I haven’t written much these last few months; not that there wasn’t anything to write about, but because there was a lot !!! Entirely too much, I would say. And I was finding it tough to take it all in -the whole new experience; a totally new life- let alone write about it.
But I guess I’m settled now and the words are tumbling over inside, trying to spill over onto paper….
I’ve travelled halfway across the country and am right now at the centre of India, in this quiet, beautiful little city of Nagpur. It is a wonderfully pleasant place to live in from July to February. The rest is Summer. Hot, Dusty Summer; But thankfully, that’s when we do our internships -away from Nagpur.
I’m not even in the city per se, but tucked away in a corner, 35 kilometres away. Here, and on the way here, I’ve seen things that I’ve never seen before…
The whole 35 kilometre journey takes around an hour by bus–which are not at all like our KSRTC buses; The windows have glass panes because Nagpur gets very dusty in the summer; and there are two two-seaters inside with such a wide aisle that most boarders (who are usually farmers) sit on the aisle with their children and baggage so that theres’ no way you can stand, let alone move about. The leather on the seats is very scratchy and makes you sweat.
But the sights outside make up for all this -there are nothing but green fields and cattle on either side of the road; in the distance, you can see the purplish heads of mountains. The fields have a wire fence around them, over which flowering creepers grow. They are covered by tiny violet and white blossoms; Bougainvillea and a bright yellow flowered shrub grow in abundance by the wayside.
The bus ride is, in a nutshell, a snapshot of a simple, rustic life.
The “B-School” (didn’t you know – we MBA’s don’t say ‘college’ anymore? 🙂 ) nestles between Kalmeswar and Dorli. Of the two, I would say that Kalmeswar is a town while Dorli is a village; The differentiation is based on the fact that Kalmeswar has an SBI, two ATMs, numerous kirana stores, a lodge, a market, a school and a medical centre. Most of the inhabitants work in Govt. offices or private firms.
Dorli is a different story. Most of the villagers are either farmers or cattle-rearers. There is an absurdly startling resemblance between them and R K Laxman’s Common Man. Many young men from Dorli work at IMT as “Dustblower Boys”; This is a coveted and prestigious profession for them – working at IMT. It was a surprise to learn that these sons-of-the-soil prefer cleaning someone else’s rooms and toilets to working in their own fields. According to one of them – who calls me Didi – he gets a uniform; a salary; a ‘tag’ and hence, high ratings in the wedding market –all thanks to his Dustblower job. I empathize with him, remembering how 5-6 years ago,we were all clamoring to enter the IT and BPO fields because of the remuneration and social standing it offered.
More about life here soon….