“I come from haunts of coot and hern
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley”
Like “The Brook” journeying through its life unflaggingly, carving new paths, leaving imprints, creating a legacy during its course and thereby making memories. I envision a meaningful journey for this life bestowed upon me, just like the brook.
Almost 1/3 of this journey since my birth has introduced me to various interactions, circumstances, experiences and learning’s. Etched out of them today I stand as a person with convictions and more profound ideology rather than the flow by the “wind of times” personality.
I began this journey from Gujarat the land of my birth and upbringing. Genetically I come from North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, culturally I grew up among Gujarati and this attributed a sense of acceptance of diversities, openness as well as tolerance to difference among people on account of varied thoughts, beliefs, customs, ideologies apart from traits inherited by caste and creed. Along with my family I was blessed to have few but long lasting friendships all through my life with people from varied faiths prominently Jains, Muslims, Hindus, as well as Christians. The seeds of harmony among fellow human beings, love and respect from each other laid a well build foundation for life at an early age.
Tracing my North Indian roots takes me to a small village on the outer fringes of the National Capital Region (NCR/), 50 km away from Delhi my maternal home. A major time of my childhood esp. quality time (annual vacations) were spend living among village folks, the farmlands and the animals/birds .Those remain some of the best cherished moments of my life. The rawness of the place, the interwoven relations of humans with animals and nature, the sense of importance of community activities and living as close to nature as possible was a treat and stepping stone in shaping my outlook towards life.
Nevertheless my most of upbringing happened in small towns I was still smitten with the bug of growing economic affluence, the rapid changing dynamics of Indian cities and the Indian middle class on account my closely knit as well as globalized family. On account of that the Indian metropolis and its mannerism (societal/cultural) weren’t an unknown feast ever. Fortunately or unfortunately they failed to leave any major impression when I was a child or even today. The folly of it was and is the first thing that always struck me at an early instance.
My educational pursuits prompted me to leave Palanpur (the little town joining Rajasthan and Gujarat with a past of Urdu shaiyars and Nawabs) and head to Nadiad, a small princely town in Kheda district of Gujarat, holds a prominent place in the history for political freedom of India.
At this juncture my bread and butter are taken care of by the IT industry where I have been working for nearly 4 years now. So far I have worked as a System Software Engineer in Mobile platforms mainly for Nokia Handheld devices but will be switching streams anytime soon. A little risk is worth sometimes. Undoubtedly these four years esp. from 2009 august onward have played a very prominent role in my life. This was the time around which I began volunteering financially along with physical efforts (the latter being prominent) with a bunch of Software Engineers to teach kids from non-privileged background. The experience instead of giving me a feeling of doing something good and giving back to society made me very uneasy and I had self doubts if this is indeed going to transform society, the restlessness associated with this thought grew by observing the health of some of the kids, the reasons of their irregularity. The resultant dissatisfaction prompted me to visit those kids families, the realities came face to face in those slums. The direct connection of growing slums and the mass exploitation of rural terrain a result of repressive regimes, polity and policy failure and extreme pressure on natural resources to fuel the GDP of Indian economy for a few privileged sections of this country were clearly evident. From that day for more than a year with the help and guidance of like-minded friends/mentors I had quite an active volunteering life trying to understand social issues and engage ourselves in forming effective solutions. No doubt the learning experience was enriching and the various challenges while running environmental, women/child health awareness, trying tackling issues of substance abuse, domestic violence, early marriages etc, at each level aided to our better understanding. Apart from the remarkable influence it had in my understanding of problems by observation, experimentation, reading extensively on social problems it was evident any change that we envision begins from self transformation. This became the mantra of my life was definitely merging into my identity. At the same time when conviction was growing the confrontations were hitting the head too. And this was brought to notice by a cherished friend who shared most of the part of my volunteering activities “In the pursuit of helping my fellow humans what are the implications of it on other creatures and importantly environment”. The solution to the problem has to be holistic and in harmony with all and most importantly in accordance with Mother Nature. This made us look deeper and our conviction for individual change become more prominent.
The process of learning is still growing and developing with greater emphasis on self change, of lifestyles that are sustainable, ensuring least harm to the surrounding nature, ensuring compassion for all. In today’s world where we are growing too far from nature the impact of our choices, actions on our own mental/physical/social well-being to that of fellow living beings (humans, animals, birds etc) and importantly the environmental ecology is too deeply exploited to be clearly visible. It’s time to question and demand answers from our own actions and make better choices.
This blog is all about this person, the times ahead and its effects. It’s a window to my tiny worlds and a mirror capturing the reflections of this mortal self.
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.