Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Capitalfare !

Hello Netizens,
What's on ?

Today i would like to give you my experiences of travel around one of the city's posh and high-security areas concluded with my visit to neighbouring Mayur Vihar.

Here are the notes:

Chanakyapuri,28 march: It was a fine Saturday Morning, sun in full vigour bathing the city with its radiance.

My seniors, Father Melroy Fernandes ( From Mumbai) pursuing Broadcast Journalism along with his batchmate, Miss. Dhanya Thomas set out for a shooting assignment. They intended to shoot in the premises of the Carmel Convent School for girls located at Chanakyapuri.

I, from the Print Media batch, was the odd one out who treaded along with them. I am immensely thankful to them for letting me come along ( or rather to put in a lighter vein, tolerate me !)

The triumvirate that we were boarded the required bus to reach the hub of embassies and consulates. Our destination has circles in middle of the streets which are set in crossroads pattern.

Delhites call these circles which has flower beds enclosed within railings running around it as " Golchakkars. "

The area Chanakyapri got its name from the famous Prime minister , Chanakya in the court of India's first imperial king, Chandragupta Maurya.

One also comes across Historic sounding names of the streets, which are nothing but streets named after distinguished personalities of Indian history.

Here, one can come across the Kautilya Marg, which again is a name by which Chanakya was known. Besides, there is Ashok road after Emperor Ashok, Akbar road after Emperor Akbar, name a route and you'll find it here !

One is bound to be impressed by the smooth and clean roads the area has to its credit. There are the embassies of all the countries symetrically on either side of the street.

The term " puri " in Chanakya couldn't be unlocked from my part as Fr. Mel. also queried about it to me !

We had a tough time finding the school which Fr. chose to document his video.

It is located near the Chinese Embassy. Carmel Convent School is run by a specialised congregation of Sisters and has a Christian hierarchical setup in its administaration. The school is not a co-ed it has only girl students. The school has classes upto the 12th standard. The front of the school building has a reasonably big verendah with some trees and floweres adding to its holistic atmosphere.

Father Mel. gave his identification at the gate by referring the teacher (s) names to the watchman whom he had informed about the shoot.

We went up the staircase of the main buliding which had the classes. Just outside one of the classes, we found the girl students waiting outside( who were a part of Father's project video) with enthusiastic and bright faces.

To give in some details, this school has a unique method of teaching and promoting mathematics. The students are dressed in ethnic and traditional wear along with a banner, ala beauty pageant style. Thse banners have the different symbols of Mathematics printed on them. They walk as if catwalking down a ramp.

It is here that another chirpy voiced eloquent student would be giving running commentary about the students.

They are referred to as Miss integer, Miss Equal to, Miss Multiplication, Miss Subtraction, Miss Minus and so on.

Father documented the whole performance with the girls affirming in unison at the end with their hands waving in the air: " Maths is Fun ! "

From my side, I hated Maths, it would give me the jitters. It was too dry for me. Maybe, I would be a fan of the doll which was launched in the Western world some years back. It had a button located on its surface, which on pressing would make the doll blurt out these lines: " Maths is Tough! "

Father's witty one liners intact, the show was documented neatly.

I started interviewing the teachers there who were with the students when Father was going about his bussiness.

Aparna Singh, student counseller of the school, from Rajasthan had this to say about the contemporary traits of generation-x: : " Unless they are well informed, they cannot distinguish what is ethical and what is not. "

I inquired that there is a general notion among the media following public that the generation who were acquainted with Doordarshan were less prone to harmful effects of media. To this she replied:

" Children nowadays are exposed not only to media but many sociological and psychological factors. They need answers which we are unable to provide. "

Later Father took some soundbytes from her.

I interviewed another teacher Mrs. Garima Sharma, a Punjabi. Her Aryan looks prompted me to ask her origins. She said that her ancestors were from pre partition Rawalpindi, Pakistan and has been a resident of the capital for a long time.

Father took a soundbyte of hers too.

I discussed a variety of matter with them: I queried that is the notion that Delhi has people with rude civil behaviour correct?

Mrs. Singh answered: " from a foreigner's perspective, it is so. " She said that though she is living in the city for quite some time she finds it hard to adjust herself with the road rage incidents taking place, the city is definitely getting a bad name. she claimed that to put it bluntly the capital is not good for settling.

Mrs. Sharma differed in this debatable matter she put a counter qustion by stating: the residents of Delhi were cosmopolised and no single denizen of this city could claim himself/herself to be its original inhabitant.

She said she has seen the changing Delhi, having lived here for quite some time.

I don't want to sound lecherous but she seemed to have an uncanny resemblance with the co-director of Danny Boyle's " Slumdog Millionaire " , Miss. Loveleen Tandon.

The two teachers took us to their staff room and traeated us with some delicious fare as: Chocolate layered dougnuts with crispy garnishings on top, potato chips, cookies and strong cups of tea.

There we were introduced to the other teachers who were seated.

Having relished the offerings, i went to do some talk which i would like to label as SRK-talk !

Yes, right Shahrukh Khan. It sprung up from Mrs. Singh's referral of her daughter who is a fan of the actor.

I opened a conversation of sorts by stating that " He ( SRK) is an institution in itself. "

I was not surprised when i came to know of the facts related to the actor's life from the teacher(s) side.

This can be so, for the public here can relate to him as he is from the city itself.

I enquired wheter there were any ex-students who had made a niche of themselves in any sphere: Meenakshi Sheshadri ! came the reply from the teachers. Meenakshi, as we all know is the Hindi movie actress as well as Indian Classical dancer.

Both of them asked Father to present them a CD of the documentation, to which he obliged.

After these, we reached our institute at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

After taking a nap for half an hour, we set off for the remaining shoot to take place in Mayur Vihar.

There we visited Mr. Deepak, a Tata Institute of Social Sciences graduate and a government service holder.

He is the brother of Madam Lucy, our Broadcast journalism teacher. She works in All India Radio. Father documented the kids there for his video which ran on the issue of Media's effects on Children.

Having finished taking soundbytes from Madam as well as her brother we were given some lipsmacking fare by the family. These were Sandwiches, Beverages, Pakoras concluded with tempting helpings of Chocolate cake.

Having been famished through our journey , these were more than welcome for us !

This wrapped up our task and then back to square one: we reached Niscort at quarter to 8 p.m. !

Thank you my partners for this trip that has left an indelible impression in my mind and will be a a juncture of my life to reflect and ponder upon !

Life is beautiful, live it to the fullest.



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