- WE AND OUR VILLAGE
- Village interventions.
- Village - a deeply cultured place
- The inner strength of the village
- The purpose of charity
- Village stories and philosophy
- Annapurna and Others
- Stories of my children
- Day by day in the village.
- Health in the Village
- Schooling and education
- Enounters with the modern
- Learnings from Narmada
- Learnings Down the Years
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Searches of a Young Friend
I did my B.Tech Honours in 2012. I never was attracted to corporate world so I declined TCS offer letter. I wanted to feel like I m giving back something, because I think I have had a privileged life and it seems to be a moral, commonsensical duty. To be born to an educated, middle class, "upper caste" family which practises the majoritarian religion of our country, to be born as an able-bodied, heterosexual, cis-gendered male/female with above average mental faculties-covers a whole range of privileges that most of us aren't even aware of. I feel like I am only consuming. Our lives just create demands. They aren't in sync what most of our country supplies through informal economy. Frankly, we feed off them and forget to replenish them.
I thought public services in India offer a grassroot level exposure. I went to Delhi to prepare for civil services exams. I cleared JNU entrance exam for Sociology then left it because I had already covered their curriculum in my preparation. I joined a public sector bank as probationary officer, meanwhile. For one year , I was posted in a small town in south India and the sudden change was excruciatingly hard for me. I got transferred to North because of failing health. Recently my health has improved and I cleared my state's civil service exams because banking certainly doesn't feel like public service. It's like any other profit making business. However, in the course of preparation for Civil Services and my time in the bank, I have realized that we have all accepted a certain level of hypocrisy and pretence. We label it as "way of world".
I read many books on metaphysics and philosophical discourses on meaning of life, karma, conciousness, nature of reality etc and it made me feel better for a while. I can't really explain it but most of us live a lie.
Why do we need houses big enough so that a maid needs to clean it for us? Why do we assume that our maid is a servant who is being employed by us? Why can't we see that it is the only option our lifestyles have left for her? Where do we get the audacity to demean or dismiss agriculture and Ayurveda as the work of poor, illiterate and backward? Without even studying or knowing them? Why do we need a fast paced life where we are just cogs in the economic machinery? Why are we "unsuccessful or failures" if we refuse to keep up with the sheer stupidity of capitalism/ consumerism? Why do we never question the socioeconomic engineering we undergo through state controlled doctored education?
While I am inclined towards Indian Civil Services because of the joy of reading and the hope that it provides enough resources and authority, society around me makes it a prestige issue. Positions of authority in a democracy should be the highest positions of service. Not power. It's all thoroughly confusing. I m not sure what it is that I can give back...i just want to be less of an ignorant burden on the world if nothing else.
I am going on about life, waiting for things to take shape. When I make myself the happiest, I certainly upset my elders and confuse the normal folk. I want to be as rooted and grounded as possible, but it makes life extremely difficult because I am tired of explaining. And then i m tired of finding my own answers...Its like talking to a wall.
How, how can we just assume that poverty, inhuman behaviour, stark difference in privilege is just normal? By mere accident of one's birth? How can we construct any ideas of prestige or status while we live so disconnected, with impunity? There is something very very wrong in our world and its not even visible to many of us. How can we just turn a blind eye to our own consequences!!!?
I am sorry, I have only been complaining and not offering a solution, but it's rare to find a non-bookish environment for such dialogues.
However, it is ok really. To live a life that others don't understand. To be impractical and overly sensitive. If your heart aches as much as it flutters, let it. With every thought and deed rooted in authenticity and compassion, there are a hundred ripples. It doesn't matter what our differences and political opinions are, we must be more aware and empathetic. More than anyone else, it is unfair to our own selves if we live cut off or shut out from what are essentially the repercussions of our own actions. There are many, many weirdos who do not conform, and if you're one of them, know that you're valued, important and supported. <3