Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My vacances in the Andaman - Part I

Whew...that was one of the longest breaks we have taken....and must say it was worth it. The deep blue it turqoise, emerald, blue or green...they would make you feel the depth of the oceans. And along with it also the depth of the serenity around. You cannot ask for being more in sync with nature. The anticipation as we flew into Port Blair was palpable. We were looking forward to four days of fun and being in the waters.
It was a perfect start on the Air India flight from Chennai to Port Blair. As we fly into the capital city, I am amazed with the little islands dotted on the deep blue waters. We fly into the airport that is amidst thick forests. The Veer Savarkar International Airport is small yet daintily situated at the foothills of mountains (infact surrounded by mountains). You walk right into a CISF bastion...No cameras please, says the cop wielding his antique gun.
We had Samir waiting for us from 'Barefoot' (we were to stay at this jungle resort for 3 days). We drove straight through the winding steep roads to Ashiana (our abode for the day). We were to stay in Port Blair for the day. The capital is a very small place...small for someone from a metro. Imagine reaching the airport in 10 mins from anywhere, or going shopping only 5 mins away, or visiting 4 museums in a day, or eating freshly procured fish..that you could choose from for lunch..laze around the lounge for 3 hours having it..and finding it difficult to walk to you car after that..sounds exciting, doesn't it??
The Kaalapani is indeed one of the most touching visits and the voice of Naseeruddin Shah doesn't leave your ears till days. I can still hear the tree talking about the cries of freedom and the pain that lurked around the gallows. We went back home after a quick dinner..the best part was to begin the next day..the boat ride to Havelock...(Heaven on earth!!)
Have loved re-living it!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do we really give back??? Musings on the RMC course

Attending the session on "why we give" was stimulating. In the last so many years, I have never looked at social service as a career option, but sitting through the sessions in Resource Mobilization and seeing the very motivated participants was indeed an eye-opener. One of the questions being discussed was "why do people give". The first answer that came to my mind is that I have been more fortunate than so many others and good fortune must be shared. As I see young girls going to the school opposite my house, I am reminded of the days I sat behind on my dad's bicycle as he took me to school. It is not just the opportunity of education, but the faith, affection and the freedom to be myself.

I wish I could give that back to someone. Not just the money to help educate a girl child, but help give her the courage to take on life and inspire others. The other reason why we give (as in the discussion was) - that we feel guilty. Most participants at the meet felt that money was one form of giving, but more important was the time and the effort of being involved.

As we went through the ten days, I realised how much privileged I have been and that the work I was doing in an elitist environment was not really helping transformation. It has only strengthened my resolve to do more for the not so fortunate children. I hope I will muster the courage to make the decision sooner than later......