‘Youth Stories of Hope, Resilience & Collective Dreaming’ is the 5th volume in the series of ‘Extraordinary Work of ‘Ordinary’ People’ by Vikalp Sangam. It features stories of initiatives that responded to different kinds of challenges they faced following the COVID-19 pandemic in creative and resilient ways.

I’m glad to have been part of the team which created this publication in multiple capacities, as a writer, editor and designer.

Find the document in English here.

Find its Malayalam translation here.

“Anchuvilakku”, a monument that has seen through many of the historical events in Thrissur


I have lived in Thrissur for the largest part of my life, until graduation. In the last few years, I have been hosting my non-Malayali friends in Thrissur. I would take them around the city, tell them about different places. That was when I first realised that I didn’t know much about the city I was born and brought up in. Upon reflecting, I realized that whatever history I learned in school was largely (North) Indian history and World history. Nothing much about the southern part of the country, or Kerala, or the district one lived in. …

I turned 27 years old yesterday (25th October). Marking 27 years of my existence, following are 27 different ways I would like to be gifted. 27 actions you may take for and by yourself, which I shall consider as gifts to myself.

1 — Do an analysis of your needs and wants

2 — Have a look at your wardrobe and see if there are a few things you could gift someone

3 — Try not buying new garments for a year

4 — Learn a hands-on skill. Or two. Or three. Or even more.

5 — Do a research…

Cacao, popularly called Cocoa is a tropical evergreen tree grown for its beans that are largely used to make chocolate. Its scientific name Theobroma cacao means “Food of the Gods” in Greek. Cacao is native to the Amazon rainforests and Orinoco river basin in South America, but almost 70% of the world’s cocoa beans currently come from four West African countries, namely Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Cacao cultivation was first introduced in India in 1965 by ‘Cadbury’ in Wayanad, Kerala. …

The caste system and the associated discrimination and oppression was biggest of the evils that poisoned the society of Kerala. Major impactful measures in addressing the same happened in the 19th and 20th centuries. This booklet ‘Social Reformers of Kerala — Part 01’ is an attempt to look at some of the events and actions that shaped the history of social reforms in Kerala, through the lives of a few individuals.

The current booklet has accounts of social reforms propagated by Narayana Guru (1855–1928), Ayyankali (1863–1941), Sahodaran Ayyappan (1889–1968), and P. Krishnapillai (1906–1948).

This is a small step I am…

Humanity is going through a phase where there are powers that want it to be passive observers. The current global world order is rooted in violence; violence inflicted upon oneself and also the surrounding ecosystems. We are constantly being fed with the idea that the Sacred is elsewhere, and the pursuits for the same take us away from our own roots and natural systems. We are invariably advised to overcome our insecurities by consuming more. …

Exploring Swaraj. The idea of hosting such a study circle came up as my response to the plural crises that I see in the world today. To see how one can move towards self-governance and self-reliance at both individual and societal levels, imbibing the spirit of co-creation and cooperation. The idea was to see what the collective intentions are and where the collective energy is, in responding to the crises.

This has been a highly rewarding journey of over two months, with an amazing group of people, delving into plural ideas and practices on claiming and reclaiming one’s Swaraj.


‘Pitaara — Unleash your Treasure’ was a beautiful experience that brought people together to share their gifts and treasures with each other. The two days online learning festival for young learners put together by the Self Designed Learning Alliance and a few like minded people and organisations turned out to be absolute fun and I’m glad I could play a role in it.

And even though I have been hosting and being part of other online gatherings since the last few months apropos covid19, I guess this was the first time I was fully comfortable while interacting in an online…

I first came to know about ‘The Book of Disquiet’ through a Malayalam movie named Rithu. There is a scene where the protagonist gifts this book to his father who is a translator, someone who translates books from Bengali to English. And the father exclaims “Oh Pessoa!” and continues. “This unpublished collection of writings were found in his trunk 50 years after his death. He was a genius who said that there resides multiple selves within an individual.”

That was enough to trigger my curiosity to learn more about Fernando Pessoa and get a copy of the book. I discovered…

I have been thinking about this since some time. When I hear “the Economy is down” and see people’s apprehensions when GDP is stooping. All these were built on false foundations in the first place, is my thought.

All the economic principles are based on the assumption that humans are inherently greedy and looking out for material benefits. And that these materials or resources humans are in the run for are scarce. …

Ashik Krishnan

befriending cortisols

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