The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of phones, children, forms, offices, apartments, people, games, food, buses, photos, more people, smells, colors, places, and tons more people!
I arrived in Hyderabad on Wednesday October 28th in the dead of the night. The streets were paved and empty, clean as if never been used, silent like the calm before a storm. Through my haze of blurred travel-vision I peered out at my new home and thought, “Well, this seems like an appropriately timed unexpected answer to my question: Where am I going?” I had envisioned dust in the air, fumes from the burnt garbage seeping through the air vents, people tapping on my shoulder selling me unnecessary items like bouncy balls and whistles. I had envisioned the hectic, uncontrollable, absurdly comical and lovable world of India that I had remembered from 3 years past.
And when I awoke from my perplexing nightmare of a witchless Halloween, all my wishes had been granted. A lifetime of adventure lay ahead to discover.
I found myself on a bus to Byrraju Foundation in Jeedimetla Village, meeting 56 5th graders whose parents are drivers, house keepers, laborers, cooks, and watchmen. I found myself in the office of ISFC feeling right at home amongst educators and ngo workers taking office space and tips for the war I was about to join. Be patient, be tactful, be witty, be courageous, be unreasonable, and laugh insanely loud- apparently the enemy (namely poverty) cant handle this poisonous combination. I found myself at the Lucknow Management Association with bigwigs like Pratham, Azim Premji, Intel, and Aga Khan but finding comfort and intrigue in the humility and strength of one woman who cared little for the name but entirely for the people.
I’m left with a sense of newfound faith. Faith in what, in whom, in where? I cant say because it scares me to accept a whole new aspect of humanity I had always written off as unfathomable and implausible. A part of the world that I had discredited as weak and requiring the strength of an Almighty to fight their battles for them. I’m confused because I am a scientist and this equation cannot be solved. It simply must be accepted as theory and believed in entirely- or it will never be of any use to anyone.
I’m furthermore left with a sense of calm and peace. I have been trying to yell and shout at the world about how dire the situation is and I’ve been losing my voice. I’ve been tripping over myself with my nose in the air and not seeing the potholes in the pavement before me. I’ve had my angry face on trying to scare people into switching sides when there are no sides at all. There are just some people in the front of the pack and some in the back- but we are all pushing forward, towards the edge, the brink, the breaking point. In the end, it’s a matter of making sure you are fulfilled and settled in your place in the pack.
If not- why are you still sitting there?

One Comment Add yours

  1. giri Rao says:

    Welcome to Hyderabad, Shabnam!

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