By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

And the questioning resurfaces ...

I remember my musings on a diesel locomotive, that I blogged about some time back about my train journey from Bangalore to Mysore on a rusty weeekend. It was Deja Vu last Friday. The questioning resurfaced.

Why on Sweet Lord's Earth am I racking my head on cryptography and field programmable gate arrays and silicon wafers? Why am I cribbing that I will score less than 10% in my mid-term tests? Why am I slooging with the dream to pack off for grad studies to some foreign Univ? Why......When all I did after coming back from Garinda was weep within myself.

Yes. My heart still skips a beat when those images of that girl with brown teeth flashes in front of my inner eye. If only I had a cam then, could I have taken a snap and shared it with all of you. Last Friday, I accompanied some of my friends (most of them part of the Rural Entrepreneurship Division of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, here at BITS Pilani). As I boarded the chug-chug auto (or phat-phati as it is better known as), little did I think of what I would see there. As we slowly made our way through the dry fields of one of the most backward districts of Rajasthan, all I could feel is heat, and a certain emptiness. We were headed there to resurrect a Vocational training centre for women at this village called Garinda. This was part of the activities of CEL, BITS-Pilani. And, as we reached the place, about a dozen kilometres away from BITS, we were led to a room which was just cleaned, as we were expected there. And, then the women started pouring in to register for vocational training. We conducted a socio-econommic survey of the women. I administered the survey on 5 women of them 3 were girls (below 18), and one was 60+. Despite the language barrier, I went on, and with every reply from them, the urge in me grew - the urge to run outside, kneel down, and yell at the top of my voice at the sky, and cry my heart out. For the first time in my life, I saw right in front of my eyes, the true grim face of poverty, of suffering. Especially the young girls, I wept within myself at the gross disparity in our country which isolated them from the rest of the world. They were all being consumed by a life of slow decay.

We were treated like messiahs. We were showered by buttermilk, rotis, curries, fruits, grains, and what not. I still remember the words of Savitri -

Aap bhi mere bachche hi hey na (After all, you are also my children)

when she was serving us food. That morsel struggled to make it down my throat.

And now, that I sit in the comfort of my room with DreamTheater's 'Change of Seasons' playing in my neighbor's room,
  • I marvel at the change in myself
  • I weep at my apathy to my society
  • I mould that urge to give back to my country
  • I nurse the hope of seeing that girl who said she was forced to drop out of school as the school was far off - as a proud mother of two well-educated children
  • I presume my education will help me bring about a 10X change in the heart of poverty.

I rest my post.

PS - One thing that surely has to be up here is what happened after the whole day. I sat and put a night-out preparing a paper that I had just conceptualized. It's amazing how my mind can make that transition from chaos to serenity and vice versa.


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