Nov 24, 2010
Each one of us have experienced that opportunities in life knock on us in strange ways. It is upto us to make the most of it, living the experience completely. One such golden opportunity knocked the door of Vindya Ballal, born and brought up in Madhya Pradesh (MP), but having her roots in Kaup of undivided Dakshina Kannada district.
Ballal, a multi-talented personality lapped up all the opportunities that came her way. But one of the most cherished one in her life has been a chance visit to US for the Group Study Exchange Programme (GSE) being chosen by Rotary as a cultural ambassador of India. Here too it was her efficiency that proved to be a clincher for though she was not a member of the Rotaract club she went on to become its president as the club members were unanimous that she should represent them.
Out of 1,000 people who wished to participate in the visit only 8 were shortlisted and out of 8 finally four were chosen and Vindya Ballal was one among them. The visit and experience gave a new perspective to her life. The ambassadors were treated in a very special and different manner. They got to see the America they had probably never heard of.
Mainly she realized from the visit that Americans have no lesser values and ethos compared to Indians. They are very modern and believe in freedom, but all the other generalized concept among Indians about the Americans is not true in case of every one living there. There are a large chunk of Americans who have similar kind of values and ethics as that of Indians. They are very cultured and well mannered. People in India might have a notion that divorce is not a major issue in countries like America but it isn’t like that. It is something which most people dread there just like how Indians do. Even the couples go through lot of emotional turmoil there during the time of divorce.
The way in which some of the ancient traditions are preserved in America was something really amazing, says Vindya Ballal. There is a small village named ‘Lincoln Log Cabin’ which is completely dedicated to Lincoln. There are actors in the village who enact the life style during the age of Lincoln. It was all together a different world. The people who are playing the roles are actually living that kind of life. It reflects their great respect towards their one-time leader Lincoln.
The team also got an opportunity to meet the man who had brought the mustard for the first time to India. They also visited the fire stations, hospitals, homes for the aged and so on. Contrary to people who on their visits to America reach popular place like Statue of Liberty, Columbus, the team consisting Ballal were fortunate to visit the interiors, the real America. They also got a chance to stay with some of the families and see closely their way of living life.
After observing carefully the kind of lifestyle there, Ballal felt that almost every person living there is so full of life- from young to old. The interesting things about the old age homes there is that the home for abandoned children is built just next to it, so that the old people can spend some quality time with the kids in the evenings which is a great psychological enhancer for them.
Peek into Real America
The dignity of labour too is very high in the country. No wonder the agricultural community is the richest. They were taken to a farmland owned by three brothers. They had almost all the modern tools and machinery for cultivation. It was a beautiful stretch of green and spread across a wide area and Indians visiting there would be surprised to learn that there’s not a single employee in the whole farm. Every single work from plowing to harvesting is done by the three brothers themselves though they are royal in every way.
They also visited a place called ‘Amish Country’, a village where people have not yet accepted modernization and neither keen to do so. They still live without electricity, use horses or camels as a means of transportation; depend solely on agriculture for livelihood and interesting the men if they get married need to chop off their moustache.
Vindya Ballal - Vibrant Personality
Vindya, proud daughter of K Meghnat Shetty, Kaup and Vijayalaxmi Shetty and wife of Tilak Raj Ballal has enormous support from her husband. Highly talented since her student days along with academics she excelled in cultural activities specially elocution, and also sports. She did her early education in MP and after her graduation in science did a course in Fashion Designing and later ventured into media.
She was a production head for a local channel in MP where she was into news reading, compering shows and so on. She possesses excellent communication skills and has the experience of assisting well-known Rauf Ahmed in production works. Sharvil and Sharvaree are her little children who complete her vibrant world.
Vindya Ballal can be contacted at +91 9901792636
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