After our journey through the villages, we came back to Ahmedabad. I had a pretty clear idea of what we could embark upon, but didn’t really have a plan as to exactly when and where.

nipungrrrOur friends, Nipun and Guri, decided not to waste a moment and to start walking immediately to “find the good” in people, particularly in inspirational people. Their plan was to walk and travel lightly and to chart their course as they progressed, based on information they would gather. As they met with inspirational figures, they would document their stories and offer a helping hand wherever possible.

Even though this plan involved a lot of walking and some unknowns and some helping, for me, personally, it felt almost too pleasant and unchallenging. Knowing that the world around was filled with pain and problems and knowing that there was relief and solutions on hand, I felt compelled to at least try to throw myself into the drama of life and offer what I could.

Based on their spontaneous decision to leave, I was left with the feeling that they were engaging in a plan of action and I was left in a space of planning or dreaming. I didn’t like this feeling and decided that, for my own sense of comfort, action had to come quickly.

A few insights immediately shot up to the surface. For one, why not start in Ahmedabad? We were here. Why go anywhere else? One could argue, why go to India at all, but many factors –mostly intuitive ones – brought us all to India. For whatever reasons, here we were, and to engage in all-out cleaning and kindness campaign in the middle of a city would no doubt send immediate shock waves.

I also decided that we should go without money, to greatly reduce any barriers of separation that would inevitably result through possessing and guarding ‘what is mine’. We knew we would be taken care of. The one concern, of course, is that the water we would be offered would make us sick. I told Mark to start drinking the local water immediately in hopes of adjusting as quickly as possible. I would too (coincidentally, this is about where the month of sickness began.) :)

So the plan was to hit the streets for a couple weeks, and stir up all the love and dust we could, push a cart filled beyond capacity with collected plastic and garbage, sleep out on the streets, and then eventually deliver the cart somewhere, to at least symbolically raise the issue about plastic.

Our group was about 7 people at the time and there was a long period of uncertainty and one difficult night when it seemed like I was on my own. At the time when the US was nearing an attack on Iraq, I had engaged in a campaign that stretched me to my limits and so I was very aware that the limits existed. I’m a shy guy. I think in bold ways and I often step into my fears because I care to effect bold change (plus, I like a life of color), but ever since childhood, I’ve been terrified of being the center of attention.

Without Mark by my side on this, I felt my limits would consume me. I figured that this may very well be the end to a trip that carried just so much promise. I offered myself to the universe, and whatever was meant to be would happen. The following day, Mark made the decision to join me. This journey would continue.