28 October, 2018


Yes, it’s about creating a family! We have become so accustomed to ‘belonging’ to a family which we did not create, that CREATING one appears preposterous! But, come to think, historically we tend to move away from a family and relatives we did not choose, towards the ones we have some degree of choice about. Today most of advanced humanity makes friends with mostly those that they did not grow up with. Why can't we create a family – a Family of Thinking People – with every member choosing each other? Let some brilliant, largely unattached, courageous and considerate people of different ages and genders get connected, evaluate compatibility, and then consciously decide to constitute themselves into a family, so as to share the pains and pleasures collectively. A family of choice, is thus born. Didn’t we create a Republic that way? Don’t we create joint stock companies where we entrust our wealth to people we know not, based on principles and bound by common law? Isn’t the biological family becoming archaic, a legacy of our distant evolutionary past, not of the future? Humanity will have to find new conventions and morals to coup with the challenges of rapidly transforming science-scape of biotechnology where bionics will produce machine-men, cloning will produce duplicates, in-virto fertilization blurs hierarchies and relationships, biological bonding will become irrelevant and parenting will give way to foster-parenting. Eventually a child will become the society’s august member and collective responsibility. If you think, like I do, that it is possible for strangers to intelligently choose compatible souls and create a family bound by trust, love and well understood covenant, come, let us explore. I would be glad to lead such a family that needs a 60+ year's dashing middle-aged patriarch, that never hesitates to question and experiment. Incidentally, I am a workaholic that can match the young on a few rounds of badminton or tennis, as well as log over 12 hours at a stretch, on the computer. Financially I am sound enough to provide for necessary infrastructural support for our lifetime. However, this idea is not conceived as a social service project. On the contrary, it is an alternate, trustful experiment in happiness, love and humanism. It is a celebration of life itself. Obviously there are several material considerations we have to sort out. Together we can discuss a code of conduct and commit ourselves to a charter of privileges and responsibilities. The family may include the following additional members: - 2-3 young teenage or adult boys and girls, specially orphans - 2-3 very young kids - specially orphans – who will grow as the family’s kids. - An outstandingly gracious and accomplished lady, the matriarch of the family - A completely sane and healthy, elderly, lonely woman or man or couple, with no one to take their care - Even an experienced house help All of them necessarily come from cultured, secular, liberal and informed background. They are physically normal and healthy, respect social niceties, are hygiene-conscious, have little or no active attachments and filial obligations that will impede their commitment to the family, do not carry any legacy of crime, debt, hate or violence. And they all need - and value - love. They are also exceptionally interested in the pursuit of knowledge and of excellence. They are completely truthful, honest, trust-worthy and transparent, hygienic, efficient, organised and disciplined. They would be unquestionably secular and liberal, with leftist leanings and an unflinching commitment to global citizenship and rationality and productivity. They shall bear allegiance to the common law of the land, and to the universal human rights. They shall possess an innate sense of justice, truth and fair play. The family members may come from various religious, regional, national background. But, for practical purposes, they shall all know functional English and Hindi. They will be okay with non-vegetarian food and carry a strong sense of self-respect, so as to remain productive and play their part constructively. ----------------- I have promoted a NGO, SPRAT, some 16 years ago. We are working hard to set up an innovative, integrated, green, digitally powered campus for a PG Academy and a digitally powered social services institute, some 30 km from Ahmedabad, at our own farmland, near the Vatrak river. We call it the Tarkik Sadan – or the House of Reason. I might add, “of love and understanding” too. The construction of the First Phase is on. An introduction of SPRAT appears in this short file which you may safely download: https://www.facebook.com/download/2188247151209315/SPRAT-Introduction-Aug18_2.pdf?hash=Acp_S601Gueela84 We can make this a picturesque abode, filled with creativity, purity, peace and joy. There will be plenty of creative, intellectual, financial and social service opportunities for each member of the family to learn, contribute, earn, impact and serve. In 3-6 months we shall start working from the Phase-I with a 20+ residential team of talented young and middle-aged people from various fields of knowledge. In three years, on the completion of the project, we should have over 150 students, interns, professionals and support staff enlivening the place. Thinkers and scholars will visit the Sadan regularly to address the students and also to video-record their angst and messages for our times. Since it is mandatory for the Academy to adopt and serve chosen rural neighborhoods, we should be having a working relationship with the local population, even as we guard our independence of thought, practices and creativity. If you carry a strong empathy for the downtrodden, and a deep seated urge to make an impact for the better, you are even more welcome. Come, join me in creating an intimate family of our choice that betters the best of blood relations, and redefines the words ‘love’ and ‘family’ themselves. Since we have a choice to make, and we are doing no charity to anybody, let compassion not substitute for clarity, and confound our decision-making, at this stage. Let all members of the family inherently command dignity, as of right. As everyone choose all the others, each new member has to be accepted by all previous members of the family. Your critique and comments are welcome here. But please address your personal messages to my inbox.

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