A to Z challenge, AZ, Parenthood

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Baby Brands & Stuff Every FTM Can Benefit From

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I have been thinking of doing an A-Z of all the baby brands I love and I didn’t realize there was an April challenge already for this. Thanks MommyingBabyT for posting about it. If you are wondering, if I’d have enough to write from about the 26 letters, trust me it isn’t hard at all, given the plethora of brands out there.I’m bound to write about more than one item for each alphabet.

SO this is what I intend to do:

💬 Talk about the ‘Nice-to-Haves’ / ‘Essentials’ for parents, because seriously all the baby needs is just you. But YOU, ma’m / sire, will need a lot of support in raising your little human and many of these brands and things I post on my A-Z can help you in this parenting journey. There will be tiny focus on India based brands and a lot more focus on SMB, because the thrifty me likes shopping at SMBs. 😉

Coincidentally, my son’s initials are AZ , so I MUST DO THIS! ❤

 

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AZ, Parenthood

Purple Bee: The purple cow of activity boxes?

I don’t know if the name was inspired from Seth Godin’s ‘Purple Cow‘ but you had me there. 🙂

Purple Bee makes activity kits for children of parents, who don’t really have a lot of time or energy to put together structured learning opportunities for their kids. I’m a huge believer in the effects of unstructured play and in how boredom is awesome for the little ones because letting kids explore things on their own is perfect. I’m also an equal believer in structured learning and a healthy balance between the two. Which is better – fruits or veggies?  Structured play or unstructured? A healthy balance of the two.

Full Disclosure: This is not a paid review. I was lucky to win The Sound of Music kit in one of their giveaways. Winning giveaways is such an awesome thing, I know, and is sweeter when its about products you are so much into. Unrelated note: The Sound of Music was the earliest movie I remember watching at home with my parents (for someone who never watches movies with parents). I LOVE every.single.song and probably have watched it a million times and hummed ‘Favorite things’ every time I opened a brown paper wrapped package or heard thunder or see raindrops on roses…  like a zillion times. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to it right now. I wonder if my LO’s generation would like such movies – my guess is – No. let’s see. I digress.

Back to my purple bee kit and the activities it contained. The set of 6 activities came in a sturdy, colorful box. Each activity was contained in a separate folder with instructions.

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Tambourine craft: Kids paint, stick glitter stickers and make a colorful tambourine craft. A well thought of kit, this one is – complete with glue and paint and brush.<3

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I SPY board game: The game comes with 50 instrument cards and a board. AZ had much fun identifying the little instruments he knew.

Clapping clown puppet: The kids make a clapping clown paper puppet

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Music fun doodle: Color a Music themed doodle that can be sent as postcard.

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Story cards: Set of 25 laminated Music themed story cards. Kids pick up cards and come up their own stories based on the picture on the cards or parents can narrate stories to their kids. Improves creativity, vocabulary and communication.

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Worksheets: A set of 20 worksheets to help you quickly engage your kids. Sheets are based on music theme and focuses on various skills like math, language, motor skills.

So far, we have used the I spy game board, the story cards and clapping puppet. As AZ is not 2 yet, the kit has been used quite minimally – but I’m pretty sure we’ll be reaching out to book more of these themed boxes when he is bigger and can have the max utilization out of these. The box says it is appropriate for ages 3-7, but I think it’s could be suitable for a little earlier than that as well. Be led by your child 🙂 I will update this blog again, when we re do some of the activities.

Pros:

  1. Easy to put together an activity for time constrained parents – I could have an activity started in no time at all, since it’s all organised so well.
  2. The common thread that connects all the activities lends itself to deep diving into topics that interest the child – in this case ‘music’.
  3. The ability to reuse the given activities in different ways –  For eg.,. using the flash cards to play a memory game and such.
  4. Easy on the pocket. It is priced at 990 rupees. You can get it for lower if you take a subscription.

 

If you are looking for a support group for early learning and parenting, join Early years – A parenting lounge, a group run by the Purple Bee folks which shares very helpful tips and introduces you to a whole world of things like konamari et al.

Kids learn different things from structured and unstructured play. Make sure they have lots of opportunities to do both! For the former, you know where to go. 🙂

AZ

DIY Birthday Chalkboard Poster Using MS PowerPoint

Yep, you read that right. Totally doable. All in under 45 minutes if you have the info and everything ready at hand and a napping baby.

Chalkboard AZ
We had a Nautical themed celebration.

You will need:

1.MS powerpoint
2.Background image
3.Fonts & dingbat
Use any high res chalkboard background. I used this one.

Powerup your PowerPoint.change the slide size. Start with 16″ x 20″ portrait to give you a nice sized poster. Go to the Design tab and choose format background. Insert your chalkboard image. If the chalkboard looks too perfect, you can rough it up a bit by changing the transparency, adding an artistic effect, or change its Brightness Preset. Experiment, you can really change it to your own personal taste.

Paste the image on the slide

Now, begin inserting text boxes. Use the boxes to add your fonts and dingbats. This is the time to go overboard and fill it with all kinds of silly objects. Just remember to leave a generous border of background around the outer edge.

Capture

Here’s a list of fonts I used:
http://www.dafont.com/sandwich-paper.font
http://www.dafont.com/clementine-sketch.font
http://www.dafont.com/return-to-sender.font
http://kevinandamanda.com/…/fontsforpeas/pea-ellie-bellie/
http://www.dafont.com/a-song-for-jennifer.font
http://www.dafont.com/chalk-line-outline.font
http://www.dafont.com/made-with-b.font

Dingbats:
http://www.dafont.com/bergamot-ornaments.font
http://www.dafont.com/sleep-on-the-moon.font
http://www.dafont.com/go-around-the-books-arrows.font
http://www.dafont.com/under.font
http://www.dafont.com/adhesive-nr-seven.font

dingbats
Dingbats

Pro Tip: Use a deck with all the dingbats to copy from and it will be easier.

Final Step:  Save it as a pic(.png works best) and give it to a printer and print. You can frame it after that if you like.

PS: Here’s a pic of my chalkboard with all those elements 😀

Believe me – It only looks scary. Such a breeze. Let me know if you tried this for your LO’ party! Do share pics in comments 🙂

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AZ, cloth diapering, Uncategorized

Charlie Banana #FTW – A pool lover’s review

If you know me or follow my Instagram posts, you’d know by now that we almost exclusively cloth diaper Baby AZ and how much I love modern day cloth diapers and can’t get enough of it!  Yep, cloth diapering is addictive and is a really great way to save on baby diapering costs, save the environment and much more [More on that some other day]. It is, therefore, a no-brainer that I was super thrilled to receive a Charlie Banana swim diaper for review from Chicbum.com.

Look how cute the packaging is…almost as if they were thinking ” D’oh! A baby’s bottom is exactly where it should be. So we should put it there – paper or for real” I digress.

According to me the nicest thing about this diaper is that it can be used as a swim diaper AND training pants when you’re potty training the baby. Talk about value for money!

PROS:

  • Let me start with the fit – it’s PERFECT.  Just follow the weight guide on Charlie Banana’s website and order the corresponding size. I have a 11 kg baby and size L was, like Goldilocks would say, JUST RIGHT.
  • Really soft organic cotton and elastics that don’t leave marks – what’s not to love there.
  • A drawstring that helps secure the diaper so it is leak-proof in case of poopxplosions. I’m grateful that there has been none of this poop business in the pool so far. *hitting wood hard*
  • Really cute, stunning  prints – Not just mine, but the entire range is so pwetty! Head turner for sure! ❤
  • The dual purpose – Unlike my other swim diapers (which don’t have an insert, and therefore will definitely not absorb as well) this one can be used for both potty training and as swim diapers. Good investment hence.

CONS:

  • Owing to the insert being there, there would be a bit of diaper heaviness, but it dint hamper movement in any way. IMHO the insert being there is a good thing and meant I didn’t have to worry much that the poopxplosions may fall out. I had hope it would absorb enough, until I could quickly pull him out of the pool. Not much of a ‘con’ bullet, no? I know – It’s really a well thought of diaper design!

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Can you see how trim it is after being in water for quite long?

It’s called the EXTRAORDINARY swim diaper for a reason, yo! Here’s a whole bunch of action shots of the diaper and a 18 month old enjoying his summer pool time. Let me know your comments, questions etc.,. I look forward to them. 🙂

Here’s where you can buy them, if you are in India:

ChicBum – Charlie Banana 

Care Instructions

Facebook page

If you’re elsewhere, there are so many retailers worldwide; visit Charlie Banana’s store locator

💙⚓️💙⚓️💙⚓️💙 SUMMER IS COMING! Well this is what excites us most about summer time – long pool time and beach time, summery food like nongu, tender coconuts, melons and icecreams without guilt. 🌞🏊🏄🎣🍉🍇🍍🍦🍨🍧 The morning swim, also one of AZ’s first structured #swimlesson (if I can say so myself;)) was really fun with this apartment buddy who was great company! Appa gave instructions well and AZ had fun testing the waters and moving his limbs in action. Good start, I guess! 🏊 #OTB : @CharlieBanana #swimdiaper from @ChicBum . This deserves a mention as it helped a not yet potty-trained little to ride the waves.😄 trim and absorbent, And truly a Sight to behold- a head-turner print. Had people walking up to say ‘that is one cute swimwear’. I agree 💙🏊🏊🏊🏊🏊🏊⚓️💙💙

A post shared by Gracelyne (@g33fy) on Mar 18, 2017 at 5:17am PDT

 

AZ, Parenthood, Uncategorized

Hello! Have you missed me?

Been a long while since you heard from me, hasn’t it?

I have such an exciting life now – with being a mom to an adorable 18 month old. Life couldn’t be more “happening” than it is now, or the minute after now, if you get what I mean.

Child birth has been a life-changer. I wanted to post some thoughts and tips here for FTM (First Time Moms – yes, there’s a whole lot of acronyms once you’ve familiarized yourself with mommy clubs) 😉

It’s almost 1 PM here, and a saturday night. I HAVE to go. but first let me resurrect my blog. 🙂

 

Happy reading.

PS: I’ve really taken to instagram and all this while that has been my primary micro-blog.

Follow me there if you will. instagram.com/g33fy

instagr

Jagriti Yatra, Travel

Jagriti Yatra 2011 : Life on rails.

Disclaimer : The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jagriti Sewa Sansthan (a not-for-profit organisation).As its name suggests, Jagriti Yatra or “awakening journey”, seeks to facilitate an awakening among the youth of India by exposing them to exceptional models of social and business enterprise. The operative word is facilitation. For those of you who wanna know more about Jagriti Yatra, plis to click here or HERE (#shamlessblogplug Open-mouthed smile ).

This post may not do full justice to the enthrallment experienced as I’m penning this down, after nearly 4 months of the trip. I shall intersperse this documentation of mine with tweets and pictures to make it less boring, hopefully. Smile 

Somebody asked me on the yatra , “What’s your reason for coming on this trip?” There are many… #1 being, getting to visit parts of India I’ve never been to. yeah the wanderlust.. #2 Getting to meet and interact with diverse people from various parts of the country and the world. #3 Maybe I wanna startup at some point of time in my life and I need inspiration. #4 People say its a “life-changing”  experience. I wanna see if that’s true.

Prior to the yatradventure  I got a lot of this : “So you’re going on an yatra. When did u get so religious?” If you’re one of those that asked me this, or post the trip asked me what the concept of JY is, this post is dedicated to you. The Jagriti Yatra is not a joy ride. It is an adventure for which one needs to be mentally and physically prepared. Weeks before the journey we got this email from the team asking us to be physically and mentally fit. That did scare me a little, I admit. “The schedule is busy, the journey will be physically and intellectually challenging and we want you to be in top form to make the most of it. So for the next few weeks, please exercise regularly, eat properly, sleep well and spend some time in thinking about what you want to get out of this journey.”

The adventure of 9000 kms, 400 bright Yatris, 40 experienced facilitators, 20 inspiring role models, 15 days, 13 cities and 1 Train in a country called India was all set to begin on Christmas Eve.

Dec 22 / 21:00 hours / Chennai Domestic Airport

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After finishing a few of my term exams , I rushed to the Chennai airport to fly to Mumbai, the starting point of the journey. I take out my travel journal and send a tweet to @jagritiyatra to be pleasantly surprised to receive a reply. *warm feeling*I like them already. Smile My first air trip was not hassle-free. After a delayed flight, I arrived late at Mumbai and  received a warm welcome from my childhood best friend, Kanya, way past bedtime. I also met Deepti Bhat, my first yatri pal at the airport and together we headed to Thane to Kanya’s place and crashed straight into bed. 

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Dec 23 / 23:30 / Twinkle Apartments, Thane: (Day 0)

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The three of us toured the city and went to a whole lotta places : Jehangir Art Gallery, CSMVS museum, Gateway of India (It was somewhere near this place, that I had the BEST cheese sandwich of my life. *drool*) , Colaba, Juhu beach, Marine drive, fed the overfed pigeons , had authentic street food , vada pav and all that. Yumm!

 Red heart Mumbai – Instant Liking! Thumbs up

 

 

Dec 24/ 23:00 + / Kurla Station : (Day 1)

A move to new home for 15 days!Arrived at IIT Bombay 9.30 ish and registered and went through the formalities like medical checkup, receiving JY kits etc. The networking has begun already. I took an instant liking to almost all of them (of course we were all in our best behaviors that day), notable few being Debariti Rakshit , Pallavi and  Karishma Kotwani, who’s also my facilitator. We had an amazing induction where we we given a headsup about what’s in store for all of us. There were also celebrities like the TZP famous lyricist Prasoon Joshi and Tufi who did a brilliant imitation of the train wheels on his instrument – what was that called, again?

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Great food, great people, great fun & its not even started yet! At Kurla station waiting for the train to come (little did I foresee that this was gonna be such a logistical marvel) donning my Santa cap. PrincessAs x’masy as can be! *missing x’mas @ home a little*

 

Dec 25/ 23:00 + / AC Chair Car : (Day 2)

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Making a home out of a train’s boogie is whats happening here.#jagritiyatrs dec 25

My first Christmas without family, the traditional dinner and caroling at church. #2011 Merry christmas guys 🙂 #fb

This one’s ripped straight off my travel journal (no editing here) : “ We had an awesome ‘Lifeline’ compartment exercise that’s gotten me thinking way back into the past. Many li’l regrets there. So in Red heart with the facilitator. I guess I’m an easily impressionable person..so at the end of the yatra you’ll probably see a very confused me or a totally nirvana’d me! Only time will tell Open-mouthed smile

We sung Christmas carols and Boy was that fun! Food here’s really awesome. Had some sweet ‘poora’, chawal, dal, salads and stuff and an apple. Hope I don’t get fatter than before. (Alas , I did! :/ )

Met most of the tweeters, bloggers on board. Learnt to spell my name in Korean from Amy. Regret not taking proper Hindi classes in school. I, however, am able to follow most conversations! (surprisingly! yay)

Day 2 of #Jagritiyatra. Perspectives’ enriched! Meeting soooooooooooo many different people! Big day tomo, first role model visit! Nighty night.

 

Dec 26/ 23:00 + / AC Chair Car : (Day 3 SELCO, Hubli)

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image At Dharwar, near Hubli. Forced out of bed at 5.30 AM. Crow bath. At university of agricultural sciences for listening to the SELCO executives.

SELCO has lit peoples’ lives by making electricity more stable. It is a profit-oriented model with a social objective. SELCO set up small stand-alone solar panels across rural Karnataka, while providing training and financing options. They aim at being a Business Model that can be replicated. A lot of street vendors and students have benefitted from this. It opened doors for ecological, social and profitable sustainability; all possible, after all.

Chandragiri village visit. Tamil yatri meet! Open-mouthed smile Kolaveri song breakout. Blogging dreams crushed. Overcrowded AC chair cars Sad smile 

 

I’ve always wanted to lead life in a trailer like the wild thornberrys. This experience is quite close. #jagritiyatra

Dec 27/ 23:00 + / AC Chair Car : (Day 4 Infosys, Bengaluru):

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As I sit there in the beautiful Infosys campus, I’m amazed by everything around me :the discipline, the energy , and also the stationary WCs and what a few days on a moving habitation could do to you. Overheard , as we entered the banquet hall: “Are we in heaven?”  Verily I say unto you, that yatri was not exaggerating one bit. (well maybe a little.but that’s all.)   The humble and modest attitude of Mr. Narayana Murthy was what inspired me the most, this day.

Dec 28/ 22:30 + / Coupe 15/7 , On the way to AP : (Day 5 Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai)

JY 213 (6)

At Madurai today!! No roaming charges! Party smileCall me A few lovey-doveys seen flitting around. *bleagh*

imageAravind Eye Hospital, an institution I had not bothered to get to know before, now swept me off , after the screening of the ‘Infinite Vision’ documentary.

Dr.V. had 1 dream – To eradicate Needless Blindness. He started Aravind in 1976 when he was 58, an age when most people retire from work life. Set up by Dr. Venkataswamy post-retirement, this effort exposed us to the fact that, at all ages, passion can remain the same. “It is ourselves we help, ourselves we heal”, he said and he is one who has stepped across boundaries and disabilities to have created this. Organizational ethics plays a vital role in keeping this hospital as divine as the Meenakshi Temple.

 

Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful.- Dr. venkatsamy #jagritiyatra

JY 213 (22)

More waiting for the train. Madurai platform ‘s overpowered by the yatris!Ninja

Dozed off during the AC chair car presentation ,later on.  If I were any more T.I.R.E.D, I’d die of it I guess.

 

Dec 29/ 22:30 + / Coupe 15/7 , On the way to AP : (Day 6  Chennai – Kacheepuram)

JY 244 (4)

Course of the train altered, because of that cyclone Irene. No Dakshin Chitra for us. Sad smile 

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Met Gouthami of Travel Another India ,who gave many new insights into the tourism sector — a place with high demand and high supply, but coordinating both is the issue. As final advice, she stated, “Having tie ups does not mean that you give in to competition, rather it advertises that your organisation can collaborate in this selfish big bad world!” Next, a Panel Discussion about ‘Enabling rural and agro enterprises’

I joined Team Disha , the crowd management team that gave direction to the rest of us.Ooh red ribbon and a whistle.

Turns out I’m not this person I thought I was,maybe because  I’m pitted against the best of the best from across the nation and the world. Maybe not. This is a not a journey of India. Its one of discovering myself, who I really am.

 

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Dec 30/ 22:30 + / Vizag railway station: (Day 7 Naandi, Visakhapatnam)

JY 246 (13)

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As a public-private partnership, this organisation has provided the midday meals for a million school-goers. Bureaucratic ways were debated and the final conclusion was, “When we serve with a good heart, a lot more such people come to hold our hands”. We took time off that evening to understand the psyche of the navy force; our visit to the Navy Dockyard added the patriotic flavour that we needed. Boy was that amazing!! *Jai Ho*

 

 

 

JY Geet - Vizag's naval dockyard

Just so you know I’m in a really lousy mood today. Surrounded by soo many people, yet a lonely night. That ebb Gauri predicted on Day 1 is finally here! By and large , I somehow think that the purpose of the trip is defeated looking at a few things that are happening around me – kitty parties, romances, gossips galore. They’re only human. *Add more fuel to flame* More ebbing.

Dec 31/ 22:00  / Coupe 15/7 : (Day 8 Gram Vikas, Bhubaneshwar)

Today is cohort M & N’s big day. We were assigned to study Gram Vikas in depth, which we did while having loads of fun dancing to tribal tunes with the children of Gram Vikas, situated in the deep woods. Joe Madiath has done a phenomenal job and his talk which could be titled ‘From Bullshit to Fullshit’ left me feeling a lot less worthy as a human being.

JY 332

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Alrighty then, New year’s in a few minutes. Crazy party ahead!

At the strike of 12, my PMP played ‘Amazing Grace’. I rest in peace, while the train is dancing away the night. Sleeping half-moon

 

 

Jan 1/ 22:30 / Coupe 15/7,Plains of WB : (Day 9 )

JY 344 (1)

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Finally caught back on all the lost sleep last night. To, fresh beginnings *filter kaapi toast* Good news: South India breakfast today. I’m a happy person!

I spend the rest of the day reading, showering (now that I know it’ll get colder as we go north and baths would be a rarity) , making my NY resolutions and updating the bucket list (prominent additions concern learning new languages, travelling more, doing volunteer work more). We also had the Biz Gyaan Tree Exercise. I was in the Technology and communications group. New faces.. yay!

 

 

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Jan 2/ 22:30 / Patna : (Day 10 Nidan, Patna )

 

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Nidan has done a lot to ensure that the slum-dwellers lived with more human rights. The biggest nuance of social work emphasised was the fact that work had to be done at the grassroots.

 

 

 

Jan 3/ 22:30+ / Deoria, UP : (Day 11  Barpar village)

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Verrrrrrrrrrrrrry cold place. More Biz Gyaan happened. We went to one of the many villages to conduct market research for our enterprise plan. This was the day when we could prove our worth at creating business plans with a social edge. By staying for more than 24 hours at this site, we had a feel of the other India. Funny how one doesn’t need much to lead a life here in India. Forced to believe that the INR 32 -  BOP was true, after all. Broken into groups, we interacted with the villagers (while not giving them false hopes about our potential project), used our knowledge to improvise the drafted enterprise plans to solve the crisis that Indian villages face today. These creative models were presented under the Banyan tree. Selected ones would be incubated by JY  and they would be returning to Deoria to implement the same. Fingers crossed

 

 

 

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Jan 4/ 22:30+ / Enroute to Delhi: (Day 12)

image Presenting our study on Gram Vikas in the AC chair car session, post lunch. We pulled off a GREAT show! High five

Creativity session and the Nidan session – other events for the day.

 

 

Jan 5/ 22:30+ / Delhi: (Day 12 Goonj, Delhi)

image(plis to overlook the irony of the tweet)

Dressing for dignity. Most below poverty-line people find it difficult to make ends meet; and one of the biggest worries is the lack of clothing. Also, by providing this, one can see a change in their confidence and self-esteem. Goonj has done the same with a lot more initiatives; they provide clothing in return for labour at cleaning sites and development projects. The visible change in the villages they have touched us all. We shopped at the Goonj fair. I bought a few novels. We marveled at the creative streak of the workers who used trivial items (like cassette tapes, ropes, etc)  to create gorgeous utilities  like handbags, wallets, pouches and so many other stuff. *splurge*

 

 

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Jan 6/ 22:30+ / Tilonia: (Day 13 Tilonia, Rajasthan)

JY 507

My most favorite part of the entire yatra. I was moved to tears by the welcome given to us by the kids at Barefoot college. They formed a human chain to ‘namaste’ us with a smile. Crying face

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Goonj was started by Anshu Gupta in 1998 to address a vital yet much ignored issue of clothing. Barefoot college was founded by Bunker Roy in 1972. It is a solar-powered school that teaches illiterate men and women from impoverished villages to become doctors, solar engineers, architects, and other such professions. The school is located at Tilonia village, Rajasthan, India. It serves a population of over 125,000 people

 

 

 

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I Red heart Rajasthan.

Other notable events:

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Jan 7/ 22:30+ / Ahmedabad: (Day 14 SEWA, Ahmedabad)

imageSabarmati Ashram – A perfect end to the yatra ! As we solemnly sat on the banks of the Sabarmati river chanting prayers, we only realised too well that the stage for the  second freedom struggle has been set – against social injustice and the like. 

Later that day we proceeded to the auditorium for the final role model study & panel discussion. Looking at the many women from the unorganised handicraft and self-employment industries who took that extra step forward to show the world their potential, we were very motivated. Listening to their encouraging stories and understanding the model behind SEWA as share-holder organisation helped us contemplate on the best possible business plan that they could use in their start up. And with some very passionate finale speeches, emotions filled the room – the Valedictory event had the right mixture of excitement, enjoyment and reflections. We left the stage, envisaging the future, singing the yatri geet for one last time! A private graduation party followed, in coupe 15/7&8.

 

JY 668

 

Jan 8/ 12:00 / Mumbai:

The circle has been completed.

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Family picked me up at Chembur. Bode farewell to the relations I made for life – Cohort M and many others. In a way, I’m also glad its over. Time for a loooooong shower and nap.

Mighty Ms

I’m a changed human, truly thankful for everything in life. JY has made even simple joys of life seem like exuberant luxuries, something I will never forget. As I softly hum this Dido tune, the curtain falls on the awesome adventure trip around truly Incredible India. Rainbow

Two weeks away feels like the whole world should have changed,
But I’m home now, and things still look the same.
I think I’ll leave it ’til tomorrow to unpack,
Try to forget for one night that I’m back in my flat.
On the road where the cars never stop going through the night,
To a life where I can’t watch the sun set.
I don’t have time.
I don’t have time.
I’ve still got sand in my shoes,
And I can’t shake the thought in my head….
 

Registrations for the 2012 Yatra has already begun. Check their website for more information: www.jagritiyatra.com

Jagriti Yatra

J(ourne)Y

Just a few days left (2 to be precise) to flag off the train that will take me on a journey around Incredible India – the really incredible India , rather. Yes! I am all set to go on the Jagriti Yatra which is an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation that takes hundreds of India’s highly motivated youth (read ‘Gracy’ Open-mouthed smile ) on an 15 day national odyssey. The aim is to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship.The vision of Jagriti is to inspire young Indians living in the middle of the Indian demographic diamond (Rs 40 – Rs 120 per day) to lead development by taking to enterprise. The message of the Yatra is expressed through Jagriti Geet – ‘Yaaron Chalo, Badalne Ki Rut hai’ a message is of a positive change through enterprise. Instead of bemoaning what is wrong with the country, our participants and the Jagriti fraternity takes action by enterprise led development to make India better. Whether I will become one , only time will tell.. but for now here’s a little heads-up from my end Winking smile : “ I am meeting my Pardner for a venture I shall soon start, at the JY , after those many months of ideations and development via Google’s IM client. (Yeah! Google is the platinum sponsor of JY 2011.) Smile 

As clichéd as it may sound, It only seems like yesterday when I was jumping in joy on my selection for the (then) Tata Jagriti Yatra, executing those acts of persuasion to let the family allow me to embark on what some call a “life changing journey. Imma go to places I’ve never been before, meet an awesome bunch of people who are most likely to  shape future India , learn the learning of a lifetime. That said, I am asked to come with an open mind and zero expectations, which I think I will try and do. It *is* a little difficult to do that when you’ve been interacting with ex-yatris on FB groups, readings blogs of those who had been on the JY before and speaking to these guys! 

A few snippets from what I was talking about:  
"The yatra was like a blank canvas on which we could paint afresh. There was a lot of creative energy and openness amongst the yatris which contributed to lively and animated discussions. The diversity amongst the 400 odd yatris was overwhelming and the friendships forged will be everlasting." Sidhartha Jatar, Yatri 2009

"Yatra: adherence & friction, varieties & commonness, urban to rural…one common goal! this is exactly how I want my generation to be like…my India to be in our hands. Inspiration, perspiration & fun. Yatra gave me the vision how my nation is going to be." Manu Gupta, Yatri

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1 Train | 12 Destinations | 15 Role Models
15 Days | 450 Youths | 9000 kms

A Journey of discovery and transformation…

The feeling, now? Nervous excitement!  With less than 4 hours to my Mumbai flight, I think I’m having the jitters!  Confused smile  “Where will my feet take me today Nobody knows for sure! One step at a time who could suppose what together we’ll find?” –> #SongStuckInMyHead Used to sing this during the times I was a regular Nickelodeon’!

I shall meet my first yatri friend, Deepti Bhat at the airport and I’m meeting my best friend from school after nearly a decade ( I guess)– PK who’ll take us on a one-day trip of Mumbai on the 23rd. And on the 24th – induction at IIT B,  where I shall meet you all ,my fellow yatris!!

Let’s have the time of our lives now , shall we? Smile 

 

ps: Rest of my good friends, I shall blog my experience on a daily basis (hopefully) from the train’s blogging facility. Tweeting will also happen ( @g33f)

Stay tuned.

Peace