Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep!

I'm not a student, faculty or parent of a student studying at Whistling Woods International. I have been to this institute, because this is one among those few places which welcome film enthusiasts just for the love of Cinema. I remember the first time i visited. An educational institute dedicated to Film, Media and Fashion!

In a country where every second youth aspire to be a part of this industry, how many such institutes do we have? Not many, right! So here, I was in an institute that was catering education in the field, which is growing manifold every passing year. Training, grooming students in subjects that many would wish to study but cannot pursue because of a huge void in terms of educational facilities offered in this sector. Great, so this institute is providing educational support to all media aspirants and enthusiasts, alright. But, the next thing that caught my attention was, how many educational institute with an intent to cater formal education dare to have a motto "Do What You Love"? Needless to say, i was floored and that's the spirit, the vibe i thoroughly enjoyed while in this sprawling campus.

8 years old and their achievements as an educational institute surpass many other institutes' promise to deliver a lot more. The way they operate makes it clear that it's not financial or political support that makes an institute flourish. It's the students, their achievements, their love and support for their institute, a bevy of experts as faculty, hands-on experience on equipments students get, internship with acclaimed media houses, international collaboration for student-teacher exchange program and a lot more.

I have been following the news closely and being a regular on social media platforms, i can very surely say, that such relentless support from far and wide, students speaking for their institute, alumni sharing their experiences, cinema enthusiasts standing by, can only be because of what the institute has done over the years - they have touched lives in some way or the other, they have inspired and nurtured many a creative soul, they must have done a lot more, as it keeps reeling in my head.

My wishes and prayers for you because you have inspired me somewhere, in some way. Keep up the spirit, the flag will fly high in days to come. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

One to Live In? or, The One To Die For - Bombay!

Some days remain etched in memory - Today is one such day. I landed in Mumbai on this date, exactly 4 years back - June 20, 2010.

To think about it, I had no plans to come to Mumbai.. Once here, I had no plans to stay in Mumbai for more than a year, if not less... and today, after 4 years, such a thought looks as distant a dream as visiting Mumbai sitting in a distant insignificant small town in Jharkhand, when i was a child.

Mumbai to me was busy broad well-lit roads, Mumbai was people always on the move, Mumbai was people boarding and alighting running trains, Mumbai was tall buildings, Mumbai was Bollywood, Mumbai was flamboyant, Mumbai was mafia, Mumbai was money, Mumbai was Bombay, Mumbai was a sea-laced city, Mumbai was a dream, which had come true.

A hot humid day, I landed in this city, nervous and slowly finding my way out of the airport, boarded an auto, paid more than double (realized a few days later), went looking for an accommodation to stay, met a long lost friend and extremely tired, retired early for the day while still trying to analyse whether taking this plunge into an unknown, bigger than the sky city would do any good! 

Next day I woke up to a soothing continuous sound of water flow, to figure what it was, I got out of bed and opened the curtains to see a dark, black, cloudy sky pouring like on the whole of earth and since times immemorial this was the only place that it was raining for the first time ever.

The rains continued but Life didn't stop. People were hanging from the window rods of the 'BEST' buses, trains brought in thousands with dripping clothes, children splashing in the puddles with floral or transparent rain coats and passers-by with their trousers folded upto the knee and drenched from head to toe, were on the move with a spirit that can't be defined. This rhythm of rain and Life struck a chord in me, which still rings vibrant and throws hues of colours that has kept me dancing to the tune of this city.

Since then, the city has been a place, which i'm still so mesmerised with that i can't call it a 'Home', but so dear that it's just not a city - the madness, zeal, zest, love cannot be bound by just a name!