Khoji – Learning journey to Ahmedabad
“When you ‘search’..you are a kind of looking for a pre-decided thing but when you ‘explore’..you are open to finding the unexpected”. Last six days, we have together been on a exploration with ‘Khojis’ who came as a part of their learning journeys to Maitri Space in Ahmedabad. I have always admired the experiment of self learning of Swaraj university in Udaipur, students self designing, self learning and creating their own life path. So it was a joy to welcome them home in Ahmedabad. We constantly talk about flow here. although it sometimes has its edges if we are not sync with it but it also has a great possibility of magical outcomes, as the very next moment could be ‘Aha’, if your heart is open to receive it. Immediately after coming to Esi sughad campus, on 24th afternoon, it was spontaneously decided to goto loving (leprosy) centre. (Loving center is a community of leprosy patients, who were not allowed to stay with the regular community and thus given a land on the outskirts of the city. Manav Sadhna in last several years has done many projects to support it) “Will they be ready to take the plunge and go with the flow”, I thought to myself but the very next moment a little voice said, “trust”, and I let it go. Khojis stayed a night in the loving centre and were quite moved by love and kindness they received from the poorest of the poor and neglected community, they felt how rich they were in their generosity and love. Aman shared, how he went to have a snack from the street vendor and the vendor refused to take any money from him, saying ‘you are our guests and how can I take money from you’. Somebody helped do the dressing of the lepers, and somebody was just moved sitting next to little Guru, who is affected with polio.
In next few days, they visited community center in Manav Sadhna, sang together during the morning prayer time, learned about sanitation from Devendra Bhai, witnessed service as a way of life with Suresh Bhai in his village wakaneda, experienced service and spirituality with Gandhian elder Kanti kaka, learned to see small is beautiful with Jayesh Bhai, heard about diversity in service through working with corporates by Kishan, bringing social change through being a social entrepreneur with Neil and many other visible and invisible stories.
We had many small circles, moments of silence and joy and in midst of all this I was moved by the total surrender of ‘Khojis’ and their earnestness to soak in as much as they could, the connections they formed within themselves and with each person they met. In the end they shared, “biggest gift we received here was a sense of family, it was very difficult to believe that this world is true, but when we saw this beauty reflected in every space and every person we met, it now feels like we have been dipped in a jar of honey and now all we can do is share this sweetness with others.”
May we all be ‘Khojis’ and continue to search for good in others and in ourselves, and through this love, move towards oneness.