Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Went to visit the community on Christmas since I've been so accustomed to spending these little festivals with them. A merry christmas to everyone from the kids. They've been asking for everyone who helped out. Dagli, Sanya, Manish and Janita in particular! Please go meet them if you can guys!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book - DONE

Printed about 10 books today  - so this has to be the final copy!

Pictures of the book and other stuff up as soon as I have a chance to click pictures of them.
Based on feedback given my Sanjay, Rustam and a lot of people - the cover needed to be more direct and visually exciting - here is the new one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book - Printing

The book has been printed. twice. changes had to be made to the initial design, as usual - nothing is ever right the first time around!

Problems that occurred : Gutter space, Margins and Typos (oops!)

I thought the second is the final print, but then I came home and realized there are some small things that need to be fixed, so yes, I will go printing again tomorrow.

Here is the final pdf of the book though, with all the changes made.

Monday, October 25, 2010

the book

I have had no time to upload anything! The website has been given for coding, and I have been working on the toolkit/ manual since then.

It's finally done and I will be going for the first test print tomorrow - Really hope it translates well in print in terms of color, typeface etc. I will share some process a little later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Media Tools

We have a YouTube Channel
You can check it out at

Interact with Yuva and Vision Over Sight on the Facebook Page at

Personal Albums

At the end of all the classes, the children were allowed to pick images that they would like to keep for themselves in an album. We thought of ways, to make the process of actually filling the pictures in the album a fun and creative exercise. The children were told to lay out all their images randomly on the floor and start re-arranging them to create a story which could be real or fictitious. To understand the concept of a storyboard better, we gave them an example of how they could use each picture as a scene in a movie. This activity was successful in most cases, but some of the children were unable to disconnect from the actual picture and think imaginatively or attach a possibly different meaning to it.

Below are the stories (of some children) translated from Marathi, some of them managed, but some were unable to weave a story :

The Treasure by Manav

Once upon a time there was a small pot with gold coins inside it .It was a pot filled with treasure. The pot was buried deep in the ocean guarded by a jumbo fish named Arwana and on the land a dog named Rocky. One unfortunate day 3 thieves steal this treasure and take it to their town. They hide the treasure in the kitchen with all the other pots and pans. One day a boy named Hritik finds this hidden treasure in his friends house he steals it from him. He sells the gold coins and with that money he buys his father a silver belt buckle, his mother a diamond necklace and earrings a chandelier for his house. He tells his parents about the treasure and they are very happy. He then buys a bike and a car, he also invites his best friend over for a lavish meal .He then sets out into the city where he sells ganpati statues and parrots. He becomes a rich man and stays happily ever after.

My Birthday by Mrunal

My birthday is on the 14th September. On this day, I phoned my aunt and brother and invited them over. My friends, my sister Saloni and Apeksha came too. I was excited because all of them were in new clothes! (Unlike Anushka didi from nepean sea road)
I took lots of pictures of everyone. It was a great family event all thanks to me
We did a pooja for my birthday and my aunt put tikka on my forehead. Feeling a little stylish, I put on my sunglasses and everyone said I looked like a true star.
We cut a heart shaped cake. I turned twelve this year.
Everyone was posing in their new clothes while I took pictures of them.
All in all, I had a great day!

14th September by Avikranth

In the morning, I went to see a friends Ganpati. I really like it. Melody is my favourite chocolate so I needed to have one to get me going. Its like my coffee!
Later on, I was watching my friends play cricket. My close friends are Mohan, Aniket and Rohan. They're much older than me and teach me several new things.
In the evening, while a group of people were celebrating Govinda, I spent some time with my parents at home.
I managed to take pictures of clothes, shoes, a chocolate and even a scooter.
My slippers are blue in colour - I use them to tread over the seven seas.
At night, I was watching TV and saw Mugdha. Actually, I think Anushka didi looks like her. Maybe, they... are... one.

Dostana by Rushikesh

Bhimrao Ambedkar is someone im very fond of. I love books written by him as well as his thoughts and philisophies.
I like Shivaji Mahraj because of his fighting techniques. He had a very sharp mind.
I am very fond of Ganpati. I love this particular one most because of the decorations..
I like Lord Shiva and the way he stand on the snake.
We went to play in this park on Chowpatty. We had lots of fun there.
The skyline of Bombay amazes me. I love to watch the tall and different buildings.
On Chowpatty beach, this is a tall structure made of bamboos that has flood lights . I have taken this picture because it gives us light and we all can work.
There are stones on Chowpatty beach that look very beautiful after the waves have smoothened their surfaces.
This symbol I have drawn on the sand.. It has all the characters of my name in it.
My uncle Chandramani is a photographer and told me this picture has a steel effect.
I love my parents wedding picture.
My aunt and uncle are with me in this picture. They take lots of care of me.
I have taken a picture of me and my dad so I can remember him and immortalise our relationship via this.
I won the YUVA competition for dance and this is a picture of the trophy.
I love eating fruits as they are healthy.
This is me in the Basti.
I went to see a Ganpati far away and this is a picture of me in the train.
Smitesh is my younger brother.
I love my mother Chitra.
I hate people who drink alcohol.
And I have taken this picture to tell people not to drink because its bad for health.
I love my sister and her new born baby. I love to play with him.
When I grow up I want to ride bikes. And this is a pic of the best bike in my colony.
I love cricket and want to meet Sachin Tendulkar one day.
I love Anushka didi and her class. So I took a picture to remember her.
These are my friends in the Basti.
I love to paint. 

Meri Manzil by Sayali

Life can be like an empty Coke bottle unless you fill it with...

I love where I live because everyone lives together and even though people don't really think so, there are many trees around.  You just have to take a minute out of your busy day and just look around you.
My kitchen is one of my favourite places.  I like how my mum has planned it.  She cooks really good food for all of us.  I love my mum and think she looks beautiful when she wears her orang and white polka dotted sari.
Grandparents are dear to everyone.  Mine are dearer to me than my parents.  I am fortunate to have them in my life.  What they teach me about life and love helps me and always will.
Colourful clothes and designs really make me happy, as do my love birds.  I have not named them and refer to them as”Love Birds”.
Kunjal is my bestfriend.  She is older than me and is also very pretty.  I look up to her in many ways.
My brother Sandeep has a son named Himank.  I love his cheeks and chinky eyes.  On the other hand there is Swaraj.  He was born on the 15th of August – Independence Day and is thus, named Swaraj, which means freedom.  I love him and spoil him very much as his dad, my other brother, Pradeep loves and spoils me.
I think funky designs and prints on T-shirts are really cool.  My favourite T-shirt has a Laurel and Hardy print on it.  That along with Hide and Seek chocolates, well actually chocolate of all kinds always make my day.
This picture of the boy moves me and the quote is my all time favourite.  As it captures the essence of what a poor child feels.  I have always been taught and believe that education is the key to a better life.  That is why I think studying and education is very important.  ThoughI don't really enjoy it so much but it is something that I have to do.
My grandfather collects books.  He has made a small library at home from which he teaches us and I hope to do the same for my kids.
One of my aspirations is to learn how to play the 'shunk'.  The sound that is emitted is beautiful and soothing.  As snails have the same shape, I really like them as well.
The message I want to give to the world – Save Trees.
Dancing is my favourite thing in the world.  I love Shaimak's and my friends Santosh and Suraj.  Akhit is my favourite friend from Yuva classes.  I love speding time with all my friends from the community and Shaimak's as well.
I only wish that my road leads me to the road to success and keeps my bottle full of life!

My life by Asmita

My story begins with me.  I really like Ganapati and Gautam Buddha.  I have a lot of faith in them as they always answer my prayers.
Rakhsha bandhan is a very big event in my house.  I really enjoy it as we eat a lot of meethai and chocolates.  We cook a special meal and sheera and then all of us play games.
My sister's name is Amruta and ahe is ten years old.  When she grows up she wants to be a teacher.  I think she takes it too seriously at times because she tries to “help” me with my studies all the time.  We're usually up to some mischief and have a lot of fun.
My aunt, Rutika is very pretty and was all dressed up.  I wanted to capture the moment.
I love spending time with my neighbours and friends.  Babies are the most delightful.  I love babies and hope to have many of them when I grow up.  Not just babies though, I love puppies and for that matter babies of all creatures.
I love the ocean and Chowpatty Beach is one of my favourite placesto hang out.  I go there sometimes with my friend Alisha. 
I like traditional things like mehendi as well as modern things like my pink Barbie bag.  In fact pink is my favourite colour. My community believes in celebrating everyone's achievements.  I hope to fill an entire cabinet with trophies that I have won.

My brother Yash, and I by Vinita

My cousin brother Yash, was born on the 31st of May, 2010. It was the happiest moment of my life, I never knew I could grow to love someone so much, but in many ways, even though we are not real siblings, we have alot of things in similar. We both adore anything colourful, especially the colour yellow.
I love watching Yash's reaction to yellow. His favourite t-shirt is yellow and so is his favourite toy. Everytime he sees these he gets so excited. Its amazing the effect a colour can have on a 4 month old baby. Fortunately, for me, his mother allows me to dress him up in his favourite yellow t-shirt, so I get to share this moment of joy with him. Baby Yash has a little blue hat, which when he wears he looks very cute. As for me, I love yellow sarees, yellow makes me happy, whenever my grandma wear's yellow she looks stunning

My family comprises of my father Bhaskar, my grandmother Sunita, and my brothers Pranesh and Aniket and of course, me. I have a huge extended family of 12 people, but thats another story. My cousin, Diksha and I are also very close. We spend alot of time up on my terrace playing Kho-Kho and gossiping and doing silly things girls our age tend to do.

I believe very strongly in Ganapati Bappa. I believe he has the power to fulfill my every wish, and that's why for 13 days during Ganesh Chaturthi, I pray to him and tend to him. Unfortunately, we don't keep his idol at home, but I still make it a point to go to the community idol and pray, as well as offer him his favourite sweet, Modak, and when its time for us to say good-bye, I make it a point to join the immersion parade.

Dogs are my favourite animals. There is a little puppy near where I live which is adorable and extremely playful. I spend alot of time playing with it, I sometimes wish I could take it to school with me. I love school, its always fun to be at school around all my friends and the hustle bustle. I attend Mahatma Jyotiba Phule school and am in the 7th grade currently. My favourite subject is Marathi. I usually stay back after school is out to play with my friends. We play, dance and chit-chat with each other. My best friend Sanyukta studies with me, she's very very nice and loves flowers.

On my way home from school, I usually stop at the store outside the gate of my compound and buy a packet of Balaji's masala chips. They are very spicy, but I love spice and the cool rush of Center-fresh chewing gum after. Everytime I eat these chips I feel very hot, but happy. Bourbon biscuits too are my favourite.

There is a particular print on one of Yash's t-shirts, which he and I like alot. Its a very attractive picture and colourful like my favourite fan, which looks like a whirl of colours when it moves with the wind.

I am very thankful to Ganapatiji and my family for my life. I am very lucky and only wish that my little cousin brother Yash is fortunate enough to have the life I do.

House Full by Rutik
This is my school uniform, I go to school and I want to go to college. When I become big I will work and help
my mother. I want to learn photography; I will then take pictures of my friends so that 
I never forget them. When my favourite God Ganpaty comes I look forward to seeing 
LalBaugchaRaja. If I get the blessings of God, I believe I can achieve everything.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last weekend of class

Sorry, I haven't had the time to upload too much, but do view the video to get an idea of the activities done in the last class, and the installation made to transform the space using the crates.

Thanks Dagli

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Splash the wall!

As part of the many discussions with the children, one thing that came up often was the fact that even though there was so much place in the compound of the community, people really mess it up and it doesn't 'look nice', 'its embarrassing' and 'we keep falling ill'. On asking them what they would want to do for their community, they said they would like to make it a happier place by making it brighter and they would love to paint everywhere.

Painting everywhere was obviously not possible ! I got permission from people from the community and the BMC to allow the children to paint one wall that can be visible as you enter. After whitewashing the wall, I let the kids do whatever they liked under the large umbrella of :
what do you like about your community?
What would you like in your community?
What would you tell others about your community?

Splash the Walls

This was done a week and a half ago on a sunday when we had and all day class.

Special thanks to all my friends (Janita, Sanya, Aakanksha and Manish) who volunteered on this day to help out with everything including making sure the kids dint use the spray paint on each other.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Website Design

Still struggling.

Feedback on earlier homepage from a bunch of people including Kruti, Vishnu, Jay (the digital junkie from lkdigi), Arjun Gehlot (Wink) - thanks guys!
Who knew the homepage would be so involving yet again (after Gizapage earlier this year)

Too decorative
Too much going on
Layout was all over the place 
Boxy navigation wouldnt work with images

So I'm busy working this out. This is what I have as of now (I'm going for clean navigation and distinct hierarchy) 

Minor things >.<

Inside Page development - Opening Pages

Also, why is there no baseline grid in photoshop - I miss indesign.

(Note: the youtube video is just a screenshot of how a playlist looks when it is embedded on a website)

This is a template so I can sit with a friend of mine, who is going to be helping with the coding, so we can understand the real estate of the webpage and what is going to go where.

Using 'sharethis' and 'Disqus' which are 2 very cool apps for websites.

Designing more pages...

^homepage alternative ?

^ still working on the above page, few navigation glitches since content is a bit different from other pages!

Friday, September 24, 2010


One day later, and the homepage is finally done.
I did not factor in the amount of time it would take to clean up all the layers for web!

Very very good for new web designers is this link on what should be done so that coding is easier : 

The Website

Very new territory. I have done a little bit of web design before, but never from scratch with full responsibilities! Lots of decisions had to be taken before even reaching this stage of creating a homepage!

When I was doing my internship with gizapage, I spent almost month on ONLY homepage design, layout and functionality! That being said...

Here is a bit of process and an idea of what it might be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Show your support!

Alongside the project, I've also been thinking about what the website will contain. And I thought merchandise to help the NGO raise money would be a good idea and this also get people aware about the project.

The bands were manufactured in Nasik and I just received samples today! I distributed them to the kids today too.

Do tell me what you guys think.

Friday, September 17, 2010

'Meri Life'

Please view the slideshow

Meri Life

This class was madness. Thank you Janita for coming and helping out! :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it a bird? Is it a book?

Its 44 days to the submission. Yes.

And I have now finally decided what one of the outputs of this project is going to be. *panic*

But I have been having a really hard time with deciding! This is because at first, it was going to be a manual of sorts. But I have been thinking about this alot, and I don't really see why I should limit the scope of the website to just people who want to maybe re-do and recreate this experience in their own community. There are a few things I have learned during this project and that in itself can be beneficial to others who have their own project ideas and want to implement them. All this in a simplified form - the website will have rich content for people to go through easily (no bombardment off too much information!)

Below are attached some thoughts over the last few days. These are all really rough and I'm working on sorting this stuff out! A clearer idea, is what I am hoping to arrive at in a day or two.

(I apologize for the terrible pictures that were clicked on my cell phone)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quick on the take

This is a random post!

Due to many constraints, teaching the kids how to use a computer, was kept aside for the time being as part of the class "activities".

But they seem to have picked up ALOT while I've been using my laptop.

Why do I take my laptop there? When the kids take pictures and there are 8 cameras, and some of them share them for the activities, it can get a little crazy sorting out pictures. So I try and do it in class, when I can make sure I don't mix up the kids pictures! Also, I like to show them the pictures on a bigger screen so I can show them what they've clicked and also give them a bit of casual feedback.

In this process they now know, WITHOUT me teaching them -

How to turn on my computer (Yes, they are sneaky!)
How to use the trackpad and mouse
How to open and close windows
How to rotate images and save them too (Apple +R, Apple +S)
How to go through everything on my desktop (!)
How to browse through folders and find their folders
How to use PhotoBooth (I might have taught them this)
How to get to ITUNES and play my music (and then make fun of it - Sahil "Yeh gaana hain, ke khazaana hain" on realising no matter how much he scrolls, its not going to stop)
How to use the keyboard (slowly)

FYI they also know how to use my blackberry. They can type on it, sms, make calls, find the games, the camera, the pictures folder, the memo pad (to practice typing - which mrunal does on my phone without fail every class). Technology just fits with them, they love it and they are extremely curious and quick on the take!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the new look

The blog has a new look because I am now working on Branding "vision over sight".

I want to create a fluid identity that doesn't really follow the rules of corporate identities. I have used the shapes generated by the kids in the earlier exercise where they created windows and frames.

This is because, I wanted the identity to be representative of the process, which is what this project is about. The process and what it has taught me and how it evolves with each class.

Here are a few snapshots of what I've been doing !

This isn't the final though, I plan to refine it in the next few days.

Thank you Kruti for all the help on this one!

Here's where you can check out the exercise in which these were generated : Imaginary cameras and framing

Yeah, so I went a bit nuts. But I feel thats really want I want the identity to project. This nutty process thats also been a lot of fun. Sorry for the messy artboards - thats just how I work! If anyone has any feedback do let me know!

P.S. Thank you Sheebu (you know for what)