Category Archives: Reflections

Indicorps’ year in review

Why Indicorps? Why India? I find passion in service, in work that is rewarded by wider values and in the gratitude of others. I yearn for adventure. I am motivated by challenges. I’m like a thousand other would-be do-gooders. Why … Continue reading

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What is an Indicorps Fellow?

In December 2009 I began my Indicorps’ adventure. A friend linked me to the application pages for a development experience unlike anything else out there. I wanted to volunteer abroad. On first impressions, Indicorps’ seemed the perfect opportunity. I go … Continue reading

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Leaders with dreams

Somewhere, sometime, we stopped dreaming. Sagar, the hostel warden, left his post last week to join a government school in his home district, Dausa. He was a solid hostel warden. He was in control; he knew the children, their parents, … Continue reading

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What have I done this year?

In A message home I wrote that my year in India has indulged childhood fantasies. I’ve been a jack-of-all trades; I’ve had the chance to try my hand at every job I wanted as a kid, except the astronaut part. … Continue reading

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India’s problem-solving problem

When a fallen tree obstructs the road, do you stop to move it? Or do you drive around it? Two days ago five child marriages took place in Chachiyawas, on my doorstep. Ten spritely children, blessed with potential, were needlessly … Continue reading

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One-billion strong for equality

Last night same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New York, making it one of just seven states (including the District of Columbia) to offer gay marriage in the US. A while ago I tried to crunch statistics on … Continue reading

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Facing the heat

The desert brings a cruel partisan climate. I remember a freezing weekend spent building our Chula. Back in November I could barely speak Hindi; but those misty mornings with the children – breaking every rule of fire safety – were … Continue reading

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How Indian am I?

Part of my Indicorps’ adventure is about dissecting my connection to India. For those who think I have a killer tan, here’s the reveal: I’m actually half Indian. Believe me when I say it’s happened more than once, before I … Continue reading

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Community immersion, trust, and apathy

He lurched across the courtyard. I’d never seen him like this before, staggering into groups of well-wishers, cursing his friends indiscriminately, and stopping to retch on his graceful exit from the shaadi. He wasn’t the only one drinking. From the … Continue reading

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My nalgene bottle and I

Here in India I have to downplay the cost of everything to avoid ridicule. On a recent work-related endeavour in Delhi I bought a USB-powered desktop fan to sit under my laptop and cool it. It cost Rs. 1100, but … Continue reading

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