All posts tagged: India

Shoes and the Sage

I arrived home. Home is where mother is at least for an Indian traveller. I arrived home after forty four days. When I started I wanted to buy new shoes. I even spent a good second half of the day in trying to get closer to what my wandering feet wanted. I had bought a pair of black trekking shoes in early August but even though there is nothing as such as over walking in the mountains but by the time I finished my journey they seemed done. Any ways I could not find new shoes and left India with the same black shoes. I traveled around Thailand and more so in Cambodia. I came back to Kolkata and while spending my ninth evening in Kashi on Chausathi Ghat I met an old man whom I felt kept looking at my still walking feet as I followed his gaze and later worn out feet. I offered if he would like to use them, winters are here and so is Kumbh. He smiled. These forty days …

In the land of Snakes

Twenty six days ago and three hundred fifty kilometers north I Moon I reached Aldona late in the night. It was Purnima, the full moon of Holi. Vishwan was away, gone to a border village, tsar. A place somewhere in the middle of the jungle at the border of Goa and Maharashtra. But I had no idea of that then, I was waiting. I sat downstairs at the bar. Grandmother was pouring feny to a local. She told me about Vishwan smoking too much. The room was lit with two cyan bulbs. He arrived. We kept my backpack at his place. He lit his cigarette. We sat. His hair had grown and white; beard thickened and black. Soon, we were off, feeling the dense wind of the leaving winter, scooting through the western ghats in the night going towards the moon. We entered the fair. Vishwan parked the vehicle somewhere outside and we started walking away from the lights towards the jungle. It was late. But it wasn’t dark. The night seemed to have dissolved with …

Schools ruining the foundational roots of learning

We spent almost 15 years being brainwashed on how to be students. And we’re still paying the price. It is proven that the most dangerous habits all come from high school. Because if you are not willing to explore and experience, you are not willing to learn. Traditional schooling rewards multitasking and widespread mediocrity, with a focus on ‘good enough’. means you’ve done enough, quick, get on to the next thing. I was reading it on somewhere that almost every public speaker has experienced the back-row syndrome. Where did we learn to seek out the anonymous middle or the nether zone of the back row? Who taught us to worry about getting called on? If you’re going to bother showing up, why not show up in the front row? It’s that tension and focus that will help you see yourself in a different light. Wondering is a lot more effective than wandering. School pushes hard for wide not deep. It puts maximum pain on us when we’re doing below the standard in things we don’t love, …

Learn to give

Dawn 12 1:14 AM New Delhi I am still struggling to write daily. Even though intentions seem strong but after continuing for four days to five I have seen missing one. School is doing well and in these last four months that I have happened to stay at one place, after many years I learnt about a lot about my own school. Setting up a studio and taking classes, understanding there world and spending crucial time with them on their important days has been enriching. Today I and mother went to the printers and designed a report card. She had been wanting to change the way a report card looks. It has to be playful for smaller children, so we went. I could find some really nice themes sitting with the designer. I will share it soon. – I ask myself a question by the end of everyday. What did I learn today? And many a times I fail to get an answer. There are so many things that one does, little by little. And …

One night in Rajasthan

  Only at nights, i felt this tree could talk. Camels are still out grazing somewhere, but rains haven’t come this season. There is not much to eat anywhere for cattle. Himmat(strength) Singh fell ill, and didn’t eat for a month. He was dying when Gaja(elephant) Singh(his owner) brought Himmat Singh under this tree. Always tied. He still wasn’t eating but people said he will be fine now when he is tied. I never saw him sitting. Khuri | Jaisalmer | 2014

To the Western Indian Border

Jaisalmer to Tanot : Longewala : Pabu ki dhani – After reaching back to Jaisalmer from Khuri i decided to travel to Longewala- a border village and visit Tanot temple. It was 120 kilometres from the city and buses would only go to Ramgarh-half way. So i rented a Suzuki bike and rode for 3 days around border villages. The road to Tanot temple was like riding a snake, and that snake is slithering across the horizon of Sand and Sky that too at night. It was late when i reached .Around 9. I went to the only hotel-dharamsala and found no body there. It was open. And it was empty. Unbolted doors were beating heavily. The wind was making an impression. And over all no body seemed to have any interest either in the temple or in the popular last army post. I seemed to be the only one- once excited visitor to have come to this ghost-not-even-a-town. I sat outside that hotel on earth near my bike, waiting for someone to happen. I …