Few days back I landed at Bengaluru to attend a conference arranged by ISTN (Indian Society for Non-Destructive Testing). I was really thrilled to be invited as a speaker in one of their session on Women Empowerment. At first I hesitated to accept the invitation as for me, we all women are empowered. I believe there should not be any session on that subject. However I was requested to tell about my story of how I got going.
I always love the pleasant weather of Bengaluru and love the pleasant cool breeze of the city. When I landed in the evening, the pleasant cool breeze welcomed me.
In the conference it was nice meeting few ladies working in different difficult sectors like Space and Aviation. I really feel proud sharing the same dais with Dr B Valsa, Deputy Director of Systems Reliability, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), a space research centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The other two ladies on the dais were Dr. Rekha of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), who is carrying out a challenging task of maintaining Quality Assurance in her Organisation. Ms Radhika, was another woman on the dais who is one of the strong entrepreneurs in the region whose start-up has been procured by tech giant Wipro. Of course I met charming Dr. Naveeta Gupta, who is the main coordinator of the session, who beautifully conducted the session and instrumental in making me present in the conference. All the ladies spoke about their achievements in their respective field. I started my story from my days of working in the field where I had to walk in the jungle or dense forest or paddy fields.
After narrating my story I concluded with a comment about hobbies of women: that most of the ladies have hobbies , however most of us leave it aside because of time constraint. I made it a point that if we have the WILL, we can pursue our hobbies too. To my surprise, my colleagues on the dais as well as the audience appreciated whatever I expressed and Dr Rekha and Dr Valsa immediately reacted on it. They even told that "Yes , we are working all the time and we really forgot what were our hobbies!!" And they admit that they will start in no time!
When I am in Bengaluru and if I stay near MG road, I used to have a morning walk in Ulsoor lake. Ulsoor lake is the largest lake in Bengaluru. It is dotted with small islands filled with big trees and have nice walking trails alongside the lake. Few Gymnastic instruments are also kept for exercise purpose in one side. Last time when I went, I didn't notice so much of dirt, plastics filled in the lake. But this time I felt really sorry to see so many plastics, sewage or other dirt filling one portion of the lake. Still I could see so many birds sitting on the waste waiting for their morning breakfast to have some fishes or insects. I felt suffocated seeing the condition of the lake, thinking about its future. For me there was no existence of pleasant cool breeze out there. The sun was just rising. I started walking in its sandy trail. So many people were walking trying to make them fit to live but nobody was bothering about the life of the lake. It seems it is not their duty rather somebody else's !Iwalked forward. Then I noticed a big group of army people working in the lake retrieving plastics from the lake and cleaning the surrounding area. I felt really nice that the lake which I admire the most in Bengaluru is getting cleaned shortly. With a clear mind I kept on walking.
Suddenly I saw a women sitting on a bench cuddling a small bag .To my surprise I noticed a brown coloured cat with a belt around its neck inside the bag. I have seen many people walking with dog in their morning walk. But this scene of morning walk with a cat really surprised me. Though I passed a little ahead of her, I returned back and came to meet her. I said "Good morning". The lady with the bag smiled at me. I expressed my surprise to her about her morning walk with the cat. In our conversation, it was coming out that she loves cat very much and it is her "hobby" to take care of few cats by giving them shelter and love. She called her cat "Kitty, kitty". Kitty looked at me. I could see a very satisfied look on her face. With a yawn she expressed her gratitude to the lady and started licking her paws. Her head was coming out from the bag. Really the cat is beautiful. I touched her head, took a photograph of both of them and returned. Thought process came to my mind that we, few of us are striving for time to have our hobbies fulfilled and few are lucky enough to have sufficient time to fulfil their hobbies and in the same time blessed by serving the needy.
On way back, I could see that a portion of the lake was getting cleaned. The army men really did a very wonderful job. I felt very nice. The suffocation I felt a few moments ago went away. I could feel the pleasant cool breeze around me once again. I said "goodbye" to the lake and also said "see you" till my next return.