After learning to play the drums solo for two months, I am graduating to being part of a Jazz Rock band at the Levine School of Music! I start practicing with the band this week. I am excited to be part of a band, but even more excited that I will get to make new friends through the other members in the band. Being in Washington, D.C. away from Kranti and the other Revolutionaries gets lonely sometimes.
Besides my drums, English and TOEFL classes to prepare for going to College next year, I have remained in touch with Social Justice issues while I am here. Being a Revolutionary, and having learnt so much about Social Justice issues at Kranti, it is hard to stay away from being part of Social Change activities no matter where I go in the world!
I was a Speaker at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) last month, where I spoke to a group of young Latino and African American youngsters from low income communities, mostly my age, who had dropped out of school and were not working either. The LAYC felt this group needed some hope and motivation, and invited me, and another Revolutionary, Shweta, to speak to these young people. We shared our stories with them, how we had also struggled during our childhood, had faced abuse, family problems, but now were studying hard, following my passion of playing the drums and working towards making my dreams come true. I hope that by listening to my story these young people realise that in spite of their difficult family lives, they too can work hard to achieve their dreams.
The great part about being in Washington, D.C., where there are people from so many different countries across the world, is that I really get to meet many different kinds of people and learn so much about their countries and their social problems and social movements. I recently learnt that in Mexico, 43 student protestors were killed and burnt by the Mayor of the city of Ayotzinapa. On further investigation they found that nearly 20,000 such protesters had gone missing over the years. I participated in the #WeAreAllAyotzinapa campaign to protest the governments that commit attrocities against their citizen protesters.
I hope you all had a wonderful summer :). Thank you for all your donations and continued support. I have had a very eventful summer. After my visit to London for a fundraising tour for Kranti, I finally went to India, and had a busy summer full of activities.
During summer I did theater workshop in Mumbai, which was very fun. I was anxious at first but then I became friends with everyone and I was the youngest there so everyone’s favorite too! I got to do crazy things in acting class- we would make weird sounds and weird body postures which was very interesting and I think these small exercises made me more comfortable about my body. I do weird things but only in front of Kranti girls because I am very close to them and comfortable with them; but here it was different we were all strangers to each other. For me to behave freely in front of strangers is a big deal but what surprised me was that I was doing these weird body postures and making weird noises with all the strangers and it was fun! At the end of the workshop we did a presentation. There is a production happening but I am here in college in New York so I won’t be able to join them. It was a play about two Indian Mughal soldiers who are obsessed with chess and they would rather die for chess then for their king. In the rehearsal of the play I had two roles in the first half I was a Maid and in the other half I was a gay maid!
I was in Delhi for few days speaking at LIFE conference organized by TGELF foundation. Which was a very good experience. I met some of the Indian students who are studying in the United States.
My Mom was very happy to see me this time too. I surprised all the girls at Kranti just arriving at Kranti’s new house at midnight. My Mom was sleeping and when I he woke up she took a moment to make sense of what’s happening and then she just hugged me very tight. I was very excited to be back because last time my visit was small this time I was in Mumbai for two months. Last year was long and very interesting for me and them. I had changed and I wasn’t sure how my relationships were going to be with everyone. It wasn’t easy. I had some arguments with my sisters and friends but it was all fine at the end. Things change, people change, relationships change, too, but it’s on you how you take that change and what you make out of it. My relationships with everyone grew stronger and I am very happy and lucky to have every single one of them, specially my mom, in my life.
I met my friends from school they were very proud of me and I was very happy to see them. Some of them I saw after 3-4 years and they were very as accepting of me as ever. They are the people who never judged because of my background they always knew where I grew up some of them also visited my house. It was so great to finally meet them after so long.
I also visited my family in Karnataka and they were very happy to see me. They told me I looked like a boy because I had cut my hair so short! They were all so excited and proud knowing that I traveled by myself and could take care of myself in the States.
But do you want know what the most wonderful time was while I was in India? When I would eat FOOOOODDDD. After eating Bard Kline (cafeteria) food for so many months, I had really been missing Indian food. I ate all the street food Pani Puri, Kulfi, Masala Dosa and chai.
Will Keep you updated on my life at Bard :).
Hey, this is Sheetal . I am a Revolutionary. Thank you for your donation so I could come and study in the U.S. Right now I am in Washington, D.C.!
First, when I reached New York I met Shweta, another Revolutionary who is studying in Bard College in New York. For one week I was hanging out with her. I saw many new places in New York City, like Times Square, Union Square, and New York University. I saw many Indian people, Indians shops, and I ate Indian food in Queens.
Now I am in Washington, D.C. I started my Drum classes at Levine School Of Music and my a English classes in American University. In my first day itself I learned a new beat- the Classic Rock Beat. I will also Volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen, a NGO working with homeless people. There I will work as a Case Management Social Worker. I have found my home and I have settled down
Now I am every excited and happy to be here.