Then there was the routine path ... engineering studies, the working of a couple of years, the resignation to do work which would address the poor. A year of groping in the dark, and feeling completely lost and alone - and then a newspaper article about the dam on Narmada, the vast submergence and the struggle. I wrote to Medha from the newspaper address, and I got a postcard promptly from her suggesting I come to Baroda and that there is so much to do. I took a train ... and there life opened out, as there were so many people who had quit their jobs, and made such involvement their life's agenda. In solidarity there is much comfort.
The dream was Gandhian - to live in a village, earn a local income, live as one of the people, and from there initiate changes ... a few things happenned, many did not. But a beauty unfolded. I used to teach the children. We were doing some organic farming. I practised a little ayurveda. We tried to discuss various issues in the village. We took up afforestation with the people under JFM. We made some mistakes, we made some about turns. But what I got from the village was infinitely more than what I gave ... i rediscovered india, and dharmam and goodness.
There was anger in youth. Now even that anger is there only sometimes when I see gross insensitivity in the face of suffering. but then the words of my neighbours echo in my ears, "It is our duty to act, having taken the birth of a human". "It is our dharmam we have to follow". "What another does is his karmam". " What we do is because of the thought that god gives us. Without that thought we can do nothing." All these were eashwaramma's words when one day we went to the santa together, a half hour walk.
There is a long long way for me to go. To work towards the generosity of the village people who live in dharmam and can give away rice saying that god will provide for the next day, if he wishes to. There is need for tireless work.