Rishton Ka Manja: a report

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Authors: Arya Swami, (Bangalore, INDIA); Simran Puthawala (Ahmedabad, INDIA), Shagun Singh (Patna, INDIA), Anett Maritim ( Nairobi, KENYA)

The phrase ‘Rishton ka Manja’ refers to the fluidity of human relationships and the human mind, much like the agility of the ‘manja’, which is not just any ordinary rope or thread, but a paradoxically sturdy yet fragile string that guides the kite to the right direction- this thin ‘manja’ bears in it life-changing possibilities; all within the control of the one holding it, and that’s you.

This is a unique musical journey of self discovery based on the ten core life skills as stated by the WHO. The aim is to spread information using entertainment as a project for inner growth. This web-based event that was held on Sunday 13th May, started off with a beautiful prayer song sung by Dr. Sayali Kulkarni Maste, followed by a welcoming introduction by Dr. Poornima, Director of NICHE Advocacy Foundation and Dr. Abha Bang Soni, a psychiatrist from Nagpur.

The musical event had a variety of carefully selected songs with lyrics conveying wonderful messages with a lot of creativity. The first song ‘Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu’ throws light on the fact that living in the past brings sorrow and regrets while focusing on the future brings unnecessary anxiety, and that’s why we ought to live in the present and seize the moment. The functions of the heart and mind were also highlighted, regarding how the two are frequently used interchangeably. Dr. Poornima sings parts of two songs ‘Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji’ and ‘Monta Re’ to explain on how our physical and mental growth occurs due to formal schooling and gathering experiences, but our minds, our emotional self never grows up, but remains innocent and untrained. 

The virtual floor was then taken by Dr. Abha Bang Soni who spoke about the importance of self awareness in one’s life and how one could get through difficult times (such as the current global pandemic) and live happily. This was creatively elucidated by Mr. Amar Kulkarni with the song ‘Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya’. Dr. Poornima further stresses that there different kinds of emotions one experiences, and there is a dire need to recognize the cause of these emotions in order to avoid being trapped in the overwhelming flood of (negative) emotions. She then talked about the “complicated” feeling of love and how infatuation is often confused for love. Further, the viewers got to listen to the amazing song ‘Na Jaane Kyun Hota Hai’, which is the depiction of a lady literally “analysing her emotions”. 

Dr. Abha also emphasised on the importance of accepting our emotions. We have always interpreted some emotions such as anger, sadness and tension as negative. However, she disagrees because these are ups and downs that are a part and parcel of our daily life therefore, these emotions are necessary for our survival. This was wrapped up by Mr. Amar who gives this thought a beautiful ending of a song ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le’.

‘We derive contentment from our ability to think and solve a problem?’ Dr. Poornima uses the example of Arjun from Mahabharata to explain to us that when we are faced with a conflict or a challenge in life, counselling can always be a solution to get through it only if we are willing to seek it. Then, a beautiful song about how we can make our Ashiyan(home) using little pieces of happiness that surround us was performed.

Dr. Abha mentions that it’s always wise to understand people by getting into their shoes and try to see the world from their perspective. She brings out this thought in a song which begins with the enticing thought ‘kisi ka dard le sake to le udhaar’. Dr Poornima further mentions how different people may have different reactions to the same situation, for example during this Pandemic, people have been affected differently therefore reactions are also different throughout the world.  However, there is always an assurance of ‘Kuch to log kahenge/logon ka kaam hai kahna’.

As Dr. Poornima mentioned “Hume Break se bhi Break chahiye”  meaning we need to have a skill called Stress Management. There are different stress busters like doing meditation, doing anything that one is passionate about or just having faith in God. We should make use of our buffer system which can consists of family, neighbours, teacher, friend’s etc. NICHE Advocacy Foundation offers its services as a buffer system named UnHIDE (not just an open mic), where people share their experiences, problems and achievements. We also have a team of professionals who are available for personalised counselling.

The mind, heart and soul should work simultaneously so it is important to maintain the health of the brain. The mind is an app of the brain, whereby the brain is the hardware and the mind is the software. The mind therefore needs proper care and attention by ensuring you have a restful and enough sleep, balanced and timely meals and regular exercise. This was well expressed through the beautiful song “Dil hai chota sa, choti si aasha…”.

During  Rishton ka Manja we also learned that relationships are an important part of our life and to maintain these relations, effective listening is necessary. This requires two skills, the use of polite language and effective communication skills, this was wrapped up with a lovely song “Haal kaisa hai janab ka…” This leads us to a very beautiful concept called love which makes you an expert in body language and this the language of expression was expressed in a beautiful song “Aankho hi aankho me ishara hogaya…” Maintaining good relations with the constructive critics as our chosen friends is essential. We attach the song “Moh moh ke dhage..”. We need to flourish our relations.

There is a special relationship between the mind and the brain that can only be brought out using melodious and soft music. That kind of music that speaks directly to your soul is exactly what was experienced during Rishton Ka Manja. Have you been looking for the right tune, watch out for the next episode.