Most of us these days, including me, wish for adventure and excitement in our daily routine. I did it every single day while sitting in my AC cubicle; wishing an escape from the mundane life. Today, leaving that behind, I’m working with Basic Healthcare Services (BHS), a public health organisation in villages of Udaipur since two months. Now when I think about my wishes, it seems they were taken quite seriously by the Universe or God or whoever approves these wishes.
The last two months have been nothing less than a transformation; of moving from an urban to a rural area, from corporate to a non-profit organisation and from IT industry to public health. Even I did not see these changes coming this quickly and drastically. But with all the hustle around, I have been fortunate and in few cases, not-so fortunate to have a list of first time experiences a.k.a ‘my adventures’.
1. Spending days at clinics: Well, for someone who runs away from visiting a doctor and who had spent a maximum of two hours in a hospital, it was quite a task. But here I am, sitting and observing patients at the clinic, watching nurses cleaning the pus to avoid infections; and injecting fluids.
2. Heard a fatal heartbeat: This one will always remain special. At BHS, we provide delivery services which regularly attracts pregnant ladies to visit for check-ups. On one such examination, I heard a 7-month pregnant fetal heartbeat. I jumped with joy, got nostalgic and ended up calling my mother asking her if she had heard mine.
3. Visited a police station: I somehow landed myself into a situation where me and my colleagues were counseling an under-age couple who had eloped. Narrating the whole story might require me to write another blog but with this, I came to know that police stations look nothing like the ones shown in Bollywood movies.
4. Struggling with Hindi: Coming from Mumbai, where people speak either Hinglish or tapori (slang) Hindi, addressing the community in Hindi was quite amusing. There were times when I took a pause so long that my field staff had to jump in to fill in the blanks. The pauses were during my struggle to gather the Hindi translation for words like
information जानकारी , help सहायता , test जाँच and many often heard but seldom used words.
5. Got swept by a cow’s tail: Cattle, their presence is not only felt but seen and smelt everywhere in this region. You just cannot avoid them, and at times when I try to escape them in the narrow lanes, they not-so-cordially just keep wagging their tails on my face.
6. Traveled in an ambulance: No, there is nothing to worry about. This is just another mode of transport when working at a public health organisation in a rural area.
7. Got bitten by variety of insects: Some were the size of my palm, while others so small to have punctured through my socks and bitten me. If only I could click some pictures of these insects to show you, but I was too busy saving my life from them.
8. Classifying vegetation: It was fascinating to see and know from where my food comes. Walking through the fields of soyabean, bhindi, corn, custard apple, coriander, marijuana and just watching them grow gave me a happy high.
9. Participated in reaping: Now that I was on the fields, it was time to get my hands dirty. At first chance, I joined the lady in gathering corns and cutting unwanted weeds around. While doing so, I got a part-time job invitation and a free advice of coming to the fields regularly so that I lose some weight.
10. Understood the value of my relatives: Here in the villages people asked me if I was married or not and that I should get married as soon as possible for reasons like “that’s what women are supposed to do” and that “I am already late to have babies”. Well, at the end of all these conversations, keeping aside the debatable topics, deep down I genuinely appreciated my relatives as they at least stopped at the question “shaadi kab karoge”.
Such were my past couple of months – full of adventures and first time experiences. I am certain the list will just keep on growing in the forthcoming months.