Homecoming: Truest Sense & Beyond

Brief background: pertaining to the pointless political exercise Jammu is often caught in – the growth and multi-fold expansion the NGO base that should’ve ideally occurred, didn’t really ensue. Irony oscillated between two extremities: UN-addressed-humanitarian crisis prevailing and critical scarcity of NGOs.

As a result of which, I was told, there’s an acute dearth of interns.

But of course, there were multiple layers to it.

As soon as I got on board, a plethora of unanticipated work and responsibilities popped right into my court. The bandwidth of my work profile ranged from reviving an old newsletter that hadn’t come out with an edition for the last eight years to doing rehabilitation work at the border areas and nearby. From charity work to first-aid courses. From social media work, to assisting and monitoring the blood donation camps that NGO organizes, I found myself involved at every single level of every single activity. An explicable state of stress and trance, it was dopamine and adrenaline. I was perpetually answerable and seeking them, scolding and getting it. Rubbing others & simultaneously getting myself too.

Through the course of it all, it occurred to me how macro my outlook of my hometown was. I learnt so much: came to terms with political, aesthetic and humanitarian (and professional maybe) facets my mind had left uncharted before. I realised how deeply in love I was with this place, despite being immensely vocal of my resentment towards it. And to quote the Persian poet who once said, ‘hamin’asto, hamin’asto’: that there’s no other place in the world like this.

So you see, as someone who wasn’t very fond of his hometown, found an unsettling solace in it.

I found a major chunk of myself, which is fairly personal to be talked about.

And above it all, an NGO internship that turned out to be a baby industry internship.

Icing on the cake, journalism in the valley now seems like a viable option to me. Thanks to this internship, that steam of doubt has been wiped off from the glass panes of possibilities.

Rounak Bhat
(Batch 2021)