Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ideas to Spread

My husband told me about TED Talks 2 years ago while we were in Dubai and I had nothing much to do at home besides watching TV and spending time on messenger and facebook. He told me they were interesting and although most of the initial ones I encountered were all technology talks … but eventually I found variety and got hooked. They were damn interesting and opened up my thinking about the world and its problems.
After I came back to India and got busy with my role as a Housewife working under a Mother-in-Law; spare time became sparce and so did my time online. Eventually, I forgot about TED talks. Indibloggers contest reminded me about the TED Talks and I enjoyed going through all the videos of the Dec 2012 TED Event. Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012 and all the videos are available on the website so you don’t have to go searching on YouTube.
Of all the TED Talk videos I saw, the 2 which caught my attention are listed below …  
Arunachalam Muruganantham, the first man to wear a sanitary pad (for experimental and testing purposes only); with his little education and a lot of simple humor, not only made a difference to women’s lives but also proved that u don’t need a mult-million dollar education or idea to make a difference. His key message is about entrepreneurship and how grass root innovation is something that is REAL, FEASIBLE and far more usuful to rural (read poor) India than any effort by governments and corporate sector. His other message was about how persistence and perseverance … his mantra for success was simply ‘Try Try Again till you succeed’ wrapped up as ‘innovation by Trial and Error’ …

Cynthiya Koenig talked about a very pertinent problem from rural India which we all know about but have ignored for decades or maybe centuries - Women travelling miles with water pots on their head bringing drinking and even non-drinking water to their homes from the water sources. My mom, mother-in-law and grandma – all have actually experienced this. Cynthiya not only pointed out the loss of time and productivity on account of 3 to 6 hours lost in brining water home BUT also talked about the long term health problems that are a result of carrying loads in excess of 10-15 KG on the head on a regular basis. The solution was a 40 (or more) liter capacity pot which looks and functions like a road-roller. Women have to roll this pot to their water source and not carry any load on their head. A simple solution (although I am not sure how much will it cost the poor people to procure it).

If you have read this far, I encourage you to visit and view all the videos on the site. You will surely learn something !!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Deferred Anniversary Road Trip Plan

I had planned a road-trip for my anniversary in May but due to some health and other reasons, we couldn't make it. Now that the monsoons have set in, I think it is a good time to revive those plans again.

The plan was a 2-day road trip to Lonavla and Lavasa – spending a day each at both these locations. I would have loved to make it a 4 day trip but hubby's office commitment have restricted it to a 2-day weekend trip.

The plan is to start off early Saturday morning, having breakfast at the expressway food court and reaching Lonavla early on and spending the whole day enjoying the misty atmosphere of Lonavla. Spend the night at Lonavla and then again an early morning trip from Lonavla to Lavasa.

I have heard great things about Lavasa and would like to see this beautiful new hill station … with my husband !!

So what are the things to carry ...
Rain-coat and Umbrella, Extra clothes (at least 3 pairs), Food stuff, snacks, frisbee, badminton racket and shuttle cock, the Ambi-Pur Car mini-vent (Pacific Air fragrance) (check out here ), camera, extra batteries, binoculars, my funky hat ... the list goes on

I plotted the route on Google Maps …