Care for a cause…!

Two years back I got a chance to volunteer for an institution which worked for mentally ill women.. being a student of psychology.. I found it very easy and rewarding  to associate with that cause.

Not only it gave me satisfaction of having done something worth my time.. it also gave me an insight into the lives of people who come into this pious field… I call it pious because any religion puts behaving with humanity on a high pedestal in their teachings.. and all those who work with special* people are the most spiritual in my view..as they share their great assets with those who would actually appreciate it.

The greatest of the assets being the time they put in to make someone’s life better… and that makes their own life worthwhile..

During that time I  came across two kinds of people.. one who felt blessed to be a part of this organization.. they were getting out of it a feeling that it was their calling…

And then there was the second kind.. most of them who had joined this organization for their living. Who saw it just as a job.. and hence you could see the difference clearly on how they felt about working there.

It was a place of taboo for many.. as it dealt with people with mentally disabled..maybe  they felt the concerned inmates are not going to know anything.. it was not like they were going anywhere also… most of them had been shun by their families and the society so they were here to stay. And that may have been a reason to not feel the need to behave their best..

But still.. even if it is a job.. you are supposed to live up to it it.. doesn’t matter whom you are working for. But unfortunately I didn’t get to see it..

I was initially surprised.. as I always thought that all who associated with any NGO were genuinely interested in helping.. but only when I entered such a place myself.. I found the reality to be slightly different.

I am not saying all of them were like that.. just a handful..

Also I saw a stark difference.. Although all of them were still fairly concerned about the inmates.. the behavior of the staff towards each other was that shocked me the most.. those whom I thought would be the most understanding were the ones who were not so polite.. though they were in a better position to create a good environment.. but alas… those were the ones creating a gap.. that they didn’t want to fill.

The work done there on the other hand is exceptional.. not only they house women who are not wanted by society.. they also help them to find their place in the very society that rejected them..

With good treatments they are also given vocational training.. and those who are very mildly affected or have mostly recovered are given work opportunities..so that they regain their self worth.

In case of some women who might have wandered out without the family’s notice (as it is possible with these guys).. they locate the family with what all information they can get out of the women and reinstate them in the family with free consultations and medications.. for LIFE.. .!! So that the family never gets any chance not to take them back.

Along with that the organization conducts free camps for all those who themselves or a family member of theirs is suffering with some kind of mental ailment and cannot afford to take private mediation or even to be spotted near any hospitals of that kind as there is still a stigma about mental illness.

I saw it as a great cause.. and loved to work there… as I heartily praise all those who in any way are doing their share for it..

A lot has been achieved in past few years.. what started in a single bedroom flat with a couple of women is now wide spread in three locations with hundreds of women finding shelter.. I am sure their unconscious blessings are always with the working team.

I personally gained a lot of experiences from being there… meeting those women.. many of them who didn’t even know they were out of their homes.. I see it a big thing as for them this is their home… and I am happy the team has been able to create that for them…

All that has been achieved by great efforts..and now even many celebrities are associated and it is well known in the city’s map… with more and more people coming forward with helping hands everyday.

I must give a special mention to the nursing staff there.. as they are the ones literally spending 24×7 with the ladies… and they are the ones I found the most enthusiastic and caring.

Today when I am not physically able to be there for them.. I send my best wishes to the group.. may they work so well that there is no need for such an organization..!

Beginning of life with Television..

Friends and I…. a few days ago we had a long chat about the television during the early days..

Both the television and us… entered our homes at about the same time…  that was the time when not every home had a TV.. and it was just growing to become an essential household item..

So as we both were new… the impression was strong… 

Unlike today..when the attention spans of people are shorter than the advertisements itself.. we valued all that was shown… the memory of each show stayed with us for days.. months… years….. and decades if I may say so.. as they are still fresh in our minds…

Looking back and remembering them one by one… we were all elated…

Those shows has touched our lives… as they were about the regular people…. the common man and woman… and kids… the characters were almost always identifiable.. not like now when we can’t even associate with the protagonists as their lives seem somehow larger than life… and quite impossible to be in the kind of people we meet regularly..

Old shows had a charm… the sets costumes were never over the top.. they were believable.. the stories were simple and showed day to day life events… with acting being the most important part.. not just how visually grand it can look…there were only a few characters… but all were well defined.. and had their importance even if the role was small…

Even the advertisements shown made their impacts… we still can recite a few of them.. and we still use the tag lines as phrases in our day to day conversations.. and they make sense to our generation only…

Be it emotional.. comedy.. fantasy.. mythological.. musical.. educational… we had it all…

Other than Hindi movies we also had Regional films on Sunday afternoons. And just before that was the news for the deaf.. I had a fascination to learn the sign language since then…

It just showed that the Channel catered for all.. literally..

As kids we were also good part of the audience… so… special ‘kids shows’ were part of the weekends. Other than cartoons.. we had moral stories played out specially for us…we had puppets…and we had our share of super heroes back then too..

As the years progressed.. more channels got added and many more shows made their way into our lives..

Looking at a few actors who started back then and made a good name for themselves…seeing them mature and successful today is reminiscent of the past.

The time we spent in front of the television.. was a lot less than what kids do now a days….

I feel we were more enriched by television.. than robbed of our childhood by it.. I am so thankful to have lived in those times…

A strange tale of fate..

What else can I call it.. till the first week of January this year.. I was living my life.. nice and quiet.. with minimal social presence.. watching movies endlessly..  having peaceful afternoon teas with family.. living life.. just the way I like it..

When all of a sudden one of my friends posted an old school pic on his Facebook wall..

Life as I knew it ended that day..

Many of my old friends from school came together to like and comment jokingly on that pic.. one comment led to another.. many friend invited many others…and I guess the pic was the most commented in the history of any of our friend’s pics.

It was getting too much to handle on Facebook.. many shameful truths were coming out..and our collective image of good students was getting spoilt..not to mention that many of the spouses, parents and In-laws too had access to that.

So we came up with a simple solution.. not to wash our dirty linen in public…

We decided to take it up on a more private chat.. thinking that we have already said so much on Facebook.. not much would b left to say here…

Fortunately we all were in for a shock… just in a few days msgs started flooding in.. some of us didn’t even remember others from school but still felt that instant connection.. and messaged away..

In the initial days I still thought.. its just a craze of meeting old friends after a decade and might die down in a few days…

Wrong again..!!

We are more closer to each other than we ever were in school.. connected 24×7.. as we are spread across the globe..so when some of us sleep.. others keep the chat going.. we r like a relay group who pass on the writing torch to the next shift… to keep it going..

It happens rarely that I wake up and don’t find at least a few msgs to read..and that definitely brings a smile to my face…every morning.. and brightens my day for sure..

And going further.. we are also very interested in each others lives.. appreciating and supporting each other in our lives endeavours.

Result of that is this blog.. still find it hard to believe.. as just a couple of months ago..had anyone told me I would be writing this…I would have laughed and dismissed it right away… but then… here I am.. writing away.. and excited to do so too..

It is true that the friends we make early in our lives do stay close to our heart all your life.. I am happy that mine are close to my life too..

Overcoming the Writer’s block

It may seem like an odd title for the first ever blog post. But the fact is that it is just a metaphor.

Why is it that even when we know we are capable of something..  we tend to procrastinate.. waiting for a right day.. a perfect moment .. and we all are generally quite good at convincing ourselves that this is not the time… but what we forget is… the moment we do it that makes the day special for life..

In my case I have been giving myself excuses for a long time.. even though I have been writing forever and having read many blogs in the past few years..I had this simple wish to have one for myself.. but as the fear of commitment gripped me..I kept telling myself.. its easy to start..but how do think you are going to be true to it and stay regular..

Truth is.. I don’t know… but what I know is till I don’t start it..I’ll never know..

All of us do it.. in one way or the other.. for me it was the blog… for you it could be a taking up a new job.. or talking to a long lost loved one.. or visiting a doctor to find out what could be wrong ..!!

We can keep going on with our lives like we always have…  and live the life we want in our imagination only…or we could stop testing the waters and take a plunge…

This for all of you who have plans..and think that .. One Day.. I will do it..  that day could be today..!!

For years whenever I see hear or read something that piques my interest I itch to write about it. I have been writing a few bits and pieces here and here and call it my personal collection. But always wanted to have a place where I could cherish them for life. Internet is such a medium where everyone has an equal opportunity. And I am here to take my fair share.

Surely it would not have been possible without the nudge (more like a push from the cliff) by my dear friends… and so …  I am here.

Generally blog writers call their readers as friends.. but in my case I know for sure that my friends are my readers..as they were the inspiration behind this blog.

Thanks to all of you who believe in me.. hope I live up to it..