Saturday, December 17, 2011

Do I...Should I...Will I...Will It ???

Will this ever change?

Will you ever understand what I really want?

Can you look through my eyes, see and feel what I go through when I work 12-14hrs a day without even going to toilet?

Do I want to go to school?

Do I want to be with my family?

Do I love going to work?

Do I like living on the street?

Do I love the city life, the freedom that I get, the drugs that I take, the time I spent on footpath?

Do I want to go back home?

Do I want to learn a skill to get a good job?

I really DO NOT KNOW!!!

But I also don’t know why you are asking me all these questions?

Why can’t you just let me BE!!

I will talk when I WANT TO…not when I am ASKED TO…
Wrote this one during the workshop I recently attended on child labour. Somewhere felt that the most urgent need of an hour is to look into the eyes of these children, listen to them and let them BE!! Due to our constant guilt and ambition of making the world a better place for children, we fail to realize that we are simply experimenting with them. Be it...rescuing them from work and dumping into the Govt. home or into an NGO shelter or send them back home. 

We are in so much hurry to make things RIGHT that as soon as we see any child alone, our immediate reaction is - Let's get him to some place safe...the assumption being the place where he is right now is not SAFE and he is not HAPPY being just there!!

At the beginning of this journey that I have undertaken to resolve the issue of Child Labour, I am facing a moral question - Who am I to decide that the child is better off with his family or at shelter and not when he is working at a Zari factory? How can I decide that education is ONE solution for all the children and that every child should not work but go to school?

Who am I to decide? ?

I am trying as hard as I can to remind myself every time that in this journey, I should not take actions to do what I feel is right, but my first responsibility is to listen to these children and give them the space they require...for may be all they need is TIME!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pursuit of HappYness!

Chaos! I have been living in and around chaos…basically living in Mumbai for all my life. But the amount of noise, air and life pollution I have been experiencing in last few months has been at its extreme. Every day, not willingly but out of no choice, people behave selfishly, rudely with fellow human beings over a petty fight of hiring an auto or getting a place to sit in a local train.

On the evening of one of such mad days, I saw an email in my inbox with a subject – Tuning Fork Film Workshop in the Himalayas (Deer Park, Bir)

The first thing I told to myself after reading it – Wow man, what a locationJ!

I then checked out the website of the location – Deer Park Institute ( and just a look at the picture of the monastery made me feel peaceful and serene.

So, a time for confession - the primary motivation for going for the workshop was the PLACE J and I was ecstatic with just a thought of going far far away from the chaos of the city to the kingdom of tranquility and wisdom.

Deer Park has a beautiful feel to it…a feel which brings you close to Life…a feel which makes you go within to realize how beautiful the world is and how you can contribute to make it a better place…a feel which teaches you that life is to appreciate the sheer miracle you experience by seeing every living being on the earth! The trees, the butterflies, the flowers, the birds, fellow humans, the dogs…it was overwhelming to see every object personify magnificence!   

Every person I interacted at Deer Park is so full of love & compassion. You can see it from their eyes; the simplicity with which they live life brings so much happiness and satisfaction to it. The perception and the idea of life is so different and yet so beautiful for it’s not clouded with worldly attachments & desires.

I found myself doubly treated to have met Ankit, Sachi and Sumit – the facilitators for the Tuning Fork Film Workshop and also my co-participants. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Ankit, Sachi and Sumit facilitated the workshop.

I think, the process of taking us through the journey of how our perception as a viewer and film maker matters in conveying our message was very intelligently designed. Loved all the short films, ads shown during the film appreciation sessions.

I especially enjoyed the discussions where Ankit made us realize how important it is for each one of us to know our biases, our likes - dislikes, our opinions and our view of the world at large, for that defines what and how we interpret and use film as media to put across our point.

I was equally impressed with the patience and tolerance displayed by both Sachi and Sumit during the editing sessions. All the participants pester them with the same set of questions but it was amazing to see that not even once did they show that they got annoyed by it. Never in the workshop have I seen the facilitators staying up till 4.30 a.m. to help the participants complete their task…kudos for that! And ~hugs~!

All in all, seven most beautiful days spent amid stunning dhauladhar mountain ranges with lovely people …now doesn't that make life beautiful :-)!

Thank you Deer Park and Tuning Fork for this experience!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Children of the PYRE!!!

We are guilty of many errors and many faults,
But our worst crime is abandoning the children, Neglecting the fountain of life
Many things we need can wait ,But the child cannot.

Right now is the time; His bones are being formed,
His senses are being developed, His blood is being made
To him, we cannot answer, “Tomorrow”,
His name is “Today”.

By Gabriel Mistral

I was 14 when I lost both my parents, at that tender age all I could understand was that I missed their presence in my daily routine and missed hugging my mother in the night & playing & getting pampered by my Dad J!!!’s the most beautiful period of our life...a period in which we experience the bliss of life as we are not trapped in the wheels of attachment & expectations. In spite of losing my parents at an early age, I was fortunate to have had a wonderful childhood where every day was worth cherishing!

So when I came across a documentary film – Children of the Pyre ; not in my wildest dream I had thought that the whole idea of childhood would be so different for children living 1500kms away from a city which is country’s oldest & holiest religious place, A city of Lord Shiva, Gautam Buddha, Sant Kabir and Ganga Mata...A City of Varanasi!

For a 15yr old Ravi, childhood means eating 15-20 packets of gutakha (tobacco) everyday, have गांजा (marijuana) in the night and make his living by burning 20-25 dead bodies.

Yes! Ravi is one among hundreds of children who are – Children of the Pyre, whose day begins and ends by hearing ‘Ram nam satya hai’ (a mantra said while carrying a dead body – means the name of ram is truth) and during the day, it’s a battle with the fire which they fight to pay the funeral rites to thousands of bodies which come at Manikarnika cremation ground – India’s most busiest cremation ground!

Some of you would know this, but for me this was the worst account of humanity, religion, hypocrisy and a complete disrespect for the ‘All Mighty’

My first reaction after watching the films was – I was ridiculed by the naked reality, I was sad, into tears imagining to what extend can a human conscious degrade under the veil of religion, rituals, practices and संस्कार!

Every boy’s story is the same - मज़बूरी का नाम ज़िन्दगी! They say if given a choice who would want to come back to this place! Yet I saw that each one of them had mastered in accepting the reality and was truly living in a ‘moment’. Their life is full of so much uncertainty but still they manage to retain their childhood by enjoying themselves thoroughly.

But the downside is...there is hardly any hope! Hope & ambitions are very closely related to the dreams we have or we see, but for these children who literally sleep in the cremation ground...all they dream about are dead bodies, burning pyres, half burnt parts of dead bodies which they have to pick up and throw back into the pyre! One of the boys said, in the night he sees all the dead bodies get up & have bath at the Ganges! Scary isn’t it!!!

The film has a very deep & haunting impact on my life. Somehow...somewhere I am unable to accept that when one of our loved one dies, we are actually using hands of 14-15yr olds to burn their pyre. (& BTW...a friend of mine told me that people even negotiate the rates with these children for doing so!)

If this was not enough, the biggest irony came when it was shown in the film that these children are considered as ‘untouchables’. Why! Because they touch what no other person has got balls to touch! Dead bodies...half burnt parts of dead bodies!

There is so much that I learned from these children. They are stronger both physically and emotionally that ANYONE else I have ever known!

The PYRE still remains an integral part of hundreds of children at the Manikarnika ghat of Benaras...but there is light...HOPE!

Post the documentary, An NGO based out of Varanasi has started a project called ‘Bhagirathi’ to rehabilitate 300 attempt to give them the childhood that they deserve!!!

P.S. – I would really urge everyone to watch this film once. But a word of advice – Be prepared to watch some of the most disturbing real life incidences of your life and please do not watch it alone!

A request not to download or use a pirated copy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Should God pay in CASH for being Sensitive?

In a 9.52 a.m. CST train from Andheri, I encountered the worst incidence of human in-sensitiveness!! (experienced so far!) 

When I got in the train around 9.45, a 5yr old child beggar came begging for money. But when she saw a mother feeding biscuit & water to her little one, she begged for water. I had a small bottle of water which I decided to give her. She had a steel glass in which she had kept all the coins that she collected. I took out the coins and pour some orange juice from my bottle in it…she drank it in one sip!! :-)
In less than couple of minutes, when I looked behind I saw that the entire coach had 8-10 child beggars…the youngest being just 2yrs old and the eldest was around 8-9yrs.

I was sitting on the 3rd seat and just before the train started, an old lady (around 60yrs) with her two daughters (must be in their middle or late 20s) came & sat on the 4th seat right across me.
Initially I overhead the daughter saying – Because of these shabby kids, my dress will get dirty!  I chose not to react, thinking that she is ignorant! However, when a small girl from the beggars group wanted to pass from where the mother and daughter were sitting, the old woman not only behaved rudely & denied but used a very derogatory term for the child…she called her & others as ‘गलिच्छ ‘…Which means the one who are born in the shit.

I just completely lost my temper, I asked her what is her problem and why she cannot let the child go…to which she said its inconvenience to her and her daughter and added saying if I am so sensitive, why don’t I sit at her place.

I readily agreed and swapped placed with her. Her daughter asked me ‘Why do you have to talk on their behalf?’… I said because I understand why God has given me the life I am living and that finding a comfortable place to sit in a train or wearing a clean dress is not the ultimate aim of my life!!

I am on a journey to make myself & the world around me a child friendly & sensitive place. But when I saw the disgrace shown by a 60yr old who failed to understand the plight of a 7yr old and who also failed to understand that it could have been her grand-daughter in that Child’s place…my heart was shattered !


But within few minutes, I knew what I had to do! I called up 1098 and informed the outreach staff that the children got down at Santacruz station. I decided to immerse myself in the book, to not let my spirits get more affected by the negative incidence.

When I got up to get down at Vadala, I overheard a 10yr old boy who was witness to the incident, saying to her mother ‘This did is very nice, she did right. She knows everything!’
I smiled and replied – When you grow up, even you will know everything!

But I knew at that moment that this 10yr old boy knew more than the old woman…he knew the answers to my question!

There is hope!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is Sustainability a myth?

The word sustainability is derived from the Latin word sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for sustain, the main ones being to “maintain", "support", or "endure”.

Before I begin to write what is my notion of sustainability, I think it’s important to bring some context.

Being in the development sector (Social Sector) for some time now, the word for me is associated to any or every activity we do towards welfare of our community.

To be honest, I do not even remember using this word while I was in corporate sector, strange! You can blame that on my lack of social consciousness or the fact that the corporate sector in itself is a sustainable system!

So, my notion of sustainability is actually two fold –

a.                 The system designed to provide certain services, does so without any external assistance or dependence
b.                 And also the people for whom the services are designed are able to make use of it by self-realization.

Let me take an example –

Mid day meal is a great scheme introduced by our Government to encourage children to go school. In this case the sustainable environment would mean that the system which is responsible to implement this scheme should be able to do so without any help from the VOs or NGOs and that the community should be able to utilize this scheme pro-actively.

What does this mean? This means that over a period of time the VOs, NGOs, CBOs should become redundant!

At least for me, that would have been an ideal world scenario from a development sector’s view!

Is this a myth?

I am beginning to think so because of

A.             System’s incapability to withstand sustainability -

Let’s take another example to understand this.

I recently attended a dissemination meeting held for Gender Equity Movement in School, a two year module being implemented in 45 BMC schools in Bombay. One of the point we discussed was, how do we make this model sustainable and majority of them were of a view that it’s when the BMC School teachers will start teaching about Gender Equity along with other subjects, the movement will be sustainable!

Sounds sustainable? Well, yes if you are outside the implementing system.

Let’s think from the pov of a BMC school teacher – The TPR ratio in Govt school is already unfavorable, the quality of the staff has always been doubted on, Teachers are often put on other Government duties like Election, the sensitivity required to handle children is always less; part of it is also because they are handling 50-60 children at the same time! (Unlike private schools)

This clearly means that the current system is not fully equipped to withstand sustainability!

So what looks like a perfect sustainable solution from outside the system is actually something that will weaken the system further, if implemented and the worst affected would be the beneficiaries, in this case children!

In the same example, to me the sustainable solution would have been if we make suitable changes in the curriculum to include Gender Equity and at the same time assist the BMC schools to recruit more teachers!

B.                NGOs working towards their idea of sustainability

I am increasingly reaching towards a conclusion that VOs, NGOs, CBOs working towards community welfare are actually working towards what they think is sustainable OR what they think is good for the community. (There are certainly some exceptions and I am glad I know of them!)

This is basically doing a great damage to the community as a whole because it leads to making the community dependent on an outside help, depriving them from achieving self-dependence.

I think the term sustainability in development world needs to be looked at from a completely different view.  For communities, NGOs should play a role of a facilitator AND NOT A PROVIDER! And for the system, the role should include holistic assistance. What I mean is, NGOs should not only come up with model to cover what the system is missing, but it should also assist the system in becoming strong enough to withstand the sustainability.

Basically we need to look at sustainability from the point of view of the system in which we are trying to bring it!

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’

Friday, August 19, 2011

वहा की ज़मीन ज़मीन नहीं, सोना है !

I think one of the best things about Mumbai is its people! From an Auto driver to an Audi owner, everyone has a tale to tell :-)

Well, I haven’t yet met any Audi owner but I surely meet interesting auto drivers (जिसे हम प्यार से भैया या चाचा बुलाते है) everyday during my travel!

वहा की ज़मीन ज़मीन नहीं, सोना है – said Ramchandra Yadav who came from a small village near Allahabad to Mumbai in search of a job and is now driving an auto-rickshaw since last 17years!
I must say he was one of the smartest I came across till date. He is an Arts Bachelor, who was very ambitious and wanted to become a teacher…but as he said - नसीब में ही नहीं था मैडम, बाबूजी की फैक्ट्री अचानक से बंद हो गयी ...मुझे बी.एड का कॉलेज छोड़ के बम्बई आना पड़ा. यहाँ आया तो किसीने सहारा नहीं दिया.

Back in UP they have their own land on which his father and elder son are doing farming. He said the soil there is so fertile; all it needs is ample of water and care, but the electricity is the major issue - वहा एक बार बिज़ली चली गयी तोह वापिस कब आएगी यह कोई नहीं जानता!

It was a pleasant surprise to know how learned (not academically but practically) the man is! I mean he remembered the names of every politician who was ever elected from his jurisdiction. He had his views about how in spite of 80% of our economy being agrarian, we still have people dying from hunger because we export some of the basic food grains and let the rest rot so that it can be used for liquor production.

I also liked the fact that he proudly said that he has an elder daughter who is currently studying in Std 12th and two sons who are in school. This reinforced my belief that Education is a solution to a lot of social problems we face in India.
When I posed a question to him asking - अगर UP में सब ठीक होगया तोह वापिस घर जाना चाहोगे? He smiled and said - कौन होगा जो नहीं जाना चाहेगा!

50% of auto rickshaw drivers in Mumbai are from Uttar Pradesh and in spite of being in the city for over 10 years; they are still called ‘Migrants’!

I know that the least I can do is to not make them feel like an ‘outsider’ and I am glad I have realized that:-)!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Writing the confusion of RIGHT & WRONG!

Sometime I feel is this right? Who am I to decide what is wrong and right for others (one hardly knows oneself and one’s problems then how can one be so sure of a correct solution of other’s problem!)
Who am I to decide that a 14yr old kid is better off in a school than working in a brick factory, who am I to decide that he should be taught in a certain way, who am I to go in the villages and tell them what they have been doing since ages is wrong!
Is there not a subconscious selfishness and ego hidden in it?
I guess one never knows entirely whether his/her actions are right or wrong, as it’s a purely a perception that drives & justifies one’s actions.
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’

…it is not the money that makes a man happy!

I mean it’s a beautiful statement to read on your daily quotes calendar, even more beautiful statement to be heard during meditation discourses…but how true and practical is it?!!
It’s been a while that I am on a spiritual path and hence as an individual I can associate myself with this, I do understand the deep meaning these words have, but I have also come to understand that it stands untrue to a practical life of a person who aspires to bring a positive change in the current situation.
It’s a dirty reality that like any other business, money indeed is a lifeline for social sector!
Yes I do realize that I have just called social sector a ‘business’ for I have seen and experienced various incidences which makes me conclude that.
I am not saying there is anything wrong it in, I mean why would there be! What disturbs me is along with money, all other so called dangerous factors of business world are slowly yet vividly entering ‘social sector’.
Let’s take can example –
On a grassroot level, for an NGO to function it needs funds, it needs continuous and undisturbed financial support so that they can concentrate on their work. On the other side, as much as funding agencies are happy to fund such NGOs, they are also very keen on dictating their own agenda & terms on such NGOs. Be it - bringing in more professionalism, investing where they can see rapid results (which BTW need not to be sustainable), investing where they get maximum marketing coverage and so on and so forth.
To add to the irony – it’s evident that majority of the NGOs are unable to function in complete harmony, there are clashes due to ego issues, selfishness, a feeling that two NGOs working for the same cause are actually in competition with each other which leads to no sharing of information, & knowledge. (I am also tempted to conclude that it’s probably the reason why in spite of having so many NGOs working for similar causes, we do not see sufficient results!)
I am really disturbed to see that the people who have voluntarily taken the responsibility of serving the society are themselves driven more by ego, selfishness and not by the cause for which they are working!
NGO’s need for money is accepted and respected! However, the question remains – What needs to be done to make these NGOs realize that while they fight (when I use a word fight, it’s not a literal tug of war, but it’s the more dangerous form of fight – A silence war!) with other NGOs over silly pride and ego issues – the worst sufferer are the people!
 ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’
Disclaimer – These are solely my individual views which have come out of observations and interactionsJ!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The complexity of Science OR the simplicity of Mathematics :-)

Well, if you are an Engineer, Doctor or an MBA, either of these subjects would have been the most significant part of more than 20 years of your life J

The question to ask we really leave back these subjects while leading our lives?

 The calculations, the deadlines, the budgets, the actuals, the logic, the formulas... all are a very valid and deserving part of our professional life...but we get so used to these jargons that we start applying them to our daily lives.

How difficult is it to lead a peaceful and happy life?

Today, when I close my eyes and really think hard and be honest to myself...I am afraid my answer is – It’s as easy as you would want it to be!

Really...I mean, sometimes I feel that human mind is so in love with complexities that it tries to measure it actions, reactions, feelings, judgements...and in that, we forget to feel, act, react and live in a most authentic and original way !

For most part of my life (would say at least for 25 yrs), I have lived the same mechanical, calculated life...where I would create an excel sheet for every damn thing including ‘Invitations for house functions’...but now, for about couple of years I think I have managed to cool down and stop measuring things with whatever little maths I knowJ

To me, the essence of living life is to feel any emotion to its most original core, it’s to give a hug to someone I love, being kissed by my loved able to pass a smile to a stranger who seems lost in the hold hands with my best friend and walk for talk on phone with my sisters and gossip about new guys in our life...spend time with my Mom to know how the world was in her times and how it has changed...sleep in my Grandpa’s lap listening to stories of his younger times...have dinner with my partner discussing how beautiful and eventful the day was...sit alone and have a cup of coffee while looking at the sun set !


 Everything that I have mentioned above may not be possible in today’s rat race...but spare a minute and give a thought – Is it really that hard?

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Sometimes when I see young kids selling things in train, working as a sweeper, delivery boy for a hotel…my first reaction is that I feel sad, wondering what will be their future…secondly I will feel anger towards his owner/ master…thirdly out of my immediate guilt I will start asking him things about his background, does he not feel like going to school rather than doing what he is doing currently? The conversation would always end where the kid would say he would love to go to school if it was not for…!
Due to the nature of our hectic life, in spite of you not wanting…you would forget about him within next couple of hours. Although subconsciously you would always remember that conversation you had with him and will also bring it up while discussing the state of education, poverty, unemployment, children related issues in our country BUT by that time you may have almost forgotten his face.
On a very usual 9-9 work day, I met this kid – Ganesh…I was standing near my wing’s lift, waiting for it to come down when I heard him ask “A wing कौनसा है?”, I said, “यही है A wing, कहा जाना है, बेटा”…while looking at a chit of paper in his hand he said” तिनसो तिन”. He entered the lift with me, I asked him “कहा से आया?” he said” कलश से” (It’s a name of a local hotel). I pressed 3rd floor for him and then 7th for me. When the lift stopped on 3rd floor, he got out and turned and said “Thank you”. Don’t know why, but I immediately said – “अच्छा सुन,, बादमे 7th floor पे आना
When I reached my floor, I took out keys and opened the door, then checked at which floor the lift was…with the hope that he will come up. The lift was moving between 4th and ground floor for some time so I just turned thinking now he won’t come…for the last time I looked at the lift and saw it coming up and there he was…with an innocent smile on his face.
We spoke for about 15-20 mins. He told me he has come from Nepal, with his Uncle. He lost his parents few years back. To me he looked around 12-13 yrs old, but he told me he is 15 and had studied till 5th standard. When I asked him would he like to go to school on a daily basis, he said he would love to; but he has a younger sister back home for whom he needs to earn money, so that she can study. He told me he has not put her into a municipality school, but दूसरा अछावाला स्कूल. He said बेहेन का ध्यान तोह रखनाही पड़ेगा. His Uncle told him that he will not support him if he does not earn anything. On a daily basis he works in two shifts. Morning from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. at a Builders office, doing cleaning, getting Xerox copies, other misc office work and then he goes to the hotel at 7.00 p.m. and works till mid night. The hotel guys do not even provide an umbrella or rain coat during rainy season when he goes for home deliveries.
After putting in 14 hrs of hard work on a daily basis, he manages to earn Rs. 3,000.00 per month. He gives the entire money to his Uncle, when I asked him whether his Uncle sends it to Nepal to his sister…initially he said, क्या पता भेजता है के नहीं and then said, अब अगर वोह बोल रहे है भेजता है, तोह विश्वास तोह करना पड़ेगा! वोह मेरा इतना ध्यान जो रखते है.   For his tender age, I found him to be extremely practical and mature. During the conversation, he even mentioned - अब देखो मैडम, मेरा मामा मेरा इतना ख्याल रखता है और अगर बेहेन को पालना है तोह काम तोह करना पड़ेगा. मुजेभी पढाई करनी है लेकिन अगर मैं पढूंगा तोह बेहेन के लिए पैसे कैसे कमाऊंगा. गाँवमे रिश्तेदार बेहेनका ध्यान तभी रखते है जब पैसे होते है.
 It’s been 4 years since he last saw his Sister, when I asked him do you call her, with a big grin he said YES. I asked him do you want to speak to her right now (By this time, I was really struggling to figure out as to what I should do to (a) Make him feel better (b) To lower my guilt), he said the charges are 10rs per minute and that they do not have a phone at their home. The person at the care-of number does not call his sister even during the day time, so forget about the night time. I told him, I will come and meet you in the Hotel, he got up, looked at me…smiled and gave me a सलाम.
Now if I tell this story to someone like my brother / aunt…their immediate reaction would be that…these kids are trained to say such things and not to forget, they will also mention that I am a complete emotional fool!! Well, at first I would definitely not agree with them on BOTH the points…however even if we think or rather believe that these kids have been trained to say things like these, the reality still remains that at the age of 12-13, he is being deprived from living the childhood which all of us had, he is being deprived of having an experience of going to school, having friends, knowing a relationship between a teacher and a student. The question is not whether Ganesh is doing everything because he wants to OR because the situation has not given any other alternative to him, the question is -
 By not getting the education, he is being deprived of the equal opportunity of having a LIFE.
Each one of us will have our own ways of looking at this story, some might feel sad, sympathetic towards Ganesh…some might feel and will be doing something for kids like him. What I learned after having met Ganesh is, that there exists another way of looking at LIFE…
“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I did my first Vipassana during April 20 to May 1st. Vipassana is a pali word
which means – to see the things as they really are! It’s basically a meditation technique which takes you inward, to know who you really are and what, why and how you feel. The whole idea behind it is to free your mind from all the delusions and attachments of the life, because nothing is permanent.
I liked that it had a very logical way of making the student experience the law of impermanence. Although the routine of sitting for 10 hours every day can become a bit of a task, it’s amazing to see, feel and observe the things that come out of you during the meditation.
It’s amazing what silence brings!
My whole experience gave me few very important insights about who am I and why am I the way I am J but I don’t want to discuss my experience in detail here, because it will lead you to have assumptions and expectations about Vipassana before actually experiencing it. So, I am going to leave it for you to experience it!
I however want to write in detail about one of the realisation (a happy one!) which I experienced during the process.
Well, in theory I had heard about it thousands of time – You are the one who are both the creator as well as solver of your life’s problem. But during those 10 days, I really experienced it. It is so damn true that if we look at each of our life very closely, there are no problems...there is no sorrow; it is our perception of looking at a given situation which makes it a problem or a happy moment.
I cannot express in words the peace that I experience now, as I have learned to look at every situation with a perception of good, positive.  
Adopt a very simple mantra to live life – Be true to yourself, be good to’s a small, sweet life we have been gifted by the all mighty, be grateful for everything and everyone...just spread as much as love as you can, to everyone...always !
Believe you me...although some would not confess it, there is no one, no one who does not like to be loved, so we have many people to love J!!
Happy LovingJ!
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

मध्य प्रदेश - साँची !

Sanchi is one of the World Heritage sites in India. It’s located around 45kms away from Bhopal.  It’s basically famous for Buddhist Monuments and the principle monument is Stupa 1. I always enjoy the journey more that the destination and Sanchi was no exception!

I arrived a day early in Bhopal and was staying at a friend’s Mom’s place. A very warm and loving family, I really enjoyed my stay, spiritual talks with Aunt and playing with my friend’s nephews.

I decided to take a bus to Sanchi from Habibganj. Well, in my defence...before I reached the bus stop I had no clue that there were no state run buses. Yes, all the buses are run by private operators, but they are not that bad J

It took me close to 3 hours to reach Sanchi as the bus kept stopping at each stop for more than 15mins to get more passengers. The lady sitting next to me had kept a bag full of पापड़ in the carriage above me and due the bumpy roads and efficient driving; pieces of पापड़ kept falling on me. After a while, I started eating those.
I enjoyed those while seeing the beautiful site from my window. Golden yellow carpet of wheat farms (See the pics below).
Since I visited in April end (19th), it was after the crop was cut and what was left was fodder for the animals, but never before had I seen so much of fodder together and that too looking so marvellous !

There is a nice archaeological museum which can be visited before one takes an auto to go up to watch the Stupa. It’s about 1-1.5km steep way. I chose to walk rather than taking an auto. I met a really old man while climbing up; he had lived his whole life in that village and was working as a health worker at a community health centre. It’s amazing how someone can live their whole life in the radius of less than 10kms and still be happy and healthy and we, people who are exposed to a progressive society feel a need to travel, meditate, and meet new people so that we can be happy and healthy!

While I was struggling big time to climb up and was doing it really slow, he had no problem climbing up at all!  He suggested me to take stairs as they would be more comfortable. I did so, and the view from up there was again splendid. I sat at a place for about 10mins looking at it and thinking nothing! It was so silent that I heard the sound of a leaf falling from the tree on the rock!

On my way back, I basically had no clue which bus to take and how to reach back and I loved that uncertainty! While having a चाय at one of MP Tourism cafe (BTW, they are damn expensive and no good), the waiter told me to stand on the road and wait for the bus. While standing on road and seeing everyone passing by staring at me as if they had never seen a woman before, I was imagining all sorts of फ़िल्मी things !
Alas, a bus came and I had a safe journey back to Habibganj:-p
Remains of the buddhist monestry and what u see behind that are the wheat farms

Stupa I

View while climbing up the stairs to Stupa
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”