Looking Back – Two Years of Living Dangerously
Just over two years ago, I took a step which felt dangerous, uncertain and hugely risky…As I wrote on my blog at the time (October 2008):
So what exactly do I plan to do?
First, I am reducing my hours of “paid employment”. Starting this December (2008), I will be working part-time on two or three different ideas/companies. Most of this work will have to do with innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital…
…Second, I am setting aside at least two days a week to do things which I loosely combine under the umbrella of political reform/ political activism.
Two years into this, I am pleased I took the plunge…I am less angry and more hopeful today than I was then. My commitment to bring about fundamental change has become stronger…The journey has not been easy…but it has been very very worthwhile. In particular, the meetings, the travels, the discussions and the opportunity to hear different views and ideas…All of this has been enormously satisfying – intellectually as well as at a deeper, almost spiritual level. Through this journey, I am beginning to understand what “Dharma” means. That said, the task ahead of us is monumental…and we face enormous challenges…As I mentioned elsewhere,
What we are attempting could make the difference between a country that survives, prospers & becomes a model for heterogeneous societies around the world and a country that is breaking apart, in the throes of a civil war, with woeful infrastructure and extremely restive population.
At the same time, I strongly believe…
…we really have no choice. As my friend Surendra Shrivastava of Loksatta mentioned in an email some days back: “We are not born politicians like many, we are in politics not by choice but because of compulsion”
The work is far from over…this journey has just begun…We will need hundreds amongst you to join us…and thousands of supporters…A lot more will need to be done…and clearly it will be impossible to achieve any of this without your sustained support and encouragement.
Looking Back: Photograph taken at Simrol, near Indore, July ’09.
But in these two years of living dangerously, I have become more hopeful, more confident and more certain that this can be done...This is within our grasp..and we are not alone.
In 2011, I will maintain my focus on connecting with like-minded groups and trying to bring them together for concerted action. I hope to undertake at least two outreach events and many more meetings, discussions and talks spread throughout the year in different cities. I have been very fortunate to receive the support of many amongst you in this effort – mainly in terms of arranging talks and meetings in various places. I am grateful for this. There has been no conscious/deliberate effort at fund-raising so far – I hope to focus on this as well in the coming year. As for my personal expenses, I am managing well so far – learning to maintain the thin line between “needs” and “desires”, helped along by the grace of Prabhu Shri RamChandra and MahaDev and with complete and unwavering support from my wife.
This is going to be a long haul…but there really is no other choice…My two biggest frustrations remain almost unchanged: 1] not enough amongst us willing to take up this challenge and 2] not enough time in the day for all that we wish to do…
To those of you who wonder how could you help, I would suggest three simple things: 1] Please spread the word (offline as well as online – in particular on facebook) 2] Please conside if you can volunteer your time for a few activities (some desk-based, others involving limited public interaction) and 3] finally, please do let me know if you can help organise meeting(s), discussions or fund-raising dinners in your city/town for me. In 2011, I intend to spend increasing amounts of time on the ground..so no place, city or village is out of bounds – especially one with a bunch of committed and passionate people!
This post would be incomplete without my heartfelt and sincere thanks to everyone who helped in numerous ways over the last two years in furthering this initiative, in particular (in alphabetical order) Dinesh, Dominic, Jasmin, Jyoti, friends at LSE, at LBS, from IIT Alumni groups, Naresh, Promod-ji, Kris, Ram, Radhakrishnan, Ranjit, Rajesh, Rohith, Sanjay, Shanth and many many others + the entire team at FTI, especially LK Kandpal, Ajay Anand, Sanjeev, Dipinder, Somnath, Ashish, Anil, Anupam, Geeta, RK Atri, Suresh Anand, Vishal, Ashok, Anubhava, Kamal, Swapnil and Mayank – thank you all.
Ine the meantime, the dream lives on…Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!