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!