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Showing posts from 2010

PhD=Patience

I do not know at what moment I decided that I wanted to pursue a doctorate. I wanted to be a hardcore journalist. But fate had other plans for me. During my master's course, I did not once give a thought to further studies. I was very certain to take up a job like any other post-graduate. It amuses me that when we are in college we are dying to jump into the professional world though when we actually land up there; we wish to return to the world of studies. The story of me doing Phd is not at all usual. I come from a field where academics is not taken very seriously. It is all about learning on the job. I always found myself disagreeing to this view. I felt theory was as important as any other training or internship that you did. When I studied the basic fundamentals of research in my subject, it was a pleasure to know that so much more still lies to be explored in it and more and more professionals should engage themselves in research in the field. After finishing my Master's…

You own your dream

Who does not have a dream? I think it is the only real intangible thing that only you possess and only you have control over. You give birth to your dreams, nurture them and it is through you that they take shape and are transformed into reality. We see them throughout our life and try to bring them to life every moment that we are on this earth. They keep changing and we keep modifying them according to our own convenience. That is the best part about them because there are no fixed rules when it comes to dreaming.

I had several dreams. Some of them are still with me in my journey of life while some got washed away with the waves of time. I had to kill some dreams not because they did not suit me but because they did not suit others who were there in my life. Today, I do not regret a single dream that I saw and some memories of those will be cherished forever fondly. Any dream should be your own. Sometimes, we face such circumstances in life that we give up our dreams and adopt the d…

NGOism

It is now close to 1 year that I have been working in an NGO. Very truly, after completing my Masters, not even in the wildest of my imaginations, did I think that I would end up working in an NGO. Circumstances and lack of choice led me with no options but to work there. I entered into the field without any understanding about the way an NGO works and its volatile dynamics. As I settled here, I realized that communication related work in an NGO is entirely different from that in a conventional media house like a newspaper or TV studio. I can conclude one thing for sure that an NGO is the best place to work if you want to relax, want no deadlines and wish for ease at workplace. This might not be necessarily true for all NGOs but certainly true for the one where I work. Since, I worked in the Documentation & Media Relations department ... I felt left out sometimes because NGOs channelize all their energies on project implementation. They somehow forget the importance of documentati…

Foodie and Filmy

There are two words that the dictionary has invented for me ... two words that can describe me the best! I feel that these words are there particularly for me! People who have known me throughout the years have known me for my craze towards food and films. I have a petite frame which people find hard to believe when they witness me gorging on delicious food items. I guess this fad for everything chatpata began with school days when each student in my class would find the other person's lunch better than his own. Sharing lunch is an activity that gives me immense pleasure to this date and even in office today lunch time is my favorite when all colleagues are eager to find out whats in store in today's appetizing menu!!! Being the daughter of medical professionals also did not deter me from hanging out to eat paani puri and chaat at laaris because hygiene in food was never a concern. What bothered me was pure taste. I remember when we were required to write a feature article on …

Stories of richness and poverty

Every year when I read the newspaper after the board exam results are declared, I either see stories of toppers or stories of students from poor/underprivileged families who have made it to the top overcoming all the odds. These are stories of students who face financial constraints, who belong to the lowest strata of society, whose fathers are owners or tea stalls, are into repairing cycles, serving as waiters in restaurants and doing odd jobs just to ensure that their kids get education and success in life. I read such stories every year and I salute these students who work hard to achieve their dreams. They are an inspiration to anybody who has the capacity to achieve something in life but is not confident about himself/herself.

Incidentally, since the past 8 months I have been working in an NGO and have a fair idea as to what it means to be underprivileged, what it means not to have basic facilities and still make it to the top by sheer grit and determination! But I have a differ…

Justice - Exclusive to some

Justice is one of the most important components for the functioning of a democratic polity. When India gained independence and declared itself as a 'Republic', the foremost prerequisite was that all citizens will be treated fairly and justice will be delivered on terms of equanimity. Sixty years into independence and we have not lived upto the promise of justice. In fact, justice is exclusive to some. It is only for the elite class and this form of justice is in reality unjust. What makes me talk about this all of a sudden is that since many days I have been reading that a top political leader and the head of a state is being called for investigations in a riot case. But apart from this there has been no further progress. Also, we can not consider only this case in isolation. There have been instances of disregard to law by our top leaders and political honchos in the past too. But very few of them have been booked for their crime.

It is ironical that when it comes to deliver…

Powerful or Empowered?

Each one of us wants power or rather wants to show that he/she is powerful. There lies a quiet sense of satisfaction in being able to exercise power. I first learnt about the "power concept" in my graduation period (I happened to be a student of Politics). Until then, I could associate power only with politicians or people who hold administrative positions. Even now, when we think of power ... we think of our netas, our officer babus ... that is a very limited connotation of the term. In my view, each one of us has some power within us irrespective of the position, name, fame and money that we possess in our lives. I would like to think of power in a positive frame ... not something which is merely associated with positions.

After a lot of pondering, I thought about empowerment. You may wonder what is the difference between power and empowerment...two similar sounding words. Power is more of an abstract concept. For me empowerment is more important. I believe that as an ind…

I am a question mark ???

There is a saying which goes like this: "He who ask a question is a fool for five minutes...he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever"!!!

I think this is true. There is one symbol that I can identify myself the most with and it is "?" I am those inquisitive and curious creatures who are just not satisfied with plain statements. I have to put a question forward for further clarification. I learnt about the Five Ws and One H in Journalism. And that motivated me to question everything that came across me. Things are not so simple in this complicated world. They can't be taken straight on the face and just as they come. You have to keep raising questions. This does not mean that you are stupid/dumb or you can not comprehend things. It only means that you have been able to build your thought process about the information that is coming your way. Hence, I feel that asking questions is an important part of personality building. It tickles your mind and kee…

Tamasha: A forgotten folk-art

I am proud to be a Maharashtrian. Not that I am an ardent supporter of Raj Thackarey and his bunch of fools who have just once again declared that Mumbai is only for ‘Maharashtrians’(May be they are living in a make believe world where they have discarded the Indian Constitution). Maharashtra has a rich culture especially in terms of arts and entertainment. It is a land of entertainment and no wonder Bollywood resides in Bombay. Maharashtrian people have been known to nurture their culture and hold their language close to their heart. If you happen to be in Pune sometimes, you will know what it means to be in Pune and not know how to speak Marathi.

Just as ‘Bhavai’ is the folk lore of Gujarat, ‘Tamasha’ is that of Maharashtra. It has been preserved as a custom and as an integral part of the lives of people in villages now for many years. It consists of drama, songs, recreation, entertainment, fun. It is more satirical than any other form of folk art. If you compare it with bhavai, yo…

Golden Moment...with Gold Medal

There are some particular days in your life which you wish would come again and again or if they come once, you wish they would never go! There was not one but two such days in my life recently...23rd and 24th of January...the days of the convocation! Getting a Masters degree in your hand and beaming with pride. This is when you feel that the world is at your feet and you are equipped to do anything. I thoroughly enjoyed the moment as I got my degree from the great Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University of Baroda. There is nothing like MSU in this world. It is an institution that while you are with ... you will cherish! 5 years is a long time to be associated with an educational institution and I hope that my links with MSU will continue further as its alumnus.

The day on 23rd started with a bit of hustle bustle as I had been invited for the Gold Medalists get together at the Vice-Chancellor's bungalow 'Dhanvantari'. One had just heard of it. To be there amongst the cream …

A year older

One more year has been added to my life…I celebrated my birthday recently. I was waiting to turn 24 for reasons which only I know!!! There is a lot of pre-excitement to birthdays, especially when you are young. This does not mean that birthdays will be boring as you get older. It is on you to make them happening. I always look forward to them and days before my birthday, I start getting goose bumps in anticipation of how the day will be like. There are some people who do not like birthdays because it brings to fore the fact that age is dawning upon them. And some like me just can not wait for birthdays to come so that as we grow older, people around us start taking us more seriously. As a child, I recall, birthdays were the most awaited events for getting gifts, getting pampered and procuring attention. I was the eye candy of the evening. My friends from all over the society were invited for a get together at my house and I beamed with pride on that day. I cannot really sense as to wh…

Degree holders or Exemplary citizens?

Continuing the discussion on a very important matter of concern, I wish to draw some attention to the current state of the education system in our country. Right now, there is a political debate surrounding the ‘Right to Education’ bill. It is certainly a great and a welcome step forward. But merely introducing and passing a legislation can not completely help the cause of education in the country. Effective implementation in true spirit will go a long way in improving the state of education. Before that let me put forward and give you some food for thought as to what I think are the major loopholes in the system.

1.Educational Infrastructure is a major concern. If the government has to provide education to a billion plus populace, then it has to come up with excellent educational infrastructure. We need more number of schools and colleges. But quantity is a waste if the quality is not up to the mark. So as we go on constructing buildings and churning out more and more private colle…

I want to be an ‘IDIOT’

Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan have returned back to recreate the magic that earlier drew audiences to ‘Rang De Basanti’. After being rebels against the system in RDB…the trio is now IDIOTS in another system…i.e. our education system. I always await an Aamir Khan movie, this time more so because it came from RajKumar Hirani…the man who gifted cine-goers with Munnabhai’s ‘Jadu Ki Jhappi’. And the wait was worth it. Three Idiots is a must watch and I recommend it to all those who have not seen it. Don’t miss the chance people!

Three Idiots is loosely based on Five Point Someone (since I read the book years back, I am unable to recollect how much similar it is!). It is a movie which is critical of the current education system of our country. Some days back, I read an edit page article by Chetan Bhagat wherein he described and scrutinized the status of our education system. Three Idiots says it more simplistically though. There is a major and immediate need of an overhaul in the wa…