Love from the road #2

It is the early hours of the morning. I am sitting by the side of a flowing stream. Apart from the birds, the rustling leaves, the sound of gently gurgling water and the scratching noise of my pen against paper, there is no other sound. With such silence, the voices inside me become a lot more clear and loud.

Maybe this is why city life is so full of noises? Because we cannot bear to listen what our inner voice is saying?

You know, I was weeping last night. No, don’t worry, I’m all right. It’s just that when I lost dad, being the elder son, I just pushed it all in and stored it away to deal with it later. As I saw the funeral pyre burn, I thought the rites would give me the outlet I require.

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But yesterday, I saw a parent bird teach it’s offspring the tricks of survival. I could not control the burst of tears. I thought of all the good times with dad. I thought of all the time I wanted to spend with him, all the things I wanted to say, ‘when I got the time’. But the time, never comes, does it?

We push away our grief to deal with later, and enter the push on and work or push on and party mode. But later never happens, and all our sorrow and longing grows like rust inside.

I don’t want to lose time with you. I want to tell you over and over that I love you. I miss you each step of my journey, and while I am discovering myself with each passing mile, I can’t wait to get back and rediscover you again.

The by-lanes of Kurla.

I have always at wanted to do volunteer work. When I saw a mail saying that Pratham foundation learning lab needed volunteers to help teach English to BMC school students, I leaped. There was some backward and forward discussion, because my class ought not to clash with a trip that was planned or with my research data collection. The trip was cancelled and I was to teach in the afternoons so mornings were free for data collection.

So came my first day. It was a group of young students who would soon go to college, and wanted to go ahead in life with confidence, and learning English would help them to do so. I was as nervous as they were, as I was assessing them, and they were assessing me. All of their needs were very different and I wondered if I would do any good a job.

I decided to start with grammar on the second class, but two of the students did not turn up. But at least three did. One of those missing came for the third class, and he told me he found the grammar and dictionary stuff useless, as he just wanted to read and get done with it. I did not force him to pay attention. But when we were doing reading towards the end of a class, he could not pronounce what was taught at the beginning. I told him this is why its necessary to learn the basics. I don’t know if I helped him grasp the need or built an even higher wall. I do hope its the former.

The other employees offered to take me to Kurla station via a shortcut, and since I didn’t want to be rude, I did agree. These were women whom I admired because they could mix with the students freely. I know that with me, there was an invisible wall. The short-cut consisted of going over a gutter and through the back-lanes. It.It is a different world out there. I won’t pretend to be the first one to point out  the contrasts of city life. We have all heard about the skyscrapers next to the slum.

But what I saw was my discomfort translated into tangible objects and sights. Because of Field Work from TISS, we have been taught not to show off when we go to work with people who might not be as economically and socially privileged as us. Some of my classmates agreed with it, others just pretended to do so to please the teachers. I was not sure why I myself followed this. I did not think we were at par with them, because regardless of how much we toned down, it was apparent that we came from different places.

Yet, that day, going to the station I realized something. It was not that just because we behaved properly with them, everyone else would. And the point was not to give that impression. Rather, it was to further the belief that they have in themselves. To grow that thing, that belief that pushed them to come to us, to come to an English class. To portray to them that kindness can exist. To portray to them that just like the gutter won’t go away overnight, to change their situation would not be an easy job, but the point is, the journey need not be unpleasant.

Even the by-lanes of Kurla can have trees that give shade, and whose leaves rustle in the wind.

Sophistication maybe owned by the upper class, but joy definitely isn’t.

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What If…?

Ever wondered what would have happened if certain things happened and some things had not happened?
Not to insert a riddle here..but sometimes, events turn out to be in a certain fashion..and do you wonder what would have happened if things had been otherwise?
If you hadn’t confessed your love for that girl? if you had missed that bus? If you had smiled to that stranger?
Some people think that its all destiny , and whatever happened was supposed to happen…
I believe that we make choices and according to our choices we face the consequences…and if our choices were different, the consequences would be different too, no doubt?
Because , with something as complicated as the human race..things can’t simply have been so fixedly pre-planned…?
There has to be the element of shock and surprise, and of NOT knowing what lies ahead?
Of having to find out..isn’t that what life is all about?
So freewill? Or destiny?
Something to think about..!