After living at different places in India…I got drenched with the variety of traditions and culture. I never thought, imagined or even dreamt of going beyond the Indian boundaries. But here I am, attending poetry workshop at Toronto. Quite joyfully, I am observing, experiencing the transformation of group into collectivity. The collectivity, which is acknowledging each other’s poetry, associated feelings, deep ingrained culture and personality.
When I mentioned, “living at different places”, I didn’t intend to say that I have been a rigorous traveller and that I have been to numerous places. My real intention was to convey that till now, I have got opportunities to spend significant number of years at 4-5 places.
My schooling, graduation and first job were in three different states of India. After marriage, I resided at two more states: first where my in-laws were settled and the second where my husband was posted.
Soon after marriage, my husband got an onsite opportunity and we moved out of India.
In all these places, two things were strikingly common:
- Everywhere, there were different types of people And
- I had to adapt with them
There were times when I was not able to adapt. Those were the times when I felt challenged, sometimes neglected or subdued or troubled. And those were also the times when I learnt to adapt …to acknowledge the differences…the variety.
While being in the third state in the hierarchical order of my age, I was posted as a Human Resource Development Executive in an organization. As a part of our job, we were supposed to talk to candidates visiting us for applying job. One of my colleagues constantly complained against variety of people visiting the office. She used to show frustration after meeting or interviewing each candidate.
I ever failed to understand her expectations. I never got clear if she wanted to meet clones or identical robots (as today, even robots have variants)
After pondering a lot on her issue, I was trying to compare her feelings with those who do not get frustrated or get less frustrated after meeting different types of people. Amongst those, I found myself too. I found that somehow I have learnt to acknowledge the diversity amongst people. Somehow, I have developed fondness and love for the uniqueness in each personality. The uniqueness due to the differences… the differences attributing to each one’s culture, tradition, language, life style, history…attributing to the province, state, the country one belongs to and so on..
Somehow I have learnt to recognize the difference between personalities constructed meticulously by each and every moment the person lives, observation the person makes and mistakes the person commits.
Somehow, I have learnt to acknowledge the difference between EACH “YOU” AND EACH “ME”
With all this practical philosophy at the back of my mind, I came to this workshop. I am seeing them, greeting them, adjusting my belongings and myself on a chair with slight nervousness, slight hesitation.
During discussions regarding the poetries, the conversation has moved towards their history, their music, some songs, and few writers. I have never heard of most of them. So, at this point, I am feeling my presence as pointless. But… learning to accept that feeling too. Now there are some shared smiles, shared feelings, and shared poetries …beyond differences.
Finally “it is emerging out to be an interesting meeting”, explicitly, my facilitator states and deep within, I feel.