Last time, we brought you the story of a girl from Guwahati who is pushing the limits to reach beyond one’s wildest imagination. Now we bring you another inspired Sevak, this time from the sandy beaches of Goa. An artist, she had come at a time when life was seemingly colourless. But she ended up finding all the lost colours in her life. Let us see what she has to say:
Where and how did your association with the Chinmaya Mission begin?
I never knew anything concrete about the Mission till I joined the Mission sponsored Youth Empowerment Programme. My cousin had previously done the course and seeing me ‘at the end of my wits’, she recommended me to do the course. She said that the course would help one, gain clarity. And so I took a 3-month leave from my employer and came to Vibhooti –apprehensive but excited and there started my association with the Mission with a bang.
When was it that you decided you wanted to serve the Mission full-time?
As I had mentioned earlier, I had only taken temporary leave to do the YEP Course as a guest student. I had no idea as to what I should expect. But then during the course we all had to spend one day in solitude without any form of entertainment, not even a watch. I was bored at first but it was there that I did some serious thinking. And at the end of my 24 hours, I had come to a decision. I wanted to serve the Mission for a year. Then nearing the end of our course, the interviews regarding our postings had begun. When Swamiji asked about my posting, I told him I was ready to serve anywhere but Goa, because I really wanted to be in control of my own life. And that is how I landed in Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) and started helping in the designing of books.
Eventually my artistic vasanas (tendencies) kicked into action and it was then I knew what I wanted to do with my life! For the first time in my life, I felt contended with what I did! I had finally become ‘Tripti’. So I did not want to stop doing what I love. But I was to get married and relocate to Delhi and that posed some problems. Luckily, with God’s grace, the blessings of my Guru and a little bit of flexibility from the top brass of CCMT, we worked it out. I was to be a paid employee of CCMT, but based in Delhi. It is true, that whenever you want something with all your heart, the universe will conspire with you to achieve it!
To dedicate one’s life to service, one needs a role model or inspiration. Did you have any who inspired you to go the ‘other way’?
Well there would be no surprises when I say the first person who inspired me was Swami Mitrananda. The main thing I noticed about Swamiji is that he interacts with each person in exactly the way they have to be dealt with. I remember every time I would go to Swamiji with a bag full of complaints and lamentations – “Why Me??!” was my constant cry! He would just look at me in the eye and say, “It’s time for you to drop your past.” This statement had a quite an impact and continues to help me in moving forward with my life. If Swamiji gave me the push, then I can say that it was Manishaji, who pulled me up every time I was down. She threw many challenges at me and she also gave me the support to face the very same. I can say she moulded me. Last but not least, it was my husband Bhaskar (formerly the Editor of Balvihar Magazine) who was and continues to be a shoulder to lean on, as well as the ‘tech geek’ who kept me updated on the new softwares and the like.
Since you joined the YEP course when you where at you wit’s end, can you say that life has changed since then?
YEP is an ‘awesome’ initiative of CHYK (Youth Wing of the Chinmaya Mission). It is very difficult to explain or describe in words what YEP means to me. It gives the youth a platform to burst out and fly…or my case ‘colour’! The memories of the course still bring a tear to my eye. IT has expanded my mind and also given me a set of ideals to follow in my life. I am what I am because of YEP. To describe YEP in one word I would say that the course is “Transformative”. Like a mirror, it helps you see yourself! I personally have seen the transformation in others and I can feel the same in ‘Me’.
What is the need for such organisations like Chinmaya Mission (CM) today?
I remember in my childhood days, I was very inquisitive and used to ask a lot of ‘WHY’. It used to really irritate my grandmother and she would say she never used to question what elders said. But today’s youth have a hunger to know! And when they don’t get answers they go get misguided. Hence we need organisations like Chinmaya Mission who quench our thirst for knowledge on our culture and religion. Also the Mission has done tremendous amount of social work, reaching and uplifting the lives of lakhs across India.
Now, I heard that you are going work for CCMT, Mumbai from Delhi. That’s interesting! Care to share more details on that?
Now, I have just begun working from Delhi. It is an interesting method. We will see how well it works out. It is decided that since most of my work involves designing books and publicity material, I shall work from Delhi and send it across through file sharing devices. Also later on, we hope to expand CCMT Publications and set-up a new team which would handle designing, proof-reading, publicity and so on in Delhi itself. It just goes to show how flexible CCMT is to a willing worker’s needs. Anyway I see a long journey ahead filled with challenges, but this time – I am ready!