A month back, I spoke to Divya to invite her for an expert session. Divya has an enviable career record. She is a queer, consultant psychologist with a five year clinical practice in New York, and has conducted hundreds of corporate and institutional training workshops on sexuality. ‘At such a young age, you have done an unbelievable work.’ I said wide-eyed. Her credentials made me shyingly disclose to her

‘Like You I also want to be a sexuality educator and trainer. But I have started very late, I’m 34 now. To add to the woes, I’m also facing a trouble in finding right learning resources. On internet there is more irrelevant content available than relevant. And this is delaying my learning process.’

I then asked for her help with some of her knowledge and content so that I can fast-track my learning. To my disappointment, she declined and said all this ‘knowledge’ is hard-earned and includes years of her efforts and she cannot share it for ‘free’. I tried to show her the larger picture of the problem in hand.

‘I’m glad you are doing this amazing work to help people and students. But think once, how many people would you be able to impact by yourself in your lifetime? There are millions of abortions and relationship fiascoes happening in India for which we need more educators like you. I’m glad you have this reservoir of knowledge but do think of creating a wider, self-less impact where lives of more people are enriched.’ 

She still refused and insisted that I get her a paid workshop first. I was heartbroken seeing her insensitive side. I was reminded of standard 4th class when I once asked Ashish, my classmate to help me with the homework. The boy yelled. ‘Why should I give you my homework? Do your homework on your own.’

The next day, I went to the park all infuriated, hurting from within like a maltreated child. I had lost faith in kindness. I strolled on the gritty pavement and grumbled.

•I touched sun-kissed green leafs and asked ‘Can I crush you? I’m angry and I want to vent my anger on you.’
•I asked the green silk grass ‘Can I sit and rub my itching body onto you?’
•I plucked petunia, marigold flowers and asked ‘Can I smell your fragrance? I want to calm my distraught mind’
•I asked the oak tree ‘Can I cut your branch to make the walking stick of my ailing mother?’
•I asked the breeze ‘Can I inhale your pure air?’
•I scooped a large handful of mud and asked ‘Can I anoint my feet on you?’

The park let me take what I wanted without having to ask. I came back home, feeling relieved that not all goodness, the sense of selflessness is lost, some still remains. The park is the embodiment of true human principle.