Give me democracy, give me education and give me the Indian family

Leaders of tomorrow – Watch out, IIMs!

Shweta, Nishita, Aarushi, Aishwarya, Pulina. My confidence in our future as a country come from these youngsters. A Bharatanatyam dancer and 99.82 percentiler, another from the Pataudi rural belt joint family of 21 members where no one went to a college (she has 96 percentile), another – a poet, yet another girl from a modest background from Rajasthan….. All in search of progress, excellence, dreamy eyed! Nothing stops them! Nothing can! 12644666_10153455430903736_9024484342016857159_n

I always find family as the single most important strength and nation builder – of India or our society – the family, the unlettered mother, the less-spoken-about father, the uneducated brother who is supporting his younger sister strongly against the negative social forces. All are singularly focused on enabling the next generation. The repetitiveness with which I see this up-close is a testimony to the power of education in India. How, culturally, valued it is!

These girls (well, many of them) are traversing a vast distance from the lower middle or the bottom of the pyramid to the top of it through their own efforts and by leveraging education. The powerhouse that this society is going to emerge in the next decade or two will be entirely due to the efforts of the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

Give me democracy, give me education and give me the Indian family – we can build the VishwaGuru status for India! And remember, I am deeply conscious of the imperfections in each of these! But these are still the best! you take away any one and we will travel backwards.

Needless to say, I am counting on leadership, policy making, reducing corruption etc., as outcomes of the core causal factors (in my view)! Well! For now, applaud these girls who are on their way to the top schools. Save this post and look up after 20 years. You will have heard and see about them already. I am saying it for having seen the last 20’years from this privileged seat !

All the best, Shweta, Nishita, Aarushi, Aishwarya and Pulina. IIMs would be previleged to have you on campus. If they don’t pick you – go by what Sehwag said when asked about how did he feel when he was not chosen for the Indian Cricket team – “Whose loss was it ?”, he asked in how raw Haryanvi Ishtyle! smile emoticon

Satya

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Sreeni’s SPANDAN 2014 culminates with a bang at IHC – Media Coverage!

SPANDAN 2014, a brainchild of R. Sreenivasan and Indira Ganesh, was painstakingly and lovingly compiled. It is all about celebrating the ‘Journey of INFINITY’ as Sreeni calls it – discovering the infinite potential within. With love towards performing arts and fine arts, Sreeni intends to inspire every youth to push oneself in their areas of passion and excel in life.

While the Dance Photography Exhibition with over 30+ photographers celebrated that ‘Journey of Infinity’ of the dancers who have made a difference, the Dance Evening celebrated the young and not so young dancers who are on their way to establish themselves in the world of dance.

It gave Sreeni, immense pleasure to welcome each viewer and every youth to the second edition of SPANDAN – a celebration of human spirit in the form of dance, generously supported by INDIA HABITAT CENTRE (IHC) and CL EDUCATE, earlier known as Career Launcher. It was heartening indeed to interact with scores of youth, elders and intellectuals apart from dancers and dance lovers during the SPANDAN Photo exhibition and the dance evening.

Here are a few coverages of SPANDAN in the media…. if you want to read the original article in the respective English publication, kindly click on the article here.

HINDUSTAN, April 26, 2014 previews WORLD DANCE WEEK – “Kahin dance photo pradarshini, tho kahin dance sandhya ka ayojan” – “While Dance photos exhibited at one place, dance evening organized at the other

SPANDAN Hindustan article

Frozen fleet by Ms Anjana Rajan in THE HINDU, MAY 05, 2014 – Sreeni’s SPANDAN 2014, the festival of WORLD Dance Photography / Evening

SPANDAN 2014 - The Hindu Article by Ms. Anjana Rajan

A step towards excellence, Pioneer Daily – Thursday, 08 May 2014 | Utpal K Banerjee

SPANDAN 2014 Pioneer Article by Sri Utpal K Banerjee

Dialogue of Dance, The Statesman – Thursday, 15 May 2014 – by Manjari Sinha

STATESMAN - Spandan featured in Manjari Sinha ji's column

More expected…

Indeed the 4 weeks of craziness to get SPANDAN going and the 10 days of event culminating with the dance evening! …..the intensity has been elevating and enervating too…helping me to discover more and more of me in the Journey OF INFINITY….

My humble bow to each one of you who has facilitated me to put the entire SPANDAN 2014 festival. I am sure the festival has ignited in every visitor and audience a desire to excel in life. Kindly pardon me for all my inadvertently committed mistakes.

More action on plate now, as I cruise ahead in my journey….on CL front and HOME front too.. keep watching!

Looking forward to your blessings for life.

Love and regards,

Sreeni

Photos of the SPANDAN 2014 – Dance Photography exhibition at Habitat environs

SPANDAN 2014

Videos on Youtube of the inauguration
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAVfRnpZu6mpY45iMpCKYlQ

My Salutations to every woman…especially all those in my life!

Indira with Mallika and Svwara

My salutations to my mother, my sisters, my better half and my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law, my two daughters who have always been around me, and to every woman in my life – in all phases of education, professional and passionate pursuits of performing arts and fine arts – each one contributing immensely in one way or other in my being what I am. I also salute the woman in every male, who contributed to what I am!

I pay my respects and tribute through this beautiful and touching poetry of Ms. Ashanti Holliday, that I found on the vast web! Thanks Ashanti!

A Womans Worth

© Ashanti Holliday

She gave life. She is a wife.
She is a mother and she is a friend.
She is a sister a survivor to the end.

Appreciate her, we don’t dare.
Ask her worries, we don’t care.
Wipe away her tears, they are invisible as air.

She works cooks and clean.
She laughs, helps comfort, and hides her pain.
When you struggle she pulls you through

All this is she and what do we do?
Complain and create a mess.
Provide stress and leave her feeling depressed..
Push her away and ignore her advice.
Tell her she is nothing without thinking twice.

She was raped tortured and abused.
Told she was nothing and would always be used just for pleasure forget her pain.

She swallows her pride, put her feelings aside.
Does as you need in order for you to be free.
Ignores your ignorance and tolerates your flaws.
You call her Bitch, Slut, Hoe and Tramp
She answers with pride dignity and a complete loss of self.
You call her nothing.
I call her Strong, Smart, Sensual, Caring, Giving, Surviving, Tolerant and powerful
I call her WOMAN!

Photo story series : Ma..Amma..Mutter…Moeder…Majka…Madre…Mom…Mother…


No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.
~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

 
 
 


The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

 
 
 

The pleasure of being a mother, holding the young one, Indira and Svwara
The pleasure of being a mother, holding the young one, Indira and Svwara

 
 
 

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Mull-A-Cause launches library for children @ SEE, IWSB

IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for children
IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for children
IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for children
IWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenIWSB - SEE : Mull-A-Cause launches library for childrenA day @ National Science Centre; Crafts MuseumA day @ National Science Centre; Crafts MuseumA day @ National Science Centre; Crafts Museum

Mull-A-Cause, a set on Flickr.

It was celebration time for all children at SEE (society for empowerment through education) on Sept 30th. Mull-a-cause,an endeavour by Mallika and Indira, launched the library for children in SEE.

The children were delighted to see the story books. Immediately they grabbed one each and started reading them, a few loud standing in the class, while others were muted. All were delighted to see the colorful pictures. It was a celebration time.

Then Indira and Mallika did book reading and a story telling session with the children. They were enamored of the stories and the style of telling them.

It is just a beginning, and Indira promised to do a few more sessions for the trainers and the children of SEE and Antral (An NGO for children started by IWSB students Sumit Gunjan and Arvind and supported quite a few of their classmates).

I was pleasantly surprised to know that Mallika and Indira bought books to create the library as part of my birthday celebration. I am indeed delighted and indebted to have both of them in my life. Love you.

Every year Mallika and Indira espouse a cause and contribute under the endeavour : Mull-A-Cause, named after Mallika’s!!

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…

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