Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Project Green Hands - 2nd Sep 2007

About ten of us got together on Sunday (2nd Sep 2007) at a volunteer's house for PGH work. The work was to bag sand into about 1200 covers and seed the covers. For me, this was really an unplanned activity - I went there after being called by Prakash. It was production support day for me and I could afford this only because there was a backup for me. Fortunately, work held itself until all volunteering work was complete (!). Radha hopped in, so together we went to the volunteer's house. Her house was located deep inside Velachery, so finding the place took some time. Eventually, Prakash had to travel to where we were and got us there.

We reached there by about 3PM. All of them were ready to have food. Too bad, I had already eaten. All food was cooked by two people, with Balaji doing most of the cooking. That was a surprise - because it was a lot of food to cook - and he had cooked a surprisingly large amount of dishes in just two hours (rice, carrot, beetroot, sambar, rasam, mushroom masala and soup). Of course, all food was "Isha Style" - meaning pranic food. He did confuse us by saying - all food have one ingredient in common. After taking a stab at finding out what it was, none of us could figure it out. He added to the confusion by saying "they use it all the time at the ashram". Finally, we found out that the elusive ingredient was called "Love"!. That surprised me - that he should actually say this - this implied that he must have been conscious about this when cooking - it also evoked a lot of laughter. This was to be the subject of occasional jokes till end of the day. Unfortunately, I had eaten before I left home. I could eat only less. I didn't know lunch was part of the package :). We must thank the volunteer's parents (yes, I don't remember her name :-( ) for allowing Balaji and co to cook in their kitchen for so many people.

We went to work. We sat in two circles in the backyard, a lot of manured sand in the center, a lot of very small black plastic covers by our sides and started bagging sand. The covers had small holes by the sides - to allow excess water to seep out. The radio was on - songs + cricket score side by side. We started working getting to know each other. I had met none of them except Prakash and Radha before. Most of them were from "Isha IT"!

If you have volunteered with Isha, you would have noticed one aspect in all work you do. Work moves effortlessly! Some how, the group brings with it, a catalyst that turns mundane work in to a flow - a flowing rythm - that you realize only at the end. I think two hours must have passed - at the end, we had bagged about 1200 packets. (some bagging was complete even before we arrived). But area was divided to two sections - one with 750 bags and the other with 450 bags. The next task was to seed the bags. Intermittently, pictures were taken with mobile cams. I'll post the links once they become available.

Seeding was a joyous affair and was accompanied with a lot of "hoo"ing and clapping. The seeds were called "yAnai kuNdumani" (in tamil). I do not know the English name. Beleive it or not, after seeding, it started raining! It was a very symbolic ending to the kind of work we were doing. The rain evoked joyous shouts from many volunteers.

Finally, there was a sharing session! Mostly, all of them said how happy they were. Both for the kind of work they did during the day and for how they enjoyed the process itself. I realized this was true with me as well. One elusive art I am trying to put my finger on is to see how to bring this quality to my day-to-day Life. If things move effortlessly inside, no matter what the outside situation - this is the only goal that all of Isha's programs try to achieve for the common person. One volunteer was in tears at the end of her sharing.

Finally, we dropped a volunteer - Then mozhi close to her house. On the way, we listened to a Sadhguru Satsang in Tamil. We were really enjoying the blunt way in which he puts things ("...ungaLukku aRivu varalenna - entha buddhar vanthAlum oNNum Agathu...").

Situations permitting, hopefully, I should be able to go through another day like this!

8 comments:

Rams said...

wonderful :)

ps: wrt sharing, yes i wrote it and left it half way and thr hav been friendly-threats frm fellow yatra-mates reminding me abt the promise we made to sadhguru that we shall write within a month...so tomorrow's the last day... i'll push it tonite...

A.J.Anto said...

Amazing na....Very true..It is so incredible that even the most mundane activity can become a sadhana! I could almost picture you folks all cuddled together in that chennai evening..:D
Must say i am missing this action! Way to go Deepak! Keep posting..

Prabhu said...

Awesome deepak. Effortless living is the key to freedom.

Have started writing up my experience.

Prasanna said...

That was great motivation for me to start volunteering in PGH!
Thanks Anto for linking u in his blog.
When am I going to join this gang!? I hope soon.

Ramsi said...

As always, I have tears in my eyes after reading this. Keep posting your experiences.

Prabhu said...

Awesome deepak. Effortless living is the key to freedom.

Have started writing up my experience.

Rams said...

wonderful :)

ps: wrt sharing, yes i wrote it and left it half way and thr hav been friendly-threats frm fellow yatra-mates reminding me abt the promise we made to sadhguru that we shall write within a month...so tomorrow's the last day... i'll push it tonite...

Prasanna said...

That was great motivation for me to start volunteering in PGH!
Thanks Anto for linking u in his blog.
When am I going to join this gang!? I hope soon.

 
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