We heard the birds chirping, there was no noise of the fans, there was the sound of wind hitting the leaves. None of
the chairs made noise; all we heard was the noise of silence, something which we failed to listen to in our busy routine lives. Asia Plateau had welcomed us to be part of the Moral Rearmament camp amidst the rich scenic beauty of Panchgani. From the time we landed in the MRA with energy level spiking the roof of the bus, to the time four days later when we clicked the last group picture before we silently boarded the bus back to our college, each of us had an extra baggage, this time full of memories and experience out of the learning.
There was the visit to Sydney Point to watch the sunset, and the next morning, we followed it up with a short trek to witness the sunrise. It was magical. Both the places, we were requested to remain silent and observe. As we spoke nothing for a quite a long time, we observed, we began to think, we realized. It was tough during the sunset, but we could pull it out during the sunrise. Most of us couldn’t realize the last time we saw through the sun coming out of the horizon. We shared amongst the others, people brought in metaphors, while the rest listened. By the end of second day, we learnt to listen, not just to others, but to us. We could hear others speaking out things which we wanted to, things which we heard.
There were family group meetings with different members where as a family; we shared instances of happiness and sorrow. We got to know people whom until then we had just known by name. We served food; we cleansed the plates and tables. We danced, we wrote about each one of us on a paper on their back. People read them and smiled. For most of us still have those sheets (Few of them got additional ones as well) preserved. We, a group of around hundred, knew most of them while we returned. People shared their memories and experiences. Many made resolutions, many follow even now. But, as the bus came out for one last time, we heard the poems sung by the members of Initiatives of Change. We saw, smiled and thought that one day, probably we might be back to be part of this refreshing experience.