I watched Subira’s magical bond with water in awe. I remembered how I was told that my spirit animal is a water buffalo and it seemed quite right to me, because often have the waters called me to their depths, inviting me to immerse myself quietly deeply.
Particularly though my visit to a river recently and the quiet one hour I spent in the water immersed and at peace, feeling as if my very being was being cleansed of accumulated dirt of years of misplaced guilt, misunderstood, unappreciated self seemed to be cleansed by the flowing water and her quiet grace, the blue sky looking on and the dancing bamboo listening in .
Subira’s story is the story of every woman who tries to assert herself, and discover and embrace parts of her personality that help her stay is a state of joy.
As simple as it looks, this is probably the most arduous, the most audacious of activities a young married woman could embark upon, yet, when Subira does it and is eventually accepted and even celebrated for her courage, a ray of hope rises in your heart….
We all know how this cannot be the end, the mere act of swimming is a life time achievement for Subira, it is true for so many of women out there and this has to change!
Sometime in 2014, I was working as Content Manager in a startup and was undergoing an interesting process of learning and unlearning by the day. It was challenging, yet intriguing and engaging at the same time. Two things happened, I learned to look at plumbers, electricians and beauticians with a new respect. Secondly, I was wowed by the attitude of NSDC or National Skill Development Sector and how it functioned.
During that time, I was an active toast master and a friend asked would you like to participate in a contest. I was hesitant, there is so much work at hand…on second thoughts though, I changed my mind and said, ‘Why not’. My friend, Sruthi, is a formidable speaker and she said, you give me ideas, I will create the PPT, together let’s do it’. ‘Gliteratti’ was a new format that the toastmasters had introduced and one could participate in teams. And it stuck. We had our own hilarious take on the garbage spewing habit in our country..it seemed to click. From the club, to area, to district, we rode on an invisible tight rope and won accolades until we ended up at finals.
We didn’t win at the finals, but the need to ask ‘why not’ instead of ‘why’ stayed with me.
Ask why not to life and the opportunities that come your way, and see the magic!!!
The intense story line, the centuries of inhumanity in the name of caste, the film touches a few raw nerves, knowing how caste is still a great divider in this country.
Then there is Vennila, the moon light, a girl so stubborn that she follows her dream and chases it to make them true, be it her favourite doll or her dream love.
For some reason though I am reminded of WB Yeats, Easter 1916, a poem dedicated to the Irish revolution against the British. In the poem, Yeats disparages the man who stole his lover from him and makes a general comment on the “hearts with one purpose alone….enchanted to a stone… a terrible beauty is born”
“A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
A terrible beauty is born.
Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.”
Sai Pallavi is the very incarnation of true love and Rana Daggubati impersonates the love for a philosophy that gives the right to kill, even one who is most beloved to him. Something is amiss in this film, but it is still a good watch!
While I was a happy, super confident chirpy girl in my childhood, I changed into a clumsy, quiet and unsure young adult as soon as I entered college. I had big trouble lifting my head and looking up at others. A huge blanket of shyness fell on me with such heaviness that I was convinced I must be the most stupid,incapable and unattractive person on the planet.
Compliments, if they came, made me cringe and want to hide. A part of me did see this anomaly in a person who loved the sky and dreamed of fierce independence and took to scooter riding at a time when there were few girls riding a scooter in a quaint town like Palakkad. (Well! that was the height of adventure, I could think of)
Yet, I swung between extreme feelings of inadequacies and my unsure attempts at breaking the shell somehow did not…
Years of working with young people has taught me a lesson or two in dealing with them and bringing out the best.
I have realized that the mistake we do when we interact wit young people is that we underestimate their strengths and abilities. The cascading effect of our observation and feedback on the person’s performance as an adult or a teacher leaves a long lasting impact on the individual and then the class.
What. then is the best way to go about in training or teaching?
Set the bar high, really high.
I really mean this. The last semester we had a course on Design Thinking for the students. Students were supposed to work on projects of their choice in groups of 6-10. As the groups set out to work, I said, ‘This very classroom in which you are seated now, has witnessed some very good presentations by your seniors. In fact, there were times when I was propelled to my feet out of sheer enthusiasm generated by the excellence of the presenter. I am sure you can do that too maybe even try and out do your seniors.’
As the days went by and it was time for evaluation, I was more than impressed when the students carried a huge apparatus to the classroom. They had been working on it for weeks together, they said. They met after class hours, pulling themselves out of their comfort zones to bring out a miracle.
I was staggered in surprise and shock and was absolutely speechless.
What could I say to such ingenuity, to such a show of sheer grit and hard work?
As the students carried the working model of a car to the class, they said that everyone on the corridor wanted to know what is that really?
It made them feel proud they said.
You really pushed us to outdo ourselves, mam, they said simply.
Surely, it was not me but their team spirit and enthusiasm that won the day so much that I was compelled to propose the idea of hosting an exhibition of Design Thinking and Team Building and the enthusiasm it created in the student community, re-emphasized to my mind the thought that the higher you aim, the higher you fly.
To the sheer strength of spirit and joy of creative inquiry, three cheers!!!