Bjelkeman's travel notes

Travels with the cloud in my pocket.

The paradox that is India

A bird, its image captured at the dawn of the morning in Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary

On the Friday we took some time out and went to Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary, where we saw hundreds if not thousands of flamingos and other birds. A very beautiful trip, despite having to get up at 4.30 in the morning.

I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control of his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubtd and your self melting away. – Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

We also went to Gandhi’s ashram (a hermitage) which was a beautiful and contemplative place. Here Anke bought a book at the museum store. The book was wrapped in what initially looked like newspaper. But when I looked more carefully it was the legal documentation of an IPO (initial public stock offering) / a sale of shares in the Red Herring Fund in India. (The Red Herring Fund would be a cutting edge technology fund.) I was quite taken by this. Here we have museum of one of the most revered spiritual leaders in modern history wrapping books in the offcasts of rampant capitalism, or recycling failed commercial venture’s remains.

Sharada Prasad, who was with us, said: “This is the paradox [of India]”, and it truly is.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Thomas Bjelkeman, Oliver Galloway-Lunn. Oliver Galloway-Lunn said: RT @bjelkeman: The paradox that is India. […]

About Bjelkeman

Co-director: Akvo Foundation

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