The World of Specialists!

As the petrol price is 85 (as it is Rs. 102.65, I consider it 103), I felt little hurt. But most of the time we the common man really don't have any other option.

After 20 minutes, he came back with a new battery. The busy specialized mechanic opened the front of my bike to change the battery. It was really messy inside; full of dust, dirt and junk. Nothing bothered him. He just opened, replaced and closed the cover without looking, touching and cleaning anything. A small piece of bike part, which was displaced and joined with fevikwick earlier dropped down again. When I asked him to join it, he told he couldn't. The specialists of specialized bike repair shop can't do that. They don't have the option too. For this big issue I have to go to a fiber welding shop. Living in a world of specialists, I accept the challenge of going 15k.m away to fix the problem. Before returning, I asked him to wash the bike at least. But he showed me the way to another long distance shop.

The next specialist, I met today, was at a clinic. I went for a dental check up there. As I have developed sensitivity in some of my teeth, I wanted to know the reason. But he was unable to identify the reason and asked me to go for a muscle checkup (another specialist doctor), legament checkup (another specialist doctor), neuro checkup (another specialist doctor). He was so helpful that, he described me why and how these specialists are needed to diagnose my problem.

After meeting these two specialists in one day, you can imagine how happy I was!

But the third specialist I met in the evening was different from the above two. He was a young village folk who studied Art formally. He was assigned a work related to art. To fulfill other aspects of work other specialists were appointed separately. But the way Gopalkrishna managed the work is quite impressive. When no one was there to help him, he suddenly needed some clay pot for his work but sufficient pot was not available in the market. Instead of leaving the work in middle and searching for daily labourer for help, he went to a nearby pond where people throw so many clay pots. He went around the pond and collected remaining needed clay pot. Fixed it in frame and completed the work. The waste was used, the work was completed and no one was needed.

When I was thinking how to deal with the specialist culture around me, I met this all in one young guy Gopalkrishna and took a deep breath of relaxation.

Now a day everyone emphasizes to excel in a single discipline. It happened with me too. From the very childhood parents, teachers, relatives asked me to do specialization in something. I was never against being best in something, but I hate to know nothing about something. Most of the time, while facing real life problem I feel it's better to be a “jack of all trades, master of none,” as the old saying goes.

Making Of A Bottele House

As a child, I love collecting candy wrappers, cardboards, bottle caps, anything I could lay my hands on, and make things out of them. Always I find creative ways to upcycle things. Reusing and repurposing items whenever possible was my passion.

The artwork I made in those childhood years were photo frames, lamps, maps and collages from waste plastic. I was working with plastic then on to create functional objects. First as a child and then as a grown up, I was doing my bit to tackle environmental issues by transforming plastics into quirky artwork.

Some years ago, I went to one of my friend’s marriage where I see hundreds of plastic bottles spread all around. Without thinking what and how to do, I asked them and collected it all.

At that time, I was working as a pedagogist in an alternative education Centre. The campus is in a coastal village of Odisha. Most of the learner studying there are from fisherman family. So they know the problem their parents are facing and how the sea life is getting more polluted day by day. But they are unaware about the solution. I wanted to let them know a way out but didn't tell them directly.

I never instruct them to do anything, as I believe ‘the children should have the right to do and learn things what they want, when they want and how they want’.

When the children of the education centre see those bottles with me, they started talking about what to be done. I didn’t discourage them. Because I know if I will say their idea won’t work, they will feel low and will fear to try new things later in their life. So I always prefer to do what they suggested and discussed. Allowing them to explore the problem themselves open thousands ways of learning.

At first we planned to do a dome house which will be part of our evolution museum. But later felt that it won’t be the right place as the museum space is limited. Later we tried to make a peacock using it. But for lack of time and technical resources it wasn’t possible. Then children took a break as the annual function gets closer. At that time children were busy practising their cultural activities and physical demonstrations.

It was winter then...
The time for annual function of the centre...
Everyone is busy in decorating campus....
I started mine....

My brother Kuni, cousin Dipu and some old student of the centre helped me.

I tried to do something which will have some use in the annual function. And it should be made from the available resources. The idea of reception counter came to my mind. So many attempts were made. Lastly we made it possible using some waste rope, bamboo and bottle.

In the first attempt, we used aluminum string, bottle, thread & gum gun and in the second attempt I tried to use the discarded iron pipe and plastic joints of my folding cupboards. It was a good idea but even after using the material of 2 cupboards we were lacking things for a house. Also as we were doing the work in 3rd floor, it was difficult to shift the finshed work to the ground. At last we made it in the ground in a fix frame.

The bottle house was used as the reception counter. Visitors made it a selfie point. So many were inspired and started collecting plastic after that. Children were so inspired that they didn't even waste a small piece of candy wrappers there on. They made thousands of dolls out of it and gifted me.

The bottle house was there for so many months. Children loved to play in it. They use it as their doll house, store room, performance room and many more. Later I reuse those bottles as the hanging roof of a tree house with the help of children in the campus park. This time children worked with me and made bottle garlands.

In the meantime some inspired teenagers made a boat using bamboo and waste 5kg coconut bottles. After completing the boat they call me for testing it in the campus pond. I was surprised and happy. Without informing other teacher, I helped them testing it in the small pond. Later, during another project everyone sat on the boat and roam around in a village pond.

Both my aim and work were a hit.