Nisha Ravi | #TalkbackTuesday

#TalkbackTuesday number 13 – with Nisha Ravi, and we talk about being a writer, travel, the Goodwill Tribe, and rescued dogs.

Cover | Nisha Ravi #TalkbackTuesday

Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday, which is where I feature people and interview them. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and confusing and large as your own.

This week’s interview is with Ms. Nisha Ravi. See her interview below.

1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?

I am a writer. I am only glad that a portion of my career sees writing alongside. From the crux of my being, it’s who I am. My biggest goals revolve around travel-based journalism.

Besides this, I currently work on a niche kindness project, known as Goodwill Tribe, that is well on its way to become a not-for-profit organisation. I am a part of the founding team of the Bangalore chapter and we have sailed through 2 years of Goodwill Tribe in Bangalore.

2. What excites you about travel journalism? Why do you think it’s a legitimate career opportunity and do you think more people should consider it?

I know it’s a fad among millennials to travel. And I strongly feel I don’t feature in that list! For me traveling is crucial because there are so many beautiful things and if you don’t even try to see them, you have wasted your life. And since writing is (I would like to believe) my way of finding solace and my favourite thing to do, it sounds perfect to club these two together to build my perfect career.

I would hate it if somebody traveled for the Facebook updates.

Legitimate? Of course it is legitimate! From the time I was a little girl I was enamoured by all the hosts on TLC (then called The Travel and Living Channel). Most of my love for travelling can be traced back to the time I binge-watched shows. That channel is proof that Travel Journalism is one of the best careers in the world!

I don’t know what it will be like to have too much competition (lol) but yes, why not? But I would hate it if somebody did it for the paparazzi and the Facebook updates. I would definitely coax passionate individuals to pursue it, no doubt. I can’t think of a more fulfilling life.

3. Tell me more about Goodwill Tribe. What does this organization do and why is it especially relevant today?

Goodwill Tribe was started in Dubai by friends who decided the city could do with a little bit of love and kindness. It began four years ago as a stall at a flea market. Four of us in Bangalore took the reigns to begin the local chapter on the 14th of February, 2 years ago.

The motive is simple – no act of kindness is ever too small – and it’s not at all hard to incorporate it in our lives. We try to act as a constant reminder of that. We come across a lot of people who believe that kindness is charity and that material and monetary help is all that kindness can ever be. This is not true and it’s only a small segment of this spectrum.

Goodwill Tribe | Nisha Ravi #TalkbackTuesday
The Goodwill Tribe organizes many events. Click on the image to go to their website.

Kindness is when you thank your security guards, or buy a construction worker a bottle of water. Kindness is when you thank your friends for no reason and kindness is when you help yourself. Simple kindness needs nothing but a heart that can love seamlessly. We hold a lot of conversation circles where the dialogue revolves around similar ideas of gratitude and love. We also organise feeding programs and letters of love for strangers among a lot of other events.

Simple kindness needs nothing but a heart that can love seamlessly.

It’s relevance is not limited to today or this time. The world will always need kindness. It will always need love. You can never have enough of it. Kindness is that smiling stranger on a busy road, it is a helping hand when you have one too many bags, it is a random person telling you how beautiful you are. And in all honesty, try to imagine everyday full of such instances! It will only make the world a better place every day.

4. You know I’m going to ask you about your love for our furry little friends. Tell me more about your love for dogs and your involvement in activities that help the cause of adoption.

If we were to start at the very beginning, my outlook towards animals was always one of compassion, thanks to my parents. But what strengthened this was a particular seminar we had in school, and a super enthusiastic teacher who loved dogs. In class 5, I was among the twenty four kids who organised a signature drive to convince the mayor of Nilgiris to organise neutering drives. It was a success, and I knew then what a little step can do to help our voiceless planet mates.

My mother is way more compassionate than I am. Her morning ritual is making a stack of nearly 70 rotis and a big utensil full of rice for her 42 streeties, whom she feeds every day without fail. She rescues them. We have only had pets that are rescues. At one time, I have had fourteen cats and four dogs in the house.

Jenny Rescue | Nisha Ravi #TalkbackTuesday
One of Nisha’s rescues, named Jenny.

Growing up this way, I was naturally somebody who couldn’t turn away from an ailing animal. So when I moved to Bangalore, I took to feeding a few dogs in the area. My very own rescue story started in 2010 when I found a hit dog at 1 am at Sony World. Clueless about the rescue orgs in Bangalore then, I drove the dog around all night and finally got her admitted, treated and re-homed. It’s a gratifying experience and I knew I needed to do more of this.

My rescue story started at 1 am when I found a hit dog. I drove her around till I could finally get her admitted, treated and re-homed.

Since then, I have been actively working with a bunch of NGOs such as CARE, CUPA, VOSD, People for Animals, PFA and Enablers United. I have rescued, fostered, adopted, and helped in adoption drives. Believe me, there is no feeling in the world that matches the one you get when someone who adopted your rescue dog sends you a picture of this once scraggly dog flopped on a bean bag with no care in the world!

The long term plan is to make a lot of money and buy acres of land and build my very own shelter. All the babies that don’t get adopted will find a loving home there.

5. Finally, do you have anything to plug? It could be something you’re selling or an organization you believe in, or it could even be a song or some words of wisdom.

Hmm. What does one say that hasn’t been said before? In the current state of the world and its jeopardy, there is also an equal amount of good. A small but steady hum of goodness is going to take over the world, no doubt!

So let’s wrap this with a song, because John Lennon’s dreams are mine too.

Imagine there’s no heaven […]
No hell below us
Above us only sky […]

Imagine there’s no countries […]
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too […]

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday! You can leave questions for Nisha in the comments, and I’ll get an answer for you.

Next, subscribe to this blog with your email address at the bottom of the page, or check out the previous interview with Piyush Daga from last Tuesday by clicking the image below:

Cover | Piyush Daga #TalkbackTuesday
Click the image to see the interview.