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Not till we are completely lost or turned around… do we begin to find ourselves.
– Thoreau

It was in 2003, after clearing entrance for IITs that I thought I could get back to exploring life for myself. But that was not how it was supposed to be. I was soon being hailed by my family and others as a hallmark of brilliance. The overwhelming congratulatory awes, that I received for next 5 years dragged me back into deception. It was amazing to see the uncanny ability of the world to pull you away from your own self. Soon I was doing things I simply never connected to, running after things I never even wanted to have in the very first place. I now wanted to start a company, do an MBA from a reputed school, because that is what I thought was the in thing. Somewhere though I also wanted to do something good for the world and so I took up the job with the World Bank, only later to realize that our definitions of ‘doing good’ were quite different. A year later I finally decided to leave the job, the degrees, the worldly definitions of success and failures, to once again listen to myself.

Sometime in class 7th or 8th I had got hold of a book on Tagore and his life. I had read how he had quit school and learnt things he really wished to; about a space he created for children called Shantiniketan. Back in school I liked what I read but the thought of doing the same never occurred to me. After leaving the job trying to figure what my heart was into, I wondered what if I could spend my life working towards one such space too, a learning space, a space unlike a regular school.

I somehow knew this – that, no the present schooling system was not the best that we could have come up with to educate our children. We who have come up with wondrous symphonies, with unbelievable art work, innumerable myths and stories to explain the mystery of human life, could have come with something way way better, something much closer to the way all of us learn, something that gives space to our curiosity and not a system that systematically destroys it.

I spent around three years going around the country – spent time in monasteries, villages, time with tribal folks, seeing how different people understood education so differently. Interestingly, through my journey, more than the experts, meeting and getting to know the so called “illiterate and uneducated” people helped me understand some of these questions better. These three years that I spent both in solitude and living with diverse communities, were the ones I believe when my real education began.

While this never ending quest for meaning continues, I now spend time working with a group of children who chose not to follow the regular schooling pattern at ‘A Little Grove‘, a small alternative learning space in Hyderabad.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashish permalink
    October 19, 2009 07:37



  2. Roy permalink
    March 8, 2011 13:02

    In your own words, your thoughts are just *too much* dude


  3. March 25, 2011 00:57

    you still living in ahmedabad, amit?


    • March 27, 2011 11:54

      Hi, I was in Ahmedabad, recently moved to Udaipur


      • biren shah permalink
        March 28, 2011 13:55

        hi amit,
        i was going to reply… ask, actually… if you knew about shikshantar and rewa (who is a friend)… but b4 i could o that, i read your name in the LSC’11 list, and came to know you are a PART of swaraj…

        the only eloquence i am left with is – wow!


  4. March 31, 2011 15:47

    🙂 yes, and if I am not wrong, we had also met when you had come to Indicorps.. hope to see you in Deer park


    • biren permalink
      March 31, 2011 23:41

      now i am embarrased.
      i didnot know you were THAT amit i met briefly. and breeze-ily.

      so, we will hug and make up at Bir


  5. somyaa permalink
    May 17, 2011 09:37

    hi ! nice ‘about me’…


  6. October 4, 2011 02:29

    your profile pic reminds me of one of my favorite books ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’. check it out if you’re so inclined 😀


    • October 5, 2011 07:03

      Hi, I haven’t read it 🙂 but will definitely do so now and get back.. seems like an interesting read.. thanks


  7. Amy Motes permalink
    October 16, 2011 14:03

    Very Cool Man!!!!! Doh!!


  8. November 27, 2011 22:42

    nice ‘about me’ and gr8 writeups ……. liked this wee place and will definitely keep cming… Happy writing!!!


  9. November 28, 2011 13:34

    hey amit, nice to stumble upon ur blog!!! any plans to come to noida? Ill be there from 2nd Dec to 12th Dec…
    How are ur pursuits shaping up
    – Maneesh


    • November 28, 2011 15:20

      Hey Dhooper.. everything is peaceful at my side.. great to hear from you after such a long time.. I just joined this place in Hyd and so will not be able to come to Noida.. Tu kahan hai aajkal?


      • December 25, 2011 14:58

        when did you join this hydrebadi org?
        how was the himalayan tryst..?


  10. December 25, 2011 22:01

    @ Biren – I joined it a few weeks ago.. Himalayas are incomparable, I feel at home there 🙂


  11. Chloe permalink
    March 8, 2012 07:52

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your journey to find yourself. It mirrors mine in many ways. One place which helped me find answers was The Himalayan Farm Project up in Uttarakhand. If you have fit to walk for 30 mins this may be the place for you.. The space to be alone and look within. Thank you for sharing.


    • March 8, 2012 08:24

      Glad you enjoyed reading and thank you for suggesting the place in Uttarakhand. I have heard of the project and would definitely like to go and see it sometime. If you are somewhere that side, do try this place called ‘Deer Park’ in Bir.. Bir a small Tibetan village some 2 hours from Dharamsala in Himachal.


  12. Pramod permalink
    April 10, 2012 12:22

    Hi, would like to know about the experiments being done at CFL.


  13. Kobayashi permalink
    June 13, 2012 15:21

    You have found your answers to find your questions…….and are helping others do the same.
    Great work indeed.


    • June 28, 2012 19:32

      First of all thank you for your comment.. I was thinking about your comment and this is what came up – I think in true sense I am just trying to find answers for myself through what I write here..


  14. February 24, 2013 22:14

    Hi Amit!

    It is great to read about you and even better to learn that you live in Hyderabad.
    Following your blog.



    • February 24, 2013 22:33

      Thank you so much 🙂 In case you are from Hyderabad, please feel free to visit us at Centre for Learning. Take care.


  15. June 4, 2013 23:28


    My name is Sam Marquit, I am an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value I am wondering if you’re interested in featuring me on your blog because I would love a chance to speak with your readers about the idea of environmentally responsible tourism as it’s applied in modern day travel and stay.

    If you think this topic, or any other for that matter, would be of interest to your readers, please let me know and I can begin drafting up something that I believe will mesh with your blog very well.

    I look forward to hearing back from you; hopefully we can work together on spreading the word on important topics like this as they relate to environmental awareness!

    I look forward to hearing from you,



  16. Shipra permalink
    July 17, 2013 12:46

    Such a small world , Amit…. And it took me a long route to come to your blog … Just finished posting on your article ‘ portraits….’
    And then after doing that I decide to check about you and then I realise that I have met / seen you at centre of learning and Ved vihar…
    Nice to know your views…. Very stimulating…
    Forwarding your blog add to some of my friends .


    • July 17, 2013 19:46

      Thank you. I too have heard about you from common friends (that you like cycling.. right!) Hope to see you sometime soon..


  17. M.Radhakrishnan permalink
    July 22, 2013 14:36

    Dear Amit,

    I am a friend & school mate of Biren Shah. Just happened to read your poem Earth is round. Beautiful thoughts beautifully expressed. This intro too is superb. I too write a bit..used to write is perhaps more correct..

    You made me go back to my writings… and more importantly to introspect. Give us more is what I would say.



    • July 22, 2013 23:32

      Thank you so much for such a beautiful message. Would love to read some of your writings. Hope to meet you sometime.


  18. M.Radhakrishnan permalink
    July 22, 2013 14:38

    Sorry the name of the pem is The Truth That I seek..


  19. shantanumundhada permalink
    April 1, 2016 04:07

    Hi Amit.
    Nice to have read through a few of your blog posts. You manage the blog quite well… something I ought to learn from you. I write on, live on the farm in Central MP along with wife and kids, homeschool the kids, dabble with farming, trying to uncomplicate life.

    Do visit us sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 4, 2016 22:45

      Hi Shantanu, Good to hear from you. Glad you liked the writing. I am going through some of your writings. They are quite interesting. Would love to visit you sometime.


  20. April 21, 2016 15:43

    Hi, I saw the link of your page (Earth is not round) shared on FB. I thought this would be another blog to fool gullible individuals, That earth is not round, earth is flat etc etc.
    Much to my surprise, I found these articles and poems very very interesting. Keep it up. I would love to follow your blog


  21. chakratirthatravels permalink
    April 28, 2016 19:35

    Hi Amit,

    I came across your post “Trees: the most penetrable preachers” through my friend Bhavana and I was drawn to your writing. Love the way your have written about your life’s journey and how it changed you. You will see me more often on this space now.


    • April 29, 2016 09:39

      Glad you liked the writings and my story… most of the pieces shared here have been written by others 🙂 Do come and visit us sometime..


  22. February 17, 2020 06:57

    Hi Amit.
    Read your post titled ‘Children are like Trees’ and loved it. Couldn’t reach the post when I got the like button…

    Nice to reconnect after a while. Not sure you recollect, but we had interactions in the past.


    • February 20, 2020 16:26

      Hi Shantanu, yes yes I remember you 🙂 There was some problem with the post.. hence republished it.. Glad you liked it.. How are you doing? Do visit us if you come to hyderabad sometime.


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