Thursday, October 19, 2017

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong...

This time of the year, I really miss India, specially Pune. Growing up in Pune as a Malayalee (Keralite) is one thing but I grew up watching and being part of Diwali celebration.


I think every year I did something or the other and celebrated in my way but this time probably I am feeling its all fake. My friends say I should still do it that's how kids are going to know and learn about it. But Diwali is not only about one person it's about everyone celebrating and when you don't have that kind of unity it's a failure.

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate" ~ Oprah Winfrey

Being in NDA, Pune I celebrated diwali with friends and family by wearing new clothes, exchanging sweets, mom used to make sweets at home- I miss karanji the most and play with fireworks (Laxmi bomb, Vishnu bomb, paanpatti, phuljhadi, ladi, captain bomb, rocket and so on) - it was fun. But when I got to live with Maharashtrians in the family I fully lived the 6 days diwali celebration and each day had its meaning and purpose and there was so much of enthusiasm that no matter what issues you have all goes away during festivity times. The weeks ahead preparation of sweets, shopping for 6 days different clothes and matching jewelries and so on... the crowd used to be fun and late nights coming home with eating dinner out as no one has time to cook and yet excited with the whole nine yard celebration. 

"We don't call it homesick. We call it missing home. There's not a sickness involved, it's a state of mind."

I miss all that today and feels a vacuum everywhere. So many messages, celebration pictures on social media and all this is reflecting on me and my thoughts.

A diwali where I am missing my mom's homemade sweets and the traditional aspect of the celebration.

"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a Moment until it becomes a Memory"


Happy Diwali!!!  




~ Dawn

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dear I Love You!


Dear, I love You
Where are You
Why I miss You
When I know
I am far from You
These were the words
For You!
The voice came across
Dear, I love You
I am here for You
Always and forever
You!
They were far away
Not even reachable by highway
They were in different country
Yet,
They never stopped dreaming
For their togetherness
And kept accompanied with love
And hopeful words and expressions
The only thing kept them alive was and is
Love!

~ Dawn


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Discomfort is always a necessary part of the process of enlightenment...!!!

Many times we follow certain tradition because we grew up watching others. As we understand sometimes we do ask questions and sometimes it doesn't bother anyone as part of tradition it's more of celebration and social engagement hence it doesn't come out as a question as why do we follow this norm.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" ~ John. F. Kennedy

My story about 'Durga Puja', is somewhat similar to that. Even though born in a Keralite family (Kerala, in South India), I grew up in Pune (in Maharashtra State) and that gave me the exposure to diverse India. The people, food and festivals and traditions. I always felt I am privileged as I got the opportunity to be part of every celebration or festivity whether it belonged to East, West, North and South India - I had friends and their family who had these traditions and festivals that they maintained and celebrated and I just merged with them.

It's with the same spirit I enjoy all festivals here in USA as well. "Sindur Khela" is where every year I look forward to attend as part of Durga Puja, and my thoughts and understanding was limited to as it's part of Durga Puja and it's a fun game. Being a feminist, for me Durga is a symbol of girl-power and every girl must feel proud of being one. It's interesting how we start reading about these when we have to explain to our non-Indian friends about these festivities. 


As I read about it, it totally changed me. My excitement and enthusiasm somewhere vanished. My heart started questioning why do I call this a celebration when it's not something that every women can enjoy?
At the same time Durga Puja and Sindur Khela is all about power of womanhood. If that is true then why every woman is not allowed to participate in Sindur Khela?
Why unmarried, widows and divorcees are not allowed to be part of this Sindur Khela, aren't they women? Aren't they powerful? 

"Tradition is an explanation for acting without thinking" ~ Grace McGarvie 

These thoughts really crushed me and made me feel dejected. In the name of Durga Puja and Sindur Khela it's again the hypocrisy of manhood that is celebrated in the veil of womanhood. The male dominant society created another tradition which seemed like for women to socialize, celebrate and pray for the happiness of husband and children. Shouldn't that be the same for the husband too? He should also pray for his wife and children's happiness so why not men has any traditions to follow? How do we justify single moms or widow moms? Don't they also want their kids to be happy and safe?

"Myself worth isn't determined by others"

Marriage and sindur is all about men and about their manhood. It's not about women celebrating themselves. 
I am an ally at the LGBTQ community and I believe in equality in every respect and this is something against my belief. Hence something all these years I rejoiced getting decked up and getting colored in red sindur and socialized with friends and others has made me to think.

I don't think there is sindur khela for me next year because I don't support something that discriminates any human being at any level.


I have though seen and witnessed some of the divorcees participating in Sindur Khela in the events that I have attended and it only made me happy to see that but my real thoughts are with those who are barred from participating in Sindur Khela. In their name, I decided not to enjoy anymore such traditions.

If we believe in all traditions then 'Sati Pratha' was also a tradition that was followed in ancient India and one should follow that too, isn't it?

I think we all must question these traditions just like how we question our constitution because things have to change with time and for the betterment of the human beings and our society. Otherwise, unknowingly we are supporting discrimination and we must not give wrong message if we are sure that we don't support it.

"Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated"

Now, I am only going back and thinking about those moments where without any idea my heart was enjoying the celebrations and festivities with friends and family...and someone from inside says, 'It's okay because you didn't know about it'!

"Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows"

~ Dawn

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I have him to rely...





There's a warmth in him,
A soothing care,
An inspiration to rise and shine,
A perspective to look forward,
A view that makes you fall for,
The aura that gives colors to your dream,
The hope that I can depend on him,
The dream that as long as I live,
I have him to rely...
I love him for being my strength,
For bringing my Moon to me
And soothing my nights with love ❤️


~Dawn

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."

“A desire to help others and give to the world before saying adios to this place, it was that desire as a seed, seeded inside me and Good Gigs let that seed sprout out.


What is born needs to be nourished well for it to grow and spread the good health across and hence Children were always special to my heart.
By helping and supporting the education for children will layout the foundation that will let these children to grow and flourish and spread the goodness across and this will multiply, so at Delta Utah my focus was children throughout and hence the planning to make sure the training we give to the teacher initiators and teachers are easy enough to adapt and in return the teacher's roll this out to kids in an easier manner.

"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment" ~ Wess Stafford

In doing this, the preparation brought the best of the minds together to brainstorm and the outcome was incredible.
It was not easy to be frank. When we prepared our training deck, it was easy to believe that we captured every detail to show how the tool works. The challenge was how to deliver this simple deck to the teacher initiators who are actually well educated with full of awareness. Teaching a teacher is a challenge and believe me or not it needs lot of preparation, guts and confidence to hold their hands and walk along with them.
Good thing to be part of technology industry where it allows you to play with the tool and learn the hard way. To get to the level of each teacher initiator based on their understanding of the technology and then take that ride to a standard level was a worth learning experience for me personally, as it helped me to learn from the teachers and the details of the tools as well.
How to teach without intimidating and be part of the learner group to discover and explore the findings.
The teacher initiators and teachers loved each and every small thing that they learned about technology be it a copy/paste or right click and select. It taught me how simple things can bring happiness to you it doesn’t have to be expensive that costs money.

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated"~ Confucius 

Though VMware and Dell and other institutions took that expense to support this cause and the result was happiness, full of confidence, achievement and looking forward with technology in mind as a goal. It was an emotional ride for everyone be it the Millard School District High-School members, teacher initiators and teachers, people of Delta Utah or even the students of Millard School District schools – it is an emotional bonding that lead us to win everyone’s heart, it's the people!

The personal touch with each training helped me to connect with each individual of Delta Utah that we associated with. Be it CoSN, SEDC, Millard District Office members, teacher initiators... the parting was painful yet the emails and connections through messages is keeping this bondage going with the hope to support each other going forward.


The motivation, giving confidence to make that first mistake and letting them to correct themselves with support, perseverance, and letting others to grow is the key to be a leader.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you're a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams

While doing all this, there was not a single thought of what I am getting out of this because all my actions and thoughts were triggered towards to give the best to them to make a success for their day to day life. In doing so I learnt a lot from others about the approach, individual thought process, perceptions, emotions and vulnerability, those hugs and caring moments all adds up to climb the tallest mountain in the world. To let others to flourish with your support is the key I learnt in my leadership role.

There is no race, there is no game, because we all are in this game and have to make the team be comfortable. It doesn’t matter who made the goal in the goal-post as long as we have made efforts to make that goal to win the game. 


This Good Gig has given me an opening to the world which I was thinking to enter after my retirement but I guess I don’t have to wait that long if I have to do a good gig I can do it anytime. The journey continues for me... and I am happy if you want to hop along with me 

"Never get tired of doing little things for others sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts"

~ Dawn

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart..

It's been 5 days in Delta, Utah Millard District School. When it began I thought I will be able to write each day about the experience but I realized it's tough.

Each day things change and we adapt it as best as we can. My team has the job to teach the teacher initiatives on Google Suite for education and we did came prepared before we took our flights to Utah.


After coming to Utah, two days we were learning and understanding the requirements which were sometimes different than what was assumed by us prior to our landing here at Utah.
We had some great teacher associates, principals who graciously supported us by giving ideas what may work best with these teachers.
There were some teachers who were totally unaware of technology and then there were some who had some idea but didn't had the confidence to use.

Much of the time would go in brainstorming and discussions and finally we will come to a solution which usually used to be at midnight or past that and then once the solution is out one need to work on getting things ready on slides.

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." ~ Henry Ford


I literally had to count to check how many days are over because it seems like we have been here forever.
Everyone is tired yet they all are contributing because the goal is to uplift this District Schools with technology for the better future of the children of Millard School District.

Finally, our day came where we planned our training and set the stage. Somehow in my mind I was very confident about we as a team will have a great success and hence that gut feel kept me motivating my team as well.
I kicked off the training and brought others who gave a demo with an equal interaction session where teachers had an opportunity to play with the tool while the demo was shown.
In the afternoon we had grouped in four different countries and took each teacher on a tour.
The teachers loved it and the session was a big success. Teachers were ready to spend more time and some even said, "I am more hungry and want to learn more, some said, wow! I never knew life will become so easy, and some just hugged and said you made my life easy".


I think the team did a great job.  The best part was when the Millard School District people showered with compliments for the huge success, it was a great relief.
The people of Delta, Utah are so simple, loving and caring that they are ready to do anything for us, just because we are there to help the school teachers and children.
When we go to the restaurants, people out there treat us with love because they know we are in town from all around the world to help the Millard School District Schools and this shows how the entire town is focussed on one goal.

The days are hectic with  our schedules and nights goes in brainstorming, discussing and implementing those plans on slide for presentation. However, this brought everyone closer in the team. The Delta community was ready to help us to help the students and teachers, so was our own team. Everyone was ready to give a hand to the other and teamwork not only gave us a successful delivery but it also brought lot of fun and excitement for everyone.

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." - H.E. Luccock

I don't remember when was day 5 as this post I am able to post after my 2 weeks trip to Utah and a week of vacation to Canada. 

There are so many things that I want to summarize whether it's about what we as a team served, or learned or even the emotional moments that touched each other's heart - sometimes words don't do justice at all.

I want to cherish and re-cherish those moments that I spent in Delta, Utah. I probably met the best people on earth and the best people with whom I worked. 

World is full of beautiful people and all we need to do is extend our arms and hug them, receive them and love them.

There is nothing bigger than Love and this I have always experienced in my life, in my journey whether it was when I was in India, or Canada or in USA - people are all same and understand the language of love. 
One warning, it is contagious so watch out to get more love and more hugs in return :)

"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That's what I hope to give you forever."

~ Dawn

Monday, July 24, 2017

I believe the first test of a truly great human is in their humility ...

Yesterday we all reached one by one at the Salt Lake City airport from different parts of the world. It was amazing to see how virtually connected people get more close when they meet you in person. Life cannot get better if we as human can be nice and kind to each other.



Since many of them are coming from different country, USA residents offered to drive the rental cars and I was amazed and surprised that I was driving a minivan which was a first time for me.
Great drive from Salt Lake City to Delta- Utah, where besides the scenic roads rain was a relief to the heat.
Along with my group members, we reached safely to our hotel. It was nice to connect and regroup with everyone as soon we are going to be rocking with our mission.

Today was day 1 of the Good Gig and everyone was pretty excited to see how the day is going to unfold for us. Delta Utah, is a small town with close community ties, where people take care of each other which gave a feeling of India when I was growing up as a kid. 
People cared for each other and that resonated here too in Utah.

Our day was scheduled with plans but while we were there on our activities things always got changed for the good. The best I liked was that we were spending time with the Millard School District members and faculties who strived through to make digital divide for their children.
The way people came together to support our presence here is incredible, special service, cooked food by the technical director who made sure he met everyone's needs such as those who are vegetarians, or non-onion eating and meat lovers - everyone was taken special care and hospitality.





The amazing part was that for cooking this dinner people who are on summer vacation showed up and some of the officials drove from far to welcome us along with the local press.
I felt as we live this fast pace life in cities, people here in small towns are much more connected with the community, they enjoy life even though there may not be too many options however they eat healthy food. Nice dinner cooked in Dutch oven on charcoals was something always made me very special as it's the natural way of cooking which makes the food much tastier and healthy.

There's lot of dreams that they have planned for their children, however they don't know how we will meet those yet, a ray of hope for them was we as a Good-gigs team.

I learned a lot about the people of Utah, the mormons, the humble and down to earth people who kept on thanking us for coming all the way to Delta to help setting up with technology and support with training for their teacher initiators.
It was amazing to see how the School Superintendent personally came and asked me where I am originally from and how did I come this far... I gave a glimpse of my adventurous move and it made him excited as we were about to leave and he said, 'we need to continue this discussion further...' and the best was that he remembered each and everyone's name and shared with me his Indore, India trip to me as well. 

The kind of gratitude and humbleness in the Millard School District people I saw was something very touching and emotional for me. I felt like giving them a hug and cry.

"There is nothing better on this earth than a soul that you can connect with on every level"

~ Dawn

Friday, July 21, 2017

I'm on the hunt for who I have not yet become....!!!

A desire to serve the needy has always been part of my growing up. Whenever and whatever way I could, I have always tried to fulfill this desire of mine.

"It is a denial of justice not to stretch out a helping hand to the fallen that is the common right of humanity"




I find this deed very much healing and meditating. I realized one thing that, as much I was able to help with my own hands and will, growing up in corporate industry made me busy with workload and this desire turned into donations.

Donations to different charity organizations or noble causes has always left me with one thought and that is - is this reaching to the right hands?

And, you always satisfy yourselves by saying as long as my intentions are good it should be all good.
However, the desire to do by yourselves, with your own hands and will kept a blaze and here I get an opportunity to learn, serve and inspire others by training teacher initiators in school districts of USA, in technology for their day to day curriculum that they teach their students.


This is a new journey in my life and I want to enjoy this one too by giving my heart, soul and body, while I am in this journey with my VMware team. 

"I would rather have it said, 'He lived usefully,' than, 'He died rich" 

~ Dawn

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Take the journey, soar like an eagle, there are so many roads to explore so little time...

Everyday is a new day! It's not just a saying, but indeed it is true!
I have been driving almost 20 years and never got into any accidents, yes something I would say I am cautious about. It's not that others are not, but I often make sure and remind myself about defensive driving. Hence, I try to maintain the distance whether it is in front of my car or behind.

I have many times given indications through my rear view mirror to back off when they are too close to me. No matter how much we are in hurry, we will reach along with everyone because we all are part of this game when we are on the road.

"There is more to life than simply increasing its speed" ~ M.K. Gandhi


This is my daily commute to and fro from home to office and office to home. These days you can't do anything about the traffic and hence it is better not to get too stressed on the road. I try to listen to songs or NPR news which keeps my mind off the traffic stress.

And yesterday was supposed to be a similar day like many other days for me, until when I felt my car was hit. Yes, we often think if one car has to hit the other then either one of the car or both has to get damaged only then it's a real accident. But I think the shock to your mind and heart that stirs-up the whole weird feeling.

It was nice that we both exchanged our information so we can reach to our insurance company but something like this on the busy highway is not a good feeling that you are left behind with...!

The thought keeps coming back and the scene keeps reminding of what if it would have been worse than this.

These days no matter how safe you try to be, your surroundings may not allow you to be sometimes. 
We all look on the sides when we see cars stopped because of accidents and still I see people speed until they pass these cars. 
Sometimes I see how people cut you on the way and try to swing through one end to the other end of the lanes to reach faster, and yet sometimes I catch them at the 'stop' signs or traffic lights where we both are at the same place, even though the other person was trying hard to race to reach their destination. 
The only fun part is sometimes our time decides our destination not we :)

Happy that it ended this way, where no one had any physical injuries, but what isn't seen shouldn't be neglected either!!!

"Every flower blooms at a different pace" ~ Suzy Kassem

~ Dawn

Friday, June 02, 2017

You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?


Everyone say, love yourself,
Treat yourself good and be good
I say as you love yourself
Be mean to yourself too
Give that torture and pain
Which you feel later as a gain
Each time you stretch yourself
The sweet pain reminds of goodness
The mean you should give back
By giving that pain again and again
So that when you love yourself
You feel the pain and gain ;)


-->
~ Dawn

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong...

This time of the year, I really miss India, specially Pune. Growing up in Pune as a Malayalee (Keralite) is one thing but I grew up watching...