Little Land, Lots of Love

As we entered the garden, the picture of the cultural building was still living vividly in my memory. I could remember stepping onto its marble floor while looking at the quotes on the walls, the colorful mosaics on the floor, and the small but proud bookshelf in the corner just 5 minutes before. The garden was right next to this building, which was signaled by the multiples of ants hurrying on the walls towards their destination. The garden itself could not have been bigger than a larger rural house in Hungary; and it was pretty austere. The emptiness of the garden was due to the late monsoon that is still yet to show its face in Ahmedabad. As the slight breeze was blowing the sand and dust on the ground creating a miniature desert like effect Sanchi and Dikam showed us to their little plantation in the middle of the garden- both of them of course with that huge beautiful smile on their face. The plantation was a surprisingly tiny oval, in itself and compared to the small garden as well, that is able to feed up to 5 families. That number became even more amazing as I looked through the plantation: narrow pathways cutting through the dense 1-2 feet high vegetation, covered by a net, and protected from birds by a few hanging CD’s. As Dikam was telling us about the incredible design that went into such a small but crucial piece of land my amazement continued to escalate. Such a smart solution and design on such a tiny piece of land that is so crucial to the nutrition of dozens of kids.

What made this moment truly memorable was the smile on Sanchi’s and Dikam’s face. It was warm, genuine, and all-loving. One of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen. As Dikam was telling us about the functionality of the garden I could see in his eyes that incredible dedication and proudness that he worked with on the plantation. What seemed tiny for me at first sight was huge to him, and it took me some time to realize how big roughly a 100 square meters can be. I realized at this moment how much your attitude towards work matters. You can work a 100 square meters with dedication and still be more effective than someone who works a thousand without commitment and love. Everything is what you make of it, and they certainly made the most of their resources and tried their hardest to feed those kids and bring joy and opportunities to their lives. I saw this same attitude, for instance, when we went to the girls’ high school and met their sports teacher. He did not have an office or a proper sports field that I got used to at home, but he still worked with tremendous dedication to give an opportunity to the students to have sport opportunities. Love and determination are sometimes more powerful than any equipment and land money can buy, and Sanchi and Dikam has definitely managed to teach me this lesson with their bright smiles and huge hearts.