Nandan's Experiments With Shoes

It all started with a Wednesday meditation night that Madhu and I were hosting in Bombay.  As we all shared our “aha moments” in the second hour, there was silent contributor in the room — Nandan.  It was his first time and not knowing what to share, he gently says, “I don’t know how appropriate this is for the circle of sharing, but for the last few months, I’ve been donating slippers to the needy.”

Everyday Nandan would see barefoot beggars on the streets, and he would give them ‘chappals’; if it wasn’t the right size, he would take them to the store to gift them a pair that worked.   As Nandan is describing his experienced, he focused more on how he was moved by it instead of the act itself or even the need.

By the end of it, we were all just floored.  Shocked, to be honest.  How many such incredible, untold stories must lurk amidst our midst?

The following Wednesday, Nandan couldn’t make it — but his sister did.   Quite naturally, we spoke about how amazing and thoughtful it was of Nandan to be doing something like this.  Much to our surprise, his own sister was shocked.  Nandan had never even told anyone in the family that he was doing something like this!  He was truly an anonymous warrior.

Click here for complete article (By Somik Raha)

Learnings from Riverside

Pic: Nikita (in center) with Jyotsna and students of Lok Darshan

“How to tell a good story ?” Nikita asked when we first met at Seva Cafe. I had no direct answers however I believed, a story emerges itself when we are truly connected. Kiran Sethi , founder of Riverside School in Ahmedabad recommended Nikita to spend a week with us and learn about filmmaking or more of power of storytelling. Thus began a beautiful one week where Nikita who is also a teacher at Riverside became a student and by doing that she taught us so much more than we could have given her. We were infected with her contagious enthusiasm, which is quite common in everyone from Kiran to all the teachers and students of Riverside. We were inspired by her willingness to learn so that she could go back and share with her students who she lovingly called her ‘Bachchas’ (children). Her beautiful spirit and love unfolded a new story for us in MAM.

Here’s few lines from a poem she wrote:

My experience with Movie Makers at MAM,
was so very ‘Khaas’ and not at all ‘AAM’.

Production head over here is Kunal,
an energetic young guy – “Kya du uski misaal?”

Got to learn ideating, script writing and editing from him,
He was always there to help his team.

Saw Jyotsana in action with her kids,
a passionate teacher, who understands their needs.

Her desire to make difference humbled me,
in her own way, she is giving back to the community.

Maadhu shared how each story has it’s soul,
For Zen Film Making, a strong story line is the goal.

Different story lines are going on in my mind,
This experience at MAM was one of it’s kind.

Desire to learn and make difference in lives,
Is what my heart now strives.

Saanidhya

Being in Gandhi Ashram is truly a blessing. Every now and then we come across people who see in us their own reflection of goodness. Their sincerity, dedication and belief in global good, inspires us and gives light to move forward. A recent experience with Kshama left us with the same feeling of gratitude. Kshama joined us for one month internship. Being a media student, she was very clear that she has to use her skill for development. In MAM, our effort has always been to work towards inner process as compared to a project so we didn’t had a work for her in mind. However Kshama quickly found her passion and learned editing in FCP from Eric (another Volunteer from US ) and made a beautiful short film on cleanliness (shown above).

What really moved me was experiencing this natural unfolding of self when their is nothing to expect and lots to give.

From Kshama to every being who is crossing our path…the journey is beautiful.

A heartfelt poem by her, for all of us.

11122009162

I was flying in the Sky, In search of Water,

And oh Graceful God!!! I found an Ocean

It filled me with Emotions, Joy, Love, Satisfaction.

Here, I experienced thee In Creativity and Creation.

Every day at MaM,

I saw the Treasure, PEARLS of Goodness, In words and Actions.

I learnt Shooting, Script-writing, Editing

But above all, I learnt,

The Art of Living.


To me,

MaM means,

Freedom

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Experiment

Freedom of Sailing, Failing and Learning.

To me,

MaM means,

Big Smiles and Sweet Fights.

A small office with Air Enthusiastic.

To me,

MaM means,

Jyotsna’s dedication and Friendship

Kunal bhai’s kind Cooperation

And Madhu bhai and Meghna Didi’s

WONDERFUL ‘saanidhya’.

– Kshama Shah

(11/12/2009)

MAM Updates (Nov'09)

We just came back from a very inspiring trip to Vinobaji’s Ashram in Paunar (Maharashtra), and couldn’t help admiring choices people make to discover their life’s purpose. Here’s regular MAM updates, would love to hear about your journey as well. So keep us all posted.

* Seva Journal Project: 5 films are under production. Check the latest film about school principals being trained in rural India through a program by Kaivalya Foundation. A remarkable film by Ridhesh & Ankit group. View film

Metta Media: There are few requests for filmmakers volunteers. please check website for more info. Gratitude to invisible volunteer team for managing the site.

* Lok Darshan: To reach out to the local community and give them a voice we had started Lok Darshan. This week, Jyotsna started a blog for Manav Sadhna and uploaded some pictures and videos.
* Internship: Eric, a film graduate from university of Southern Califronia has joined as a volunteer and has been very efficient in teaching editing to our video coordinators.
* Festival: Preparation for I am the change festival which has been finalized on 12-13th Jan in IIM Ahmedabad is on full swing. Would love to have your participation. email us for more info.
* News :

  1. Harish Iyer is running a marathon to support prevention of child sexual abuse. Support him in his remarkable continuing effort. More
  2. We have been selected as Paragon Fellows, among 100 entrepreneurs and change makers from Asia Pacific. More
This week’s quote: If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. –Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Thankyou again all of you, visible and invisible, for walking together.
In longing for the endless immensity

MAM Team

My 'I am…' (Volunteer's diary 2)

[ By Pari Trivedi ]

Dearest Universe and Fellow Souls,

“Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much but when you want to be different, do something different.” – Walter Lippmann (Media Philosopher-theorist).

“Do something powerfully different and meaningful that will show the purpose of your life and proudly make you say ‘I am…’” –Meghana & Madhusudan (founders- Mam Movies).

A fresh graduate, just out to explore the world and work on Media ethics would have to look high and low to sustain in today’s wind of Media reality.

Well that graduate was me! I stepped into the world and was ready to conquer it with my ideas. And as beginner’s luck would have it, I landed at Mam movies. Little did I know then that lucky beginnings have even luckier consequences…I was here to be transformed for a lifetime.

In my five months of internship here at MAM Movies, I not only see the other side of media possibilities but also realized the role and impact of developmental media in an upcoming economy like India.

For a media house working for social change, its very important to sensitize its audiences and have a deep grounding with the working of rural sector. MAM Movies beautifully manages to stay connected with the communities that need a media strategy to enhance its development

My very first task involved a through comprehension of the working and technical know-how of the subject and staying connected with the help of online research. I was fortunate enough to take part into the initiation process of Metta Media and maintain its growth. It gives me immense joy today, when I see the site blossoming organically and I think to myself that all I did was set the ball rolling. Everything takes its own shape; all you have to do is help it make the mould.

Next was my assignment to make a film for Ashoka’s Youth Venture NGO that works with young change makers who want to see a positive change in the country. My work involved traveling through the tribal belt of South Gujarat in search of young people who did make a success story out of sheer will and determination to see that difference. We extensively shot the work profile of these venturers and made a film that beautifully translated their story. It is only when I met these amazing people did I realize that you don’t need to be city bred or having a plush life to make your dreams come true but all you need to be is human enough and act humane.

After two months into my training, I got yet another opportunity to explore something new as I moved to Ahmedabad along with the MAM Movie team. Moving to a completely different city seemed like a big challenge as the presence of media professionals outside Mumbai was hard to get.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Within 15 days we managed to set up an office for us and commence our work smoothly. I was given the task of finding 101 change makers for ‘ I am the change’ film project. What seemed like tedious work quickly turned into the most interesting job of finding some really powerful people doing some meaningful work. It groomed me to communicate with a diverse range of people and share their motto of life and societal development. Along the way I also helped in extensively compiling their work on the blog and pass on their message.

The best thing about this organization is that there is so much creative freedom that you feel positive and motivated in all tasks given to you. The stress free environment provided makes work very enjoyable.

I also got the opportunity to work on graphic designing assignments for making DVD covers and some poster work. The film club at Seva café every week helped me understand the role of developmental media more closely. The film ‘Baraka’ had a lasting impact on me and it really opened my eyes on various issues related to environment and sanitation conditions in India.

And thankfully, it wasn’t just media work that we were indulged into. We also had to work with local communities and volunteer in understanding the needs of lower spectrum’s development. Manav Sadhana , An NGO working for the upliftment of the needy helped me to get a better idea of solving problems in the impoverished society. I was fortunate enough to interact with some beautiful people at ManavSadhana and share my experiences with them. I also made a documentary on ther unique ‘Earn and Learn’ program. The film focuses on the revival of childhood lost by the slum children due to poverty and harsh realities of life.

I loved every moment on my time here at Mam movies. The friendly atmosphere and the determined attitude of the members here makes it possible for me to conceitedly say that ‘I am proud of the work I have chosen and I am determined to chase my dreams.’

Yours,

Pari Trivedi.

The Journey Within (Volunteer's diary 1)

By: Biney Kaul

‘Mam’ in Sanskrit means ‘I am’. It is an effort to realize the self through an odyssey of selfless work. Being a part of Mam made me realize the significance of having few genuine social organizations. I understood the importance of need based work and the relevance of small things in creating a bigger change. My association with many wonderful people made me realize how small microcosmic changes lead to macrocosmic effects. It was a complete bliss to be able to know and even work under the guidance of many Gandhians’s who have devoted their lives for the betterment of others. Compassion and love just flows in and around Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati where I stayed and worked. People here tirelessly strive to find meaning in their own lives by knowing and serving others.
To be a part of the transition of Mam from being a brand name in Mumbai to shifting its complete base to Ahmadabad with the aim of working at the grass root level, with the local communities was in itself a very enriching experience. As I entered the beautiful office in Mumbai seldom I knew that a lifetime experience is waiting ahead. A small talk with Madhu Bhai and Meghna Ben and the ripples of inspiration start flowing. Suddenly it felt as if my mind is led forward towards the greater goal rather than few self centered ones. Since then it has been a roller coaster ride.
Mam movies is a learning journey of experiments which intends to inform, inspire and empower people through the use of social media and video technology to create positive action in the world.

Other than the office work I spend most of my time understanding the working of Manav Sadhna (an organization at Gandhi Ashram).I visited slums, villages, schools in Gujarat to get a better understanding of the challenges faced by a vast majority of the population and realized the importance of new media, social media and communication technology (other than the mainstream) to reach and spread awareness amongst the millions of people.

The following are excerpts of a few incredible experiences I had during my association with Mam.

BLISSFUL JAMADARS :

cleaning

As the six of us stood there armed with 6 long brooms, 4 containers and a shovel, the site and the nature of work required us to hunt for gloves. While Dhaval and Madhusudan went for the gloves hunt, I stood in front of the Lal Darwaza bus-depot perplexed, pessimistic about the importance and impact of our cleaning activity. My first assault on the muck activated the repugnant smell and numerous flies, and the more I pondered over the utility of such an exercise, the sense of resentment kept growing. More

Inspiring film club:

As I sat there perplexed in my own thoughts and evaluations of the world around, I felt elated to be exposed to something that reaffirms my faith in the goodness in the world and inspiring me to evolve myself in a better way. I impatiently wait for Sundays and  to be able to sit in warm, friendly atmosphere wherein I can see, discuss and get inspired by interesting short films; and what better place than Seva café . The inspiring film club acts as a respite from the overdose of dramatic repetitive plots and time-pass entertainers which sub-consciously infuse a lot of negativity.
Short, powerful, captivating, straight, resourceful, revealing stories from all around the world are refreshing as well as inspiring. During the short introduction and sharing session words come out from the depths of each heart. Every soul wanting to work tirelessly and each mind searching for the answer of its purpose of existence.
Ideas flow, ripples are visible, and interactions strengthen the bonds between people to create an aura of inspiration around.

club

TULSI with LOVE

India- a land of god and goddesses. Over ages we have been praying to the five elements(air,water,fire,earth,space) to be close to nature including stones, rivers, plants, animals. We see God in everything. Tulsi is the sacred plant of Hindus and has a great medicinal value. The idea behind tulsi project is to gift tulsi,interact and express gratitude to those who touch our lives and are usually unnoticed or unappreciated. It gives a reason to thank people, strengthen the bond and pray for their well being.Jayesh bhai, founder of Manav Sadhna wanted to make good use of someone’s donation and thus planned this unique project. He calls it, a way to enter into people’s heart. More