Utopian Space

Free citizen of this planet


This was the first movie for this year On Screen. I hardly enjoy movies on TV and laptops.  it was planned to go for this movei in a day’s time and the fun was that we  (sathya & me ) also took along Jinna with us. Jinna who has been always caught in the vagaries of work was today  almost abducted by us and till we reached theater he had no clue of what we both were upto!

He seemed to have broken his 20 year old refrain!!!

Now the movie I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and especially the subtlety with which serious turns of the movie are handled.

Kangana acted very well and pace of the story was just right. I was thinking it would be a good self check movie especially the youngsters in relationship. Curious to meet some of them to know how they think about such movies.

The most modern and open view in the movie was of the most eldest member the grandma who was just chakaas.

Enjoyed watching it with Sathya & Jinna.

2014-03-27 19.46.04








Let’s see what we can DO to prevent sexual assault against women

When we in India are everyday having news papers glaring incidents of sexual violence against women at both public and private places, we are still sitting on the fence trying to find the best bet to lay the blame. and of course the easiest being the “changing times/society” and of course the women themselves. This video shows how in Egypt when everything was in chaos and doldrums the issue of violence against women was not pushed down the ladder of priority but addressed in one of the best ways possible.
Egyptian women as we see through the media are not scantily dressed on the contrary even wear hijab. Let us be brave and keep our conscience in place to be able to understand this issue and deal with it like wise.
Very few approaches give the perpetrator a chance for correction,, unlike the Sexual Health Intervention Project in which I feel privileged of being a member. In Egypt, the Red Line members also take a similar approach of dealing the doer ( perpetrator) with the same humane approach as the undergoer(victim). They advocate not to have any capital punishment for the doer,but provide opportunity for correcting himself.

Jerk, Jew, Jesus

In the ninth class of Catechism I just had one student this year who was studying the portions by herself except for the Church History and the Liturgy sections  In her first call on Order of Liturgy, I shared with her some highlight presentation which according to me gives a clear layout out of the chapter. the first line in the first slide is Background – which states that the Origin of the order is from Latin, Syriac and Chaldean practices. To this I asked a fairly simple question to her- what was the place Jesus and all those before him went to and who were they- Christians? She was so perplexed that she might have even forgotten what was her name. Well I somehow tried to continue the discussion with her who is supposedly a studious student and then call it a day.

Coming home I wanted to check  if these questions were as basic as I thought or not. Ofcourse i try it with Manav and Pranav. They tell me that Jesus went to temple and not church which on probing a bit was termed as synagogue. Now thought the next question will obviously be easy, so I asked who was Jesus a Christian. The immediate response by Pranav was no he was not a Christian, but he was a jerk!!!!!

Believe it or not!!! It took me by complete surprise and wanted to burst out laughing which would have offended him a lot. SO I had to gulp it down and tell that ,”well its true that Jesus was a jerk in many sense, but he was a Jew.” to this he had a big Aha recall and said well that’s what he meant.


Moments which caught attention

Thanks to my friend Meera who insists to write and record all these priceless moments of Pranav and Manav, for posterity!!!

Just a couple of stories with time

Manav- I had shared in one of my previous post that he has not been very fond of writing and well it still continues in UKG. So as Biju and me go to the PTM for the midterm “exam” of is, he grumbles as always that he hates his Asha mam. As it was our turn to meet her, she looks at Manav with a  very meaningful “hey i caught you’ look and calling him with a meaningful tone, “Hey Manav come, come come…”

Well he had not done too bad, but his mam expects him to do better. After his academics she shared with us an incident which occurred few days back. There was a new student Yuvraj to their class who was welcomed and introduced to them by the teacher. Manav responds to this with his eyes down and palms open and spread out, “Well Yuvraj welcome to DMCS,” in a boring, low tone, which according to Asha mam sounded like welcome home you – one more bakra.!!!!

To this background I thought it was appropriate to tell her that he seems to be hating you. She ,though not sounding very surprised asked “Well Manav I thought you love me?” and there retorts Manav,”Mam not only me, but all of us hate you.” This took her aback a bit and asked inquiringly why do you think so,” Well because you make us write.”


My first month at APF

First monthly meeting                                                                                                       22. X. 2012

Hi Friends,

I am Thangam George, joined APF , Karnataka SI, as RP with C&E on 10th Sep,2012 is what I thought, till I read my Welcome poster at the SJP office to know that the SI was referred broadly as FI. Later was  given the LT (laptop),DC( data card), a B(bouquet)and then taken around in circles to meet each one present with a string of names being quizzed at you and to find oneself already in a rote mode of me, myself and what. Later it was brought to one’s attention the need to prove your fitness – by not a small bargain but by giving your B(blood) & U(urine) or in Hindi – apna khoon aur pishaab deney key baad, at the Apollo’s.

Later the 2nd day, at SI was getting to know one’s Dharmabhoomi….more. Having a very warm welcome with a handful of persons present and the leader, the day was more spent on getting across various documents. Well since that day till now I have been tossing  and juggling with MDPs,ELDFs,ELDP,CDHD,CSLDP coupled with DSERT,DIET,SSA with equal number of BRCs, CRCs, BRPs,CRPs. Then, I attended a series of meetings that whole week which was very beneficial. To know about the Leaders meet of the RRIs and the QIPs presentations in the Innovative Workshop with ATI, and then the narratives of the SLDFs Meanwhile I also learnt about the young DI , Yadgir and its vibrant activities. Then I discovered about the CEP,NS and NS+.I was left wondering the connections between IMF(International Monetary Fund) and education. To defend my ignorance I did not challenge it upfront, adding to still another battle in my head. Though, at no point did anyone make me feel that I don’t get the hang of it Each one would empathize and build my confidence by saying well give time to yourself , you will understand – which I realize is the only way out.

To find one’s sanity in this new world, I grabbed the opportunity to some familiar territory- being part of Ngo Mela. Some gyaan dawned when the Induction was done for one week with still another 20 alike me, making me feel quite good about my cluelessness in this maze. In Peterpan, one comes across Never never land, reaching APU by 8.45 am  was almost similar experience it almost felt like a journey to the Never never land(a place where children never grow up). Knowing about the work APU is into, gave a glimpse into the promising future of children.

Later I attended the DIET lecturers Capacity Building Program. I was completely knocked out by the ELDP series 1,2,3 and to know that there are co devs which  involves the same stalwarts leading these programs. At the DIET training I was confronted by one person asking who I was and stating that he has never seen me in SI so far. I thought to myself the same about him. Hesitatingly I then asked about who all are in SI, though the Peepul tree’ who’s who’ does tell me about it.  Today I hope most of the people of SI are here than the obvious ones whom I already know.

Though till now I reflected on lighter vein, I am once again convinced that man proposes and God disposes. Each event in the course of life is done in His time. Been in the dev sector for so many long years, the conviction to work with government is fulfilled now bringing me to this place to give my best possible effort in this mission. Last, but not the least, hats off to all the members here at SI and all those whom I interacted so far from DI, Foundation and APU. It is like the B (bouquet) given on day one – each one with different colours, vibrancies and fragrance spreading the same for each one. I am happy to be here. I want to conclude my train of thoughts by sharing few lines from Khalil Gibran’s Children

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
Khalil Gibran

Money, power and gender

I had gone shopping by myself to Commercial street and usually getting an auto to come back once its past 7pm is a horrendous challenge. So I started walking towards the direction where autos pass by.I heard two women, few years older to me,calling out to a auto driver (the name of the place they asked is close to home), So I was game to share the auto with them. Well they haggled with the driver for Rs.X to the point that they will go and I agreed to pay for the distance furhter. So it was all agreed. We sit in the auto and one of the ladies who looked elderly among them started the calcualtion of Rs.X to be equally divided amongst  3 of us.As they both were getting off at different points, she further wanted to divide the fares accordingly among them. Then I was told that I will have to pay Rs.X/3. I agreed (though I thought it was understood when the journey started).This whole exercise took about 15 minutes. 

But after about five minute the same lady started doing the calculation once again,as she was afraid that it should not be so that I get to pay lesser than them. I don’t know what  prompted her to feel so and she started her calculations all over again, this time with the driver also being involved.This really blew me off. More so because she was talking in Kannada presuming I don’t understand. So I just retorted back almost nastily that if she feels being ripped off paying Rs.X/3,  I would not mind paying Rs.X and they could take this as a free ride.

The response I got from this lady astonished me to the core and I felt hurt within me. She turned towards me and said in a very low and composed and concerned voice,”Well for you it is possible to pay Rs.X or Rs X/3, because you earn. But for me, I have to show an account for each paise that I spend”…(to perhaps her husband or mother-in-law or son..)

A million thoughts rioted my mind that moment-

  • about the fact that she analysed that I was a working woman,
  • the individual freedom to decide,spend, move around and so on.
  • how many women are there like her who account their lives to some one . 
  • their share of happiness, sorrow,tears, laughter seems accounted.

How much more privileged I am to have the freedom of thought, desire, expression. How education,  and upbringing can shape personalities, Issues which look frivolous to us is so daunting to others and vice-versa. 

Voyage through rough waters

I recollect the time 1991, when I was struggling with my academics in college and I decided to change my entire degree course. That was the time when I think I heard to the little voice within and it was pure and clear. And I followed that gut feeling.

However what enabled me to muster courage to do so where the significant people in my life. i don’t know if they even rememebr it as soemhting so important , but even today when I pause to look back I fel blessed to have such people in the course of life. It was a delicate phase of life and I am glad I passed through it with all the buoys I found in my family and friends. I will always remain indebted to them.

My sister, mother and Achahen (who gave silent support), my friends – can’t skip Manoj Pillai – for the encouragement he gave to study Sociology. All my school and college classmates who neer let me feel left out or let me down. And one family I will never ever forget – Verma mam and Uncle for giving me the moral support and courage and make me believe in myself.

At that point, my guilt was so high that if any one would ask what I did, I will give a preface of how I changed my course. It was later, one of my friends who pointed it out to me that- hey why are you confessing to every one that you have changed the course! How troubled I was as I wasn’t sure that it will in the long run just be fine.

All I can do as my gesture of gratitude is try to be supportive to any kid who struggles through this phase of life.I don’t shy away from any chance to share this story of failure and the courage to face it with chin held high all along since then. I salute all the significant people who were with me those times for their wisdom to value a person than to the degree he /she would get from any institute.


Quick peek into 2011

Quick look back  on 2011 the highlights I can think of without much stress or press on my memory

Theater of the Oppressed Workshop

Losing a mobile 

Pranav changing to new school

Driving to Kerala

Saumya’s wedding a huge family get together. First wedding where me and Neena were attending together(except my wedding)

Cyril’s wedding at Baroda meeting all church members!!!

Meeting old friends and neighbors at Baroda

Having my sinus operation

Starting on BP pills

Manav improving his crying spells(decreasing)

Pranav’s first official piano recital

Manav started with piano lessons

Completing home loan -kudos Biju

Getting my License for Car

Organising training at Mumbai 

Seeing the Himalayas for the FIRST time

Travelling to Nepal

Reading interesting book Skunk Girl -Sheba Karim

Watching the Malayalam movie  ‘ Salt n pepper’

Attending  Harsh Mander’s Lecture

Becoming God mother to Joanna!!!!

Cooking biryani on wood stove

Finding Latha, Bhavna, Sudha Rao Sumana, and many other friends from Refinery on facebook!

Met with college mates in Mumbai!

Affinity to school

Manav to begin with is a strong headed person (4yrs old) – both in literal sense and in thinking. To convince him to change his stand is a futile task. He is high energy and his train of thought is fast and clearer than he can express or explain which makes him agitated, oft  times. So the only way out is to ACT, which usually takes the other person, by surprise.

Whether he is determined or stubborn – I am unable to decide, he gets things  his way for sure. Its entirely his own rules to his game. Quiet tough , at times I feel he is a big person wanting to be part of the adult world( for what reason, I don’t know) but is trapped in this little body!

Throughout his LKG he has not been very amused about school especially with writing set in. Well he likes to work on letters and numbers only until he figures them out. Once he knows them, he thinks its such a  bad idea to repeatedly write them.

Few weeks back as is  his routine to ask each morning before getting out of the bed – if its a holiday. Well most of the week the day starts with wailing and crying as all days are not holiday. The only respite is on Saturday and Sunday-but for church ). On a holiday he wakes up  asking usual question is  – Is it holiday today?  “Yes” , I answer and then the second question- Is there church today? and I say No. This response brought a relieved but still skeptical look on his face. His happiness knows no bounds, but is unsure if such a REAL good  morning is POSSIBLE!

Yet another weekend he had homework to write Aa to Vv. He hates repetition. So having done lot of fun and masti the previous evening I tried to buy him the idea that he needs to finish his work in the morninig.  Having understood that I am not letting him his way, he sits with the notebook and starts to cry and talk with himself.

“Dumbo, oh this ma’am, she is so dumbo , always asking to write A to V . As if there is no1,2,3.”  Then he loudly rattles off A to Z and then wonders why he has to write only till V. He says to himself aloud “What a dumbo she is, always asking to write A to V”.

In Malayalam, one  could say  – avan palliyum venda pallikudavum venda! (he is not fond of either school nor church)

Homework missing!

This year blogging has been poor. Not dearth of thoughts but ofcourse time.

I have had the practise of sharing the daily children’s activities with my colleagues. There are always eager audience for this. On hearing the lil stories, they always tell me to write it down as with time  I would forget it and such fun would be missed.

So I take the time to jot down the most funny incident which happened in recent past. Pranav changed his school and joined Manav. He seems to have liked the new school and the overall set up. But in few weeks time he again started missing to complete his dairy. One day on asking he said there is no HW, but later recalled some task given by his mam. I looked into to his diary and was puzzled that nothing was written for the day. On asking him he came running to his study table, took the diary and scanned through the pages and started shaking it saying”Well I had written it and where has it gone?” as if the letters would have hidden themselves in the pages. By then I lost my temper, but the friend to whom I shared this rolled in laughter. I thought to myself I wish I could also laugh it away as these were precious moments.

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