Thursday, February 24, 2011

Iza Good Lyfe

More and more I have days like today:

Get to Delhi on a cold foggy morning after 4 hours of bed sleep plus 1.5 hours of meditation/sleep on the plane. Cab to Breakthrough to orient and train the team on using their shiny new Awaaz De voice-radio application. Joining the meeting is a young girl from Lucknow named Archana who will take the reins of the system as the moderator. She is quick to learn, asks good questions, and is sensitive to the nuances of the system. I am brimming with pride as I can see in her eyes that she grasps the implications, the power she now has at her fingertips. A tool to connect, engage, and mobilize an army of 500 youth advocating human rights across UP and beyond. During the meeting I get two comments about the heart pinned on my jacket sleeve, which gives me two separate opportunities to talk about the magical part of the human family we call Manav Sadhna. For the first time, someone gets the double meaning of wearing heart on my sleeve.

After the meeting officially adjourns I'm doing 10 things at once. Debugging and writing in new functionality based on the training, being pulled into meeting with the Breakthrough ED to discuss payment and sign our contract, talking with the ED at Sesame India Workshop to see how possible it is to scale up their deployment to set up infrastructure in Maharashtra, arranging to present Awaaz De at the upcoming mobile technology conference they are hosting. Indicative of how busy I've been the last month-plus. One day this week I skipped lunch because there was literally no gap in work at the office between coding and people coming in to have meetings. Tracking todos in three different ways on my computer. Time is so scarce I had to reserve a plane ride I would have in three days to give overdue feedback on a document for a colleague.

Later I take the delightful Delhi metro to dinner with Rikin and Saureen. They both are asking about life and I can't help tripping over myself telling how wonderful things are right now. Just had the great meeting with an enthusiastic energetic org that could really take our technology to new heights, talking to you about how we can and should take the DG deployment to another level, talking about how my PhD career is wrapping up felicitously with all possibility for ending up with a solid set of research outputs after all is said and done, talking about how we have paying customers (and NGOs at that) for Awaaz De with zero marketing or even a website, and any more would almost be more than we can handle right now, talking about the enchanted life I lead living and serving amidst the Angels of Ahmedabad, talking about how I'm angling to live a retired uncle's 6-month-in-India-6-months-in-Cali lifestyle starting at age 28, getting teaching gigs in both places to sustain. Later I'm sitting in the posh new Delhi airport typing away and Kapilbhai calls just to "share the joy" after getting bunch of happy and appreciative calls from organic farmers across Gujarat who just received the inaugural phone broadcast of Sajiv Kheti Samvaad. The skeptic has now turned evangelist. Then on the plane get a call from my Hall of Fame roommate making sure I got on the plane OK after going without a legit photo id. At this point my Cup of Goodness officially overflowed.

At the end of dinner with Rikin and Saureen I open my fortune cookie and get this. I know it's cheesy, but I exclaim at the appropriateness as I show it off to Rikin. Saureen laughs, "Yeah, but you work hard, *and* you enjoy yourself".

What more is there?


  1. Wonderful to read this - 'what more is there' sums up the gratitude in this post :) Especially glad you are able to do the 6-month-US-6-month-India gig, it's something I would want to do myself!