Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thoughts for Posterity: 2017 Campaign

A day ago when Swarna ma'am reminded me to write the opening post as campaign associate, and I put it on my list for things to do once I got home as usual. But when I opened the blog up to write, I experienced this sense of euphoria: because for once, after years of purely academic writing, legal writing, purely non-experience related writing; I was finally at a place where I could write about what I was doing, and what I was excited about! I stared back at my laptop for a few minutes because I needed that time to get into the writing personally-mode.
I use the word personally because working with Prajnya has also become personal, in a sense to me. Just two days back I experienced this sense of outrage when I thought that someone had tried to co-opt a certain event (all misunderstandings cleared) that we had meticulously planned and were almost ready to execute: such so much that I realized that I was so involved with work, I didn't stop to think that perhaps I was feeling extremely over-protective of the campaign and of Prajnya's work! It made me laugh a little in my head - mainly because I remembered going for a workshop a year ago on emotional intelligence, where the facilitator told us that the one take-away from the day should be, never let your professional life affect your personal life, and always separate your emotions from your work. While at the time I thought that was sound advice; working with Prajnya, somehow I feel that I have learnt to appreciate the emotions and accept the ones that come along with planning this campaign.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that sometimes while one is in constant touch with something, its intensity and significance is greatly diluted in their heads. I was telling a friend about the campaign and how it works, and she was so awed by it, and was so happy that the campaign initiates dialogue on such a large scale, she proceeded to tell all her friends in Madras about it. For a moment I was shocked; because working with it, I suppose I had somewhat gotten used to the idea in my head, but when I actually sat down and thought about it: the reality of it hit me. The idea that while people have been debating and arguing about so many things online; Prajnya has been doing this for 8 years offline, going on-ground, changing norms, breaking stereotypes - and to think of the number of people who have been educated because of this, and the number of people that soon will be - the mind boggles. I am almost ashamed that I normalized this in my head - I remain constantly amazed by the work Prajnya does, and will do; and with this I hope the 2017 campaign continues to do this - educate, raise awareness, initiate change. When I first interviewed for the job I was almost sure I would not get it; I don't have a Master's degree, I was afraid that I came off as a little too immature for a job like this, and perhaps in some part of my head I did think that I might be, too young to handle something that initiates such large-scale awareness in Madras. Now that I'm here, I can't believe we are almost ready to release the calendar and more than that, I can't believe I ever got used to the idea. Writing this post brings back all the anticipation, excitement and astonishment: we're here, we're ready and we're good to go.


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