The after-RV-life

Aditi Parekh, maverick unschooler, shares her perspective of RV from the outside, and how she “began to carry RV with [her].”

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Not exactly, but it’s been a year since RV. A year that took me as far away from RV as it did bring me closer.

It started out with grimness — what else, when you are requested to leave a place you love. A lot like being dumped. I tried to start again, but that’s hardly easy when a hundred ties to the past refuse to let you go… when you refuse to let go.

They gave me a new room and a phone but I still wanted my messy First room and tactfully acquired phone chits.
They gave me amazing food (such a winning point after DH ka khaana!) but I still wanted to cook my lousy maggi and eat it with.my.hands. And clear up all evidence of having done so.
They gave me superiority — but I kept harping about equality of students and not wanting the evil Captain badge.
They gave me freedom, love and so many choices… but I still longed for RV.

There was only so much I could sulk and cry — eventually they did lure me out and away from my RV Prejudice. There began a fresh insight into my past. Amazingly enough, I got over RV. I got over that lover who had dumped me and moved on without me — and just like the fresh-lease-of-life movie scene, that longing, pain and pessimism turned into a new core of ideas, values, a way of life, within me.

I began to carry RV with me.

It ceased to be an exclusive set of physical entities and ideas attached to them — for example, Asthachal in the valley, folkie and all the illegal stuff — and transcended to what all those things represent — the beauty of silence and nature, community and experiences that go beyond established rules, respectively.

I dug out the experiences and unearthed just the essence of everything that RV is made of. Stripping all else that has been hiding and changing that essence – and what’s left is unlimited by space and time. If and when an ex – RV-ite finds this dawning realization, I believe that he or she has understood RV. And if he or she can carry that essence and sprinkle it on their conditions, then they have found RV.

I am still terribly attached to the place and people but I’ve found ways to channel RV into everything — twenty minutes of silence every evening, taking turns doing the chores and questioning everything — I have found my RV.

Aditi spent three years, from her 8th to her 10th, at RV, during 2008-2011.

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