On my way…this time, to Brighton. A masters’ program this time, after over three years in two different jobs. I have often been fatalistic about life – its easy for me to wait for things to happen to me.
To go back a few years, to the year 2000, to be precise – I had no clue what shifting from Trivandrum to Delhi would mean. I was 17 then, living at home with my parents, had never had to do anything by myself…three years later, in 2003, I was heading off for Gujarat, to a small town called Anand, a dairy being its famous reference. No other person I knew then chose to come to Anand and I myself was not clear what I was signing up for over the next two years. Ang honestly, all I cared about then was that I wanted my education to follow what I was interested in talking/thinking/reading and writing about.
Two years there took me to yet another crossroad, and I made my choice – between Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Orissa, I chose the last one. This was truly a life-defining move for me, al though once again, I knew little about what to expect before I took the plunge. Starting 2005, I spent an amazing 27 months in Orissa, was more lucky than I was good, I think and most of the time I spent gave me some of my best personal highs. Orissa gave way to Chennai and a great opportunity to glance over many different parts of the country. I have a reasonable amount of ground covered, having been to Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand – places where I have seen glimpses of people and their lives, contributing, most of all, to my awareness of how little I knew and would ever know. The most significant lesson I picked up and have followed as best possible, has been to be wary of making generalisations about anything – Indians, east Indians, south Indians, villages, urban areas, farmers, government, NGOs – anything at all to do with my field of work.
And now, to Brighton – another degree, new people, an attempt to consolidate all that I have learnt. What is most important for me, this time, is to discover my passion; may be, to rediscover it. I am not sure I will learn (meaning from books and papers) anything new. I am not sure whether I should hope that I do. I am sure I am ready to learn a lot from everyone and every event around me. I say this while being blind about what I will actually encounter there, more from the hindsight of my previous coursework and everything that I valued about them.
The cold, the rain, the people and their sarcastic wit – it does seem like a heady mix and I am ready to guzzle away…!