Stories from my first voluntouring experience in Rajasthan!

“Show me how you laugh!!” I said. Two of them started rubbing their eyes as if crying. How beautiful this world would be if we all could be our own child self again. If we could just revisit and talk to our own 5 or 10 year old self and listen to what he or she wanted to tell.. their fears, their secrets, their dreams and their stories.

I was with them for a month to teach but I became the learner too. I’d always be a learner throughout my life. Life is teaching, and just like a dedicated student, I’ll keep learning.😉😊

‘I work here and take care of this place and people like you who come here. I do my household chores and go to a government school where I cook mid day meal for children’, says Mani dadi who takes care of volunteers like me and of this place. She isn’t living in the best of situations but that doesn’t stop her from smiling almost all the time and being self dependent.

I couldn’t sleep well for the first few days as I was sleeping alone in a house and in a completely new place. She made me feel like family, generously offered me a place in her home to sleep and a great company too 😊

That is actually what womanhood means to me. Retaining your strength during tough circumstances, doing all that you can to survive with dignity and helping others in whatever way you can.

It’s been a week I’m waking up to the sounds of birds and of azaan. I fall asleep looking at the sky full of stars. I learn or look at something new everyday. I’m living within my means and I value food, water and human connection much more than I ever did before.

I’m looking at the side of Rajasthan I didn’t know existed. I ate fresh green chick peas plucked from farms, saw cotton balls growing on plants, shared food with local people, loitered in the streets of the village, looked at the ruins of a place that would have been a beautiful piece of architecture in its good days, trekked to a big lake outside the village, saw fields lush with wheat crop and other vegetables. I do miss the comforts of my home sometimes but there’s a lot more to life than I know and I want to experience it as much as I can.