With that enthusiasm, I headed for a one week orientation in Bagar, a tiny village in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. All ready to make a difference, wearing a bright pink kurti, trekking pant and boots I entered the ‘Piramal School of Leadership.’
For the second time after college, I got to meet a lot of like minded people from different parts of the country, coming together to make a difference. I definitely was high on adrenaline. The more I interacted with students, professionals from across the program I realized for some it was a dream job, for others it was a break from the usual engineering path. For others they left established institutions like the Tata Institute for Social Sciences to work on ground.
The orientations were long, detailed sessions about the program, the vision it was founded on and lots of bonding activities. The orientation classes lasted more than seven hours a day. As the bonding activites began, I realized majority of the people spoke hindi, and were hitting it off pretty well. I spoke hindi, but was fairly shy since it my second language.But I didn’t let that stop me.
When the orientation ended, we would inevitably meet up to play badminton, carom, or just chill on the grass (I know it sounds pretty lame now, but damn doing the simple things in life brings a whole new level of joy). One particular event that stands out was standing in a circle with people from different educational background wanting to bring about a social change. It was the first and last empowering moment I felt during the fellowship.
One day during a drawing competition, a boy asks me for black sketch, & apparently I was the only one in that huge room that had it. I could have easier given it to him, I just didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t. That was the beginning of our friendship. We would later take a trip to Uttarakhand and Nepal together. But that’s a story for another time.
It really feels empowering meeting different people coming from varied background wanting to bring about social change. I had never met seven like minded people at one place together. I usually meet such people while travelling.
After a week, we said our goodbyes and left for our respective locations. I took a bus to Jaipur, then from their took a train till Kathgodam in Uttarakhand and from there I took a 10 hour jeep journey to Kapkote, Bageshwar Uttarakhand.