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 the 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 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 a 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, especially orphans;  2-3 very young kids - especially 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 experienced house help.

All of them necessarily come from cultured, secular, liberal, and informed backgrounds. 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, and 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, trustworthy and transparent, hygienic, efficient, organized, 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 universal human rights. They shall possess an innate sense of justice, truth, and fair play. 

The family members may come from various religious, regional, and national backgrounds. 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 co-promoted with some distinguished Indians, a NGO called SPRAT, way back in 2002, and am running it since as its President. 

We are working hard to set up an innovative, integrated, green, and digitally powered, residential social services institute, in three phases, at Matar, some 40 KMs 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.  

This phase will bring up two buildings of about 10,000 SqFt construction comprising work and restrooms, 3 studios, conveniences and utilities, one large amphitheater, and one multi-decked tower. The First Phase is likely to be up and running by Dec 22. 

The 2nd phase will see an innovative  PG Academy to promote bright young rationalists to media and administration, a Doing Science Lab, a Kaushalya Vikas Kendra, an Auditorium, and a Library. The 3rd phase should have a well-appointed hostel, faculty quarters, and recreation center.

An introduction of SPRAT appears in this short video presentation: https://sprat.in/introduction 

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. 

By early 2023 we will start working from 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, through Outreach, 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 chooses all the others, each new member has to be accepted by all previous members of the family. 

Your offers, messages, comments, and critique are all welcome at mhj{at}sprat{dot}in. 

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