It is often said that India is the land of paradox, and if you make up your mind that “India is….” it’s exact opposite will be also be true. This is my experience here, on any given day there are moments that my heart expands and breaks, expands and breaks…
I left my ancestral state of Gujarat and got to spend the last couple days with my dad who was visiting. It was special to connect with him in the place he grew up and help his movement to uplift the village. He’s a great man. I will carry the memories, the students, the AMAZING WOMEN, my grandmother’s spirit, family, neighbors, healing, MA with me and through me until I return again soon.
I wanted to share some photos of the wonderful memories. I had an opportunity to address the community the last day and spoke especially to the women. I brought back the messages of Gandhi who came from the same state and who’s legacy of India’s independence we were celebrating. Two of his greatest messages were of non-violence and to be rid of the caste-system, that no people should be treated as ‘second-class’ citizens. I pointed attention to the fact that today it is women on which the most violence is inflicted and who are the ‘second-class citizens’ of the world, and this is what has to CHANGE NOW in order for the entire village, state, country and world to develop.
I was so touched by the women who came up to me after who were inspired. It was powerful because it was mainly all men who spoke, and usually are, and so I was their voice. I have never become more aware of how much our empowerment simply starts with breaking the silence and speaking! I leave you with a quote from Dr. Nanubhai Patel, who is the Director of the high school. He wrote this on a small piece of paper and handed it to me, which I keep with me now. He writes, “Heart of Education is the Education of Heart.” Jai MA! And for now I travel onwards in the pilgrimage to Kolkata, Khamakya, Varanasi and the Kumbh Mela. Kali Ma has my heart <3