Saturday, April 22, 2006

postcard from j: living waters

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Surely, one may have wondered about the postcards theme that I use for my blog. There is a very good reason for that - a Jesuit priest introduced me to the dying practice of writing and sending postcards. No, I'm not talking about those really pretty picture postcards that you receive from some relative or friend who went backpacking across Europe. These are the typical postcards available at your friendly (and increasingly redundant) Indian post office - those dull yellowing rectangular pieces of paper which challenged even the most articulate among us to fit in the right number of words in the limited writing space on it.

I have received a few postcards from Father G in the course of my interaction with him since 1997. And each one has been inspiring and much treasured. The last few days have witnessed high drama with regard to the Narmada Bachao Andolan - Medha Patkar's fast, Aamir Khan lending his support to the cause, Arundhati Roy's comments, Narendra Modi's retaliation, legalities, court cases... By now, you may be confused about the point I want to make.

Its just that recent developments related to the NBA reminded me of one of Father G's postcards (dated 23rd May 2002). Father G was involved with education of a tribal group in Shirpur, Dhule (Maharashtra). So, without further ado, I'm quoting from that postcard:

I've just visited the Dhadgaon hills where the breathtaking Narbada flows, a most endearing river - like some attractive woman none can resist. Only the demonic dam blocks her course, denudes good former agricultural land of the adivasis, makes rampant tree-felling of the hills along the river a business prospect. Medha Patkar's NBA is doing splendid work uniting poor tribals displaced from their homesteads. I had a teachers' training over 2 days in one of their remote residential schools. It was an education for me.

Beautiful, isn't it? Makes you wish for more postcards like this. Father G is not a fan of technology. It took him ages to get 'online', and use email. Concluding this postcard, he wrote:
In that world IT is non-existent & irrelevant. For that matter most of modern technology is that way...
*Sigh* I don't know what I would have done without modern technology and its evils. But then, I don't think I would have ever wanted to miss any of his postcards. Now, don't you wish you received a postcard today?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

postcard from j: b for bangalore

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Hmm... so Bangalore made it to the news for all the wrong reasons. It was sad to see such disturbing images on television - especially the one of the cop being chased and beaten.

Its been a little over a year since I started blogging. Ironically, its Easter Sunday today and it was Easter Sunday last year too when I created my first blogpost! So, what am I gonna blog about today? Bangalore! Why? Coz the last few days had so many TV programmes on the Garden City that I am almost compelled to key in my thoughts about the B-city. First, CNN-IBN's "The State Of Bangalore" followed by "What's Cool" in Bangalore. It brought back memories of my trip last year.

For me, Bangalore means:
# My good friend Ranju, who got me back to my reading habit and also introduced me to blogging.
# Rahul Dravid - the cricketer, the man **dreamy-eyed**
# Blossom's - truly a treasure trove of books. It ought to be a tourist attraction.
# Pubs... hmm, the last time, I didn't really get the time to explore the famed pubs of Bangalore. The 13th Floor was a nice experience, and the view from up there was spectacular.
# Cool weather - it was freezing when we were there.

# Heartbreak (Don't ask why!)

Let me smile awhile at the memories of namma Bengalooru flooding my mind right now. And Ranju, you still hafta show me 80% of your city. And no, I'm not letting you off easily this time - Peco's awaits my presence, right?

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