I'm joining Service Space because ... Service space rocks!!! This community of noble friends encourages me to dive into deeper truths of my self and others and become a better human being!
A good day to me is when ... I have been mindful and aware in every moment and balanced / When I have made someone smile.
My hero in life is ...too many to list but let's begin with 'you'
My favorite book is ...illusions, siddhartha, moved by love
One thing I'm grateful for is ... the serendipitous happenings in my life :)
Aug 05, 2018, 2 comments, 13 smiles Yesterday, we witnessed the power of bringing young people together in a circle and creating space for them to share their problems, own up their mistakes and come up with solutions. We are working on a case where 16 children have been alleged of leaking a SSC board exam paper on whatsapp. While the Juvenile Justice Act of India is not retributive but reformative and focuses on rehabilitation through education and vocational training for offenses committed by children under the age of 18, the Maharashtra State Board has debarred these children from giving exams until March 2020. Which means, these 15 year old students will loose out on 3 important years of education. It’s a big punishment for receiving paper on whatsapp. While we are in the process of drafting a letter to the high court, in this matter, children’s parents have been extremely tensed not just for the future of their ... Read Full Story
May 15, 2018, 13 comments, 29 smiles [I met Lobsang in December. We were organizing Awakin Talks and when we met it didn't feel like we're meeting for the first time. He's a monk who left his monastery. So yeah, I thought that you know, he's a monk, he's traveled the world with H.H Dalai Lama and very close to him. So, I expected a very serious man who was going to say very profound things. He did say profound things, but it was very, very joyous and lighthearted. Lobsang comes from a place in India called Arunachal Pradesh from a small village, which is beyond Tawang. He takes three days to reach just the airport that can get him here. While going to his place, he has to cross a forest, which is dangerous to cross even in the daytime. He has a place which he calls Jhamtse Gatsal, which is "Garden of Love and Compassion," ... Read Full Story
Apr 07, 2018, 33 comments, 41 smiles "The world needs change, yes. The education system is broken, the political system is broken, every possible system you can think of needs change. But as you deepen, one might say the biggest system that needs change is this -- my own mind, the fragmented way in which I look at the world." That's really hard, but maybe if you and I hold that inquiry together, a third new possibility might reveal itself in the co-created field of our love. A possibly of inner and outer transformation. With some wonderful editing work by Divyang, and a gang of our media volunteers, here is our Gandhi 3.0 video ... Just seeing the screenshot of all our happy faces makes my heart sing! Thank you, all, for those incredible 5-10 days that none of us ever could've predicted.
Aug 13, 2017, 3 comments, 21 smiles Timira, one of our volunteers was asked to prepare a skit with the boys for Independence day. As a part of the process she asked the boys “what does Freedom or independence mean to them?” The most interesting responses followed. When a parrot in a cage is freed, or a rabbit, or any caged animal. When a prisoner gets out of jail. When boys get out of this Home. When a victim is freed from his kidnapper or a servant from his employer. The most brilliant response came from the youngest in the class "jab mai khush hu, tab mai azaad hu!” (When I am happy, I am free) With these ideas, they put together a small skit. As Timira, our volunteer was walking out. One of our most smiley and hard working boy walked with her, telling her that he was watching the session from outside. He said "I found my freedom in this Home. I do all the work here, I am one of the few kids who is allowed to step out, I have full freedom!" Talk about varied perspectives!
May 12, 2017, 23 smiles As we broke the fast in the Juvenile home, I was amazed at how the boundaries of religion only exist in our mind. In the four walls of the home, I witnessed 3 Muslim boys insist everyone - rest of the Hindu boys and us to break the fast with them. And 3 of them cut the fruits for all of us! While many would have witnessed violence in such places, time and again I am amazed by the brotherhood and friendships one develops in the home. In the morning, I had heard one of the boys say how they have been breaking the fast with the morning's meal every day. Today they got fruits. And I was touched by how selflessly they wanted to offer the fruits to us. They could have easily saved it for eating at night or for the next day as there is no guarantee they would get fruits again! But they insisted that we wait and be part of Iftar. It's a blessing to witness kindness and love in this form!
Apr 02, 2017, 2 comments, 15 smiles At our weekly circles at the farming project this week, I asked the kids to share who inspires them? and why? One of the older boys, who never gives straight answers and is usually passing remarks said "Water! I would like to be like water. When obstacles come in water's way it finds a way to overcome it. It slides through or adjusts. But it keeps moving forward. I would also like to keep moving forward " I am thinking this has got to be the magic of being connected to earth and sitting in circles!
Mar 03, 2017, 1 comments, 19 smiles [In December 2016, we held our second Awakin Talks event at a local school auditorium in Mumbai. It brought together communities from our various local Awakin Circles and featured four remarkable speaker. Our last speaker was none other than Sister Lucy. Below is her happy photo with Swara, followed by Rahul's remarkable introduction, and a video of her talk. She moved us far beyond words, despite using a language she doesn't speak fluently. We love you, Sister Lucy!] Rahul's Introduction: Sister Lucy, founder of Maher, was born in Kerala. At the age of 12, she moved to Mumbai. When she moved here, she saw the sight that you and I see everyday -- the slums of Dharavi. They had an impact on her that they don't have on you and I, despite of the fact that we see it everyday. She was deeply moved by what she saw there. The poverty, the dirt, people defecating ... Read Full Story
Nov 30, 2016, 4 comments, 19 smiles Yesterday was one of the most memorable days of my life. We were planting seeds literally. For over a year, I have been feeling helpless and this urge to do something every time I visit the Matunga Children’s Home. Because: 1. The children there have a hunger to do something and learn something but don't have many opportunities 2. Children are mostly addicted to churan (hemp tablet), are just waiting to pass their time, sitting idle and have nothing to look forward to in their life. Yesterday, Priti Aunty and I, sat with 23 children in a circle (at the Matunga Children’s Home) who were interested in kitchen gardening with no idea what was going to unfold. Explained the kids what does it mean to be sitting in a circle. We shared our group values, hope for the group and asked them what they expected from the circle. And then got straight into action, cleared ... Read Full Story
Jul 13, 2015, 11 comments, 19 smiles Last few weeks, we have been trying to re-design Ashiyana, an initiative we started in the children’s home/ remand home three years ago. I am thinking of my first day in the home when I was so shaken by what I had just experienced and realizing that we have truly come a long way. When I was sharing the different ideas with a mentor and a friend, She posed a very simple question: “Why do people who work with children don’t ask the children what they want ?” The thought got me thinking and almost immediately we decided that we will let the children shape the vision of Ashiyana and our focus for the next one year. For long I have been toying with the idea of doing circles with children in the home.So, we thought, why not do a sharing circle with the children around this issue.On Wednesday, we hosted our ... Read Full Story
Jun 05, 2015, 1 comments, 11 smiles In many ways, this was a culmination point for Ashiyana -- our project to fill an extremely challenged remand home in Bombay with love and smiles. After having tried various models of operation, this was our first step to become fully volunteer-run, fully community-supported. Chairs were shifted and the side table was moved, mats were laid for all 12 of us to gather and sit in a circle. Balkha graciously offered her house, fed us yummy samosas and cooling Tang. The summer heat was at it’s peak but what we were waiting for next was to dive into the conversations of the place we all love -- Dongri Children’s home. Dev Tayde, volunteer of Ashiyana, facilitated this gathering and took us on a beautiful reflective journey. We began with quotes that were handed to each of us and we were urged to draw resonance. We spent the next fifteen minutes talking ... Read Full Story