They are not mere data-points

It has been over a month, I am staying at a certain tribal village with the people, sharing their reality. I am here to collect data. When I enter their house I say I am from IRMA and we are here to survey your household, know about your income, expenditure, the crops you grow, the food you eat, the school your kids go, the diseases you suffer from. I get my responses, I jot them down and move on with my life. ‘Another household covered…!’ I exclaim within myself.

Every reality has its own lens

But then I recently met a family, just a mere household I went to cover, to get my data points, to get the variation in my data. The head of the family suffered from asthma, the lady was an agricultural labourer. They had two kids, stunted in their growth but way ahead with their mind. The kids knew how much food grains they get from the fair price shop every month as it is invaluable for their existence, they knew how much the seeds cost, how much it took to rent a tractor to farm, how much fertilizer they put in. Heck, the 12 year olds even knew how much it costs to sell their goats, as it is what helps the family when the rain plays a spoilsport and ruins their crops.

I clamour that my life has been tough, when mom cooks something which I dislike, when my internet speeds suffer, when my order doesn’t get delivered on time, when my phone battery is about to die. But their struggles are about life and death, every single day. The lady goes out to the nearby town and works as a labourer, the father goes out in the farm, the kids to the nearby school. They come together at night when it grows dark and suddenly, the lights go off, they feel absolutely indifferent. They know this is a part of their life, a part of their daily struggle, to embrace the darkness. No electricity can clear such darkness.

It gave me a sense of understanding. To be honest, it made me feel grateful and helpless
simultaneously. Grateful, that I was privileged enough to be born and brought up in a way where I could realize my potentials and try to push my limits. And helpless as I could give them nothing but my sympathy. I know both their kids won’t study for long, they too would go out and toil in the sun to support the family. The vicious cycle would continue, their poverty would never come in their zone of control. It will only go on further and farther.

That day I realised I am not here to just get my data-points, to get my 21 Households surveyed and prepare a report. There is so much more to each person I meet, much more than the amount of wheat, rice, sugar they consume, much more than the pay they receive. I saw a picture of life that was non-existent for me. Never in my life would I have come to know these people, their lifestyle, their struggles. As an individual it affects me, makes me understand their pain of hunger, their pain of ignorance, their absolute helplessness.

With a heavy heart, teary eyes and a sense of realization I walked out of their home. They were not mere data-points for me anymore…


Wish you a very happy and insightful new year 🙂

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May be ‘Everything’ just wasn’t enough!

Harder … Sometimes giving everything in the world is not enough, sometimes being desperate doesn’t always assure your desperation will fetch your wishes. Call it luck, call it the ‘right time’, it comes when it wants to. Irrespective of how hard you push, the door won’t open until it wants to. But then have I pushed it as hard as I could? Now I’m asking myself the right question.

Blood, sweat, rage, pain all accompany me today. I had the urge, I had the time and I put in everything. You see, ‘everything’ is quite perspective. It cannot be quanitified. My ‘everything’ would not necessarily be equivalent to yours. That might have been the reason. My ‘everything’ was just not enough.

Image courtesy: Jordon Whitfield (unsplash.com)

Compromise, it’s a killer. It has killed many dreams, it has made many weak hearts cry. It’s contagious. The people around you, they indirectly influence your limits. But I don’t want to compromise. I’m ready to even pay the price. I want to cry today for what I didn’t get but come back stronger. The ‘compromise’ will always be there but why not give another shot. There’s only sweat and hours to spend but glory and satisfaction are the ultimate prize.

Three hundred and sixty five days from today, I will get what I desire. Each day will be a battle, each moment will be a test. I am up for it. I know I can do better, I can redefine my ‘everything’ and fight for my desires. I’ll achieve it, not by sheer desperation but because I would deserve it. If today I burn, let me. Tomorrow I’ll come back stronger.

I’m reminded of an Elton John song ‘The measure of a man‘ how subtly it captures the essence of human struggle and inadvertently motivates me.

Sharing a stanza below:

You’ve come full circle, now you’re home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you’ve always been
You had to lose so you could win
And rise above your troubles while you can.
Now you can love, now you can lose
Now you can choose
That’s the measure of a man’


Do let me know what’s in your mind right now by expressing it in the comments below!!

Also share and spread 🙂

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