A New Beginning
I had finally gotten a project with Global Parli: a charitable program and their mission is: a model development to revive and empower villages through many means. Prakhar and I went to Global Parli’s office for we had a meeting with the people there. I really did not know what to expect, or rather, why would I expect anything at all - for having expectations whether good or bad will most probably lead to disappointments. It is as if we are always focused on what is outside of us, instead of what is within us. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, that is what the late Mahatma Gandhi said. We first need to change ourselves before we can change the world, and so true were his words. I did feel excited, though, for I had finally gotten a project after spending three weeks in Mumbai without a project, but that is a completely different story for another day, and what a story it was! My first meeting was with Sanskriti, and Mrs. Bhairavi: two very lovely and beautiful people who are committed to their work. As Sanskriti was explaining what Global Parli was all about, Mr. Mayank entered the office - he definitely was a man of great respect and calmness. Very patient if I do say so myself. He too, was explaining about what the objectives are for Global Parli. That same night, Sanskriti was to travel to a region in Maharashtra called Jalna - there, the village farmers were being trained and instructed on how to use new techniques and tools for farming. I had the chance to go with her, and I accepted without any hesitancy - alas, things did not go as planned as I was late to catch the sleeper coach that would take me to Jalna - the streets were crowded, and there was some sort of accident that happened in the streets that prevented me from reaching my hostel early to pack my things and head to the bus station. I suppose what happened was for the best. I called up Sanskriti and told her I could not come.
My second day at work was just a brief meeting with the members of Global Parli. They worked at a really small office, yet felt very “homely” - maybe it’s because of the people that work there. This was a very different office than the one I first went in during my first meeting with them. My job is to work with the villagers of Parli in Beed; that is a region around Maharashtra, probably a day’s drive to where I am currently residing in Mumbai, also known as Bombay; which is the capital city of the Indian State of Maharashtra.
Meeting Renuka Toshniwal at the office was very interesting; she is a young and lively person, and she only just joined the charitable organization since five days ago. Renuka started explaining the overview of what Global Parli is all about, and what is its objectives and goals - then she went on asking which of the four main objectives am I interested in. The four main objectives are: water resource management, economic growth, human development, social reforms and character building - all are very interesting, indeed. Yet in the end I had to pick one, so as to not be overburdened, sometimes it is all about how much you can handle at each given moment.
Renuka explained that there is a football match coming up between the villagers in Parli, and that I am to design a banner and poster to promote the event. That is my first task that I need to accomplish. Another event was also planned that will be held at the village: a marathon held by Milind Soman: an actor, model, and fitness advocate - to promote health.
I met the Chief Director of Global Parli, Mr. Mayank Gandhi; a former India Against Corruption Activist, at his small office. We discussed the various means of helping the children of the villages. Due to time constraint, I am to teach the children through showing them videos about the world and the universe, so as to expand their minds and imaginations - to spread the awareness that there is so much more to life.
At that moment, I had an idea: I would gather the children somewhere around the village, and call up one of the team members of Global Parli working at the village to act as a translator. There is definitely going to be a language barrier, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop with where I am at by just showing these children videos, instead I want to understand these children and what they are going through, and to find out whether they have goals and plans of their own in life, maybe they have certain innate talents and abilities that can be developed further. No matter how well educated a person is, we all have plans in our lives and certain abilities and talents that can be put to good use for the greater good of mankind. After all, we are more than just this physical body, I believe.
To my surprise, Mr. Mayank is very spiritual. We started discussing about various spiritual topics, and shared a lot. It was a moment of four ears listening to each others’ ideas and philosophy about the metaphysics of the multiverse, for I too am spiritual, and spiritualism is my passion that permeates my heart with joy.
After all the discussions we had, it was time for me to leave the office, since I had other commitments that needed my attention. I thanked Mr. Mayank for this opportunity and meeting, and went on my way back to Vile Parle Station. Happy Diwali to all!
A Brief Meeting
After a brief holiday, it was time for me to get started with my work with the NGO - as I entered the office of the Global Parli - Mr. Mayank was absent from his desk, and so I greeted the other members who were there. Renuka advised me to have a brief respite, as I had taken the local railway train to reach the office, and as the indigenous people of Mumbai know: the local railways are mostly always jam-packed with people; pushing and shoving each other along just to get in and out of the train, it can get pretty messy sometimes. As if it was the end of the world, and so people were rushing towards wherever they felt were safe.
I digress, the very first thing that Renuka told me was to find ways to teach the children at the villages with educational videos in Marathi, a native language to Beed and probably the Maharashtra region. She advised me that because it will be my first time meeting the children of the villages, it will take sometime for them to get well acquainted and adjusted with having a foreigner walking amongst them - so we had to find a way to break the ice between us through interactive and fun games.
At first I was trying to figure out what I can show and teach the children about, but then all of a sudden the manager of the Global Parli program, Sanskriti, suggested that once I arrive at the village, I can observe and examine as to what is happening there, and then proceed with what to do next for the children and the village as a whole. I am all in for the hands-on experiences.
And that concludes my day - I did not do much work at the office, because the real work begins once I set foot at the villages in Parli. All is well, though, and despite letting go of any expectations, I know that my time with the villagers will be a truly amazing experience. Our intention is pure for helping those in need, and we will do our best to help the villagers in any way that we can.
A Game of Cricket
After fifteen hours of drive from Mumbai to Beed in a sleeper coach, albeit; a very comfortable one - Renuka, Ms. Bhakti, and I found ourselves in the middle of very jam-packed town in the early morning that was permeated with dust and smog. We made our way to a
local hospital that was owned by Dr. Wange, a respected surgeon and social activist in Parli.
As we entered the hospital, we were greeted by the staff who work for the aforementioned surgeon. One of them took my luggage bag, and guided us to a side-door that led outside to a small courtyard, and then up a few stairs to a very cozy apartment, and guess who was waiting for us as we removed our sandals at the threshold of the door? Dr. Wange. He welcomed us to his humble abode, and we all proceeded to sit on comfy sofas.
After the introductions, and a hearty breakfast - me, Renuka, and Mrs. Bhairavi’s twin sister: Ms. Bhakti, went on our way to visit the villages in Parli for we had multiple tasks to accomplish. We were accompanied by two field staffs who works under Global Parli: Vijay and Ramesh. To my surprise, the village turned out to be quite clean and homely in some way or form.
We entered a house that had a very hospitable, and happy mother who welcomed us with love in her own way - her children were also present, a young girl and her little sister. We all gathered and sat down on the floor, and soon, women from the village started to gather and sat on the floor with us as well, ready to observe and listen to Ramesh’s instructions. He unwrapped the organic bags that have yet to be stitched, and started training and instructing the women on how to fold the edges of the bag, how to stitch them and where, what color of thread needs to be used, and the right measurement required - all the organic bags should be in complete uniformity with each other. Those who were adept at stitching, were given the task to complete it - with each organic bags that the women were given to stitch, they would be paid at least 6 Indian Rupees. And with that going on, Renuka and I decided to walk around the village and examine what state it is in.
We stumbled upon an elderly fellow who only spoke Marathi, and so Renuka started talking with him, and then she would translate to me exactly what he said. He explained what the villagers do and what is their problem. It seems that most, if not all the villagers, are farmers, and out of a hundred villagers, only two or three were into business and economics.
Once our little survey of the village and the training with the women were over, we all traveled to yet another village, but this time, there were three boys who spoke a tad bit of English. Renuka and I hanged out with the three boys, and she acted as my translator. We started teaching each other: I taught them some basic English nouns, while they would teach me those same nouns but in Marathi. I asked Renuka to ask the children what they wanted to be in life: the first one said he wanted to be a scientist, the second said a teacher, and the last one wanted to be a cricket player. So then I asked the third one: “It is possible to be a cricket player, all you have to do is believe in it that it is possible.”, he replied by saying that he believes he can be a cricket player, but no one practices with him. I had an idea, I asked him if he had a bat and a ball, and he replied yes, and so I told him we would play cricket together with the other two boys.
Our little cricket game began, and soon, the other boys and teenagers of the village started joining in the game - an elderly man also decided to join in and have a bit of fun. Soon, there were quite a lot of people playing the game together - I too was involved. It was a fun experience. One of the boys threw the ball so hard that it went inside the temple that was just behind us, it was locked by a metal grate, and so we didn’t had the keys to open the metal grate. And that was the end of our gaming session - I told the little boy that he now has people to play with, and I hope that this little experience for him would give him some encouragement to continue on no matter what, for anything is truly possible. It was truly a fun experience.
A Child Farmer’s Life
We traveled to yet another village, and this time there were two boys who spoke English fairly well. They both were in the same class, but one of them was a year older. We spoke somewhere in the middle of the village, in front of a small temple, and soon villagers started to gather to observe something that was quite different than what they would normally see and get. One of the villagers is a coordinator at the same school the two boys were studying at - his English was decent.
One of the boy’s uncle invited me to their home for a cup of tea, their home was just opposite the small temple. And so we all sat down in the corridor and started chatting; getting to know each other and such - Renuka was my translator. All of a sudden the uncle brought up a great idea: he asked me if I wanted to ride on his cart that was pulled by two large white bulls, and so I accepted. Riding on that bull cart was an amazing experience - the roads in the village were bumpy, and the two wheels of the cart was constructed of metal, so there were sounds of metal and stone clashing together, rattling, creating a cacophony of sounds that normally would not be considered peaceful, plus the ride was bumpy, yet in the end, it was truly amazing.
It was time for us to leave the village and head somewhere else, and this time it was not another village. We reached somewhere up hill, and upon that hill was a large warehouse, sort of. It was occupied by wonderful people who I had spent a great deal amount with, and had so much fun with. As we entered the house, a woman was busy cooking lunch for all of us. Renuka, Ms. Bhakti, Vijay, and Ramesh sat down and started chatting with the woman. She and her family grow organic vegetables and fruits, and export them to Mumbai and London - that is their main source of income. Renuka told me that the patriarchal farmer was very progressive; utilising latest technologies to grow his crops, but alas, he was not available as he had traveled to another state in India, temporarily of course.
His son spoke English, and so we hanged out a lot. His name was Rushikesh, or Rushi, for short. He showed me their greenhouse that stored many different vegetables and fruits that they grow on their own. We decided to water the plants, vegetables, and fruits. After that, we decided to walk around the area. We could see fields after fields of different kinds of crops. I asked Rushi: “What do you want to be”? He replied that he wanted to be an inventor on mechanics, he wanted to develop new and innovative inventions, and so I suggested him to find new technology for farming.
There was a lake at a somewhat great distance, so we decided to visit that lake. As we were walking passed the crops, Rushi started explaining plants and trees that were around and what type or species they are. His family members were out and about busy with farming and cultivating the crops, and one of his little adorable cousins joined us. We reached to a small farmhouse that Rushi’s aunt lives in. We found a tree that grew guava, so Rushi climbed the tree and picked two off the tree, and handed one guava to me. As we continued on our little trek towards the lake, Renuka called me; she said that they were going to another village and this time I had the choice of either staying with Rushi for an hour or two or go with the Global Parli members to the village. I decided to stay with Rushi and his family, since this in itself is a new experience for me.
We went back to Rushi’s home to freshen up and drink water, and as we headed back to the large farmhouse/warehouse/house - Rushi suggested we chop down a few logs. There was a huge pile of logs stacked on top of each other, so Rushi climbed up and started examining the logs that needed chopping, they were small logs, yet very sturdy, so we could not just break it with our own two hands.
And so we gathered the many logs and started chopping at them with an axe, that little experience was amazing. It was difficult at first to chop the logs for they were small enough to be missed by a swinging axe, so precision is required, but Rushi did it admirably and with a single shot, most of the time. We played a little game, who ever misses a log, will have to pass on the axe to the other person to chop it. After our little fun and wonderful game, we entered the house - Rushi’s mother offered me a cup of tea, and so I accepted. Rushi guided me to his room where his two sisters were sitting and watching television. So we sat with them and continued watching. All of the channels were either in Marathi or Hindi, but I was perfectly alright with what is in front of me. I was just waiting for Renuka and company as they had gone to another village and would be coming back to pick me up. Renuka called me and said they were on their way, so I had to stand at the side of the road, and so it was time for me to get going and leave this cherished family behind, temporarily of course. Rushi tagged along with me and wanted a paper note or coin of my country’s currency as a collection. So I handed him a half dinar note. And so we said our farewell, and parted our ways: Rushi went back home, while I entered the car and headed to yet another village.
A Night Well Spent
For the past couple of days the routine and agenda was the same: head to the many villages in Parli, interact with the people and children, instruct and train the women on stitching the organic bags, and getting more information and knowledge on about the villages and its problems - it was night when we reached to a village we slept in, just to experience what it was like to live in a village. This village is home to one of the field staffs of Global Parli, and his name was Atul Kadam - he spoke English at an understandable level, and that was perfectly alright by me.
Atul invited us to his little home, it was a century-old house that was built by his forefathers. We ate dinner there, served by his mother and sister. The food was delicious.
After we were done with our hearty meal: Renuka, and Mrs. Bhakti stayed in the same house as a room was already reserved for them, but Atul, Ramesh, and I decided to have a little stroll around the village. Since it was cold outside, Atul provided me with a comfy shawl. I wrapped the shawl around my whole body - Atul and Ramesh jokingly remarked I now looked like Mahatma Gandhi - I replied to them saying I love Gandhi and his story.
As we were walking around the village, a bunch of villagers gathered around as I introduced myself to them. One of them spoke English pretty well, so I started telling him where I come from and what I came here to do. Atul, Ramesh and I headed to the small house of the person that spoke English. That was where I slept. The house felt very “homely” and warm. His father was present, and so we all sat down and talked - basically we get to know each other. Atul and I slept on the bed, while Ramesh on another - the others slept on the ground. The people there had a small television, and so we all watched a game show that was displayed, and after an hour or so, we all slept. It was a very warm and hospitable experience.
A Motorbike Ride
It was almost when me and Atul woke up, the rest were already awake. The first thing I did was brush my teeth, and then only had tea for breakfast. Atul, Mrs. Bhakti, Renuka, Ramesh, and I went to one of the villagers’ house, and the women of the village gathered around for yet another instructions on the organic bag both by Mrs. Bhakti and Ramesh. I spent my time with the children of the village, two of them spoke English, and so we had loads of fun together: I showed them the magic book that Renuka gave me, and they were fascinated by it. The children suggested we take a group selfie together, and we did just that. I taught the children a bit more English, while they taught me Marathi.
Once the training with the women was over, we all had to go on to yet another village. But this time getting there was quite different for me: Atul offered me to go with him on his motorbike. It was truly wonderful and breathtaking to be able to sit on a motorbike and ride passed the open fields. The sites I get to see up close compared to a car is truly beautiful, not to mention the places only a motorbike could go through.
The agenda through out the day remained the same: go to a village, gather the women of the village, instruct and train them, survey and interact with the other villagers and so on and so forth, but this time we decided to have lunch at a local restaurant - the food was delicious. After having our tasty lunch, we decided to head over to a famous temple of Lord Shiva’s to pray and worship. Once that was all over, we head back to our humble abode for a good night’s rest - that same night Mrs. Bhakti traveled back to Mumbai.
A Loving Invitation
I woke up today and ate breakfast at Dr. Wange’s house, since I moved in to one of the rooms at the hospital that is close by. After having my porridge, I started typing away my report for the previous days and what had happened. I also proposed the idea to my mother about exporting organic vegetables from Beed to Bahrain - since she was interested in such stuff. And so time passed - in the evening, Ramesh invited Renuka and I to his home for dinner, and so we agreed and decided to head over there. We traveled by a rickshaw. His house was small, yet had a very comfortable and warm atmosphere. I love it. The dinner that his wife served was delicious. We all got to know each other even more than before, and we had a great time together. After all that was said and done: Renuka and I went back home, and that concludes my day as I type this down. Time for me to get a good night’s rest.
It has been two days since the last time I have updated my thoughts on this whole Indian adventure of mine, but with good reason, of course. Mrs. Bhairavi - Ms. Bhakti’s sister arrived. We had a meeting with the many villages, for the CEO of UPL would be arriving to observe the many villages. The company’s logo is imprinted in the organic-made bags that I have mentioned previously a couple of times. One of the employees of UPL arrived and joined us on our little venture to the many villages. Once we were done with all that needed to be done, we reached back to our humble abode which was Dr. Wange’s, sat inside the living room, and started planning for . Dr. Wange’s living room became more of a meeting place for all of us, where we just get to sit back, relax, and discuss our next plan. I just sat back and had a brief respite before typing away my report on my laptop. Two men that I had never seen before, entered the living room. All of sudden, Renuka told me that one of them is Rushi’s father: his name is Vaijnath. He is the sirpunch of his village: Waka. It was night time, and so Mr. Vaijnath, his friend, Atul, and I went out for a bit of tea, conversed with each other, after all that was said and done, Atul invited me to spend the night at his village: Mamdapur. This was my second time staying with him at his village with his family. It was very cold at night, as if a titan made of ice was blowing cold wind upon Mother Earth. We were traveling from Parli to Mamdapur by Atul’s motorcycle - apparently motorcycles in India are very affordable for the majority of people - and so are abundant where ever you go. It was a long trip by a motorcycle, but we had interesting conversations during the ride to Mamdapur.
As we finally reached Mamdapur, we entered Atul’s home, and most of his family were watching television. So we ate dinner, and then headed outside for some fresh cold air.
There was a large truck parked just in front of Atul’s house, and there were people storing cotton at the back of the truck - stomping at them continuously to get it all nice and flat. So Atul and I decided to hop on to the back of the truck and started stomping and crushing at the cotton with our feet with the other villagers, too. The sirpunch of the village was there to help. A sirpunch of a village is a status given to a person who has been elected to be the overseer or leader. And so we stomped, and crushed every cotton that the villagers dumped onto the back of the truck, while we were all just conversing with each other, laughing, and just having one heck of an amazing time. The back of the truck was so full of cotton that a person could literally sleep peacefully and comfortably without any problem whatsoever. After our little “cotton mashing”, Atul and I went into the house for a good night’s rest. His house felt very “homely” and “warm”, I keep using that word a lot, “homely”, I don’t know why, but that is the feeling I get these days. Truly.
Mrs. Sandra’s Arrival
It felt very cold in the morning in Mamdapur. Atul and I woke up, ate breakfast, sat a bit with his family, and then went for a morning stroll around the village. There were a couple of villagers sitting around a bonfire, so we joined them to warm ourselves. Then it was time for us to go to the many villages, meet the sirpunch and its people, provide them with the banners for posting, and discuss with them today’s agenda and program. After that was all said and done, Atul dropped me off at a nearby hotel, and Mr. Vaijnath and Rushi picked me up. Rushi and I were happy to see each other again. We decided to eat breakfast together at a local restaurant and drank some delicious tea. The rest of the Global Parli members were busy with Mrs. Sandra. Mr. Mayank had already arrived in Beed for today’s program and the upcoming football tournament and marathon. Mr. Vaijnath, Rushi, and I, went to a particular village, because Mrs. Sandra and company would be arriving soon. I was conversing with a villager who spoke decent English. We spoke about the world, spirituality, and what the world or its people need right now more than ever. All of a sudden, Mrs. Sandra and Mr. Mayank, and the rest arrived, there were people who started playing music: a brief “welcome party” was held. I was still conversing with the villager who spoke decent English, while most of the people went inside a building for a conference with Mrs. Sandra and Mr. Mayank: they were giving out a speech, but it was all in Marathi. The villagers and I decided to go in and listen, anyway.
Once the conference was done, we all roamed around the village, and then it was time for all of us to leave the village, and so I went with Mr. Vaijnath and Rushi back to their home. I spend the night there.
Our Minds are Powerful
I stayed at Rushi’s place for a day, and I got to know and interact with his family a bit more. I spoke to Mr. Vaijnath youngest daughter: Aparna. She was a very sweet and joyous girl. I asked her what she wanted to be - and she said that she wanted to be a doctor. So I told her to imagine herself all grown-up and already a doctor, then to draw what she imagined on a piece of paper. First I told her to write down: “I want to be a doctor.”, then she started drawing what she imagined. Once she was done with her art, I told her to write down: “I AM a doctor” and “I will be a doctor”. I told her before going to bed every night to always read those words, to imagine herself already a successful doctor, and feel it. This will help her to attract what she wants in her life - after all, we are all co-creators with God, we get to create our own reality and experiences, but most people are not aware of such powers that is flowing within us - only some are beginning to realize and awaken to it.
I had a lot of fun with Rushi and Aparna - we played hide and seek together and hangman. I love them, for they are me and I am them - I see myself in them. They are my family.
That same day, a freelancing photographer named Raajkumar arrived with Sanskriti and Vijay - Raajkumar just arrived from Mumbai to document the upcoming event and of Mrs. Sandra’s arrival. He told me he plans to create a documentary out of this, and so he had been interviewing the many villagers around Beed, and documenting the village and its denizens. He also interviewed me, but during the interview, I did not know what to say exactly. I just said what came to my mind. My mind was swirling with ideas and information that I could have conveyed clearly, but alas, I was not as clear and coherent as I would like it to be - it is perfectly alright, though.
In the early morning; Mrs. Bhairavi, Vijay, Raajkumar and I, went to the many villages to announce and prepare for the upcoming football tournament and marathon. We reached a village that I had visited only once before, and I stumbled upon three boys who were participants for the upcoming football match. They all spoke decent English, and so they invited all of us for a cup of tea at their house - we all accepted graciously. Two of the boys had a desire to come and work in my country, Bahrain. They were eager, and so I told them that I will try to help them find and get a job, though a good one at that. Since my mother has a lot of connections with people all over the world; why not give it a try, right? Let see what comes up for these boys. I was encouraged by Mrs. Bhairavi to give it a try.
A Football Tournament
A football tournament was held between the many villages. Whoever wins the tournament would be given cash as prize, and a trophy. It was the semi-final match, and so all of us were in a good mood. As we reached the open field somewhere in a town called Sirsala, people were readying the field with white powder, creating the lines and such while others were practicing for the match. Atul, his village’s friends, and I decided to place wooden beams so that we could hang the banners for the football tournament and marathon. During the match, two people from a particular village insisted we go to a nearby local restaurant and eat some snacks, and so I accepted. We got to know each other a bit more. At the end of the day, Renuka and I decided to clean up the place around us, as it was littered with waste and trash thrown by the villagers who came to either watch the tournament or participate in it. All in a day’s work, that is for sure!
A Wonderful Day
Today’s event was quite wonderful! It was the marathon race event and the football tournament’s final match. The day started with the marathon race, so I went with Mr. Mayank, and reached at a particular curved road that is meant to be sort of an end to the running track for the marathon race - a circuit. I saw that three chairs were setup in the middle of the road: it meant that once a participant runner reaches those chairs, they would have to take a U-turn and return back to the starting line/finish line, completing one whole circuit or lap. A table was also setup on the side of the road, and on that table were three to four large water coolers for those marathon runners who would inevitably get thirsty - and for us. Renuka was there, as a bunch of other people, too. A donor was also present, and if I can recall correctly; her name was Sonya.
The previous day we went to the police station and got permission from the police to block the roads so that the marathon race track was clear and empty from any unwanted vehicles.
I digress, our task was to stand at the side of the road and ready ourselves with permanent markers - we had to mark the marathon runners as they take a U-turn in order to insure that the runners passed the other side and not cheated in any way. For those that were not marked, unfortunately, they would be disqualified. Nevertheless, we all did our simple task admirably. It was fun. Aparna was also a participant, and she did wonderfully, running for up to 5KM and turned 11th place.
After the race was over, we had to pick up the stuff and move to the football field, for the final matches were about to start. As we reached to the football field, I can see that the participants and the organisers were having a practice match. While that was truly interesting to watch, I was sort of busy with Aparna searching for her father and brother. Once we found them, we were all happy to see each other.
Mrs. Bhairavi gave me and Renuka a task to complete: we were to setup tables and chairs at a stage that was situated at a nearby school, and organise anything that needed to be organised. We cleaned, and organised everything with the help of three more boys from one of the villages. After the football match was over, we all had to move on to the stage area. Millind Soman, an actor, was also present. And so members of Global Parli, and those that had a hand in this whole event were on stage - giving many speeches in Marathi to the participants and villagers who came to spectate and cheered for their cherished team. Millind Soman spoke about how we should all run together as brothers; that was an inspiring speech for the villagers that will hopefully linger in their minds for years to come. It is true, for I also agree with what he spoke about: we are all brothers and sisters in this universe; no matter your religion, nationality, ethnicity, social status, beliefs or achievements. Truly, all is One, but there is a deeper meaning for me than just us being connected with each other, but that is more of a spiritual belief. But I digress, an award was given: Mamdapur won the football match, and was given a trophy and cash as prize. All the marathon runners and football team members were given certificates for their valiant efforts. I congratulate all for their participation in this wondrous event and day.
And so, we all went back to Dr. Wange’s place for a hearty and delicious lunch. I had to act as a “big brother” to Rushi and Aparna, as Mr. Vaijnath was no were to be seen for sometime. We hanged out with each other, having fun and all until night time. At the end of the day, Mr. Vaijnath arrived and invited me to stay at his place: Rushi and Aparna were both excited and happy that I would be staying at their place, I was surprised by that. How wonderful.
Renuka and Mrs. Bhairavi were busy with the other members of Global Parli, discussing about their next agenda for the rest of the members who are staying here in Parli - for that same night, Renuka and Mrs. Bhairavi went back to Mumbai.
And so, we all went our separate ways as I find myself once more with Mr. Vaijnath, Aparna, and Rushi - the three of us traveling the same narrow road all the way through.
My Sojourn with a Lovely Family
I stayed with Mr. Vaijnath and his family for three nights at their farmhouse. Honestly, I love them all. They are so hospitable and full of support, they take care of you as if you were one if their own. It was as if I was a son to Mr. Vaijnath and his wife, and a big brother to their children. They have so little, and yet they would give so much without expecting anything in return.
They laugh with each other, and joyously tease each other - more than once. That is what I observed, despite their financial status. This reaffirms my belief: that happiness, love, peace, freedom - it all comes from within us, and not outside of us. We can have all those that humanity so yearns for in this very current NOW we find ourselves in. Not , or next year, but in the present.
Me and Rushi and his cousin would go pick vegetables from the fields one day, and then the next we would just sit down and watch television with the rest of the family at night when the electricity comes on. They can only use the electricity 8 hours a day, while in other countries and even right here in Parli, they would stay for 24 hours. And yet, they still thrive and live without it when they do not have it.
There was a day when Mr. Vaijnath, Rushi, and I visited their other relatives who stayed close by, this was a long time ago, the first time when I stayed at their farmhouse - Mr. Vaijnath told me that they are poor, but I told him that you and your family’s heart is rich. I definitely want what is best for them, and for all of humanity.
Mr. Vaijnath is a kind, and respectable man. A man of patience and tolerance, too.
His wife, whom I forgot her name, is a mother of great support and love for their children.
Rushikesh and Aparna are two little adorable brother and sister of mine who have a heart of innocence and joy.
There was another sibling, and she is the eldest. While we did not talk as much, she is a very hard-working girl from what I noticed. She wants to become a policewoman, and so I bless her with love and light - I bless them all.
I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart to have met and spent my time with such a loving and fun family.
Staying in Mamdapur
I stayed one night at a guest room at Dr. Wange’s hospital, but then the very next day, Atul called up and said I would be staying with him at his village. This would be a total of 4 times spending my night at Atul’s village. I get to really bond with Atul more - I see him more as a brother than just a friend. He is a very supportive and fun guy to hang out with. I also get to spend more time with Atul’s cousins. One day while Atul left for work, I spent my time with one of Atul’s cousins, Shiri. He was a very kind, gentle and lovely guy to hang out with. He spoke decent English. I picked cotton with him at their field, it felt awesome. The very next day was my last to spend at Mamdapur, and so a miracle happened: all the children were out and about in the early morning, having fun; it was weekend, so I got to spend a tad bit with them before leaving. Atul and I went to at least 7 villages to pick up the application form for the solar panels that would be installed in the villages. I get to meet some of the villagers one last time before leaving.
It was truly amazing to just take a ride on Atul’s motorbike while observing the beautiful scenery around us. The air was so much more purer than it is in the town. A sigh of relief came over me, as Atul parked his motorbike and I stood at the side of the road and gazed at the beautiful vistas around me. We saw a herd of gazelles and deers prancing about the open fields. It was truly magnificent and beautiful. I wanted to see the deers and gazelles in Beed when someone mentioned about it, and so my wish came true.
We went and ate lunch at a hotel called the Sai Palace. It was situated right beside the main highway that would take us through the town of Sirsala and Parli. Once we had our delicious meal, it was time for Atul to drop me back at Dr. Wange’s hospital. And so we reached Parli, entered the guest room that I stay in, and Atul decided to just have a brief respite before continuing with his work to the other remaining villages. That same night, I finally got to meet Amol Shinde, after hearing so much about him. He is a very funny, helpful, kind and beautiful person to hang out with - I truly am grateful to have met him. He helped me a lot, and I appreciate that. He is inspirational, in a sense that he always brings laughter and joy to people when he is around, and that is a lesson I can take from him. Truly. We got to spend time together for dinner, so we got to know each other more. We went to nearby hotel that had a restaurant. Amol is a frequent visitor of this restaurant, and so he knows the people there. We ate Indian Thali, and drank some tea - then it was time for us to head back to Dr. Wange’s hospital for some good night’s rest, though once we reached the hospital - there were two staffs there who are great friends of Amol, so instead of our “good night’s rest” Amol and I hanged out with the two staffs at the reception and waiting area, and just conversed with each other. Had a great time spending with them. It was almost , so we all went our separate ways for a good night’s rest. Ha!
The Last Day
Amol and I woke up, ate breakfast, and drank a cup of tea. Then we went to book a sleeper coach for me, as I am leaving for Mumbai. There were complications regarding my money, due to the recent announcement from the government of India that all 500 Rs and 1000 Rs notes are null and void to be of any use anymore. And what a swift change that was. Hopefully it is for the best for the people of India. Thankfully, my problems were solved admirably, thanks to my dear beloved brother Amol. He has been thus far of great help and support, and I am eternally grateful for all that he has done for me.
We then returned back to Dr. Wange’s hospital and did a bit of paper work: A sirpunch of a village that I had not visited before came to write down and sign an application form for the installation of solar panels in the village. Later, Amol and I just counted the medical papers of individual villagers of each distinct village. Amol and I went for lunch at a nearby hotel, we had Thali and Vegetable Pulav, respectively. We said our farewell to each other, and went our separate ways.
Amol’s plan today is to go to the villages and continue the good work that started way back when Ms. Bhakti, Renuka, and I arrived here, in Parli - while I am currently staying at the guest room at Dr. Wange’s hospital, typing away my report while listening to some truly harmonious tune.
Tonight I dine with Dr. Wange and his family. He invited me for one last dinner with him before I leave for Mumbai at .
The End of A Journey
Amol was present for my departure to Mumbai, and so we hugged each other and said our farewell. I had such a wonderful time with the Global Parli team and the villagers. It was truly one heck of an amazing journey and experience for me to grow, learn, and expand my state of consciousness. I am truly grateful for everything that happened.
It is truly a unique experience: to spend my days in the villages, getting to know how things work around there, what the villagers do daily, and to interact with them. I see them as equals, I see myself in them, for I believe that “all is one”.
Interacting with the children was the first step, but I did had the opportunity to sit with a few of them and talk about what they wanted to be in life, and provided them with simple ways to achieve their dreams and highest goals in life. All of the people I have met thus far are truly amazing and inspirational - I love them all.
I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart to Mr. Mayank,the Global Parli team , and all the villagers for such a truly amazing experience.
Long-term plans for the villages
To my surprise, all the villages that I have visited so far were definitely progressing in many ways, and yet there are also other areas that needed our attention - ones that can easily be missed, despite being right in front of us. I will mention the improvements that can be made in the villages - the ones that volunteers in the future can have a hand in and implement it. Some ideas are just at the top of my head.
- Implementation of a waste-management system in each village, and place recycle bins around the village.
- Build agricultural fences for animals/well-maintained animal shelters.
- Build well-maintained and clean toilets in each household.
- Prevent open defecation, as I have witnessed women and children that still do that.
- Help the villagers to develop and cultivate new found skills, so that they can use the newly acquired skills to create a source of income out of it.
- Maybe the villagers have certain unique abilities and skills that they are not aware of, so why not help them to become aware of it, and then they can use it for their benefit and for others.
- Why not create a sort of psychological evaluation for the villages? Become aware of what they are thinking, and feeling - provide them with therapy and psychological healing. It is small things like this that truly makes a difference in the world. Try, if it fails then it is a lesson to be learned. Push them to get out of their comfort zone in a very loving, kind and compassionate way.
- Create a free educational program for the children in each village that would last for a month, and being held in the village, too.
- The children needs extra attention, as they will be the generation that will have a huge impact on the villages and where it leads to, some will probably not live in the villages, but there are those that are willing to make a difference. Help them to expand their state of mentality and consciousness in a grandeur scale. Help them to be open to new ideas and thought forms so that they too can have a hand in shaping the villages.
I am glad to know that the villagers are progressing gradually in more than one way, truly. Though I do really hope and desire the villagers to also expand their mentality and state of consciousness, and to heal their psychology and soul. Physical and outer progression and development is all fine and dandy, but if we do not change ourselves first, then what is the point?
We see many countries today that have developed so much, and yet the people there still suffer. Why? It is because every suffering and pain comes from within us, we attract these experiences into our lives. We allow it to happen.
We are co-creators with God; that means we create our own reality and experiences depending on our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and the energetic vibrations we radiate in the current NOW. Truly, spiritualism is not an idea or a new religion, but it is a living thing. It is hard to explain, for spiritualism is more about direct experiences within us than about the intellectual mind and linear thinking. I have experienced glimpses here and there of what it is, and it is beautiful.
Heard of the Law of Attraction? We attract in our lives what we want to experience in our own reality through our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions - both consciously and unconsciously. If we feel helpless, then that it is what we attract in our lives, but if we feel powerful and confident in our own abilities to accomplish anything, even our own dreams, then that is what we attract - those opportunities will come to us no matter what, or maybe something even better will come than expected.
As I go along my journey of healing myself and my psychology - I begin to feel more happy, peaceful, joyful, and loving. Though an effort must be put in order to heal ourselves, there is no easy way. Meditation is a great way to start things off.
Our state of mind is truly important, and so we must understand the EGO and how it functions. And as we let go of the EGO once we become aware of it, we begin to expand our state of mind beyond human comprehension. The EGO works in many ways, but as we begin to let go, the EGO begins to become more subtle in its ways, so one must always be alert and take precedence and full responsibility for their state of mind.
Love, freedom, happiness, joy, peace… this all starts within us - it is a state of being, then we can extend that through practical means. We spiritualise matter, that is why we are able to heal ourselves from physical ailments through the power of intent and by utilising the energies that surrounds us, because it is us. Everything is made out of one infinite energy that is vibrating at different frequencies, thus it gives its shape to objects and forms. There is no separation, for it is an illusion. But I digress, the villagers could have a sort of a psychological evaluation and therapy sessions with spiritual teachers and gurus to help them expand their minds, but to teach in a loving and compassionate way - people do not need a doomsayer. The spiritual path is an inner-path, an individual path, but guidance is still needed for people to become aware of that - to guide them to the direction that will lead them to discover more of their truths that will help them along their journey and to heal themselves.
I congratulate the effort being put into the development of the villages, and hopefully one day there will come a time when it is time for the villagers to go through spiritual healing, to grow both collectively and individually. When we expand our state of consciousness, we also elevate the collective consciousness of humanity as a whole - and thus all life is magnified. We raise up all of life. Did I not mention about the one infinite energy? All is One. This is not a breakthrough, but remembrance. I chose to question reality and expanded my mind and consciousness and will continue to do so. All the sages of old have gone through such profound understanding and awareness - we all are worthy and deserving to remember what we have forgotten if we so choose to.
Choose life. Choose to live in the eternal NOW. Reclaim the power that is within you and then use that to heal your life and yourselves in more ways than ever before. We need to start awakening, instead of forgetting. Accept that you are a co-creator with God, and then co-create heaven on earth that is possible through us! Shine your lights, and express your inner-creativity! For as above, so below!
I believe we should start with love: love ourselves, humanity, and all that there is in this universe. Choose love, choose to become love. Start with love.
I truly love everyone and I am here to be of great service and devotion to God and to humanity, and I am eternally grateful for the support and experiences that I have been given through God, Global Parli, and AIESEC. Thank you all.