The last months since May 2010 have gone quickly, with pains, burdens, relief and a sense of humor. The months passed all too quickly, without writing much in my blog through the year. But the year also gave me opportunity to explore myself. Two great things I learnt really make sense to my life. I had left South India while barely I was touching 16, after reading for several years about the plight of the people in the North, in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. At that time I just wanted to "do something" for them. Over the years, specially in late 90's and early part of this decade I was being sucked into systems that focused on administration. I remember still very well how I had dreamed to be a mendicant going around assisting people to regain their dignity. I have done all that and much more, from positions of power and influence. But, the higher I grew, the farther I was pushed from people. I am not sure if this the tragedy of working for the people!
The last months have brought me back into LIFE! I travel. Travel a lot.... I travel in passenger trains to reduce the cost of travel, like any other ordinary mortal, I travel in public jeeps and buses, I do not grumble about lost time, I leave early, I talk to people to understand their pains, I offer them helping hands. And whenever I am not giving a training or not having someone invited me, I ensure to be in a over-night bus or train. And so I get a place to sleep! Waaw! In the process, the first of my learning is about the vanity of space. There is so much of scam and scandal going on in the country relating to occupying land. Well, all this is vanity! All that you will have is a space of 6 ft x 2 ft for about 90 years or so on this earth, if you live long.
The second learning is beginning to dawn on me. How important is religion set against the poverty, vulnerability and hunger of people that I see all around. Or, I would place it this way. How much is my religion and religiosity relevant to the needs of the poor? To put it plainly, what is more important among the two? It is beginning to hurt. I have lived long enough immersed in religion. (I do not question faith. Faith is perfect.) But what has my religion done to the poor to lift them out of their bondage in spite of all the wealth and resources it owns? Has it done at all? Yes, it has. Could it have done better? A lot more. Did my organized religion come in the way of me doing more for the poor? True. There is a clog....a huge one.