Bappa- A spoken word chant about Ganesha- The Indian Elephant Headed Child God

This poem I am now going to perform, I chose because this is Pune, and it is the Ganesh Festival. And there is nothing more poetic, nothing more rhythmic in this city then this delightful little child god, with an elephants head who personifies innocence and pure knowledge.

He is the beginning of everything and he was the beginning of my spoken word journey too, this is the first poem I wrote specifically for a poetry slam. And I stand here to perform before you with a pure desire that you all, connect with what this God personifies for me, for Pune and for

 

Maharashtra

This god who is also

The lord of dance

And the God of the beats

Of the drums that resound

In your houses and streets

 

Wake me up from my slumber

From the earth split asunder

Till the heavens they pray me

To rise up and meet

 

You pull out those dhols

And the dust settled gongs

And you meet at the mellow

Of the mid day heat

 

Every evening you master

And your movements get faster

And you’re covered with sweat

For the rhythms you love

 

Till the banks of the mutha

Resound with a rumble

Reflecting the thunder

And the lightning above

 

TIs a beautiful vision

see the men and the women

practice rapt with attention

Till the last shutters close

 

They smile in elation

And they play in unision

Warm beads of emotion

Perspire their clothes

 

The shoes do not match

With her kurti n salwar

Her duppatta its wrapped

Tucked into her waist

 

Screaming MOrya! With passion

She is drenched with exhaustion

She bangs with her tipru

Loose hair on her face

 

sparks off the hammers

Pound into the bell

Muscles are screaming

They glisten the night

 

The prance of the banner

The fifteen foot pole

boys jumping with rigour

they dance in delight

 

The health driven jogger

the homecoming hustler

The languid tapori

They smile at the sound

 

Over the bridges of the river

The people lean at the railings

While down through the arches

The drum strokes resound

 

Oh yes he is coming

That child he is coming

He is riding a mouse

He is here to destroy

 

All things that berate you

That conspire to hate you

He annihilates evil he’s

The giver of joy

 

So rise up ye people

Pick up the lazeems

Throw Gulal in the air

Get on to your feet

 

I am the lord of the dance

And the God of the beats

From the drums that resound

In your houses and streets

 

Bola ganapati bappa- Morya!

Bola mangala murti- Morya!!!

 

Ten days are a jumble of dances and music

Where people assemble to be entertained

You walk through the night and the streets will be filled

With the bustle to look at the mandals displaying

 

Tales of history and culture or of wars and disaster

Or a wall of sound boxes with woofers so loud

That you’re ears will be wrecked but you say what the heck

You live only once so you dance with the crowd!

 

 

You walk till you drop and eat butter pav bhaji

You wear horns and honk horns and you don’t care why

You hold the hand of your girl because you have to you know

It’s crowded so she won’t get lost in the fry

 

And at four in the morning your outing is ending

The crowds thin a little and the woofers die down

You can stop in the streets and look on at a statue

And at the brink of exhaustion, you will hear his sound

 

You may be eating a dosa, at an unearthly hour

Served by a sleepy waiter whose feet are so sore

Or you may be observing, the golden enamelling

Of the dagdushet Ganapati like never before

 

And its that combination of joy and exhaustion

That release of from rationale where you think from your heart

And the moment stops, you could hear a pin drop

And you hear from the statue the voice of the lord

 

I am the beginning and I am never ending

I play with life’s rhythm and I play with its rhyme

You flock to me unceasing your devotion increasing

I give you endless blessings till the ending of time

 

Every corner of Pune turns into a temple

Its not just the statue where my form resides

In the tea shops and showrooms

The restraints and cloakrooms

In the bus stops and kitchens I will be by your side

 

I’m what brings you together

You are the soul of the city,

These crowds have a power

That is rivalled by none

 

So go follow your passion

I will give you my blessing

Start now at this moment

You’re time has begun

 

So rise up ye people

Pick up the lazeems

Throw gulal in the air

And get on to your feet

 

I am the lord of the dance

And the God of the beats

Of the drums that resound

In your houses and streets!

 

Bola ganapati bappa! MOrya

Bola mangal murti! MOrya!

 

 

It is so they get ready.

They are blessed they are heady

With elation devotion divine and in love

They make the procession

His last celebration

His last halleluiah

His departure has come

 

From each part of the city

They are hardened and gritty

To bang on through the night

Till it’s time to immerse

 

They tie the drums to their waist

With a smile to their face

They fall in line with the dancers

Like a poem in a verse

 

Like lips do a purse

Like an army walking

Like a large crowd thronging

And the drums start banging

 

Like a caterpillar crawling, it’s a many footed line

While it’s walking it’s a beating with a rhythm and a rhyme

While the drumming of the drums go a thump thump thump

The banging of the cymbals go a clash clash clash

 

As they smash they resound, and the children make a dash

Running fast and elated as the caterpillars crash

Matching rumble with a rumble it’s a boom boom boom

While the bell sounds a toll with a clang clang clang

 

And they rang with a bang and the city people sang

With elation and emotion from the stores and the stands

While the flags cut air with a whoosh whoosh whoosh

Cheering as they hailed with a jai, jai jai

 

SO they played while they made people dance to the brink

Of a joy so profound with their sinew and their strength

When they sagged they rose up with a hey! Hey! Hey!

To the beat of the tasha with tad tad tad!

 

As they cried rad. rad. and their chatter bad. bad.

As children made rukus, and their mother’s kad kad

They were silencing their kids with a slap slap slap

girls in their anklets went a tinkle tinkle tink

 

As they clinked with their kajal laden eyelashes they blinked

The dude in the pathak gave his paramour a wink

And he banged with a vigour and a dhang dhang dhang

As she blushed and she laughed and it rang rang rang

 

 

And it sang in his ears as he walked with the band

And he shouted to the skies with a tipru in his hand

He called to the lightning with a dhol dhol dhol!

To rhythm of his love he gave a bol bol bol

 

[Marathi Section]

Pathakachi paule phude phude jaude

Vajavnarya manasasathi jaaga jara sodun de

Chengra chengri karu nako, dhakka salya deu nako

Ladies ahet phude jara respect tyanna tari de

 

Ghoshna tu sod sod, moray he bol bol

Kad awaj jasa vij pade tad tad tad

Tipru te ghum ghum, Ghanti che tun tun

Garjatate dhola kas dhad dhad dhad

 

Tashya cha tad tad, lazeem chi khan khan

Nagadyache tan tan, zhanza chi zham zham

Woofer dhad dhud, dj che chur chur

Bevdyancha rantipana, bhandnaryacha tana bana

 

Chala deva chala ata, tyachya gavi dev janar

Rozachya hya jeevanat mazha man nahi rahnar

Ratra bhar kuthe phirnar, arti kuthe karnar

Ukadiche modak atha kuthun chorun khanar?

 

Jiv jiv ramala, ghum ghum ghumala

Gol gol phirla, kasa basa sarala

Deva gela tol maazha, deva gela mol maazha

Paisa gela pani gela, jama kela sara gela

 

Ki gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar bhar

Tujhya darshanala kashi gad bad gad bad

 

Ki gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Tuchya kade gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

 

Tuch kar mala par par par par

Tuch maazha ghar dar dar dar dar

Tuzhya kadhe alo deva kahi nahi rahilo

Tuzhya madhe jaude me par par par

 

Gar gar gar gar gar gar gar

PAvasache sar sar sar sar sar sar sar

Gar gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar

Gar gar Gar gar gar gar gar

Pavasache sar sar sar sar sar sar sar

 

Moraya Moraya mee baal taanhe

Tujheech sewaa karoo kaay jaane

Anyaay maajhe kotyaan-akotee

Moreshwara baa tu ghaal potee

Video | Posted on by | 1 Comment

Omnisexual

 

“Look at me! I am a Hijra!! I do not have anything swinging down there!!!”

A few years back, I was sitting in a park with my friends. A Eunuch, or a Hijra came asking for money. HE was brash and I was offended and even repulsed by him. I told him/her to get out of my sight and when he/she refused I threatened to call the cops on him/her for harassing us.

He launched into a tirade that was very sexual and aggressive, it contained many things that I was not used to hearing, his/her sexual experiences his/her wretched life but I was most afraid and overawed by the aggressiveness and the extreme sexuality that the Hijra displayed, like a mental angst, a cry not for help, but the sort of cry an animal gives out on pain and frustration. It was disturbing and scary.

That which is disturbing and scary is what we run away from the most. But over time, life taught me lessons and as I started taking poetry more and more seriously, I realised the reason I loved poetry was that I could use my poems to get people to see things. While writing about things, I too got a better picture of what life is.

Fear is a lot about confrontation, we can stop being afraid only if we confront and deal with our fear. Once we recognise the issue we can now deal with it. A lot of the transgender community suffers not from misunderstanding more then anything. If we as a people understand them their lives will be better. Our lives will be better too, because transgender people are products of the biological variation of our species that gives the human race so much potential and power and when we accept the transgender community, we will accept many things that are not normal yet essential in taking humanity forward.

I do not write in favour of any legislation, that is a matter for the community to decide, I do not write on what we should do or not do, society as a whole decides that. All I am advocating, is basic humanity and the right as an artist to present the picture as I see it. That aggressive attitude of the Hijra, literally talking to humanity itself, saying-

“Look at me!! I am a Hijra!! I do not have anything swinging down there!!”

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The seeds of an environmental revolution

“Thanks Sarvadnya, you are so nice.” Anjali smiled as she gave her backpack to him. “Wow! I feel so light. I have a lot of energy now!” And she ran off ahead of me and Sarvadnya a smiling kid now laden with a bag.

Ninth grade boys are not usually gallant so I was surprised here. But Sarvadnya did not seem to mind, he probably did not think much of it at all. I felt the bag and it was surprisingly heavy. What was she carrying? Rocks?

“Did you bring your perfume bottle with you?” Sarvadnya called out to Anjali who was happily skipping around a little bit ahead of us.

“No” She said.

“Don’t lie”

Anjali paused a little, smiled and said “I do not know.” And then ran off again, more to avoid the question then anything else.

“She brings it everyday, perfume and make up, it is always in her bag.” Said Sarvadnya matter of factly, I could read his mind. He just did not get why girls did that sort of stuff.

“Yeah, well you know girls.” I said in a man to man sort of way. He nodded knowingly. I nodded with him. Here I was able to wax eloquent on most aspects of knowledge to kids and all I could do was nod with a kid about how we both do not understand girls. I did not want to tell him that ten years down the line he would still not be any closer to understanding girls, so I changed the subject.

“How was your day?” I asked. And we began talking about our field trip.

PCPFT1017 PCPFT1019

We had come here to Purandar fort, built on a mountain rising 1300 feet up from our plateau that we lived on to look at different plants. Our home in Jejuri is beautiful and we love it but here the girls who were very interested in flowers found so many different ones in about a few square meters that they were really excited. It was amazing for them. For a few years they have gone around and know almost every flower that grows wild in the field around the school and they come here and they find plants that are totally different. We took a lot of notes and photos and also where possible we took a few flowers where we were sure there were plenty.

Purandar has species plants that are endemic to Purandar. It is unreal to imagine that- we are standing on a few acres of mountain that have plant species that grow nowhere else on the planet. Even if we did not know them it was fascinating just to be there and feel it. It reminded us how beautiful and fragile our ecosystem really is. The boys also found a few bugs as well which we are giving to experts back in Pune to find out what they are.

PCPFT1016 PCPFT1020

Today is Shivaji Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Shivaji- the great Maratha king and warrior. Purandar was one of his most important forts. So a lot of people were coming here from many places. There were groups of men coming from villages, they went up to the temple at the top of the fort and lit a flaming torch there. They then walked down the hills carrying that torch, running all the way back to their village. I could imaging this as tradition many hundred years ago when the call for battle came from the fort, these young men running through the field and mountains of the Sahyadris with flaming torches in their hands through the night to the wee hours of the morning, rallying the villages to join in the battle. Even now with no reason and probably no knowledge of the history of this tradition it is still being done. There mere sight is inspiring.

We did not come with flags and torches.  But we did learn something about the environment and how great diversity exists in our land. From plants and animals to religion and culture this great diversity is the reason for the richness and beauty of India.

I hope that we have lit a torch to take back home as well. By caring more for our environment maybe, we can find in ourselves to care more about each other.

PCPFT1024 PCPFT1025

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List of the biology bloggers that I know- and so far it has been slim pickings.

By Chandrakant Redican

It has been a year since this blog began and a few posts have gone off track somewhat. So I started another blog that is more suited to all the other stuff I write about. From now on I will make sure the AntibioTick is still more or less a biology blog and in line with its lofty aim to one day become the creative beacon of biology and biologists in this universe.

So I will try to abide by this commitment and not post love poems or other random stuff that does not much to do with biology. But since we believe in statistics and have a large margin for error, we can still have a few general outlier type posts and with a comfortable conscience call ourselves a biology blog.

With this new phase in the AntibioTick’s life here are a few promises I will try to keep

1)      An actual cartoon drawing of the AntibioTick instead of the spider off the internet I am passing off as a tick, seriously, someone should have called me out. It is lame.

2)      Regular Posts – I had serious commitment issues in life, so got some therapy with my sister who is a psychologist. She has said I should start small instead of getting arranged marriage done or something. Hence this attempt for regular blog posts.

3)      A well thought out feature at least once a month (They are great to read but take a long time- like my best post- the Sponge Baba)

4)      A foray into videos, drawings, photographs and cartoons, also some poetry if I think it is good enough (strictly biological- I promise!). Mostly you may see only one or two of each this year if any because I am a really slow worker.

5)      I hope a few of my biologist friends will help me out in writing articles, they write and read a whole bunch but for some reason they refrain from writing creatively in biology which I know they can do very well.

And that reminds me, I have a topic that I am supposed to write about. A list of biology bloggers I know so far.

So here is the story behind this list- A year ago the blog began and I actually won a prize for it on the website Indiblogger. They gave me a badge which was nice of them. They even sent me a gift, but the courier guys have lost it and it is rotting in somewhere in Pimpri last time I called them. DTDC does not seem to give a shit and I am tired of asking them.

Anyways, I won and there were actually twenty bloggers or so in the category. So I had a look at them. Here is what I learned.

1)      I am not the only badass biology blogger out there in India, there are very few others.

2)      There are others that are trying at least to do what I want to do. Some are good and some are quite bad

3)      There is no networking or group that is the focal point of creative people in being creative in life science.

4)      All of this is really sad for the AntibioTick because the AntibioTick loves social networking, blogging and biology

I went through the list of the people who participated in the best life sciences blog competition and picked out the few people I thought were genuinely trying to write about biology, in a way that they could express themselves and let their personality shine through.

Bear with me one last paragraph before I get to the actual list. Some of these people that are in this list- they are not going to get the Nobel for literature, but they try to say things in their blogs.

1)      http://davidhaskell.wordpress.com

This is the best written blog about biology that I know about yet, and I have searched quite a lot. Prof Haskell is sincere and his blog has great personal observations and photos. He can really write well and once you read it you will not wonder that he has published a book which is pretty popular. What is sad is that there are not many other such blogs out there that I know of. I hope I can find more like him.

2)      http://butterflyandbiotech.blogspot.in/

This one is run by a girl called Kanmani Rajan. She is from Sivakasi and seems to enjoy her life and biotechnology. She explains stuff like what is PCR and all.In spite of her pretty run of the mill topics what I like about it is she does have personality, is not imitating anyone and is not dishing out stuff that you would find on science daily or some popular news magazine. If she tried to stretch her imagination a little she could write some pretty decent stuff.

3)      http://biomilieu.blogspot.in/

Now this one is a bit closer to what I am trying to do with the AntibioTick blog and she seemed to have begun pretty well but has not updated her post for a while. She did not reply to e-mails, hopefully she may start again.

4)      http://blog.uberbrain.net/

This one is run by someone called Vivek Misra who seems to pretty active and qualified according to his blog. He is a neurobiologist, pretty active in his work and his blog seems to be a sincere effort, though I have yet to read one of his articles

5)      http://varuncnmicro.blogspot.in/

Varun who runs this blog tries to convey advanced microbiological concepts in this blog, he lists references and everything and it seems a sincere effort. If you are interested in light reading though this is not the place but microbiologists who can read technically will find this useful.

I have not listed any of the big sites like nature, science daily etc because they are not really handling science in a creative way. Actually some of the best science writing I have seen is in the economist and that too is basically a weekly newspaper. This list I have compiled is by no means comprehensive, and I will have a page put up on the blog shortly which will have all these blogs listed and I will keep on updating it. So if you know any blog and want it up there on the list- just drop me an e-mail. You can even comment, or post on facebook or twitter and I will do it.

So there you are- the first compilation of biology bloggers in the world maybe. What is sad is I meet a lot of people with a flair for writing that are in Biology but they do not really tackle being creative in biology in an imaginative way. They write awesome poems and stories in their spare time but there is not much biology in them. Biology needs good imaginative content, if you look at the tech industry it is up to its ears with blogs and content trying to be creative. Politics, sports, cinema, every field has great everyday content that is creative and fun. I hope this will change one day.

I know I have not talked about blogs about science in various native languages. But if you know Marathi- check this one out-

http://onjalitalifulpakhare.blogspot.in

Thats all for now folks see you around and expect many articles better than this one soon!!!

Regards

Chandrakant Redican (The AntibioTick)

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THE CAT ADDICT

“I have cats,” I say, with a smiling countenance

“I have cats,” I say to explain sleeplessness.

“I have cats!” I cry, hiding my arms

“I have cats…” But nothing changes the alarm

She recited passionately line after line in front of eager listeners at the poetry slam at Cocoberry FJs. Standing up in the corner of the cafe’ she captured everyone’s attention.  Fair and pretty like many girls you see on Fergusson road, Aashna Iyer was showing a part of herself not many would have had the chance to observe.

There were cats everywhere in that poem of hers. They were under her bed, dictating the composition of her wardrobe, making her laugh, making her cry and teaching her the meaning of life. I never knew that cats could do so much in your life before. (The only cat I had ran off in six days).

It was a delight to watch Aashna. The little movements of her hands, her face was changing expressions one after another so fast that they were a poem in themselves.  Earnestly she nodded her head when she entreated to the audience showing all her scratches on her arms- “Show me what else could have caused this?” she asks.  You agree with her wholeheartedly.

It was Aashna and her poem that gave me real clarity on why we all listeners and speakers were there at the poetry slam. Ashna Iyer, who saw the event invite posted somewhere in the entrails of cyberspace, turned up and for four minutes shared something that she really cared about in a funny, entertaining and heart warming way.

She was also kind enough to mail me the text of her poem. Even as I read it now, I can see her perform. I marvel at the effort put into the composition which her recitation makes seem so natural and effortless.

First poems and recitations have an innocence about them.  Like personal treasures finally put out in the open, a little girl wearing a grown up dress for the first time, shy and proud that she can waltz and twirl it shyly.

Aashna was not shy, but her poem for me at least held a certain shyness. It may not be her first recitation, but it was her first recitation here in front of all of us.  And let me tell you it was a sweet thing to witness.

When the poetry slam ended we were gathering around waiting for the results. While talking we slammers were asked why we come here. We said we come here to protest and create fine art, create a culture of poetry, raise issues and indulge in philosophy. They were all valid and honest answers but I think the main reason we do gather is to pour our heart out, and listen to others pour out theirs.

It is this that makes connections faster than dating, faster than family, faster than hanging out at the tea shop with friends.

Because each of those times we are angling to create a situation in which we can express ourselves. In the slam sessions we bypass all of that. For four minutes we can stand up and bleed like nothing else matters.

Those are the poems and the poets we want to hear. Poems our intellect may reject but that come from the heart. These poems may or may not win a slam but give a reason for the slam to be. As for quality, it is but a matter of skill and practice, slowly it will develop in all of us.

So there you are, this is why I am a poetry slammer and this is why I want to come over and over again. To watch the Aashnas of this world bleed so eloquently and personally that we start giving a damn about their cats. And to bleed myself so people will give a damn about what matters to me.

You should all be there next time. Because it is not Just Aashna Bleeding her heart out there.

Slammers at the Pune Poetry Slam

Slammers at the Pune Poetry Slam

There is Manasi. You think it would be crazy for someone to attend a slam in the middle of their high school finals? Well- organising them in totally insane. This girl will be prime minister one day (she is already a great poetess-slammer). There is Shantanu and Nandini- they go around doing poetry workshops with a passion I wish I had when I was in college. Composing fine poetry and rehearsing and reciting along the way. There is KC- He has won both slams so far and you have to be pretty damn good to do that. His poems are simple personal effective and are backed with a real flair for presentation. There is Tushant, he is brave enough to write about things we are too scared to think about. Though his poems are long, he really tries to put some meaning into them. There are so many other people who made it so amazing, right from the staff at the cafe’ who are beginning to enjoy the poetry quite a bit. I wish I could name all of them and thank them for taking everyone’s poems to heart and performing their work bravely.

So please slam with us next time. Because there will always be a few surprises, someone coming out of the blue to express themselves, someone that comes up with something totally new to present or some new fun thing that we try which someone comes up with on the spot. Once again- be there.

Slam at the Pune Poetry slam- the poetry is great and there is free frozen yoghurt for the winners.

Slam because we want to listen to the outpourings of your heart.

Slam so we can open up our heart to you.

Slam it- because you have four minutes to bleed- On the 23rd of February 2014. 3.00 PM, Cocoberry FJs, next to Vaishali Hotel Fergusson Road, Pune, State- Maharashtra, Country- India

For those who think that poetry is worth something please like Pune Poetry Slam on Facebook and support and encourage them. Come to our slams, they are an amazing experience, and while you are at it on Facebook like the AntibioTick Facebook page too.

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Tick News- PhD Students and Lecturers teach rural kids research

Jejuri, District Pun- February 2, 2014

In a joint initiative launched by Vishwa Nirmala Vidya Mandir Jejuri, City of the Birds Conservation and Research and ROMA Electronics Jejuri. A two day workshop was held where school children from schools in and around Jejuri were taught the basics of observing the environment and ecosystem, basic field biology and were introduced to the concept of conservation and protecting the environment. The workshop was held on the first and second of february

Siddarth, Shruti and Sayli Imparting Knowledge to tiny tots!!!

Siddarth, Shruti and Sayli Imparting Knowledge to tiny tots!!!

The workshop was conducted by a team of PhD students and associate professors from and the students were from Garware College Pune, Modern College Pune, IISER Pune, Agharkar Research Institute, University of Pune, and YC college Satara

The students hailed from five schools, Vishwa Nirmala Vidya Mandir Jejuri, Jijamata High School Jejuri, Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Vidya Mandir Jejuri, New English School Loni Bhapkar, And Vidya Mahamandal Prashala Kothale. The response was extremely positive and each of the schools will be followed up personally by the project organisers who will develop what the students have learnt into fully fledged science projects.

Science and geography teachers were present at the project including Atole Sir, Magdum Madam, Bhapkar Sir and Ghogre Sir. They will work in co-ordination with the workshop organisers to ensure that the workshop will have a sustained effect and eventually churn out publishable research and will motivate the students to pursue careers in science.

Microscope

Presentations and field sessions were conducted by Dr Avinash Vanjare, Dr Yugandhar Shinde (Both Assistant professors in Ahmednagar College and Modern College, Pune) Dr. Sameer Padhye, and PhD Students Shruti Paripatyadar, Aboli Kulkarni, Sayli Sheth, Nikhil Modak and Research Student Siddharth Kulkarni, Siddarth Biniwale and Aniket Marathe.

Taare Jameen Par

Taare Jameen Par

The workshop was conceptualised and organised by Chandrakant Redican and Prinicipals Patrick Redican and Pradnya Redican of the primary and high school divisions of Vishwa Nirmala Vidya Mandir Jejuri, Reshma Pansare, Archana Madam and Priyam Redican.

At the felicitation ceremony Mr Avinash Bhalerao Head of the Jejuri Nagar Palika (Nagar Adhyaksha) and the Corporators Mrs. Sadhana Didbhai, Mrs. Barbhai, Mrs. Surekha Sonawne lauded and praised the efforts taken by Chandrakant Redican and the team of Research Students to come into rural area and teach children how to do basic research. They also promised their full support to future endeavours by the group for the betterment of Purandar Taluka.

The workshop concept arose out of the success of the science program of Vishwa Nirmala Vidya Mandir Jejuri which emphasizes creativity and spirituality in equal measure as well where five students of the school presented a poster of their own research at the “Student Conference on Conservation Science Bangalore” hosted by the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. Their work was well received and recognised internationally and the students interacted with researchers of international repute. This was a huge achievement and probably rare in India where where students perform at such a level.

And of course.. the felicitation :)

And of course.. the felicitation 🙂

This concept has now been taken forward by the organisers and researchers who will work with teachers and students from villages to give a major boost to the science education as well as show that quality research can be conducted in rural areas as well.

The success of the project and the positive response from the teachers students and praise from the local administration and parents has given the impetus for similiar workshops that will be held every few months in the area which boost the standard of Science Education of Purandar, conserve local biodiversity and help spread awareness and promote sustainable development of the area. The organisers led by Chandrakant Redican are currently in the process of planning more initiatives and launching research projects in the area and are searching for resources and funding. Dr.Yugandhar Shinde Emphasized the need for funding to be made available for such work and the administration of the town along with the citizens have promised their full support though pointing out that there is still much help that can be given and called out to individuals, groups and organisations to support the work.

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Tick Diaries- Retrospection

It was a good feeling going back to the department where I did my masters degree, after so many days. I was happy to see my old friends and teachers and also happy to be back at a place where I have spent so much time, learned so many things and have so many lovely memories. The canteen, the museum hall, the lab where I worked so much, all had a familiar feel about them. It was pleasant to “talk science” after such a long time and not feel like a geek or a nerd, just like it was a way of life.

Procession

Procession

At the same time though, I felt that I made a good decision moving on, although I am poorer, I am happier. I am doing something unique and am trying to make it as sustainable and as big as possible. Maybe in a few months I will need to get a job because I am not making money, but it does not matter right now. I should do the best I can in the time I can afford.

Most of the last six months have been a re discovery of my life, learning new things and weighing new perspectives. Yesterday was the first time in a long time where I actually did not consider anything or think about anything. I was back at a place which was my academic and career comfort zone for so many years. And it was a day out for me- mentally, for the first time in six months after so many of new experiences and lessons.

So I am back home now, running on the last few drops of petrol in my tank but it has been an amazing ride. The best feeling happened at night as I took the bus home for the first time. As I walked back home from the bus stand it was eleven at night and the town had mostly gone to sleep. The temple was in the background, looming over the town from the top of the mountain. On both sides of the road were new buildings interspersed with old ones that were in a state of disrepair.

Where fantasy and reality combine

Where fantasy and reality combine

Knowing the history of this place, I looked at the buildings with a sentimental energy inside of me, wishing that the magical things I knew and read about this place would appear, and l happened- right there before me.

The modern buildings disappeared and the old ones regained their lost splendour, the street lamps went out, old oil lamps and lanterns lit up the place to be as bright as day. Songs were playing in the background, dancers were dancing- beautiful muralis singing praises of their king. Housewives dressed splendidly in yellow navaris (nine yard sarees) and gold ornaments were going about their work. It was a festival of joy. Drums were beating, horses were neighing and everyone was joyful because a great happiness had come upon them.

Soldiers in their magnificent uniforms and swords drawn, working men in the dhotis, shepherds from out of town with their turbans and magnificent moushtaches, their daughters giggling, smiling ever so prettily and taking in the beautiful sights of the town, everyone was so happy. I wondered why.

Then I realised this is my dream. This is my town and my people. Even if I am a common person in the world, I will always have this. My joy of returning home erupts out in the joy displayed by my fantasies, played out live before me, with all the colour and music of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali Bollywood Historic Musical extravaganza.

They were happy, because the dreamer who dreamed them up, was coming home.

And boy I am glad to be back. There is no place like home

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