As we wait at the bus stop to take us to Udaypur Gaon, the village bus rolls in to take us to our host. Lunch on a farm by the hills, made by Rekha Di. “The fish awaits”, her early morning call too inviting to turn down. My co-fellows and I missed the first bus and waited an hour for the next. A dreary Sunday in the trading town of Pandhana greeted us with the heat of a thousand suns. “Survival of the fittest”, Darwin’s principle holds true for us city folk trying to live in India’s rural landscape. The disease of kindness runs rampant and the terrible epidemic of village hospitality had taken its toll on us. We were welcomed and invited for every small meal. Every new guest is invited and asked to stay overnight and every child we see contorts our faces into smiles. What is this powerful yet simple magic?
We hear this blaring loudspeaker of Swatch Bharat and the various yojanas and we are told,”Kuch nahi hone wala hai” (nothing will happen). Yet in the atmosphere of pessimism, lies optimism for growth.”Hame age badna Hai”(we want to move forward). As I sit eating, I realize that the perspective to change is preached, but the change of perspective is spewed upon. The vicious cycle of poverty hard to neglect but the pedals that turn it even more so, for knowledge is power but knowledge is also perversion. Perverted to the notion of the change it can bring. My meal done, the sun on its last errand, nudges us to take our leave.
What makes change beautiful? Well that’s what I am here to find out.