Uravu- A small step but big change

One of the prize winning entries of Kadam Chhota change Bada @womensweb

Sometimes in life a small step can make a big change. We might not necessarily envisage the ripple it might cause while doing it, but when it eventually creates an impact ….you feel good. It’s actually a beautiful and satisfying feeling. In the end such feelings are all that really matters in life.

I was working as an Assistant professor in an Engineering college in Kerala. One day a bunch of my students clustered around, while few of us staffs were chatting in canteen. We discussed about many things including assignments and movies. Then the topic of environmental Day which was soon approaching popped up.

“What should we do for Environment day?” I casually asked.

There was no much enthusiasm initially. Few ideas came up from here and there but nothing was appealing .Finally we all left for class. It was the beginning of rains and the muddy water glided past me drenching my sari. I dodged the small pools of water and moved to staff room.  That’s when it struck, why not built a rain water harvesting pit for the department. A rain pit to collect runoff water which will enrich water table and there by boost bore well water levels. Scarcity of water especially during summer was a major issue in college. We discussed it in class and few of my enthusiastic students eagerly hooked on to the idea. The budget was estimated and as class teachers two of us decided to meet the expense. Once the idea got approved the actions had a momentum.

First we surveyed, found a suitable position at slop for pit where maximum water could reach and was at desired distance from well. While few dug the pit, others fetched the aggregate, coconut husk and coal. Of course some spent time teasing and splashing water around, but then everything needs some light moments to keep students engaged. At last the layers were filled and mesh covered the water channels were well trimmed so that runoff water could be guided appropriately to the pit.  Finally on The stipulated day an official programme of handing over was done in the presence of students, faculty and principal. Incidentally panchayat president had come to the college on that day as part of some other activities. She happened to see this initiative and was highly impressed by this concept. She expressed her desire to implement it in a larger scale. This idea was pitched to the us . I believe goodness is contagious. Students were  charged up and eager to take up this noble cause . This led a discussion between Panchayt president and Principal. Finally it was decided that the department students and staff will fund  rain pits for villagers around the college in tie up with Panchayat. Each one including staff and students contributed to built around 26 rain pits . That’s how “Uravu” programme began  The name represented “source ” of water. We were asked to take initiative in propagating as well as executing this plan. We were more than happy to accept the challenge. We did a detailed survey and awareness programme. With hard work, sincere efforts from all of us and little bit of awareness campaigns, within few weeks the rain pits were made.

 For a place like Kerala with enough amount of rain, drought in summer is mainly due to lack of preservation of water. This rain pit helped the villagers to a great extent to sustain water for summer. More people started to adopt this method. More than the financial contribution the fact that we could initiate our students to get involved in such an activity benefiting the people around was the biggest achievement. Something which started as a small initiative ended up as a programme useful to  many families. On a lighter note, a small plunge into a muddy pool could initiate a change to create such multiple pools of water. Literally a small step made a big change. We were all happy about the effects, especially the gratifying smiles on those peoples face.

uravu 1

Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe nowFor every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.

 

Header pic of water from HMWSSB sitewater

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Do you judge a movie based on it’s book?

Over the years many movies have been made based on books. One speciality about such movies are that audience never evaluate those movies  just as a creative piece but instead we always tend to draw comparison with its book.”Which is better…the book or movie?”Is the obvious doubt. The book may be spared of a judgement based on the cover but you certainly judge the movie based on its book. While some think Harry potter series of books are way better than films others think movies like  Godfather and Jaws were better than book itself. I am not here to discuss ten books better than movies or vice versa. I was keener on knowing what’s the impact on the viewer who has read its book version- their experience , does the sequence one follow and preferences tamper your opinion or what do people generally prefer to do i.e  read ->watch or watch -> read.

Most of the times audience have preferred books over their adaptation into movies ,though at times movies have taken the cake away. The probable reason many dislike a movie which they have read could be (excluding the obvious reason that movie was a bad one) that the imagery do not match to what they have visualised or when characters do not have the depth of emotions what they felt while reading. When you are watching a movie you are witnessing the events while reading you are experiencing everything through those characters. While reading ,as plot progress you can travel through the thought process of every well written character .Every nuances like the sigh or grim face are mentioned so  it register to the reader and you know about  it. While most of it seeps out in the dramatisation and glitz of movie. We feel the light wind and rattling of leaves while walking down the boulevard during reading whereas in movies it might end up as just a walk on asphalt road. Another reason could be that movies have time constrain .When a full length novel which you have lived through gets converted to a feature film of 2 to 3 hours it might lose the essence of it or many of the things you thought were valid could be skimmed over. Moreover when a novel  is converted to screen play and  delivered to audience through dialogue it requires utmost skill to prevent those emotions from coming across without draining away.

We often see books made into films but rarely have we seen Films converted to book. Reason could be that the best part of reading is the liberty of interpretation of the reader. The reader is free to visualise what one reads , but if we have literally seen what we read beforehand in a  movie , that kind of takes away the whole purpose of reading. That could be the reason many prefer to read first and then watch its movie. So that they can have their version of Hogwarts first and then watch/evaluate director’s version . What happens when you watch and then read a book. Does that effect other way around …does the visual impression a movie left prevent us from interpreting or imagining while reading  and lose the entire charm of reading ? I was curious to know what others preferred and why. I was also doubtful whether our general personal preferences of medium (like books over movies) can influence our choice. May be an ardent reader might enjoy book version where as movie buff may like otherwise. That’s the reason I asked people of all categories like readers, writers and movie enthusiast about it. This is what they shared.

Ruchi Singh who is a famous author and avid reader said “I prefer to read the book first, but I see the movie with an open mind and enjoy both if done well. 🙂 “. Many replies were in the same line which was pretty much my inference too. On enquiring Simran a friend who equally enjoys both mediums said “Visuals have more effect on memory and films are not detailed as books so it’s not that beneficial for me to watch it first”. Whereas Sonali who watches movies critically recollected watching Eat, Pray and Love   Life of Pie , Not without my daughter as well as reading them. This was her conclusion “better experience is movie -> Book. It’s mostly disappointing if it’s done other way around. If I have to chose one. It will be the book. Movies always disappoint if you have read the book already”. That’s a smart move indeed.

 Reet Singh who is also a popular and accomplished writer had an interesting observation to share. “Honestly speaking – if I read the book first, I hate the movie adaptation of it, and if I see the movie first, I hate the book “she said.  How many of you have felt this is true? In fact I would like to share a personal experience in this regard. Mostly I watch movie after reading a book. I remember watching the movie “A Walk to remember“ first and then reading the novel later. Though I totally enjoy Nicholas Spark’s books I remember enjoying the movie slightly more than the book. Where as a friend of mine who read the book and then watched the same movie enjoyed the book more. Therefore there could be a chance such a phenomenon actually exist provided both are quality crafts.

I understand this movie book cycle is pretty indecisive so do not wish to make any hard and fast conclusions. Personally for me if I read something good or watch a wonderful movie I would prefer to leave it untouched safe in my favourite zone. I will not dare to revamp someone’s work just because of the fear of jeopardizing it. I wonder what makes directors take up books as basis for their movies; may be liking for the book or a vision that there is much more scope in the story which a director could exploit . Whatever be it, creative endeavours are made with much heart and soul therefore I feel each of it deserves a fair chance. So let the quality of each craft decide its own destiny.

Do you have any personal preferences and experience of reading a book as well as watching it ? …Go ahead and share here. Happy reading and watching .

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Thank you Reet Singh ma’am and Ruchi Singh ma’am for sharing opinion.

Picture courtesy : Rightful owner

 

Valentine’s day -Reality Vs Expectation

2018 has reached mid Feb and we have Valentine’s day around the corner .Valentine day is all about colour red, roses , love and most importantly expressing love. As you all know the whole week has its specific days -hug day , kiss day, but for most of us nothing much happens on those days . As sns constantly keeps reminding us how the world is celebrating,  we hope something special to happen at least on Valentine Day. During school or college days all those single souls silently hope -this year is gonna be special . That one red rose which eluded me all those years shall finally find its way towards me .Those arms of my man/woman shall hold it out to me with cupid’s blessing. If this is the case in school, after marriage things are not very different , we keep hoping for that special gesture from our spouse. Yes  there are pairs both married and unmarried who celebrate valentine day to the fullest. You are Lucky  guys ….happy! ,this is about the rest.

Statutory Warning :Since the protagonist of this writing is female it’s mostly in their point of view and I am sure men have their version of story but since that terrain is unfamiliar i am keeping away from it, maybe next time.

I guess, the saying” men are from mars and women are from venus” was made for such occasion as Valentine day. Yes,  valentine day could be a business strategy developed by a genius but the fact remains that women like attention and like to feel special, this day is just an excuse , Fine !.  Love is not just the feeling alone it also encompass the warmth exuded from its expression, which men just don’t seem to understand. Talking about this expectation there are few categories of women (,ok you are a women with no expectations at all ,good for you, I am talking about rest). First  one is the “silent expector “ group, who takes initiative to keep things up beat in their couple life without any expectation , but for how long ? at the end of it you expect the other person to reciprocate at some point. One of my friend who used to be very enthusiastic about such days , few years into married life, talked about it with apathy. I asked why? .she said for the first valentine day She dressed up, decorated roof top with their pics , bought cake and took great effort . Naturally they did cut the cake and ended the day happily. The problem is when you put your soul into  it our minds tend to expect the other person to invest a certain amount of emotion as well, which some fail to do . We are so used to romantic novels and Yash raj movies so minds tend to  fix the next frame in a certain way ,but what happens in reality is more of an Irfan khan style realistic approach from your better half . The wife may continue for few more years , eventually she will stop  because of no reciprocation or emotional investment from the partner .  So that is the group which silently expect and then wither away.

There are few others who are vocal about their desires and specific about it .So naturally first few year their spouse oblige and execute few surprises , but then fall flat. I don’t know when they know the repercussions why do they take it so lightly. I know few ladies who go out and enjoy with their girl friends because they are pretty sure this day is just another day in office for their husband. I would say fair enough, at least the one who wants to enjoy is enjoying.

Why the process of expressing love does become less after a point .The problem is,after some time we take each other for granted. Especially men in India are brought up or trained to not express their emotions that it almost become their trait . So they find expression of love as dramatic and filmy and they shy away.  Moreover celebration requires little bit of effort which many can’t spare amidst their busy schedule , but guys make that little effort when it means a lot to someone special in your life .Value your partners and don’t take your blessings for granted .Try to enjoy the process yourself , enjoyment and happiness is something which is within you, Obviously when you enjoy then it no more feels like an obligation .  One more thing  i am not propagating “ Valentine day” in particular, “valentine’s day “ was the occasion therefore i referred to it. Be it any special day make it worth remembering in your own special way for you and your dear ones. Innovate , little small things can bring happiness . May be a hand written note , a little gift after a treasure hunt all that can add that spunk to your life . You might find it little dramatic, but my friend love is allowed to be little mushy , but of course the inner feeling is most important .As Charles M. Schulz said” All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.

Is the probability of luck ½?


Luck 🍀and miracle are two fascinating phenomena … but I would like to talk about luck for now  and spare miracle  this time.

Do you believe in luck ? Do you believe yourself to be lucky?

Even though most of us try to portray ourselves as rational and like to say “I believe in hard work” , many a  times without realising we hope  for  benevolence from that unknown corner in our deciding moment. Some call it hope, faith or its in a way seeking for favor or luck.

Often I wonder what is the funda of “luck“. Is luck the forgery done by destiny to get a destined result?  Is luck something completely abstract and totally controlled from the other world or is it something more realistic which is under the control of human beings.

Is the probability of luck ½?  (Equal chance of winning and losing )

There are moments when we feel the whole universe is conspiring against us.

but then I persuade -“who the hell am I? A tiny particle and still dare to believe the whole universe has time to spare for me!  “.

Which makes me wonder why do some believe themselves to be lucky and others believe to be unlucky .Does that extra favoring from unknown sources or powers really favor some?

This is the reason why I tried to make a logical understanding of it. I have NO intention to give something like” 5 tips to be lucky”, cos I have none .

Instead just sharing few things which were noticed.

One thing I have observed is people who basically believe to be lucky don’t dissect past events and regret. They take things in their stride therefore they concentrate on what is available and make best use of it than bothering about what they were seeking. They are more relaxed and make use of intuitions effectively .They are confident and ready to take risk which provides them with new openings and use them to their advantage.

Whereas the other half try to scrutinize things when something go out of their schedule and try to find  follies .They  concentrate on things what they could have achieved rather than paying attention to what is in their kitty. Over a period they start concentrating in negative perspective and it affects their confidence. Anxiety makes them under confident to take risk and they miss on opportunities by playing safe.

Sometimes I feel life is all about choices, some we make knowingly and some by default .Each event is a lucky draw, right from place of birth, to parents, to everything you keep drawing things from eternity the infinite pool. The favorable draws definitely vary from individual to individual and are not fully in our control, but our thoughts are. The feeling of being lucky/ unlucky is a result of cumulative thought process. So try to accumulate the positives and believe things can happen in your advantage even if it meanders from your plan in mind. As Tennessee Williams said, “Luck is believing you’re lucky.”

 

 

Would definitely like to get your view and opinion on this topic.

 

 

 

Header credit : owner

Unraveling Poetry

 

My last two posts coincidentally have been poems. (Let me tell you I am not an expert on poems or sonnets or technicalities but just someone who enjoy reading and writing it).

I have a set of friends who always give feedback on my write-ups  and I was surprised at the reaction of most of them when  I referred  a poem for their opinion.

They are like “I’m not into poems”, “poem is not my cup of tea”.

They were so reluctant to indulge in poems. It’s like some extravaganza.

 I was taken aback at their apprehension about this genre, “But how can you miss out on this unique worldly pleasure” was my doubt.

It leads me to think why poems or sonnets or that form of writing is different and not every ones cup of tea.This post is you can say, a kind of soliloquy connected to it.

Poems are a kind of weed…its intoxicating .The unknown pleasure of savoring each word in it, the joy of unraveling each layer of hidden thoughts in every line needs to be experienced and can’t be explained. When you hear the lines of Lord Byron  like:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes .

You can do nothing but fall in the trance of that beauty.

Poems are like sarcasm …if you don’t get the crux behind, it seems to be unappealing and can be even annoying. You just need to have that interest to pick the nuances and deciphering the clues and metaphors which writer has left silently behind. (In short one should have that Sherlock home’s instinct). You just cannot miss a beat.

 In Sylvia Plath poem Metaphor where she states “I’m a riddle in nine syllables” which she follows by seemingly unrelated metaphors  to elephant, a ponderous house, and loaf’s big with its yeasty rising actually refers to her stages of pregnancy.

and when she ends it like:

I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

It actually makes you ponder what her state of mind is, was she indicating about this irrevocable journey of hers as a new beginning or her indecisiveness to stepping into motherhood. That ambiguity actually gives reader the space to participate and get involved in the creative process of writer through ones imagination.

 Poems have potential to hold volumes in few simple lines. Truly it reiterates the fact brevity is the soul of wit. The three lines by Robert Frost below manages to express a complicated doctrine.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Freedom of interpretation: The most attractive as well as the tricky dimension about poem is the degree of freedom of interpretations.

The unknown uff! or wow! That spurts when you read  a line impregnated with meaning and soul is truly a pleasure. Leaving with few such lines of William Shakespeare in Sonnet 116 which left me in awe.

 Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 

Admit impediments. Love is not love 

Which alters when it alteration finds, 

Or bends with the remover to remove. 

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 

That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 

It is the star to every wand’ring bark, 

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 

Within his bending sickle’s compass come; 

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 

But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error and upon me prov’d, 

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Killing your Pains…

 

Pain kills pain. what does it mean? – A more severe pain or agony can replace distress caused by a smaller one. Does that mean causing pain to others or hurting others can reduce your pain?..Really don’t think so .Human minds have this unique talent of interpreting facts to ones convenience and misconstrued thoughts completely .That’s why we see people using different methods to escape their worries, like trying to bail out their hurt and irritation by giving pain to others.

Sadness can sometimes turn into a dope… one tend to depend on and make it an excuse for the actions you commit and as a justification for the person you have become.

When you had a bad day our basic tendency is to snap at the first person who gives you the slightest opportunity. You have tendency to rub this irritation of yours on to the soft target you meet next. You just want to vent out your feelings or want to make sure that the other person also gets  a share of what you are going through.

This soft target can be your subordinate or the guy who honks at you in traffic. At home it can be either your parents or spouse. which is  the worst part, in our turmoil we often tend to clink on to the nearest trees and end up hurting your closest and dearest people the most.

The justification you most often give for your action is your sufferings.

“You don’t know what I am going through” is your explanation to others and most ironically to your own conscious pricks.

Yes you are going through a lot but is that a justification for ending up causing hurt to others through your action, especially your near ones?

Most of us have those times when you feel nothing Is working right … One just don’t feel happy about anything: life, job, studies and everything around . You can’t take this loneliness anymore. It feels like one has lost the last iota of hope and faith which makes even things worse cos then you are left with not even an excuse to try. One tends to relapse into that self drenching sorrow.

There may not be cure for your sorrows, but there are better ways to deal it. Talk to people, take professional help. Even better help yourself …find your happiness to refuge yourself and to distract yourself… find your reason to live for.

Find a way to express the piled up emotions, something to hook to … maybe its writing, music, involve in activities of interest.  It can be anything your passion, people, place …Find it for you sake.Channelize your emotions and try to get a grip before you fall apart .

These days you see many people venting on social networking sites. A lot of people unleash their frustrations by using celebs as punching bags . People continuously take the trouble of stalking them and reaching their wall just to inform them how much they hate them or how ugly he or she looks . Some even go to the extent of cussing people if someone has a point of view different from their idols  …what help it does? .They are trying to use their hate as synonym of love. That is never possible love can never be expressed through hating others. It’s actually your  frustration you are trying to sugar coat in the name of love.

When nothing feels right in your life and you feel deserted and feel deprived and cheated by yourself, the world and destiny the only person whom seem to empathise with you is your emotions.

Your pain can turn to an addiction, not that you want it, but unknowingly a solace…that you kind of help each other to co-exist .The pain of sadness is deceptive and swampy and it kind of evokes self pity or tendency to victimise yourself. Our pain lead us to many actions like being rude ,alcoholism , laziness and many other actions  of which our mind may not approve of. This justification of pain then turns out to be our defense mechanism of these actions.. an excuse … an Armour for the person one is turning into . An explanation to oneself and the world for all the hard times one give to people ,which otherwise we subconsciously know is not the right thing to do. It’s like” I know this is not how I should be dealing it, but I have a reason”. It’s like an attempt to put blame on someone else for your doings.

You are going through hell… yes you are unhappy but that’s never an excuse for vindicating your frustration on others. The other person is also going through his share of issues, may be not the same kind , may be not of the same gravity but they do have their set of sufferings.To realise that you need to see beyond yourself, but we are so stuck with ourselves and our issues that we conveniently overlook that.

Your pain is understandable but that doesn’t mean your behavior is acceptable (Steve Maraboli)

When you hurt others the fact is that deep down inside you are aware of our actions and we do not appeal of it.  It actually irritates and corrodes yourself more and you start to despise yourself even more for having sailed away from your vintage self whom you liked. Rather try taking revenge to your sorrows with your inner strength and goodness . You actually feel better about oneself and life in itself.

PS:(Header pic credit google)

 

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