One of remarkable human behaviours across cultures and regions is seeing dreams, which no other animals can do. Dreams however of 20s’s in a human life span are full of aspirations, either to become rich or celebrities or to do something that would create impact in the society or environment.
I remember when I was in 20s, I also saw dream to become a celebrity archaeologist and a writer on humanity. To chase my dream there were many ups and downs, and today I may not have become either of them, but I have developed a habit of appreciating dreams of 20s that most of youths see and work hard to achieve them.
In the early 90s, when I first landed in Pune, I had just touched 20, fresh with a determination to do something remarkable. After completing my graduation in the science stream, from a collage in Rourkela in Odisha, I had been sent to Bombay (now Mumbai) by my parents to do a course in computer software. I failed in it as the inner call was always pushing me towards archaeology and culture. I remember, without telling my parents I took a decision to go Pune and try my luck in archaeology at Deccan College, the country’s most advanced centre for the subject. For two months I had not told my parents and only when my money started exhausting, I sent a letter saying that I needed money and I am in Pune, pursuing a career in archaeology. There was resistance `since there were no career prospects in archaeology. But I was firm to my decision.
At Deccan College, a sprawling campus of 180 acres in the heart of Pune City, there were hardly any people living. I became a good friend of Sanjay, my classmate, a localite but had preferred to stay in the hostel. It was Sanjay’s dream to become a scientist. As time passed we finished our masters and registered for the PhD work. Unlike me (I always felt at connecting myself to India’s countryside), Sanjay had far-flung dreams to become a scientist and live a posh urbane life.
After 18 years of separation, this week I was connected to Sanjay again, through an email chatting followed by a mobile call. In last 18 years both of us have changed. Sanjay has become a scientist, a celebrity in his field phytoliths and work in collaboration with scientists from world’s giant institutions of Oxford and Cambridge. In the time of email chat he expressed his feeling: ‘dream has come true for me’.
Kapil Thakar in his late 20s is also a remarkable dreamer. I often call him the waterman of Gujarat as he is passionately working for last so many years towards the revival of Gujarat’s 400 odd step wells, one after another. I was introduced to Kapil a year back. From then on, we have met several times, travelled together on many occasions to far interiors of Gujarat. Each time we meet, he reveals a dream, yet all related to the revival of the cultural heritage of Gujarat. Many times I have guided him and willing so for all his endeavours. Recently he launched a magazine of his own called ‘Atulya Varso’. Through this he is now dreaming to alter the countless lost heritages of Gujarat’s villages from their neglected stage to centres of learning and community joints.
Recently in the backyard of Moved by Love retreat, I met another young dreamer, Ashish Amin, a restless soul, who has spent 4 years of his life in jungles of Gujarat. Ashish writes stories, one after another, all for children in a simple way and read them out at villages located deep in jungles that are deprived of all modern lifestyle. I have met Ashish briefly, but he has left a strong imprint deep inside my heart. Amin dreams to spend the rest of his life in a remote village in Gujarat’s Dahod and work with tribal who have been deprived of all modern amenities, such as electricity, roads, internet and so on. He wants to live with them and help them to get rid from their misery.
Khusbu Gala, a final year student in architecture is the last among the young dreamers of this blog, to whom I have not met in live or even talked. Two days ago, when I opened up my personal email box after week break, I discovered her mail. Khusbu had read one of my blogs on Mandvi, a lost port town on Gujarat’s Kutch coast. Khusbu dreams of creating an interpretation centre and architectural model showcasing Mandvi’s lost maritime heritage.
All these dreams of 20s, some work, others don’t, but what is remarkable is they push hope for living in a world of struggle between success and failure.