Today was the puja for Swamijis Ashram,this ceremony is called the shanku sthapana where a shank(sea shell) is buried in the ground.
Before the puja had to remeasure the puja spot according to the feedback from a temple expert, it should be 9.5 inch square with 2.5 inch walls.
Anyways nothing spectacular about the puja, what made my day was an interaction with some farmers kids.They were of about 5-6 years of age.
Was able to befriend them easily and had them posing for the camera in no time, thats when I decided to do an experiment, I gave them my camera and complete freedom to play with it. To my utter surprise these kids turned out to be amazing,they learned to take pictures with almost no instructions from me, mind you they don’t know hindi and I cant speak a word in telegu. These kids learned everything by observation, within no time they were making others pose for pics and even figured out how to zoom in and zoom out.
They understood technology as well as image composition and things like half press focusses and full press takes the picture mostly on their own. These were the kids who have barely been exposed to technology,even electricity is a recent phenomenon for them
It reaffirmed my faith that the kids are smarter, all they need is a little exposure and a little push and they can do wonders. Looking at these kids I felt safe ,these people will be running the country in the future and it feels right.
It reaffirmed my faith in organizations like Lead India 2020 which work with them to help them realize their potential.Most of the pics below are taken by those kids
Bid adieu to them after the puja,felt bad as I had just made some new friends, taught them a new way of good bye…a High Five 🙂
At night attended a south indian wedding, did you know the girl changes clothes 3 times during the wedding :O:O….dont know how they manage makeup etc…
Finally crashing at narothams place..Big days ahead.
This is a day of the village. Reached Nellor..and from there took a bus to baniyanpetti ..where Swamiji had come in his bolero to pick us up for yadagri.Something on swamiji,he is a digambar swami from Datatre lineage. He is revered all
over the place,meets you extremely lovingly,is more than 70 years old but still has more energy and strength than most of us.A bolero was gifted to him by one of his devotees ,seeing him drive a bolero was little strange 🙂
Now today would be a day of the villages,finally got a chance to see the real villages of India .First had bath in an all natural source of water and also got to see the famed nandi statue at yadagri temple. This statue when installed was pretty small but mysteriously grows in size every year,currently it has started touching the very pillars of the shed that housed it and may even break it in a few years.It is rumored that when this happens,it will be the end of the world. Truth or another dooms day theory :). after that went to swamiji’s to be ashram, a large piece of land in wilderness or it seemed to me ,you could see farmlands but no huts and where ever you see, you could see palm trees near the end of your sight. The whole place is surrounded by mountains, before you get the pretty picture ,get this, it was 1:00 AM Hot ,burning hot and the only shade we had was of the Bolero,not a pretty sight by any means.
We measured the dimensions for puja hall, 13.6 feet by 12.2 feet for 3 pujahouses. Since we wanted to be precise ,that too on a not so plain surface,it proved to be a mammoth task. We remembered the first rule of measurement, every time you take a measurement, it will be different and you will go crazy. It took us well above 2 hrs to be almost precise.
Then had food there on the ashram ground ,prepared by one of the villagers wife ,people are really surprised at seeing me eat soo less of Rice. Not sure why but I cant eat that much rice, it leaves people worried that I didn’t like the food, but even if i love the food my Rice eating capacity is less. People aound me are so concerned they lovingly keep asking me if I want them to make chapatis.After the tiresome task we headed towards sitarampur village which would be our abode for the night ,now i realize why swamiji needed
bolero.It was the worst road imaginable,barely a road made with mud and cut out from the hill. No traffic,nothing,sitarampur village evoked the same feelings as las vegas might evoke in a traveler’s mind in US. You are in complete wilderness and suddenly you see light:).. We stopped in between to fix some posters . Now thats where i saw the real village, these are the places where you see people out on the streets every evening,chilling under trees ,every evening is like a Mela,every small event such as we fixing a poster attracts attention.People see swamiji driving from their windows and give him a shout,and he stops
to be greeted by half of the village,fighting to touch his feet. I somehow felt at home but still away from home,my gut feeling is the next revolution is going to happen here,any revolution may it be political,social or technological,it will happen in villages,India still lives in its villages…we urban people are far far far away from real india and how it works.Currently at sitarampur village,special chapatis were arranged for me though i had not expressed any wish :). It rained a little and it was awesome,it was like falling in love with rain all over again. Now its windy,cool cool breeze and i am outside typing this,soon will switch off this lappy and gaze at the cloudy sky with wind in my hair and go to sleep. What a life!!!
PS:This post was typed 3 days ago but not posted because where i went,even radio signals dont go :P..unless you are rajnikant
Day 4 starts with a ride in HOT HOT hyderabad weather at 1:PM.What better start
My repeated request to server team of lead india 2020 seem to have fell on deaf ears and have not received any response, but mein bhi dheet hoon…Lead india is conducting a master training camp in Oasis school on saturday and sunday and it was essential that we give them proper training of the system.
So finally installed all necessary plugins on my test website http://www.linc.indiateaches.com
and conducted a small training session for some of the trainers.
Its been a great experience interacting with Acharya. He speaks on a very big level,but abstract,he has the vision and speaks with emotion and passion. I have the dirty job to rid all requirements of any kind of emotions,passion and abstraction and break it down to the basic level that is fit enough for the system to intreact.
Acharya talks about how we can track progress,showcase to the world what these training programs are doing,how students questioning power is increasing etc and we finally tell him :ok you need a form to fill up with these questions in them.
Perfect learning experience for me,maybe i am on my way to become a consultant
Planning to go to Yaganti to meet Narothams,spiritual leader and also make measurements and finalize the structure/dimensions of his upcoming ashram. Reached Asias biggest bus stop at around 12:30 AM
We changed 3 busses before finalizing on our Vahan :P, bus 1 was direct but uncomfortable,bus 2 was comfortable but charged 1.5 times and finally we went for bus 3. Man we have tantrums…..
So those who have been following the first 2 days…i Have been trying to develop a basic social networking site for Lead India 2020.
Was trying to install some plugins on Lead India site but failed because of some FTP error. Still trying to go back an forth with the tech team who doesnt seem too keen on helping 🙂
Have seen this with all teams that control the server,they just don’t want to give up any access. Anyways the pressure is On 🙂
But it was a fun day,finally met Yamini and rohit . Its ben a long due meeting,have known her for 5 years now.Planned to spend the night at their place in Hyderabad.
Watched the movie called “You dont mess with Zohan”. This is a must watch,this guy is like Rajnikant :P….fight scenes are out of this world.
Yamini ,Rohit you are a good Hosts :)…had a wonderful time ,and yes Yamini you can cook :P…..
On a side note,hyderabad heat is killing,worst part is i am roaming on a bike that too at 1:00 PM…how bad can it get .
Extremely hectic day again.Started with a discussion on communication workshop action points and then was part of interview panel for www.slateindia.in
The highlight of the day was meeting with core committee of Nirmaan(http://www.nirmaan.org/page/Home.aspx). Nirmaan is an NGO started by few BITS pilani guys to build a poverty free ,knowledge powered and economically empowered Nation.They had come to ISB to talk to people about imbibing best practices of management in their Organization
Now these are the guys who are hell bent on changing india but still are doing their normal jobs.They work in IBM but still are the driving force behind the organization.
And before you judge,this is not a small organization of a few guys,its an enormous corporate style organization with very clear defined goals and has over 5 franchise all over India.
It was a great learning experience to discuss the challenges they are facing in their organization and finding out that it was the exact thing bothering our organizations as well.
They have done some amazing work already ,biggest one being launching a toll free helpline for rural students for career counseling where they give them information about courses,exams,scholarships etc.
Biggest problem in rural areas is lack of knowledge ,they have dreams but no guidance on how to achieve them,this helpline bridges that gap. It is currently limited only to a small area and i wish to see it launched at a national level soon. Best part is that it is funded majorly by the state government.. It was a pleasure interacting with these young guns of India,such clarity of vision and thought, such professionalism, I felt I was in the presence of Narayan Murthi’s of social sector.Much can be learned from them
And the final feather in today’s cap was that we were able to finalize the requirements for Upcoming Lead India National clubs website . (LI main website is at : http://www.leadindia2020.org)
It was a long 4 hr discussion which went up until 1AM but an extremely fruitful one. My Infosys Business analyst training finally paid off :),i felt like brains storming with business again to get the requirements out.
Thankfully it was almost the same as I had already implemented on our test sites. Tomorrow have a meeting tech team of LI which manages the website to finally implement
Fun part is ,Lead India is conducting a camp for 570 Clubs next week which will cover over 8000 change agents,and we plan to launch the website with them as the first set of users.8000 users as test users :O now thats un imaginable by any standards,even corporate portals we develop in infosys.
We hope this portal will bring about accountability and finally increase in output of various activities we do. The numbers are mind boggling, consider this, these 8000 change agents might go ahead and train around 80,000 more people and, as a part of suppose green initiative everyone plants a tree, if this portal by virtue of accountability and visibility is able to effect 10% of the people ,we land up with 8000 more trees and this is just from one camp….
Finally home at 2 AM..
Total brainstorming of the day: 7+hrs..m loving it…Crashing now….
First day @hyderabad turned out to be pretty hectic but productive, went directly to ISB from airport to meet Narotham.
After having a sumptuous meal in ISB got a chance to interact with Chakrawarti one of the founders of Slateindia.in and discuss about various strategies.
Also got a chance to hear about a workshop being conducted for teens by one of ISB Teaching associate. Truely remarkable. It seems everyone here is up-to something. If you live in a place like this how can you stay unaffected.
The place does have a certain aura about it.Later in the evening stopped at Oasis school to meet with Sudarshan Acharya.
Though unplanned ,was able to demonstrate the “Lead India national Club” website I had developed. Was able to get his input and it seems the pilot roll out is going to happen very soon,probable a day or 2.
After that had a Long tiring 1 hr back seat bike ride back home with all my luggage.Narotham’sMom cooked some awesome food and was kind enough to cook me special Paranthas, 🙂
Crashing now,,,,,.have to meet “Vande Mataram Youth Front” representative tomorrow 8 AM . Have been working with them for 6 months,finally will get a chance to meet some.
On a personal note,it was really embarrassing to see that I was not able to cross a road in Hyderabad. I prided myself on crossing roads in the busiest areas of Delhi and Faridabad and here I was stuck in Hyderabad.Poor Narotham had to cross back to help me cross.
Either the traffic in Hyderabad is worse or i have lost my touch and US has made me Lazy :P..What do you think?
And also,this is my 50th blog post,thanks a loot to all the people who subscribed and actually read my blog.Its a huge encouragement 🙂