Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Divas 216: Don't count me by the books I've sold; count me by the hands I hold.

Today was just awesome. I don't know if it was Priya or ports or tourism or Nitz or meditation or exercise, but I feel great.

The first thing I did this morning was open my laptop and Skype my sister. She shared with me a piano piece she is preparing, as well as the other goings-on in her extracurricular life.

Our discussion prompted me to write her a follow-up email (I tend to take minutes of casual conversations) which touches upon one of the main lessons I have learned through practicing Vipassana and reading The Power of Now. Click here to read my message to Priya.

My first meeting this morning was with the Maharashtra Maritime Board to learn about ports. Captain Rohilla gave me an excellent presentation on MMB's vision and mission, a number of Greenfield (new) ports being developed, and challenges to the sector. I especially appreciate that, upon learning of my interest in environmental science, Mr. Rohilla focused on this aspect of their work. I am also always grateful when officers put up with my elementary level of questioning (e.g. "What is a jetty?") so for that I thank Mr. Rohilla also! The descriptions and details of each upcoming project really interested me, as did the specific considerations and hurdles attached to each. Who knew ports could be this captivating?

I <3 taking notes.
I then had the company of Dr. Nitin Kareer (more commonly known as NITZ!!) for tiramisu and lemon meringue pie at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (I found this name a very comprehensive one for a coffee shop). I got to fill him in on my silent meditation course, which was really fun since he was one of the last people to meet with me before I left (and make predictions on what my level of sanity would be over the course of the ten days). Among other things, we also discussed the merits of lecture vs. discussion vs. reading. While these are three of my favorite ways to learn, nay, to spend my time, I have to say -- there's nothing like a great lecture. I'm sure I'll contradict myself in the future and I'm sure I have in the past but I think there's something magical about listening to a brilliant speaker. Perhaps, though, I'm spoiled by how eloquent my teachers in most every subject seem to have been throughout my middle and high school careers. (It later occurred to me that perhaps I also love listening to lectures so much because of my compulsive note-taking -- see above.)

I received an opportunity to employ this secretary-like habit of constant scrawling after taking Nitin Uncle's leave and heading to my next meeting -- with Maharastra Tourism Development Corporation. Again I mentioned my environmental focus, and again my host, this time Managing Director Dr. Jagdish Patil, tailored his presentation to this interest. Turns out ecological conservation is huge for the tourism sector! (Of course, I knew this from having written it on many a short answer question in AP Enviro, but there's nothing like hearing it from the source. That's what I love about this year.) Mr. Patil identifies the following areas as key for the Maharastra tourism sector:

1. Infrastructure Development
2. Hygiene and Safety
3. Skill Development
4. Environmental Awareness

And so, concerning the fourth priority, he shared with me plenty of information on new green initiatives being developed across the state to raise public awareness, such as short animated films educating children (and everyone, really) on littering, unscrupulous resource use, etc. Needless to say, I enjoyed this meeting very much.

After a photo-happy ride home (during which I also read some Ovid), I enjoyed my daily meditation session. The key to benefiting from Vipassana is regularity of practice, so please hold me accountable, readers! When the hour was up, I read a superlatively written blog post by my superlative friend Dashell on the freaky Facebook phenomena that plague our generation. Later, I prepared a proposal to be allowed to observe classes at Manav Mangal Smart School in Mohali, where my friend/guru Deepu teaches science. I hope to schedule this visit within the next few weeks!

I then tricked myself into boarding the treadmill and remaining there until I had completed what turned out to actually be an enjoyable workout (who knew there was such a thing?). Then it was dinner and a nice chat with Auntie over dessert.

I now find myself about to call lights out, thoroughly reinvigorated and yet relaxed. All I can do is extend my gratitude for all the factors that have effected this state -- thank you, Earth!

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Song of the day: http://youtu.be/fWNaR-rxAic

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