Yesterday was a special day of my life.
The day started normally; with a big yawn and a long stare at the ceiling fan- thinking about the things that are to be done today. Baba (my father) along with two of his colleagues were supposed to visit me. It was long since I’d met him. I had all plans to introduce to the people I admire the most- the Sankalp volunteers!
But to actually make that happen, I had to wash two bucket-full clothes (which meant a long bath following it), fix some issues with Sankalp resources (failure at which meant considerable amount of chaos in 3 major Sankalp events of this week), and book a room for baba’s stay. My yawn was shut abruptly! I sprang out of the bed- ready for action!
Frankly, washing clothes can be extremely boring. Washing utensils means washing them just once. Clothes need to washed again and again (and again)- until they stop giving out those irritating bubbles. So, to entertain myself, I howled “Nayan Tarse” of Dev D, as loud as I could, while making a mockery of myself (as if I care). After bathing, I was all set for my Sanklap work. That too got managed- had to run a lot though! Finally baba arrived 🙂
I escorted him to the Sankalp general meeting. My fellow volunteers were overwhelmed to meet baba. I know baba is not the kind of person who’d praise Sankalp. He’s not the bohot-accha-kaam-karte-ho-tumlog types. He has not praised me for anything in the past 22 years of my existence! His support is generally through silence or his actions. He did the same in yesterday’s meeting as well- without hesitation he left me in the meeting, knowing the importance of my presence there. Pointing at his colleagues, he told me- “Tum meeting attend karo. Main inko college dikha laata hoon”. That was the best he could do for Sankalp under those circumstances. I smiled for the rest of the meeting!
There was a purpose behind baba’s visit- to buy me a laptop! He wanted me to finally dump my 8-year-old comp. In most Indian homes, buying an expensive item is a big family drama. This drama involves calling everyone (having the slightest idea of what a laptop is) for suggestions. Finally after the drama ceased, we went to a shop and decided over a model.
Then I had a nice quarrel with the shopkeeper, who bundled a Windows OS along with my laptop. I told him that, I’m unnecessarily paying in thousands for the OS and that, within an hour, I’ll uninstall Windows and install Ubuntu in it. I explained how EU has legally declared in Europe, that OS is ultimately the user’s choice, and not the vendor’s. The sophisticated customers around me were blinking! Nevertheless, the laptop was purchased. Once we left the shop, after a long silence, I side-hugged baba and said- “thanks!”
Then, like a kid I explained him my confusions- how ridiculous I find to read bookish answers and write exams, and how much I love coding, applying brains to “make” things happen, how much I like working on new projects- doing things that have never been done before! How much I want to use my knowledge and skills for people below me; socially or economically. And how much I’m repelled by very thought of working in a big IT company, waiting to be sent to US. I told him how much I love my work in Sankalp, how passionate I am about writing poems and articles for this website!
During that 1 hour of cribbing, I actually demonstrated to baba how confused I am about my future! He was concerned, but not for a moment he interrupted me, nor did he suggest me anything. I guess he had answers to all my confusions! But he knew that, if I have found the problem, I’ll face it, fight it, fail several times, but eventually, it will be I who’ll find the answers to my questions. And, frankly, that’s all he has ever asked from me! 🙂