Let’s Do This!

by | Jul 1, 2019

I was going through the pages of my diary that I used during induction and midpoint trainings of India Fellow. After reading all the pages, I was disappointed to not remember most of the things and wished that I had revisited it before. But the interesting part was to read the notes of the sessions where we were encouraged to write about ourselves and our thoughts. It started with our hopes and fears from the fellowship year, obituary writing to get thinking on the purpose of our lives, a session on creative writing, letter from the heart to the brain, the Johari Window for peer feedback, and finally 10 things to build self-efficacy. I am sure there were a lot more activities given to us on other sheets but today was about this diary.

It was a treat for me to be able to read my thoughts 10 months after I had penned them down. I had a smile on my face all throughout and I marked those pages to go back and read again.

There were a few things that I had repeatedly written and I sat down to think whether I had been able to fullfil those or not. The top of the list was self expression and I don’t know whether this blog will count as that or not but I know for a fact that 10 months ago, I wouldn’t have written a piece like this knowing fully well that a larger audience may read it. Here is a list of things which I had a hope to try/build on during the course of the fellowship:

  • Self Expression – The crux of all the thoughts I wrote down during any session. I have a long way to go in making myself better but it was a start anyway. Before me, my close friends noticed this about me. Earlier, their constant complain from me was that I don’t share enough with them. In fact, I even wrote a ‘Thank You’ letter to two of them, for fueling me with energy. I had promised to write everyday but unfortunately only 5 such pages are filled until now. The joy I got from reading my own thoughts today has definitely encouraged me to write more.
  • Learn How To Cook – The most feared activity had to find its place on this list. I not only cooked but excelled at it, sometimes. From someone who wouldn’t enter the kitchen and thought that cooking was not her cup of tea, I have surprised myself but more than that, my mother. I still remember the first day when I had to call my neighbor to close the cooker with its lid. *Sigh!* As I open YouTube, most of the suggested videos are from cooking channels. When I used to live in a hostel, my best friends used to mock me for not being able to make a ready-to-cook soup and I’d, as a joke, promise them that one day, I’d invite them all for dinner where everything from the dip to the desert would be prepared by me. Looks like that day is not so far. Not only have I learnt cooking, my interest in it has increased as it gives me some peace of mind. After a hard day at work, I never get irritated about the fact that I have to cook. It has actually become my ‘Me Time’.
  • Read More – As a child, I used to love reading books. Issuing books from the library and finishing it before the date of returning was exciting. My diary is filled with suggestions of good reads given by the Program team and mentors who visited us. I diligently wrote them down and was determined to read at least a few of them. More than determination, it was just hope and hence, I couldn’t read even a single one. Had I read this diary before, I am sure I would have tried again. Looking at the brighter side, I have a little more than a month left and reading one book will do no harm.
  • Learn A New Language – Since I was based in Raigad, Maharashtra, I wanted to learn Marathi. It was both a necessity and a desire. I took the help of books and YouTube but realised that without listening and conversing, I wouldn’t be able to learn. Initially, my neighbor’s 7-year old daughter would come to my house and we would read the Marathi to English translation book. It helped both of us differently. More than language learning, it turn into a fun activity ending with a game of Ludo. I can now understand Marathi and know to speak a few words. With practice, I will be able to form sentences as well. What stops me is the fear of saying the wrong sentence especially in front of a huge audience but may be, that’s the only way to learn.
  • Travel To Local Places – Raigad Fort is one of the popular places just an hour away from Mangaon. At the same distance is Murud beach. These places become all the more beautiful during monsoon. I don’t think I enjoy traveling and exploring new places as much as I had thought but I hope that I don’t leave Mangaon without visiting at least one of them. More than myself, I have placed my bet on Nikhil from the next India Fellow cohort to take me for a trek to Raigad Fort.

Apart from these self goals, my larger purpose was to be able to do well in the organisation that I would be a part of. I had no knowledge of the field of work and the bare minimum was to not be a disappointment for them or for India Fellow. It was not just about being an employee. As a fellow, I had the responsibility of being a representative of the values shared by the fellowship.

Now that I have made my to-do list public, it puts an added pressure on me to complete it. That’s exactly what I want to do. Time to read a book and plan for the trek.

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  1. Anupama Pain

    Waiting to hear the details of the trek at travel workshop 😛 … now that i am also coming, chalo Raigad Fort!

  2. Nikhil Kanakamedala

    That trek is so ON! As always, a good read.

  3. Nikhil Shaji

    Hey Aditi sah can you please name the village in Rajasthan where you saw that inspiring lady. Also could you give your contact details

  4. Nikhil Shaji

    Hey Aditi sah can you please name the village in Rajasthan where you saw that inspiring lady. Also could you give your contact details


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