Conversations in Many Tongues

The Millennial Matriarchs (Meena and Mamata) have been partners in drafting and crafting words for over three decades, co-writing and co-editing numerous publications. 

As fellow environmental educators in CEE at a time when EE was a nascent discipline in India, one of the greatest challenges was how to design and develop communication material that would be meaningful to as wide an audience as possible, in a country with tremendous diversity, not just of language and culture, but also bio-geography as well as experience. How could one share concepts and ideas that were universal, yet communicated in a way that each recipient responded to them with a sense of comfort and familiarity.

One of the important initiatives in this direction was to encourage ‘trans-adaptation’ of our materials and programmes. This became possible with the help of a wide circle of committed fellow educators across the country who volunteered to translate and support the language editions. In the 1980s CEE could proudly claim that one of its seminal publications The Joy of Learning was available in 16 Indian languages. This was in the days when publications were printed and published on paper.

With time, everything moved on—people, as well as technology. While no longer in the same physical space, Meena and Mamata continued to pursue our common love for writing and communicating. We tried to teach ourselves the language of new technologies (albeit it took us longer than many), and to explore new avenues to communicate and connect.

In March 2018, we started this blog As the tagline says, it is a blog capturing ‘Musings on Life and Times: Views, Reviews, Previews, Interviews…and Advice’. We took it as a challenge, and therefore as a “learning experience” (as we had done with all our work at CEE!).

With a minimum of two posts a week, it has been indeed been an exhilarating learning experience. It has given us the opportunity to express our angst and our appreciation; to articulate and analyse, and to celebrate and lament. The challenge of a weekly deadline has kept us on our mental toes every day of these three years. It has led us to explore and discover the most amazing variety of topics; to become better researchers; to be more disciplined, as well as better writers. And above all it has given us a voice that has helped us connect—with old friends as well as many new friends, far and wide. It is these conversations that motivate us, encourage us and enthuse us, day after day.

We thought that a wonderful way to extend these conversations and friendships would be to take the blog into many Indian (to start with) languages! And so we reached out to friends who share our wavelength, but also have the facility of writing well in regional languages. And many responded enthusiastically.

We wanted a name that would capture the essence of this of diversity and variety (Vividha), while continuing the common conversation and dialogue (Vada).

So here is!

We are starting with Telugu and Tamil, but we hope to see this go into many more languages. These will not be translations, but rather, adaptations into the languages, with relevant context and localization. And we look forward to expanding our multi-lingual family of contributors.

Meet the VVers

Meena Raghunathan:  Environmental educator for two decades and CSR professional for 15 years. CSR, education, pre-school education, skilling and livelihoods are areas of professional interest. Writing and editing are personal passions.

Mamata Pandya: An environmental educator for over three decades, she wears many hats–instructional design consultant, writer, editor, and storyteller. Lover, collector and translator of children’s books, and avid crossword cracker. In a continuous explore, discover, think and share mode.

Bharthi Kode: A development worker by profession and loves to work on the development projects that affect children, youth and women.  Writer, poet and translator. A firm believer in humanity and always finds herself stuck between her desire to do endless things and her love to sleep! The Telugu tongue!

Sumitra Seshan: An executive of over two decades, she runs the operations of her own technology company that has offices in Canada, India and Mexico. She is interested in painting, cooking new recipes and spending time with family. The Tamil tongue!

We welcome you to join us on our journey of Many Ideas. Many Conversations. Many Languages.

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