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Day 18

July 18, 2013

“There’s been a blip!” You say. “You’re missing days!”

You’re right. I was only in Seoni for two days but somehow we’ve gotten from Day 12 to Day 18. I blame the rains.

“I’m not satisfied.” You say, crossing your arms.

Oh all right. Things happened, yes, absolutely they did. Mrs. Mukerji, Anu and I toured Old Bhopal on Sunday. I saw a large and serene mosque and a palace that had been turned into a hotel. I squeezed through the narrow, busy streets of the market and tried new kinds of sweets (I thought I was not a sweets person but I am being proved wrong at every turn). 

The day after Seoni was a lost one for me. I slept a lot and wrote seven blog posts. Blogging about writing blogs felt a little to recursive to me. But I did it. You see the things I do for you?

“Hmmph.” You say, satisfied but not wanting to show it.

Which brings us to today.

I woke up late, after sleeping soundly. What a joy it is to be able to lie down and sleep!

I had the morning free, supposedly for writing, so Anu and I went to the post office to send my six letters. We enquired about express post, but decided that 1045 rupees per letter (that’s about twenty dollars) was a bit too much to pay…! We sent them regular. I might come home before my letters, but they are in transit now. Exciting!

A lot of my time in Seoni had been spent writing. As soon as I lost the thread of the conversation in Hindi, I started writing. “What are you always noting down?” They asked me. I was trying to rewrite and write the guide to thinking differently I have been going on about for a while now. I am starting to think that it will be the anchor of whatever else I produce here. I want it to be the heart of my internship. 

But I was having a hard time actually getting it out. I know that I want it to be about becoming more alive and pushing against expectations. I know that I want it to push people to see the limitless potential in themselves and in the world. But I had issues with the structure. I couldn’t see how to fit it all together. I’ve written several versions of it. And each time I learn more but I know that it’s not quite right.

Pradeep and I spent the whole afternoon talking about the guide and how to format it. We came at it from many different angles and now I feel ready to let it pour out. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, because I am hoping some of you will want to read it, so I’ll stop there.

I do want to leave you with something that is still puzzling me. Pradeep told me about something he designed when he was my age – “a swing that swings you back!” He had developed a swing that doesn’t dissipate the energy you give it by sending it into the ground.  Once he had a paying job, he used some of his money to get a prototype made at a blacksmith (“Of course he did,” you say, shaking your head and chuckling. “That guy!”). No one thought it would work, but it did (he had to try it himself since no one was willing to take the risk). He gave me some time to think about how he did it (or how anyone could do it “There are always many ways to do anything,” he told me. “Stop focusing on getting my answer and try to find an answer. It might be better than mine!”)

My real answers showed that he was giving me too much credit. I was obsessed with there being springs involved. Then I thought it could just be a tree swing. I still haven’t quite grasped it. But I loved the process of grinding against this problem, even though I couldn’t make that much headway. I wanted to experiment with some strings. I realized how much I had been missing a chance to just test things out for myself. I spend a lot of time in my head. Maybe too much. 

My challenge to you is to think about how a swing like this could work. I have until tomorrow to figure it out. Wish me luck!

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