On a fine summer morning I left Ahmedabad and drove all the way to Pedhamali, a village on the bank of River Sabarmati, about 90 km from home. Throughout the way I had been engaged with my mind on the prospects of my contribution on education.
As I reached Pedhamali, I was greeted warmly by Jaldipbhai, a man in his late 20s. With relation to maturity even a man more than 50 years old would have no match with Jaldipbhai. When I revealed my obsession of teaching to village kids, Jaldipbhai gently said: “in the process of interaction with kids you might discover yourself as a student and children as your teachers”.
About 2 hours later when I joined the kids in an informal workshop of clay modelling, I met Ajay, a boy of hardly 10/11 years old, and a student of class 5. He became my teacher for 10 min and taught me how to make a clay turtle. While he was teaching me I found him very passionate and patient, qualities that even adult teachers lack. I felt very humble, by looking and appreciating children’s creative skills and talent. For a moment, I was fixed as my mind started debating on the real purpose of education. Is it to just remember a few words or vocabulary or knowing basic math skills on pen and paper or allowing children to flow with their imagination and nurture their dreams?
We live in a world of creating visible impact that has shadowed the spirit inner transformations. We see human relationships more from a give and take perspective, not connecting through hearts. In a market driven economy, projects with road maps often sideline such random act of services that give us inner joy and purpose to live as humans.
It was Ajay, who showed me a path on inner journey, though he was not aware of it. There was no condition, no previous contacts, but only love that bound the two souls for a period 10 min so intensely.