Posted in Experiences Around, I too have a #story! Storytelling Festival, Learnings, The Immersive Project, Think Tank

The Immersive Project

Source: The Immersive Project

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Posted in Experiences Around, The Immersive Project

International Book Giving Day

 

It’s February 14th. Love is in the air, and streets are all adorned in red. Well planned surprises are being executed, and the last to the party are doing a rushed shopping. From flowers to teddy bears and chocolates to every other thing that the lovey-dovey couples drool over are going to be high on demand. But, I am not here to talk about Valentine’s day. Thanks to the overrated attention to this day for “lovers”, there is a very important factor of February 14th, that’s getting buried under the bush.

What exactly is The International Book Giving Day?

 

Yes, what a lot of people don’t remember, and most unfortunately, what a vast majority do not know is that February 14th is also International Book Giving Day. Thought it originated in the United Kingdom, The International Book Giving day has been widely followed all over the world, including India, as it emphases on providing children with as many books as possible. It not just helps to provide children with books; it also tries to instill a reading habit in young minds.

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Need for donating books

 

In spite of having a compulsory primary education policy in India, only 50% of kids have access to education. According to India Literacy Project,

“The need for donating books arise because, many children from low income groups have access to a low quality of education. They do not have the opportunity, and also cannot afford to practice reading and develop language proficiency. With their poor state, most schools in rural areas cannot provide these opportunities either”

As long as they are not capable of reading effectively, they will not be able to learn any subjects. It is clear that it’s not free education, but the quality of education that matters. When many of us have the greatest privilege to read books accord to our wishes, it is only humane to do something for the underprivileged children. The International Book Giving day aims at just that.

What you can do

 

You may not even have to spend a penny for this. If you look closely, you will find a number of books lying around your house, that you have no absolute need of. How can you use these books to help others?

  • Gift these books to your younger siblings, cousins or kids of your friends, and instill a habit of reading in them.
  • Donate the books to libraries or any organisation that will donate the books to the needy.
  • Donate books to schools and orphanages

What we do

 

Kaffeinated Konversations provides a platform where everyone can access books. Our recently established library, called the KK Libros, accepts donations in the form of books and just very recently got over 80 books as donations. Better yet, we are partnered with Seva Sahyog, an Indore based NGO that aims at engaging socially conscious corporate, groups and individuals, with NGOs of matching interests. The donations sent to Kaffeinated Konversations will go to Seva Sahyog. They not only give the books to the ones in need, but also impart skills to the poor, especially beggars. And in return for your donations, Seva Sahyog will send some gifts your way.

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So, today, let’s spread the love of a different kind. Instead of spending lavishly on goodies for a person you may not even remember five years from now, on this book giving day, spend zero to a few bucks on books for someone who is really in need of it. Cause, for some of these kids, you are gifting them nothing less than a bright future.

TO DONATE BOOKS CONNECT TO KAFFEINATED KONVERSATIONS:

Email: kaffeinatedkonversations@gmail.com

The Writer:

Reethu Ravi is Content Brewer Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She is pursuing BTech in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding. An ardent reader and a passionate writer, she is also a self taught artist. Hailing from Kerala, her interests include music, movies and series.

Posted in Experiences Around, The Immersive Project

My Worst Book Hangovers

Have you ever had an instance where you just could not get over a book? You will get so attached to the book and most often after finishing it you are so emotionally gripped that, you feel like taking up a new book is almost sinful.

 

Sometimes it’s the setting of the book that transports you to a different world, like Harry Potter, which will give you the hardest time to come back to reality. Other times it may be the story, something inspirational like Tuesdays with Morrie. And the worst kinds of hangovers are the ones that leave you depressed. I have had so many book hangovers, but let me tell you about those books that gave me the worst hangover ever.

P.S. I Love You

 

Those who have read this book will know how moving and emotional this book is. The author, Cecelia Ahern, has done a spectacular job in telling a story of moving on and learning to love again. This book deals with all the important things in a person’s life- love and letting go, friendship and family. The reader gets hooked to the story immediately.

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It tells the story of Holly and her husband Gerry. The book begins with Gerry’s death and soon after, Holly receives a bunch of letters written by Gerry before he died. These letters help Holly in dealing with her husband’s death and eventually teaches her to be happy again. The book had me at letters!

 

I read this book in high school and I can still remember how it took me almost a week to get over it. The story is so simple and real. I could immediately identify with Holly’s character. I have never lost someone who was really close to me, to death. I can only imagine what that could do to me and the mere thought of losing someone that important to me is absolutely horrific.

 

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

 

Let me warn you, this book is going to leave you in tears and you are going to be very emotionally hung over for days.  This classic novel written by Ken Kesey is just too good that I cannot even find words to describe it.

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Set in a Psychiatric hospital, it tells the story of McMurphy, an inmate there and is narrated by “Chief” Bromden (another inmate). McMurphy is the kind of character that you immediately fall in love with. Throughout the book, you get so attached to him- you laugh with him, vouch for him, cry for him; so much so that you need time to get over him.

 

The setting of the novel,  the various institutional practices that are highlighted and the ways in which human minds work, which is highly addressed in this book;  gives it an immediate melancholic air. It is that kind of a book where from the beginning you know that you won’t be getting over it anytime soon.

Me Before You

 

Probably the most discussed romance novel right now, especially due to the release of its movie adaptation last year, Me before You by Jojo Moyes is much deeper than any other typical romance novel out there, and far less clichéd.

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It tells the story of Louisa Clerk who is hired to be the caretaker of a quadriplegic patient, Will Traynor. Lou is probably my favourite female fictional character right now, cause of how vibrant, charismatic and unique her persona is.

 

I just could not put down this book and I read it within a day and a half. The reason I was hung up on this book was mainly due to the very important questions raised by the book(other than the obvious distressing events in it): Is it okay to opt for assisted suicide if you absolutely can no longer get back the life that you once admired to the fullest? Will you be able to allow the love of your life to commit assisted suicide?

 

At first glance, you may feel like you know the answers to these questions as simple as a yes or a no. But when you really think about it, you will realise how very difficult these questions are. The book had me pondering over these questions for weeks.

Schindler’s List

 

Being more of a historical account, and due to the author’s immense efforts to keep fiction out of it as much as possible, this book is a hard read. Written by Thomas Keneally, it tells the true story of a German factory direktor, Oskar Schindler, who did everything he could to save as many Jews as he could during the holocaust.

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For so many reasons, I just could not get this book out of my head. The obvious one is the horrors this book tells you.  I obviously know about Hitler’s regime and what he did; there was even a chapter entirely on him in my high school history text book.  But I was absolutely not prepared for the horrific accounts as said by the Schindlerjuden-Schindler’s Jews through this book.

 

This book is so emotional, and not just cause of the atrocities that turn humanity into pure evil, but also cause of the goodness that prevails, (how much ever meagre it may be), amidst pure evil. I just read this book last month and as I finished the last pages I took a couple of minutes to digest all the information and to compose myself. I am sure that Schindler is going to stay in my mind for a long time.

The Time Traveller’s Wife

 

I know this is an unconventional kind of novel in the romance genre.  And I really am not a fan of books that have unrealistic love stories. But maybe it’s the sheer brilliance with which the author, Audrey Niffenegger, has told this impossible tale that this book has become one of my most favourite books of all time.

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It tells the story of Henry, a victim of a genetic disorder that makes him time travel unpredictably, and his wife Clare. Told in the perspective of both the protagonists, the book takes the reader through the much difficult life that the duo leads. And in spite of their impossible life, his unpredictable disappearances into a different time, and her numerous miscarriages; she sticks by him. Just the happenings of their day to day life is enough to tug at your heart strings.

 

You rarely come across a book, which upon reading the prologue alone you know immediately that you are going to fall in love with this book. This was one such book. I read it years back and even now, there are pangs of its hangover.

The Writer:

Reethu Ravi is Content Brewer Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She is pursuing BTech in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding. An ardent reader and a passionate writer, she is also a self taught artist. Hailing from Kerala, her interests also include music, movies and series.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, The Immersive Project

Tips to Read More by Aishwarya Rajeev

Hey guys, do you think you read less ? do you want to read more ?

You wish you could read more ?? but fail at times ??

Well I have a few tips for you guys which will help you to read more. These are tips I usually follow to read more.

  1. Set a Goal/Target:

                          The first thing to do is to set a reading goal – monthly target, yearly target. You may set goals in numbers that are realistic like – “ read 50 books in 2017 / read  5 books a month” or set a more specific goal “ read 1 classics, 2 contemporary reads, 2 sci- fi this month” etc .

 

How to set a goal: Setting a goal is easier with Goodreads, all you have to do is sign up for the reading challenge and keep yourself motivated to reach the goal.

 

  1. Set a Reading schedule:

After setting up your reading goal for the year, it is important to set a reading schedule. You set what  time of the day and where will you most likely find it productive to read a book. ( I personally choose to read before bed and mostly evenings and during free hours at college.) So choose a time and place to read that comforts you.

 

  1. Select Books:

The next step is to select the books to read to help you accomplish the goal. It is suggested to choose books of your favourite genre than to read any uninteresting genres.

 

  1. Set the No. of pages:

                         It is important to set the number of pages you want to read every day, because doing so helps you read more consistently, and helps you read faster.

 

  1. Buy more Books:

                         Sometimes buying more books motivate you to read more and finish your books faster. When you see your growing  TBR pile, you are motivated to read faster.

 

  1. Avoid distractions:

                           It is important to ensure you choose to read from a place away from distractions, because when you are distracted you fail to read faster, it slows down your reading process.

 

  1. Read Multiple books:

                          Reading multiple books at a time help you read more books on an average. I personally choose 2 books of different genres so that the plots don’t mix up.

 

  1. Reading Challenges:

                         Join different reading communities and try and do the various challenges hosted by them. Goodreads and Instagram communities are (My favourite) two great platforms to discover various reading challenges which help you read faster.

 

  1. E-books/ Audiobooks:

                        There are times when you cannot always carry a physical book, during that course of time you can read a couple of books on Kindle, or listening to audiobooks while you are engaged in some other activity helps a few people to read more.

 

  1. Always carry a book:

                        If you want to read more, carry a book with you always. You will never know when you get time. You  can read when you travel to and fro school/college/work, and free time. (Trust me I always do this, and it helps)

 

Hope these tips help you in reading relatively more and faster. Reading is fun, reading helps us have a clear, happy and imaginative mind.

 

Wish you achieve your reading goal this year.

 Happy reading 2017

Reading is dreaming with open eyes

Author Bio:

Aishwarya hails from Bangalore. She is a voracious reader and a blogger and also a booktuber. She has a booktube channel named love2reviewbooks. She is also a active bookstagrammer on Instagram. She reads more of Indian authors books, since she feels that even they need to be promoted and appreciated like any foreign authors.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, The Immersive Project, Travel and Tourism

Tweets in Terracotta

“Where words leave off, music begins.”
Heinrich Heine

So need I write this blog then? Probably not! I would rather say that let the music do all the talking. Unfortunately, sometimes one has to speak…. speak for something that’s lost and bring back. Bring back that slice of a childhood. Bring back that fragment of memory of ourselves from our school years. I would say I was lucky to get back the memory and I always maintained that I’m unabashedly childish in my ways sometimes – especially to those who matter to me…I’m me. Why am I talking about childhood? Well, the experience of it all began at a cafe recently.

Our community of konversationalists (Kaffeinated Konversations) were huddled together for the Kaffeinated Sunday Meet at our favourite place “The Nest Cafe” in Indore. While giving order of our beverage, I noticed terracota birds in the bowl at their counter. They were whistles in bird shape. I immediately bought one and started whistling. The group must have thought of me as mad, but I didn’t care.

Its a fragment of childhood. Its a toy.
Its musical.
Its about joy in things small and beautiful.
Its a Water Whistle in Bird shape.

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The Water Bird Whistle

The next day one of our group member, Shreshtha shared a video which showed that it needs to be filled with water to emit bird call. I was thrilled to bits! This fun element got me all the more excited to go hopping mad trying the whistle everywhere in the house. (testing whether the room dimensions would affect the sound or not). Funny that!

Here’s the Video wherein you can get the idea of the bird call.

 

The origin of the whistles can be attributed to our illustrious civilization of Indus Valley ie. Mohenjodaro, the excavations have yielded many evidences of the whistles shaped in different forms. That such a beautiful toy was crafted during that time is a testimony to the fact as to how advanced the civilization was in many ways.

However one cannot contain this whistle only to the Indus Valley period. These kinds of whistles are found in China (procelin) , Peru and Russia too. There are different kinds of birds crafted. Sparrows, Erusian Bird, Rooster etc are mostly created. Check this video of how to make one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngx-kFQZ3zQ

You can even watch the explanation of water whistles of Macedonia and US as shown by Mark Glisten in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haOUYULoHXU

What’s so unique about this whistle?

  • You get different sounds based on different water levels
  • Its made of terracota – completely eco friendly
  • It’s simple but beautiful
  • It helps children with speech and breathing.
  • It makes kids realize the differences in sounds and how the force of the breath creates musical notes
  • For older kids, the science behind combined purpose of the shape, the water level, the pipe and holes excites curiosity

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Want to buy it? Check it out at Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, The Immersive Project, Travel and Tourism

A Kaffeinated Sunday – Visit to Central Museum Indore

“Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.”
Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence

Living in Indore since 8 years, I never saw the Central Museum. People around thought it was a joke when I requested them to take me there. They didn’t find it worth it. Eventually, I stopped asking and then life with its daily routine took over. However, that lingering thought remained. The thought of missing something even if it didn’t yield anything solid kept rearing from time to time. So this Sunday on 11th September, 2016, I floated the idea of visiting the museum to all the #konversationalists. Firstly, we were to meet at a cafe and then head to the museum.

We all met at The Nest Cafe. Their 2nd anniversary celebrations were going on and we felt completely at home in the cafe we loved. Our group of konversationalists ranged from students to entrepreneurs and we were an eclectic bunch of people who shared the common bond of books, writing and arts. Our meetup threw in a lot of discussions and sharing on life, goals, books, music, events and even entrepreneurship.

 

It seemed that we had so much to pour out… time seemed to just slip off! Then we had to set out to the museum. And what did we see?

Noticed the sculptures on the right below side of the images above? They maybe broken but they’re beautiful.

All left to be exposed to the elements of the nature. Each one is a delight to watch. Each line, each shape. None of these were marked. Just the names. No story. Notice the Hanuman sculpture? He carries a dagger. Who’s the person he’s killing? I had to google to know and guess what it must be.

This could be the explanation:

Akṣaya_kumār (Sanskrit: अक्षयकुमार) was the youngest son of Ravana and the brother of Indrajit. In the Ramayana, When Hanuman started destroying Ashoka Vatika after talking to Sita, Ravana sent him at the head of a Rakshasa army to take care of it. It is mentioned in the Ramayana that when the news of Hanuman‘s destruction of Ashoka Vatika reached Ravana’s Court, Ravana looked at his young son, Akṣayakumār. A warrior of just sixteen, he took the gaze of his father as his command and left for battle in his flying chariot. He fought valiantly with Hanuman, aiming various weapons at him. Though highly impressed by the young prince’s valor and skills, finally Hanuman had to kill him.

 

 

The red brick stone is a replica of some temple (there were no footnotes to understand what it was). The reclining Vishnu is usually shown in the side reclining position. Here he’s shown to recline straight. Why? We needed to unearth that. The Boar or Varaha is one of the forms of Vishnu. However we wanted to know about the carvings on the boar’s body and couldn’t understand it. The legend goes as….

Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a Boar in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (Prithvi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi) in this avatar.

The Varaha Purana is a Purana in which the form of narration is a recitation by Varaha.

It is to be noted that the Varaha Temple at Khajuraho has similar sculpture of Varaha that’s colossal and monolithic. 

 

The sun god sculpture in its basic form without intricate engravings caught my attention. The another thing I loved was the writing style as shown in the middle image. Looks so beautifully styled! The third image looks Grecian and medieval in nature. It looks like a western influence on our sculpture style. (I might be wrong)

Did you notice I was guessing everything? Well, the pitfall of visiting the museum was:

  1. The footnotes were hardly legible in most places. In many places they were over written making it distracted look
  2. There was no one to guide us about the history of the place
  3. Nothing was put in chronological order. starting from the present to past or other way. All things were randomly put as if they were unloaded from truck and directly put up there
  4. Incomplete information in display cases. Pictures too didn’t yield any explanation.

The best part?

  1. We explored
  2. We tried to find out
  3. We infered with our limited knowledge
  4. We tried to logically deduce the meaning

In short it got us thinking, guessing and fired up to known more about the whys and the hows of each piece.

Ok, Let’s compare this: UAE didn’t have a rich cultural heritage like us; yet they created a cultural district Saadiyat Cultural District near Abu Dhabi with the replica of Guggenheim Museum. It’s a beautiful one and look at our museums… they’re dying for want to attention!

The question is –

Did I enjoy? Yes! I did.

Will I go back? Of Course! and with a historian too probably! 🙂

Why will I? Didn’t you realize that what’s not there has to be filled up in the gaps and the space shall soon be alive, does it matter whether we have something or not? We go ahead with whatever we have and can get.

 

Posted in The Immersive Project

Art Cove {The Immersive Project}

Each of those paintings one after another got her mesmerized. Those series of photographs got her awestruck. In-spite of loving arts and creativity, she still felt lost…. as if some vital connection was sorely missing. She ruminated on why she felt the way she felt and then an idea struck! She met one of the CoFounders of PulpyPapaya and together they brainstormed on how to take it up – slowly and gradually… that’s when The Immersive Project was born!

It began with a missing gap and got fulfilled on 22nd May, 2016 – one of the most appropriate days ie. Cultural Workers and Folk Artists Day. For the first time in Indore this Day was celebrated to honor the contribution of cultural enthusiasts in the city.

What Did We Do?
Cultural Workers and Folk Artists Day focused on themes related to the revival of state as well as national culture and the development of folk art in India. Kaffeinated Konversations conceptualized Art Cove, an Artistic Retreat in association with PulpyPapaya. It is a platform that gives anyone and everyone an opportunity to engage in local art.
Special themes featured were centred on tribal folk art and cultural contributions in Madhya Pradesh’s history.

Participants were engaged in :
1. Collective Art Work that involves you to be part of the whole design


2. Individual Art Work (you get to choose what you want to work on)

 

Held at PulpyPapaya Studio at Saket, this event saw mixed group of people who are artists and those who liked art but weren’t experts.

Starting from 7am in the morning to 12pm afternoon, the event saw a collective enthusiasm of 15 enthusiastic people who wanted to bring out their creativity and imagination through colours. Simple art forms and structures provided more shape to a blank canvas, enabling more freedom for illusions and visual expression.

Not only did we splash around with our creativity but also had an impromptu crash course on martial arts for basic self defence… Thanks a lot Pramod Goswami for making us realize that it’s really easy to defend oneself!

 

Of course… when the brain is in a creative mood, a little break toh banti hai!

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With a such a crackling and inspiring morning on Sunday, at the end we discussed how to take this further; for creating a culture of art appreciation and understanding is the foremost thing in everyone’s mind.

So let’s brew more experiences with “The Immersive Project”! Cya soon!