Donkey Hot Hai - Parody - Sedition


In the past few weeks, the word sedition is being thrown around like the word Dude. At one point we started hearing it everywhere. Even in lyrics of songs from Musical Films like The Fiddler on the Roof. Here goes...
Communication Media for Social Awareness

"Clean Katraj - Smart Katraj"

Here I am going to present a small case I have taken up to see if proper media is used for communicating social issues can we make people follow it. An experiment where I have tried to use the principle of advertising to effectively communicate a message and try to bring about a change in HABIT.

A simple corollary that I want to test - If good advertising can help an individual change a brand of tea or shampoo - that is, effectively change my personal preference (a habit) - then is it possible that we can change a habit of non segregation of garbage at source.

Well of course there are many agencies involved. And they all had to work under a common agenda - so the first step was to get each organisation to work for a common cause - together. The key point is 'working together'. Individually the govt system (PMC) and NGOs have all been working independently on the same cause for some time now - each agency complaining about the others flaws. What was required was that the inadequacies of each working agency had to be brought on a common table (identification of loop holes) - agreeing that the identified issues fell in who's perview (so the blame game could stop) and finally identifying mechanisms 'together' to resolve the inadequacies - essentially sharing responsibilities.

This enormous task was taken up by Janwani an NGO under the MCCIA (Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture). Under the guidance of Kishori Gadre (Director Janawani) a project was designed and a ward identified.  Janawani is acting as the main facilitator and initiator for the implementation of the project. I was fortunate to get associated with Janwani - and I discussed my idea with Kishori - was it possible to get professionally designed communication material to spread the message. She agreed and my journey with the project took its first step by getting a logo / identity designed for the campaign. 

The objective for having an independent identity was simply to help all involved keep their agendas aside - use their individual strengths - to implement a campaign that took up a cause/issue that they were already working on!                                            Numerous meetings and site visits, at garbage depot, and dumps followed , initial surveys were conducted and data and manpower was shared by the contributing agencies. Funds flowed in with support of the Local Lion's Group, and now corporate houses are also planning to pitch in.
Through the post that now follow I would put up updates of how we went about the project. The ultimate objective is to get the Katraj ward to become the model ward with a ZERO garbage policy. 

(Janwani joined hands with the NGOs working in this sector to make it a representative ward for making it azero garbage and create sustainable system for decentralized waste management.
Janwani, Dhankawdi Ward office of Pune Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Plastics Manufactures Association, and SWaCH Co-operative, Lions club international and local corporator are part of this initiative.)


Passion for Dance (Kathak)
I still remember the day when Vallarie (age 4 yrs) was very sad because her painjan (silver anklets with tiny bells) had broken. It was one piece of jewellery that she dearly loved. Now at eighteen, when I see her perform Kathak – I knew that the love for paijan or 'shoom-shoom' as she had named them, was much beyond the adornment it provided.

At 7 years when she had once gone for her regular evening stroll with her grandma (my mother), she heard the sound of ghungaroos (tiny bells used on ankles for the tinkling sound, by Indian classical dancers), she asked my mother to take her there. In a school classroom they found a lady teaching children and adults - Kathak. It soon became regular for them to stay back at the class and watch the dance training. Seeing her interest my mother ventured ahead and asked the teacher – Guru Mrs. Maneesha Sathe, if Vallarie could join. The teacher asked what Vallarie’s age was, and said she could not enrol her as she was not yet eight.

I was a little disturbed and felt why was this lady curbing the enthusiasm of my child? Wasn’t she killing her interest? My questions were answered most patiently by Maneeshatai – she said that she believes that the child is not physically and mentally prepared to go through the rigors of long practice sessions. And often this could make the child get ‘bored’ with the repetitive nature of the practise session. And in fact it was this early induction that could kill her interest!

This made a lot of sense to me and we decided to wait. The topic of dance was soon forgotten and Vallarie and my mom soon changed their route for their evening walks.

But what surprised me most when after the celebrations of her 8th birthday, and having gone over all her gifts Vallarie asked if we could go and enrol for the dance class. I could not believe this – a topic that we had not spoken of for the past 7 months! What amazed me that she had kept this in her heart for so long?

It’s been ten years since and I have witnessed 10 years of dedication to Kathak. Each time I watch her perform for a small programme or a competition I do not see my child dancing, but a dancer performing from her soul. And it reaches out to me, sitting way back in the audience, holding back that lump in my throat.The hug at the end of each performance is what I cherish the most today.

Nationhood over Statehood
Why does the Shiv Sena take every comment made by any Indian so personally? Especially when national icons like Sachin Tendulkar states openly that he is an Indian first – is it not a proud mement. In fact it would seem so petty if he had made the statement otherwise, that is stating his State comes first. The whole concept of team spirit gets defeated here. Especially in case of India where every state level player has to wait his/her turn to get selected. The selectors have to take care that all states and religions are represented to keep everybody happy – and I guess the nation looses out on a good player in this process. But as a patient nation we are willing to wait out till the right combination of religion and state representation happens to give us the world’s greatest team!

Would the Sena supremo be happy if Sachin had stated I play for myself first, then my family, then the state and lastly the nation? Would it not seem selfish?

It did not matter to me which state Abhinav Bindra belonged to, but it mattered to me that he brought the first Gold for India. It mattered to me that P T Usha ran her heart out not for herself or her state but for India. As a citizen, a student and a parent when I witnessed these moments I always felt I was cheering for India and not the state.

At college I used to play basketball. What a significant day it was when I learned that I was part of the College team. Interestingly the team had players from 2 rival clubs. Let me explain – individually some of the top players also represented their clubs. But under the college colours we were all one. Then I got to represent the Pune district and had to forget that I belonged to my college. And so on it goes upto national selections. When we have such a selection process for all team sports – does it really matters which state we come from?

When Sachin is speaking on a national forum, and the world is watching him– it is definitely right of him to respect his nationality first. It’s a lesson for all to get the perspective right. As a role model that many youngsters look upto, Sachin made a bold statement, reinforcing the fact that the team will always come first over personal and state agenda.

Bravo Sachin ! What you said was not “a cheeky single” but a glorious SIX and I am glad “you stepped out of the crease” to come out and make the statement. Thanks for making us feel proud for being Indians first.
Psycho analysis of a blog - who am I?
Whew! Finally a long weekend.
Over a cup of coffee Sumi asked if I had recently checked Suvrat's blog and to check his interview. And I got a chance to catch up on some of my favourite blogs. And as it always happens with me, I started going into the older posts and after a couple of hard core geology stuff I needed a break, so moved on to his humour link. This was a fun post - that psycho analysed you through your blog! and I promptly decided to get some analysis done for myself. It was simple. I just had to put in my url and ta-daaa - there was my result! A MECHANIC!!!!

I know I do not write as frequently as most do, nor do my topics stick to any one theme. So it came as a total surprise that a profile could be generated on the basis of the few posts I had put up.

Now let me explain the reason for my surprise. About six months back Pushkaraj had conducted an MBTI excercise for some friends, where I found my type to be ENFP - and through the various excercises, found most of the traits were quite evident in myself to be ENFP. The score on the E however did tilt towards I - and I have often noticed a lot of I in me these days. But what a surprise when the analysis (of me) of my blog showed that I am an ISTP!

This is what the analysis read- The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment and are highly skilled at seeing and fixing what needs to be fixed. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

It also gave a 'Brain Map' and it looked like this
The result prompted me to do a quick refresh on Myers-Briggs Type Indicators and read up on the two types. This is a gist of what an ENFP person is - "Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. Sees life as full of possibilities. Makes connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency."

While an ISTP person is this - "Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency."

Well now I know that I may be an ENFP but virtually I am an ISTP....thats intersting.