It was world students day this week. No better time to narrate a little backstory on something marvellous that is brewing.
Once upon a time (about 6 months ago):
Two flights from Bombay to Delhi, hours apart.
Two passengers – one all excited to ‘Tedtalk’ with students for the second time, and one – moving from one project to another, impatient and restless.
Whoever thought defective wifi systems would take me down a path I was going to love and to a land that was going to inspire me.
A man, soft spoken, weirdly comfortable in a foreign country, comes up to me looking for the airport wifi details. And I must have come across as someone who is weirdly comfortable talking to strangers- offering personal hotspot as an effective alternate. Putting on a brave face, Aaron refused at first- but eventually had to give into the pressures of work and got talking, over hotspots and our work. Here I was, sitting with someone who didn’t seem as young as I got to know later – because of two things he was so sure of.
Two things that bring so much more meaning to our ordinary lives.
How does he find time? How does he find the people to support and actually do something? How does he do it?
More importantly, how can I do it? How can I be part of it?
Questions that were going to be answered step by step over the next few months.
It was a 20 minute stranger- meets- stranger session.
And none of us would have given it any more importance- had Aaron not invited me to his next TedTalk, had we not spoken about the Uganda trip and had I NOT ACTUALLY GONE WITH TWSB to Uganda.
Those 10 productive days that we all spent working together, helping students and each other – they were nothing if not inspirational. Everything that we learnt in Uganda, is applicable in India- THAT was the reason I wanted to be an integral part of this entire programme.
People questioned my objective of going to Uganda, because they didn’t see any value in me going to another country to do this. But if travel has taught me anything, it is this – There is no difference in how humans across countries react to things. Human behaviour isn’t limited to boundaries. And neither is selflessness.
The one person who pushed me to do this and helped me think beyond is Mr. Roshan Abbas.
But I know, that while I was there – there were a lot of people back home – following this journey, sending their love to the kids and the team, hoping we’d be doing something useful for them.
I was counting on these people. And they DID NOT disappoint me.
We now have a team up and running in Delhi, India. Mahima Jauhar (Event Manager), Abhilasha Nandal (Product Designer), Elvy Alias (News Anchor) and me, Sukriti Sachar (Content Designer) – that is what the TWSB Executive team (Delhi) looks like.
We are up against the biggest competitors – inaccessibility to education, inadequate educational resources and closed mind-sets.
And it doesn’t matter that all of us have different backgrounds, different skills, are from different parts of the country, in different phases of life. We are ready to put it all to use for something incredibly meaningful.
What matters is – It’s all heart.