I always thought life and Nature were the two sides of the same coin, something that closely associated and co-existed. We see our reflections of our very selves in Nature which defines the circle of our existence and it is the one who is attuned with Nature is attuned with the practice of living.
In Nature, there is no concept of finished goods. Everything that it produces gets reused. Each element in Nature is part of one network. But Man, because of his mind marinated in its own desires went exactly the opposite way of harmonious production. He used Nature to scale up productions unmindful of whether the produce is in sync with its surroundings. He used and throw, for example plastic without any thought of its consequences.
The sun was shining a little brighter and the temperature was soaring than usual. It was a day I decided to take a step out of the monotonous world that I’d been surviving in. Discovering new places and gaining and enriching experience had become my favourite hobby. With my best buddy, my camera, I’d explore round different destinations and lanes. I came across this city lane with a mall in it. But what my caught my attention was far more interesting.
Right outside one of the lavish shopping centres in Jaipur, were these 5-6 cuboidal concrete aligned in an unorganized way, for constructional purposes. In India, infrastructural and repairing systems are very slow moving. After numerous appeals for initiation, the work starts that too at slow pace. And as ever, these concrete structures were unattended for more than quite some time.
What amazes the globe is Indians have a wonderful knack of utilizing something which is stranding out of care into a much more creative way, quite like the Nature itself. Berserk and allured simultaneously I was, the labour-class of Jaipur city did the same. For a day or two they noticed the structures stagnant, unmoved. And not long before, the day arrived where they made the move, they shifted in, they settled, they made their home; family quarters. They couldn’t paint it, but they veiled it with their colourful plastic sheets. They made a home out of 2*2 meter square area. They had living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and everything, probably way less posh than a duplex apartment in C-Scheme, but yet they had a home with everything. Drowned with scarcity was their living yet they made home bubbling with laughter, with joy, sharing and bundles of emotions.
They know it isn’t a permanent abode. But the days they spend in it, they make it to the fullest. And so, starts the network. This is the congregation of several families, forming hubs and expanding their network, spreading rapidly across Jaipur as the Jaipur shelter network.
In scorching sun and piercing cold, in light and dark, seasons and seasons pass by, they are called starving homeless wretch and the hungry outcasts who close their eyes on bare streets. But they stand there still and strong amidst all the circumstances and consequences, dignified. Today, they have established a network, a successful one indeed. A network of people in constant communication. A network of shelter. A network of living and survival.