Every time I see a fully-grown tree, I get transfixed at its grandeur. Tree – a symbol of perseverance, patience and a critical lifeline for every species on this planet. I bleed when a tree is cut unceremoniously, without having a second thought to what it means to us and our surroundings
As always, life offered two choices – to crib or to act, I ditched the former and picked the later. In 2011, bought a small land in my native place near Pondicherry, and planted various types of trees. Today, we have more than 800+ trees surrounding our land, and we are doing everything possible to protect them from the heavy drought that hit us. No one will have the right to cut it, and I intend to preserve them for the birds, insects and our generations to come. We are also experimenting with organic farming methods for rice and pulses. It feels great to be a producer in this ecosystem. There’s a greater pride in being a farmer than any significant designations that describes our corporate life!
I grew up in a small town near Chennai, in a 10×10 rented house, and to-date those were the happiest moments. As I grew up, I had everything come easy in my life, without much struggle or fight. I always had the luxury of making my own choice. But, life has a way of grounding you to harsh reality, and I am no exception from this inevitability.
From a cushy career in MNCs to becoming jobless for a while, having everything one would aspire for to lose it all for a while – life has always kept my arrogance and ignorance in check. When I lost my job to the recession, it’s the friendships that I earned in life gave me the zeal to fight back. That was a tough time but taught me a lot of things and have changed my perception towards success, money, and position. Having tasted both success and failures, I must say these bad times gave me biggest realizations till date. Embellished designations and money never gets into my head now. I have a simple formula, just do what makes you happy and forget the world. Life is yours, and you don’t live for others’ perceptions, opinions, criticism. They fade away with time. You and your life will be the only truth that will remain.
Back in my village, I see lots of elders struggling to make their living, as their beloved children abandon them for various reasons. It wrenches my heart to think about such suffering that the aged undergo. I am working on giving them a home and a respectable life which their children denied. I also started a monthly “Annadaanam- Food donation practice” for 200+ villagers and my future goal is to make it weekly and if God willing, daily!
When not immersed in the world of analytics, I like to feel some fresh air, which I only get by travelling. Out of many spectacular travel stories, the one that stays close to my heart is my journey into the steep and snow clad mountains of Kailash. Missing landslides and floods by inches, doing the parikrama of Mount Kailash and taking dips in the Manasarovar lake, the entire experience was exhilarating. There is no fast or direct way to get the mountains; you must earn your way with each step, and all by yourself. 20 days spent on this trip invalidated 36 years of my view on life and existence. The journey proffered me the most important way to answer the question,’ ’who am I?” Felt the presence of powerful energy which can’t be defined and eluded my senses for many years. If I look back now, I feel every experience, hardship that I had to endure in Kailash have got me closer to my existence.
Future for me? Well, you may find me near a small mud house surrounded by trees, relaxing in a hammock with my old friend monk in a glass, looking at the clear evening sky and wondering about the next stage of human evolution.
Meet Prajesh Kumar: A hardcore dendrophile, philanthropist, and diligent seeker