…after an enriching journey of volunteering in Uttarakhand
I spent the last days in Space for Nurturing Creativity making the most of my time with children. I tried to stay as busy as possible so that the thought of going back from Uttarakhand doesn’t have time to come up… but as I laid down on the last night, I could feel a little heavy in heart. Next day I woke up, got ready, made a quick breakfast and brought my bag out. I looked out to the mountains and as if they were stopping me, I decided to stay just for one more day :).
Now that I am back, I wish I could have done that for many more days. It took only 14 hours to physically come back from the quiet of the mountains to the noise of the city; but my heart is yet to return. Maybe a part of it will always stay there.
It’s been a blessing that I was able to write and share my volunteering journey with everyone. There is still so much to share. When I had left for Uttarakhand there were so many doubts of how the things would be; I was just joining another wanderer; there was no organisation. There were many questions like where will we stay; whether there will be any connectivity or not; what are we going to do?
Slowly I learnt the art of surrendering :). Surrendering to the person; surrendering to the moment and surrendering to the surrounding. Since nothing was planned, every day was an excitement. Every day was a beautiful experience – learning from sanyasis in ashrams; reading stories with children; enjoying the experience of travelling in the Himalayas; meeting local heroes; making new relations; listening to stories that the villagers had to tell; running an impromptu school in a village or making 300 rotis in a day!
There were days when I doubted my work and purpose of being there; but there were always people to bring back the faith in self. Some days I was frustrated with the lack of efficiency and the sense of dependence created by relief agencies; while some days I was filled with hope seeing how few individuals are creating so much difference in their small ways. Destruction left in the aftermath of the floods was countered by the beauty of the region. The lifestyle in the hills is tough but the mountains and the river make it all worthwhile. Not that I didn’t come back to city life easily; but I didn’t miss it while I was in Uttarakhand villages. Cold water baths, brushing and washing in the waterfall; cooking on a wood stove; walking as the primary mode of transport – I’m missing it here!
I can’t even attempt to sum up the journey in one post. I will just share some snapshots here…