New beginnings!

They say life is a collection of stories, stories of your memories, your relations, your experiences. Well, I’m about to bookmark volume 1 of these stories, the past 23 years of my life, put it in the bookshelf of my heart and make a new beginning to a new volume of stories! In 2 days I will have moved to Australia!

As a child I was introduced to a Sanskrit term by my grandmother – ” Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” – ‘ the whole world is one family’. It stayed and sowed the seeds of a dream of travelling the world. The whole idea of travelling “sata samudra par”  – Marathi phrase for ‘far far away’ literally meaning ‘beyond 7 seas’ seemed so fascinating to a dreamy child. I dreamed of being a sailor sailing to new shores, a pilot flying across the world!!! As the child grew to a boy, the dream started taking plans and now its on the verge of becoming a reality!

For me its a new beginning in the literal sense! I do not want to be a  traveller out for sightseeing. Being part of a family means assimilating. There is a old legend about the first time Parsis [Zoroastrians] arrived in India. When the Zoroastrians requested asylum, the local king motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the very brim to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees. In response, one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk, thus indicating that they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and indeed make the lives of the citizens sweeter. The king gave shelter to the emigrants and permitted them to practice their religion and traditions freely. This has been the foundation of my dream. To be like them, wherever I go in the world. To become a part of a new culture, I will have to learn and accept its customs and traditions, to learn the language as if it was my own mother tongue. Heck, I will have to develop a new sense of humour! I feel like a new born all over again!

To put my life till date on hold, to make a new start has been a numbing process! The tug of war my heart has been through between my dream and an ideal life I’ve built for myself has been truly testing! You cannot express your feelings to the people you love. Once let go, the river of emotions is difficult to dam! Yet with all the memories, all the love of loved ones, I embark on this journey to live my dream. And its just the beginning of a long journey beyond the 7 seas! Hello world! Here I come!!!!

The pursuit of knowledge!!!

College life has ended and we friends have embarked on individual journeys of our lives. Rarely do we get a chance to sit down again over a cup of tea or coffee and talk our hearts out. The little time we get in these fixed “appointments” is getting updated about each others lives, what each one is doing and where are they heading? So when you do get a chance to sit down for a “reunion” and being “just like ol’ times” it is really endearing.

One such occasion was yesterday, meeting of 3 idiots who always debated about the state of the world over cups of tea and hot samosas in the college cafeteria! I would always be grateful to these two guys who have always been an inspiration for the pursuit of knowledge. And really its “knowledge”. I always find the concept of General Knowledge funny. Its actually just facts and information. It should be called General Information – when did this event happen, who was who’s whom, something  is where, etc. The understanding and perspective these facts and information give you is your little wealth of knowledge. And this is what these “guardians” – if I may use this term – have taught me.

They always seek knowledge just for the love of doing so. Though they both couldn’t pursue their interests as careers, they never let it come in their way of learning what they wanted to. One of them is a public service aspirant preparing for the Union Public Service Commission examination. I’m proud of him for following his dream. I used to think he learned all he knows to prepare for this examination. But the more I got to know him, I realized its actually his knowledge and the hunger for it that drove him to pursue greater deeds.

The second guy is just enthusiastic to know whatever he can. You tell him anything and he will listen attentively. He is like a mini encyclopedia. He can talk on numerous personalities, nations, political issues, national and world history, geography and civilizations, literature and many more topics at length. And mind you these are not just facts but also in depth perspectives. Like the term we use in management and engineering “why-why” analysis of everything.

Above I was factual, about these two friends of mine. Now let me put them in perspective.  I have met very few people in life who have such a passion to just “know”, anything. We come across so many ‘experts’ of various fields in life who have an authoritarian aggression arising from the pride of their knowledge. These two have taught to be humble about it and always be open to updation. We have bunked numerous classes to sit in the canteen to hold our debates which always were initiated with topic “Bhartachi bighadleli arthik ghadi” , that’s “analysis of the distressed economic situation of India” in Marathi. We used to debate and share our little understanding of what was happening around us. And then this journey took us from the evolution of human race, development of civilizations, associated geography, our regional history, current political issues to the latest film reviews. Wow! What a journey that used to be! Every time it was a different aspect of the same journey. And it was never enough!

Yesterday was a trip back memory lane!!! One of my many cherished moments that I have had with them of learning. It was again a journey through all the above! Its always been about everything except us! Always teaching each other and learning from each other! Our own school, our own GURUKUL!

I will always be grateful to them for their greatest lesson, the selfless pursuit of knowledge!!!