Miranda’s Writing

Hi! I’m Miranda. I am a co-founder, dancer, and program coordinator at Shakti Caravan and I believe fiercely in things like education reform, magical thinking, and using the arts to effect social change. I write about these things here.

It is important to note that these posts are personal reflections and do not represent Shakti Caravan as a whole. However; these essays and stories often come from conversations and experiences that have taken place during Shakti Caravan.

When I first came to India in 2012, I started a blog called “Musings from India” as a way to make sense of my experiences in this incredible place. Since then, I’ve simplified the title, as “Musings from India” implies that I must be IN India in order to, well, muse. Shakti Caravan, as an entity, is not confined to one specific place or medium, so why should I be? This blog has evolved over the years but, whoever you are, sweet reader, I hope you find some snippet in these pages that sparks something for you.

To Do List. Check. And Off I Go.

As I sat at a coffee shop at my computer, fretting over all the last minute details and logistics–writing up lesson plans and research proposals, emails upon emails–a man tapped me on the shoulder and, with a reassuring smile, handed me this picture. “It’s you!” he said, and walked away.

As I sat at a coffee shop at my computer, fretting over all the last minute details and logistics–writing up lesson plans and research proposals, emails upon emails–a man tapped me on the shoulder and, with a reassuring smile, handed me this picture. “It’s you!” he said, and walked away.

If I had to define myself as a type of person, I think I would definitely be the type of person who lives to make “To Do” Lists. On paper, my life seems mostly to be made up of checklists and schedules. I am always discovering old journals, diaries, school notebooks, and word documents filled with lists of things I need to do. As far as I can tell, I’ve been making lists for myself since I could write (and I started writing backwards … right to left … You can imagine how little those lists made sense: “OD OT – slamina deffuts htiw yalp. revoplees htiw asI dna yddam. esroh eibrab gniklaw a em evig lliw atnas taht os doog eb” cte, cte).  Later, I find the menial tasks are all written down as well—usually along with a schedule, written out in my trying-so-hard-to-be-grown-up 10-year-old scrawl: “9:30am - wake up, 9:35 - shower, 9:45 - brush teeth”, etc. (I got distracted easily). Then there are the bigger life-aspirations, written out in my idealistic fifteen-year-old scrawl. “1. Be more like Gandhi 2. Fall in love. 3. Be nicer to my mom (no seriously, it was really on there) 4. Take care of my dogs. 5. Save the World!" 

 With the discovery of Google tasks, I have finally mastered the art of making my lists. I have four separate, color-coded checklists, each of which have reminders that pop up on my smart phone whenever they are due. Household, Homework, General Life Upkeep (yes, that’s what it’s called), and, of course, India.

That hasn’t stopped me from filling up all my other notebooks with handwritten lists. I think I must have made over a dozen India To Do lists. All of them are similar but not quite the same. Each list contains ONE important thing that I’ve left off all the other lists–and having that many lists has not done anything to keep me organized. It’s been a maddening experience, getting ready. Yet somehow, miraculously, I’ve managed to check off all of the tasks…

And now, I’m off. My flight departs at 8:00 this evening. I leave for the airport in an hour. Suite case packed. Electronic devices charged. All the important to-and-fro’s figured out. Passport and Visa in hand. Neat little check marks telling me I’m done. I’ll keep in touch! 

New Year Today. Delhi Tomorrow. Taj Mahal Tuesday.  Check, Check, Check.