I admit to the fact that there were several times in our journey in NEEV when I threw my arms in despair, and my lips issued a complain to God, for the unrelenting problems we faced.
But strange are the ways of God, and strange is the ignorance of man. Things we consider a boon, turn out be enslaving us in the end, and things we curse, turn out to be roads to liberation. Modern man is trapped in this strange paradox of living. We have got comfort, technology and dazzling entertainment but we have become bored, stressed and empty.
At NEEV we have little of the modern conveniences – less technology, less money and no forms of zanny entertainment. What we do have instead, is a community where people laugh and share the little that they have.
It was through the eyes of the interns I realized, all that I used to despair about, were actually God’s ways for not allowing one day to pass without a challenge. He was actually showering NEEV with youth, zest and vitality by constantly giving it puzzles to solve. Who needs a greater entertainment than this (provided one learns to ultimately see it as a puzzle and not as a sack of potatoes to haul like a mule)
Parul’s diary is an account of a girl who breathed, tasted and saw life with a simple exterior but a vital and complex interior. It goes in Parul’s credit that she could unearth the part that lies beneath the simple appearances of our school and write about it with a refreshing candour. I am sure, after NEEV, she has learnt the architecture of creating a world within, because that is perhaps one thing that no one can ever take from her. And this is what, we at NEEV would like to gift her with.
A Week without NEEV
So, it finally got over. Exactly a month of thinking, challenging, evolving, introspection, adjustment, creativity, learning, city- sickness, wandering, laughing and adventure just flew in front of my eyes. I feel that we partially value things when we are experiencing them and the beauty of such moments increases manifold times when they are over and all you are left with memories and unfulfilled desires which you secretly hold close to your heart to live them again, if possible. While your cravings are being nurtured, you tend to lose a count of what you are sacrificing “happily”.
In my case, it was my sleep. During my 24 hour journey, I woke up exclusively for the sake of eating and a sleep very relaxing as if I had worked and exhausted myself to the core. It is somewhat unusual that I miss Delhi more than my home for some unknown reasons. The sense of coming back to Delhi gave me an ecstatic high. Same roads, same hustle bustle, familiar landmarks, traffic jams – a certain sense of belonging. My first two days slipped away dancing to my own ways – getting comfortable within my boundaries, acquaintances, ideas and torturing everyone with what I had experienced in Jamshedpur. Perhaps acting like a window to a culture they were unaware and ignorant about.
Within two days the heightened ecstasy began to fade away and I was longing for the same set of challenges as they gave me an offbeat insight into existence and continuously added new dimensions to my personality robbing me of old habits.
I recalled NEEV in my conversations, lunch sharing sessions, teasing remarks, imagining I would be taking classes at this time, feeling hungry during recess timing. Life has become boring with the baggage of being sophisticated, civilised and planned – how simple life becomes when you unmask yourself exhibiting vibrancy, earthiness, non judgemental attitude and spontaneity.
For me it could not become natural – it did but unfortunately for a short while. I envy those who are left behind because I know that their existence may be full of hardships but certainly joyous than me. Perhaps they have mastered the art of stealing happiness from moments which I overlooked and it’s a long journey before I am able to muster the courage of excavating my roots and laying myself bare but I am sure one day I will.