Saturday, July 18, 2009

Season Runs: Start At Ananya

So the running season for the year 2009-10 started off last month and as part of the training program, Team Asha Bangalore will conduct runs at each of its supported programs so that the volunteers, trainers, runners and the kids can all interact with each other.

Kick start At Ananya

So the first run-at-the-site took off at Ananya today. Other than the regular Asha Runners none turned up for the run (Rains? Where?). But it was business as usual for all of us.

Weather Dither
What a lovely weather and we were in no mood to run or practice Karate. After quite a few dilly dallying we all took off for the run at around 7.20AM. Most of the kids did a neat 3KM and others went on to do a 5KM.

As the drizzle was bearable we all went in for our stretching session and then started our Karate session.

Beat the Weather

As we started our training for Karate session Vinodh, Narmada and I donned the "sesnsei" role as Manjula was away.

As the drizzle started to gather momentum we wound up one batch. But Vinodh stood between the weather and the class. After a quick vote with kids he decided to go on and surprisingly he already got them on even heels over the first Kata (Fukyugata Ichi). Good job pal !

The Breakfast

Lets give you a small tour inside Shivamma's kitchen from where those Idlies come flying to our plates melange'd over chutney and sambhar.

Soon our trainers from "Runner's High" joined us with couple of guests over breakfast. Post breakfast some of us played volleyball and football(soccer).


From this Saturday most of us would be staying back further till noon and introduce things like computers and mathematics to kids in an interesting way so that its not a burden on them and they would rather relish it.

Today we started our effort by first cleaning up all the viruses that have infected the computers at Ananya. But as we were running on UPS because of power outage we could restrict ourselves only to a couple of computers. One of the senior students was taught on how to do it on couple of machines so that he can finish the basic tasks by next Saturday.

Then we slowly started the kids to involve in a discussion on what are computers, what they can do, why does a keyboard look different, the shift key in the keyboard and many others.

We wanted to show the kids their pics for a long time and finally we managed to show them their pics today.

Taking granted on Basic assumptions

Santhosh had asked kids some basic questions like why does a mathematics compass can measure only 360 degrees (why not 400?). Also things like why the clock has just 12 hours (why not 20?) and things such as these as a kids (and even as an adult) we have never questioned the basic premise. This is what most of us would want to defy and really get into the root of things.

The whole idea to "question" is what we are looking at. Getting this inquisitiveness will be one of our top priorities. Vinodh has more interesting ideas on science and maths and he would start sharing as we move ahead.

Finally I took all the time on earth, had my lunch at Ananya and then left !

Some pictures in here:

Go Team Asha and Ananya, Go !

Saturday, July 4, 2009

White to Yellow with empty hands: Team Asha and Ananya

So what else Team Asha in Bangalore does other running and volunteering. This may sound trivial and off running topic for some but then this was more than a saga for all of us. Read on below !

"The ultimate aim of the art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants."
- Gichin Funakoshi

Two months ago when we met our master at Ananya, we had no idea that she would be our bellwether guiding us using her "empty hands". Karate as a form of personal strength and to gain extra control over oneself was one of the sole motivation.

It all began at our "Dojo" (school) at Ananya this summer when we were training with kids for the Sunfeast 10K and during one of our breakfast discussions the idea of "Karate" cropped in as a cross training from a photographer who was capturing us at the volleyball matches with the kids. Who knew that she would become our Sensei who would lead all of us into this odyssey which seems like a journey in progress now.

We asked her, "onegaishimasu Sensei", Please teach me/us and that is how it all began. Tuesdays and Saturdays after the run we all diligently went through classes and practiced extensively during the last two weeks.

Today as America celebrated its independence we headed towards the first step, the Yellow Belt and all of us came out in flying colors.

What are you waiting for? You're faster than this. Don't think you are, know you are. Come on. Stop trying to hit me and hit me.
--Morpheus, The Matrix

This is what was that was going through during the endurance tests in all our minds. Our Morpheous was Sensei Manjula under whom we've trained for the last two months. We could hear her chip in when we were about to give up during the endurance training and it was then that she occurred to us like Morpheous.

Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. LEARN, MASTER AND ACHIEVE!!!

-- Bruce Lee

This just a baby step that we all have taken and I'm sure there is a long way to go as Team Asha and Team Ananya. We have more kids taking active part with Karate and Tuesday from now on we will be doing Karate exclusively. Of course Saturdays after the run we will continue with it as well.

Aregato to Sensei Manjula, Sensei Rani and my training mates Vinodh, Narmada and Banna !
Thanks to George, Suman and Shivamma for a wonderful breakfast and lunch. Ananya is more than a home to all of us.

I'll finally end it with an anonymous quote below:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”

(Pic Courtesy: Sensei Manjula)