Sep 27, 1997...... a month and few days before I turned 18... I think it was a Saturday... A bunch of folks at IIT Madras, trying to start a new student group ( well rather trying to semi-officialize an already existing loose network) organized a small talk by a Swamiji.... I was one among the may be 20 some audience...
It took me another year before I really started volunteering for the group, but I believe that day, 10 years before, some how initiated changes in my social life ... academically and careerwise whether that influenced my life - I donno..... I was told by my Father that astrologically I was supposed to have shanidasa (a bad period as I understand it) from like 18 to 36 or some such... I donno how that fits into the picture also, as even though compared to quite a brilliant academic record in the first 18 years ( State 10th 7th rank, state engineering entrance second rank, and IIT-JEE 141 ) , I may not have been able to do-all-I-wanted in my past 10 years, but it has not been any particularly bad either
Anyways, whatever that is... and around October beginning that year was when I first picked up a Bhagavad Gita also for myself........ and the 10 years, I have volunteered in my own small ways, for different organizations.... being instrumental in starting a few also.... educational, charity, social,student, non-student...... but memories about the first one are always special
In this post, I would perhaps post about just one experience - something which the organization never made much public, but I feel that its important that more people know about it.... A spiritual organization in the land of Periyar... it did not take much long after its initiation in 1997 that accusations of "Brahmanical propaganda" were hurled at us... in fact such a complaint was apparently lodged with the institute authorities about us
A bunch of young volunteers who never spoke about our "castes" among ourselves - suddenly we were forced to look at each other... for the first time in our 2 or 3 years of friendship, I was curious about knowing what castes my fellow volunteers belonged to.. Not that I would judge about the organization based on that, but just out of curiosity - thanks to the esteemed fellow who made the complaint based on his own fancy
And it turned out that out of the 7 vols from my batch , (as per the British defined system) 1 was a Brahmin, 1 told his caste as a vysya caste, I belonged to an "OBC", 3 belonged to SC and I don't know about the 7th fellow.....
and even if it were all Brahmins, what a stupid complaint that is.. If spirituality is what they equated to Brahmanism, then I would anyway don't mind being accused of being Brahmanical.. will take that as a credit !