Sunday, January 03, 2016

A Tribute To 2015 - A Paen to India's Youth

We usually catch up on newspapers during stays in hotels. An year end trip to Kerala had us scanning The Hindu, The Indian Express and the Deccan Chronicle for the duration of our trip. Mostly, I was overjoyed to find out about the many good books by Indian authors released in 2015. The joys of doing crosswords and Sudoku are, of course, the highlights of a print edition of any good newspaper!

As such, newspapers are filled with hysterical panic mongering and I have no desire to read them on a daily basis. Yet, one newspaper that I read in Thrissur, Kerala, sometime after Xmas, prominently featured a touching tale of heroism.

Naushad, an auto rickshaw driver, was at a tea stall when he saw an accident. He rushed to the rescue but lost his life in the attempt. Though a tragedythis is an account of real time heroism. Everyday, people go out of their way to help each other but we have got more used to devouring stories about painful and terrible happenings, often occurring far far away from us. Unfortunately, I cannot find the exact article which had a story about another such hero, also from Kerala.

I do not intend to say that you should turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to unfortunate occurrences but I do hope to inspire you into a good habit for 2016: please note all the many good things around you everyday. 

2015, on a personal level, was a pretty unpleasant year for me yet all I will retain of it are the splendid times I had, the memories of goodness extended to me, the sweetness of the youth in India and their zeal to make this world a better place.

On a daily basis, I see young men and women, of humbler circumstances, sparkling, be they the Big Basket delivery boys, the young girls who collect waste from our flats. No less is my praise of the children of the better off: rather than indulging in shallow show-off, these youths spend time on worthy causes and all of them are taking up new and exciting professional and academic streams! Thanks to a brief stint as a school teacher, I get to follow the lives of many whom I taught and I am filled with exhilaration. In the below video, you will see a young lady whom I had taught and who is my real life idol! 

Besides the accounts of heroism that I read in the newspaper, acts of rare bravery performed by average human beings, I was also elated to learn of yet another excellent initiative by young Indians. Music Basti uses the power of songs and melodies to empower underprivileged children. 

Our students from Nigam Pratibha Vidyalaya in Delhi, whom we really enjoy teaching through a partnership with Teach For India, sing John Lenon's, "Imagine". Enjoy! =)
Posted by Music Basti on Monday, 14 December 2015

2015 consolidates the power of youth in India. Among the many platforms which are open to them for expression, Youth Ki Awaaz is one fine example. Relying on crowd sourcing, this bold initiative is working to change the face of media.

Indeed, to give due credit, media has also projected and injected some hope as we see on a roadside film poster: it seems to be based on a theme of bonding between youngsters, of horizontal learning...

We have much to learn from the youth and from the so called poor. With an attitude of humility, we would do well to look back on 2015 with gratitude and optimism. 

Young Indians across the nation, irrespective of gender or socio-economic class, fill me with pride: striding purposefully to school/college/job, they all spare time to be helpful and to spread a smile.