I live at the Gramalaya Training Institution, some 50 kms from the city. It isn't really the middle of nowhere but I like to believe that it is; there are hills, at some distance, on either sides; there is only barren land within a radius of five hundred meters; and the closest village is a kilometer away. The institution itself is surrounded by huge trees and is a lovely get-away from the heat of the city. So far, of what I consider to be a part of my rural adventures; I've had the opportunity of sleeping outside, on a cot, under the huge trees with the stars serving as a blanket; I've traveled in over-crowded buses, with my hands hanging on to the first window and my foot on the foot-board of the bus; I've played with kids (baby goats, that is); and I have washed my clothes in an open field, with the water beautifully gushing out of the taps, and me, squatting freely, with no one around to judge. I think I can get used to this life, quite happily at that. This might sound silly, but to do these things without any hesitation is something I've never experienced before, which is what makes it so special. Did I mention that the setting sun always looks spectacular as it finds its way to hide behind the hills?
The prospect of spending the next six months in a village and interacting with the people there had me all excited, but the only thought that bothered me from the day I decided to become a Fellow at Milaap, till the point I arrived here in Tiruchirapalli, was whether or not I'd fit in. Two weeks later, I can confidently say I'm very much at peace with my surroundings. People here seem to live in harmony with nature and with each other.