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Archive for the ‘Young People’ Category

A Political Love Letter to My Son


This is post done on March 4th, 2016 on my Facebook page (Here) . Kind of emotional !
Dear Rimil Peter, my son..
Thanks for watching Kanhaiya speech in JNU ..with me for 45 minutes. I have explained how a colonial law ..which was used on Bhagat Singh ..is being used to define our patriotism and allegiance to our country.
You enjoyed the style of his speech delivery (and also of Ravish).. how we need to argue out our differences of opinion ..with ABVP, the saffron brigade ..who are not ‘enemies’ but the opposition group / ideology.
My son, though you are yet to witness ..what a university is like ..my narratives of my days in Jamia Millia Islamia ..and cultural youth activism with friends like Kapil Sharma whom you have met ..and will do more.. will surely help you to understand and visualise or dream of spaces ..which allow free discussion on democracy, diverse perspectives on autonomy, culture, sexuality etc.
What you saw as a movie in Rang De Basanti ..is happening with a different script ..in present JNU times. The young voices are being crushed ..forced to suicide (Rohit in Hyderabad University), or being put in jail. Kashmir and Bastar (Chhatisgarh) cannot be discussed publicly by citizens.. as these are issues of national security !
My son (and all young ones).. Do not allow your questions / enquiry to end. Keep the child in you alive ..and question your teachers the most absurd questions you have. As change comes when you are unsatisfied.. A radical change brought by a collective effort is what a Revolution or Inquilab is about. इंकलाब ज़िंदाबाद means Long live the Revolution.

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Get Offline, Kids !

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Is there a life beyond or should I say in the absence of online / digital world ? This is a question I feel is very pertinent to be asked to you young kids – boys or girls. Each one of them are now engaged with some digital communication tool or the other for something like 3-4 to 7-8 hours.

When I say digital communication, I am talking about satellite television channels, mobiles, touchpads, laptops , computers, camera etc. They are consuming thousand kilobytes of information every day, with their contribution in the production of information being very little or nil.

With the new range of touchpads and 3G enabled devices they are regularly sms-ing, tweeting, liking on facebook, watching videos on YouTube, sharing, chatting on WhatsApp chat application … Is this a healthy habit ? Well, anything in excess of a certain limit is bad for health ..

In the past 1-2 years I have come across children who have a strong addiction to these, to an extent that it has hampered their communication with the family members. Such children show an inclination to keep off human beings around them and to maintain minimal verbal communication, with full attention to a relative or acquaintance.

This kind of digitalization of human relationships and communications is very dangerous. Today’s parents have a great challenge in front of them to enhance their own verbal personal communication with the kids near them, so that the kids find the adults more interesting. Gone are the days when the parents could get away with just giving their children’s fees and expecting the teachers to fulfill the role of preparing the children for the forthcoming future. Now the parents need to be more creative and aware to guide their children to make the best use of these digital equipments.

The crisis can be huge, and it is the moment we need to take charge of the situation, to make the best children for our future – children who value the relationships, who maintain equity in gender relations, who are non-violent and who support the aged. This is required with the change, now very much evident, in Indian society.

Romantic Songs – My Initial Starters into Public Singing

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

The songs or choir classes had not started as yet, but whenever there was some free time after Teacher had taken the class or in the absence of a class teacher when the class monitor was to maintain class, I was asked to sing a song. As far as I can remember there were another two friends who used to sing their songs.

When I was in 5th standard schooling the song that was my favourite was ‘Neele Neele Ambar Par Chand Jab Aaye’. The song is popular amongst the learners in guitar. The lyrics say about longing for the lover during a night sky with moon, and mentions ‘thirst of the heart’ to be fulfilled.

In 7th standard I had also taken to English songs. It was due to the Grammy’s Award telecast on the television, and we were looking at the pop charts closely. And my favourite was ‘Whats Love Got To Do With It’.  This Tina Turner’s song starts with ‘You must understand that the touch of your hand makes my pulse react, Its physical ..’

Now when I try to analyse I can see commonness in the two songs – a strong romantic element with lyrics about a boy-girl relationship.  So between the age of 10 to 13 years I was singing quite romantic songs and the boy-girl physical relationship were important themes of that era of my music life or life as a whole.

There is further to be written about socialisation with opposite sex which I will do in a separate post (the reason why I purposely admitted them for schooling in a Co-Ed school). But to strike the note .. the point is that some bit of attraction to romantic feelings starts coming at a young age. And this should get creative expression.

‘Break Ke Baad’ – Cocktail Lifestyle

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Saw this movie named Cocktail. Deepika Padukone has played a wonderful role in it, along with Saif at his best. I was very impressed with the ‘free’ lifestyles depicted in the film. Young boys and girls moving towards mature, conjugal living together without even a thought or plan of getting married.. ‘working out’ together.

The conversations between the two female protagonists, between liberal to conservative sex behavior and engagement with the opposite sex.. is quite interesting to reveal the way the young people think and act in the current times.

This film and other similar ones like ‘Break Ke Baad’ and ‘Wake Up Sid’, are about relationships between young men and women… are depiction of the trend the young people’s affairs are.. and hence indicative of the fast way these might undergo further change till my kids grow up.

It is very necessary and a challenging task for parents of today to keep up with the pace of minds / perspectives / attitudinal change of their children. Personally for me,.. it is challenging, exciting and ‘life worth living’ when I engage with my kids and try to run at my mind, thought processes and actions with the level they want.

Now what does ‘my kids’ means? I have always had a dis-taste for anything which builds up ownership.. from …..my husband, my wife, my things, .. But seems I am developing an ownership.. too close a personal belongingness.. which will hurt when distances are developed at adult stages / future. On the other hand pain and agony are part of the lives that human beings live, and it is the taste of this mix of happy and sad moments which build our energies, and help us to move more maturely towards our lives’ goals (which keep on moving further)!

Reminds me of many Facebook comments that I have wrote to some of my friends quoting the lyrics of a Talat Mehmood song ‘Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai.. Jab had se guzar jaati hai khushi, aansu bhi chhalakte aate hai.. Kaaton mein khile hai phul hamare rang bhare afsano ke.. Naadaan hai jo in kaaton se daaman ko bachaaye jaate hai.. Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai’

I am writing this at 11pm while travelling in a General compartment of a train travelling to Ranchi on a weekend. Have been so much engaged for past days in professional development consultancy and some ‘construction work’ that this write up has been pending.. for almost a fortnight. Finally decided to take out my laptop, in the midst of the crowd and start typing…

Cultural Workshop for Children


Rimil was in Pakur, spending his summer holidays, when his Daddy saw an announcement in the newspaper calling children of 8 to 16 years for a cultural workshop on behalf of Deptt of Arts, Culture and Youth of Jharkhand. Dad ordered the whole team of his family to pack up for Ranchi, for the 20 days workshop.

So the workshop started and as advised by Dad, Rimil opted for Theatre, and left out the other options Classical Singing, Classical Dance and Arts& Crafts, as the children had to choose only one subject. I advised him, .. Listen you can learn Singing from me, Dance you are doing in a Saturday Christian youth meet, and hence take Theatre as it is a conglomeration of various art forms, and is a group activity.

In the Theatre workshop he did the play by Russian writer, Chekhov, ‘The Chameleon’ named Girgit in Hindi. When I went through the original script few minutes ago.. realised that there have been some minor adaptations.. but the idea remains the same.. that of treating a High Official’s son or dog differently than what a treatment a common man or dog gets.

So what did Rimil gained.. skills of how a theatre dialogues and physical movement done to create a scene, a story.. and besides that the joy and experience of working in a group. Yes, theatre helps one to gain the confidence of working in a group.. this is what I have learnt during my engagement in my college years. It has helped me delving deep into the roles that I play.. an impact that an actor has to make to fulfill the role fully, he or she plays.. Remembering Shakespeare, All the World’s a Stage, and each of us play a role.. So let’s do it, at its best.

Parents need to play an immense role in helping their children to flower their talents and interests. Linking it up with Aamir Khan, the young filmi revolutionary.. who is known for his social commitment films/ events.. parents need to invest a lot of their time and money into building .. these Taare Zameen Par (the stars who live with us on ground).

Deepti used to take both the children to the Morhabadi Hockey Stadium ..getting up at 5am, preparing breakfast/ tiffin.. stay over the workshop from 7am to 1030am.. and then return back in auto. On weekends they got my assistance on the bike.. this went on for 20 days.. to end at the final show at Dr Ram Dayal Munda Cultural Centre.. near Hotwar Stadium in Ranchi. An experience for children and their parents !

In my college days I did a play Tota Kahani (The Parrot Story), based on story by Rabindranath Tagore. It was about how the formal schooling system is so boring / non-creative.. that it kills (the thought process). And hence there is a need to take up creative arts ..with children.. so that they can play, enjoy, create, and develop in this process of enhancing their skills.

Relationships and Child Birth


Today is Rimil’s Birthday. Forgotten ? Well, Rimil is my 8 year old son, who is helping me to understand my Fatherly / Motherly attitude. Every every man has it but very few show it in public.

The macho and manly cultures taught in our cultures makes men less and less soft, hiding feelings of love and weakness, and putting strength as the characteristic of man. Result is .. that men tend to have fewer and fewer communications with their children.

One discussion that took place between me and Rimil was 3-4 months back, when we were travelling in the city, in a mobike, and my wife was also with me along with my daughter, Zohra (Khushi). ‘Papa tell me, can a childbirth take place without a marriage?’ My reply .. Yes, if the boy and girl stay together alone for duration of time.. The girl can get pregnant, and that’s the reason many girls are not permitted to meet boys freely, and are forced to get married soon.. Child birth is preferred after a marriage ..

Well, that’s the point I suppose I went to. But in the  present age .. maybe some additional lines can be added after 3-4 years,.. that marriage as a concept is also changing.. and many couples are willing to live together, and bear child even without a marriage (!!).

Wanted to write more, but let’s post this first (I started it on 30th and today is 2nd)!

Why this (Another) Blog ?

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Hi Everybody !

I celebrated my 37th birthday on 27th october. Have been residing in Ranchi now for 5 years and have done some amount of blogging on blogspot – check www.openspace-ranchi.blogspot.com …been into development work for almost 15 years now.

The things that I enjoy in life is the  cultural taste of different individuals and communities, and the wide diversity that exists in life around us. My personal experiences have helped me in cherishing this diversity…

Born in Lucknow, with Urdu / Muslim culture, nor regular goer  to Church, studied in Christian college, then college in Muslim University Jamia Millia Islamia, parentage half UP -ite half Bengali (mother a Bengali Christian), both working, etc

And later during / after college venturing at my to search own self, trying new possibilities .. venturing with left and ‘pro-people, anti-development’  groups, exploring tribal life and becoming a part of it with my marriage to Deepti. Now we have two child – Rimil is my 6.5 years son (name means Clouds in Santhali / Mundari tribal langauge) while Zohra is my 7 months daughter (name after Zohra Sehgal, famous theatrist now in her 90s, the name is not in Urdu dictionary which I searched on the net, later my Professor in Jamia told emailed that it is an Arabic word meaning blooming.. and she was born on the Sarhul, the day the Chota Nagpur adivasis were celebrating nature festival and prayig with flowers). With Rimil’s B’day on 30th march and Zohra’s B’day on 18th march, we plan to celebrate it only once .. best would be in April as the March rush of activities will be over !

Thus in a way I have started what I intend to do .. share personal experiences and get to hear responses on the same. The women’s movement has taught many that ‘personal is political’ and maybe this personal expression will help me/us in carving my/our politics of engaging with life / society around me / our selves.

In the past one year my engagement with online life has increased and I would really like to understand whether this engagement will really help in bringing about some change or not .. whether social networking / blogging change the way the life has been for all of us …in India or world.  I am on Facebook www.facebook.com/praveer.peter

I want to write this blog at least once every week. Let me see how quick and non-filtering can be in expressing what I feel about .. would not like this to be another of those impersonal accounts of events which does not ‘moves’ the reader… Bye !

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