Churning Of The Ocean – A Tanka

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

ChurningThe Ocean

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Churning the ocean
In a bid to separate
the black from the white —
reveal the hidden demons
in a million shades of grey!!

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Jewel of the Night

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

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A canoe set sail
in the middle of the night
The boy saw a jewel
hanging from the sky
When wind pushed the boat
to the beat of waves
The jewel slid down
and rested at the edge
The boy thus tempted,
cast his net and hook
Little did he know
that the moon was a crook
Beckoning him with a smile,
The moon lit the sea
As fast as he could,
the boy sailed forth in his reverie
“Come up here,” he heard the moon say
But the horizon, forever
held him at bay
For a long time,  moon kept up the play
then it dipped into the sea
…and quietly slipped away

© Somali K Chakrabarti, 2016

 If you believe that any picture on the site infringes your copyright, please inform and it will be removed

Lei: A wreath for your soul  is a string of short poems reflecting on nature, life, illusion and inspiration.Lei

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10 Quotes on Why Too Many Choices Can Make It Harder To Choose

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could.

ROBERT FROST in The Road Not Taken

Life is all about the choices we make. Time and again, we come across situations when we must choose one option over the other. Much like multiple choice questions, of the many given alternatives, we need to select the one, which under the given circumstances seems to be the best, correct or most optimum as compared to the others. Though there is something very exciting and liberating about the ability to choose and most of the times we crave for choice, yet, the decision to choose can be stressful too.

 

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Five long term actions for controlling air pollution in Delhi

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

 

China will trap its smog and turn them into diamonds. 

– World Economic Forum 

 

As bizarre as it sounds, this video posted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on their Facebook page claims that China will tackle Beijing’s air pollution problem by turning the carbon from smog particles into a diamonds.

If at all such a technology is practically and economically feasible then maybe it is time for our Delhi government to explore the possibility of use of such a Technology, the pollution levels in Delhi being at its highest and one of the worst in the world.

Delhi

While the schools remain shut for three days, all constructions and demolitions have been banned for five days, as usual the center and the state government are busy leveling charges against each other as to who is to be blamed for the smog that shrouds Delhi. Whereas Delhi govt sites crop burning in Punjab as the major reason for pollution, the central govt says that 80% of the pollution is caused inside the city.

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Five small changes can secure your family’s future

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

Festive times are full of fun and frolic. These are the times when we cherish togetherness with our family, the most, and if we happen to be away from our family, we miss them the most. Just like festive celebrations, life too is incomplete without our family. From time to time, we realize that we must do everything in our capacity to secure our family’s future. Yet, we often tend to procrastinate in buying the insurance.

If we start early, with a saving as little as Rs 535 / month (18/ day), we can secure our family’s future with an Rs 1 crore life insurance cover.

Further, small lifestyle changes can help us to easily save to secure the future of our loved ones.

If you want to find out more, please read the post FIVE THINGS YOU CAN GIVE UP TO SECURE YOUR FAMILY’S FUTURE on Life11.

 

Image credit#Yehbhionline

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Celebrating Friendships with Yaaron Ki Baraat

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Celebrating Friendships with Yaaron Ki Baraat

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

The story goes back to the late seventies and eighties when gizmos and gadgets were not yet a part and parcel of our lives. That was the time when landline phones were a rarity, mobiles and laptops were unheard of, we would wait for a whole week to watch a movie on the Black and White TV, and  we met people only in person, not virtually. Friendship meant strolling around, playing on the ground, flying kites on the terrace, exchanging books and chatting with friends on topics that would never end.

Every summer, I went to Lucknow with my grandma, to visit my uncles and aunts and spend my vacations with my cousins. I don’t remember how it started, but it had become a yearly routine for a couple of years. I always looked forward to those annual trips for a number of reasons which included living for two months with a bunch of cousins, reading a whole lot of story books, gorging on ice creams, savouring papdi chaat, batasa (paanipuri/ golgappe), watching movies, gushing over our favourite stars, and sometimes even squabbling over them.

Many anecdotes of those days are still vivid in my memory and bring a smile every time I recall them.

kids-playing-summer-clipart-free-clipart-images1Image credit: https://clipartion.com

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Catwalk- A Haiku

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Catwalk- A Haiku

By Somali K Chakrabarti

catwalk

impeccable grace

perfected over nine lives

nimbly the cat walks!

.

© Somali K Chakrabarti

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I am my own Hero

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I am my own Hero

By Somali K Chakrabarti

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No means No,’ the message has been conveyed sharply and clearly in the movie ‘Pink’. Thankfully this time it has caught the fancy of viewers. The theme of gender and consent has often remained ambiguous or has been construed differently by different people, though lately we see that the message is being sent out and reinforced through plays, street art, and movies.

The above picture is of a mural at a Railway station in Chennai on the theme of Gender and Consent. Here’s is a poem based on it.

 

She emerges
from a jasmine sea
the lovely, lissome Padmini
and captivates the spunky Shivaji;
— they are the golden pair
of Tamil cinema of the yesteryear
She is dressed in vines and petals
He, in the dazzling warrior gear,
Perceiving a petite maiden,
he moves ahead to save
the damsel in distress
Into his strong arms,
he must, must
sweep her away…
With a gentle gesture of hand,
she shoves him and there she stays
Looking at him in his eyes,
she gives an assuring smile
‘I am my own hero,’
Ms Padmini says.

© Somali K Chakrabarti, 2016

 

 

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‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’ by Mick Canning

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Prejudices, biases and gender inequalities have always existed in our society, and from time to time these come to the fore front. But, when such points are raised by foreigners, there is always a risk that the writer may succumb to temptation of stereotypical or caricaturish portrayal of the characters or the culture of a country.

Making Friends with the Crocodile, written by Mick Canning is a book that highlights gender inequalities prevailing in a North Indian village. Steering clear of stereotypes, the book depicts lives of people in a normal village family, and the conditions that not only dissuade a woman from reporting an assault, but also subjugate her further by holding her responsible for it.

makingfriendswithcrocodile

Making friends with Crocodiles is available on Amazon. 

Here’s a bit about the author. Mick Canning is an Englishman, who has traveled extensively in North India, Nepal and the Middle East. Mick finely captures the essence of these places in words and in pictures in his blog that goes by his name. I have always enjoyed reading his posts on Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Sarnath, and Punjab. While I had been intending to read his book since quite some time, I managed to do so during this weekend.

In his book, Mick has delved into the mind of a middle- aged woman living in rural Bihar (I have no  idea how he managed to analyse and portray the sensitivities) and has beautifully sketched the love – hate relationship she shares with her daughter in law.

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Camel Bus – Social Innovation for desert transportation

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Camel Bus – Social Innovation for desert transportation

By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

“Innovation opens up new vistas of knowledge and new dimensions to our imagination to make everyday life more meaningful and richer in depth and content.”

~ Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

While most people know about camel rides in the deserts of Rajasthan, not many would have heard about a bus that it is driven by a camel.

The idea of the camel driven bus was conceived by a school teacher late Radhey Shyam Mishra , as a means of safely transporting students to and from school through the desert.  His friend, Mewaram Jangid, who was a skilled carpenter developed the bus in 1972, which provided an affordable solution for mass transportation in rural desert areas.

Camel Bus, Rajasthan

Seven such buses are still used to transport over 400 students to Bhanwarlal Kala Bal Mandir School in Churu, Rajasthan. According to the school principal, the school has developed a distinct identity because of the Camel bus and other schools in the area have also followed suit. Buses currently used by the school are still based on the same design.

The Camel Bus is a simple, affordable, and efficient local solution social innovation developed by creative individuals for solving a local problem.

The Center of social Innovation, Stanford Business School defines Social Innovation as:

A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.

Many times, these innovations from the informal sectors of our country remain localized. As such, their potential growth gets constrained, and the benefits are confined to a small section. To overcome this challenge and support the social change agents, volunteers of Honey Bee Network scout, spawn and sustain such frugal innovations at the grassroots level.

This instance of social innovation was spotted by the Honey Bee Network, and it was appreciated in National Innovation Forum, a body which works towards promoting creativity and social innovations at grassroots.

More examples of grassroots innovation are given in the post Frugal Innovation – bringing Grassroots creativity to the Global stage.

In the words of Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, Governing Council National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad

“The purpose of innovation is to create a new value for an individual, team, organization or for society at large.” 

 

References and Image credit:

  1. National Innovation Foundation, Rajasthan Innovates

 

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