Sunday, October 28, 2012

Watching Movies

I am not a person who likes to sit for cinema, although once in a while I see an English movie, and rarely a Hindi or a regional language film. But in the last two weeks I have seen two of them. That's for a record. The first one is Rowdy Rathore, in Hindi, based on a south Indian movie. I would rate it good, with  a simple story line of good versus evil, and impersonation of a person to grow from a bad person into a good person to destroy bad people! The other one we watched yesterday: Oh My God! It is about an atheist small businessman struggling with his own faith in humanism, when his entire shop is destroyed in an earthquake. The insurance company refuses to pay him the money because it was "an act of God". Now he calls to court all the agents of God (priests of Hindu, Muslim, Christian and every other religion) and takes you through the shallowness of faith of these "religious:" against the "apostasy" of his own commitment to "truth, justice, equality, service to the poor". In the process he must learn what true religion is all about, and teach others as well. A good movie to watch and reflect about. All must see.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Resilient Recovery Planning

The UNDMT has been training a host of people in resilient recovery planning (RRP) across the country, and I got the opportunity to participate in it held at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India. It was also a good opportunity to meet some of my friends in the same sector.

The training lasted for three days (16-18 October 2012), and we had about 25 participants. Lots of very good reading materials (known as Guidance Notes) were given. The objective of the workshop is to build a group of humanitarian actors to help UN organizations, UNDMT, Government and other humanitarian agencies for resilient recovery planning from 3 months after any major disaster. Other than for the field visit which took nearly six hours of travel for about 45 minutes of interaction with the community, the workshop was very good, although sometimes we jumped off the scheduled times of sessions marginally. 

It was nice  to meet Sanjay Bhatia, Abha Mishra, and several other old and new friends from across the country. The training is part of the International Recovery Platform's commitment to promote recovery resilient planning.

Monday, October 8, 2012

In Kathmandu Valley

On 6th morning I traveled to Kolkata and then took the afternoon Air India flight to Kathmandu. The flight had been delayed officially by about 50 mts as we were rescheduled to travel at 2.30. The boarding started at 2.15 pm only, and when boarding was completed, we saw power was coming on and off in the plane. At around 2.50 we were informed that the flight would be further delayed due to some electrical snag and the engineers were trying to fix it. By 3.30 we left Kolkata and landed in Tribhuvan airport, Kathmandu, Nepal at about 4.45 pm. Then I had the cab arranged by the Hotel Park Village. The evening was event less, until my companion for the training, Mr. Pradeep Bharwad arrived. We discussed about the WASH Cluster Simulation Exercise that is due on 8th and 9th Oct, as we chatted about preparation for the exercise. 

The weather has been cool and good, and the accommodation moderate, although I feel it is a bit costly for the amount we are paying. But the food is good and delicious. Internet is freely available only in the lobby, but the staying rooms are far from there, which makes it difficult for anyone to have access to it regularly. 

All prepared for the WASH Simulation Exercise. Hope everything goes well as this is a national level exercise with participation of several department heads, INGOs and UN organizations.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Surprises

I had days of little surprises throughout the week. Of them, two are more important as it involved visits by some of my friends. The first one is of Dr. Erich W from Germany. He had gone to Raiganj and was on his way back to Germany and had reached Kolkata on 27th morning. In the evening I joined him and two of his companions. We had some wonderful remembrances, little chat about my visit to his home nearly four years ago, the plans I have for strengthening higher education of children from tribal families and the plans he has for the village he and his companions support in Malda district. We had a wonderful dinner at Big Boss restaurant in the China Town, Kolkata. On 28th morning I had the opportunity to reach him to the airport and say "Good Bye".

On 29th I got a call saying that Mr. Mishra, a friend of mine from Odisha state of India was in the neighboring state of Jharkhand and is planning to visit me along with a few more friends on 30th Sept. And we had the visit of Fr. George Uthirakulam and Fr. Varghese Pally along with Mr. Mishra. It was really a big surprise, thrill and to say the least, I was excited. I took them around Bolpur - Shantiniketan, we had some good mutton curry for lunch, lots of talk about what I am doing now and how things are with CKS. 

Thank you friends for making the week a memorable one. The joy of your arrival still lingers on. Hope to meet you all soon again..

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Crash

My laptop has begun to give trouble. This is the problem of being dependent so much on machines. They are so reliable with their performance so much that you begin to depend on them, and then one fine morning suddenly it has a hick-up, and things go haywire. My network adapters in the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 don't seem to function at all. I thought it is the work of a funky virus, and so, I got the laptop formatted. Now, I am left with a faster laptop with only the wired LAN working. My documents are safe, but do you think I should load all those 142 odd programs I had in my laptop once again and try all those documents, half of which I have not used for the last years, but don't know which one I would need when?  The crash was expected as my laptop is certainly overused, but I have put a new original Dell battery only a few months ago, and so I do not want it to let go. But the network problems I have with it, may ask me to just sell it off for a deal. What do you say?