It was my last day and we finally entered the beautiful city of Udaipur. We had completed walking more than 320 kilometers; without money. I was quite tired and feeling a little sick because of changing weather conditions – cool in the night and too hot in the day. On that, I had been drinking chilled buttermilk several times a day.
Our host was fixed. This one had already invited us even before we started. The hosts were the founders and directors of one of the most unusual University of the world—Swaraj University. The focus of this university is on self-designed learning and on green entrepreneurship, including exploration of basic business skills within the context of ecological sustainability and social justice. It’s as much about developing the capacities and confidence we need to create and pursue our unique learning paths as it is about strengthening the leadership capacity and right livelihood opportunities in communities.
I was feeling feverish as soon as I entered the host’s residence. The host offered us a nice and hot green tea made of magical herbs. It took my fever away for a while but it came back again. We were scheduled to give a talk in the university later in the night, but I knew my battery was down. I requested a room in a hotel and my partners escorted me to a budget hotel in the city. I selected a hotel very close to the inter-city bus stop because I was anticipating that I might have to leave through the night bus.
I took a room in that budget hotel and went outside to have a hot water gargle. It was a busy marketplace and I found a tea vendor. I requested to give me hot water so that I can add salt and gargle.
He demanded Rupees 10!
For the first time, I was being asked for money. I told him all about our journey, the mission, and hospitality we received. But, he cared a shit about all that. He was only interested in his money. I was very curious and a little bit angry but I think, I missed his point. He had encountered many customers who ask for a glass of water and never return them back. I was wrong because I didn’t understand him but instead I interpreted him. A good example of best and worst behavior; in me and others. This is also a good example how things start changing as we get into urban life.
Anyway, that was surely my last day. I called up my family doctor and he prescribed me some pills. I took the pills and slept for few hours. In the evening, I got up, informed Yogesh Mathuria and boarded the first bus for my home city. I very well remember that night…it was ill, magical, hopeful, satisfying, sad, rough, tiring and a Saturday!