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Faces I Framed

Enroute to Wyoming

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NIDIA 13

When: 1986 to 2014

Where: Hyderabad to America

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A very few people know that I have a twin sibling. After all these years why should I write about the ‘twin’ factor. One of the first things people say when they know I have a twin is, “Wow! it must have been great growing up as twins right?”  Record this now and remember it forever. That is one thing you never want to say to one of the twins or both the twins in any conversation with you. It was never easy growing up together as twins. We had our share of happy moments. We still laugh at the mischievous things we did and got ourselves into troubles. But to be in the same learning environment, always subject to constant comparison in performances and achievements was a pain. So we both went through our phases of running away from each other in two opposite directions. It is like this gap of years where there are barely any photographs of him and me in one frame. Even the sight of one another was unbearable to both of us. There were times we wanted the other person to vanish so that the pressure of comparison and constant performance analysis would cease to exist.

Moving to the United States gave us the space we badly needed to discover ourselves. Who we are. What was the purpose of our existence. After all the years of growing up in India moving to live in a country like US , was like a blessing in disguise right at the time when we beginning to get lost in the vicious cycle that was engulfing us. Living here allowed us the liberty to focus on ourselves about how to become better humans and professionals. Back home that space and liberty of thought to assess oneself was difficult to achieve without being judged by everyone around us. I always said it and will never forget the help that my family is providing me in pursuing education in a field like APE. Without the luxury of being provided housing and food along with a safe place to live, I would not be able to perform at even 1/10th of what I am able to accomplish now. My brother paid for me to go to graduate school and tells me that it is his way of contributing to the cause of education for children with disabilities. Some time ago I was trying to ‘brain wash’ him about how he should let me start paying him back in small amounts. He sternly said to me,

“Padmini, you should understand that I am inside a lab like place almost all my waking hours. I work with machines that do not show any human emotions or interaction. I always wanted to be directly involved in service to society at sometime in my life. If I had the money, I would have definitely invested it somewhere if the money didn’t go to your tuition. I am doing the same right now. I am investing in you and your future. So in future when you service individuals with disabilities I will begin to see the returns of my investment.”

Those were probably the best words anyone ever said to me with regards to me choosing this career.

Not everyone tells you I love you everyday. But one action or decision they take will just give you a faith in their love for you eternally. There are no doubts that we hated each other equally, shared extreme dosage of fights and disagreements while we were growing up. But when people you care about go out of their way to help you realize your dreams, you are humbled beyond any limits in a human’s life.
Thank you Nani. I dedicate my Masters Degree to you my brother. I love you.

 

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Where: Shenoy Nursing Home,Secunderabad
When: 1986, October 29th
Who: This is me. Yes, Jussri. Since I’ve always posted pics of others here I thought, this article would be the best only if I put in my pic.

I post a lot of pictures of random people and scenes on my website. I like to spread goodness around me. These days I meet a lot of people who often ask me if I am a photographer. Well my answer would be a yes-no. I have forever used photography as a medium to attract people to read my scribbles. Alongside in life I developed a love to capture other people smiling. That is how I ended up taking assignments. But if you ask me who am I?

I am a qualified Physical Therapist working towards contributing back to the field in my little way. Photography and writing help me spread the good things that I was brought up with.In two days from now, my parents celebrate their birthdays which are on May 9th and 10th :)[Yeah yeah, both are Taurus(eans) 🙂 ]. This post would be the only best gift I can give to them. Having talked about the ‘ Why’ part of this write up, I will now move to the ‘what’ part of it.

Every time we rushed home to complain that the teacher caned us bad,my mother’s standard question round was the first wall to hit. I swear to God I have never hated anyone more than my mother all those years. At times I felt she enjoyed making us feel bad.She would start her conversation like this.

“Nuvvem chesaavo cheppu” ( First tell me what did you do)
Well, it was difficult to hide facts from her.
“Memedho arusthonte kopam lo kottindhi sister( Yeah, yeah we were yelling and sister caned us[I studied in a catholic convent and we called our teachers Sisters(nuns)]

Then she would start her reverse engineered explanation for the entire situation. You are three kids for me at home to take care. I still find it difficult to manage you. How can sister make 60 students quite in 45 minutes?
I think it is justified she caned you guys!
Justification for the caning done!
No more arguments your honour.
And we disperse. This was the order of our life all through out our schooling.
Everytime there was a complaint from us, my mom went back to the root of the issue. Looking for the cause.

Fast forward many many years and I am in my General Medicine lecture. Day 1. Dr Joshi. A veteran general medicine specialist from our hospital was taking our first class.
Two things he spoke that day have remained in my mind forever.

1. Developing an inquisitive mind.
2. Believing that every problem/obstacle had a cause for it at a grass root level.

20 years of listening to those two lines and a professor telling you the same point in a medical school!
I really needed a break from listening to the same stuff every where i went. Looks like every one has same mothers like mine. But having been through medical school, surfacing out of a hell hole with minimal scarring, fighting my way through tough situations in life, I can never thank my mother enough for teaching me my basics right.

In these days of arm chair activists and anti-arm chair activists, I want to send out a plea.
Look with in yourself. Are you doing absolutely the best thing right now?
Are you able to show the strength of your character in testing times?(by not giving into temptations and short cut ways to success and wealth)
Can you say a No to yourself and strike a balance in the temper times?

Well, when I was tested, I asked myself these questions.More precisely,I was taught to ask myself these questions.I have always been this, ‘ drops of water make an ocean’ kind of activist for social causes. For all of you who are bugged by the over motivational videos and shows that keep cropping up around you every once in a while:
Stop watching television
Pick a hobby
Make a to-do list
Appreciate little things
Spend time with the elders in your family , let them tell you stories from their life
Count numbers when you are angry.

I never liked growing up under the iron hand rule of my parents. Today I absolutely cherish those moments. Today I am glad I grew under their parenting.

For all the challenges I faced,I surfaced unscathed because I was taught one best thing right.

Problems are mere situations and the solutions are right within them if you look at the roots, routes and causes.
Here’s thanking my parents for giving me an excellent up bringing. I thank God for letting me be your daughter folks 🙂 Have an awesome year ahead.

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of Roots, Routes and Causes

I am a qualified Physical Therapist working towards contributing back to the field in my little way. Photography and writing help me spread the good things that I was brought up with.In two days from now, my parents celebrate their birthdays which are on May 9th and 10th :)[Yeah yeah, both are Taurus(eans) 🙂 ]. This post would be the only best thing gift I can give to them. Having talked about the ‘ Why’ part of this write up, I will now move to the ‘what’ part of it.

Every time we rushed home to complain that the teacher caned us bad,my mother’s standard question round was the first wall to hit. I swear to God I have never hated anyone more than my mother all those years. At times I felt she enjoyed making us feel bad.She would start her conversation like this.

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Facing the Book

Where have I been all these days?
I was making myself eligible to write this piece 🙂

Why this today?
Because this issue kicked me out of my scribble slumber today.

Do I think this is going to be of use?
Yes. I know there will be atleast a 50 people I know who will benefit out of what I write here.

I will first ask you five questions

1. Take the computer/smart phone/laptop and lock them in a room. Done that, have you got something useful to do with your time? Do you have a way of enjoying life away from social networking and e-mails?

If the answer to the above question is a Yes and you have a list of things that can make you feel peaceful and happy about yourself, don’t go ahead to finish reading this article. It is not for you.

If your answer to that question is a No, then, get a bottle of juice/lassi/buttermilk and finish reading this article.Yeah I say so because it is summer in most of the places from where I have readers 😉

2. Do you face trouble striking a conversation in a new group or when meeting relatives after a long time(despite being ‘socially’ very active with them all the prior days)?
3. Do you get depressed if your electronic gadgets like laptops or smart phones are lost or not working?
4. Can’t you focus on your work (which doesnt involve a work laptop) without thinking about social networking and emails?
5. Do you have more than ten people in your networking space who are total strangers?

If Yes is the answer to the above questions,you need serious help.

In the last five years I have met many people who are so unbelievably ‘active’ on social networking and are such passive souls when it came to making a real conversation in person. The trend has got worse in the last one year with the flood of smart phones into India.

Last month, when my computer conked I definitely did get upset because all those people whose wonderful smiling images I captured , would have to wait for don’t know how many days for me to publish their images here. Yes, I do have a smart phone which kept me in loop with work emails and messages from family and friends. But I took it as a wonderful opportunity to explore other creative things like crochet, nail art, easter egg painting, handmade bookmarks, greeting cards, thank you notes and working with natural dyes. The list is endless. Apart from work, books got lot of my attention too

After a month of less computer and social networking, I am rich with lot of pretty stuff around me which make my home more colourful and creative.

When I was a kid, scrap meant useless stuff. Now a days scrap is so important that you could skip your dinner to go read, analyse and scrap back on time.So much for scrap huh!
Walls were meant to protect and surround buildings. Now a days it’s all about, block, clock, filter, highlight and hide.
Tweets were cute chirping of birds and no 140 letters of a language revolving around one person’s temper and tantrums.

If I start quoting examples of all those posts I have seen on my social networking, wordpress would need new servers. But one is particularly worth mentioning.

I was the lucky kid who lived in the nineties something kind of posts did rounds for quite a few days. The irony was that people shared, commented, debated over these posts without almost even understanding what was being said there.
Well I don’t think asking someone to read what they share is a crime these days!

Well, since I am no marriage counselor or family problems related therapist or a psychologist, I have a few requests to make to the people who think they need help.

Unless you are absolutely alone in this world which is a 99.99% impossibility,

Keep your electronic gadgets away.
Hike a hill( will tell you how bad your heart and lungs have got after all the years of networking)
Look at alternative ways to use your time.
Spend time with family(solves half of the disturbances in your life which make you psuedo network so much that you are lost in the network totally).
Depend less on manual labour at home [while (if) you are jabbing away opinions and debates online].
Make a patch of organic kitchen garden in your home. It’s absolutely therapeutic.
Take a membership in a local library. Don’t borrow books to home. Make it a point to sit and read at the library itself.
Look around yourself and clean the mess in your life and room with physical and mental means at all costs.
Have wounded relations and communications around you? Give them ‘you’. Not your social networking/e-mails or messages with weird sounding back ground music.

Having done all that perfectly if you still feel you are addicted, you know whom to scribble to or please feel free to go and seek medical help because it is not perfect to be perfectly addicted to something which is absolutely materialistic and virtual at the same time.

If you feel better keeping ‘networking’ out of your everyday life for a major part, then bingo!

Happiness will say, I’m here to stay! 🙂

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Andhra to Amrika…

This is the start of a series  that I wish to call Andhra to Amrika…

I am not someone who writes down everything in a diary.Maintaining a travelogue, remembering dates and saving my first ticket, 🙂 thatz no me.

The first time I was sitting alone in the airport lounge waiting for the flight, I thought may be I would be flooded with the anxiety of leaving the country and going. 😀

Nothing of that sort happened. I was rather more relaxed.What other feelings would a person going to the US for a month of vacation have.

All the 25 hours of flying was neither tiring nor exciting except that I got to watch too many movies to watch.This was when I was again learning another lesson for life.

NEVER DETEST ANYTHING IN LIFE TOO MUCH. I ALWAYS HATED WATCHING MOVIES.

Unless I was bored of working or doing everything else on this earth I watched movies. And here I was stuck with a monitor in front of me for 25 hours to do nothing but stare at them.

But the minute I land here in “the” US of A, I feel the difference. How everything is IN order.Everything is so disgustingly in order that I feel freaked out….

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