FFC: September 21st – 23rd, 2018

September 21 – 23, 2018

Vrindavan

Introduction

In its objective of building the Nation, Vision India Foundation has initiated a program to bring together families to reflect on our family lives and how the family can act as an agent of change. Our first discussion at the pious place of Haridwar revolved around understanding family as the smallest unit of the society and the growth of family in consonance of the society and nature.

Leading on that, in the second edition of the program, we discussed the role and strengths of the family. We highlighted the impact of growing discourse of Rights on Children, Parents and Old Age and subsequent result on the institution of the family.

Parenting: The Samskaars and Moksha

The growth and nurturing of the child become as important as understanding the role of our parents in the entire social structure. Talking about the next generation, the group highlighted the fact that children come through parents and not for parents. We play the role of a facilitator and not of an owner.  It is important for us, as parents, to understand that the purpose of their life is beyond us, they take birth to serve society and other beings. While reflecting on the role of parenting towards the goal of Moksha, some of us argue that kids increase our bondage in the form of commitment and attachment to them. However, all of us believed that parenting makes us more selfless as we look beyond ourselves. We move out of our comfort zone to ensure a quality life for the children. Parenting is a transcendental experience as we become more conscious of our own actions – the samskaras of the parents are carried by the kids.

While imbibing the morals to the children, it is important we provide all the exposure to them, understand their interest areas and accordingly, we should equip ourselves to handle the chaos and questions that come along with it. To avoid an imposition of a new area of exposure, it is crucial that parents inspire them to try new things. The group also agreed on the fact that parents may also use some external tools to avoid trial and error. By talking and interacting with them, we should entirely focus on what works for the kid.

Thus, looking at the all aspects of parenting, all of us believed that it is three-fold: a) Raising a child with values and morals; b) a phase of the self-growth by becoming an individual who thinks beyond oneself and c) strengthening the legacy and culture of the family for the benefit fo the society.

Old Age: Vanaprastha and Sanyaasa

On a similar note, the group also discussed the issues pertaining to Generation Gap. As kids, it is important we avoid labeling every difference as a gap between generations. Rather, we should work on understanding our parents, looking at an issue from their perspective with empathy. It is easier for the relation to nurture if we accept each other and give time for the differences to align. We need to utilize the presence of our parents, their experiences and handle the conflicts with empathy. The group agreed on the fact that each one of us should applaud the generation of our parents for taking the leap of faith and understanding the change of roles that the society brings. Their fear of death, immobility, and permanence should be handled by engaging and listening to them.

On that note, we also reflected on the question of our old age and the grooming ourselves to handle it. One immediate way would be balancing food and exercise for proper health; another important thing is to prepare ourselves for our vanaprastha and sannyasa as per the requirements of the changing society. Looking at both the phases of life as a spiritual journey and identifying the organization that facilitates it. During Vanaprastha, we should be ready to give time to society and disengage ourselves with things that feed our ego.

Rights Discourse: Impact on Family

When we reflected on society from the perspective of identity and rights, the group started with a very simple question on “Can I make a stable society, while I am asking for right?” In the Indic framework, the society is not based on rights but the deservedness of oneself. One is not obliged to great life but life is based on what you deserve. Not denying the fact, that each one of us has a potential and there are mechanisms mentioned in the society to strengthen it. The fight in the rights discourse is of the identity which is motivated by fear. It is important we understand the discourse, ask counter questions and then assimilate it.

Profile of the Families:

Anil Kumar Gourishetty | Shirisha Gourishetty

Shirisha Ravikanti and Anil Kumar Gourishetty got married on teachers day i.e. 5th September 2007. Shirisha’s father is a businessman in Jammikunta city, Karimnagar district, Telangana state and Anil’s father is also a businessman in Warangal city, Telangana state. Mothers of both Shirisha and Anil are housewives. Shirisha has 2 sisters and Anil has 2 brothers. Blessed with 2 boys Advait (8 years) and Suhas Chandra (6 years). Recently celebrated one decade of married life. Residing in IIT Roorkee since 2011. Currently, Shirisha is running a textile business from home and Anil is a faculty member in the Dept. of Physics,  IIT Roorkee working in Experimental Nuclear Physics.

Ashutosh  Harshvardhan |Shweta Singh

It was a confluence of cultures for both our families and us, considering, they were hyphenated Indian-nationals and I was from Kashi and Prayag, Uttar Pradesh, India. But the numerous seamless interactions along with all of us working extra hours on our compassion, comprehension and communication skills resulted in the formation of this alliance.

The potpourri of the dishes served to us and our families by the Almighty have been a delicious meal for us up until now and we hope that the entire course of this dining out will be a beautiful experience and we will be able to pay our bills comfortably on our way out.

Shweta coming from a strong corporate management background, armed (literally) with relevant degrees from institutes such as Fergusson College, Pune and TISS Mumbai have fared through fairly comfortably with her strong logical sense and Ashutosh’ behavioral (non)sense.

The one most significant thought that has helped us go through our lives, together and as individuals, has been the connect with Dharma and our Dharmic existence and the outlined thought process that secures everything around us. We want to share and promote the takeaways, with others around us, that we have received from this lifestyle and want to equip and strengthen our knowledge in the Indic philosophy and culture.

This association is of vital importance for us emotionally, culturally and is a source of a sense of contentment that we are contributing something, even if only on the thought level and by means of mere participation, as of now, to the promotion of this eternal and divine intellection and existence, our religion.

Meeta Bolia | Nomesh Bolia

Nomesh and Meeta aspire to be made for each other like Rama and Seeta. It is said that Rama and Seeta had all 36 “Gunas” matching in their horoscope, and the number is 33.5 for Nomeeta. They got married on 27 June 2010 amidst a thundershower, and heavy downpour. The night proved to be a peek into the future, as Nomesh and Meeta have had a roller coaster of an adventurous life together.

They both come from illustrious families. Meeta traces her descent from Samrat Vikramaditya, while Nomesh from an erstwhile Chief Minister of Mewar. Both their families sometimes forget about this extraordinary background, but hopefully will someday aspire to live up to it. Meeta grew up in Udaipur in a joint family, lovingly raised by a doting father (who used to work for RSMM), and a do(mina)ting mother. Nomesh, on the other hand, grew up under the wings of his mother’s love-innocence all over India, a gift and hazard of his father’s transferable job at the Bank of Rajasthan.

They are blessed with Medhansh, their 7-year-old bundle of joy, hope, and aspiration for the future. They keep themselves occupied through service of Bharat Mata through VIF, AINA and more. Nomesh has managed to integrate his work life of an IIT Delhi professor well with his devotion to India, and Meeta, along with being the administrative manager of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (at IIT Delhi) now aspires to be a changemaker in the area of Indic content-development and food. They wish and pray that their life, along with that of all in their family, can be suitably offered and surrendered to their most important presiding deity, Mother India.

Raghava Krishna | Reena George

Raghav and Reena met in 2001 while working for GE in Hyderabad and married 5 years later – Between them, they cover the cultures of 4 of the 5 South-Indian states – Raghav worked in the IT/Gaming Industry for 17 years, before deciding to move out of the corporate to contribute to the Nation Building Movement via VIF. Reena also recently quit her job at TCS to pursue her interests in the Sustainable living and Wellness space. They have a 9-year old daughter – Sahiti, to whom they wish to provide authentic ideas of the world and hope she stays grounded in the nourishment that Indic roots provide.

Rovin Push | Shraddha Pushp

Rovin and Shraddha come from very different family and social backgrounds – one from a family of government servants in Bihar while another from a family of socially engaged enterprising people in Maharashtra. They started their relationship with a lot of common interests, curiosities and hobbies like knowing their ignorance, reading, literature, philosophy, education, storytelling, farming, nature and travelling. These interests have helped them re-discover Indian culture and knowledge for themselves and their family. This experience also led them to believe that they can carve out a life together. They got married in 2012 and have participated in multiple social projects together since then. This journey has helped them grow as individuals and ask better questions from themselves & put efforts to find answers to those questions. Now, Shraddha is working on building an equitable market for organic farmers while Rovin is working with government school children. They are also learning (experientially) about the cow and cow-based products and want to conserve a good breed of cows, extend the benefits and products through a start-up.

Shraddha’s life journey has always been about her family. And she understands that there is a lot that family members learn from each other while living together in different stages of life. She has seen her father visualize, discuss, set up and grow a microfinance unit for his society especially his caste (from which he didn’t take any financial benefits) and this helped her grow interests in sewa. As a child, she learnt a lot about hard work, service and resilience from her parents.  Rovin says that he has slowly acquired a lot of traits from his family in the process of growing as a person. It took a lot of time to understand why his grandfather is so keen about religion and especially bhakti and dana. Now, he enjoys practising a little bit of both. Similarly, his mother’s humility, trust and perseverance in nurturing him & his father’s consistent transparency and courage have led him to forward the same to his students and child.

Although after gaining a lot from family, they feel that they & other young people like them have a role to find out the gaps (few things that our families have lost in transition like food habits, Indic life schedule, religious practices, etc.) and recreate a family and societal system that we owned in India – one that sustained individuals, group and nature together for thousands of years.

Sahil Aggarwal | Soumya Aggarwal

When an IIT guy meets a girl from Lady Shri Ram College, they are supposed to talk sensible things. However, our first meeting was a mix of an interview and a date. In the second meeting, when Sahil vanished from the tea shop without paying the bill, Soumya decided not to marry him. But as destiny would have it, they got married in February 2017 in the most beautiful location of India – in front of Taj Mahal.

The ‘coolness’ of his parents is reflected in Sahil’s nature. Guided by father who loves taking a leap of faith and Maa who is cheerful and strict, Sahil’s life has always been inspired by them. Soumya comes from Ghaziabad with multiple sets of guiding forces. Her brother, bhabhi, her Sister and Brother-in-law have inspired her as much her parents.

Teased as Public Policy Couple, Sahil and Soumya work together in four organizations. Both of them are learning to manage time amongst various works and family responsibilities. They love travelling, reading and watching movies together. They blog at soumyasahil.com sharing their experiences and ideas. Their passion to work for the nation unites and energises them.

Shobhit Mathur | Vidheeta Mathur

Vidheeta and Shobhit got married in 2012,  the year that was popularly predicted to be the end of the world! Fortunately, the world thrived and so did their marriage. They both have an MBA but apply different aspects of it in their professional life at Vision India Foundation. Vidheeta checks the nuts and bolts, by managing the accounts and finance; while Shobhit focuses more on the cockpit, navigating the organization. It has been a great flight so far, with the usual turbulence that adds to the fun. Nation building is an integral part of their personal, professional and social life.