We don’t fit into any ready mould. Neither in the mainstream nor in the alternate sphere. This makes me feel lonely, but also relieved. Relieved, because I’ve come to terms with this fact. Relieved, also because I’m not obliged to adhere to any religion – Environmentalism, Nationalism, Humanism, Consumerism, Capitalism, or any other religion or belief system with regard to farming, education or social order. This may come as a surpris for a few of you reading. You may have thought that I’ve a strong sense of ideology, but fact is that I have no sense of identity in the belief systems of anti-capitalism, anti-consumerism, anti-modernity and the like. I have no grudge against the mainstream anymore.
I’m unable to connect with any group, but I feel very much connected with every individual. I’ve discovered that all individuals are like that. When I converse with one person, whether about economics of different farming approaches or about education of children or about managing personal finances or almost any other subect, the conversation is quite an open communication. Both of us listen to each other. However, one more person joins in, and the conversation gets dominated by fears, doubts, distrust and caution. Of course, these emotions come to fore in the guise of practicality or pragmatism. The flip-side of the discussions so far with individuals has been that these turned out to be purely academic in nature. In every case, no action emanated or was intended. Purely academic conversations become quite boring.
But I’m no longer scared of this loneliness. That does not mean that I’m ok to stay lonely. It means that with time, I feel hopeful that we will not be lonely. The thought of what our children will experience on this front had been scaring me some time back, but the fear has been reduced a bit. My father and brother have been telling me that we’ve shown strength and determination in difficult situations. Things can only get better in future. I feel confident of our physical and mental strength to wade through rough waters – together. That helps me overcome fear. In the last few days, I’ve analysed our finances as well and the assessment assures me that we are adequately provided for even if we are unable to earn for the next 15-20 years.
What if we continue to remain lonely, despite our efforts to be otherwise? Unlikely; because if I remain alone for a long enough time, I’d have learnt to live alone – and that is not the same as being lonely!