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



Is INDIA going through a process of cleansing?

“I wish influential people including yourself and Satya Narayanan take the initiative to do something with regards to the rapes in india. Please consider this a humble request ! Teach your students this one extra lesson, I am willing to pitch in if needed”

-Geeta, a childhood family friend, who is based in chicago, US, commented on FB..

My response was…

Indeed, each one of us when we address youth we talk about thinking, aiming and doing things that are positive and that takes one towards excellence….realization of potential..

Secondly, the rape issues are coming out because of greater awareness and consciousness…. like the way you are feeling and sharing, every one is feeling and venting the anguish and desire to contribute for the change…the power of social media is immense…it is mobilizing opinions and expressions…for good

Thirdly, the issue, as one of my friends who lives in Europe shared, is no different across the world. It is all about evolution of human being in a social context. India is going through a phase of cleansing perhaps…..

what do you think?

Wake up India! we have so much to do…. Happy Self-Realization Day!

Happy Republic Day to every Indian; May this dawn usher in more responsibility/ accountability among each one of us, especially politicians!

– Giving women at home respect and empowering them, to empower the family, home, society and the nation : I always felt and experienced that a home progresses only when the women at home are respected and empowered. Every generation owes a lot to mother, predominantly, where it takes off from and where it reaches..

– Helping every individual around us to be self-reliant, thereby making nation bereft of poverty : Can I really touch and enable people and their families, who are in touch with us every day. Can I educate every child around me and make the environment exciting for learning thereby making every human being be judicious and take decisions for one self.

– Being honest in every thing I do. Enabling every human being to be honest and empathize with the fellow being. I humbly try to do this. Yes, still a long way to go. I need more patience and more empathy to invest more time.

– Being more disciplined, in my life – at home, my work, and more importantly whenever I am stepping out of home and do things that has impact on happenings around me – on the road, public behavior, taking care of the surroundings…. the list is endless

– Last but not the least, standing up and being upright, not paying bribe and not letting one take bribe. making the nation corruption free..

Happy Self-realization day !  Awakening the self !

Love… mmmch.

A Photostory : Architectural Masterpieces of INDIA on SREENIViews

With a recorded history of over 30000 years, and first urban settlements recorded over 4500years ago, India has been and will continue to be a marvel to humanity.

I have just collated a few of the masterpieces that have been created in the last 3000 years, that I have clicked during my extensive travels across the length and breadth of the country.

Incredible India - Marvelous Madurai

The Marvelous 1000 pillar temple in the 3000 year old Madurai Meenakshi temple complex!

Check out the Photostory of Masterpieces that covers 20 such architectural marvels of India..

Photostory : Magic of the Golder Hour – India Unravelled, on my photoblog SREENIVIEWS

On my regular travels the morning Golden Hour is the time when I am usually on my walks with my camera. Since it is the only time I get for myself, these introspective perambulations have not only shaped my strategies for life, but also yielded me a great number of opportunities to capture the busy life at the tranquil hour.

Here are a sampler of my captures. I just picked one or two from each of the locations to showcase the length and breadth of India and its rich ritual practices and flurry of activities that are connected to the auspices and precious Golden Hour!

I start with the

– Spiritual Varanasi, then go to
– Khajuraho to its east, to celebrate the human spirit
– head to far east Kaziranga wild life sanctuary,
– then come down to Kolkata,
– and to Puri on the eastern coast of India,
– down to Pondicherry,
– then head to Silent Valley in Kerala.
– traversing towards northern direction to Mangalore,
– then to frolicking Goa,
– Financial hub of Mumbai
– then into the desert land of Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jaisalmer, Ajmer and
– The national capital of India, Delhi
– finally heading to the crown of India – Kashmir and Ladakh.

Happy browsing… Would love to see your comments..

Incredible India! - Varanasi : Finding peace withinVaranasi : Finding peace within

Kindly visit
my photo-blog SREENIViews for the stunning Magic of the Golden Hour, covering the length and breadth of India.

Kashmir – On the verge of realizing its potential …… especially intellectual..

Welcome to the beautiful Kashmir Valley

Welcome to the beautiful Kashmir Valley

“Over two lakh tourists in the valley and only 25 thousand rooms available,” screamed the headlines of a newspaper in the Kashmir Valley. The ever-green tourism sector of Kashmir has seen unprecedented growth in the last 3-4 years. The people of the valley are re-discovering and realizing the potential of the valley to attract tourists from around the world, especially the mainland India. Every person talks about it and says that, “Kashmir will not see the dark days again as we realize what we can be, now.”

What we can be now, is taking a different meaning all together, among the youth of Kashmir. I was once again in the valley for my annual pilgrimage of addressing and motivating youth at its most prestigious venue, SKICC on the banks of the DAL. This conference was with a difference though as it focused on helping youth to challenge the civil services.

Having a young chief-minister is certainly seems to be making the difference. Sharing the dias with Mr. Omar Abdullah in the last years conference.

From one civil services entrant in the last decade, in 2013 J&K sends 17 charged youth to IAS/IPS/IFS. Hundreds want to, now! This is transformational! This is what I meant when I repeated, “We are realizing now, what we can be!”

More youth exceling at the national stage, will see they taking greater responsibility in Kashmir and in India, and resulting in more opportunities and greater integration.

At the conference to facilitate youth to challenge Civil Services, June 2013

While last years conference was inaugurated by the young CM, this years conference to facilitate more youth to get into CIVILS SERVICES, at SKICC, Srinagar on June 7th had Mr. Iqbal, Chief Secretary J&K; MR Wahid ex-VC University, Mr Shafi Pandit first IAS qualifier (1968) and ex-chair J&K public services commission, Dr Shah Faesal first IAS Topper from the valley in 2010; Dr Sehrish Asgar (2011 IPS, 2012 IAS) first woman from J&K to enter civil services) and Dr Ruwida (2012 IAS), another inspiration who qualified this year.

In the last couple of days, I came across a newspaper article in a national daily, that Over five hundred children from Valley have enrolled in various coaching institutions for engineering and medical entrances at Kota, Rajasthan. Over sixty percent of these children are girls. They all want to excel in life. The institutions in Kota have created provisions for classes and their stay, even taking care of their cultural needs like prayers, food etc. This augurs very well for the aspiring youth of Kashmir.

At the Career Launcher centre in Srinagar, I met a young lady, Sumaira, a post-graduate from Kashmir university, very articulate, and got to know that she has been picked up by Saudi Airlines as an airhostess. In all, this year, about 17 young women have been recruited by international airlines from the Gulf to meet the needs of their services. She was so overwhelmed by the facilitation CL has done in infusing her confidence that she even chose to come with us on a spectacular train journey in the valley, to interact more with her mentor Mr. Vijay Jha of CL who was accompanying me, as I chose to get the insights of train travel in the valley for the first time. More about it down under.

While with Sumaira, in the office, another youth walks into CL, asking for the coaching that he could get for Civil services at CL. While interacting, he was very effusive about the education, attitude of co-learners and the environment he got in the last four years of his engineering under-graduation at an institution in Jabalpur. In fact, he was countering the pessimism that Sumaira was expressing, about the outlook of youth in mainland towards the youth from Kashmir. The interaction was very healthy and enlightening.

The Kazigund to Baramullah rail connectivity sees packed trains running all the time…

In 2009, Kashmir was blessed with railways, a long delayed initiative, that could have been at the heart of integration with the mainland. I took time off to experience the train journey in the valley on this visit of mine. The train runs between Kazigund at the southern tip of the Valley to Baramullah in the northern end. The frequency is of every two hours.

By the schedule published, we reached the station closest to Srinagar, on its outskirts and found the station empty as we were an hour before the scheduled train. But we got a great opportunity to see the beautifully decorated station. This station has be declared the most beautiful station of our country and figures in the Limca Book of records.

Within no time the station was bustling with crowd, as we neared the departure of the train. The train arrived and we found it to be jam-packed. Within a couple of years of the introduction of the train in the valley, it has become the most preferred transportation mode for the valley. A distance of about hundred kilometers by road (Baramullah to Qazigund), that used to be covered by shared rickety-taxis on a bumpy road, at a cost of over hundred and fifty rupees, now, gets covered by the air-conditioned train in a little over two hours, in a comfortable way, at a mere fifteen rupees. Why will not this be most sought after?

The whole circuit of Srinagar-Kazigund-Baramullah-Srinagar took us about five hours. But it was a great eye-opener for me in every respect. Each one talks about the difference this train has made to them. As I am writing this article, Dr Manmohan Singh is going to inaugurate the extension of railway track further south of Kazigund. By 2017, the Valley will be completely connected with Udhampur, Jammu and the mainland.

Train connectivity to the mainland is going to make a huge difference. The mobility of citizens for the valley to the mainland is going to be smooth, comfortable and economical and the tourism inflow will be multiplied. That’s when we will see the true potential of the valley being realized.

While on the train, I noticed a couple of youngsters having a few sheets of paper that looked like an entrance exam question paper. I took it from them to have a look, then realized that it was the entrance exam paper for undergraduate programs of Aligarh Muslim University. I had a wonderful interaction with the youth. Realized that over 2000 youth appear in the exam. Vijay had extensive interaction with the students and even helped them figure out what their true scores in the exam could be.

I have been addressing youth of J&K since 2007, almost twice a year. In the last 6 years I have experienced immense changes in the outlook of youth. They now realize that they are as good as anyone across the country and they want to show what they can do. I am sure Kashmir is on the verge of realizing its intellectual potential.

All these developments on the intellectual front, will impact social, cultural, physical and economical development of the valley. We will see many entrepreneurs emerging too, as a couple of our own IWSB students started contributing to the economy there. It augurs well for J&K and of course for India too.

Bharatanatyam exponent, Vani Ganapathy

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Loved watching Vani’s Abhinayas at her recent performance at Indian International Centre, New Delhi. I would have been elated to see her performing with a lively pace, though!

Kindly visit my stagelogue SREENI ON STAGE for the complete story and larger photographs. Thanks

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