Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pratiti Bhopal 2017- Debopriya's reflections

discussions during sessions
 As I think of my experiences in Bhopal, I know I have a myriad of learning and even a more staggering number of emotions to jot down.  It started with the place where we stayed ‘Gandhi Bhawan’ which was pleasant and something which completely embraced me in all way. In between, a constant thought inside me was ‘how will the fellows be?’’ if everyone will turn up or not?’.  The first evening after we reached Bhopal I kept wondering what the city is like? By then I had seen the biggest slum area of Bhopal with Ashish and Saba, who are also PFP members. After that day now the first day of the session was almost about to start.

when everyone is equal
Fellows were all geared up and a little anxious about what would happen in the workshop.  They had a series of questions just bubbling inside them “What is Gender exactly? Why are we here? Will it help in our career? What will be its impact?” in between some even asked me “ma’am kab tak khatam hoga?” (The ma’am transformed into didi now and I am their good friend, which I will try to be).  The session started with an introduction in which the fellows were suppose to say their name and likings. While this task sounds simple it isn’t easy to open up infront of people one might not know beyond mere acquaintances, due to which many were dragged out of their comfort zones.  Most of the introductions consisted of their name and organization from which they belonged to, which again shows how they feel secured with the name of the organizations.\

old and new fellows together
As the session continued there were a lot of activities for the fellows to participate and to get jumbled up into different groups and the making of new friend’s starts there. Slowly and gradually their comfort zone was being a Pratiti fellow. Being a Pratiti fellow, their first day went well and with the popcorn session where they could say their own experience through out the day most of them shared what they felt, I would want to add how Sana Khan, who constantly felt that how girls were being caged and stereotyped “लड़किया अपने बात शेयर नहीं कर पाना, शर्म आना, डर बैठ जाना अपने आप मे। वर्कशॉप के बाद कहीं कहीं मे खुद को खुलकर प्रकट कर पा रही हूं|”

trying to absorb
When the next day started, it was all more lively face and they had lesser questions or questions in a simpler version. They started talking about things like how ‘dance’ makes them happy but didn’t know about it. A girl Arshi, who likes police force, how in all way it attracts her and so in the third day when she got the opportunity to play a character in a small play(which was a part of their activity, in the session)  she chose her character as a police person and she was brilliant in it. This is one of many instances that I can probably share.

discussion with the organization's leader
When the last day came the fellows had all such mixed feelings like one side the happiness and confidence of learning new things and on the other side they have to leave this space after today and my feelings were not less than theirs. But it ended with good things like  Amreen who said “मैं भी उसी मे शामिल  थी, आब मे  भी समझती हु, आज मैंने पहचाना आपने आप को ” while  Sunny says “मेरे आस  पास  साड़ी चीज़े हो रही थी, लेकिन मैंने कभी कुछ नहीं करा। अब मे भी  उन चीज़ों को समझता हु और सवाल कर सकता हु , चीज़ों को होने से रोक सकता हु   ” (चीज़ों he means stereotypical practices around him) Parallel-y our Trans gender participant Sanjana Singh Rajput said “हमे पैदा होते ही  घर से कियू  ले लिया जाता है और कहीं ओर रख दिया जाता है, क्या हमे हॉक नहीं है की  हम भी अपने माता पिता के साथ अपनी बचपन या ज़िंदगी शेयर करें “ That day ended well and for me, though it was not only about a day or 3 day session rather it was about feeling a  lot of different things and holding each second of mine learning, making new friends and looking around the city. When I said looking around the city, I also meant something.  It adds  Mahadevi Verma’s mural some 0.5m away from the place where I stayed and that reminds me of a line from her poem पंथ होने दो अपरिचित, प्राण रहने दो अकेला।
we all are together


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  2. Great.... Best Wishes for one more journey full of learning