Going to know, understand, learn and absorb is not a treat anyhow. My willingness to break my stereotypes or not to be involved in any social stigma made it a bit difficult as a defined individual. The few minutes of chats with locals stirred me completely. It made me do quite a bit of introspection within myself and helped me to come as a humane self – with this started a new dimension of learning.
The village of Kacchi Basti was like a slum cum village; an unauthorized inhabited land. The surrounding was arid with sheer poverty. A little conversation with a lady shattered my notions of casteism. My team just asked her ‘if we could do meeting at her place’ and she replied abruptly, “ha… ha… humare yaha niche jaati ka nahi hai koi” later adding that every meeting of the village is being conducted at her place only. This made me ponder heavily about the sensitivity of individuals of every walk of life whether bound or unbound by social stigmas or not. The attitude we acquire because of the indoctrination at the society we grew up in moulds us inside out!
A few steps further at the turn of that hilly terrain, I met a child who instead of replying me with hi or hello in response of my greeting of hi said “ek rupaiya de do”, I never have ever imagined an innocent child at his home could say something like this! May be the comfort of home is not at all comforting for every person. The look of that kid and that eagerness in his eye with the hope of that longing is what I will never forget.
A brief round of words with that kid was more than enough to know about that village as compared to walking around and talking to the adults there. Seeing the world through that kid’s eye gave me a broader picture about me and the world and helped me to gain another perspective about life altogether!