Morning Diary

mumbai-localMorning : 7:50 am

Scene1

Train Route : Thane- Mulund-Nahur-Bhandup-kanjur-Vikhroli-Ghatkopar-VidyaVihar-Kurla-Sion-Matunga

The rest I don’t know as my destination is Matunga

Morning 7:47 am train was late ,so obviously 8;03 train too got late ….well that’s my everyday train .For the first time in whole year I had got a window seat in the morning time. But I flatly refused , as it is rainy day ….and u end up getting wet even though the windows are having shutter. I normally tend to stand because it gets difficult to get down once the train gets full. I was standing exactly in the middle . You tend to see the same faces everyday , if u catch the same train. One short heighted college going girl seemed lost . She was not able to understand whether she should stand besides me or not. At first I thought ,that she realised that she will get wet if she stands .

Rule No 1 : Never stand near the door on rainy days,…u get wet . But then I realised, she was short and not able to hold the upper handle …so she was hunting for a comfy place.

RULE NO 2 : Never stand in the entry of the sitting area. U will get crushed

And that’s what exactly happened.

Scene 2 :The girl was getting pushed inside . And then again she looked at me …I said stand where u were standing b4. …(she was having no option)

She asked me ” Is this first class , is it so crowded every time ?…I am travelling first time. I said “I realised that , and showed her the handle behind where her hand could reach out. Then I asked her , where do you want to get down ” and boom comes the answer “Ghatkopar” …..I said…it comes that side.

I absolutely could understand her state of mind and her state of first class imagination .

I told her go fast that side once the kanjur crowd gets down. She somehow managed.

Here goes the imagination of people who have never travelled by train and first  class   :  Small compartment ..with few people probably sitting and reading newspaper or novel, humming to music, busy carrying their own activity…(as shown in the movies) and very diligently getting down the compartment. Of course why not : u have paid 1000 bucks and got a first class  ticket :

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Actual Condition : So what you got a first class ticket ? ….standard of living has increased ,even I can have one…..colleges provide concession….anyone can have that . So it is worst than the first class . The compartments are small….and everyone ends up cramming inside.  U are able to breathe only till thane to mulund…then u are lost and sandwiched in the crowdcentral-railway-fast-local-8-am-in-morning

Scene 3 : Now comes the vidyavihar crowd. Normally they are…college goers , office crowd ppl etc. Two ladies who wanted to get down at  vidyavihar were sitting and then at vikhroli station they realised…the crowd is getting worst …better leave our seat now and start gearing up .

Now the problem here is that…at ghatkopar , how much crowd gets down …equally worse crowd  gets inside.  So now the 2 ladies got stuck. They were begging people standing near the rod to get down and get inside again …so that they could get down….but no use. They got stuck and missed their station.

Scene 4 : Now someone had to turn out a leader in such situation . One lady who got in at ghatkopar was getting pissed …so she made a formal announcement :  “We all are kurla crowd here….so whoever is standing near the rod….get down when the station comes and get inside again . I am telling you now only …you got one more chance to come inside…otherwise you will be crushed” . That lady actually said 12 3 : push ….Lol

THE LADIES IN THE FIRST CLASS Yell EACH TIME : PUSH PUSH …. they all are under going labour pain a the same time.

And that’s what happens at kurla…..All ladies unitedly  PUSH…The baby finally comes out ….ie (They get down) and equally new babies  grow inside the stomach.  Trust me KURLA Crowd is worst .

SCENE 5 : I got the advantage of being extremely thin. So voila comes my destination and I get down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lone warrior: Breaking barriers between soldiers and civilians

Another inspiring article which i read in the newspaper and felt , it is more than worthy enough for the world to know about it . Its worth a read . 

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Kargil 2013: The guns have been quiet for more than a decade now; but there is one woman whose voice echoes through the Valley—Anuradha Prabhudesai. Rama Sreekant met 

“Thodi si mein wife hoon, thodi si mein nani hoon, lekin pehle Hindustani hoon,” says 57-year-old Anuradha Prabhudesai, an ex-banker, whose story dates back to August 2004 when she was holidaying in Ladakh with her husband and friends.

Anuradha was ambling along the roads of Drass, drinking in the friendliness of the locals and the soldiers in a war-ravaged town, when she first spotted an army caption that read, ‘I only regret that I have but one life to lay down for the country.’ Intrigued, she stopped an army Khansama to enquire what had happened there. He in turn, unassumingly asked, “aapko pata nahi, yahan toh haazerein laashein giri thi?” That was Anuradha’s moment of introspection.

She pondered about her comfortable life back in Mumbai, the brief news about Kargil (in 1999) and the pseudo-patriotism she wore in her heart. Moved by what she heard, Anuradha, along with her friend Vikram Joshi, took an oath at Vijay Stambh (War Memorial in Kargil) to bring to light the sacrifices made by the Kargil soldiers and to visit Kargil for the next five years.

Back from the trip, Anuradha wrote several letters to army officials seeking permission to visit them during Raksha Bandhan in 2005. After some initial resistance, Colonel Jha finally conceded. The mission was possible but the trail ahead tough.

Driving through rough roads from Manali to Sarchu and finally into Leh, all seemed worth it when, after tying rakhis and distributing homemade food, the soldiers expressed, “Aap jo pyaar dete ho rakhi ke zariye, woh hosla deta hai ladne ke liye.” The bond strengthened when she returned in 2006 with a group of 36 girls.

Mission Possible
Anuradha has visited Kargil 14 times in the last ten years, and her work has been cherished by the army. She has published more than 400 copies of Hindi poems authored by her and several booklets on the Kargil martyrs. “As Indians, we do not know the names of the Paramveer awardees of our country but we know the names of new-born kids of movie stars, film award winners, etc. Where are we heading as a nation?,” asks Anuradha, who is the only civilian and only woman with access to all the regiments in the

Kargil region.

Having lived up to her five-year oath, in 2009, when Anuradha expressed her uncertainty to continue the mission to Brigadier Pal, he simply ordered, “Continue the good work.”

Subsequently, Anuradha formed the Lakshya Foundation with an objective to instill a spirit of patriotism in the youth.

In her journey so far, she has travelled to Ladakh with 450 civilians giving them first-hand experience of army life, delivered 105 lectures across schools and arranged get-togethers of army wives and war widows. Fondly called ma’am, maasi and ma, by the soldiers, Anuradha’s role in their lives kept expanding. On 26th July 2011, she received a memento from Lt Gn Dastane for boosting the morale of the soldiers and bridging the gap between civilians and soldiers.

This memento, she says, is life’s best gift to her.

Giving Back
Anuradha’s work for the soldiers through the Lakshya foundation has grown multifold. Their first activity was ‘Diwali with Soldiers’—an initiative to distribute sweets to the families of the soldiers. “Aaj kal insaniyat ki kami hai. It’s all about me, my family, my job,” she says voicing her pain.

Sharing several anecdotes of the lives of soldiers, who stay put at an altitude of 18,000 ft in bone-chilling conditions for several weeks, Anuradha urges, “If you meet a soldier, give him respect and love. That’s all he needs.”

Taking a leaf from the lives of the soldiers, Anuradha has evolved as a human being—less temperamental, more disciplined, calm and collected, with a better sense of time.

She has reoriented her life to a different compass. Now, 26th July, Army Day, is incomplete without Anuradha and Lakshya Foundation. Leading two lives—one of a middle-class, hard-working wife and another of a woman who is a beacon of hope for our soldiers, in January 2012, Anuradha quit her job, “I wanted to work for my country,” she says.

Anuradha persists in her efforts to break the barriers between soldiers and civilians. She believes her mission will be accomplished when every Indian dedicates five years of his or her life to the country.  That would be a truly patriotic India.

 

Heart Sinking

 

I named this post as heart sinking because  this is how I felt while passing by my car . I wish I had a bike to get a speedy errand feel . For me my connection to nature especially during rains are so intense, that my clicking never stops. For me to capture the moment is important rather than how the photo(graphy) has turned out . As at the end sometimes , you just want that feel to still linger in your minds . The feel you experience when have a mouth-watering food in front of you. That’s how I feel for nature. These pics by far has turned out to be best for me . The combination of a bit sunlight,too much mist and green covered mountains , I bet it looks the best in India …God’s Creation indeed!!!!

Another Inspiring Article

The Two-Minute Solution to Coping With Disasters 


For someone who has spent most of his childhood in Uttarakhand and trekked through remote villages in the magnificent mountains of the Himalayas,I feel not just pain but also a sense of violation seeing the man-instigated natural disaster unfold in front of my eyes.

The region is on tethers,nature is wounded and thousands of army personnel are still battling the odds to ensure we dont lose innocent lives for decisions and actions on which we should have spent two minutes more.

Why is the question many are asking.Deforestation,human greed,exploitation of the poor,lack of education,mindless projects in the garb of development,lack of accountability for inaction any or all of these could be the reason(s) why we have lost so many lives.But whatever the alibi,it is sure to be forgotten soon.

Going by past trends,there will be pity,sympathy and blame-games followed by short-term memory loss,and soon,we will go ahead as if nothing had happened.

India is home to some of the oldest civilisations and we are proud of our heritage and history.But I wonder whether future generations will say this about us.Or will they see a generation utterly self-involved and selfish ?

Indians future will be secure only when Indians wake up to not just their rights but also their responsibilities.We need those extra two minutes more from each one of the billion Indians,every day,to think of Indians first.These two billion minutes we have each day could solve many problems and save many lives.These minutes hold the promise of changing mindsets where development will be viewed from the lens of inclusiveness and long-term sustainability.

When you throw plastic in the river,uproot a tree to plant it in your backyard,cut a tree to build a dream home in the hills,build roads from nowhere to nowhere,build dams to feed the unending hunger for urbanisation in the hills,do take those extra two minutes and think Indians first.When you travel and enjoy the beauty of Himalayas and stop to distribute toffees and not books to children,think those extra two minutes.When you see shops that sell tobacco and gutka coming up in every remote village but no medicine shop for miles,take those extra two minutes to think of our future.When you see empty school buildings with no teachers and children doing manual labour,remember,they are screaming for your two minutes.When you vote the next time,think hard for those extra two minutes.When you see deforestation and exploitation during your travels,ask for the road to the district officials and raise your voice in those two minutes.

I m not anti-development;the key is to ensure sustainable and environmentally sensitive development like the Amazon Region Protected Areas (Arpa) programme in Brazil and other state-led initiatives that have slowed down the Amazon deforestation and biodiversity hazards considerably with the involvement of local communities.As I write this piece,millions of Brazilians are on the street because they care.The Jasmine Revolution was caused because the common man cared.Indians are fighting against corruption as never before because we care.Now we need to care about the fine ecological balance given in trust to us by the previous generations.

As a young kid,these mountains and rivers were my family members,and the flora and fauna were part of my community.As the images of the vast devastation started flashing on TV screens,I thought of how we have let down these mountains,how we have abandoned the community and turned our backs to the responsibility.Now we will spend billions in rebuilding homes and in trying to reinstate the faith of people in our country,but what about nature,who will earn her respect and who will say we understand and care

I am a relentless optimist and believe that when we Indians decide to turn a corner,we are unstoppable.Thus,there is always hope if we look at this disaster as a reminder of the two minute responsibility we owe to our nature and biodiversity,cities and villages,humans and hills.Just two minutes every day in our own way.Think about it.My two minutes start now,and yours 

The writer is vice-chairman,HCL Technologies

A Road Trip

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Rains have arrived in my country
Stranded in study room for a year
had left me dry and doom

Inexplicable connection to nature
I shunned my laptop for creature
Road trip to Ghats made me feel alive
Peeping my face through window
I felt my need for meadows
Watching young boys
sell berries ,my heart silently cried.

Stopping by the roadside
for a country corn is must
But having served by a minor
should my craving be just ?
Nevertheless I continue my
journey of nature .

Fascinated by waterfalls and mountains
My clicking never stops .
But unable to capture as doppelganger leaves
me a flop.

So I shutdown the screen and feel the
serene through my breathe .
The tranquil is contagious but departure
has arrived .

Way back to home is a mixed feeling
To be happy for the nature or sad for
the road kids ?
Is always a question to ponder.

 

 

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Nature’s Silence

A Newspaper Article

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Something which i felt like sharing in the blog

Dhruv Lakras courier firm delivers 25,000 packages every month by a deaf-only staff

You dont except pin drop silence at a courier office during peak business hours.But at Mirakle Couriers Churchgate headquarters,the only dominating sound is that of a whirring air-conditioner.Without exchanging a single word,its 49 staffers,all deaf,successfully deliver 25,000 packages a month within the city.Dhruv Lakra,its 32-year-old founder,who holds a degree in social entrepreneurship from SAID Business School,University of Oxford,stresses the difference between the deaf community and the hearing impaired.While the latter carry a hope of medical correction,the deaf have no choice but to resign to a life of silence.And yet,he doesnt approve of the term disabled for his colleagues.They are just differently abled, he says.They are great with operational work,good with directions and incredibly honest apt for the work they currently do.
After a job with financial management and advisory firm Merrill Lynch and a volunteering stint with Mumbai-based NGO DASRA,Lakra decided hed use the best lessons from both experiences to launch a socially-conscious business idea.Mirakle Couriers was born in 2009 with just two delivery boys.It now operates out of two branches (the other is at Bandra).
Remembering the incident that spun his life around,Lakra says,I was sitting in a BEST bus beside a boy who was looking restlessly out of the window.He was lost although the conductor was regularly announcing the next stop.I tried asking him what was wrong,but he didnt respond.Thats when it struck me that he was deaf.I helped him through handwritten notes,but I had come face-to-face with their everyday struggle.
Lakra decided hed come up with an entrepreneurship plan that would empower others like the boy.
And he sure has.Amarjeet Mistry,a confident middle-aged staffer communicates animatedly through sign language while Lakra interprets what he is saying: I was a carpenter and it was tough to make ends meet.How was I to fend for my family Things changed after landing this job.My daughter can speak English,you know!
While Mistry and his male colleagues manage delivery,the women,including Lata Upadhyay (name changed),operate the back office.Upadhyays parents were unwilling to let her work late hours.When Lakra learnt of this,he changed their schedule.We come in early and are back home before sunset, she says.I didnt want mere labourers.The idea is to get women with a difficult past to enjoy their work.They are my responsibility,so assigning them comfortable working hours keeps me at peace too, says Lakra,who learnt sign language as part of his field research.
In the absence of the spoken word,text messages have proved to be Mirakles lifeline.Its through SMSes that the staff effectively communicates and tracks deliveries.Their professional track record has helped bring in prestigious clients like Mahindra & Mahindra,Godrej & Boyce,the Aditya Birla Group and Under The Mango Tree.One staffer opens his eyes wide,and flays his arms to symbolise the fancy tall buildings they deliver packages to.
Its evident that Lakras idea is a hope for the community when he tells you he receives calls from eager parents looking for a suitable boy for their deaf daughters.It takes a while for me to explain that we are only Mirakle Couriers,not Mirakle matchmakers, Lakra smiles.