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Life without sight?

2 Sep

Finally – a long pending post! This time, I decided to put up a post by a fellow blogger and friend Pranav, who blogs about his passions (reading, charity, travel and fitness) at Peaceful Restlessness
This post talks about a really heart touching organization – Dialogue in the dark

Here you go:

How does it feel to be blind? What is life for a blind person? Dialogue in the Dark, an organization makes us experience this. And it does open eyes.

When some of my friends came to Hyderabad, we decided to visit its centre, housed at the top floor of Inorbit Mall. The lady at the counter gave us a background of this organization and told us about the packages offered – a 1 hour exhibition tour or a tour with complete lunch/dinner. We opted for the 1 hour tour not knowing what to expect.

We were given walking sticks and asked to enter a pitch dark room. A young man introduced himself as our guide (we later found out that he was blind). And then the tour began. We passed through, or rather, felt through rooms in a house – a kitchen, a library, a storeroom. We encountered a park with trees, grass and a bench, then took a boat ride in actual water. Later we were led to a restaurant where we had tea. All this happened in a completely dark environment.

One obvious realization out of this experience is the importance of eyes in our lives. We grossly underestimate our blessings. But another lesson is how much of a visual life we lead – most of our activities (work, hobbies, entertainment) happen using eyes and we use them as primary source of reference. This was proven – for everything we felt, our minds immediately created associated images.

We also found how much we had lost touch with the other senses. In the darkness, everything else acquired more clarity and sharpness – the touch of grass on fingertips, the sound of waves lapping on the boat, even the taste of tea. Oh, and I experienced fear in all its sharpness too, when I tripped once and didn’t know what to expect ahead. 🙂


Right Choice – aha!

24 May

The thought I am penning down is not as peppy as the title suggests, but fills me with excitement and amazement every time I consciously encounter it.
I love my life and one of the biggest reasons I love it is because I have the power to make a choice.

The choice of feeling joyful, remembering good moments irrespective of all odds.
The choice of doing good and sticking to my principles and hence bringing content to myself and brightness all around.
The choice of being patient and nice even when others are being nasty.
The choice of differentiating between what is right and what is wrong.
The choice of being positive.
The choice of trusting and hoping every single second.
The choice of sticking to who and what I believe in.
Above all, the choice of being happy from within, come what may.

Every moment is all about the choice we make – to be happy and spread love and smiles or to complain and fight.
Make the right choice, baby – it is always your time!


27 Jan

On a huge cloud, the colour of pink;
I heard it was the contest of juggling.
To make merry and show their skill
Stood a big funny gathering.

Amused, I gazed at one
wearing red boots and a head ring.
Weird cotton balls of all shapes
purple ovals, red circles, yellow squares
and green triangles – he juggled with ease

Soon the crowd turned towards her
One leg on the puff of cloud, one hand in the air
Round orange glasses and curly hair
Pinched myself to believe
As cans and bottles went from hand to foot
and foot to hand ceaselessly

Another wonder followed:
Young little angels in white
Danced around with rainbow hoopla
Eyes full of glee – Oh so bright.
They showed no signs of their burnt wings
and inability to fly.

Sights there were many –
Bubbles of fire, water, earth, wind and air
Balanced the green stout dwarf;
Pens, Pencils, Crayons and sketches
Can never forget,
How the twins were gliding and catching.

As I tried looking further,
The yellow glow grew.
Snapped out of the reverie
Eyes rubbing and blinking
Smiling in trance I sat still,
Realized even life I can juggle and balance at my will.

God of budding Flower, anyone?

17 Jan

Rs 25k reward for information on sex selection in state” – the latest scheme by Rajasthan Government to fight sex determination/ female foeticide and punish organisations and people involved.

I am not against the “yojna” but I am absolutely not convinced that it is the “Solution”

Sure, the government would be able to catch hold of people who engage in and in fact, aid and escalate such practices. The Government would be able to curb it to an extent ( two assumptions: corruption in this case would be negligible, government/ police authorities are not among the racketeers; one fact: there is always some goodness around)

But I am concerned about its effectiveness because this scheme is the treatment of an overt symptom and not the cause of the illness.

The root of the problem is “Gender Discrimination” – the deep-routed mindset in India that considers women folk to be of lower worth/ importance than men, which is shockingly present even among the most educated and respected people and sometimes in women themselves.

Now, till we fix this rotten seed, would such schemes be of any help?
Even if abortions are eradicated, the girl child would grow up in a family that does not respect the softer (and stronger) gender. The result can be as worse as Child/Forced marriage, Dowry, Less Education, etc. which leaves its effect on her whole life and persona.

I believe if each one of us can play ‘God’ to a girl we know (or to oneself, if you are a female), make small changes in ourselves and learn to speak up, such schemes would just not be needed.

Here is the quick top-of-my-head list:

1. Tell her a girl she can study as much as she wants. Help a girl seeking studied/ career guidance; Talk to her parents if they feel part-time job/ internship is not for her or if they are “allowing” her to study. Education is now a birth right, dear parents-who-say-that!
Don’t let her believe being a girl, she can take only so and so course – Motivate her by sharing stories of those who have made it in spite of odds one can think of. She can go and be the bread-earner or be the perfect home-maker or be an eclectic mix of both, if she so desires.

2. It does not always start and end at marriage. Yes, marriage is an important aspect of life but everything does not start and end at marriage. Do not take her to parties and social occasions just so that people can see her, take her if she enjoys them. Do not ask her to dress so that she looks thin and petite – she has every right to feel good. Teach her to cook and do household chores to become self-dependent and not because it is a sale-able quality in the marriage market.  And yes, she does not need to stop studying to get a suitable boy

And yes do tell her this – she does not have to be married to start working on her dream. The time to do anything is “right now”.

3. Let her believe. And sometimes when the surroundings are tough, make her believe in herself, not to accept things just because she is a woman. She can get ahead and fulfill all she desires with a little support from the family. A female is a juggler who knows she can balance everything she wants and can effectively include more tools in her juggling act as time passes.

4. Respect and trust her. It will build her self belief and would make others respect her too. She does not need to shy away from speaking up just because she is a female. Listen and make others listen.

And it will all come back to you full circle. Respect begets respect.

So, look around you and pick up your favourite bud and help her turn into a beautiful flower who is known for herself and not her father or brother or husband or son 🙂

P.S : I am not a feminist but an “equalist”. I realize I become too preachy at times 🙂

Believing that extra mile …

3 Jan

Ignore the appearances, genes and personalities: all humans are same in a way – basic matter, feelings, emotions and reactions.

All of us dream; all of us love the lazy holidays; all of us enjoy that caring look – those penetrating eyes that have the uncanny ability to look within us; all of us yearn for precious love; all of us have that one hidden wish; all of us are fueled with some passion; all of us visit those distant memories once in a while; and all of us want to do “something” in our personal/ professional life 🙂

Then what makes the difference between all of us who want and all of us who have?

That extra mile.

Put in a little more effort in your work, try to know a little more about your love, care a little more for family, trust and share a little more in your relationships, fathom those small phases of failure and keep hoping, believe endlessly in yourself and your dreams: Strengthen yourself: Jog, trudge, fall and get up, skip, plod, walk or run but go that extra mile  and then we all will certainly HAVE !

On this happy note, cheers to the year ahead.

Kudos! The Ugly Indian

13 Dec

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I believe this quote is so relevant to India and We, Indians today! We can follow different paths:

1.  Stay mum and smile through : “Why should I be bothered as long as I am happy?” – I do appreciate their honesty but pity their inability  (“Bura na dekho, Bura na suno, Bura na kaho” ke principle ko aap logon ne mast manipulate karke apna liya hai – Badhai ho!)

2. Curse the government, society, everyone else and do nothing about it !

3. Find solution (Yeah, those who shut the mouths of other two clans)

I came across one such example of simple solution based approach:

The Evergreen “TereBIN”

I applaud the people behind the Ugly Indian for their simple approach to a cleaner, greener and healthier India – Salaam!
With the help of municipal workers, shopkeepers and helpful passersby, powered by simple ideas and the WILL to do rather than watch and :-), they have managed to clear heaps of garbage/ paan stains, install easy-to-maintain garbage bins (which they call “TereBIN”), put plants and turned road-corners/ footpaths to what they are originally meant for (walking!)  – And in doing so they have not only paved the path to cleaner and greener Bangalore but have set a model for the rest of the country.

 They have impressed me so much that I have become a self-appointed promoter of sorts 😛 and I request all my readers to (although few :P) to do whatever they can to promote this movement of sorts: Agar aap nahi kar sakte toh jo kar sakta hai unhe batayein !

It can be as simple as promoting their website and Facebook page, approaching your office/ colleagues/ friends/ relatives/ society kids to form a  team and adopt their methods for a cleaner environment in and around your school/workplace/home or just talking about these on whatever platform (online/offline)  you can!

We all can solve simple problems by just being a little more responsible towards the society and our country and in doing so, we are only helping ourselves: We ensure positive environment and healthy life for us and the future of India.

Cheers to a Cleaner India 🙂

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