Friday, February 25, 2005

iwitnessed ivolunteer

This is something blogworthy that happened which predates the blog, but here it is, because I think I’m getting addicted to blogging.

As a part of Delhi University, I’m used to the vibrant student culture here. People who come and talk to us to initiate change, firebrand students who do propel change.
D school.
And then FMS. Which overlooks the road to the market.
Maybe its symbolic.
Is it an accident that DU doesn’t know about FMS? That no posters of college activities are stuck up in FMS? We worry about companies and the average person not knowing about FMS.
I think its became FMS doesn’t involve itself in DU. Its not just because it’s a postgraduate institute-look at Dschool.
When I reached Dschool, I found myself in a small room, which had some twenty people in it. The talk had not begun, although I was late.
I was tempted to go back.
Then, the people began speaking. I was reminded of FMS. It was life a few hundred metres away viewed upside down-or down side up.
The speakers were very good. Brands in their own right. DPS Mathura Road. SRCC. MBA IIM A. FPM IIM A. They hadn’t let brand MBA sear their skin though.
Mr. Pandey, head of the NGO version of CII- VANI started the Powerpoint presentation. I was reminded of Bschool. The bullet points were there, to hammer his points home .
Profit in its simplest sense, means surplus. To use some favourite MBA jargon, to add value.
To think of value in monetary terms alone would be short sighted. To translate in monetary terms, NGO related work entitles corporates to tax benefits. Hence corporate social responsibility.
He spoke of how NGOs develop people who work, thereby adding to National Income.
I found my attention wandering, in the Powerpoint. I found myself reminded of the lectures in College. At least I’m imbibing a bit more now than I used to then, thanks to Powerpoint.
Or so I thought. Then the second speaker spoke.
Like the storytellers of yore. A raconteur.
I was on a train, on my way to FMS after the Autumn Break. A boy with impish eyes asked me which class I was in. As this is an FAQ, the question was no surprise. How do I explain it to him?
I counted the years I’d studied. Which class are you in? I asked. Class II he shouted. Class 16, I said.
This was the same technique, Mr. Gulati used to explain to the villagers of Ghad, at the foothills of Dehradun. They’d studied till Class III, Class IV. They were astonished and asked, What did you study? And he was at a loss to explain. It helps us get a job, but what is the intrinsic value of what we study?
He’d ask in turn , looking at a field, is this wheat or rice? He was unskilled when it came to thatching a roof or ploughing a field. Do tomatoes grow above the ground or below?
He spoke of villagers who were showed pictures of city folk. What do you associate with these people, he asked them. Civilization.
Alright. Suppose they were traveling through your village and their car broke down. They knocked on your door. What do you do?
They said without hesitating, We’d offer them shelter.
Alright. Now suppose you are marooned in the city. You knock on a door. Do you think you’d get shelter?
No, they said.
Who’s civilized then? Trivia-the root of the word civilization is civic, which is also the root of the word city.
He spoke of this book Affluenza, and this website called which counts the goods and bads a country produces, in its National Income.
He spoke of how we are foreigners in India.Of how foreigners who come to India, would probably feel more at home, when they see Macdonalds, than the villager on a city junket.
This leads naturally to the white man’s burden now being the urban educated professional man or woman’s burden.
We live in a global village, where the villagers have been nudged out.
He has set up Manzil, where 80 children who go to government school are taught. Education there means business-it is strictly vocational. I am reminded again of my MBA. No one goes to university abroad-its too expensive .Vocational courses like in plumbing are popular.
So for all quarter life crisis sufferers, ivolunteer (a ‘facilitator’, a la CRAP. PJ-would the NGO version of CRAP be COWDUNG?Joffers a 6 week internship with an NGO, from mid May. For us, they may start projects from June. The NGOs who have agreed to ivolunteers are listed on their
The forms asks you for functional skills you have. To rub salt in wounds, it helps you out with examples. ‘like can you cook your own food, do your laundry, travel alone.)That made me think. In some ways, I would be a liability where I was thinking I would be an asset. Some one would have to cook for me.
Application forms can be downloaded from the website.
They will provide a stipend of Rs. 3500, which is expected to cover your food and accommodation. They will also pay train fare to and from Delhi. They will provide stints in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Projects would include ones like selling health insurance through Self Help Groups.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mama Eng(g)

Took a starved soul on a pilgrimage to a higher plane. Two floors up.
Ensured I was adequately fed, using friends as bait.
Absolutely gratis, as art purports to sneer at money.
Actually answered a math test in time, mostly on my own.
Learnt grammar at age 23, naturally with a twist.
John kissed Mary. Several times. I lost count actually.It was quite in tense.
I learnt then that the professor had written four books on John kissing Mary. I gave up then trying to straitjacket nonsense into sense. And just elected to sit back and enjoy.
The atmosphere was peaceful. Everyone was enjoying class. School comes from the Greek word for leisure.
My cultural exchange charge was given and gave the eye to the three figure number of girls present.
We then agreed to combine soul food with visible food.
Cross pollination. The speakers found listeners, the listeners found speakers worthy of their ears.
I lived in the moment, for the moment and all the other prepositions I could find.
Soaked in every second for a dry day.
Came back to more good news-pom test results were out, and I had done well, with a little help from a friend. My investments are paying off.I need to plough them back though.
Decided to celebrate again.
And so the party continues…

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On life, the universe and everything

It's important to meet your hero in the magic minutes of the morning. That's when the dream world changes in the real world. That's when you can try and make the real world the real world.
No need to write The Great Global Novel ( Pun unintended) in one day flat.
The world's a global village.Provincial in ideas. It needs something to hold on to if there isn't someone to hold one to.
I usually bathe at leisure. Today the thoughts banged on my skull, demanding to be let out and live. A different kind of headbanging.
One can't write in the dream world. one can only write about the real world at length, about how it should be the real world.
In writing, one has to lose the I . Because one has to make it interesting. Make the reader and the writer both live, and thereby want to live.
It is a schizophrenic world. One must try not to let it split one in half.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


can't I do this later?



Or, The Romance of the Rime and Rou

With thanks to Louis Carol
‘N’ With Apologies for shaking Shakes ‘n’ joy ce as well.

Of loves and quick!silver and other riches,
Vroom stick witches in black britches.

As you can make out (lucky you)
This is just an excuse to rime

It’s been such a while
I’ve forgotten my style

I’ve decided it’s time for me to be
Fashion my passions
And so be in again.

Passions wax and wane
Especially when they are for the vain.
I fain would not feign.

I’ve always loved rain
It’s helped me stay sane
And ever hated pain
Or things that stayed the same.

That’s been my bane.
They say-no pain no gain
Here’s to Plane Janes.

O what would I do.
With words that wouldn’t rime
Commit the unforgivable crime.
Of torturing them till they fit.
Regardless of how they sit.

I have now a sneaking suspicion.
This poem’s vaporizing in confusion.
That’s because the Big Words are here
Throwing the sweet nothings out of gear.

When a mere of beer’s near
Everyone’s a seer
Talking of whom they hold dear
Name(ly)- their fear.

There’s there, here’s here
A jeer’s there, here’s a leer
Some also wear a tear.

The wor/ods retreat. Their masters-
Thought- approach. Reproach
The words that write themselves
Dancing themselves in tune
To the moon. It’s noon in June.

This poem’s entropying in confusion
Fun joins Ye and Funny is born.
When Fun fucks Ye Foney’s born.
Pop Corn, Mom Corn and baby Corn.
My first pee jay in the poem.

It burbles out gurgles flows
pours water falls. In a stream.
Of un con sciousness.

Messy ol’ Nessie.
Carts me along like a dream.
On cartwheels.It’s a scream.
Green whipped cream on clean jeans.

The words whirl around
Dance with one another
Changing partners with the end of ev’ry line

Stop reading when it gets too much.
I’ll stop writing when it gets too much
We’ll outstare each other

I’ll win-‘cause I read as I write
Taking care to abandon the trite.
Retaining only the light and bright.

‘Cause the heights of kites of delight
Are a sight at night. It feels right
to the tight wight

‘N’ the slack in the sack.Gak!
Not the one who’s got the sack.
Or the one who’s tacked on the rack.
Zac. He’s got a knack for packing a smack.

Don’t worry. B happy. This isn’t suppos’d to make sense.
Ain’t that a relief? No heap of promises to keep,
But miles of deep to go before you sleep.

Sheep in a jeep. Don’t look before you leap.
You’ll never go beyond a seep of a peep.

Tubes take time to warm
Thoughts take time to darn.
Gyan takes time to farm.

Swarms of schoolmarms in tarns
Of marma a laid wearing green jade
Holding spades. Such cards.

Thoughts on a tumble tosser
Blending Bi xie the pixie in a mixie
Shoving for the embrace of space’s case
Trippin’ over their shoelace.

Canter ‘n’ banter in a race of pace
Play in the alleys of their wicked ways.

Puns hide and seek. Rime with fun.
I revel in the Pan demon I um.
That’s why hell’s more fun.
With cream buns young guns
Suns of nun stun.

So when ever you’re glum
Have am kneesia or Ambroseia for fun.
Talk to Tushar

Or string some words together
Play the word guitar
Take the doggerel for a walk
A lark in the park
Pee jay three hee hee
Lemme record it for postmodern posterity.

But I dv8. To re turn the point
‘N’ paint it in a line of rime
Blows the blues away
‘N’ b rings in the sunshine in no time.

Words line up to show you the way
That you knew not when you went your way.

So all fellow atheists, B leave
In the rope of hope. It helps you cope.
Don’t grope for dope.S(i.e.)eze the pope.

It’s trite but true-
It’s the journey that’s the thing
Not to vex the conscience of T-Rex(King).

Crash the trash. Just B brave ‘n’ brash.
Cut a dash ‘n’ a quake cake to fake bake
For Jake the rake’s sake make to take
When he’s awake.

The con/fidence of words
As they arch in March
A spring instep

Keep it simple I say.
Or the rime will say nay

Don’t try 2 be Happy
Play hard to get
Then Happy will come skippin’ along
Begging you not to leave him behind.

I’m queen here. So listen up.
No gloom doom to spoil my view.
That goes for me too.

Off with my head I say
If I think too much or pray
Neither lay in the hay in May
Nor am fey or gay
But simpley grey.

Oh I say it don’t pay
To simply weigh
‘n’ not know the way
to fun ‘n’ frolic

But only to the street with da lal walls
Or fall to the call of the molls.
Because, it palls. Even if she’s tall.

The rimes return reborn
With new part/ners to play.
It doesn’t make sense
When only nonsense makes sense.

Poems rock ‘n’ shock, prose sinks
Pushes you over the brink.
Forces you to drink
makes you lose the link
‘N’ no longer turn mink pink. Or (w)ink.

All rise! Like yeast.
When you’re stuck for fun
Just call on the witches
of Word, Rhythm ‘n’ Rime

The mews leaves.
She’ll be back.
Ce’st la vie. Nope.
Que sera sera. Sirr ah! Sirr ah!
‘N’ with pee jay fore!of the day
We close for the gay hey day.

Phew!A magnum o poo for me
Muse ins. Pseudo he hee-glee.

Words.Locked up too long
When let loose
They let their hair loose
‘N’ went loopy
Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen.

The sophistry of solipsism.
Soulitude pays off in magnitude.
Let’s navigate to levitate.
Whew. View. I Miss Muse. You’re fickle.
Slew to a trick le.Put me in a pickle.

The spirit of the sprite
We toil not. We do spin.
We are but hillybillies of the field.
No effluence of effart.
My baby.

naughty nutty.
Not at the moment, knotty nutty.

when life's like a poem with rhythm, rhyme and reason.

Am feeling really nice inside. Just had an invigorating adda. Interesting looking twinkly guy. Looked dhakka sa dhakkan. Typos can lead you down interesting bylanes.. Then I discovered he quizzes. Went for bournvita. Sat next to him in class. Class was also god. So I had good formal education n informal education as well.
I learnt about the intriguing-pun intended-life of the Da Vincis.
Thought I’d make a pact with myself-just do a pun everyday. Doesn’t work though, unfortunately.
I think I’ll start writing positive everyday for ten minutes though, just to keep my hand in.
Writing negative would be cathartic. Writing positive would be creative. Fiction, but creative.
To resume-if you have trouble following my lines of thought as they criss cross and play hop scotch on the rocks, read woolf. I find her boring but her metaphors are mindblowing. Enough to make you die of the green eyed monster.
She discovered stream of consciousness. Now I understand why engineers can’t spell. Or why artsis can’t count. They don’t use it much.
So I’ve been to the moon and back-all in an hour, while an interesting class was going on. This is called spoiling yourself and yet not being spoilt.
I think I’ll live life a bit, and when the conflicts outweigh the adventure, start a content club of interesting knick knacks. Or teach. Preferably kids who need an escape route. Not rich MBA type kids who go to class because they are forced to, but because the word school means leisure.
A word’ etymology is like a signboard. Grammar without thought is so lifeless. Thopught overrides grammar all the while.
You can get interesting rhymes and ideas from spell check options as well.
Wrote my longest poem yesterday and my first fun one. Am really excited about it.