Chicago Vs. Mohuda

We were asked yesterday by the Youth for India team to share what we thought was the most enjoyable aspect of the fellowship. That got me thinking. It was difficult to choose one thing.
My thoughts went to two weeks ago when I visited home for Anand’s cousin’s wedding . Like at any family gathering, I met a lot of new people – all curious to know who I was and what I did. While some appreciated that I was doing this fellowship, most showed sympathy- “Oh so sad, you are in a village while your husband is in America.” Some even went to the extent of saying “Paapa, don’t worry you will also get your visa soon and you can go.”

Man! How perceptions could be so far away from the truth.

Most people seem to think I have given up comforts and am living a tough life in the village. I was thinking about it and realized, never before have I felt so much at peace. (Or perhaps I did during my engineering days when I was again on a beautiful campus in Suratkal away from the city. We always called that a four year vacation.)

Anyway, this year here is something even more special, it’s not just peaceful, and it gives me joy I had never experienced. The simple reason – the PEOPLE. I cannot believe such simple people even exist- people who work selflessly, people who love unconditionally, people who have little wants and who haven’t forgotten how to enjoy simple pleasures of life. These are people at the NGO, people in the villages, the teachers in the school and most of all – the kids. What pleasure it is to just listen to the kids, watch them, teach them, learn from them. I don’t know if I am making any difference to them, but I surely am learning a lot from them.

These kids are truly champs, they do so many things you and I would never have thought of doing as kids. Sing, dance, play,draw,paint, win medals,set up grand puja pandals, give haircuts to each other, share, fix stuff, do carpentry work, make clay idols, ask questions, organize events, grow vegetables, take care of each other, teach each other, show unconditional love and of course learn!
I couldn’t believe it when they had to build the stage for the annual day function – they went to the woods, chopped bamboo, built the entire set up from scratch and decorated it really well too !

A friend recently asked me –
Why are you doing this now? Shouldn’t you be doing this after 40 or 50?
Shouldn’t you live the fast life of the city at this age?

I thought about what constituted my ‘fast city life’ not so long ago. Leaving for work at 6 am ,Spending 3 hours on commute everyday, excel spreadsheets, ppts, meeting requests, deadlines. Going to 1522 for a beer over the weekend was the only solace. Now, I don’t have to wait for the weekend to have a good time 🙂 and work doesn’t seem like work any more!

Of course, the decision to choose this wasn’t an easy one to make. I am lucky to have had the support of a family who allowed me to choose this.
I feel guilty though that Anand is slogging day and night for his client out there and I am living a carefree, peaceful life here.

It would be perfect though if he would just be here too 😀 What say, Anand?

Children building the stage

Children building the stage

The stage post decoration

The stage post decoration

Tipan and Diktan give each other these funky haircuts

Tipan and Diktan give each other these funky haircuts

'I love my spikes'

‘I love my spikes’

Saraswati idol - Work in Progress

Saraswati idol – Work in Progress

Saraswati Idol made from scratch

Saraswati Idol made from scratch

Just happy to be clicked

Just happy to be clicked

Namita di, the sweetest on GramVikas campus

Namita di, the sweetest on GramVikas campus

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12 thoughts on “Chicago Vs. Mohuda

  1. Hi Sunayana! It is really nice to read your blog. And yes, we tend to forget the simple pleasures of life. Whether you understand it or not now, I’m sure the children will have learnt a lot more from you by the time it is time for you to pack your bags and return back to the city life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on another lovely blog.

    You summed up the glamorous city life of most in just these two lines.

    “I thought about what constituted my ‘fast city life’ not so long ago. Leaving for work at 6 am ,Spending 3 hours on commute everyday, excel spreadsheets, ppts, meeting requests, deadlines. ”

    I agree with you that reconnecting to people, being a part of the creation process and learning something everyday is vastly more fulfilling than sitting in a cab for 3 hours everyday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Sunayana, you out did your previous blog. What these kids are doing is truly remarkable and wonderful. I am glad you are doing this work in a village with kids rather than choose doing Microsoft office ppt (how is this defined as work beats me). Keep it up kiddo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos to your entire team for doing such remarkable work!!! Credit also goes to your family and Anand for supporting you in this journey. Damn proud of you Sunayana!

    Like

  5. Pingback: Thank You Odisha | Su finally decided to blog

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