Sunday, 25 September 2016

My Blindspot – The 3 things that completely surprised me when I visited the blind school

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think!”

- Winnie the Pooh

I have worked with The Potter’s Earth for the past two years. Through this time, I’ve interacted with thousands of students, parents, teachers and schools. No two students are alike, just the way no two teachers or schools are. But last week, I had the opportunity to meet a unique school with a unique mission and students like no other.

Krishna, an eight year old boy, loves cake. He loves school too and his favourite subjects are computers, art and craft and story-telling. He speaks 3 languages (English, Hindi and Marathi) and loves playing cricket with his friends. His parents work in a factory and he loves that he lives in boarding school. When he sat across the table from me, eating cake, he had this brilliant smile across his face as he spoke of his friends and admitted to bunking class sometimes to walk in the garden behind the school. He wants to grow up and work in the Armed Forces. Krishna is also blind.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What 4 favourite Superheroes taught me about Parenting

“Take out the Spiderman book today!” yells my younger son. “No, let’s read Hulk”, counters his elder brother. This nightly ritual in our home is a daily negotiation for the bed-time story my sons and I read together once they are tucked in for the night. Of this hour-long event, the first crucial 20 minutes determines super hero selection. The negotiations begin amicably enough, with strong undercurrents of politicking, bribery and cross-influencing. Just when the dealings start bordering on outright violence, I use my veto power and decide on a third candidate (Captain America, arise!) who will grace our story session this time.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Stallion Realty & Translink Roadways - The Man behind it All !

In conversation with Abhishek Dasgupta or ‘Stallion’ as he is referred to by the team of the The Potter’s Earth.

What’s the story behind Stallion?

Stallion is the Realty and Roadways business that I started a few years ago. I began with real estate in Mumbai, and once that had grown and flourished, I was on the look- out for a new avenue to venture into. Two years ago when my mom came up with the idea of getting into roadways, I thought it was great, and a few months of research later came the birth of Stallion Roadways. Our research included speaking to current bus owners, manufacturers, agents etc. and once our initial apprehensions were mitigated, we were excited to get started. We picked the Pune-Nagpur route to run our buses because not only did it make sense revenue-wise, but my dad was in Nagpur so it would make operations more convenient. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Making Life Beautiful !

After pulling out a batch of fresh brownies from the oven, I neatly cut them into cubes and packed them into 3 different boxes. One was for me to keep in the refrigerator, one was for my friends to gorge on the next day and the third was for an extremely special person in my life who I have looked up to since I’ve known her.
As I scrambled out of home at 8:30 pm, juggling the box of brownies, my handbag and a carton full of trash (a result of the seasonal cooking), I made my way to the car. While I drove, I thought of all the things I had pending on my plate for the next day at work, how my car needed to be dropped off to servicing and how I had to plan my dad’s birthday (which was the next day). At 9, I finally got into the elevator at my destination to drop off that last box of brownies.

Heena Shah (Heena Aunty as I call her) is Superwoman in disguise. She, like many other businesswomen in today’s world has an innate sense of balance between work and home. On a typical day in her life, she’ll wake up and ensure breakfast is on the table, make lunch, get ready and head out to work by 10am. She’ll spend the day at her parlor, having interesting conversations with her customers, overlooking the inventory or simply talking to her staff about their life. She’ll ensure she makes it home for a quick lunch break with her husband and son to catch up with them on their day, before heading back to work. She’ll be the last one out the door at work, lock up and come home in time to plan dinner, which she ensures is a family affair.

After I handed her the box of brownies, we sat down to catch up and I had to ask her how she did it !


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Incredible Journey of a Dancer, Writer, Therapist and Businesswoman !

A Writer, a Dancer, an Arts-based Therapist, an Entrepreneur, Founder- Director of Artsphere, Pune, a wonderful person and, most importantly, a very good friend are just some of the words, among many others, that I can use to describe Anubha Doshi.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

4 Things To Remember if you want a Career in Music !

The Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day is a global phenomenon celebrated on the 21st of June every year to mark the solstice and first day of summer in many countries. Of course, in India, this day usually falls bang in the middle of heavy monsoons all over the country! However, that doesn’t hold us back from being a part of this culturally diverse and spectacular event. India played its part with multicultural musical performances all over the country showcasing folk and tribal, old and new genres !

I, on the other hand, decided to catch up with a close family friend who also happened to be my music teacher when I was a kid. Shitalchandr Kulkarni, apart from being the lead guitarist in Tungztn is also a fabulous music teacher, producer, composer and amazing human being. We got chatting about his journey over the years, how he pursued his dream to be a musician and his views on the independent music scene in India.

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Story of a Time-Traveler

As we all stared at the carvings on the walls of the ancient temple, trying to make sense of them, Kush effortlessly deciphered them for us, meticulously explaining what each panel depicted. He had an answer to every question any of us threw at him, whether it pertained to Rahul and Craig’s curiosity about Hindu mythology, Ritesh’s interest in architecture, or Khushboo and Ashley’s passion for understanding human behavior, culture and society. He was even able to provide snippets of information on how best to take pictures of the ancient ruins to ensure that Varun gets the best photographs. Kush Dhebar never failed to amaze us with his tremendous knowledge of just about everything on our short holiday to the historic town of Hampi, not to mention entertaining us with anecdotes of his previous excavations at different sites, much to the envy of outdoorsy Sagar!