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HUMANS OF AGRA by Agra Aur Hum

HUMANS OF AGRA by Agra Aur Hum

“I learnt quite a few things from Instagram where I watched how vloggers explored stuff and articulated their experiences. From then onwards, my attitude towards my city completely changed. I used to wake up early and started exploring different locations. Very soon, I started getting stories of the people and my city. The stories of the hot and sizzling breakfast of Agra, the magnificent Taj, the world-renowned footwear industry, historical places that have seen centuries of change, and the tales of the very people that drive the wheels of this historical city and so much more that I had never imagined I could find in Agra. I found people very pleasing, and the places around the Taj that I only read in books started becoming my favourites. I’m truly delighted that during these times, not only I came to know about myself, but I also came to know about my people and was able to capture their amazing and vivid stories that are worth writing down to the very last detail. It’s been a year now and I’m still 19. People don’t believe how in the world have I met so many people at such a small age! And till now, I have covered more than 90+ stories of the people of Agra that are full of courage, determination, love, culture, beauty, heritage and the desire to serve. These are a few things I wish we can all learn from and be inspired to stay strong in such troubling times.” – @bpsdhakar (Founder of @agraaurhum )

Vedant, what do you aspire to become one day?”Mujhe Genetic engineer Banna hai” – @itzvedaant

At the age of 4 or maybe 5, I did not know how to write, so I used to draw, make rough sketches, and my mother used to ask me to make illustrations that came in my mind. During the tragic and unfathomable pandemic breakout I was home bound. Initially, I was pretty excited but soon I realized that being at home meant No School, No Fun with Friends, No Vacations, etc. etc. However, March soon gave way to April and in blink of an eye April turned into May. Without much ado, during Mid May, I commenced learning Power Point. My mother gave me an idea to create stories as I loved illustrating and writing. Eventually, I executed her notion and found out that I love visualising and processing stories! After that, I wrote a couple of more stories. Then my parents consulted a critic who organises literature fest and she encouraged my work. Within no time, my parents approached a publisher to whom I gave a draft of my stories. In the wake of pandemic, offline launch was not possible and keeping in mind #StayHomeStaySafe

New age social media tool Instagram was used as an alternative. My book is a collection of thrilling short stories.
The eclectic themes are a mix of Horror, Sci-Fi and Adventure. Some of the achievements of my book are listed below:

🌟 Available on Amazon.
🌟 Received 4.9 star rating on Amazon.
🌟The book is curated by two top-most book stores of Agra: MODERN BOOK DEPOT and thelittlechippers.

S.P.A ( Stories of people of Agra) – @meera_rediscovered

You can see passion in Reema Ahmad’s life in the way she has stepped out of her past and started a new life.
At some point of time there was no purpose in her life, but through hard work and studies, she chose her dreams.
With the help and constant efforts of her good friends and family, Reema ji has reached a stage today where she wanted to always be and she is very happy. Reema Ahmad is co-founder of Candidly, an initiative that talks about gender, sexuality, abuse and how these manifest in culture through media. Candidly is a joint initiative with her long time friend Amita Malhotra who launched India’s first gender-neutral clothing line for kids, EqualiTee. Reema ji came to Agra in 1986 when she was 3 years old and started her early education at St. Patrick’s School in Agra. In her childhood, she understood that girls have to face a lot of problems and their dreams are suppressed and she used to worry a lot about this and thought of doing something in this area as she grew.

When Reema ji got married early, her studies stopped for a few years and her dreams also stalled for some time. She was in turmoil for a long time and she couldn’t see any way out. Due to some reason her marriage broke up and she moved back to her home town. She started her studies again in 2013 and even though it was a challenging time from every aspect, she held on to education. While she was studying, she joined a course with TARSHI NGO based in Delhi which has been working on sexual health and rights for a long time. She got tremendous support and encouragement from her course and after this, Reema ji never looked back. She kept researching and also created her own workshop modules. In many schools in Agra, she has taught children a lot about sexual abuse harassment so that the issue is not seen in society in a wrong way and people can move forward from abuse. Her friend Amita, has also contributed a lot in her life. Her guidance and courage have brought them to this point today. She has now opened her own counselling centre in agra to counsel coach and train people to deal with various issues.

Shalini Johnson (Nurse) This journey started from 1983, never thought that today 37 years would have been complete.

I have a journey for a few months and after that I will retire. My nurse life was very good. I did my training from Allahabad in 1979, after that I became a Goverment staf Nurse. After 1983 I moved to Mirzapur for about 4 years Later, after returning to duty, he returned to his home town of Benaras. I had a very good time in Benaras (I had the golden years of my life) After a few years in 1990 I got married and I came to Agra, for me S.N. I worked like a dream, Matron college was considered to be the best s .n. Medical college in Agra at that time. And I am still working in the same way that I used to do in the beginning. First I became the staff murse, then sister incharge and now I am in the post of matron. Everything was going well and I had two years left to retire, but in 2020 the difficult times will start and we will have to go through the epidemic which we probably used to read in books, in the initial time we took covid quite lightly. Tha, how the ppe cit is worn and how we have to avoid this virus will have to learn all this. One day, the first Covid positive patient named Supriya came to the hospital and we were very nervous that she went to see how the Covid patient and her team also did, I thought that it would be properly discharged, then all It will be like before but what was known, after that we will forget to take time away. Over time, we were doing our own work and everybody would be dependent on doctors and would be working as a god in difficult times to save Nurse and doctors patients.

I had Corona in November 2020 at the time of covid duty and I also had a lung infection at that time, but I did not give up, I thought that I will be as good as before, my daughter said to me ‘Mumma AP kase karoge, kase akele rahoge, mere husband ko bhi kaafi pareshani huyi par sabka sath bhi tha or aj bhi hai ‘And I also recovered and will continue to work in this epidemic until I retire. Maybe I will not be able to remove the nurse life from my mind.

Old city people experience
I have been setting up my shop at this place since childhood, and I have not even had enough time to tell you about this city. Sitting in the Rawat Para market, it has been 70 years and I have experienced so much childhood. From now till now that experience is keeping me alive even today. I started working with my father in a flower shop outside Mankamehshwar temple and spent my whole life in this work. My name is Chandan Singh, people sometimes say with love, ” chandan, Gulab ke full pack kar dena ” the heart becomes happy. This kind of love compels me to come here. Years passed in this old city, everything changed but people never stopped roaming here. People still like to know this place. I am glad that people ask me the old things about this temple and here. The custom which used to be the people and traders of this city, is still intact in this market.

आगरा में एक अजूबा ताजमहल है,
गली-गली में बहुत बिकता-दिखता ताजमहल है,
गर देखो मेरे नज़र से अजूबा ये…
तो हर शख्स आगरा में, एक ताजमहल है!

I remember when i was into teaching my colleague use to say ” kya hoga chandani itne sare photo click karwake?” – @bling_bychandni

But now they see me they have a different perception of me in their mind , the same colleague now ask for my guidance and help. This is my personal advice to everyone who feels they’re too late to recognise their passion ‘ you’re never late for anything , listen to what your heart says and don’t get swayed away by what people advice you. It’s good to listen to them but at the end take your heart’s call. The universe makes miraculous ways for people who chase their goals.”. When asked about ‘Who inspires you on Social Media?’ she said ‘ Though I have grown a lot over the past two years but I still have a lot more scope to prosper.

I love ZINGY ZEST , THE CURLY TALES and someday I want myself to be in the same race.

Sometimes we find inspiration in the most unexpected places, today was one such day. While moving across the white-hot marble of the Taj mausoleum we saw two bright faces, their excitement was so palpable that just watching them enjoy made me curious and being a collector of human stories as I am, I went to them. Vaishnavi and Bhavana had a very eccentric expectation from Taj for them it was not just a symbol of love it is more a symbol of peace, not just an awe-inspiring rock wonder but a welcoming place for those looking for solace. They both share a love for monuments and their quest for history and wonder made them trace their way all the way back to the Mughal capital. One of the things that made me nostalgic was their friendship, after exploring the capital to the fullest, this was their first trip out of Delhi.

They reminded me of the hundreds of cancelled plans we made in college, spoiled by covid and that one friend whose parents never agreed. The perfect yin and yang that they had made their bond even more special for them and equally adorable to us while Vaishnavi calls herself the hot headed one Bhavana works as the perfect icebag over her comforting her and making her rethink things. Notwithstanding the hot weather they will be taking back great memories from the city, there story gives us hope that there are young people out there still obsessed with the real world, who believe in experiences not in virtual thrills and in the music of these stone instruments who still sing songs of yore.

In the frame : @_bhavanavyas

Story from Taj @travelwithdanish 

Taj Mahal was probably not a 7 wonders in my childhood, but in childhood I also used to think that what is so special in this Taj Mahal for which people from all over the world come to see and become crazy after adoring its beauty. There must be some thing that it makes this monument world-wide famous. My heart always used to be think that we are not too far from Delhi to Taj Mahal only having a few hours distance and still we are not going to see. I was so fond of roaming from the beginning, just don’t ask. I Came to see Taj with family in 2014 and I was thinking of that I had read only in the books about Taj for the first time but at that time I came as a tourist in hot summer days and still also I was saying in my mind that something is a matter so I told mummy mummy really this place is “Waah Taj”. Travelling and photography made a plan to visit the Taj and when my family member say Danish is today in Agra and is watching Taj alone and he has seen it many times, yet still he feels equally lovely. In a middle class family, it is difficult in the beginning that how do you start traveling life but after graduation I thought that I just have to roam and explore a lot so I chose to become a budget traveller. I soon realize that 9AM-5PM Job wasn’t my cup of tea. I used to do photography from mobile in the beginning, mom never refused, she knew that I does photography, but when I got an invitation from Google for the first time, my family understood that yes I am doing something good in this field.

Danish is a Delhi based self-taught travel photographer. Describing himself to be just a boy next door who has big dreams. His work has been featured on Nat Geo, Google, BBC, CNN and on many more platforms. Danish’s Philosophy is simple-“More you travel and explore, more you learn” He had also experienced bad moments while travelling but the number of good moments were always greater than the bad ones.He wants to become world famous photographer and this can only be possible by our support.

Story of @iammanishamalik

The other day there was a kid at the mall walking with his mother, he saw me and naturally asked his mom, “What happened to her?” and out of instinct her mom shushed the kid into silence and discreetly apologized to me. This is one of the many examples of how being politically correct causes more harm than good. The kid would now live in a sense of wonder and confusion, thinking that being different or just unconventional is something to hide and be apologetic for. Manisha was interested in the Indian arts since childhood she would learn the most random folk songs from around different regions just to be able to hum along. This passion gradually turned into something much bigger. Thus, was born a new woman who travelled, explored, helped, learnt and is now the founder of Made in India.

“India is heaven for a handicraft enthusiast, you get the best handmade things in the world at prices that seem pennies for this art.” Yet she finds that the most unfortunate thing is people ignore our heritage and the wide choices available at home. They let these incredible artists live in penury. Made in India has a mission to promote these indigenous crafts and help them make a mark on the world stage.
But the most fascinating thing we loved about her is her incredible sense of self confidence despite suffering from vitiligo, a skin disorder that is merely discoloring of the skin at some places. “The way our society treats even a speck of difference makes an individual who does not fit the social convention of normal, miserable.” Manisha is the perfect example of someone who had the courage to fight through this mindset and She truly gives meaning to the phrase, Be comfortable in your own skin.

She tells people to be open about the subject and treat people with any difference by being vocal about it, this will make people more comfortable in asking questions and as goes the saying,” we only fear what we do not understand.” Therefore, understanding that it is a part of the human experience is the only way of making that kid at the mall and the kid that is inside us all understand and change.


INSTAGRAM: @agraaurhum


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About The Author

Anirudh Chandel

| Lawyer | Writer | Traveller | Footballer |

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