Thursday, June 26, 2008

camp site

here you go guys, eat your heart out! cabin by the lake!camp site, lake pleasant spread over a mile of waterfront, the camp houses over 200 people, mostly teenagers from around the world, counsellors, facilitators n delegation leaders like me. has a baseball field, basket ball, tennis courts, volleyball n of course the entire lake to swim, go boating, sailing, etc...

i mean, what a far cry from the camps we used to go to while at the ssl in xaviers. two of us went a couple of days earlier to dig bogs (loos) for the 40 that would follow. buy provisions, arrange transport, etc. but i think i've said that before ;)

off to america!

"Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all gone to look for Americanew york arrived under cover of pre-dawn...i'll need to fly in again just to see more!

Monday, June 23, 2008

football nights n late mornings!

the european cup's been throwing too many suprises too so pissed off that holland is out n my favs portugal :( germany is so boring, so i'm gonna be rooting for russia!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

go see persepolis!

n if you haven't read marjane's satrapi's graphic novel yet...then do so, quick! it's just fantastic. the story itself n of course the illustration is brilliant in it execution n detailing, stark gripping tale of a young outspoken girl growing up in tumultuous iran. the film takes the novel to even greater heights - the way they've maintained the integrity of the style n adapted it to motion so beautifully!...go see!

Monday, June 16, 2008

off to camp!!

yes! so it is all off to an international youth peace camp by the lake pleasant in maine, usa! a delegation leader of 12 teenagers from india who will interact with other teens from around the world, from nations in conflict...india, pakistan, afghanistan, israel, palestine, lebanon, egypt, morocco, yemen, etc. it is a us state dept funded project called seeds of peace. no, not a shooting assignment...need to take the kids there n bring them back n be responsible for them at camp. 3weeks starting 24th june...with daily discussions/interactions in order to get to know each other better, reduce hatred n foster peace among the next generation...
all very well this, but we should not forget that the us has been the main culprit in a lot of the ongoing conflict n hate we are experiencing across the globe today. a good way to assuage guilt n spend some blood money, i guess ;) "they're not all bad, ajay", some of my friends have been beseeching me...
but i am so looking forward to this camp...while at xavier's we used to go to a rural camp in nov every year to do some kind of manual work at the jesuit-run schools in talasari distt. we dug wells, foundations for school buildings, helped build roads, etc. for 10days we'd be cocooned in some desolate village with no access to running water, electricity n toilets. two of us would go earlier n dig loos, organise rations n transport for the group of 50 that followed. we'd work our butts off n enjoy every minute there. but more than anything else, i learnt a lot there...learning for life - they'd call it. a lot of my insights i gained there which helped shape my outlook to life...
almost 20years later, i'm off again to camp...will keep you posted! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

second workshop in goa

so once again the dried leaves were swept off n the fallen over-ripe cashews cleared...up went the blue tarp while tino n me anxiously waited for the participants to stream in. we weren't expecting a deluge for sure! but yes, to break even this 9.15, we had 9 paying participants and we both smiled in relief. the previous evening, the sky grew dark n with the cloudburst, we lowered our expectations too! cursing the fact that we had to postpone this workshop till end may (thanks to paachvi pass)... >but all that was a haze when this enthu bunch landed up. from benaulim, from altinho, from vasco... the youngest - a 4th std boy n the oldest, a granmom...and two special kids! this time, we wanted to explore "summer" as a theme. but that kinda fizzled out with the overcast wonderfully cool weather! we started with associations, imagery n drawing before moving to story-telling. they brought along their digital cameras n wanted to know everything that was on it! tino did his thing - began with clay n went on to tile painting. o we even made it to the newspapers this year ;) n tino to page 3!!pooja, my niece came her final year at shristi, i was keen she help me here. anything for beer n sausages, she said!! in fact, she even took the entire session one day when i had to fly back for p pass! the best part, this year was the decision to do a half day workshop. that way, afternoon siesta is taken care off n evenings by the sea gauranteed ;) but the bad part was we were hopelessly short on time, esp for the film-making part. we never got there. on the last day, one of the boys goes, "uncle, when's the next workshop?"...i beam widely, "soon, perhaps diwali"...then, i'll pursue once again my idea of exploring a theme, learning different media n then choosing any medium - be it clay, drawing, theatre, film, photography, writing to express oneself. We drove to the verna springs n tino goes shit shit's a mess now. empty beer bottles, styrofoam cups, food plates, etc...the usual gandh...and the spring reduced to a mere trickle...thinking about taking up issues/projects like these and get into every aspect thru a workshop/camp...what say you?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

alien in transit!

...while applying for a US visa, you need to mention if you've travelled to the us before n what visa was issued to you. some lifetimes ago i went there as a cameraman on-board a cruise ship...a c1 visa it alien in transit is what popped up!! :) ahay noronia, i was...very alien indeed!!
this time round i hope it's a regular b1 visitor visa...going there for an international peace camps for youth from conflict areas around the globe...more about that later...