Monday, August 11, 2008

New World

Noise levels in the room were increasing. Everyone was speaking on top of their voices. This was a usual scene in our ‘Vishwashanti PG Accommodation’ in Ahmedabad. Usually the topics would be something like…how much weight someone has gained, or lost…who broke up with her boy friend…who got a new one…Samarbhai’s (our PG owner) new affair…etc. And everything had to begin with “You know what??!!!!”

But today however the discussion was going on a different topic.

It all started with an advertisement of Kingfisher Airlines on some magazine which was lying on bed. On impulse I asked suddenly, “People, do you think Vijay Mallya is someway responsible for ruining thousands of peoples’ life because of his liquor kingdom??”
And now, it was all of them against me.
“How can you hold him responsible??”… “He is just doing business; he is not coming and telling you to start drinking!!”…”Don’t you have your own brain?? You don’t know how much to drink or what??”…”And everyone does not become a drunkard…I mean….come on!!”….”Yaar! I can’t imagine a party without Drinks!”….”I swear! God knows what my entire family will do if there are no drinks!!”
Vijay Mallya had just too many fans on his side.
All I was saying that when there are hundred thousand better things to produce in world & better ways of generating income, why should one choose to produce things that ruin peoples and in turn society??? And then sell them wrapped in dreams of ‘Unchi Pasand’, or a dashing personality???
But nobody was in a state of listening to me. In this high of status, in things, modern culture, broad mind, nobody had time to think whether it was right or wrong.
How can things be like this?? How can people do something like this?? How can one talk like this?....were the only questions that would spin my head all the time.
“Wow cake!! I wish we had drinks in hostel today.”….But why?? Nobody knows.
I was by now used to hearing proud justifications of father who takes bribe, because he has to give his family a decent life…I mean…c’mon!! How only money matters, by hook or crook how you should earn money, how all this right & wrong stuff was Pakau!!

Head on shoulders and feet heavily grounded was what my bringing up was all about. The moment we (me and my sis) would start flying high, my father will happily bang us back to ground. So this hostel & CEPT University, both were royal cultural shocks for me.

In my hostel I was seeing a 21 year old girl, left behind by her parents who immigrated to US on the basis of blood relation, just to settle her younger brother in US. I was seeing a girl who was in Ahmedabad for her CAT preparation, who didn’t attend the class for a single day and was spending Rs 3000 per month for accommodation. I was seeing people who were working in call centres after doing their B. Com., and didn’t have a slightest idea of what are they going to do ahead.

And in CEPT?? One of the prime institutes in India...you would be awed by knowledge of your professors and then see them all drunk, talking crap in the welcome party arranged for students. All the would be planners…dreaming of entering planning commission one day, were too lazy to put their discarded coffee cups in dustbin…
This was my Ahmedabad life all about.
What is their philosophy of life?? That one governing principle…???
Masti?? Aish??Money??Movies??
But…is this life?? Is this life all about??? Or is it just that I am abnormal….I don’t know how to live life…how to ‘enjoy’?? I would be with them, talk to them, laugh with them…They thought I am their good friend. I thought they were not my friends.
They were not bad! Everyone had a pure person living inside them….but often it was suppressed by the kind of choices they made for their life. One voice within me constantly said…this is not done!! There is a clear difference between right and wrong!! It is not relative….Some things are wrong no matter how many justifications you find for them…But what is going around us?? Today nobody is bothered about it. The reference line between right and wrong is fading away….

Many times I would get fed up with Ahmedabad. Pune was hundred times better, I would think. May be because there was Tekdi…there was Sudarshan rangamanch…there was Sandeep khare….But above all, I had my own small world. There was dad, mom, few but true friends…who talked my language, not of words…but thoughts…and there was swadhyay…which taught us that language in the first place…
There, any good article one came across would be shared, good books, music would be shared, cross references between Ayn Rand writings, Stephen Covey and Bhagwad Geeta would be found out…

May be here onwards I will come across all hypocrites.
And while being with them in the so called ‘corporate’ culture of ‘excuse me’, ‘sorry’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Nice to meet you’ etc…this small world of mine was like my fragile protection. It was all I had…and it had to be guarded with all my life….

But keeping this world together was increasingly being difficult. One friend in US, one in UK, me in Ahmedabad, one in Balewadi and one left in Pune. All we had was mobile phones and G-Talk…that’s it…Often I would get depressed. This was not done!! I was loosing my hope. There must exist some other world…I would think…A better one….which I don’t know how to enter.

On such frustrated turn of life something like Nirman will happen to me was the last thing I expected.I still remember….it was a lazy Sunday morning. Outside was pleasantly lit with morning rays. I was at my pg., gearing up for the day. We didn’t have college because it was thesis semester. But there was pile of work waiting for me. And suddenly my cel phone rang with message alert. “Woah!! Right in morning its ringing!! I wondered. Yes. Because generally it never rings. It was ashwinitai’s (our family friend) message. Lips automatically turned into smile. “Hi! Hows you? You know Abhay Bang right? He conducts some camp for young people at SEARCH Gadchiroli. The forms are available now. You can also ask for the form through e-mail. It is worth attending. Google a bit on this. Chinmay has soft copy of the form in his email. I will ask him to forward it to you. What else?? When are you coming to Pune? Missing you!”
From this small message, to me attending Nirman, is a small but interesting journey. After that message I read more about Nirman through articles in Saptahik Sakal, read the form…and I thought…may be this has key to the world which I think of…may be this would open hose closed doors…

Hoping this I came to Nirman and in these 7 days I realized…this is it!!! This is what I was looking for…so franticly…People here were talking my language…not of words…but of thoughts...
All the reference line were matching. 84 people…from different places…different backgrounds…met while searching for a new world. How much change we will bring in the situation around us is still in unclear. But we at least will live on our terms…without compromising on them…without submitting to this so called ‘corporate culture’…Just when I had started loosing faith in this world, God has extended his hand.Today that small world of mine is all crowded with many new friends rushing to enter it. My cel keeps ringing!! Just when I thought that after taking up job life will be monotonous and kind of boring…its all so refreshing

I just hope I find my bread and butter on this path and then life will be an all time fun!!

-Amruta Pradhan

1 comment:

Mrinmayee said...

Vow! Ur blog was like a breath of fresh air in the so much polluted, "hot", breathless environment. I am happy that 'Nirman' was able to resurrect your faith in the 'good' that prevails in one and all... and it is solely on how we are able to exploit and channelise the 'good' that we would make this world surely a better place!!! All my very best!! we would be glad if u could also reveal your experience in 'nirman' and about why u realised what u realised!!!