Of the last seven weeks: Where have I been?

As I sit down to pen this post, there’s a sudden calmness around. The to-do list at the back of my mind has shut itself up for a while. The recently emptied yellow coffee mug kept on the right side of my laptop just gave me some instant energy and the weather in this part of the country couldn’t be better. All in all, coming back to the blog after one and a half month feels great!

Not sure if anyone missed my presence here but I was definitely yearning to return to this part of my virtual reality. Those who are connected with me on Instagram must have been getting regular updates. Currently, with limited internet connectivity, that seems to be the quickest and most comfortable social media channel.

Where have I been?

Physically it went something like this:

Delhi >> Udaipur >> Indore >> Yavatmal >> Harda

And for the next one year, I will mostly be found in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. Send all those M.P. exploration tips this way please!

Mentally, it has really been a mix of information overload, back-to-college-feel, a bit of loneliness and a bunch of unique experiences.

From the lanes of Udaipur

Here’s what happened:

Four months back I interviewed for the social leadership program at India fellow. Got selected and quite reluctantly, took the plunge at last moment. Three week residential induction training happened at Udaipur after which I was placed with Chaitanya, an organisation that works with rural women to empower them by way of self-help groups.

Here’s why it happened:

After tax accounting & travel writing, I still needed to experiment some more. Understanding the roots and causes in rural India had always fascinated me but let’s just say the conventional life got in the way. Hence, there was never a chance to get my hands dirty, until now. You can read my reflections on last one year in this post.

Because looking back sometimes helps

In the previous three weeks, I have juggled with different roles in the organisation, from cleaning the space to managing a team. Also, I somehow escaped a possible tiger attack in the jungles of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, couldn’t escape some really annoying field staff though. Have seen more rain than I did in all the monsoons of my life combined together, got immersed in mud almost every day and interacted with a whole bunch of local women in fluent Hindi.

To the road ahead!

In the next few weeks, I think I’ll be busy with most of it except anything to do with a tiger (hopefully). With the intermittent internet access, I’d still want to post here at least twice a month. Wishing against the circumstances, it can even be a weekly blog if I get a Wi-Fi connection (in my dreams). Being unrealistically optimistic!

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© 2016, Swati. All rights reserved.


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