“CREATE THE MEMORIES THAT LAST FOREVER”

Life is a treasure of beautiful opportunities and blessings if we really seek to create one. And in the long run, these blessings add to some unforgettable memories in the chapters of our life.

Our World is beautiful and humanity is the greatest contribution, in an effort to save this beauty. I believe, volunteering injected this belief in me, in a far stronger way than I have always tried to apprehend this.

When I decided to volunteer for Lighthouse project (non-profit initiative) , I was sure that this will add to new learnings and experiences in my life.  But in actual when I really onboarded the journey, it was more than just an experience.

At the training session of the program, we all volunteers were provided with an envelope containing the details of our mentees. With a sense of responsibility, I joined this program. But, the moment I removed the form from the envelope, bright face of a very young girl in the passport size photo met my eyes. All of a sudden, the value and sensitivity of my commitment banged my head. A feeling that, this innocent face and kind smile needed all my sincere efforts. Later on, I came to know about her background and the background of other students as well. And certainly, moments like this, make me more humble and thankful towards almighty, instead of being a difficult child for him. Living in my own space has never been a big deal for me, this is something that I always took for granted. But this is a privilege to the uncountable population in our country. It is well said that the hardships and struggles of life carve strong character out of a human. The urge to come out of the darkness becomes so strong that it pushes to reach the heights which are a dream to many of us. Well, this was only day-1 but filled me with lots of inspiration and compassion.

One week later came the day 2 – Somewhere; it was in my head that it would be fun since it was an ice breaking session. And seriously, I believe that we (me and my mentee) melted all the gap between us and major contribution goes to the little girl who never let me feel that I was a new member in her world.  The sweet and kind smile was an indication of warm reception which made me comfortable to start our conversation.  As instructed, we were supposed to know about each other. I briefed her about me and then she started about herself. Well, forget about the hardships of her life, this is the thing which I knew very well before meeting her and evaluating her on the account of her hardships; I don’t think that child needs all these things to identify her.  Well, I told her about my profession and asked about her aspirations. Very energetically she declared “Didi, I want to be an archaeologist and a filmmaker”. Seriously, I was not prepared for this reply; we are so much used to the preconceived notion that anything out of the box surprises us; at least for me, it was quite an amazement. And very true to her aspiration, she was fond of history and arts. I really appreciate that a 13-year-old kid was able to neatly distinguish her likes and dislikes.Once done with a formal introduction, special activities were designed by lighthouse team to enforce the trust and warmth between the mentor and mentee pair. And that was real fun and I overjoyed the moment of sharing a very little part of my life with her. Life is long and, in comparison, the time which I am contributing to her is almost nothing. But these few hours were full of real laughter and fun that will remain with me forever.

I am anxiously looking for rest of the journey, and these blissful moments are going to leave some irreplaceable impressions in my life, which will continue to challenge me with its innocence.

” IF GANDHI WAS ALIVE TODAY”

Mahatma Gandhi is one such name that will remain alive, not only on Indian soil
but all over the world whenever the history, culture and roots and foundation of
Independent India will be discussed. We often imagine situations if Bapu were
alive today, then how would he react to the current scenario of independent
India. And considering Mahatma Gandhi just as a mere spectator, it’s difficult to
predict whether he would be proud or ashamed of the existing Indian scenario.
No doubt our country has travelled far ahead, since independence and certainly
there are several milestones achieved during this journey, for which we declare
ourselves as proud Indians. And if Bapu would have seen the commitment and
attitude of those Indians to achieve such milestones, he certainly would have
been delighted and found himself blessed. The martyrdom of soldiers for free
motherland may seem worthy in lieu of achievements of free India. These
achievements are none other than the leap of 70 years young country in the field
of science & technology, economy, defense, entertainment, education and art &
literature. But there are several other issues which are so disgraceful that tarnish
the pride of the nation and these are none other than the old and rotten issues
like corruption, malnutrition, poor status of women, rural ignorance, illiteracy and
many others which lose their significance in this list. But instead if our country
would have been in the guidance of the man himself, perhaps the scenario would
be something else, definitely influenced by his ideologies.
The attitude of dealing with the problems and issues in India would have been
different, perhaps touched by the force of non-violence and truth. Although it’s
quite intriguing to imagine that how Mahatma would have dealt with the
massacre and political upheavals created after the independence as well as the
partition of India. Kashmir unrest might have taken a different approach. As per
the rulebook of truth and non-violence, had this brutal bloodshed in the name of
land of Kashmir would have been accepted? What would have been done to
prevent this, had we surrendered to prevent the violence and massacre or
continued the battle for the pride and the right of the nation? Well, this is only
one aspect; there are multiple affairs which might have been dealt differently.
Mahatma Gandhi’s principles can be derived from non-cooperation movement,
Satyagraha, Swaraj and Swadeshi movement. The man who always stood against
the rapid industrialization under colonial rule and advocated the growth of Indian
economy through revival of Indian domestic products and production processes;
perhaps in the current scenario the impact of globalization and a craze of
multinationals among youth would have been moderate. In current scenario
when the world is shrinking under the power of globally interdependent economy
and technological advancement, we couldn’t have been left untouched by the
impact of such trends. But probably, under the influence of powerful political
leader like Mahatma Gandhi, the acceptance and impact of this trend in our
country would have been different. Domestic products and processes would have
been safeguarded to prevent its downfall because Mahatma Gandhi always
believed in the power of self-sufficiency. His vision of independent India always
travelled through the path of Indian villages, where the majority of the population
is surviving under extreme poverty and lack of basic needs. The upliftment of
Indian villages definitely would have been the priority of government.
Atrocities on Dalits, Castesism, poverty, poor status of women, drug addiction
would have gained some valid and fruitful voice in our Parliament rather than
being subjects of mere political propaganda.
The magic and the influence of Gandhi which was so impactful and dominant
during the pre-independence era, if would have continued, then our nation would
have a powerful and subtle face on the global platform. The man who took the
world by storm, would have presented a powerful and independent face of India
on the international platform. It is quite intriguing to imagine the same Bapu,
prominent and distinguished among the world’s most powerful leaders, sharing
the International platform on global subjects.
The voice of a strong leader is very important to drive the folk. And if Gandhi were
alive today, then no matter which political party claims the throne under
democratic rule, that man could never be left unnoticed and unheard. It does not
mean that we could claim that India would be the finest nation in the world with
Bapu’s presence. The Future is not predictable and our nation was struggling
against the evil during his presence also, the only difference is the presence of
strong driving force of change. And if Gandhi were alive today, the struggle
against the national threats would have gained a stronger and firmer voice which
would have certainly helped Indians towards building India of their own dreams,
rather than loosing faith in the system.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”
-Mahatma Gandhi