How have you been? I am sorry I could not write to you for a very long time. I was a bit busy adjusting to my new life as a fellow. Since you were probably the only person who was certain about my decision of joining this fellowship, I thought I should share some excerpts of my journey so far with you.
First of all, I would like to thank you for never asking the most common question which almost every person that I know has asked me in the past few months – ‘Why have you joined this fellowship?’ Not even once could I answer this question properly. How could I tell people that for the first time in my life I kept the calculative or rather rational side of me aside and took a major decision of my life without thinking about its consequence? Learning about the developing sector, experiencing life in rural India was definitely a part of the plan but not the only reason for choosing this fellowship. As you had suggested, I wanted to gift myself the most precious gift that anyone could ever give oneself- Time. I wanted some time out from the mad rush to explore new avenues and look at the world from a different perspective. And I must tell you, this has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
As you know, I am staying in a small town in Bihar. Like many other people, even I had certain stereotypical views about this state without ever visiting this place. But three months of staying here made me realize I was quite wrong. I have met some really amazing people here; caring, kind and helpful who are worried about my safety more than me. Living in a small town is not as difficult as I was told it would be. Other than the unavailability of cheese (don’t judge me please), nothing else bothers me here.
About my work, it has been quite an interesting experience so far. My organization, Innovators In Health works with TB patients and on Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH). Till now I knew very little about tuberculosis. Rather, I was one of those unaware people who would crack lame jokes like “Arey, tum itna khaas rahe ho tumko TB hua hoga!” You will be glad to know that I have a lot more idea about TB now and hence I do not crack those lame jokes anymore. Coming to the MNH programme, my only fear was that I would be asked to be present in the delivery room. You know how nauseatic I feel at the sight of blood; till date, I am unable to watch Grey’s Anatomy for the very same reason. But since my work is more around community engagement, I have not been asked to witness any delivery yet. (Thankfully!)
I remember you had told me once that the idea of living alone and being independent seems exciting at first but after some point, you start craving for the company of your loved ones. I do miss my family and friends a lot but thanks to technology I am always connected to them. I am sharing some pictures with you from my stay in Bihar. And, I promise to write to you more often and keep you updated with my fellowship journey.