Aman Bhardwaj, PMRDF
Note: Those who have promised themselves not to listen to others’ private affairs may avoid reading this or can read it after chanting Hanuman Chalisha 108 times.
One of the few terms I heard and started using too often after joining this scheme is “Sustainability”. No, I shall tell you the truth. Actually, I heard this in 4th year of my Graduation when after three years of teaching “how greedily to take out as much minerals as possible from ground underneath?” the same professor taught us to leave some of mineral down there, not out of generosity or the self-discipline stuff but enough to let the ground stay where it is or it may subside and fall into the hole.
But, my definition of sustainability received a severe blow after I joined Coal India; blow, the kind you received while spending first evening in your district’s guest house. There, sustainability was like Harry Potter, just a fictional character. People talked about it and knew he existed, in stories of school of Magic. To become sure of his existence, they looked around and asked their brethren if they had seen someone selling pots or earthen vessels, but all of them denied. (To those who don’t know Harry Potter: Harry is anything but a Potter.) Most of them believed in their hearts that Harry Potter didn’t exist, but due to an important need to look intelligent, publicly they acknowledged that Harry Potter existed. Some of them, in fact said they even had had dinner with Harry Potter in Paradise, the Biryani Moghul in Hyderabad. Some even went lengths and produced vessels in front of public to show Harry Potter had sold it to them. But in their hearts they knew, they didn’t know him.
Let me get straight to the point now. “Sustainability” was like childhood sweetheart, who would come along, whenever I am thinking something important, knock on mind’s door and would shout with a contorted face “Hey! You better not forget me.”. I felt trapped and even cried without tears. Trapped in ‘Sustainability trap’. She didn’t stop coming to me until I got her married to someone else (Yes. You’re right. I, in my mind, have married her off to someone in our current batch, 2nd Batch.) Now, I don’t think of her.
Sometimes, I missed her. Sometimes. But I stopped missing her after I got a new girlfriend. Now, everyone must be wondering who the hell she be to replace sustainability.
Must be some kind of greatsustainmanagexistecologyfriendlytimeless-bility.
God’s promise!! She is not that.
One of my mentors introduced me to her (better her to me). She is called “relevance”. Now, she doesn’t act as a pain in the ass; rather she helps me by enabling to ask questions like:
“Would the intervention, you’re planning to take, aims to make some positive contribution in lives of people?”
“Would the people involved like/love/benefit it? If yes, how many are those and how resourceful are they. if no, what powers and resources they have to stop that.”
“Still haven’t started, eh? Go on field.”
“Are there groups (Youth, NGO, Elderly etc.) who realize the intervention is relevant for people out there? Engage them and make them feel its relevance. Bring inasmuch as you can.”
I am happily dating her on some of the small drinks (read ‘ideas’). She neither asks me to think of the marriage propositions nor she hides the fact too long that she has deserted me. She is ruthlessly frank but simple and precise. Friends, she is one to be desired for.
Now, I think I’d rather have better fallen for greatsustainmanagexistecologyfriendlytimeless-bility than falling for sustainability.
For two benefits: 1. I’d have added this large word in my memory and would have sounded intelligent in front of you and others and 2. I’d not have been heartbroken so many times.
But anyways, who knows? You know, fate, destiny…. fatalistic stuff. (We all secretly believe in this God-staged-drama story thing. Don’t we.)
(Friends…Regarding the first evening.. I know some of you had awesome evenings when your pious feet touched the motherly soil of your districts and your district collectors opened their arms like Shahrukh Khan of DDLJ and hugged you tightly like you were their long forgotten lost love. Please don’t reply with that story. Because in my part, I was like miserable Mr. Biswas of V S Naipaul’s “A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS”. I had to wait for five hours to have a look of my holy grace. The condition also didn’t turn better than Mr. Biswas, later on.)
Dare you not ask me who has been married to sustainability? )