Saturday, July 08, 2006

God, in the shit

… As coordinator of the pilot project, I was a possessed soul. After a tour through some of the slum localities, where one had to literally walk over a slush of excreta – I felt a flush of awakening. I felt my moment had arrived. While anybody would run far away from and shun such places – except if they had to live there – I decided to remain there, and address this problem of service latrines, come what may. I felt thrilled by the challenge. The apparent insolubility of the problem, its neglect, the foul environment, the revulsion of officials and authorities to engage with this, the unending rebuttals of habitual prejudice- and conflict-oriented perceptions – one of my senior project colleagues had opined “Decent people don’t go to Howrah” – all this only strengthened my resolve. I became completely alienated from the society and city I had been part of. Everything took on a mystic and mythic aura in my consciousness. The poor slumdweller living amidst excreta became my ‘Daridra Narayan’, God in the garb of the poor. Yes, I had found my God, in the shit. I had found the meaning and purpose of my life. And nothing was going to stop me. And Prodyut was there beside me, to help me in my work. …

…The crossing of the river, and going to Howrah – transformed my life, something I could never have even imagined just before that. Yet this was only something residing deep within me, the plaintive plea of my soul, that the Almighty entrust a poor Muslim child to me, to love and nurture as my own.

Extract from an essay, “The most basic human right”.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.