Being a mother…. bringing a new life into the world..

Mallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister Arrives
Mallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister Arrives
Mallika's sister ArrivesMallika's sister ArrivesMallika's Sister ArrivesMallika's Sister ArrivesMallika's Sister ArrivesMaagu and her sisters..
Maagu and her sisters..

Mallika’s Sister Arrives, a set on Flickr.

When, as a father, I am loving the whole process, what it must be feeling like to be a mother once again…. bringing a new life to this world. My sincere tribute to Indira, every mother and every girl child in this world.

It is a miracle, how the mother facilitates the creation of the cell, multiplication of it, then the formation of various parts of the body – internal and external, then the addition of the soul. Feeling every movement of the child in the womb, relishing every moment, though with a certain amount of anxiety whether she is doing everything possible to help the child emerge in the world hale and hearty.

Though I have been traveling a lot, I have been completely involved in every moment of the last nine months experiencing the pleasure of observing, anticipating, interacting and sharing with Indira.  Mallika became integral to most of the interactions and observations, joining us to innumerable ultrasound scans, each time observing the movements of the child in the womb, trying to identify the eyes, nose, mouth and limbs and enjoying the child’s activities there in.

This Monday, May 23rd 2011, the baby emerged at 12:00:48 pm, not without her share of adventure.- with two opposite loops of the umbilical cord around the neck. The doctors were surprised that why Indira is going through such a struggle to push the child out. The child was stuck at the entrance and was not emerging out, only to realize that there are two twists of the cord around the neck when the head emerged.

Looking at the child’s perspective, what must she have gone through. From the serene, comfortable, fluidy and predictable world inside without much of noise and light, the emergence into the world of pollution in every sense and that too to fight with the cords around her neck to emerge.

Everything is different and strange in the outside world – temperature, sounds, lights, touch and feel… the first few hours and days are certainly traumatic.

“The lifeline, the cord that fed me over the last nine months has been snapped. The heart has to beat to keep me alive, the lungs have to pump with my breath bringing in oxygen. My mother has to help me feed and I have to know how to feed, more important, my mother has to produce enough feed to feed me… I do not know about functioning of my system… I do not know how it works.. how does it handle what I drink, how does my body feel about what goes in…  everyone at home are waiting in anticipation… and I do not recognize them by appearance though I might have heard feeble noises when in the womb.. how do I relate the noise to the appearance…”…

What a challenging first week it is for a child and also for the mother… the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, social…. the journey of bringing a new life is amazing. No experience in this world can come anywhere close to this….

My salutations to every mother and every girl child….

On the verge of second rebirth… reminiscing last eight years with Mallika

One of my dear friends, Geetu, when I appreciated a lovely portrait of her with her daughter, stated –

“Yes Vasan , it is only when we are in our parent’s shoes that we appreciate them even more. Am thankful to my parents for being there for me and also to God for giving us the opportunity to impart the similar love and affection to our little ones “,

I responded – ” I understand – the rebel is introspecting!! ;))

Geetu- “Vasan , I almost forgot abt the grief I gave my parents”.

This interaction made me write this piece. Thanks Geetu.

Indira, Mallika and I are waiting the arrival of our new family member any time.  I have been completely grounded. It has been a fortnight since.  I have been working from home mostly, in anticipation of the arrival.

As we have been waiting for our second child, I was reminiscing the last eight years of journey with Mallika. What a journey has it be along with Indira.  It has been no less than a rebirth.  I loved every moment. Indira, I am sure, enjoyed more than me for she has always been there for and with Mallika.

My forced break from hectic activities has proved to be invaluable in enriching family bonding – with a couple of false alarms on Indira’s front to helping Mallika find her feet in the real world. The fortnight has been very action packed and very significant in Mallika’s life too.

For Mallika, we were keen to find a school that is in sync with our value system, yet that would help her blossom as good a human being while stoking her creative self. One such school we identified was Sardar Patel Vidyalaya (SPV). As the luck would have it, suddenly SPV opened admissions in the middle of the year for classes 1-3 and invited us also to fill the form. Mallika was not so keen initially.  She really enjoyed going to her current school, Billabong high, as she loved her friends. Indira was instrumental in softening Mallika by taking her to a couple of events at SPV. Mallika started liking SPV as a result, though  still ambivalent.  Slowly we convinced her to take a shot at it.

We filled the form and SPV took all the aspirants through the process of written exam. This was her first face-off with the real world, with about a 100 aspirants for 25 seats. After her written test, Mallika was a little disappointed as she herself felt, she could have done much better. She performed below her potential. But when the results of written exam was announced, Mallika made it to the shortlist of 40. It was a good boost to her confidence. She then jumped into it headlong. Then the face2face interaction followed.  Finally, we found Mallika in the selected list. She found a good school for herself and hope it will turn out to be a great one.

While the school admission process was on, we came across an advertisement about the selection process for summer theatre camp of National school of Drama. We went ahead and brought two forms, one for Mallika and another for her loving cousin Anandita. We applied keenly for both, though we were not sure whether Anandita will be able participate in the month-long programme.  An audition was conducted for all the applicants and results were announced. Anandita made it to the final selected list, but Mallika was wait-listed. Mallika was really dejected. Since Anandita made it and she could not, it was all the more hurting her. She came back home and started painting with purposefulness. Indira and I were discussing, that perhaps it was the best result that could have happened, as Mallika was taking things for granted – parents exposing her to too many avenues!! This is a great lesson for her to reflect upon and take corrective measures.

I went for the inaugural session of the summer workshop to see the possibility if any of the selected candidates do not turn up. It may give an opportunity for Mallika to squeeze in. Yes, indeed two of the selected candidates did not make it, and Mallika was the third in the waiting list. It is still a touch and go affair. NSD called us to be there in the evening to take stock and announce the status of the wait-listed.

Mallika was sitting beside me waiting for the status, praying with folded hands and closed eyes. I have never seen Mallika so eager. So desperate to have it.  She wants to be in the workshop along with her loving cousin Anandita very badly.  As luck would have it, again she just managed to make it as the last selected candidate… Her joy knew no bounds. In a matter of a week, she grabbed two trophies – School and NSD theatre workshop.

The journey of these eight years have been very very enriching. Got a great deal of opportunities to explore, experiment, experience and enliven our own lives.  Music, dance, painting, photography, puppetry, poetry, story telling, unraveling science..traveling and living in country side, abroad…  I recall every single moment with Mallika and Indira. My camera has been able to capture all these moments… What a journey it has been… The visual documentation is here for all to see..

Mallika's JourneyAlphabets - New Age NurseryMallika in her creating spaceMallika in her creating spaceMallika in her creating spaceAnandita and Mallika getting ready for NSD rangtoli audition
Mallika at IIC and IHCMallika at IIC and IHCMallika at IIC and IHCMallika at IIC and IHCMallika at IIC and IHCMallika at IIC and IHC
Maagu and NanduMaagu and NanduMaagu and NanduMaagu and NanduMaagu and NanduMaagu and Nandu
Maagu and NanduAakhyan - India traditional story telling -  @ IGNCAAakhyan - India traditional story telling -  @ IGNCAAakhyan - Indian traditional story telling -  @ IGNCAChildren in SikkimDarjeeling, Sikkim - People, places and lifestyle

Life and times of Mallika, a set on Flickr.

I am eagerly looking forward to years and years ahead, with Mallika and the young one who is going to arrive this week. I want to see how Mallika bonds with the young one. It was here insistence to have a playmate, a sibling, that made Indira and me go for our second child. I am sure the journey ahead is going to be doubly enriching…. Welcome life….

Thanks Indira and Mallika. Love you…

New Age schools and children – Alphabets : A-Apple, B-Bluetooth, C-Chat,…

Alphabets and New Age mappings

I was walking through the corridor of a school and I noticed this Alphabet mapping board.  It is no more A-for Apple, B for ball,….. guess what.  It is:

A for Apple, B-Bluetooth, C-Chat, D-download, E-Email, F-Facebook, G-Google, H-HP, I-iphone, j-java, k-kingston, L-laptop, M-messenger, N-Nero, O-Orkut, P-Picassa, Q-quick heal, R-Ram, S-Server, T-Twitter, U-USB, V-Vista, W-WiFi, X-XP, Y-Youtube, Z-Zorpia


Was talking to niece, Nandulu (Anandita). Was sharing that when we were in school and college, we did not have any of these at home : mixie, refrigerator, television, microwave etc. Nanduulu immediately responded, “So you went to canteen every day?”

Impacting society (radio, mobile):Readings to introspect for the day – 120511

Can India rise up through radio?

Pioneering broadcasters use mobile phones and creative programming to push the limits of India’s ban on news radio.

Interesting issues dealt with in this Pull in Radio station –  CGnet Swara is a platform to discuss issues related to Central Gondwana region in India. To record a message please call on (080) 4113 7280.

Dabba Radio is India’s first independent news radio network. We create great shows on a range of important topics: from news, politics, and current events to food, art, music, and culture. We then disseminate these shows over as many mediums as possible, including cell phones, internet streaming, and podcasts. Named after the eight-sigma dabbawalas of mumbai.

By going mobile, developing world leaps ahead

Commentary: Networks, devices will change way business is done; India, China and Africa will lead the growth of the world economy!!

Gramin Radio Inter Networking System v0.3

If you want to set up a radio station, here you may find good info and advise…

An inspiring journey – Anuradha Koirala, loving mother to the wronged ones!

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the profile and CNN for the film)

Anuradha Koirala is a social activist and the founder and director of Maiti Nepal – a non-profit organization in Nepal dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.[1]

Currently, Maiti Nepal operates a rehabilitation home in Kathmandu, as well as transit homes at the Indo-Nepal border towns, preventive homes in the countryside, and an academy in Kathmandu. As the name suggests, Maiti Nepal (“maiti” meaning “mother’s home” in Nepali) has been a refuge for women rescued from the brothels in India. The women can stay in the homes run by Maiti Nepal until they are able to return to their homes or if not accepted by their parents they may stay until they become able to live on their own.

Maiti Nepal also works on reuniting the rescued women with their families, patrolling Indo-Nepal border with police and other law enforcement authorities and also rescuing trafficked women from the brothels in India with the help of Indian authorities.[2]

Anuradha Koirala with CNN Hero award

Koirala received the Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts on August 25, 2006.[3] She won the CNN Hero of the Year award in 2010.[1]

The United States government has given a two-year grant of $500,000 to Maiti Nepal in April 2010.[4]

Mother’s Day – Maagu and Nandu with their Ammais, IG and Uma

Maagu and Nandu by Vasu..
Maagu and Nandu, a photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

A great portrait of strong women in life – daughters, sisters, mothers and women who are contributing to the society and conquering the world. Love you all.

Unsung Heroes : Raju, The Rickshawalla of Benaras

forwarded by a friend to Rama Ananth who posted it on Facebook. I stumbled upon it and found fascinating, hence posted here. Thanks Rama, thanks to her friend..
It is a great inspirational interaction and shows how not to go by looks or by the work one is engaged in. There is a great deal of learning in engaging and interacting with every individual.  It is like my series on unsung heroes, with whom my interactions have been yielding immense insights.
Enjoy reading this…

There were two rickshaw-walas vying for our business when we wanted to go to Sankat-Mochan temple in Benaras. I agreed to go with the one who was about 20, seemed like a regular young rickshaw-wala, but I found something interesting about this fellow in his eyes. I was not proved wrong.

He wanted Rs 50, we said Rs 30. We settled for 40.

Here are the highlights of the conversation that ensued while he rode the rickshaw:

“aap kahan se aaye hain”


“bijness ya kaam karte hain?”

“naukri karte hain”


“internet mein”

“humara bhi kuch wahin kaam lagwa do”

I just chuckled

“main try kar raha hoon engineering padhne kee. achchi naukri lag jaayegi tab”

“achcha?” I asked a little interested

“haan, delhi mein Guru Gobind Singh Indraprashta University mein engineering ke liye apply kara hai. achchi hai woh university”

“haan, achchi hai”, I agreed.

“haan, kal hee maine JEE bhi diya”

“JEE matlab, IIT ka?”

“haan, Joint Entrance Examination” he pronounced it perfectly just to make it clear to me what JEE stood for. “mushkil hota hai exam”

“haan, 2 saal toh log padhte hee hain uske liye, asaan nahin hai” I carried on the conversation

“Delhi mein Akaash coaching institute hain na?”

“haan, hai”

“aapne kya padhai kari?”

“main engineer hoon, aur phir mba bhi kiya”

“kahan se engineer?”

“IIT delhi se”

He swung back, surprised, a little delighted, and smiled. “Ok, aapke liye Rs 30”

Swati and I laughed

Swati asked “padhai kab karte they IIT ke liye”

“bas, rickshaw chalaane ke baad raat mein”. Then he added “kismein engineering kari aapne?”


“toh aapki chemistry toh badi strong hogi”

“nahin, aisa nahin hai”

He continued “yeh bataiye….jab Mendeleev ne Periodic Table banaya tha tab kitne elements they usmein?”

Now it was my turn to get surprised. He was quizzing me. I said “shayad 70-80”

“no, 63” he said sharply. “kaunse element kee electronegativity highest hai?”

Swati was laughing, and I didnt try too hard and said “pata nahin”

“Flourine”, he said confidently. Without a break he asked,”kaunse element kee electron affinity highest hoti hai?”

Now I was laughing too and said “nahin pata”

“Chlorine. toh aapka kaunsa subject strong tha?” clearly having proven that my chemistry wasnt a strong point

“Physics”, I said

“achha, Newton’s second law of motion kya hai”

I knew this one I thought, “F=ma” I said

“Physics is not about formula, it is understanding concept!”  he reprimanded me in near perfect english. “Tell me in statement”

I was shocked. Swati continued to laugh.

I said “ok, Newtons second law, er….was….”

” ‘was’ nahin, ‘is’!Second law abhi bhi hai!” he snapped at my use of ‘was’

Surely, my physics wasnt impressing him either. “yaad nahin, I said”

“Force on an object is directly proportional to the mass of the object and the acceleration of the object”, he said it in near perfect english. “aapne mtech nahin kiya?”

“nahin, mba kiya”

“mba waale toh sirf paisa kamana chahte hain, kaam nahin karte”

“nahin, aisa nahin hai, paisa kamaane ke liye kaam karna padta hai”

He said “arrey, rehene do”  or some words to that effect. He didnt think too highly of me apparently anymore.

In a minute we reached our destination. We got off and I told him that he must and should definitely study more, and that I think he is sharp as hell. He took only Rs 30, smiled and began to leave. I got my camera out and said “Raju, ek photo leta hoon tumhari”. He waved me off, dismissed the idea and rode off before I could say anything more….leaving me feeling high and dry like a spurned lover.

Damn, what a ride that was! India is changing, and changing fast.

The smart Rickshaw wala. This picture, I found in the website: Impressions of India. I really liked this picture for it suited the main character in the story.
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