Friday, December 9, 2011

The Dissertation Speaks

An endless journey, a taxing quest,
Toil, sweat, tears, but no rest;

Sleepless nights, stressful days,
Hope this hard work of yours pays;

Caffeine, typing, reading, and the blues,
I know it is tough, gotta pay your dues;

How to begin, where to end,
At what degree to negotiate, the 'ethics' bend;

These are a few of your, 'not so favorite things',
And yet, to you, this struggle clings;

Sometimes a mission, sometimes a curse;
That fills your heart, and empties your purse;

Procrastination, telling yourself,'I will begin',
Believe you me, to a sin is akin;

You call it data, interviews and transcripts,
These are stories of lives, in pieces and bits;

Talking to people, scribbling and nodding,
You seem to have missed, their silent prodding;

For you,  a project, an assignment, a deadline, 
For them,  a vent, a hopeful design;

You want to do well, get an 'O',
'They' are just respondents, use and throw;

But I won't judge you, don't you worry,
Meet the deadlines, get up and hurry;

Tell yourself, this is groundbreaking work,
And in the shadows, let the monsters lurk;

Copy, paste, steal, and finally publish,
After all, it is all about, 'shine and polish';

Just when you are getting that award and degree,
Think once about that unsaid plea;

Think of the smiles, the trust, the respect,
And what in turn, 'They' expect;

Think of me, and your heart,
And of the person, 'That thou art';

And then, if you must, say goodbye,
And bury the love between you and I...........

Friday, December 2, 2011

Where on Earth is Gadchandur?

Back in Mumbai, in the college campus, I still find it hard to explain to people where I was, for the better part of the year, and where this entire blog's story is situated.

Gadchandur is still Gadanooor or Gadachooor for people...and some just presume that it is Gadchiroli. In fact the most common response to my speaking about being there is, 'koi naxalite dikhe?' (did you see any naxalites); as one would ask a Tiger-spotting tourist returning from the Corbett.

Well, for geographical context, the place is called Gadchandur and it is situated in the Chandrapur District of Maharashtra, part of the Vidharba region, and bordering Andhra Pradesh. This confluence of cultures is reflected in the language, mannerisms, dress and jewelry, and the food of the place. 

To reach the town (or village,depending upon perspective!), of Gadchandur, one can either spend about 21 hours in train from Mumbai to Ballarshah, the nearest rail head, in a passenger train that is nearly almost late by several hours, and follow this up with a 2 hour journey by road over a track that is more dirt and soul-shaking potholes than concrete;  OR  alternatively, one can spend about 14 hours in a train to Nagpur from Mumbai and then take a Video coach (read headache bus), for a 7 hour torturous journey over some of the worst roads in the state! 

Thus, as one may notice, getting there is half the battle won! 

The stories already on this blog, and the ones that will follow, are all situated in three 'talukas' of the Chandrapur District, i.e., Korpana, Rajura, and Jivati, where I got the opportunity to study and work across a space of 7 months. 

Gadchandur itself is within the Rajura Taluka, and is at a distance of about 3 hours from the District Headquarters at Chandrapur. 

Now that we are on the same page about the whereabouts of Gadchandur, the Scooty Diaries  shall continue......