Friday, April 16, 2010


The train journey was just fine and at 7.30 am reached Nagpur. I had to charge the mobile battery, so headed towards the waiting room. It was full and every point taken by fellow passengers. After a while my turn came and much to the displeasure of two Punjabi gentlemen… who had captured five seats (2 place in the three-seater sofa and three single sofas… when I tried to sit, one said… it is occupied showing to me his friend. Then I headed for the single sofa in front of him, he said even that is occupied… so I asked him where is he? He said… he is in bathroom. I sat and told him, when he will come, I will get up.

Yes, he made faces and said nothing… While my mobile was getting charged, no one came to occupy the other two vacant sofas… funny because after half an hour, these two gentlemen left and I was wondering why they were holding five places when they were only two people. This is urban India folks.

Anyways, at around 9.30 am, I called Swapnil, my Wardha contact, who was waiting for me… so I left Nagpur by bus and reached at his place at around 11.15 am… it was so wonderful to meet him! Even though we were meeting for the very first time, there is an unusual bonding as if we have been friends for life. Swapnil has worked with farmers as a Regional Manager for an NGO and given me great insight about all the ground realities. You know what is the most astonishing thing that will be hard to believe for you all reading this? Even though the temperature is soaring at 44 or 45 degrees, I was not at all feeling uncomfortable or uneasy even one bit. Even this experience surprised me all through the day.

Meeting Swapnil’s younger brother Sagar, mom and dad and interesting set of friends (Vicki & Mangesh) is an amazing experience because of such loving warmth and lovely hospitality I got. This experience is really hard to get in any urban set up. We discussed at great length about various issues connected with farmers’ suicide and then we had lovely lunch… After lunch, I contacted Mr. Vijay Jawandia and spent some interesting time to get his insight about the problems existing in the Vidarbha region. It was indeed a very fruitful meeting and I got to learn many things from him.

Swapnil was astonished to see that all through the hot sun (in Wardha one can rarely see anyone out in hot blistering sun with hot wind blowing in the afternoon) walk… I didn’t complain even once regarding the summer heat. I really don’t know why it was like that… yes, when I am in Mumbai, I do complain about the heat but why not here… really surprising. I guess my karm bhoomi has joined hands with me in such a loving manner that I was engulfed in her arms with a cool loving blanket.

All day we discussed and finally it was decided that I needed a base to start my work. So immediately Swapnil was in action contacting his friends for a room. By 7 pm, a beautiful room has been arranged near his house only. So the first day in Vidarbha, my base is set… What more can I ask for… tomorrow is another day… such fast development couldn’t have been possible without Swapnil… I really don’t know how we came together but I know that we have come together for a reason and the reason is to somehow stop all the suicides in Vidarbha region.


  1. Swapnil barai d name is enough.....
    dis name will alwayz alwayz ready 2 get u help at any moment for anything....

    Ashish Barbatkar

  2. Yes Ashish...truly said... Swapnil Barai the name is enough... wish we have more people like him in the world... - Cuidate!