• The Silver Lining to Burnt Toast
    Asmita Javdekar | 20-Aug-2019
    I could barely take my eyes off him.6feet 2inches, chiseled to perfection!His complexion was reeking of warm chestnut, perhaps a well earned tan from the Himalayan trek that he was brazenly boasting about. Amma always told me that I was an innate revolutionary, my first shriek into this world was proof enough that I was here to ruffle quite a few feathers.At 12, I picked up my first fight against Avva (my grandmother) for not allowing me inside the kitchen when I was on my period. At 15, the target was Amma and Appa for setting a 7 pm deadline for me to get home when my younger brother could gallivant at his heart’s whim. This unfair, biased world for women made me sick in my gut. Ever since, I prioritised Women Rights and Welfare as a cause that I would dedicate my life to.Kabir was a chance encounter.I was working on a Skilling project for a community of Himachali women. A friend had recently trekked to our program site and wanted to update me about her experience. For the first time in my life, I co
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  • Traveling with a baby
    Team Kalamwali | 20-Aug-2019
    Traveling with a baby - By Eesha Patwardhan   “Buy a ticket to nowhere, live your life and experience wanderlust.” Clearly these words were not spoken by a parent !!! As a parent and especially as a new parent , the idea of traveling is nerve racking . It can give jitters to even the strong hearted . So as a recently promoted parent who has successfully travelled with an infant , I thought I would be doing a great favor to all those parents out there who are breaking out into a sweat at the thought of taking a trip with their little one. Here’s my list of must-do’s when traveling with an infant Travel hands free Make sure you travel with minimum baggage on hand, check in whatever you can and always make sure at least one parent is dedicated 100 % to carrying the toddler . You can choose to carry the infant in your arms , in a pram or a baby carrier bag . Personally , I find prams to be cumbersome and carrying the baby in your arms can be quite tedious , so be smart , use
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  • Three Sisters
    Asmita Javdekar | 16-Aug-2019
    Three women, donning navwaris in the middle of the city, is a fairly uncommon sighting these days...These three sisters had taken early morning buses from their respective villages, bordering Pune, to convene at their brother’s house for Raksha Bandhan...All three of them were gushing about being photographed and featured on social media. They were in quite a rush to get back home as their daughters’ in law had their own Rakhi commitments as well...By the time we finished our chitter-chatter, their brother had organised for them to be dropped off by a rickshaw.Their joy knew no bounds.Neither did mine.
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  • In continuation: DOES YOUR HOME HAVE AN ECO-HEART?
    Manasi Bhosale | 16-Aug-2019
      Scrolling through Pinterest the other day, I came across a blog post that was both clever and effective at once. The blogger wrote about a game she plays with every new person she meets. This game made for a great topic of conversation as well as had a huge influence on the persons involved. So, it went like this- She would ask the person what the most toxic things in their homes were and what was the number one thing they would change!  She got some stirring answers:   Non-stick cookware Wi-fi routers Air fresheners  Bug sprays Antiperspirants Fabric softeners   As you may imagine, all these controversial items were soon dealt away with or their usage considerably reduced.   Living green is a conscious choice. Modern lifestyles have solved many problems to make our everyday life comfortable but only to have added some serious other issues. Of course, we are aware of them and want to redeem ourselves by doing our bit for the environment. We want to make chang
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  • It´s your life!
    LanguageCafe | 08-Aug-2019
    Meadows of spring flowers, vineyards and old country homes, huge old oaks that have seen centuries, creepers that find crevices to take root from and flourish, rainy evenings with cups of hot, spiced tea...... really you can fill it up with anything you wish! Now, how lucky is that!
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  • Madhura | 07-Aug-2019
    I am a mother since the past 8 years. I have a son who is growing at the speed of lightning. It feels like he dashed through the phases of Baby TV, Jake and the Never land pirates to Pokemon and Bey Blade and has landed on the Minecraft phase in just 267 days. He is 8. But I ask myself. How old is the mother in me?  Two weeks back we had planned to watch the latest Spiderman movie and my son asked me “Did you check with me before booking the tickets?”. I was quite taken aback. Although I applauded the clarity in his thoughts and also gave myself a pat on my own back for raising a child which does not fear expressing his displeasure regarding a plan. (I could not imagine an 8-year-old ‘me’ asking my mother the same question without having to pay for it without a red cheek). I also highly appreciated the effortless objectivity in his tone. No attitude. No arrogance. A plain expression of his feelings. He went to bed that night and I sat thinking about my own growth as a parent. A c
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  • Traditions and then some…
    Team Kalamwali | 05-Aug-2019
    Traditions and then some… - By Eesha Patwardhan   Shravan or Saavan is the holiest month for Hindu’s ( as are all the other months of the year ). During this month short month which falls in the fifth month as per the solar calendar, we celebrate quite a few hindu festivals , namely Naga panchami. Govatsa, Rishi panchami , Raksha Bandhan . The story goes that Lord Shiva drank the poison ‘Halahala’ which emanated from the sagar manthan during the battle of suras and asuras. During this manthan fourteen different gemstones emerged from the ocean and finally emerged the dreadful poison ‘halahala.’ In order to save the world from doom , Lord Shiva decided to drink up this poison and his wife Parvati then leapt to rescue him . As an ode to Parvati , women over the generations have been fasting during Shravan and celebrating their marital status by performing Mangalagowri pooja on every tuesday in the month of Shravan . Gowri refers to Parvati and Mangal obviously stand
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  • Barcelona
    Team Kalamwali | 28-Jul-2019
    - BY EESHA PATWARDHAN.   We walked through the bylanes of Barcelona on a windy sunday afternoon just soaking in the sights and smells around us. It seemed strange that all shutters were down and most cafes had no patrons . I thought to myself that maybe I made a mistake coming here. Maybe this is off season or maybe I booked us the wrong hotel in some God forsaken location ( Our Uber driver had assured us that we were booked at the right location) . It was best to keep quiet and continue walking down the street ( I had already messed up on the paperwork for our Visa’s and Mr. P was not amused ). So , anyway, as we kept crossing every block , it kept getting better and better. Slowly people ( mostly locals ) started surfacing. Surely that was a positive sign. Google maps kept guiding us and we kept blindly following it . Google maps cannot be wrong, can it? After a few more streetside cafes and some stores with the cutest knick knacks, we walked into this tiny square besides a Medical College. Th
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  • Mayank chi Aaji (Mayank’s granny)
    Asmita Javdekar | 28-Jul-2019
    “Food, shelter, Money, Education. I don’t know when I grew old, chasing these necessities. Looking back, I can tell you that these things are a part of Life, everyone’s Life but it’s not these things that bring joy. Real joy of living only comes when you love someone unconditionally, like I love my grandson; Mayank. He is 9months old and very wise.”..My heart blossomed with this lady’s story and I asked her, “ I would love to write about you. What do I put down your name as?”..“Just call me Mayank’s Aaji.”
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  • DOES YOUR HOME HAVE AN ECO-HEART?
    Manasi Bhosale | 20-Jul-2019
    It is heartening to know that people have become more conscious of the environment. Eco-friendly living has come a long way in the last decade. It has reached the homes of numerous families and is not limited to being a problem at the global level. Reducing plastic, conserving water and electricity are, of course, all important factors of sustainable living. But could we challenge ourselves to do more? My most recent interior design project was for a clothing store at a mall. It was here that we had thoughtlessly ripped apart existing flooring and wall paneling used by the previous retailer and “disposed them off ” as per the rules laid down by the commercial establishment. Whereas, the existing store could have been repurposed to our requirements with just minor alterations. Sadly, we did not - We did not give the smallest thought to the impact this waste disposal would have on OUR environment.    Many regrets later, I was sure I wanted to work hereafter with a new perspective- to tr
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  • Yoghes (That’s exactly how he pronounced it)
    Asmita Javdekar | 19-Jul-2019
    After churning stories from my hunky-dory comfort nest, I finally stepped out into the real world of putrid monsoon lunch sheds and bumper to bumper traffic.My first day as a #TeachIndia volunteer!After attending the day long, rigorous “Student-centric facilitator training” program at the Times of India office, all I craved was the familiarity of Home.Amidst dodging potholes, niggling pitter pattar, and helpless Uber intezaar, I bumped into a Chana chor garam stall.Yoghes tossed the kernels perfectly, with a luxurious drizzle of lime juice and a glorious sprinkling of masala.His gesture was enough to shuffle my mood. I struck a conversation and Yoghes opened up to me about his childhood in Rajasthan, daily earning and life in Pune. I asked him if he ever missed home or regretted coming to the city.With an embarrassed half-smile, he told me, “Bas padh nahi paye.” (I couldn’t get an education.) ..Wow! This message on the exact day that I put my wavering foot forward into the w
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  • Sarodey Kaka
    Asmita Javdekar | 19-Jul-2019
    On my way to #TeachIndia this morning, I had a tête-à-tête with my Rickshaw driver; Sarodey Kaka. . . He told me that besides driving, he has a farm and he is also into marketing of Sakas Food products. His zest for multitasking was interesting so I prodded on about what he did for a living when he was younger. Kaka had worked for a Mechanical Pumps Unit for 22years before the company suddenly closed down. With two young children and no job, he was in a state of helpless turmoil. . . “I took odd jobs, whatever came my way. It was about taking one day at a time. When your world comes crashing down, it means it’s only your problem. Not Life’s problem. Life doesn’t stop for you. It doesn’t stop for anyone and if you don’t keep pace, you will stay in the past when everyone around you moves into the future. In my difficult time, all the menial jobs that I did are the reason that have made me who I am today. You name a job and I can do it but talking to people
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  • Dr Sana Khan | 18-Jul-2019
    I was unable to enjoy college life due to  many reasons.  One of them being the distance from home to college as well as the distance between hearts.  There's a lot of difference in the opinion of people from place to place. I'm proud to be from Pune because we have been blessed with a broad minded outlook as well as cultural acceptance. Being raised in a cultured family I have been taught to be nice to everyone and respect everyone no matter what.  Unfortunately I was a part of a college where there was narrow mindedness, no acceptance to different cultures as well as unfriendly nature of students.  Due to these reasons I never felt that I ever belonged to the college. I always thought that I'm a localite and as soon as college is over I'll go back to my world. The batch is to be blamed probably as well as the difference in upbringing.  But life always gives everyone an opportunity to express themselves and live according to their wish so the story changed and life gave me
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  • Kusum Taware
    Asmita Javdekar | 06-Jul-2019
    I was on my #100humanencounters prowl this morning when I chanced upon a vendor selling giant jackfruits...Kusum Taware has been selling fruits for the last 26years. Her work hours are 9am to 9pm. I asked her how she managed her children when they were younger.Her reply was simple, “We do not pamper children like you people, they understand the need of the moment and rise up to the occasion. I had to work to support our family financially. My daughter started cooking when she was in 2nd grade. Her younger brothers shared the household responsibilities as well. Also, we live in a community where neighbours watch out for each other. Things are way different now. My daughter’s children study in an English medium school, my son is a gym trainer and the youngest works in an IT company.I don’t need to work for money anymore but after so many years my body doesn’t know how to function without this routine.”
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  • Beautiful moments and precious memories
    Team Kalamwali | 26-Jun-2019
    Was having a conversation with grand mother-in-law over coffee at home n suddenly it started raining..with tears in her eyes she started talking about how her late husband took her for a drive and sugarcane juice(her fav)evertime  it rained..i asked her to get ready n get in to the car..we both left for a drive with some old beautiful songs n stopped for sugarcane juice where I clicked this picture.. I wanted to capture that feeling she had while having it.. Happiness comes by doing small things and making memories and enjoying life has nothing to do with age..i consider this one as the best picture i clicked as its not just a picture its a moment,a memory.. My best friend,my grand mother in law   - BY POOJA SHAH
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  • Living the Dream: in the Home away from Home-II
    Team Kalamwali | 22-Jun-2019
    Living the Dream: in the Home away from Home-II  - By Gautam Govitrikar     UPDATE: In a sensational development, Ashish Bagai has agreed to a 9 month contract to help his "Home" country qualify for the World  T20 as well as the Real Deal-The ICC World Cup to be held Fown Under in 2015-probably the last chance for Associate Members like Canada to participate in the World Cups!                                                 -----------------------------------------     Last week, I covered the journey of Sushil Nadkarni from representing India U-19 to becoming the mainstay of the USA Cricket team. Today, we will talk about a dear friend and easily Canada’s best cricketer-Ashish Bagai!Ashish moved to Canada from Delhi at the age of 11 in 1993. While he had played plenty of “galli cricket”, he had never played it at a competitive leve
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