All posts tagged: India

5 point someone – a farmer’s take on life, work and economics

“Kaka, ek pose dijiye na photo ke liye” (Uncle, please give me a good pose for the photograph) “Suicide wala pose du kya?” (Should I give the suicide pose) The humour is dark in Vidarbha. As the temperature soars to 48 degree Celsius, farmers joke about death, depression and the shadow of unpaid debts, which comes lurking with extreme weather changes leading to a possible crop loss. Everytime, I visit our farmer groups in Vidarbha, I come back with unheard stories and turbulence in my mind. I spent last three days in Akola and it’s nearby villages, where Happy Roots along with farmers and Chetana Organics, has been working on a crop demonstration project. The heat was unbearable. The dark tanned faces of farmers with patches of red, told a story of their everyday battle with the sun and their undeterred spirit to fight for survival. This visit has raised my respect for Vidarbha farmers to a whole new level. Their view points on life, work and economics of their ecosystem made me write this blog …

Are we losing our culture and history through our food? This new year know what you eat & what comes to your plate

Food bears a different meaning for each one of us. Celebration, community, comfort, happiness, sharing, culture is some of the broader symbolization or spirit of our food. In the past several years or even since the time we grew up as adults (especially if you are a 70’s or 80’s kid) there has been a transformation in what we eat, how we eat and where we eat. While we see some noticeable and some barely noticeable changes in our food patterns, somewhere back in the areas where our food grows, probably an entire generation of food is becoming history. Did you know that as per environmentalists there were more than 100,000 varieties of rice that existed in India once, now there are only 50. This might help you visualize it better; few years back Basmati rice was a luxury in my house back in Gujarat. During festivals or celebrations, my mother would get this special bag of Basmati rice from the nearby grocery. As a middle-class household we used to find it quite expensive and hence …

Soul Talk

My writing today is inspired from current events in the country and personal inspiration, things or behaviors i see in my surroundings or the social circle i live in. With the recent evocation of Section 377 (Criminalizing homosexuality) by the Indian Supreme Court there have been protests and several questions raised. It makes me think that not just our sexual orientation, but several such unspoken laws or law of the land exist in our society. Who decides what is right or what is wrong? Are we empowered or wise enough to  judge a person’s story? Why we should be ruled by a set norm or behaviors when we don’t mean harm to another? There is a lot of grey and hardly any black and white. And so is my poetry: List of maneuvered words, gestures of hidden intentions; Expectations of a cast stereotype, Behavior that suit the minds. An unspoken definition of all things nature An unseen line that binds body and mind; An inch of aberration has swaying tongues and rolling eyes, You shall …

Bound by practice

Surnames are funny. And I like the mystery and confusion attached to them. I don’t know when it all originated, but as a child one day I started associating surnames to regions. “Sathe” has to be from Maharashtra, “Sharma” from North, either Delhi or UP, “Shah” from Gujarat. Yes, that’s how I recognized and compartmentalized people. To some extent it worked but the confusion and mystery (like a thriller story) begun when I asked someone with a surname “Pathak”, if he hailed from Maharashtra. He said, “Uh no, MP (Madhya Pradesh)”. “What??!!!!”, Was my expression. Pieces of my brain shattered like a vase of glass and I could hear them scatter loud and clear. I could not breathe, my logic on which I survived to identify the human race was questioned, I was proved wrong. Like a heartbroken lover, I asked myself “how on earth would I now recognize people” “how would i know their roots”, “how would i even start a conversation”,  “God, is there even a logic that exists in this world apart …

Brand Connection

I believe that there exists at least one brand that has the same place in our life as our habits. This brand(s) becomes so indispensable that at times the real product name is replaced by this brand name! It could be a toothpaste, bottled water, cookies, phone anything. I have a similar brand connection with – AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited). AMUL is basically a farmer’s association based in the State of Gujarat, India. The brand has a beautiful, humble story which can be read here. I almost become teary eyed as i talk about AMUL. I have lived with this name for 30 years. This brand for me and for lacs of Indians (i think i am pretty sure about this number) is synonymous to Butter, Milk, Yogurt and all things Dairy. This picture has an equally beautiful story as the brand. I clicked this picture when i visited the campus of AMUL this summer. Several villagers in Gujarat (in the western part of India) every day travel to AMUL milk collection centers loacted …