Good Governance

Good Governance on my mind
It’s not sacrifice and service.
It’s not – be servant and not master. Be aware of power trips
It’s not – Desh Bhakti

It is the best for the individual and the nation.
It is master of oneself.
Working from the best in oneself for the best.
It’s conscious governance.

Developed during her pottery training in Bangkok, the signature ‘swirl’ style by Divyam Surabhi.

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Branding & Brand Consciousness: Racing to Save the Planet

Established Brands are mostly responsible.

Big well know brands are often questioned about the quality of products, where the raw materials are sourced from and if they are child-safe, chemical-free, fair trade. What they stand for as an organization, how happy their employees are, how they give back to society, where/how their profits are invested, what are their sister concerns/companies/organizations and how they take responsibility to save the planet etc.

As consumers we are ‘Brand Conscious’. We are aware about where we invest/spend our money. Who makes the profit and how it’s spent.

I asked my nephew Viraj one day, “Do you know what the ‘Messi’ on the t-shirt means?”. I asked him whether he knew the brand/person he was supporting. 

I wondered on my return to the city – felt quite proud of what was being created in Delhi NCR. The AAP political party. But wondered about the choice of the broom as the symbol of the party (perhaps the election commissioners office selects a symbol?!) They could have used something more hi-tech like an automated robot that cleans. 😀 And the current chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, who is the leader of the AAP. On hearing him on the radio for the first time. I wished for him to get some good voice modulation lessons. A man representing this political brand AAP.

On an individual level we are brands unto ourselves. Making an effort to be qualitative humans individually and then collectively. 

Each of us is born enlightened. Some of us become aware of our own enlightenment through spiritual/religious practice. There are spiritual/religious brands in this world like the Dalai Lama,  the Pope.

Being conscious of the collective and how brands are changing the world, setting trends with release/updates of new products.

There are some famous brand wars such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Apple and Samsung.

Sometimes companies copyright colours like the coke red. And sometimes they are able to gain popularity by the subconscious minds of humans. Ask anyone A for___. The answer is always Apple.(It’s time to teach children A for A, B for B, C for C etc.)

Hope brands such as the Micheline stars, Oscars and Olympics are on the cards for India.

We are winning the race to save the planet through brand consciousness.
Here is a link to what I wrote in the past about the same topic -https://talkingclay.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/talking-brand-consciousness-do-you-pot/

Upliftment of women / Women’s Liberation

As a liberated young woman, I say to upliftment of women / women’s liberation – “I don’t think so!” (with an attitude). 

Upliftment of the human race. Let’s work towards being the best human beings each of us can. 

And here is my humorous take on upliftment of women / women’s liberation.

Gone are the days when women had to take their bras off and thrown them into the air and claim women’s liberation. Uplifted free thinking Indian women don’t need to put large bindis and look all artsy any longer. Now, we do wear (and don’t need to wear) wonderbras/pushup bras to uplift our breasts. We don’t fight men, but love them.

There is ofcourse the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. (save the girl child, educate her)  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beti_Bachao,_Beti_Padhao_Yojana

As a well educated girl-adult, I feel we should ask for a campaign for the uneducated adults. And also especially, for retired folk! Something like “Save the Adult, Especially the Retired Ones, ’cause an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” (I live in a colony/community where the number of retired folk is high!)

Perhaps the Government Of India should restart free adult night education. Or perhaps not free. My experience is that we must charge a little money, the minimum possible. And teach some skill along with education. This is quite a common practice in the non-profit sector.

Don’t take my word for what I say about the Government and the campaigns. I was missing in action while I was away from the city/capital for approx. 10 years, busy running after enlightenment and then teaching ‘how to’. So a lot more catching up on news for me. Check my resume on my site divyamsurabhi.com to know more.

Talking about Indian politics. Indira Gandhi has been the only woman prime minister of India. We are a proud nation and have so many women in politics.

And yes, when I struggled with being left alone by all other known human beings, in the village context a few years ago..I did have and was surprised by nasty thoughts like – maybe we should kill the girl child at birth (wasn’t for my own self ofcourse! 😀). I immediately rejected that thought. Perhaps with all the meditation, I was tuning into the collective unconscious.) 

That tradition is already resolved, by very strict rules in India. Identifying the sex of the child when pregnant is illegal. 

As a modern educated person from the city and having done a lot of design for the social development sector, I knew not to socially activate my village neighbours (other than by opening non-profit orgs, which was not my choice) or try to force my city ways on them (very culturally different). I did refuse to wear the chunni to cover my breasts! And I did dress up conservatively 😀. Not calling upon myself unwanted attention.

Watching modern Indian bollywood movies showing sexual uplifting of women. Movies like – Lipstick Under My Burkha, with a middle finger on the poster http://m.imdb.com/title/tt4807830/
And parched by Ajay Devgn Films http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3043252/

Another movie I was impressed by – Queen of Katwe http://m.imdb.com/title/tt4341582/
Lead actor: Lupita Nyongo and Director: Meera Nair. 

Not the day for legal strip clubs (thinking of men stripers 😜) in Delhi NCR. But read recently in an article, that 80% of the people looking at pornography online in India are women. This is modern India! 😀

With all my spiritual background, I choose not to be a Ma/Mata ji sitting in an ashram or temple giving blessings. Perhaps I’m not that old and ofcourse it isn’t my personality type (more into being friends with everyone! 😀). Decided I’d rather be an intelligent beauty, back in the city, marry and have a child.

Pottery as a profession in India

When people come to learn pottery from me I always talk about the great history of this city I come from. Delhi NCR is where, the father of pottery Gurucharan Singh taught this profession to the educated rich women. Teaching the profession which is associated with the lowest caste, of this caste rich country India.

I don’t encourage people who learn from me to take this up as a profession. This is not a money making business. Just striving for conscious sustanibility. Hope to make it profitable enough to pay taxes to the government. I’m working on that! 😀

At the same time it might be possible…

The prajapati community should find a leader, choose a political party and fight elections. The prajapati name is the caste/last name for most of the village potters. Mind you, we do have the prajapati kumhars living in Delhi in a community near Uttam Nagar East/West. Once voted into power they could perhaps uplift their own caste/community.

Once they are able to pay taxes, that might be the day I can recommend pottery as a profession to people learning from me.

‘Open art’ is driving design innovation

Inspired by Indian artistic motifs. Block print on ceramic. New designs from Divyam Surabhi this SummerMonsoon !

In a parallel reality, open science to drive innovation.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/canada-is-placing-bets-on-open-science-to-drive-innovation/article35459425/

Talking Clay Ceramic Studio at Dastkar

Talking clay participated in the Dastkar Design Fair 2017. 10 days of selling my products and interacting with buyers and other sellers of designer handcrafted products in India.

Some interesting conversations getting to know people and the concepts behind their brand.

One such interesting interaction was with Vinayak and Rameshwari (both are Nift graduates) at Cotton Rack www.cottonrack.com. A Jaipur based line of khadi clothing – simple, clean, minimalist, socially responsible clothing using a controversial word such as ‘sex’ to promote their brand. Well, cotton can be sexy!

Sedhantik promoting slow fashion with beautifully handcrafted scarves. The man behind the label Sidhant is a graduate of Pearl. He is a fashion designer and an ecoprenuer.

Handcarved wooden home accessories by the team at OrganicConnect based out of Shapur jat, New Delhi. Tanveen Ratti one of the founders has a passion for travelling and developing designer products.

From Almora, Uttarakhand came Vasunthi (my neighbouring shop at the fair) with hand-knitted woolens – Peoli. www.peoli.in

Hand-painted restored furniture by Molly Dhiman. Very thankful for this new friend.  Who, just like me, does all this beautiful work by her own hand.See her hand painted restored desks at www.design5.biz
Some other interesting people and designer products I came across –
– Jeweler by Prerna Singh
– Health and wellness products by SpaVeda
– Another beautiful line of clothing by Har.Yarn.V
Objectry
Nomad
Crafel

Ceramic Designers and Producers


Appreciate
Designers for being Designers
Producers for being Producers
Mixing the two as one person
Takes away from the
Possibilities
Imagination/Innovation
Gets confined if too much
Technique is involved
The mind starts to
Restrict Possibility
So Please
Appreciate
Designers for being Designers
Producers for being Producers

Exceptions on Occasion
New Eyes, Child-likeness, Amazement, Immense Joy, Fullness…

Talking Brand Consciousness – ‘Do you Pot?’

Brand Identity/Awareness/Consciousness. Talking Economic-Social-Political-Response-Ability. Though I had studied branding during my Design Education; I never at that point imagined, that Brands get created this way. So. I represent myself as an artist – Through my artwork and then also through … Continue reading

What/Who is an Artist

centering_sketch

My Father
Asked me today

Why do you define your
Brand Identity
Brand Awareness
Brand Consciousness
As – Artist . Potter . Writer

Well, What to do
I responded
Hopefully today is the day
When just the word Artist

Will convey

 

Back in Delhi !

peace1

‘Peace’ – Handmade Stoneware Ceramics, Electric Fired

It’s Great! It’s Incredible !
Just to be Back in Delhi from the Mountains.

Enjoyed tasting the first hand-crafted Indian beer – Bira 91 at a friend’s b’day last night. http://www.bira91.com
(Super happy to see the quality of products and design reaching a different level)

Touched by the stories told by the Dance performance ‘The Courtesan – An Enigma’ by Manjari Chaturvedi and the Narritive by Neesha Singh on the lives of well known courtesans (Gauhar Jaan ! :-))
http://www.sufikathak.com/

Also attended the Dhrupad concert by the Gandecha Brothers
(http://dhrupad.org/) at the WWF, New Delhi a few days ago.
Reminded me of the little interaction with Zia Fariduddin Dagar at the end of a small intimate gathering in IHC many years ago. Thanks to my friend Arjun for having invited me for both these events.