The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.

Thought provoking story worth posting, sent by a friend. Thanks Rashmi.

A Rose : Tough and unyielding


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze..

‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked.

She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…’

‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

‘I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Another Rose : Saroja Vaidyanathan

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..’

She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

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Surjivan – Rustic charm a stone’s throw away from the maddening metropolis

Contribution : Indira Ganesh

Our national holidays in metros are marked by mass exodus of people anxious to leave behind their busy life schedules, their ipods, their identity on facebook, and the gizmos that mark our existence. It is not just the technology driven mania that we seek to escape but also the mundaneness of eternally waiting for kanta bai, the domestic help.

Every year a few of us join this beeline that is trying to get far away from the maddening crowd. But we are also unique as a group for we always have to carry along a delicious, chocolacious cake along as one of the national holidays coincides with one of our young one’s birthday. The young lady was turning eight this year and we all wanted to ring in her new year in a new ambience with minimal driving. Tall order, one would say, but then one of our friends managed to find such a place close to Gurgaon—SURJIVAN.

Motifs on the walls of Surjivan

Barely over an hour’s drive from anywhere in Delhi is Surjivan, which is an eco-tourism destination. In a nutshell it is a place where one experiences ethnicity and rusticity with ample creature comforts. We were warmly welcomed by the caretaker who showed us to our rooms and got us our welcome drinks which was an over spiced and ‘Khatta’ Chach. We liked the informal atmosphere of the place and lounged around savoring the scent of grass and the bird calls. Unlike other settings, the children did not cling to us but found their callings, chasing the butterflies, unearthing beetles and making mudpies. The lunch was a delight to our palate which has forgotten how chutney made on mortar and pestle tastes so fresh unlike the homogenized version we make in a food processor. The paneer had the flavour of a smoky chullah which enhanced the taste and the syrupy gulabjamuns were sinfully delicious. The food was served piping hot in clay pots over clay warming vessels lined with hot charcoal. This all vegetarian meal was digested over a three hour long siesta by some of us. The others played a rain soaked soccer with lots of slips and falls.

In the afternoon we discovered the Kilol-kund which is a mud pond filled with rainwater. We wallowed in the mud with the children and this is one experience that was unique to this place. We explored the temperature of water at different places within the same pool and also experienced the slipperiness at different locations. Some Piggy godmother must have watched over us for we came out without any debilitating effects despite numerous dunks and falls. From there, the mud-caked junta marched to the fields to take a bath under the hosepipes. After such rowdiness, the sight of the ultramodern bathrooms with warm running water and clean linens was like a ‘manna’ from heaven.

exploring the herbal farm

After being restored to our civilized countenance, we ‘glugged’ down unending cups of ginger tea and chomped ‘BeesKoot’. Over tea, we started enjoying the birding opportunity this setting provided. We enthusiastically identified all the birds we saw and gave a few of them an identity crisis. There were no unusual sightings but the abundance of our winged friends was a pleasant experience. Later, we ventured into the herb garden which was undergoing a replanting drive but we managed to come back with a few samples of plants with distinct smells, the lemon grass, the golden bottle brush, the sacred tulsi and the camphor tree. We also saw a Jetropah plant about which one has heard so much. It is difficult to comprehend that this modest looking plant could actually one day solve our energy deficit.

Lively life around

We had the birthday cake cutting in the evening and the staff was quite prompt in getting us the paraphernalia for the occasion. Kishore Kumar’s romantic repertoire played subtly in the background and the mood was one of genuine bonhomie. The children played musical rooms going from one room to another in a group before finally settling down with their own parents for the night. But before we turned in for the night, there was one last sabotage to our Get-Slim-Stay-Slim plan. The dinner turned out as delicious as the lunch with some desi chicken curry. One heard the qawwali between the crickets and the resident frogs as one had the dinner. The fireflies were however conspicuous by their absence. Surjivan is an early to bed, early to rise kind of place, so we retired for the day soon after dinner.

Early morning dew

The next day, we woke up to a warm day with clear skies. The view when one stepped out of one’s cocooned air conditioner enabled room was truly awe inspiring. Everything looked verdant bathed in dew drops with the sun glistening on them. The button roses are so fragrant here that one involuntarily thanks Noorjehan begum for introducing this wonderful flower to India. It is difficult to imagine icons like Chacha Nehru and Shahjahan without their iconic rose flower.

Farm workers getting ready

Morning is also the time when the local labourers turn out at Surjivan for working on the farmland. Their life and appearance is a study in contrast with the guests who come to the resort. Along with our morning cuppa, we noticed the other activities that Surjivan offered. Similar to the Hayat-Baksh Bagh (Life Giving garden) in Shahjahanabad, Surjivan pays tribute to our diverse flora and fauna by having a well designed garden of trees with well designated information about them. So with every tree there is a description with its common name, its scientific name, its special properties, its allegiance to a nakshatra, deva and planets. A very nice tree spotting exercise can be done here. The garden also has some interesting trees like Gingko Biloba ( the oldest tree), The Krishna Dona tree (where Krishna hid butter) and also the Sita Asoka tree( the tree under which Sita stayed in her captivity) but for some reason all this wonderful information is mostly in the local language—Hindi.

Swings, kanche and gilli danda

We spent the morning trying to identify more birds and trees and trying our hand at the indigenous sports like gilli danda (Stick and an oblong skillet), Kanche (marbles) and pithoo. We recounted interesting anecdotes about each other’s childhoods and the joy one got while playing these so called rural games. These games are our living heritage and it is nice to see their presence in Surjivan. In a few years we may have to rely on a manual to play these wonderful games. There were ample swings around for children and grown ups. We tried our hand at milking the cows, churning the butter and grinding wheat on the stone mortar. After all this exciting but grueling work we settled for something ‘halka’ for breakfast like deep fried puris and potato with gravy and eggs. After a King sized breakfast, we headed for the splash pool which was cleaned for us and we filled fresh water from the hose amidst a lot of banter and cheer. Everyone got water cannoned and it was a welcome respite from a hot day. We paid our tribute to the nation on the national day by singing patriotic songs in various languages. We may have missed the tune but not the fervour. After a ‘mastilicious’ morning we headed home which was just an hour away.

rustic, elegant but a little expensive

Surjivan is slightly on the expensive side but then if you see the time value of money, it kind of adequately compensates. The staff here is semi trained but it is heartening to see that locals are involved in the hospitality of the place thus ensuring goodwill and security of the guests. There are a lot of subtle elements in Surjivan which reflect the philosophy of the promoters. Everything here is in consonance with nature. There are solar panels to augment power supply; amalgamation of local expertise in its architecture, the entire décor uses only three organic colours. There is a variety of local motifs painted on the walls. The food is organically grown and cooked on a low flame thus retaining its flavour.

Surjivan has many things to offer a city slicker without the slack of five star trappings. It is ideal for people who want to go to a laidback break in the lap of nature. It is also a nice settings for corporate to do their team building and ideation exercises. As for us, we wanted a place where zero-mirchi food would be understood and accommodated and our children (our ‘theen devian’) had a devilishly rocking time.

‘Let us save our Ladlis’ – An alarming truth about Female Feticide

In India, over five lakh girl children get bumped off even before they are born! Imagine what has nation lost in the last twenty years of technology facilitation!! That is the statistic given by a ‘proactive ex-chief of health services’ of the state of Haryana. He narrated how he had to face-off threats from MPs and many power-mongers, when he set out to set things right in the ‘notorious state of Haryana’, as he confessed. Straight and honest talk from Haryanvi himself, I must say.

Let us facilitate them outshine themselves

A young lady, did a three minute presentation on how ‘the govt’ turns a blind eye to the scores of clinics that are into prenatal sex identification for abortion. She shared that her in-laws were after her to abort the twin-girls in the womb after one such exercise, and how she fought tooth and nail to see the pregnancy through, even at the cost of losing the family support! She then went on to investigate the corrupt practices of the ‘sex-identifying clinics and doctors’. She filed an RTI to know the real data, that showed an alarming truth of how government permits the clinics to be open in the name of ‘social service’, even though supreme court had passed stringent punishment for violation of even not keeping records of the processes done in there. Most of the clinics do not keep any records, that in itself calls for punishment. More over, when they are caught for the act of ‘terminating’ they are let off without any stringent action against the clinics or doctors…

That is precisely where the Health Chief from Haryana, stood out when he shared his mission to curtail the practise. And he showed the data of how the numbers moved in the upward direction in the ensuing four years of his action…

It was a very thought-provoking evening at Stein Audi, where I ventured to see a dance presentation by Shovana Narayan, ‘Ladli’….

But I came out of the Audi more enlightened, with a resolve to do something towards the cause, “Let us save our Ladlis”!!

with love,
Sreeni

Dream It ! Do It ! – A compellingly motivational Series…2010

Posting updated on 25th October!

The journey of ‘Dream It! Do It!’ took me through 30 odd cities in 45 days! I could not make it to the following cities before CAT – Pune, Mumbai, Baroda, Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Agra, Meerut, Gzbd, Jammu, Hissar, Gurgaon, Faridabad………. Looking forward to facilitating as many as I can through the session posting on youtube in the next one week! I am sure I can be as effective through this medium too! Watch out for the posting!

“I attended your session at Bangalore on 26th Sept,10 and talked to you at the end about how important MBA from IIM is for my life. The session conducted by you has been one of the most inspiring sessions i have ever experienced. Your advice to me at the end really lifted my spirits and my ultimate goal became more clearer. I

Dream It! Do It! @ Patna

have attended so many seminars but none has touched my heart like this because this session was not only about cracking CAT but about life and its various shades which we all negate in day to day life. A warm and sincere thanks to you for helping me to think about these important areas.”

“First of all A Big THaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks for the session and it was one of the best things i have ever experienced. I have attended thousands of seminars and

Dream It! Do It! @ Jamshedpur

lectures but today for the first time after I left my home some 3 years back in the search of my aim & goal, I have come across something substantial. Believe me sir you have touched my heart and moved me”

So go many of the emails I have been receiving, after every session. Each one is from a charged aspirant who wants to change his or her life for better; who wants to bell the CAT in 2010.

Dream It! Do It! @ Dehradun

I am on my annual pilgrimage across the country before CAT. I get motivated and inspired while motivating and inspiring youngsters and old alike to push their boundaries…. boundaries of thought and action, and boundaries of achievement! Every year scores of students write back saying that this session has been of immense value in helping them reach their dream destinations, institution of their choice. I keep pushing my boundaries all the time, in order to be able to push each of the participants…. The whole exercise is a great energizer for me, though each session is energy-sapping when I finish those four hours of ‘dancing and singing in the alleys!!’

Dream It! Do It! @ Delhi


This year the series started from Delhi with a great opening at three different locations and continued to address CAT aspirants at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kurukshetra, Patiala, Patna, Durgapur, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Cochin, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore so far. At most of these locations, the halls have been packed and people were unrelenting to move even after four hours. The audi guys had to push us out!! At Varanasi, it was very heartening to see girls in hijab sitting in the packed hall even when the world outside was celebrating Eid / Ganesh Chathurthi and Teej, all of which fell on the same day.

Dream It! Do It! @ Varanasi


The best thing I liked about the sessions have been the Q&A in each location that lasted for over two hours. The participants, students and also many working executives, asking questions not limited to preparation for CAT but of larger perspectives of setting goals and priorities, focus and concentration, managing time, social expectation, expectations from self, pushing boundaries…..!!

Dream It! Do It! Jalandhar


The participants gave feedback at the end of the sessions. I just thought of sharing the summary from 3000+ participants so far during this tour –

a. Feedback about the session
0. Life altering and Life changing
i. Fantabulous!
ii. Brilliant!
iii. Awesome!
iv. Outstanding, never attended anything like this before
v. The session was an eye-opener. It can change everyone’s life for the better.
vi. Such sessions should keep happening once in a while
vii. Very motivational

Dream It! Do It! @ Allahabad


viii. Two more such sessions before CAT!!
ix. I am going to be at IIMA now
x. Can we have Audio and Video CDs of this session
xi. I WILL, IIM here I come
xii. I am an IIMA student from now on
xiii. Thanks a lot for conducting this session; It has changed my outlook
xiv. Do should have done this session four months ago!
xv. You should do it for parents too!

Dream It! Do It! Delhi Univ

b. Three things I carry home from this session

i. Vision, Vision, Vision
ii. Inspiration and Motivation
iii. Positive thinking, Self belief and Right attitude are the key
iv. Passion rewards… I will be
v. Sachin’s discipline, Oscar Pistorius’ strong desire to compete
vi. Energy, Energy and Energy
vii. Practicing everyday is the ‘mantra’
viii. Live, Eat, Breathe what you really want… IIM in my case now
ix. Think Ahead, Look Ahead, Run Ahead… learn lessons from the past

Dream It! Do It! Visualization @ Gorakhpur


x. I will remove “try’ from my dictionary.. I will do it
xi. New found determination
xii. Got a wake-up call !!
xiii. Master the fundamentals
xiv. Nothing is impossible
xv. Determination, Dedication, Discipline… 3 Ds of Success
xvi. Clear vision of what I want to be!
xvii. Peace of mind
xviii. Will remember ‘Going to the 10th floor…’; brain releases the chemicals to help us achieve what we want to..
xix. Listening to My OWN HEART, not to any one else
xx. I will have to conquer myself, I will conquer the world
xxi. If I think I can, I will definitely will make it
xxii. I will never forget Bumble bee and climbing the stairs!!
xxiii. Big successes come when you do small steps well
xxiv. Starting the game and finishing it… I will succeed
xxv. Being selfish and hungry for more

Dream It! Do It! @ Mandi house, Delhi


c. Learnings I will implement in my life –

i. Passion can defy destiny, I WILL
ii. I will believe in myself
iii. I will Plan and work with dedication
iv. I will Face the reality
v. I will Manage my time
vi. I will use Time management matrix to organize my schedule well
vii. I will imbibe the Attitude of ‘just do it’
viii. I will give Sweat, Guts and Blood…. Nothing less will do!
ix. Every second counts; I will be disciplined
x. I will Fight and do not give up
xi. I will be Making schedules and sticking to it
xii. It is ‘Me Vs Myself”
xiii. I realize that there is No substitute for hardwork

Dream It! Do It! @ Chandigarh


xiv. I will Practice, practice, practice… every day
xv. I will tell the world what I want to do!
xvi. I will make learning every day agenda
xvii. I will Change my habits to achieve anything
xviii. I will make Flash Cards and use it every moment of time
xix. I will make IIM class of 2013 Placards and stick every where
xx. I will be focused on myself, and not bother about others
xxi. I will fight the Urge to Give up
xxii. Step out of the comfort zone; I Will
xxiii. I will give up my comforts and strive
xxiv. It is never too late to Begin, I will start today with passion
xxv. I will work harder
xxvi. I will study hard for eight hours; and also sleep for eight to be fresh
xxvii. RC is the key to succeed in CAT, I will work on it seriously
xxviii. Will polish my fundamentals thoroughly
xxix. I will continuously revise with a plan
xxx. I will do thorough analysis of every mock to improve myself
xxxi. I will keep fighting

d. Suggestions to improve the sessions

i. The session is energy sapping, so much in a few hours
ii. Use videos of our generation, or about students going through similar challenges
iii. Show more IIM student videos
iv. More interaction and examples
v. The focus was on Success and how to win. Kindly focus more on CAT (Spent two hours only answering CAT related questions after the first two hours on Dream It, Do It!)

vi. Use more Hindi!!
vii. Kindly include more videos from Business and student world too, though sports videos are very compelling
viii. You can do some activities with participants during the session

Videos of “Believing is seeing, 2009 version of Dream It! Do It! Motivational Series; CAT 2010 takers can watch these and charge themselves”

Believing is seeing Part I


Believing is seeing Part II


Believing is seeing Part III


Believing is seeing Part IV

——————————————————————————

The journey to the Audi @ Delhi…..Viva Metro!

I was heading to the venue by my car, and it was pouring and as I approached Apollo hospital, still a good 15 kms away from the venue, I realized that though I have an hour and half for the session to start, I would not be able to reach. The pouring rains and the blocked drains, had already caused a long traffic jam. I covered a kilometer in half an hour. I just asked my driver to turn the car around at the next cut and head to the nearest metro station, Botanical Garden in Noida, which was a good four Kms away, hoping that the way will not be that crowded. Thanks to my luck, it was indeed a smooth drive. And in 10 min, I was at the station.

This was the first time I was boarding the metro on this Noida-Dwarka line. The line has been opened a few months ago. But, I was appalled by the apathy we Indians have towards any thing that does not belong to us. The moment, I stepped on to the escalator, I noticed pan-spits on the wall next to it; Stepped into the bogey, scribbling on the walls. We have world-class service being provided and we don’t care for its well-being……

Yes, I reached the Sriram Centre in just forty minutes. If I had continued by road, I would never have made it to the session. Viva Metro!!

Sreeni
sreeni@iwsb.in

Play of light and shadow— Shadow puppetry festival at Imaging Asia

Written by Indira Ganesh

Whosoever thought of shadow puppets as boring and clichéd movements of leather figurines against an illuminated backdrop would have been so jolted out of their complacence on seeing the Hunan shadow puppet show from China at Kamani Auditorium. What transpired during the show was sheer magic with expert hand movements and excellent team co-ordination.

Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


Seven short stories were shown with an unmistakable Pan Asian flavour with a vibrant sound track supporting the stories. They looked like any good animation movie on the television replete with humor and valuable hidden messages. It was heartening to see that the children really enjoyed the show and the adults chorused along with them in their laughter. The back drops were beautiful and the scenery changed with every story. It took the team a few minutes to change the settings, making transition between narratives almost seamless. The stories largely used animal characters like the Indian Panchatantra and Jataka tales. Unfortunately some stereotypes prevailed like the fox being wily and untruthful, the black crow as someone stupid, the fat characters were all lazy, etc.

But these small elements apart, the show was engaging and entertaining. They relied on pre-recorded music instead of dialogues giving them a very universal appeal. The performing team however added their own sound effects to weave their magic. Unlike in other parts of the world, all the shadow puppets were not made of leather and hide. Some of them were made of polymers as well. There were contraptions to make the eyes and jaws move making the puppets quite life like. They had multiple joints which made them have supple graceful movements unlike other puppets of this genre. Multiple puppets were used for the same character to show transition. Size of the characters were altered to give a perception of distance and depth.

Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


All in all, one was suffused with a wonderful feeling of having been through a good story telling session. What happened onstage looked like a finely orchestrated show and was quite riveting. But then there is always a curious somebody who is more intrigued by how it was being put together. Remember the boys from kindergarden who would take every toy apart? After a grueling motivational interaction with students for almost five hours, Sreeni managed to find the energy to play peeping Tom. He went backstage to catch the frenetic activity of the puppeteers. He observed how more than three pairs of hands at times co-ordinated a single seamless movement on screen.

The barometer for measuring any good show with mallika is to see how badly my lap aches after the show. With all her squeals and jumping, I almost needed painkillers. After the show, she was adamant on meeting the team. The Puppeteers who hardly spoke a word of English had no problems connecting with the two children who ventured back stage after the show. They were very patient with the two children, urging them to try the puppets and encouraging them when they got a movement right. After all, so many things are so very universal like the joy of a tale well told and love for the little ones.

Ufffffffffffffffffffff… Kya Musibath hai ! (ufffffff…. what a pain !!)

This mail I had written to the learners in my class. Yes, these are the challenges I face for myself. I struggle myself, yes but enjoy what I am doing and whatever I am supposed to do. I included it in my blog as a reminder to myself !!

———————————–
Dear Friends,

I can get the feel of it, by the way things are happening in the class…I am sure most of you (certainly not all) are discussing quite a few things… some, I can hear and some I may not…

A. Too many assignments, case studies. For doing it I have to finish so many chapters. How can I really read and finish?
B. A few of these faculty (sreeni certainly), only talk about learning and ask us to write every week !! Over and above these, ‘My learning Diary’
C. Where is the time to study and finish the work.. forget about learning and internalizing?
D. I am not getting any time for myself

The questions each one of you need to ask yourself is –

Q1. Am I doing this program for myself or someone else?

If it is for yourself, every thing you are expected to do is for yourself. The time you need to invest for some given assignment is also for your own growth, and certainly is not for some faculty’s. As long as you feel that someone else is thrusting things upon you, you will continue to feel that you are not in control of things and the life is like a roller coaster, one bump after another. It is just a question of each one of you telling to yourself that I am in control and I will make it happen.

Q2. Am I here to learn or just to get a degree?

If it is for learning, I am sure you will be the master of your time than the slave. You will plan and manage time so that you can gain maximum. A few of you are doing it. I can see that these few finish the chapters, participate in the class meaninfully and even complete the assignments the very same day and send it across, though they too have a week at their disposal. How are they managing to do so? Each one has to ponder..

If getting the degree some how is the thought you have, I am really sorry to say you may not even survive the whole program to get the degree, forget about getting a well-paid job !!

Q3. How do I get time for myself? I want to go for this, do this…?

Dear friend, Kindly list your priorities at this point of time. The things you want to do. It is all about managing time and plugging into your schedule and sticking by it.

Each one of you has a detailed schedule for every course given by each faculty. Don’t you? Have you created a weekly window that has the plotting of all the predictable work you need to do in a week and when you would do it. If you have the plan for the whole week well in advance in front of you, and execute it by the schedule, I am sure you can find more time to accommodate the unexpected ones – both study and play!!

You can easily incorporate everything you want to do..music, dance, movies, sports….The key is to stick to the schedule at any cost !

I had sent a week ago, Paulo Coelho’s write up on his blog of KILLING Our DREAMS – “The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight” for more read http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2010/07/31/3-min-reading-killing-your-dreams/

Some one told me in my early days of working, when I used to go to him with issues, “Have you got a problem, or solutions to choose one from? If you have only problem, then you are part of the problem. I am sure you want to be a solutions man and not a problem man!!”

STUDY HARD and PARTY HARDER !! Wishing you all a wonderful Journey !!

Love and wishes,

Sreeni

P.S. If I am not able to do something well, it is not because I am not capable of; It is only because I really do not want to !! So, one of the principles I try to follow is “Do what I am passionate about, and also will be passionate about whatever I do”

Ganesh and Kumaresh, the tech savvy classical musicians

The last weekend, I had the opportunity of attending a festival of dance and music, Parampara organized by Natya Tarangini. Parampara 2010 was focussed on contemporary interpretations of dance and music. It feature distinguished exponents – Guru Raja Radha Reddy’s Kuchipudi dancers, Guru Gangadhar Pradhans’ Odissi troupe and kumidhini Lakhia’s Kathak group. The music jugalbandhis were – Pt. Vishwamohan Bhat with Pt. Ronu Majumdar; Violin brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh; Sitar and Veena Jugalbandhi between sitar maestro Gaurav Mazumdar and veena vidhwan Jayanti Kumaresh.

Every performance was an enlivening one. While the group performance of dancers explored the boundaries of the dance forms, the jugalbandis in the second half have been a revelation.

The tech savvy duo of Ganesh and Kumaresh

One of the jugalbandis that stood out was of Ganesh and Kumaresh. Being brothers, their understanding of each other is so deep that you can see the mannerisms reflected in one another. There are many instances when you would see both have same expressions on their face even while they are not looking at each other. The music was so melodious and the play between them was entwined. If one listens to the audio, one may not even realize that there are two players. They started off at a wonderful pace that mesmerized every one in the audience.

The tech savvy duo of Ganesh and Kumaresh

I realized that, not only Ganesh and Kumaresh stand out because of their renditions on violin, but also the way they use technology. The stage was full of electronic gadgets. The personal MACs that take inputs from their respective violins, go on to record the performances, modulate the sound that is given as input to the audio system in the auditorium etc. So, unlike other artists, G&K just plug in their laptops and gadgets and start playing. They do not worry about adjusting, as the laptops are configured to give the outputs with the pre-adjusted settings. The jack of the audio system is just plugged into the amplifier / mixer that is connected to their MACs and Voila, it is time to go on air… I was even sharing with G&K, that they can conduct a workshop for all open minded musicians on how to use technology to enhance the experience for themselves and the audience too… Why not?

While I was busy photographing the event, with G & K sitting just a row ahead of me, I realized that a familiar voice is emanating from under my chair. I slowly pulled up my camera bag to realize that the voice synthesizer of my mobile is busy reading all messages from my in box. I calmly switched the mobile off… Kumaresh, sitting in row ahead of me, narrated an interesting episode of how technology plays truant. In one of the concerts in the US, the show just began and Kumaresh’ laptop control started declaring that the show is about to end and he had to fix it as the show was in progress…

All in all it has been a great weekend. You can check out the pictorial documentation of the Parampara festival, including those of Ganesh & Kumaresh at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sreenivasan/sets/72157624553865259/with/4870939853/

sreeni@iwsb.in

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