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InDriveView With Adhik Kadam from Borderless World Foundation

IMG_20151024_154610Last Week As I was driving I heard him on Radio, I made it a point to drive to the station and meet him. Adhik Kadam is a young man who has been living and working in Kashmir and currently runs Borderless World Foundation that works towards educating and helping girl children who have been orphaned by the conflicts in the kashmir region.

This week on InDriveView I am in conversation with Adhik, understanding his work and what his goals are and what he is looking forward from us all. The conversation is in a mix of English and Hindi and so for the benefit of those who might not understand Hindi here is a quick synopsis

Adhik Kadam started his Journey at the age of 19 and for the past 18 years he has worked in the conflict area helping kids. For him it is a spiritual journey as he mentions. He says his work is to bring more peace messengers to the society who will in turn continue the effort of peace in the society while being teachers, mothers and responsible model citizens. He runs four homes that house around 150 girls some of them who started 15 years back are now married and have their own family or are doing higher education in colleges.

He does not think this is a short term effort and in his opinion the work would need to be continued for decades to reverse what has happened in the past. Currently they rent these houses and are looking to how they can build own permanent structures to house the kids and that way be able to help more than the current 150 kids.

When I was speaking to Adhik I was thinking about the lack of social awareness I as a young man had when I was 19 and also realized that even today when I write and share things on the web and think my work is done, I might in fact at times be adding to the fire than making  a real difference. The real difference is being made by people like Adhik on the field so it is important for me and you to all support such efforts and focus on the positive side of what is happening in our world. Yes while voicing against what we feel is wrong.

I had to cut the recording of this conversation to make it under 20 minutes and 1GB so I could upload to Facebook. But an unabridged raw version will be uploaded in the Youtube channel soon. What I want to request to all my friends here and I would be reaching out to many of you personally for the same is….

“Adhik is here in US for a few weeks and he would like to create awareness of his work to more people and also tell people about the work he does, what impact his organization has made in the area and what plans they have. He is looking at primarily addressing people in corporates like Facebook, Google, Twitter Apple, Cisco, VMware, Intel, and all those companies that do have efforts that go into helping organizations like his”

Social Media reach is a amazing and so I am sure you will all do the needful to understand more about Borderless World Foundation and

And I will reach out to you friends personally to see how you could help his cause. Thanks Adhik for sharing the time with me and there is much I learned and much I have to reflect on myself in the days to come..

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InDriveView with Rajiv Nema Indori

InDriveView is a New Penpositive Project and here is the first episode with the one and only Rajiv Nema Indori

What is InDriveView?
InDriveView is a candid interview while driving where two people talk about life, work, passion, family, other people and stuffs that matter to them.

About This Episode
This First episode has Rajiv Nema Indori as the guest, Rajiv is a Hitech Marketing Guy, Theatre Artists and Standup (Sitdown in his words) performer with his popular Indori Brand. The recording was for 2 Hours and we kind of scaled it to around 35 minutes

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Experiencing Writing Projects With your Kids

Rahi writingWriting is a skill that gets better when you do it more. It is important for kids to start writing at a very small age. To let their imagination go all over the place.

Over the past 2 months I have been asking my 8 year old to write a page every day. Anything he wants… and he does that regularly. His favorite topic is Tsunami, Volcanoes and earthquakes and how to be safe when that happens, so most of his writing has to do with it. With other stuffs like TV shows and even some of his thoughts

Our agreement was that I read his writing everyday. I broke my part of the agreement but he continued. Then yesterday I sat down and read what he had written and as I found the commitment with which he did it, I felt so low in life, the lowest I have felt ever because I broke my part of a promise with an 8 year old. There is nothing more bad than that. And I had to make up for it

I went ahead and started writing him something and found that it was so difficult for me to use the pen after typing for so long in life. But I went through it and wrote a whole page. He came back and read it. I watched him as he read it silently and with smiles in between and then he came to me and hugged me and said ‘Thank You papa’ and I could feel that his voice was heavy and he meant every word of it a million times.

That was one of the biggest appreciation I have recieved for my writing. A reply journal entry to my son.

Rahi ReadingIn my writing I had given him some tips on writing and today I checked what he had written and he had followed a lot of it. I would highly recommend you to start a small writing project with your kids and it will help them and you a lot.


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100 Days of Penpositive Reading Campaign

Today is the 100th day of my Penpositive Reading Campaign and many more to go. I had started this campaign reading a poem of Mahmoud Darwish and yesterday I read one of Miron Biashowski. Over the past 99 days I read poems of poets from Italy, Hungary, america, china, japan, Germany, turkey, Spain, Russia and so on.

Through their poems I was able to see life and the world around and of course learn a bit of history. What I found was that they all voiced for freedom. They fought oppression they stood on the side of the masses.

So on the 100th day I decided I will dedicate a poem to all those people who fight for Freedom of Speech all over the world. Not a poem from any famous poet.. but my own few words I call poetry

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My First Poetry Reading to Folks with Alzheimer’s

dependent-826332_1280A month back as part of Penpositive I visited an Alzheimer’s and dementia care center to read some poetry. I connected with them quite accidently. I have this habit of just typing poetry at places where people do not type like say job sites. I mean who would advertise for a poet. But I did just that and stumbled on this request to do a reading.

I have not directly been in contact with people with Alzheimer’s though I did know a little about the painful aspects of it. I always wanted to use poetry in a way it benefits people and the society. For me poetry is about love and enjoyment and sense of purpose and responsibility to people around you. And it looked like a good evening to spend reading poetry.

I was not sure what to read, but after I spoke to the person in the center they said something funny and light would be good. I selected a few poems and also made sure they were simple. I had a doubt if my Indian accent would be a handicap but I have always felt that if you read from the heart people listen with the heart. So I was there promptly with a few books.

text-63559_1280They were having a small feast the next day and were decorating the place. Since there was some time I went ahead and helped them put on some of the decorations and then when it was time we went to the dining area or common room where they were watching the TV.

I was cautioned earlier that since people were in varied levels of the ailment the response to my poems might be a bit compromised. The room had around 25 people and a few were seated in the front where I stood and read. I read a few poems and did get response from the people in the front. Some smiled and all eagerly listened. Yes a few people were sleepy too as they just had their lunch.

In between I also had some folks come over and talk. I guess after 20 minutes into it I could feel that folks were losing interest and then one lovely gentleman said “Thank You for reading those wonderful poems to us; I hope now we can get to the TV and see it from where we left it” It reminded me of my son whom I would pull away from the TV and make him read. There are some experience one cannot explain in words, may be I can one day in a poetry.

Coming back home I did some research on the poetry and Alzheimer’s and found this site that talks about the role poetry can play in healing and support of Alzheimer’s. I also understood that reading popular poetry were better as that helps exercise thoughts since those might be poems they have heard before or even memorized before. I also came to know of the ALZHEIMER’S POETRY PROJECT  it is a blog that showcases poetry written by people living with Alzheimer’s. I would recommend you all to visit here and read the wonderful world of words creatively pulled from a memory that is not like before

I am now trying to learn more on this and other areas where poetry readings will help and any suggestions and opinions and opportunities to do so are welcome and I will surely find my time to read… If you do not mind the thick accent… but it comes straight from the heart and has an extra spoon of passion I add to it

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‘Midstream’ By German poet Johannes Bobrowski – Day 90 of Penpositive Reading Campaign

Drifting down with the rafts,
in the lighter grey of the strange
shore, in a
splendour, which withdraws, in the grey
of slanting surfaces, light
shot at us from mirrors.

The Baptist’s head
lay on its torn brow,
a hand with loose bluish
nails clawing
the ragged hair.

When I loved you, restless
your heart, the food on the beating
fire, your mouth, which opened,
open, the river
was a rain and flew
with the herons, leaves
fell and filled its bed.

We bent over numbed
fish, the cricket’s song,
clad in scales, crossed
the sand from the foliage
of the bank, we had come
to sleep, Noman
circled the bed, Noman
extinguished the mirrors, Noman
will wake us
in our time.

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