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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Everyone has a Story #Review

Book details

Book Title: Everyone has a  story
Author: Savi Sharma,    Language: English
Publisher: Westland ltd
Total Number of Pages: 175

 

“Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books and some are confined to hearts “says Savi Sharma’s through her debut novel “Everyone Has a story”. The writer seems to have weaved the entire story on this concept. The book is a light read with day to day characters and premise, probably the reason this book was a runaway success. There is no much complexity in understanding the book neither in plot nor in narration so the reader can easily skim through pages. One thing noticeable about the book is the fact that there are narrations by Meera and Vivaan , the main protagonists which gives the reader a chance to know each of their  minds. The musing like conversations the author has delivered through various characters might not be enjoyable to all but somewhere down the line they are relatable. Be it about love or life.

The plot could have been more convincing if the readers were given a multi dimensional view of characters life and a better perspective of their background or whereabouts. Here the author has conveyed the entire story through two pairs Meera – Vivaan and Kabir _Nisha  ,in the premise of a cafe mostly. The book is about Meera an aspiring writer who finds a story for her debut novel in a guy she meets in a Cafe run by Kabir .The guy is Vivaan , an Assistant manager in Citibank. Meera gets intrigued by the mysterious nature of this man and develops a fondness for him.  Vivaan becomes instrumental in letting both Meera and readers know about Nisha , Kabir’s love interest as well as about his dreams. Vivaan is a person who doesn’t like to stick to one place and wish to travel the world. Basically he wants to escape from everything including his mundane life and past too. Later on Meera and Vivaan’s love has to pay a heavy price for this trait of his. The story is about how their relation evolves over the period and how Meera’s dream of writing culminates.

There is not much you invest in the story as in time or emotions probably that’s the reason the takeaways are mere too. Vivaan says at one point “ I take a piece of each place I visit” ,I feel its applicable to books as well .You take something from every book ,a piece stays with you but in this book once I finished reading not much lingered around . The events were too sudden and dramatic you couldn’t actually feel their depth .Probably a little more detailing especially about the other facets of characters would have made things more authentic and the plot stronger.

Overall it’s a light read. It gives a motivation to believe in your dreams and second chances in life. One thing book emphasises is to love hard and forgive mistakes. Not only other people’s mistakes, but your own as well. Let go and live life to fullest.

 

 

About Author: Savi Sharma the author is from Surat, India. She self published this novel first, which was later acquired by Westland ltd. She is the co-founder of motivational media blog ‘Life and People” where she writes about law of attraction, positivity, spirituality, travelling and storytelling.

 

Pride and Prejudice

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is worldly accepted as one of the finest novels and it needs no testimony from someone like me to prove its worth . The truth is I just couldn’t hold myself from writing this review after reading the book . Even after two centuries this tale is still read with the same zest as when published. My purpose of this write up is to entice more people to read it and to allow those who have read to relieve that beautiful experience once again.  The guardian had mentioned it as “ Britain’s favourite book” which is totally understandable . Even a person like me from Asian continent who is not used to the culture and events could feel those emotions because of the depth of characters , then i am sure what Britain could have felt. For readers outside the terrine through Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen has vividly weaved the eighteenth century England in a satirical manner .

I don’t think there is a name more apt for the book . This tale is all about the pride and prejudice of the main leads Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwallim Darcy.  Elizabeth meets Darcy during a ball and things do not go very well between them in their first meeting. Darcy comes across as a rich arrogant snob to Elizabeth. Life pits them against each other on various stages and Elizabeth develops a complicated feeling of dislike ( yes women are complicated even for themselves at  times) towards Darcy . Whereas over the period Darcy finds Elizabeth and her realness attractive .He find her genuine and  different  from the other ladies he have met in life . He eventually fall for her ,to which Elizabeth reacts sharply due to some backlog events . Later on Elizabeth come to know about real Darcy and the motives of his actions . As the truths unravel before Elizabeth she ponders whether she was too prejudice about Darcy . Rest of it is about the alteration in their dynamics and what happens to their relation.

The best part about the story  is that it is actually a fairytale but weaved around very real characters and feelings. The emotions as well as thought process of the main protagonists are so clearly expressed that it totally justifies each character’s views and actions at various points. Even characters like Elizabeth’s parents or their relative  Mr Collins are so meticulously described and each of their character trait are so vividly displayed.  Mrs Bennet with her over anxious nature as mother to such bloomed daughters , the satire of Mr Bennet and pompousness of Mr .Collins are so convincingly portrayed. I personally felt like applauding for Mr . Bennet when he supports Elizabeth so subtly but effectively on her spat with her mother for forcing a marriage  . He  winds up the issue with just a sentence-“from this day you must be stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do marry Mr .Collins and i will never see you again if you do”.  Mr. Bennet is such a cool dad . This is one novel with quite a few number of “significant” female characters yet each one making a mark with a different streak. Especially Lizzy aka Elizebeth and Jane  were vulnerable but  ladies with such conviction. Aren’t we all somewhere built that way?. Lizzy was one badass character , a true feminist who lived according to her terms . Each of the sub stories has a beautiful graph of growth which you totally live through.

I am sure many of you have read this book, those who haven’t if you like some real romance , feisty characters and a view of eighteenth century  grandeur of England society this is it….you have found it in this book.

 

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

 

tHE wAit

DREAM 3

Hey….. Where are you? she whispered

The plush bed and her wine wet lips waited for his caresse .

She hushed the world around,

And played  music that could drown them into the depths of night.

The white sheet and her long locks

Swayed to the strokes of the stealthy wind.

The lights were  dimmed ,

She  slithered  and shut her eyes hoping his hands to clasp her tight.

Hey where are you?  Her whispers turned to clammers

Still there was no trace of him

Time went by and finally the knock was heard

It was not him… But mommy dearest call for wake.

Sleep ditched her last night too

As she kept waiting for him to  come.

She savoured memories of no qualm-

nights of childhood days,

and wished some day she could mend her ways with her long lost love.

 

 

 

#pic credit to owner

 

Jugnu

My entry for #FlasFiction Contest which was the winning story for the author #RuchiSingh

 

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It was a starlit night, the lofty mountains embosomed by the darkness and the cold breeze that sneaked through her window reminded Ashima of the emptiness in her life. Ashima was in her mid thirties. Her life was never easy, meeting an accident early in her life she had to drop out from college . After her Abbu’s death she was the sole breadwinner of the family comprising of ammi, widowed sister Zoya and her son Rishab. Ashima brooded over life when a tiny pair of hands clasped her legs and a smile surfaced as Rishu snuggled into her arms. She rested her cheeks on Rishab’s face, held him tightly and swayed along playfully to his amusement.

The lights went off suddenly and they heard a knock outside. Ammi opened the door and informed that the guest their house owner mentioned has arrived.  Ashima was about to get up when a jugnu appeared from the dark, it travelled all the way from window, circled over her head and flew to the main door. It was a belief in kasauli, their village, that a firefly hovered over the head when someone was about to fall in love. Knowing this, Rishu wriggled out of her arms and started clapping his hand:

“khala ko mohabbeth hone wali hai” he shouted and ran to the door with Ashima trailing behind.

She felt embarrassed and angry to see that the visitor had overheard them and was waiting with a smirk, flaunting  dimples through his stubble.

“I am Zayd Abbas Rizvi” The tall figure mentioned and Ashima felt uneasy at his presence.

“Are you married?” Rishab enquired , Zayd  entered into a loud laughter.

Ashima closed Rishab’s mouth and pulled him inside. Zayd saw Ashima’s amputated hand for the first time and stopped laughing abruptly. Ashima realised the awkwardness, “Your room is downstairs” she tried to evade him.

“Help him out, Ashi” Ammi said. Zayd moved down stairs and unwillingly Ashima lighted a lantern and followed him. As she opened the room Ashima could sense his eyes lingering over her. She entered the room , a table was lying blocking her way. She tried to lift it when Zayd moved forward to help her.

“I can mange “She said firmly and zayd backed out. He watched admiringly as Ashima dragged it with her arm and did all the other odd jobs seamlessly.

She placed the lantern on the table and was about to leave.

“jalth hai kiske liye there ankhon ke diye ” Zayd’s voice floated into her ears. Those lines were very familiar and nostalgic to her, she fumbled knocking the lamp. It was about to fall on her when Zayd grabbed it burning his hand.

“Ashima are you trying to pretend to yourself that you don’t recognise me?”

She tried to move past him but he held her hands firmly.

“You disappeared from my life after our accident, because you thought you are going to be a burden for me?” he said.

“Please go away, you deserve better” Tears rolled down her eyes as she nudged him and tried to move away.

zayd pinned her to wall and said  “Ammi passed away recently, she had told me you moved on,  but in death bed she regretfully told me how she had lambasted at you when you came to reply to my first proposal”

He hugged her “Come back Ashi, I need you, it’s not you who need me “.

She couldn’t stop herself anymore and hugged him back .All the chidings drained away in their tears .

 “So here Ashima Khan I invite you once again to my life’, Zayd  held out his hands.

Ashima smiled and placed her special hand in his, as the jugnu gleamed high above them silently.

 

 

 

 

Featured image credit to its 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

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