Mumbai Memoir 130- Exploring the new Mumbai, the Web & the Mind!
The lockdown in Mumbai continues with news of some anti-COVID 19 vaccine being developed that would be released on 15th August (Indian Independence Day). Though everyone is sceptical of the validity of the news, but still there is this feeling of hope and positive anticipation of something good is on the way. Though such a positive thought seems to be a fantasy, but still this feeling is very important to pull through a day amidst the limitations that all of us are facing due to the pandemic.
Apart from picking up monthly groceries and a couple of visits to the pharmacist & my dentist, I have been witnessing life from the window of my home, that of my computer & that of my soul! The window of my home gives me a limited 3 dimensional understanding of the world outside, the window of my computer gives me a 2 dimensional unlimited understanding of the digital world & the window of my mind gives me an infinite multi-dimensional understanding about myself!
On one of my grocery picking trips on a Monday evening, I walked through the same lanes of South Mumbai which were once over-crowded, especially on a buzzing Monday evening. It certainly was a luxury to walk with so much of space and air around. As I was walking home, I could visualise how it could have been in the times of my great-grandfather who migrated to Mumbai in the late 19th century from a Konkan based village in Ratnagiri. As per my readings of History, Mumbai (then referred as Bombay by the Britishers & Portuguese) was sparsely populated place that was a contrasting fusion of a European town merged with a fishing hamlet of the natives from the Koli community. This archived video gives us a feel of the old Mumbai which was spread over 7 islands! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob8n_Aaog58 As I walked towards my home, I reflected on my experiences with the changed social landscape of the city. I am a 4th generation Mumbaikar who is now witnessing the new Mumbai, given the scene of the pandemic, which I believe is a temporary ‘dent’ in Mumbai’s identity. I am hopeful that with the public health and environmental conservation measures being healthily re-installed, Mumbai will bounce back with its unique style.
Once back to my home, I open the window to my digital world through my laptop. I noticed that I had received an email from Wholistic Care Center (WCC), Mumbai. The email contained a proposal for conducting an online awareness webinar on Mental Health. I have been associated with the WCC since its genesis and I support the vision of its Founder-Director/Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Saurabh Talekar, who has been promoting the importance of adopting a Holistic Care Model in health care. More about Wholistic Care Centre’s vision in this link: http://wholisticcare.center/
I agreed to the proposal and then started my journey into the world wide web, as I prepared for the presentation. Referring research, developing original content and then with my background of 23 years of experience of being a Psychologist/Lecturer of Psychology, on 28th June’ 2020 presented an online webinar titled ‘Managing Toxic Emotions’. Dr. Saurabh Talekar hosted the online event while I delightfully shared with the world, all that I knew about the topic. It was for the first time my online presentation was to be streamed ‘Live’ on YouTube & Facebook! Here is a recorded link of my webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK1pawP6ZYQ The response to the webinar was positive and it was a nice feeling to know that even with the limitations of the physical world lockdown one can make a positive difference through the digital world over the web and grow in the process.
After the webinar, as I was reflecting on my new web experience, I opened the window of my soul to get in touch with my inner self. I realized that prior to the webinar I was a bit tensed as it was my first ever ‘Live’ presentation which would be streamed across the web via YouTube and Facebook! Which literally meant that anyone from the 7 continents of the world can have access to what I am presenting! This fact was an overwhelming one and was nerve-wrecking to begin with, but throughout my preparation, a voice in me always kept telling me that ‘there is always a first time to everything’ and not to be conscious of the magnitude of the outreach, rather to focus on a higher cause- as to what positive difference is the presentation going to make to people’s life? That guidance from my mind’s inner world helped me concentrate on the quality of the process rather than being conscious on the results. As I peeped inside my soul’s window, it indeed was a nice feeling that I was experiencing, to have my work streamed from the ancient town of 7 Islands (Mumbai) to the modern day 7 continents of the world!
Photo Courtesy: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar & Free Internet Resources
Photos & Captions:
Old Bombay (now Mumbai) charm
7 Islands of Mumbai (then Bombay)
Old photo of Mumbai’s iconic Crawford Market in South Mumbai
Trams plying in pre-Independent Mumbai (Fort)
At the inauguration of Wholistic Care Center, Mumbai with Dr. Saurabh Talekar (extreme left), Yogi Sakha (Happiness Coach at Wholistic Care Center) and myself.
First ever webinar to be streamed ‘Live’ via YouTube & Facebook.
Myself in full pedagogical action!