Monday, February 18, 2013

After leaving T.I.S.S. .......

life goes on... and mine is also going on... but is it the same from a years months back?... perhaps, not... but, inspite of this change, i really miss T.I.S.S. ... And perhaps would continue to do so throughout my life...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

After all that happiness, what am I really missing at TISS??

-Bad people. Rude ones in particular.

-Bad teachers. Arrogant and ‘oppressive’ ones in particular.

-Ragging! I got so used to it in engineering.

-Cricket! I hate ‘em for not giving me hostel.

-Ugly girls. All here look decent.

-Long power cuts ending up in long guitar sessions.

-Dirty talks about sex, particularly those that subjugate women. They were so enlightening that they are still helping me for my group research!

-Bad English! I just loved it.

-And especially ‘my mother’! Encroaching on my freedom space! I feel so liberated here. I’ll feel like an inmate when I’ll go home!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Smell. Rediscovered.

What do you expect to smell when you walk out of your place to start your day, my people? Or the question can be asked this way, “what do you smell when you start your day?”

I think I can guess some of the answers.

Flowers? Those ‘divine’ incense sticks? :P Brown bread from the bakery? That lady’s hair in your building’s lift? Desi baghaar from your neighbour’s house?

Every time I start my day on Mondays and Tuesdays, when I go out for my field work, I get myself prepared to smell a few things. I’ll list them in the sequence of events that result in my encounter with them.

1. Walk out of the building. Smell the left over wet waste by the Municipality people.

2. Take an auto to Govandi station. Feel the smell from the slaughter house nearby.

3. Enter the galli to the platform number 2. Smell the stale snacks.

4. Stand on the platform number 1. Smell the eatables at the IRCTC stall ‘dominated’ by Wada pau!

5. ‘Try’ to get on the train to CST. Smell a zillion body odours.

Before mentioning the next event, I must tell you people that I LOVE the Tantra t-shirts for their sarcasm. And I strongly believe them. One of them said, “Indian Railways- Bringing people closer”. I can feel the closeness every time I get on a train to CST in the morning. Now, there are different types of ‘closenesses’ that you can be a part of. You will be enlightened in the following notes.

6. Be a part of “Bringing People Closer” campaign in the train- smell the ‘Navratna tel’ from apne bhai log!

Research statement that is bubbling up for long now:

Navratna tel is the largest selling hair oil among young, skinny and busy men that commute in locals to CST on the harbour line!

7. If it’s your day, have armpits on your face- smell them.

Yeah. I know, I sound yucky at times!

8. Get down at the ‘task station’. You are out of vacuum now. Smell oxygen. Yes, it has a smell.

9. Go to slums for field work. Smell garbage again. Also, hear the tales of people getting numb to those odours. Get shocked.

10. Eat and have tea with budding politicians. Smell food.

11. Come back to the room. Wash your face. Smell some dettol.

Sleep. Smell peace. J

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wow! Never ever felt like this before! I was always into questioning everything but I didn't know that I could be so vocal about it. This place offers me the freedom to cross all the levels of being uncomfortable and making myself and other people think. I have unlearned some of the basics that I considered to be so normal!

I don't form a strong opinion about people anymore.

I don't absolutely hate or love somebody anymore.

I consider violence justified and inevitable.

I speak things like "Every man is a potential rapist" to my research group without hesitating!

I don’t give a fuck what people think about me.

I write things like this on my blog.

I walk away from a conversation with a risk of looking rude.

I speak things on people's face!

I consider that people always have time.

I remain serious continuously for hours!

I think.

I think beyond the full stops of my statements. I don’t just stop at my opinions. I gather the courage to look out of my window where the answers to my questions are.

I love. Yes, I love this place. And I love this phase.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aife hi foch foch ke pareshani fi thi. . .

It’s a cool Sunday afternoon and I’m feeling too sleepy to make sense here. It’s just the love of writing stuff and the fact that I’m not able to recall events for my field work reports that has kept me alive and awake right now!

This one thought just comes into my head that in the last two and a half months of this new life at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which are the events that have had the potential to shake the cells in my brain that compel me for action? If I just 'try' and stress myself, the first one would be watching 'India Untouched', a documentary on the abhorrent caste system of, for and by our country. It moved me to the extent that I realized how hollow and directionless life I’ve led till now. And that there are more dimensions to my ignorance. There are things that I have turned a blind face to. I came to know that what I see and what people in my social circle have tried to present in front of me is exactly what the makers of these abhorrent systems wanted. the happiness and the change we think has arrived is only amongst a certain number of people; the only thing I was glad about is that miraculously, the human inside me has managed to stay alive and keep those 'anaesthetists' away who wanted to kill him with an overdose!

The second would be the interactive lecture by Dr. Ashish on social work and its objectives. It told me how easy and how difficult it is to change things. And also the fact that you shouldn't always try to change them. He asked us to really try and work into our own homes and places and change things if we wanted to change them at all. He called us one of the most powerful people in the country. He said that everybody is powerful. But not all of them know about the fact. This reminds me of a ramanek (my roommate) joke about himself in which he says that, hum hanuman ki tarah hain, apni shakti ka hume andazaa nahin hai!

While writing this note I’m feeling that I should stay away from numbers and mentioning my preferences as much as possible. Numbers help people to develop, to know about how good or bad things are. Our state does the same; it hides all the numbers it fears.

Recently we came to know about an incident when one of our faculty members, Shamim Modi, a tribal activist was brutally attacked at her place by the building's watchman. We had the privilege to listen to her when the college organised a public meeting and a press conference to demand justice for her. She had 118 stitches on her body but her head and heart demonstrated turbulent life as she spoke to us. She spoke about the activism she is involved in and what it demands. I find myself fortunate that I can at least dream of reaching out to people she is reaching because of the course I have chosen.

Though there's a lot of emotion and motivation out here, it raises inside me a fear of getting used to it like I do to everything else.

But I still hope that some of the things will fall in place and this spark will stay alive . . . and there's one thing that I very strongly hope for. That I would get more of such moments to reflect this bit . . . :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fond memories.....

The sound of the breeze passing was in itself cool. In the shade, I watched ants crawling across a warm steps, small black beetles scurrying across a wilderness; soldiers marching up into the hill and warriors fro some heavenly bush paradise descending to protect the roots of a crouton hedge. I remembered the coconut trees of my childhood, the sound of the breeze through the fronds simple, pure ‘deathless’ air.

And then those very still moments when the world would stop and only colours move like the blue breath of dawn lightening the sky, or the darkness of night misting the globe; a clolour, a ray of curved light and nothing else. the water would be unbroken like the mirror.

A perfect peace that seemed eternal even through the jungle might unleash its fury at any moment.