“All right, You’re gonna be fine. You are just getting paranoid. “I tell myself a zillionth time and take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Today was my first field visit as a fellow to Milaap. I was scared to death how do I ask questions, greet people there were butterflies wobbling in my stomach. There were a lot of things going inside me. I said to myself “What if I freeze? What if I faint? How am I gonna speak to them? Will they like me? Will they share their important life events with me? With all these thoughts I still gather courage, pick myself up and get ready to meet them.
I was going to Chandikhole. It’s a beautiful village surrounded by mountains on all sides.I met Sarojini, a borrower, has a family of five. The eldest of her three sons is a Mason while her second son helps her husband who had broken his right hand in his early childhood and can use only his left hand in painting, making idol decorations, flower garlands etc. She said “My husband, sells these items along with incense sticks, diya’s etc in front of the temple. We have a small garden nearby from where they get the required raw materials. ” When I went to visit her, her husband was making natural sole by cutting a water plant and drying it under the sun. I was awestricken with disbelief. Where people with two hands cannot paint and make beautiful decorations, her husband does it using his left hand. It’s way too difficult to lose your hand at a young age and doing all your daily activities using just one hand. I was moved, I thought we are far more privileged than we can ever imagine.
On asking, if she has a daughter, she burst into tears. On enquiring further, I came to know that her six-year-old daughter died under unexplainable circumstances right after the death of her foster grandfather who loved her way too much. Sarojini and her husband believe that her daughter was taken away by the spirits of her dead foster grandfather and her youngest son dropped out of school because he fears the same thing will happen to him. After all that she has been through she still stood smiling. May be that’s what life is all about.
My next interviewee was Prashanti, a mother of two sons, I was awestricken with disbelief. Her husband was working in Aarti chemicals. When she wanted to buy something she had to ask her husband for it. She felt dejected when her husband refused to give her 10 bucks for bangles. She said “The money I got for running the family was meagre. ”Yet she managed to save some and invested her fortune in a cow shed by buying three cows. The milk was sold and her business grew. With the earned money, she had the urge to keep going, to do more and so she decided to open a small grocery shop in her house itself with the help of her father. And now, she is no more dependent on her husband for that matter. Now she lives a peaceful and more joyous life. She said “I am happy that now I am able to educate my sons with my hard-earned money. I don’t have to depend on anyone financially.” Prashanti is a living inspiration to all those women who want to do something more with their life, the independent women, the women of today. She had been through worse in order to grow as an entrepreneur. She said “ You cannot succeed unless you work hard with sheer determination. Start small, you will be amazed to see the huge impact.”I was amazed to hear such words from her. She proved the world that it is not impossible to do anything, all you need is the will to do it. The best of ideas come from the smallest corners.
It was a beautiful trip. My fears were all gone. People out are there who are contented with what they have. They live in the modest dwelling with hope and content, where as we on the other hand fight with our parents, elders, for luxuries such as phones, bikes, laptop, expensive clothes etc. A need of a few are luxuries to many. You only realize that what you have when you see someone else who doesn’t have it. Be content with what you have. I was thankful to God for blessing me and most people in the world. The people we meet have a mesmerizing effect on our lives.
With these ever-lasting memories, I left Chandikhole.