but one single true reason for living, it is to know oneself .We are here to learn-to learn what we are, why we are here and what we have to do.And if we don’t know that, our life is altogether empty for ourselves and for others." The Mother

What a beautiful thought isn’t it? But, only now after being a Gandhi Fellow, I can realize the beauty of this phrase. We often talk about bringing change, change in the education system of our country, change in our friends, change in our parents, change in our Country’s politics, except a change in ourselves. This is only because, we think that we know the other person really well and can improve him and tell him that whatever he is doing ,is it right or wrong ?Well, without even realizing that ‘do we know ourselves’…the answer which one gets is…hmm…haaaan
I look like this,
I like this,
I hate this,
these are my hobbies and things like that.
But is this enough to know about oneself?
Earlier even I was like that, even after coming here, I often used to say that I know myself well, but now as days are passing I m realizing that I need to know many things about me.How will I react in certain situation, internally what type of person I am? Now, I have realized that there is a huge difference between knowing oneself externally and internally.
No doubt it’s beautiful to observe yourself, you get to know so many new things about yourself which you rarely believe. Similar thing is happening with me after coming here, actually I think I am exploring myself ,even then writing few lines on my self is looking difficult, because till now I knew only external Gitanjali and now I am trying to know the internal Gitanjali. I know it will take time, as it is a time consuming process, but I am enjoying…and now I can say that I have so much to do in my life…..i need to know my perfections, my imperfections and of course my limitations, I am waiting for the day when I’ll say:

"I am but a seeker after Truth. I claim to have found a way to it. I claim to be making a ceaseless effort to find it. But I admit that I have not yet found it. To find Truth completely is to realize oneself and one's destiny, i.e., to become perfect. I am painfully conscious of my imperfections, and therein lies all the strength I posses, because it is a rare thing for a man to know his own limitations”.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gandhi Fellowship and Me

Kabhi itefaaq se, kabhi apne aap se, zindagi mein hum kuch aise faisle le lete hain jo hamari zindagi badal dete hain.

…maine bhi Gandhi Fellow ban ne ka ek aisa faisla liya tha, jo shayad bahut soch samajh ke lekin tab bhi itefaaq se le liya gaya tha....

Gitanjali ke man mein bahut se khayal they yahan aane se pehle, kuch badalne ka- kuch kar dikhane ka, aisa nahi hai ki ab voh khyal man mein nahi aate lekin ab wohi khyal bahut badal gaye hain, shayad dheere dheere pata chal raha hai ki jo hum sochte hain wohi sachayi nahi hoti. Aur jo sachayi hoti hai voh shayad humne kabhi sochi bhi nahi hoti…

Yahan main jab se aayi hun har ek din hare k insaan kuch naya sikhata hai, kabhi baaki Gandhi fellows, kabhi project leaders, kabhi voh chote chote bache jinhe hum kehne ko padane jaate hain, to kabhi main kudh bhi. Har din kuch naya hota hai, kabhi bahut acha lagta hai man kehta ki sahi faisla liya lekin kabhi kuch aisa ho jaata hai ki yeh sochne par majboor ho jaati hun ki kya main isliye aayi thi yahan, aakhir ye ho kya raha hai, magar phir zindagi ka ek pehlu samajh ke accept kar leti hun, aur agle din realize hota hai kya soch rahi thi buddhu, aur phir samajh mein aata hai ki yahi hai “life, full of surprises”…

Yahi hun main, Gitanjali as a Gandhi fellow…..

A Fellowship of the Gandhi Kind

Moving beyond Google Earth that initially fueled my imagination about what rustic Jhunjhunu would be like, life here as a Gandhi Fellow has been full of surprises. From conveniently settling into the small town to regular incursions into villages and its schools, this has been way more profound in its impression and impact than the neon rubbish of the cities.

My time here has had me learn self-discipline; unlearn urban behavioral tendencies; and how to strive within means to achieve an end, the end here being quality improvement in village government schools, but never in the process forgetting the self and its capacities for influx and de-flux...

...Gandhi, before turning into a saga, debate and portrait on currency notes, was a man, a man of action and reflection, and that is exactly what one inculcates here.

Breathing here is lung-fulls of fresh air, sights are full of sky and fields, the water is full of taste and the atmosphere is a shade of change.


We Should Be The Change We Wish To See

As a child I often accompanied my father to his shop & business and spent hours watching his work. When I was older, I sometimes set up displays, waited on customers, and even balanced the books. This experience instilled in me the desire to own and manage my own world someday, yet I understood that the reality of world is more complex. This complexity requires more education and really needed experience and with that in mind I started my journey.

I have never looked back because I believed on work and dreams. After that as Gandhi fellow, I am trying to understand my self with context of external world because with this platform I got to know that how we can mould our self according to our own needs. I believe that future depends in our own hands, depends on how it is moulded!

I am a man of faith. My reliance is solely on God. One step is enough for me. The next step He will make clear to me when the time for it comes...

Salman U. Khan

Me as a Gandhi Fellow

Visualizing myself in a small town in the interior of Rajasthan, where women believe in pardah, where the proportion of men on the roads is higher, where people still commute on camel back…and sooooo much more setting up the locale…. felt distant and like a far away fantasy until I actually landed up here in Jhunjhunun! A place that ‘sounds’ soo musical is indeed a world of its own...with its own tunes…lyrics…and beats!

That’s what I call movement, movement from beer to chhach, from Pizza Hut to Bajre ki roti, from tall concrete buildings to open fields, from big cars to bullock carts, from A.C. rooms to walking in the sun, from pardah as a form of oppression to pardah an empowering feeling. Moving from a adopting a hip ‘gaon look’ as a fashion statement back in college to actually adapting myself to the ‘gaon look’…has been a process of true learning and indeed a complete immersion.

All of this, only to test myself, my ideas my perspectives in life and learn, unlearn and learn all over again!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Working For People...

Here in this fellowship, being at this place working for people (children i.e. our future), I feel proud to call myself Gandhi fellow.I have learnt many things by now and opening myself to learn more and more and more... I have changed in these days , so much so that now I have started reflecting, reading and writing which i dint used to do earlier. I am a part of a change which we (all the Gandhi fellows) think will come after 2 years and will continue there on... with the fact that daily we are changing, evolving in thought process to cause that change.


Monday, October 6, 2008

A New World...

Never ever did I think that I would be away from the television for so long, wouldn't get a single cinema hall to go to for entertainment, but here in Jhunjhunu, despite all this as a Gandhi Fellow spending most of the time on field, i remain engrossed. One of my learning here is that it is not just a social work, but I need to plan well if I want to see change...


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Voice Within... of a Gandhi Fellow

This is the journey of mine from the limelight of the globalised India to real Bharat.Being a Gandhi Fellow , is an effort towards taking steps ahead which is more important than being a mere spectator. I experiment therefore I am , and the effort is the hope .to explore myself and then from there taking steps toward bringing the change.
First of all, if I want to see a change , it should be first to feel the change myself, a change within for change outside... is the voice within , as a result of experiences gained here at the grass root level.
"Dare to dream is what is there, dream to dare" is the voice of mine for myself ,as a youth , realizing the strength and making use of it will definitely revolutionize the definition of change, and with this perspective traveling from India to Bharat , I am standing here with my firm belief , courage which lies within , explore it and act …act …act. With the real facts , unveil the truth , with empathy , nor sympathy or apathy. Being a Gandhi fellow , I am on the path of unfolding myself, and then trying to see any kind of impact on others and thereby bringing the change. Here , my journey is my destination...with learnings whose basic input is self unfoldement. In these two years , as a Gandhi Fellow , my learning process will be strenthened day by day with real practical life experience. This experience put many questions, and two years will be the journey toward destination, of unfolding myself . I experiment ,therefore ,I am...


Me as a Gandhi Fellow

Being a Gandhi Fellow! A dive into an ocean of eternal possibilities and numerous struggles …the aim being only one - CHANGE!

But what is this change all about? Change has several faces; gradualist, revolutionary, incremental and what not. But what is my connection to it? Why do I need to care about any change in any form? And why is this the platform that I chose?

Change is about dynamism but how one perceives that dynamism differs from person to person. For me my dynamism lies in steady and gradualist unfoldment of my self. But how does this unfoldment take place? My self’s unfoldment is a constant process; an eternal urge in me to learn, to reflect on my learnings and actions and further acting in the umbrella of that reflection.

The big difference is that now I have a way out for those dilemmas that is I have a way to act, the freedom to indulge in making the most of my capabilities and do not end up only intellectualizing problems around.

No doubt there are disillusionments and frustration that tend to overpower my optimism from time to time. But I feel that is the intricate part of this fellowship and my unfoldment in next two years.

I know that in the next two years, I would evolve with every new experience I get, preparing me for the years to come.


Being a Gandhi Fellow

Gandhi is a force, a thought, a peace process, a legend! He is the man who stood up to say “enough” and left a plethora of legacy for us to delve on. How compelling does his wisdom and foresight seem to us? In a country and a world thriving on a mobile life, does Gandhi fit into their scheme of thoughts anywhere?

The yearn to answer all these question keeps our quest going here in Jhunjhunu!

We as Gandhi fellows believe that the first step to bring about a change is to begin from within. Just as J.Krishnamurthy says: ‘The moment one realizes change is needed, it has taken place.’


One Step Ahead

Gandhi fellows, a vision, foreseen
Taking steps toward unveiling the reality,
Full of strength and courage which lies within,
Moving ahead with the sagacity,
Change is the need we believe,
Efforts are the key we insist,
Putting ourselves in other shoes,
We try to reach the deeper roots,
Every time we ponder, why reality always differs,
Deep within is motivation,
Whose foundation is self - reflection,
Believing the spirit of the youth is the assertion,
Acting as change agents, the declaration,
Realization is more important than reflection,
We believe taking steps ahead is more important than being a mere spectator.

- Sugandha