Sunday, August 21, 2011

India with Anna Hazare


A life to wish, a life to act, a life to succeed or fail,
Man is not based on success but on action,
We have stood by a man who has acted,
A man who has voiced the nation's thought.
Madhavan R Sriram


Location : Freedom Park, Bangalore, KA, IN

Date : 20/08/2011





Monday, August 15, 2011

Drive to the top

Federer wins comfortably today; i think today is his lucky day. I again see him winning comfortably tomorrow and for the  rest of the year . This makes me gape in awe .


It is fascinating to watch Federer, Sachin or Messi perform. This is because we know that they are the best and they will prove once again that they are the best in the world.This consistency in their victories makes me think as to what is so different with them ? Is it that they have realized their strength early and have directed their efforts properly in that direction or that they have been born with extra talents and powers? Even the personality of these “greats” makes me wonder as to what keeps them going after attaining so much success so early in their life. Is it fame or excellence or mere existence that drives them? So, what makes the difference between these people and the other people who are caught in the rat-race.

Mankind has not been kind to everyone and nor can it be. That is why Communism is a failed theory – Not everyone is the same and cannot be accepted to be the same. It might be our desire to want to be the Alpha-male in any group but desire and prowess are different. As an illustration, think what would happen if 100 hundred males are kept together in the same level. The males differentiate themselves based on their prowess and settle down in roles comfortable to them – the like-minded fight it out and the best one wins the role. This is the universal logic – there can be only one best and no one better.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bagepalli – A gift indeed

The Romantic will always look at the bright side of life. Even in destruction, he will view future construction .

Last Thursday, while i was at office, I received an email from Aashaiyen Foundation asking me whether i wanted to participate in the “Gift your village” activity that Saturday. I quickly checked my schedule and saw that i had absolutely nothing planned for the weekend. Only involved in urban community development till then, this event posed as a refresher as it was located at Bagepalli, a village 88km from Bangalore. I figured out that I will be experiencing Karnataka’s raw culture and meeting a new sect of people who had a different outlook of life. So, thinking on these lines, I enrolled myself for the event and had a quick conversation over the phone with the organizer on the logistics and transportation.
The activity was planned for Saturday and I was told to arrive at Sivaji Nagar at 6AM  for helping out with the loading of the books that were to be distributed to the students in the village schools. However, I was able to make it only at 6:30AM and most of the loading was already done by the other volunteers. We had a quick round of introductions followed by which some of us went and parked our motorcycles at a nearby trustee’s house. We were all set to leave to Bagepalli by 7AM.
Morning time in Bangalore is always a visual treat ;the sky is a mild blue at that time and the dew drops that lay on the road and grass gives the landscape a contrasting hue. We savored the beauty for a short while, after which we embarked on our trip to Bagepalli via NH7. The national highway has its own share of stunning visuals and we were lucky to get some fantastic shots of Nandi hills and Skandagiri peak. We made quick time and reached the local coordinator’s house at Bagepalli by an hour and half. We got acquainted with him and came to know that he was a retired engineer who had worked abroad prior to retirement and had returned to his village after retirement to utilize his expertise and skills to develop the place. We were offered a breakfast of hot idlis and chutney, after which we drove to Penamale Higher School,which was a half-hour drive from there. As we were getting down from the Tempo-Traveler at the school, we heard cheering from a huge student crowd. I and the other volunteers saw around 250 students cheering and clapping at us – surprising as we were not expecting a welcome at all. After quick introductions with the village headman, we were directed to the makeshift dais, where we were made to sit along with the village headman and other important folk of the village. The faculty of Penamale Higher Secondary School honored us by presenting each one of us a fresh red rose picked from the garden. One of the volunteers had a Nikon SLR D3100 and we started clicking pictures of the students, the function and the rural environment. We heard several speeches made by faculties and by the headman on the importance of education and importance of outside involvement to develop the village’s standard of education. After hearing the speeches, we took over and started distributing the books to the students. We totally made a contribution of 1300 books to the Bagepalli village. After completing the distribution of books, we went for a stroll in the village. The village-folk were very hospitable and invited us to their households. After tasting few delicacies of the Karnataka-type village households and roaming through the village for a solid one-hour, we decided that it was time to leave back to Bangalore. So we bid adieu to the village children, who were following us, and returned back to the local coordinator’s house to drop him. We were about to say our goodbyes when the coordinator’s wife called us and requested us to have lunch with her and her husband. They threw us a mini-feast, in which we had a complete Karnataka-style lunch with sweets and kheer.

We bid byes to everyone there and started to Bangalore once again. The ride back was fun as we had gotten to know each other better. We played a few travel games and recounted our experiences of volunteering to each other. The trip was unforgettable to me as i not only enjoyed immersing myself in the Karnataka-style hospitality but also contributed to the rustic society. Hope to be back to the village to do further work with them..