Co-founder; Strategy, Operations, and Teaching (aka fundraising, dishwashing, and Buddha-ing)
Favorite place traveled: Alone, I would say Istanbul. With Kranti, Bhutan.
Favorite movie: Bol. It brings to light soooo many social justice issues simultaneously.
Favorite food: Cheeeeeseeeee!!!
Hobbies: Currently: yoga, meditation, theater, music, food, friends, and laughing. In my previous life: travel, skydiving, scuba diving and expensive restaurants. :P
Ideal mentor: Buddha… surely he would have tips on how to attain enlightenment while living with screaming teenagers??
If I were a superhero: I’d have the power to heal people – mentally, emotionally, physically. :)
Hidden talent: Word processing 250 wpm and staying awake for five days without sleep if necessary. Both talents developed courtesy of Kranti.
Co-founder; Finance and Management (aka chief negotiator and whipcracker)
Favorite place traveled: Goa, amazing beaches/ocean and my first real vacation with my daughter.
Favorite movie: Life of Pi
Favorite food: Anything with gills.
Hobbies: Reading Bengali books, listening to old Hindi songs because I am old.
Ideal mentor: My dad….he died 7 years ago but I wish I had learned many things like how to help people, never think about money, etc.
If I were a superhero: I’d have the power to help anyone however much I want. Right now I have human limitations to helping people. I wish I didn’t.
Hidden talent: Dancing when nobody’s looking. It’s very hidden. :D
Community Leader and Housemother (aka chief problem solver and chef)
Favorite place traveled: Jammu Kashmir, because it is beautiful
Favorite movie: Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayne Ge
Favorite food: I like all kinds of food
Hobbies: Cooking and traveling
Ideal mentor: My child
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: A camera to create memories, sweet thoughts, and love
If I were a superhero: I would love to study. I haven’t had the opportunity to complete my education, and I want to complete my studies.
Teacher (aka teenager herder)
Favorite place traveled: Kerala… Loved the serenity, nature and houseboat experience.
Favorite movie: Beautiful Mind
Favorite food: Italian and Indian chaat, pastries and ice creams
Hobbies: Reading books, cooking, writing blog , photography. I want to travel to lot of places around world.
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: Books can keep me company, food and phone
If I were a superhero: I would love to spread smile and happiness and inculcate the feeling of forgiveness (live and let live)
Hidden talent: No talent or skill as such, but I secretly sketch and draw
Therapist (aka 24/7 hotline)
Favorite place traveled: Can’t decide which one… each place I’ve visited in India has had its own charm and beauty so becomes difficult for me to come up with definite preferences. But I guess my all time favourites include Kashmir (loved the snow and the awesome beauty), Goa (love the chilled out life, sea and sand…), Kaziranga National Park (loved the way the rhinos look up at us on the elephant during the safari and give a look which feels like they are saying ‘oh you excited humans again!’) and Jaisalmer (Loved the sand dunes and camel ride). Haven’t traveled abroad much but loved the clear blue sea and scuba diving in Maldives.
Favorite movie: Jab We Met (amazing positive energy vibrates out of the movie!)
Hobbies: Good one! Really don’t know. I think it is still sleeping… Don’t get much of it :(
Ideal mentor: I admire a lot of different traits in different people so to think of one person as a mentor is tough for me. Forward thinking, optimistic people always inspire me irrespective of their present success level.
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: A camel, water and GPS!!
If I were a superhero: I’d have the ability to read another person’s thoughts.
Remote Volunteers, Writing, and Research (aka minion wrangler, essay resuscitator, and Spreadsheet Goddess)
Hometown: St. Paul
Favorite place traveled: Zaragoza, Spain – my Abuelita’s hometown (which also happens to have the best food and scenery!)
Favorite movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Favorite food: Anything with maple syrup (Buddy the Elf is my cousin), or anything Spanish
Hobbies: Knitting, crocheting, gardening, trying to convince people I’m older than 18 by taking up old lady hobbies, and taking pictures of everything
Ideal mentor: Mother Teresa – I once met some of the nuns from her Order, and I’ve never felt so loved by strangers
If I were a superhero: I’d have healing powers!
Hidden talent: I’m exceptionally skilled at untangling things and making beautiful spreadsheets
Hi, I am Puch. This means “tail” in Hindi, but I don’t know why I am called tail. Probably because people at Kranti are crazy and they picked a strange name. A volunteer of Kranti brought me here because he saw me for three days crying outside his work building and he never saw my mother. Plus it was monsoon season so I was wet and sick. The volunteer was nice, but he made one mistake – he told everyone at Kranti that I was a girl. But I turned out to be a boy. And that is how I became the first boy at Kranti. Life at Kranti is good. I get fish once a week and chicken once a week. When I was little, the girls didn’t remember I was in the house. So they would bring fresh fish and I would steal two or three pieces before they even noticed. Now they are smart and whenever they bring fish or chicken, they put it in the fridge right away, so now I have to wait until it’s given to me. I spend 75% of my time sleeping and 25% begging for food. It’s a good life. :)
I am very, very naughty. Some Krantikaris like me and some don’t like me because I am so naughty. I like to sleep allll day and at night when everyone else is sleeping, I like to sneak into the girls’ rooms and attack their feet, eat their hair, and bite their phone chargers. When my friend Kavita used to sweep and mop the house, I used to jump in her piles of trash so she had to sweep again. When she was done mopping, I would run everywhere and leave dirty paw prints so she had to mop again. Maybe you can see why some people don’t like me! But I think it is important for kittens to keep girls alert and busy. Don’t you think so??
But wait, I am not done with my story. I came to Kranti when I was about two months old….some dogs were barking at me across from the Kranti house and I was screaming meow meow, so my friend Ashi came downstairs and brought me to Kranti. Life changed. Instead of garbage and rats, I started eating boiled chicken and Whiskas Junior! Instead of sleeping on the road I could sleep on a big mattress! But one day, I accidentally left the house and went downstairs. And the dogs who were barking at me downstairs saw me again and this time they bit me! I had a punctured lung and had to be taken to the emergency room…When the vet said I might die, my friend Pinky started crying sooooo much and I had to lick her tears. Every day, she took me to the clinic and the vet gave me two or three injections. It was a very hard week for me, but now I am okay. Which is good, because it takes a LOT of energy to be so naughty!! (You can see the photo of me peeing inside the washing machine….)
Hi, my name is Guji. It used to be Richi. And before that, it used to be Richard Parker. See, people at Kranti love cats but they don’t know how to tell if a kitten is a boy or girl. So when they found me they thought I was a boy and they called me Richard Parker from the movie Life of Pi. When they realized a month later that I’m a girl, they started calling me Richi, an Indian girl’s name. Then that eventually changed to Guji, a word for cute…….Anyway, what’s in a name?!?
When I was a month old, some kids where throwing stones and water at me. I was really scared of them. Suddenly two women (Bani and Robin) came and started yelling at the kids and then took me to their home. This was not easy. I had to take a bus, a train and an autorickshaw. The bus driver tried to kick me off the bus and the auto driver tried to charge me a normal human fare! Anyway, when I finally got to Kranti, I was given a bath and some milk.
Then….like all newcomers to Kranti, I changed, overnight, from a poor little girl to a naughty little monster. I started killing geckos, stealing chicken and chewing computer wires. I’m older now so I don’t do those things anymore. I spend most of my days sleeping in the balcony and trying to avoid the Revolutionaries. It’s actually MUCH harder than it sounds!
Favorite place: Every place is my favorite place because I want to see new places, get information about that place, and try to understand the feelings of the people who live there.
Favorite food: I like any kind of food, but I especially like pasta
Hobbies: Cooking, dancing is my fancy, painting is my hobby, traveling is my life; meeting new people, learning new things, that is my passion
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: A knife, a light, and a sleeping bag
If I were a superhero: I would save the whole world, and especially the lives of women and children.
Hidden talent: I can do any type of work. My skills are very powerful because I have never studied, but I still know how to read and write and speak english, and I do my work very well.
Favorite movie: Anything with colours, lights, lots of singing and dancing, and good looking men with fake tans.
Hobbies: Scuba diving
Ideal mentor: Lady Gaga
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: A glass, a bottle of Tequila and Green Tea Mochi.
If I were a superhero: I’d want the power to Disapparate and Apparate to wherever I want so I could travel wherever I wanted and still come home to my dog every night.
Hidden talent: I can finish eating an entire meal in the time it takes you to serve food on to your plate. (Robin can vouch for this!)
Day job: Venture and Fellowship, Ashoka India.
Favorite place: Scotland – stunning landscapes and the only place not overrun by McDonalds
Har Ki Dun – Garwal Himalayas – no phone, internet, tv connection for ten days!
Favorite food: Spinach
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: A phone, A functional Air Plane and fuel (I like islands but I like leaving them and being at home too)
If I were a superhero: I’d have the power of teleportation
Day job: Program Director – South Asia, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Hometown: Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, India
Favorite food: Maggi
Hobbies: Capoeira, Writing (fiction/non-fiction), Poetry, Swimming and Cycling
If I were a superhero: I find Spiderman has the coolest power – Just imagine how awesome it is that you can fly around in the city as you through out webs from your body! Plus he is CUTE!
Hidden talent: I can sing, maybe? (Only my shower and the toiletries would know how awesome I am at it :P)
Day job: Manager, Service Learning Program, The Akanksha Foundation and Co-founder, T For Teacher
Favorite place: Belgium – because of its delicious chocolate pancakes
Favorite food: Kheema Pav, Puran pohli
Ideal mentor: My Yoga teacher, who has taught me to push my limits (literally and metaphorically)
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: Binoculars, potatoes (to eat and to grow) and sports bra (to run since I will have a lot of free time)
Hidden talent: Can give myself a haircut!
Day job: business consulting
Famous Bhaiyya (Look how modest I am)
Hometown: New Bombay
Favorite place: Yercaud, it is lush green and lovely.
Hobbies: Playing With My Pets, Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, (and Flirting)
If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want: Guess, just a laptop full of crappy hindi films.
If I were a superhero: I will get married to John Abraham.
Day job: Director, Event Partnerships at United Way of Mumbai