May you spare 15 days from 365 days?

15 days. It took me 15 days to learn and unlearn.  While I keep saying I am a big fan of my country and India has so much to offer, I got this validated by being a participant or as we all are fondly called-  Yatris as a part of  Jagriti Yatra. The organisation aims at building India through enterprise.  A 15 day train journey, spread over 8000 kms that takes you to 12 cities/districts in a train.  Observations, peer learnings, discipline are all a part of this experiential learning.

Jagruti Yatra

For a  fortnight, you are bound by a train and eventually, whether you like it or not, the train becomes your home. Those of you who know me, are aware of my fascination with the Indian trains.

With this opportunity in hand, I wanted to be a part of this unique train journey. While I was one of the 470 Yatris who was lucky enough to experience life on wheels and witness India through a window seat of a train and at times through a  bus, I also gathered some philosophies of life.  Some of which, I heard from listening to people from varied backgrounds most of whom who have been working in the grassroots from time immemorial. Others, lets say, they fall under this category- #Overheard in the train.

Most of these people, I met during the day where we got off the train to hear them speak about their work and what drives them to be what they are today. During the day, I was traveling through the 12 cities. Night was spent being back to our home- train.


Here is a modest attempt to bring out 15 quotes from 15 days of traveling 8000 kms by visiting 12 cities with 470 plus people.

15 quotable quotes from 15 days

  1. “One day, I will become successful. I will turn the world.” 12- year-old-Tejaswini, studying  at Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, Dharward.
  2. “Travel the world through people.” #Overheard in the train.
  3. Success is what happens to you, Significance is what happens through you” Dr. Aravind, Aravind Eye Foundation, Madurai
  4. “The only way to sustain agriculture is to make it economically rewarding and intellectually stimulating,” said M.S Swaminathan. Founder, MSSRF, Chennai
  5. “You have to set an example. The only way to do it is to set an example,” said  Sanjit “Bunker” Roy,  Founder Director, Barefoot College, Tilonia, Rajasthan. He is also husband of Aruna Roy.
  6.  IAS means I am Supreme- Joe Madiath, Founder, Gram Vikas, Ganjam, Odisha.
  7. You have to have faith in reason, if you have to have faith at all. #overheard in the train.
  8. “दुनिया बदलना चाहते हो ? सुधार क्यों नहि देते ?” Said Anshu Gupta, Founder/Director, Goonj , Delhi.

(You want to change the world? Why don’t you improve the                world?)

9. “Sometimes to build great things, you need money. That is                  not true,” said, N S Parthasarathy, co-founder and the CEO,                Independent Testing & IMTS of MindTree. We heard him speak in Bangalore.

10. “You have to be the user of the problem,” said Rahul Yadav,                 former CEO, We heard him speak at a panel discussion on digital India in Bangalore.

11. “Yaar. Give up nahi marna yaar,” said Vijay Sharma, co-                       founder and CEO,, We heard him speak at a panel discussion on digital India in Bangalore.

12. “I am a teenager who refused to grow up,” said Sri Sri Ravi                   Shankar.

13. “What is the purpose of life? The purpose of life is to be                           happy.” Robin Chaurasia, Founder Kranti.

14. “Do what you love. That is where you will likely be                                    successful,” said Salil Bhatt, creator of Satvik Veena, the                      musical instrument.

15. “You live your life. You die. You are not needed anymore,”             said Aditi, outreach coordinator, Selco.

While there was much more I saw, experienced and learned, these quotes are something which are applicable to all. These truly inspired this hobo.

What do you have to say?





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