15 Sep 2019

Guest post: Two stories by Shamitha Vokkaliga

Missing days

A roar in the jungle made Devika miss a beat. She looked around and took a step forward cautiously. "Not today God! Please don't let me die today."

She moved ahead, looking around for something. After some hours of walking, she reached a small village. Still in search of something, her eyes looked sleep deprived. Villagers notice and ask her, "Are you lost?" She replies, with her eyes wandering around, "I am trying to find my happy days. I  lost them when I was busy making money. It was somewhere in this place I was with my family the last time I was happy."

The villagers get scared of her strange story. Assuming that she shall harm them, they throw stones at her. Devika runs for her life as she doesn't want to die today, tomorrow, or till she finds back her happy days.

A Rainy Day

A familiar fragrance surrounds Sneha's home. She doesn't want to get up from her bed and go to school but a sudden thundering awakes her.

She gets up in a jerk and rushes towards the door, yelling, "Yay! Rains are here." Her mom quickly holds her in her arms and says, "No playing in the rain. I don't want you to fall sick." Disappointed, Sneha got back to her every morning routine. She put on her raincoat and boarded the school bus.

Peeping through the window, as she was watching the rain make the surrounding beautiful and green, she saw a girl running around barefoot, getting drenched in the rain. How lucky is she, gets to play all day in the rain, she thinks to herself as she is unable to take her eyes off the girl, who is waiting for the bus to pass so as to cross the road.

The girl, totally drenched, looks at the bus and thinks to herself, wish I could be in the bus and go to school one day.

- The Last Nomad

5 Sep 2019

Poem: There was a time

There was a time
When you sought true questions
Not the right answers
As you do now

There was a time
When your feet kissed untamed grass
Not the glazing tiles
As they do now

There was a time
When we talked to each other
Not through this intelligent sand
As we do now

There was a time
When the words you are reading
Were not just a poem
As it is now

- The Last Nomad

7 Jul 2019

Poem: Clouds of compassion

Poem: Clouds of compassion


No one has time to look at the sky
To dance in the rain
Kiss the moon a good night

'More' is the word
The hearts cry aloud
Drop it and your world's gonna be alright


All are plugged-in
Web-drunk day and night
When dreams and crops burn ever so bright


It's not gonna rain
Said the crying sky
Clouds of compassion just passed by


Listen to the poem


- The Last Nomad

6 Jul 2019

When I have time by The Last Nomad


Clutter and chaos. Sounds synonymous with modern? Here's a journey about unwinding from the popular and ambitious in my new story, When I have time.



Read on Instamojo: bit.ly/WhenIhavetime. Download for free or pay what you want.

Don't forget to rate and review on Goodreads: bit.ly/goodreads_wiht

- The Last Nomad

21 Jun 2019

Powai Lake Petition reaches 120+ | United our will can work like magic

This very minute as you are reading the post, the petition is silently spreading across Mumbai and beyond, through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, emails, SMSes and word of mouth. What began with a  single sign has 120+ supporters!

How did it begin?
It was an inspiring volunteering experience on 5 June 2019, World Environment Day organised by Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (NSS) and Abhyuday, IIT Bombay.

How can you make a difference?
Powai Lake wouldn't have been a great promenade sans its amazing bio-diversity. There are more than 50 species of birds spotted (Source: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S41024813). The Indian Marsh Crocodile, a highly endangered species, which is a schedule-I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, have made Powai lake their natural habitat for many decades. (Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-s-powai-lake-is-dying-becoming-toxic-for-its-fish/story-2GlxTkjchN9XBwL3VJ2tCJ.html). According to the Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA), there are 40 crocodiles in the lake. (source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/bmc-digs-trench-at-powai-lake-to-stop-crocodiles-from-walking-out/story-ReOzo1FRguI2js7I72W7TL.html).

However, if we don't act now, Mumbai will quickly lose a green destination. There are more people around you who can make a difference. Sign and share the petition with at least 5 such friends: http://bit.ly/CleanMumbaiCampaign. Request them to continue the chain. United, our will can truly work like magic.

Related:
Read more about my volunteering experience in this post: http://bit.ly/WED_5June.

- The Last Nomad

10 Jun 2019

The Art of Forgetting

If you like to read books and grow fond of them, you can probably understand how tough it is to part with them. And fate doesn't spare you from the necessary evil of sorting and cleaning the book stock you painstakingly (of course carelessly) built.


Around 4-5 years ago, I had bought a story book, 33 Stories by Tagore, from the hidden treasures of a second-hand book mart. Not quite impressed by the translation, which seemed quite literal back then, I wondered why I still had the book. The reason was probaby the label, Tagore.

Inside this (disliked) book was a leaf of ficus religiosa (sacred fig or peepal tree) which I had kept to be transformed into a completely translucent one.

The leaf looked so beautiful that I couldn't stop gazing. With all its delicate and tiny network of veins visible, another meaning of the word intricate was revealed in that moment. What made it so attractive? Was it those empty cells or the veins themselves? What gives meaning, purpose and beauty to life? Is the events or the endless span of silence between them?

Sometimes it is good to forget things you started, as by not messing you give them a chance to meet you when you are ready. And then when they arrive back, they gift you an entirely new perspective to perceive life with clarity.




- The Last Nomad

7 Jun 2019

Sign the petition for a Clean, Green and Safe Mumbai


MCGM: Ban Smoking and Drinking at the Powai Lake Promenade

Sign and share the petition with your friends and family and make this a success! We deserve a cleaner Mumbai!

http://chng.it/wTZgKztJnh


Update: 8 June



- The Last Nomad

5 Jun 2019

A Drop in The Ocean: Happy World Environment Day!



Today is going to be one of the most memorable days for Indians: a day when we celebrate the peaceful festival of Ramzan Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr), a day when India plays South Africa in its first match in the ICC World Cup and last but not the least, today is World Environment Day.

Although most hands will celebrate and contribute today to the environment by texting, tweeting and taking selfies, it has fortunately been a different experience for me.

Thanks to the Mega Cleaning and Plantation Drive at the 120-year-old Powai Lake by Abhyuday, IIT Bombay (http://www.abhyudayiitb.org/) and Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (http://nisargswasthya.org/), Powai, I could experience something which triggered a series of questions in my mind.

After all the volunteers were divided into multiple teams by 7 a.m., we began our work with an oath to keep our surrounding clean, followed by the National Anthem. The presence of newly elected MP, Shri. Manoj Kotak was a welcome sight.

Here's the treasure that our teams uncovered from the shore: hundreds (yes, not an exaggeration!) of booze and cold drink glass bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottles, knives, birthday cracker candles, tags, confetti and spoons, cigarette packets, supari and other intoxicant sachets, heaps of clothes, plastic sacks, contraceptives, dozens of frames of gods and goddess, religious idols and casts. Apologies if I missed something! Most of it seems to have been dumped since months, as roots of trees had almost covered it. Beyond all the cry about water hyacinth infestation in the lake, who would have imagined this plight of the water body which is a home to several wetland birds and crocodiles?






After the cleaning drive, the teams assembled together and planted about 300 coconuts saplings and other plants on the shore. Although this effort maybe a drop in the ocean (lake, in this case), looking back at the clean promenade added an extra inch of satisfaction.


What did this drive do for me? In addition to making new friends, it made me realise that all we fall short of is being sensitive to life around us. Before we, as earth, return to earth, let's not forget to treat the elements that make us who we are with respect. After all, it's not Nature vs Us. We are nature.






Before leaving, glimpse through the lives of some green warriors of India.

Did I miss someone? Share a link to their work as comments below.


- The Last Nomad