A month ago, I was having an introductory Skype call with Poornima, one of the new fellows with Millap. It wasn't hard to answer most of her questions, but one of her doubts caught me off guard. Out of the blue she asked, “Will you miss the fellowship after it’s over?” I made up some vague reply but frankly I had no idea at that time. After spending 4 months in Raybag in the Belgaum district of Karnataka, I've finally come to understand that you can learn some things only after actually doing them yourselves. Such is the case with field work in social sector. 4 months of field work puts me only in the category of amateurs as experiences goes in this regard; however I have at least started to gain some perspective. [caption id="attachment_5775" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] Most commonly used mode of transport in rural regions of Karnataka[/caption]While doing this kind of a work, you are constantly faced with unknowns. The places, people and language are all new and you've got to be prepared to break free of all the comfort zones. Being in a proper rural location, adds more unusual ingredients to the recipe. Limited materialistic comforts, technological challenges, a quiet and foreign social life brings you face to face with an interesting prospect.Are you capable of enjoying life irrespective of the circumstances?After having a gala time celebrating Diwali with my family, I was returning back to Raybag. As I got down at Kudachi railway station at 7 am, it was cold and raining. Raybag was still about 50 kilometers away and I had to take a roadways bus. It continued to drizzle and when I saw out the window, a light breeze rustled through corn and sugarcane fields. Throngs of children dressed for school got on the bus at every other stop; local vendors carrying their humble wares to other village markets were jubilant; and with a pang I realized that I was smiling.[caption id="attachment_5776" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] A glimpse of rural Indian life[/caption][caption id="attachment_5778" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] Just an interesting pair I encountered during one of my field visits[/caption]Life in a city and that in a village are far off from each other; but no matter where we live, a villager or a city dweller, we are all humans. And it’s important to find that quality within us which makes us unique and a better human being.[caption id="attachment_5779" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] She was just adorable[/caption]Yes, when this fellowship gets over, I am going to miss each and every single moment of it because never again in all the years to come I’ll get to be this close to life.
Fellowship journey so far