Monday, August 23, 2021

Voices of the Youth - An Interview with Prarthana Nargundkar

So here's the third one this series - one I started with Anjali, Pooja and Prarthana. Just to provoke some thought. Prarthana knows her mind and commits to everything with a joie de vivre that's infectious. She's good at so many things that she can make a living off anyone thing she chooses - learning, teaching, writing, design, people skills, cooking, critiquing. Right now she is doing a bit of everything so i am waiting for her to settle down to what she finally decides.

Nicely done Prarthana. Here goes. 

Prarthana Nargundkar - Life on her terms

 Q. What are your dreams? What do you want to achieve?

It is indeed strange when one states the concept of dream as being something that is un-real and yet here we are contemplating upon how something un-real can be achieved and setting targets and strategies to achieve it. So as to answer the idea of having goals i would say that my goals are compartmented into financial, educational and travel (as of now in my late 20s'.) 

Financial- For the past few years my market value for my knowledge and efforts has been not as I expected. Hence I want to work upon getting a job that gives me financial stability where I do not settle with great work and less pay.

Educational- If one wants to survive in the indian institutions to bring about a genuine change in hands on training especially for languages you ought to be at that designation where you can implement the changes rather than just suggest and wait for them to be approved and hope for it to happen. So, with growth of knowledge; power is essential. After spending 12 years as a language educator, I feel ready for the plunge not to satisfy my bucket list of accomplishments but to come out of my comfort zone and explore a theory that belongs to my experiences and knowledge. 

Travel- One life, live it right! and what is better than discovering cultures, places and food??

I am not a loner. I always prefer to be in a pack. But, I now wish to discover parts of me in places across the globe. I am slowly gathering the courage to travel solo at least once in a year. 

Q. At full potential, what do you think you can do best?

Anything and everything. I take up a challenge only if I am confident I can attempt to pull it off. And once I commence a project- personal, professional or even culinary based I ensure I give my EVERYTHING. I believe one should always test their potential even when you feel you aren't made for something. Well you'll never know if you only keep actions as a thought.

I never give up even if I know I am going to fail. Failures are life's best lessons.

Q. What do you need to fulfill your potential?

Plan A and Plan B and little or sometimes tremendous self belief.

I strongly feel you should always know where your effort is headed towards. Without a destination heading on a journey is pointless. You may be lost, you may take a different path, you may stumble upon unexpected obstacles; but you'll know where you are headed and alter the way you complete this journey.

Q. What are the barriers to fulfilling your dream?

lack of time. I am an overachiever and this is my major drawback. Sometimes 24 hrs are just not enough for me. 

Q. Would you feel that you are deviating from your academic training?

No. I staunchly believe I am in a very satisfying space in this aspect as there is constantly give & take in this process. I am learning constantly, almost every other day.

Q. Your thoughts now  - On the education system

Kinesthetic Learning should be encouraged as a part of academics. By this, I mean a huge audience of parents and educators needs to comprehend that learners should be encouraged to excel through experiences of the concepts and theories rather than focusing on being simply familiar with concepts and theories. Our education system is so focused on ensuring there are a series of systematic courses and degrees but not on the outcome produced by the learners when they are on the field. Are we really applying the concepts learnt? More importantly, are they relevant?

Hopefully NEP 2020 should change that, if the implementation of it fulfills as promised and on time.

Q. If you were the education minister what would you do?

1. Introduce Vocational Education in all the schools.

2. Improve the educational standard of public schools so that parents have a choice of cutting down on unnecessary expenditure in private schools.

3. Definitely improve the quality of educators. However absurd this may seem, it is vital to know one's vision towards being a part of the education system and not merely having a degree to be a part of one. There is a reason teacher-training has become a priority in many schools and colleges as a course and workshops. 

4. Employment- Post 58, people must retire so that the youth gets a chance to engage, be employed and be a part of the system.

Q. On the opportunities available to the youth

The world is yours, Never Settle.

With rapid increase in technology, courses and productivity one must not restrict themselves from exploring their skills and professional assets. We are where generations of people have left us a legacy of opportunities and ground work.

Q. On today's youth

Complicated, Materialistic and Never Satisfied. 

I can put this thought in a refined concept of the proverb; the grass is always greener on the other side. And once you are on the other side either you look for another grass or prefer the previous side of the greener grass.

Q. Why are the youth easily influenced?

Because they are uncertain and unaware of following their intuitions. We don't know what they are because we are constantly told 'what to do'. 'what is the best for us', 'what others are doing' or 'why this isn't good for us.'

It's like we are in an extended tuition of the subject, life. It is never ending. We are worried that if we make a choice and fail, we will have a handful of people waiting to state, "I told you not to take that road."

Take that road, fail, fall and rise. It is THE most important lesson to survival. One need not do what others did or are doing. Make your own legacy.

Q. If you had to change something what would you want to change in the youth?

The need to do insane things in peer pressure. 

Q. Your view on politics?


Q: Your view on society around you?

For the next ten years we are going to be stuck with an audience of three generations who know the right, who are imposing the right and who don't know what is right!

Q. Your views on religion?

NONE. I am a spiritual soul.

Q. Your views on love?

Oh, I was wondering when this question would pop up!

After many years of trying to find a strategic definition for it, all I can say is stop searching for it in your parents, pets, partners, nature or wherever you are looking for it. It is all within you. Face your angel and demons and proclaim self love. Nothing is more relevant, magical and rational than finding happiness in one self. 

And with all the others mentioned above, give love without expectations. 

Q. Your role models?

None as of now.

Q. What are the 3 things to change in society?

None. A society is made up of a zillion minds not working towards one direction and constantly having changeable and irreparable views.

I don't wish to change or be a part of these. It's a lot of work!

Q. Your favorite books?

A palace of illusions by Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, The entire Harry Potter Series (I can read them over and over at any age) and Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coleho

Q. Your favorite movies?

Before Sunrise, Barfi, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Kal ho na ho, Shutter Island and The Illusionist

Q. Favorite places?
Crossword, Rajasthan and anywhere in the mountains.

Q. The single most impactful moment.

The last day of a batch, every year.

Q. Your favorite music?

Not very choosy. I am open to any soulful music. 

Lately, I have taken an interest to sufi music.

Q. What was the most courageous things you ever did?

If a thought counts, I have been thinking of owning a dog.

For those who know me, I am very scared of dogs.

Q. Your philosophy?

We are all placed in this world, in the lives of people for a purpose even if it means only for a certain duration.

Look beyond the normal progress you make everyday and find your greater good with every experience.

Q. Your most romantic moments?

Yet to come.

Q. What does success mean for you?

It means I have to aim for something more out of my comfort zone.

Q. What is your relationship with money?

That I am never hungry for more. I am content with what I have and that I can eat biryani 7 days a week.

Q. What are your great discomforts?

Expectations and insecurities.

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