Thursday, February 11, 2010
Saturday, February 21, 2009
We are AASHRITHA - A Brief Introduction:
We are a group of likeminded friends from different parts of world. Together we work for the cause of Child Education in Indian, and are called 'Aashritha Group'. Aashritha is a "Non Profit Organization" and a registered NGO with the Government of India.
For more details kindly visit our website - Aashritha Group
Although our prime focus is child education, we were recently contacted by Mrs. Rama Lakshmi asking to extend our support and cure her critical health condition. Moved by her determination to fight back and survive the deadly disease, we at Aashritha are now working to collect and donate funds for Rama Lakshmi's treatment under project LIFE.
Details of Rama Lakshmi:
Rama Lakshmi is a graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad in Electronics and Communications Engineering, but is lying on the bed since 2 years. She is struggling to survive and is fighting her battle against the deadly "Aplastic Anemia", commonly known as Bone Marrow Anemia.
Due to this disease the Red Blood Cells in her body are completely dead and the bone marrow has no capacity to generate the new blood. She had to restock her blood every month for her survival, but as the condition is getting worse day by day, she now has to get fresh blood once in every two weeks. Being financially challenged, she and her family are not in a position to afford the whole process. As a final remedy to her reoccurring costs and to be able to survive, she needs to go through a major operation. The cost of her surgery ranges from Indian Rupees 900,000 to 1,100,000 (approximately $ 23,500).
Your Helping Hands:
We at Aashritha have been collecting donations via our board members since we took this case last month. Currently our collections stand at a meager Indian Rupees 50,000 ($ 1050). Being a small community, we depend on your helping hands and request your support to help Mrs. Lakshmi.
Having known you personally, I look forward to your support and believe that you would donate towards this cause, as much and as soon as possible.
For donating kindly follow these 2 steps (it will cost you less than 5 min from your LIFE)
1) Visit our Donation page (click here) and donate via any donation method as mentioned there.
2) Fill up this Confirmation form (click here) to mark you donation to this particular case. This would take less than a minute.
Please remember that any money donated by you would be redirected towards this specific cause. Aashritha takes full guarantee on the proper and justified use of your donation. All transfers and donations for this case will be made public and transparent.
Watch a video:
Please find more details by clicking here.
For any other issue, or to donate funds via any other method, kindly feel free to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +31-616359594
Saturday, July 19, 2008
It took me a snip of a second to re-enter the most refreshing episode of my life, the most memorable film that makes you experience the earthy-muddy smell of un-paved red road and the smelly yet sparkling, algae contaminated green coloured pond, that is looked upon as a water body as holy as the mighty Ganges, by the locals. A film that FLAME used to enjoy for a period, not lesser than 30 days every year, untill things changed. One day FLAME had to leave that dreamy and exotic land of rusty beauty for the life it lives today.
The Trigger: Watching a bengali video on youtube.
The Connection: One says "The whole secret of existence is to know your roots". Can anyone agree on this more than I do. The video I saw might not be the best bengali video or song that I saw over last few years, but it had the magnetism to drive me to my mother's arms. Raised in the land of culture and heavy religious followings, my mothers connects me to the land of Bengal. I clearly remember the time, once, when I was alone at home and FLAME was sad and unhappy to be away from her started listening to her bengali audio songs. FLAME was too young to understand any of them. But even today, FLAME remembers those words. I was lucky enough to find them here on the Internet. By all the greatness of the world wide web, I am able to post the song in my blog. World has advanced, and the power of remixing good old songs has grabbed this song as well. The song is presented as hte original old one and the new remixed version.
Enjoy the BONG CONNECTION!
The Original (Rabindra Sangeet)
The Remixed (Film: Bong Connection)
Peace: The FLAME pats me on back, for making the song available on his blog. He can enjoy the beauty and re-watch the film once again, which it had to leave years ago. FLAME is happy and I mellowly watch him recalling the roots of its existance.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Ignite: The news channel thought it was an event, big enough to be shown to the world - The famous word game of Scrabble turned 60 today. Meanwhile, I caught up with this video on the youtube. Watch this:
The Memory: Scrabble :A game of words!! A game of vocabulary.... a game of language!! I've tried my hands on this game when kid. FLAME was often beaten by my sister.... although FLAME tried its best to cover up the blocks with some famous 'Hinglish' words.
The Thoughts: The video posted here, is by a Canadian (I concluded so), who visited India some time back, saw a street boy selling peacock-feather fans and speaking more that 10 laguages. The charm that boy had was hard to miss. The video-poster visited the place again after 2 years, found the same boy, and re-shot his video(posted here).
The flow: 2 Years...!! My sister got married and changed 2 jobs in last 2 years, I still remain single but have changed my so called professional 'role' more than 5 times. My dad got retired, my cousin became a mother, my friends got married, some of them have children now. I got introduced to blogging, orkutting, myspacing and a bunch of internet stuff. Things around me, things concerning have changed. I have myself evolved to different person. Meaning of life and expectation from life has changed. But for Ravi (the boy in the video), life did not change a bit. But he was as happy and contended as he was 2 years back. The smile and innocence was not lost! I wrote once- change is the only constant thing in life! Was FLAME mistakken?
The Anti-flow: Activity that keeps me busy during my off-hours - Aashritha, aims at providing child education to poor indian children. Children who are like Ravi, but unlike him, as for them life is not as complete as for Ravi (the smile on his face could not convey the other side of this). Almost at the end of this video, Ravi speaks about his educaton. No education?! But still managing such an excellent command on verbal communication, such confidence! Talent with a lack of education can indeed produce gems like Ravi. FLAME dreams again - Talent with Education - could certainly work wonders. Ravi is happy doing what he does. Is Aashritha useful for children like Ravi? FLAME leaves me at this point, unable to give any answer to the anti-thought. I conclude, he does. Ravi, totally unaware about what he is doing, gives a greater picure of our society. Not all street children are as happy and lucky as Ravi, but they are certainly doing work as hard and tough as Ravi. They all need our attention..... They all need Aashritha.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Deal: To work with the unknown rather than to work for the known.
The Drive: Aashritha - A Shelter For Child Education.. (Click to open)…. these words first came to my notice when I was lousily scrolling my e-friends’ list. Driven by my last blog, I was tempted to click the hyperlink. The link, unlike many flashy ones, did not open to a multi-section screen with highlights of achievements and goals or linking big names and appreciations received within bright coloured boxes and vibrant text colours. It was a simple page (using the googlepages service from Google), thereby giving full justice to its existence. If the motive is to help the poor and contribute money, why waste a handful of it for buying domain names, maintaining portals and servers and any other chaos involved in such .com services. I went through all the pages, and the members’ list. On seeing my friend’s name mentioned under the regional coordinator for the group, I was driven to recall the promise I made to FLAME last week. Is this the right path? The journey started last week, by joining the race (I started my contributions to CRY – Child Relief and You). But FLAME wanted to be a part of something where it has it’s own say. Somewhere where I have to work to make a difference rather than just follow the run and be a thousandth part of the global race. Aashritha was appealing and FLAME voiced out – Join hands, and lets start a new race along with the race we are already running. At least FLAME would have to face the challenge and prove to itself that thinking and acting are two different aspects of life. Thought enough, its time to act!!
The Act: First step on the endless road. I joined the Aashritha group today. Starting my act as a member cum coordinator for the Amsterdam chapter. My activities would need me to make people aware of why and what is Aashritha. Then probably, how? FLAME is completely lost in its hazy land of dreams with everything is in shades of white and where every place is peaceful. It dreams about children running across the fields and enjoying the beauty of childhood. Where as I have to face the reality and begin the act right from the bottom of the grave. Accepting social facts around you is not easy. Facing them is harder and fighting back to resolve them is the hardest. I start my journey with less ideas (How to do?) but high hopes (I will do!), and FLAME is happy to know this.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The Trigger: Reading my fellow friend’s blog, chatting with him, and reading his new blog!!!!
The Period: FLAME, after a long time, wants to continue what it was meant to do; Question itself! Tried a bit of lighter work, but failed miserably. There was no major reason for the Flame to get a bang and to spread out it’s feeling on this black sheet! Meanwhile my involvement in many zero activities also added to the reason of not returning to this page frequently.
The Introduction: Before I start let me introduce to my trigger http://vachnalaya.blogspot.com/2008/06/one-whispers-two-speak-few-talk-but.html . The author to this blog is a friend of mine. To put his action on a higher level and make it sound really good, I must admit that I have seen him doing something that I never came across (personally). Quitting a good position in a multinational Indian company for a niche social work (associated with a NGO) is an activity I could just imagine, but never do. But he did. Although he modestly denied to this, giving some selfish reasons behind his action, I believe that it takes a lot of courage and confidence to be able to take the very first step towards the road unexplored.
FLAME recalls the past, it was a child once, but fortunately for him, he never had to face any such thing called Child Labor. Going the UN definition way, child labor is “Work that exceeds a minimum number of hours, depending on the age of a child and on the type of work. Such work is considered harmful to the child and should therefore be eliminated”, FLAME at times felt (when a child) that he was subjected to Child Labour. But he was sadly mistaken. The labour, the FLAME did, was to study thousands of academic pages and bring out the good part out, unlike what the UN defines a child labour, something that can be classified as either domestic or economic in nature. Or may be unfortunate enough, as now he stand totally unaware of the mental state and emotional ruggedness of such a child, yet trying to voice out for any such child. A voice that would be hardly read less than 10 times and get dissolved in the wide world of the Internet, couple of days from now. Is this act too late, is it too little, or is it worth enough??? FLAME cares nothing; he speaks out and feels happy.
Someone said, labor ends when a child is born (referring to the mother’s labor). Let me put a small story here. The moment when a mother looks at her child for the first , is a moment ineffable is its own term. Unaware of what awaits the child, the mother buries herself under a thick blanket of dreams. He could very well grow up to become a manager or a politician, a teacher or a scientist, a poet or even a painter. But there are many hurdles, that could kill his growth altogether. The socio-economic condition around the child, transforms the hurdle into a wall, causing the child to fall. The mother looks at her child, desperately wanting to escape and break free from the evil grip of the Social Demon. The dream is interrupted, and the mother is happy. It was just a dream!
A child devoid of any kind of exposure to the world outside his sight is a human half dead. FLAME had people around, to help and to listen. But the child in the dream is alone, he sits outside his shanty, at the end of his day, cursing his life and submitting himself to God. The FLAME feels annoyed, feels irritated and feels angry, not on the people who make use of this poor child to get their work done, but on itself. I have seen this happening in front of my eyes, the ‘chotu’ - in my hostel, ‘tambi’ - at the Udupi hotel down my building in Mumbai, the boy in the train compartment (cleaning the rusted floor), the beggar on street (big rackets of such traffic businesses, force many helpless children to beg and collect money), at many places, in many forms and on many occasions. But I pass on, probably making a sad face or giving an extra tip to his/her work. Charity begins at home. The FLAME, although confused at the whole issue and blaming itself, has made me realize the importance and nobleness of things like ‘Avalanche’ (read the blog mentioned above). I pity myself on the grounds of geographical barriers. Being far away from the event of Avalanche I just feel good for my friend, who is able to contribute a single drop to the ocean of needs. Altough I can merely feel the gentle breeze coming from this ocean (although salty), the thirst inside is enough to dive in and get drenched in the tide.
Leaving with a commitment to myself, and this song for you all.
“Insaaf ke dagar pe
Bachho dikhao chal ke
Yeh des hai tumhara
Neta tumhi ho kal ke”
On the path of justice
O, Children come, walk
This nation is yours
You are the leaders (of tomorrow)
Monday, May 19, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Change is the only constant thing in life…Right??
Few thoughts expressed....
Days have passed, in a snap of time
Events all around, lured me back
For what, the thoughts unknown
The FLAME does a comeback
Random thoughts put together, a question is born then!
Says no-one, but the same mind, who unkowningly hunts them!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Reason: This blog comes not at all from the fact that I am an Indian or geting emotional about an Indian been bullied in the UK. The reason remains still unchanged for me. After perhaps many days, the flame within (the Inner me) wants to speak again.
The Acts: Last thursday (18th January 2007) was a real bad weather day for all of us here, in the Amsterdam. The entire northern Europe was under the cyclone 'Kyrill' (so named by the Germans). We were given a half day off from work, and the next thing I decided to do was to watch the local news on TV to get the latest updates on weather. To my very surprise, the News were all flodded with 2 hot discussions. One, the Europe weather, and second, the so called and much hyped Racism and its latest victim, Miss Shilpa Shetty (a female actor from Bollywood).
I was not intrested in the weather anymore, and the search began to know more on Shilpa Shetty. Surfed the TV for almost an hour, to get updates from possibly all News broadcasters. Channel 4, Celebrity Big Brother, Carphone, Jude Goody, Jackiey, Danielle Lloyd, Jo O'Meara were few names heard first time. This turned on my curiosity to the highest note. I was now too curious to get into the deeper side of story. As I am in Amterdam, geting to view the show on TV was not possible, hurray to the Broadband Internet connection and www.youtube.com . I had a list of some 300+ videos in there with the topic I'd search for. And I saw almost all of them.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The question: Are we real?
The trigger: A poster of Aishwarya Rai at a local Amsterdam shop. When told the shopkeeper that she's an Indian. He was surprised. Said he thought she's some Princess from the Gulf. So we might think that we are going global, but are we? The Flame (The Inner ME) has something to say……
Sunday, July 09, 2006
The Thought: Are Indians better than Dutch? Or are they comparable at any level?
Finally, to justify the title, well was actually penning down this blog, listening to the song, and felt quite same. Feel numb, as I move down the streets of Amsterdam with my Indian friends. Are we losing our Identity? Why are we here? Experience or money? Mind is blank and heart is NUMB, indeed Comfortably Numb!!
Monday, May 15, 2006
What happened on 13th of May 2006 in Mumbai was the beginning. I know that democracy is not just fighting for rights but also help the Government by acting on your part of fundamental duties. I was always against reservations in colleges and jobs. One small effort done by Mr. Ambedkar has resulted into nothing but a big fish to play around with for the senseless politicians. The thought behind what Mr. Ambedkar did was to give a fair chance and thus provide a initial support platform for the people who were till then ‘un-accessible’ (I refuse to use words like untouchables or lower class). Idea was good, effort was great, but the consequences are not. Demanding a 49.5 percent reservation is shame on us. I would like to ask the people themselves, why we need something that we do not deserve. Competitions are meant to get the best, and nobody has the right to change it. If we, the democratic feel that certain class of people need a support system, let it be at the initial stages. Let the government initiate high quality primary and secondary school level education for them. Once they are at par with other, they can enter any competition and walk out. All the ideas I say, I know there would be millions who think the same. Second part was what the police did with the young and in my terms courageous doctors. Using action forces against the peaceful revolution is like murdering the democracy. Has India really become so cruel that we do not get a chance to speak our voice? May be the government will decide something on this and settle the issue, but is it worth it? When will we liberate ourselves from the fake social obligations and actually start working towards the betterment of it?
Even after over fifty years of reservations, if educational and professional aspirations of the underprivileged sections remain in the realms of dream, then this means the system, as it has evolved, has failed to deliver too. The other subversion has come from the people themselves. Many see in this system a shortcut to personal growth and prosperity. To be underprivileged is actually deemed a privilege by many. A lofty scheme to help the deserving has degenerated into a race for securing ‘reservation’ class certificates so much so that the line of thought amidst the youth, the lazy and the zealous alike, is that one has to become backward to move forward!
I am proud to carry an Indian identity, and feel that we do not need any kind of reservations based on social standards. Reservations are not bad, but it is the base of those reservations that makes them wrong.
I conclude the politics of reservation and the profits of reservation have overshadowed the principle of reservation!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Let me start by contradicting my own statement above (the counter statements always comes from my other-self, my 'flame'). 'Smiling Faces', are they? Well as a matter of fact I would definitely smile while I represent India, but as a person am I really smiling, are Indians really smiling? Are Indians really happy to be where they are? Ok, let us not figure the Tatas, the Ambanis, Singhanias, Birlas, Goenkas, Mittals and all other whales in our list. To speak and sound quite cliché, lets talk about this Indian, the 'aam aadmi' (common man). Being the 4th biggest economy in the world, are we really capable of managing the millions displaced by the Narmada Project. Being the land of Taj Mahal, are we capable enough to maintain the dignity and ethnicity of north-east tribal. Being the 7th biggest country in area, are we capable enough to protect the wild-lifewhich we boast about. Being the most populous state, are we capable enough to eradicate Polio and create awareness on AIDS and Cancer? Being India are we capable enough to handle the neighboring countires like Nepal and Pakistan? Being Indians are we capable enough to act than advice?
Topics to think in a lifetime could gel with India. Discussions from almost all angles would include India. India is vast, and so are Indians. But is this vastness, killing us. I guess 'flame' would think so. But what happened in the last few days has also made me think in flame's direction. What happened in Baroda (my home town) during last week is a shameful event for all Indians. I am not trying to judge who was right or wrong. I am neither with the administration nor with the sentimentally religious people. Personal bias and disrespect to fellow humans is poisoning India like a big squid. What is right, being sentimentally religious or being religiously sentimental? None, I guess. For me religion is a subject of personal feeling and thought and not a social call or obligation. Sentiments should not dominate your religion. One should be religious from mind and not heart. People in Baroda were so must churned in the turmoil of their own confusions that they were forced to listen to their heart and act heartlessly. I feel bad for them, I fell bad for myself an I feel bad for India. Not because all this is happening, but beacuse people like me, can just advise, but not act.
Sometimes I just wish like Archimedes, a snap of time and everything changes to a very beautiful world. A world were everything would be perfect and just as beautiful as dream....... waiting for someone to unveil and reveal the real.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Is science helping us in many ways, or let me ask is it helping us in any way? What was and what is the purpose of science? Why do we need to depend on science so much? If science brings us medicines, we must not forget that the same is responsible for cancer, AIDS and Ebola. Are we ruining our life by expanding the scope or are we just living behind the strong magnetic powers of the technological sphere that attracts us. Whatever the counter argument be, I feel that it’s a science versus science battle that predominates the entire globe and will continue to bombard us with tons of inventions and discoveries that would eventually lead us to path of utter confusion and aimless satisfaction.
I do not say that science has noting to do in my life. The platform where I represent my idea today is science. Someone who was discussing this topic with me, said, ‘A man is curious by nature’. And perhaps that explains the inventions like the wheel or aeroplanes or discoveries like the laws of gravitation and buoyancy. But what I want to counter is the extent to which we need to go. Defining the scope of science would perhaps be one of the most stupid of all suggestions. Films like the ‘Matrix - Trilogy’ or ‘Back to the Future’ open up the sky as the limit for our AI researchers. Are we really heading towards the era where we would become friends with a mere piece of plastic under robotic controls. Would it be really possible to travel against time and light, change the history, witness the future or simply get LOST?
Life is described as nothing but a 2 dimensional graph of time and place by Stephen Hawking. If that is to be believed then it is not very hard to see where I would be 5 years from now (considering I have mastered the design of my life graph). If the events and sequences that are happening now, are nothing but a mixture of sound and light, then these images would be travelling, and all the images would have travelled somewhere in space? Can I actually go and see those images? That’s weird I guess. But my counter (I call it, Flame) believes that it is possible.
Thinking has no limits. And so does the belief that these thinkings can come true. That’s the power behind all the the inventions and discoveries. I conclude, science is better than nescience, but its nescience that would help us counter the ‘might be’ evil face of science in the coming future. 'Are we ready for it?', questions the FLAME.... while I sit, stare and sense a feeling of nescience.
Dreams are so compelling, and they often seem so weird and strange -- surely they must have a "purpose" or say an "adaptive role" in the maintenance of our bodily or psychological health. Although I do feel that dreams do have one or another purpose, the counter part in me (I call it, my flame) suggests otherwise. It feels that dreams probably have no purpose!
My questions: Do we dream to preserve our sleep? Do we dream in both REM n NREM stages? How many times do we dream per night/sleep? What is the function of dream? Is it to compensate for those parts of the psyche (total personality) that are underdeveloped in waking life? Or is it that dream content is continuous with waking thought and behaviour, i.e. if we are outgoing and active in our waking life, and not very introspective and reflective, then so too in our dream life? Is it that dreams just happen when we are about to wake up due to hunger pangs, body breaks, or the need to go to the bathroom? The fact that we remember so few of our dreams -- a few percent at best -- also argues against any function for dreams. If they are so important, why don't we remember more of them?
It is said that our dreams act as a ‘cleaning software’ for our mind. The purpose is to save the good stuff and get rid of the useless. Not a good thought I say. It s also said that dreams are nothing but an ‘off-line’ process that pulls out some important events from the day. What is believed is that a very little part of the actual sequences we encounter is reflected in that. Often there is some little leftover from the day, i call it "day residue," but the rest of the dream is a story that does not deal with actual events. The story is usually plausible and even mundane, and it often contains the most important people and concerns of our lives, but it is nonetheless a story. We are thinking creatures because thinking is a valuable adaptation, but that doesn't mean that all forms of thinking have a function. My judgment could be changed tomorrow by new generation thoughts of young dream, but right now the preponderance of the my life and its events weights against any physiological or psychological function for dreaming and dreams.
Is it worthwhile to remember your dreams. Unless you find your dreams fun, intellectually interesting, or artistically inspiring, then feel free to forget your dreams. If they just upset you or leave you puzzled, then why bother with them? But how does one forget his or her dreams? Perhaps thinking of dreams as useful or important is the best predictor of high dream recall, then maybe telling yourself that they are not useful or important will lower your recall. It might also helps to turn your attention.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The best analogy that I think is the analogy of "life as a river". Lets take it up this way, we choose our destinies before our birth and it is analogous to standing on top of a very high mountain and looking down upon a vast system of rivers and choosing which river to undertake. From the vantage point of being on top of a mountain, we can get a good view all the rivers from their beginning to their end. As in life, each river has a number of forks and branches to choose from. Some rivers are more challenging while others are less challenging. Some rivers are very dangerous and can lead to disaster. But no matter which river of life we choose before our birth, the river will always carry us back to the sea. This means we are all predestined to eventually return to God.
But once we begin our journey down the river of our choosing, we have many choices which are not predetermined. The destination is set, but the method of our journeying is up to us. We can cruise down the middle of the river at top speed, or we can hug the shore and spin around in eddies. We can crash over rapids or chart a safer path between obstacles. We can slum along the bottom in the mire and slime of sediment, or we can glide along the sparkling surface where the air is clean.
We shouldn't mistakenly believe that the circumstances of our youth can set an unchangeable course for our river of life. Life is dynamic, and the river stretches and bends as we go. A bad beginning does not inevitably lead to a bad ending. In fact a bad beginning can give us strength to create a good ending.
But whatever the size of the ripples we make, one thing we must learn is to be grateful for whatever trials and gifts our Creator gives us in the journey. Let us be grateful for our childhoods, even for the negative ones. Let us recognize that life is what it is, and that we are all doing our best. We all volunteer for our positions and stations in the world, and that each of us is receiving more help than we know.