Wednesday, March 10, 2010
If you're drowning you don't clutch no straw.
Late in February the OAB lost one of its members. At the age of twenty-four Amrendra Prasad died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was an active member of the OAB who helped organise workshops and conferences. I had only met him a few times but I remember him as motivated and positive. Members of the OAB consider each other family and it was tough to see so many of my colleagues and friends grieving. Prasad's body was even brought to the office/hostel on the day of his death so that all had a chance to say goodbye. This entailed lining up and placing flower garlands around his neck. While the loss is very sad it allowed me to see just how connected everyone at the OAB is to one another. Prasad will be missed.
Body wrapped in flowers.
My work has been going well. I was asked to make a report about my contributions so far and I thought it necessary to also comment on the things that I have planned to achieve. I feel that this is helping to focus my role. My boss was impressed at some of the things outside the scope of my placement objectives that I would like to change. Waste management being one of them. I am finished scripting my database and now I am moving on to writing a web application. This web application has to be accessible for those who are completely blind. I've been researching and I have a plan but any resources or tips from developers out there would be much appreciated.
March first was the Hindu festival of colours called Holi. To celebrate people take to the streets armed with coloured powders and water. The morning is spent adorning everyone in sight with the colours either by rubbing it on faces or shooting it from guns. I spent Holi on the beach in Puri with great company and we had a blast decorating each other.
Late in the afternoon on Holi I left my friends at the hotel to have a short swim at the beach. I knew that going solo would entail answering lots of questions from locals about where I'm from and what I am doing in India. I actually was having a nice time chatting with some people I met out in the waves. After I had moved on and was enjoying the water a man stalked me and when I wasn't paying attention he waited for a large wave and then dove at me. He was hugging my waste as I was recovering from the wave. I reacted quickly by standing up, swinging him around, and socking him one on his jaw. I was yelling and causing a scene as he stood there looking shocked. I felt provoked and it put me in self defense mode. I'm fine and luckily nothing else happened afterward. I left the beach shortly after the incident. This is the sort of thing that can happen anywhere and I thought it would be wise to tell of my encounter to remind other volunteers and people in general to always be aware of their surroundings.
Song from title: Lazy by Deep Purple