Flashback 2013 (everything to be read in black and white hereon :P): After competing my studies I joined Axis Bank and as part of their Management Trainee program I was supposed to spend two weeks in a rural village in India. And by rural I actually mean it. It wasn’t going to be a comfortable corporate setting wherein we could chill out at the end of the day in our hotel rooms cause you know there were no hotel rooms. Moreover, we were told that there would be no internet, mobile connectivity or electricity. When I got to know this I was extremely excited. I always wanted to stay in a village to experience the rustic life. I had this belief that I would be at peace and it would be great to introspect about life while living in a place which would be far-off from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. Clearly I was wrong. The one thing that experience told me was I am highly delusional about myself and since then I have started to realize that sometimes what we want is not what we really want (so complex, aint’ I ? huh).
So coming back to Dehna Village:
The village is very scenic to say the least. You know the kinds we would draw in pictures as kids in schools when we were asked by our teachers to draw a village. So yes, it was that pretty. Surrounded by sahyadri hills on all sides, lush green trees and even had a beautiful river with a small bridge over it. It used to be hot during the days and would get very cold during the nights. We lived with the villagers there and the three girls in our Axis group of 11 people were given the best place to stay :D. Our host was very sweet to us and would tell us about their lives there. We would engage ourselves in their daily chores and play mafia at the end of the day. So all this sounds like a perfect vacation, only that it wasn’t !!!
So where was the problem. We rarely got any milk. I love milk products and I would dream of eating cheese burst pizza, curd, butter (NO I am not Punjabi, but I love these things too much). It would bother me that I had to share the washrooms and that the beds were far from cozy. After our stay at our host’s place ended we stayed in a tent that was lil too small and way too cold. There was no hot water either L. To add to all this my-then-fiance-now-husband was in India and I was stuck in a village getting frustrated. Oh and Yes, there was no network ever. Except for one spot near the handpump where if you were lucky, you might get a faint signal or so. Needless to say the spot was almost always occupied. I would often daydream of all the comforts we have living in cities and wanted to go back to Mumbai asap.
Contrary to what we wanted the people in Dehna did not aspire to move to cities. They were content in their simple lives. They were content without having phone networks, content with the limited electricity supply and content despite missing out on so many things. They live simple lives which doesn’t have too many distractions. Not to say that their lives are perfect, to be honest their lives are far from perfect. The kids there had to travel to a different village after 8th standard so that they can complete their schooling. The farmers were too dependent on rains and weather for their livelihoods. They had limited access to medical facilities, which scares me the most. However, despite all this they were happy and content in their simple lives. This is what I yearn to achieve. And this is what most of us would want and we keep searching for this contentment all our lives.
Anyways, now back to 2016 (you are now in coloured world again): You know like there is supposed to be a summary slide after every presentation, my summary/ key takeaways from the rural experience are given below
Every individual’s needs and wants are different and there is no end to it. To be content with what one has is perhaps more difficult than achieving things that we believe will lead to our contentment. This doesn’t sound as good in words as it did in my head though 😛 Hopefully you’ll get what I meant 😀