Friday, February 1, 2013

Fufill your dreams

This is an event with synchronicity writ large on it.
Where does it begin? I attended the get together of my Andhra University college of engineering batch (1968) at Vishakhpatnam on 17 November 2012.  I did a short event for my friends during this event. Sri B. Surya Chandra Rao is one of my old friends I lost touch with and reconnected again, thanks to this get together.Sri B. Surya Chandra Rao is making a huge difference in rural Andhra Pradesh by propagating alternate medicine, with special emphasis on Homeopathy. He is also a practitioner of Spirituality and he started a conversation based on this common thread. To cut a long story short, he sent me a mail on 25 January 2013 asking me whether I could do a workshop for an Engineering college near Rajahmundry. It turns out that  I was passing through Rajahmundry on 31st January to attend the 100th Birth Anniversary celebration of my father in our village. It appeared that 31st January does not suit the college and 1 Feb was suitable. However, I could not get suitable travel arrangements for 1 Feb. The only time that was possible on this trip was to do it some between 2:30PM to 5PM on my way back and it happened just so, thanks to Sri B. Surya Chandra Rao, the Principal and the Mnagmnet of BVC College of Engineering. That is synchronicity, isn't it?
I had to do several hours of preparation fr this talk. The first point was that, even though it is called a talk, I wanted the students to have an experiential and interactive event. Not easy when you expect more than 160 people ion the event. I settled down the title of "Fulfil your dreams" more as a title that would interest the students. Having selected that, I need to fulfill the expectations and be in integrity with the title of the talk. The issue was made a little more complex because I was  more used to PG students, with prominently urban percentage. The message I came up with was fairly simple but very interesting. You need clarity of your dream and you need to develop your inner resources to fulfill the dreams. The inner sources are your body(health), mind and spirit. My analogy was to compare it to the seed (dream or vision) , the soil, water and sun shine. I think it went very well and I really enjoyed it. Actually, this event is also fulfillment of my dream. 
A word about the college. The campus, buildings,  facilities and the seminar hall  - all of them pleasantly surprised me. The students were fabulous. I liked their participation and their cooperation - it is not easy to do a a great meditation session for 16o people in hall and it is the first time for most of them.
After the event, we had some fruits in the Principal's room. A refreshing change from the samosas and sandwiches that are normally served. Then, I had a brief but inspiring visit to the clinic of Sri B. Surya Chandra Rao and caught the train to Bangalore.
All in all, an unforgettable day for which I am gratful.

Pranayama for intenrational student group

The beginning of this workshop happened a couple of years ago when I met this wonderful young couple Bade and Satheesh. Bade is Turkish and Satheesh is Indian and their views , approach to education and openness struck me as extraordinary. They attained one of my pranayama workshops and we met a couple of times, though very briefly , after that. I was delighted to receive a mail form Bade in the end of December 2012. The mail was an invitation to share pranayam with a group of international students that they were bringing to Auroville for 4 day learning experience. We could work out the dates  that wee mutually convenient and I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct two sessions of pranayama for the group.

The constitution of the group is very interesting - eight students form Turkey, 4 form Delhi and 4 from the village of Ediyancahavadi, next to Auroville. Bade and Sateesh volunteered at Tamarai educational center when they were in Auroville and the connection with the youth of  Ediyanchavdi is rooted in this earlier work of theirs. The students form the village were not attending the paranayama sessions as they were not residing at the Mango Hill Resort. The report is a beautiful set of esthetically designed, eco-friendly structures, very close to Auroville. The space for the sessions was excellent and eminently sited to pranayama as you can see form the pictures. It was rather cold in the early mornings and even the Delhi-ites were warmly clad to ward off  the chill. The mornings were misty, with the sun streaming through the trees and mist and I enjoyed the drive to venue on both the days.
I enjoyed working with this group even more. They are a group of  teen aged youngsters, a bit upset to be shaken out of bed at an ungodly hour to attend sessions on something they could not even pronounce, let alone have a sens of. But the power of pranayama slowly but surely engulfed them and entered into their being. It was a joy for me to be part of this group and participate in this wonderful program. Some of them told me that they look forward to the next session.
We had a marvelous session for the small group on the next day and it was great to have breakfast with Bade, Sateesh, Ms. Aslan, the teacher in charge of the group from Turkey and Ms. Indira the teacher in charge of the group from Delhi.
I was very happy to receive the lovely gift of Sateesh's recent book "Leading without License' . 
This post must include something about the wonderful person, Mr. Mani.  He is a gentle person, whose professionalism and values command respect from anyone who interacts with him. An elderly but energetic, the proud owner-driver of an Indigo car he hires to earn his living. The unforgettable incident for me was that he was to pick me up at 6AM for 15 minute ride to the venue. He reported ta my place of residence at 5:30AM and his car was cloned that morning, he had bath and did his puja (prayers) for himself and the car! I was stunned to with the glimpse of the value system behind this incident and bowed my head in respect and admiration! I was fortunate to chat with him for few minutes and get to know him a little.
An unexpected bonus of the event - Ms. Aslan invited me to do a workshop for the teachers in her school in Turkey, when I will be in Europe during the summer. I never visited Turkey and look forward to my visit and the event.