Hey folks, Moin! For those who know this word can guess that I am from Germany, and sorry cannot introduce myself with my name. Blame it on Vinay – he has forgotten my name and so won’t be possible for me to tell you. Wait, I don’t think he even asked me my name. He gets so very conscious and excited at the same time, conscious in the sense that he wants to know everything that very moment while trying to make sure he makes the most of it. So ends up rather thinking of what all to see or ask, than just plainly being present in that moment by virtue of which you would in fact absorb more and also enhance your objective thinking.
Anyways my perception about him could be entirely wrong. I know him and can tell you that he himself won’t be sure of all this. I was telling Vinay how I, along with my family, took a brave and incredible step on the manner we came to India. We came here to make sense of ourselves. I will elaborate in just a bit.
I would have loved to introduce my dear wife to you all, but this Vinay! My son Eleel was playing nearby having fun, and lost in his own world. Some consolation here, if you know what I mean. My wife is from Spain, and we settled in Germany doing our jobs. I studied architecture thinking of creating some wonderful designs and hoping to create some exciting, pleasant and peaceful environments. But as it turned out, all I did in my job was looking at people quarreling over insignificant things and trying to grab credit. There in Germany, my life seemed to have been planned out already with me not being part of that planning process. I was required to pay my insurances, I needed to do this and that, etc. I do not want to spend this amazing life in this preplanned manner. It so happened that I and my wife quit, or say our jobs ended. We took this opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Spain and walked 300 kms with our son. There we met a nice person named Madhu and he suggested we come visit India. That was it. We packed our bags.
Vinay was so curious to know where we were staying, or what other places we were planning to visit, or how we were managing given the fact that we don’t know many people in here. We currently have put our stay in a portion offered to us by a generous family. And actually there’s no larger plan as such. Seeing him wonder I added that we were meeting new people who were actually inviting us to stay at their homes if we happen to visit their cities. So everything was playing out pretty fine. Vinay was thinking about my son’s education. Just as sometimes when we think of a particular thing which then the other person also starts to think of, I started telling what we think of Eleel’s education. Eleel does not want to go to school. And we don’t want to force him either. But unlike in India, in Germany if the kid is not sent to school, parents would have to face severe consequences by the State. We just want to let him be free, learn what he wants to learn, enjoy the nature around him. What’s the big deal? Children are innately curious. So maybe when we visit a pizza store, he would like it and becomes curious about how it was made and would love to learn the skill. He would learn arithmetic each time we exchange money for different purposes.
I was telling Vinay how impressed I was with him on his decision to do such a fellowship and his quest to explore. He shrugs off saying it was not such a big thing. I could understand his reaction better when he started telling his NGO experience. He had quite a great experience at the start. But things took an almost u-turn for him now. He says, people working for NGOs (taking note of the very little experience with which he speaks) are not really sensitive or motivated by a vision for change. It’s all about quantitative targets, numbers’ game the whole time, and last minute jugaad to name a very few. Incredible talent and ideas yet, indifference towards work. There are things so contrasting that I urge Vinay to not try and reach any conclusions just yet, and observe things with an open mind.
For all this, Vinay received neither an approving nod nor any counter argument from me. This might have given an impression that I know about these facts, and in fact everyone does in general. We both however agree that there’s a need for calmness and trust towards others. He seemed excited to visit different NGOs, meet new people from diverse fields and visit slums etc. So hearing all this I reiterated, “Vinay it’s cool what you are doing.” He again shrugs off.