Today I would narrate the story of my first and only Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in 2003. This festival is not celebrated in the part of the country where I live. In our customs, we celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi that falls in the Kartik month. So it was out of added curiosity and interest that I accepted the lady’s kind invitation for a community prayer and celebration of the festival. It was indeed a very colourful event as the devotees and participants came from different parts of the country who communicated with each other in Hindi, English and C. I found that the basic essentials of this festival were the same as the one we celebrate in Kartik month, except the immersion part. That means, there was the same story telling, same prayers, and same aarti. Continue reading
I had been in regular correspondence with her for quite some time without any communication gap. Her English was flawless without any grammatical or punctuation errors, a virtue which I always admire. However, one day there was an unusual error — she ended the sentence with a colon and closed it with a parenthesis. As I could not locate the opening bracket, I concluded that she had deleted a part of the sentence by mistake. Continue reading
I am writing to you after a long gap. A sudden unanticipated inflow of work kept me occupied for the last two weeks. Such unexpected change in work schedule is part of scientific research. The work is not yet finished, but now I am getting used to the extra work. It also means that a lot of routine work has piled up — cleaning, organizing, refreshing social contacts, and yes, getting updated with what is going on in the world. So I sat down and browsed through the large pile of newspapers looking for anything interesting that I might have missed. Continue reading
Which is the biggest problem that you face when traveling to a different city? A problem that you mostly take for granted, but are confronted with as soon as you set your foot on that land? It is language. You don’t have to go that far as China or Russia to appreciate the enormity of this problem. In fact, even within our own country, we face this problem on a routine basis.
Strangely, we give more importance to food and wonder ‘what would we eat there?’ And we pack sattu, khakhara, Maggi, even hot plate for emergency survival purpose. On the other hand, not for a moment do we pay any attention to the language barrier that is eagerly waiting for us. We brush aside all concerns with a ‘Oh, don’t worry, we’d manage’. Continue reading
I consider myself fortunate to be born and brought up in the yoga capital of the world — Rishikesh, U.P., now in Uttarakhand — and having spent first 26 years of my life at that beautiful place. In fact, whatever you see in me, whether good or bad, belongs to Rishikesh. Of course, Ahmedabad and Kanpur did provide their valuable contribution in providing further knowledge and experiences, and also honed up my skills. For example, though I had been playing harmonica, performing yoga and making paintings ever since my childhood, it was only in Ahmedabad that I took formal lessons in harmonica, joined yoga classes (ironically!), learnt Bengali and Gujarati from my colleagues and started learning Russian. Living in Ahmedabad was the first time I had lived outside the Hindi culture. At Kanpur, I learnt German and French. However, it was only in Rishikesh that the initial impetus was provided and the spark to pursue lifelong learning was ignited. Continue reading
From email to social media to WhatsApp, technology-driven social communication has come a long way and that too in less than three decades. And it is further bound to grow and transform itself. Not only there is transformation in this mode of communication itself, but the basic characteristics of human relationship and communication has also changed. Continue reading