Category Archives: Milestones

Those Unusual Turning Points Where you know you have arrived on novel territory

People and Place

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As many of you might already know, our space has gone through quite a transformation over the past year 1/2 leading up to its current incarnation. Following is a listing of the people who have walked through our doors along with the transformations in the physical space that have concurrently occurred.

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Designed by Aman Verma and myself this original logo really took our whimsicality for a run. Unfortuantely, it was determined to be too whimsical, so we opted for the more sober logo that we have now. If you look closely, you will see an image of our inhouse rastababy plastered on the globe. We always thought of him as a fitting mascot for the space so we felt it quite apt, yes, to plaster his cute little baby face on a globe. The caption reads,”rooting for earth, reaching for the skies.” because yes, that is exactly what we do! Apparently, according to aman, the combination of colors are encoded with a special cipher wherein you stare at the image long enough you will transcend space time and emerge into the 5th dimension. Talk about being outside the box :p..I always viewed this space as some sort of magical initiation so I welcome the gesture 😉 ..Anyway, in the end, we decided to keep it as a standalone image and make millions off of it. all rights reserved so dont you dare!

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More rastababy. Just cant get enough of him. Just the type of spirit and energy we would love to see at this space.

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ok, for those who think this is our backyard, false alarm. Rastah baby in flight at hyderabad airport. This kid brings the free flow where ever he goes.

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weve always attraced quite a few wackos to our space. Meet anil, our helper who lasted with us for over 2 months circa 2014. He really does have the entire galaxy enshrined in his chest.

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passionflower growing on the side of the building. This is our flowering representative and we need to bring it back into blossom!

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the kid energy has been quite prominent. Here they are sanctifying the ground floor with some meditative energies. Lo and behold, 2 years later, we are currently running regular meditations here. so zen!

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construction of amphitheatre, stage and sheds.

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how the garden looked during renovation stage..

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aerial view of soon to be reception area

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stage in progress

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Enjoying an afternoon mean before trudging forward.

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Love capturing these guys at work. They carry a charm and physique that I find fascinating.

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whats that  in the backround perfectly curved up onto that wheel?

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looking for similar art to deck our walls. This was taken in goa. http://www.facebook.com/thewallartproject

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chilling on what will soon be hosting a multidude of different events.

 

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so fresh and so clean

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inspiration for the front entrance, a marriage venue somewhere near uppal.

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poor guys loses hair! alas, his scalp, like the soil, carries great fertility for renewal.

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Vittals plantings. aww so cute.

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10 months later, the products of his labor!

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growth and renewal 😉

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what the hell is this? i dont know..

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Garden in progress…

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the ground floor has also been transformed during this time.

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reading alcove in front of ground floor.

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Garden underway

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more g arden

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key hole in the wall…2nd floor

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more keyhole

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additional hole in the 2nd floor wall. now who doesnt crave an awesome view and additional sunlight.

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Sage.

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this older gentleman! the little marvels of india

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hats off to the workers! this guy reminds me of some mythical creature straight out some gnomedom.

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volunteers painting reception table

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Last but not least, hats off to krysh gopal (goal krishna? gopal krishna ab? Reyansh Gopal? whatever the hell he goes by these days :P) for designing and coordinating the construction of the epic amphitheatre and charming ground floor. Please  pay close attention to his initiative @https://www.facebook.com/hyderabadtrails. Already a big success, its moving into its 2nd evolution and has scope for other interesting themes and variations to emerge.

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Last but not least, hats off to krysh gopal (goal krishna? gopal krishna ab? Reyansh Gopal? whatever the hell he goes by these days :P) for designing and coordinating the construction of the epic amphitheatre and charming ground floor. Please  pay close attention to his initiative @https://www.facebook.com/hyderabadtrails. Already a big success, its moving into its 2nd evolution and has scope for other interesting themes and variations to emerge.

 

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Hyderabad Trails conducts an early morning Sufiyana Trail, an ancient tradition wherein troubadours and musicians take to the street and form a moving congregation, praising and immersing themselves in the numinous during the early hours of the morning. Here’s our present day Sufiyana, reimagined with smart phones and other accessories to boot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twin City Theater and Cultural Festival

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This is why Mallik opened his doors two years ago, I’d think to myself as I watched over the event from above. The ground floor was covered with bodies all seated around the stage.

A young man with dark earth skin, dressed in a long red kurta spoke out to the crowd from the stage. I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I hadn’t learned hindi, yet. But I read his body, the emotion of his voice. It was dark outside. And a yellow, reddish light lit up the stage, his face.

I hadn’t seen Roots this alive and full, so many new-young faces.

“I’ve counted a hundred heads” one of the main organizers from Twin City Theater Festival would inform me.

I was joyful, excited. In just a day Twin City Theater Festival had transformed our space. They’d decorated our walls and garden with Art.  And our co-working space had been altered into a small textile market.

This would go down in my notes, another example of the fascinating potential of an Open Space. So much can happen just by the simple act of opening your doors and letting your community bring it to life. All it takes is having the capacity to let go and trust the outside world, realizing that maybe you don’t have all the answers. And do they bring answers. Answers to questions you didn’t even think existed.

And that night, as the light lit up our stage and I was invited to sing, acoustic, about how we’re all literally from the same universe, it dawned upon me. It didn’t really matter where you were on Earth. If you wanted progress, joy, happiness etc. you could make it happen no matter where you are.

As I got off the stage, my feat against the pavement of the community floor, my heart recognized a penetrating yester year of sing and dance and truth.

BY Natale Danko

 

Change.. (late nov, 2012)

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The end of November witnessed 2 marked changes at roots. The Departing of our 2 original dogs and the leave of Natale to Canada. Unfortunately the dogs died of some natural causes still unknown to us. We made the mistake of showing them over to govt veteranarian hospital rather than a Private vet. On the morning of 25 Nov both were found breathless within the entrance of our building. RIP Roots and Shoots..

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Roots and shoots grave site

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Natales 2 month stay at roots served a crucial role in getting us out of a slump. Her fabulous energy served as just the catalyst that roots was needing at the time. She had to leave for Canada because of a limited toursit visa. She is scheduled to come back in January so lets hope for new and refreshed arrival. You can find more about her on her blog

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Natale Danko

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Biodiversity Festival (October)

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As a lead up to the Biodiversity Festival we had a visit from a special guest. My German friend Susanna, who I had the good fortune of knowing while in San Francisco, managed to finally make it to India. She had arrived with her partner from Berlin. Always unusual meeting old friends in new settings!

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We also finally managed to get our security system figured out but this soon came to be ill managed a :p

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The time before, during and after the Biodiversity Festival was a chaos. We were something inbetween a flooded guest house and an Intentional Community. Still very much in the midst of learning, we were running our experiments and this festival offered us a big opportunity. Perhaps for the first time we had some 20 visitors or so at roots. Lots of internal congestion unfolded within our team  and a lack of communication along w/ perceived factionalism manifested. At the end of the day we pulled it off fairly well, the 4 days went through and a lot of interesting lessons were learned. For one thing, it served as a triggering point to get ourself on the map and affirm our existence. Its always nice to be able to plug into a qualified network from which we can draw upon and engage. Overall,where we triumphed was in our youth and originality despite our amateurish standing.

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Wishall our Upcyclist friend from Udaipur. He played a lead role in our set design 🙂

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A snippet we played that relates the Biodiversity crisis to our Monetary System. For better or worst we were the few ones utilizing tech and cross referencing!

Here is the link to the video

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We exchanged vegan energy ladoos for postings of peoples “sweet” dreams..

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Before you know it the laddoos were ravaged and we had a wall full of peoples personal ambitions 😉

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Our good friend Joon Shabbir from Mumbai.

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Gnom, gnom, gnom…

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Its always delightful to withness the ripples and serendipity events like these create. We ended making 3 friends that are now linked with roots and whose continued correspondence has bee priceless. Black Jacket (Samuel Sanjeev from the rock works foundation) Glasses (vivek oak who is a computer wiz, holistic thinker and roots website enabler 😉 Hat (Shika Gandhi, a Seasoned Journalist)

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Every play has its unsung hero. Raja was ours. Being the unabashed networking champ that he is, he managed to reel in many people to our stall…

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Raja Rajnish Pratap Singh Ratour

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Raja also broke out in hives on one of the evenings. A malady he attributes to a magical spell cast by shriram, one of our empowered team members..

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The place wouldn’t have been the same without yours truly,  Vandana Shiva

The place was adorned with Tribals and Adivasis. The “for the people” vibe was indeed palpable..

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Our Forest friends Rene and Richa had showed up once again. They had a stall adjacent to us and were representing Botanical gardens from Auroville.

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Seated: Raphael and Rene

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Acharya, Rene, Natale

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Richa Bhagel

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And last but not least we brought in a musical element to the place. While maybe disturbing to some stalls for when we played at the wrong hours, music has that effect of making everything alright and priceless. No ad campaigns, no persuasion, just straight up unfiltered music 😉

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Dulip Lobo and Rishab Mansanta

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And last but not least, The wiki from that evening..

Seeding (circa august 10, 2012)

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It was atleast 6 months since our occupying of the 2nd floor and terrace of our charming Roots building. Though things were moving slowly the evacuation of the first floor and plans for converting it into an acoustically amplified wall-less public space had planted some seeds of hope. We were in our second live-in community experiment at roots. Our first stampede of a community experiment had revealed how little experienced we were at this mammoth but enduring task. This time we had many fellow mumbaites residing with us besides a few exceptions. It proved to be more laudable than the first dabble but still reflected the long journey in which we were but just crawling infants. The garden, still postponed due to a search for the right moment and the right design, had all but created frustration in some of our founding members. So as to temporarily quell our vexation, and to take advantage of the monsoon rains, we seeded a temporary makeshift garden with green leafy vegetables and some gourds. Giving due grace to shakti, the force of creation, we invited the elder women within our immediate community to partake in the seeding ritual. For the first time old and young had converged at roots and it was only the beginning of exciting times to come!

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Fenugreek (methi), Amaranth (tottakura), Spinach (Palak), Coriander (kothmir)

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Panchkavya (Natural pest repellant and growth stimulant) pictured: Lalitha

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Vamsi was our longest rooted member

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Dilip worked with roots for 3 months

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Friendly Neighbors

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Gourds against wall (pumpkin, squash, snake gourd, bitter gourd)

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The gourds never managed to manifest due to a combination of factors 😦

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Last but certainly not least, the month heralded the arrival of two new puppies and a kitten. With all hands on deck, and more than just some gnarly humans to account for, roots was taking on a life of its own…

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