One evening in Mooktawan, we were watching a video of Peace In Peace Out (PIPO) event in Africa. Just when the screen showed a monk sitting on the beach, he exclaimed – “THAT could be Cox’s Bazar!” Thus was Carsten’s vision and very soon he convinced me to have the same dream – to bring Peace Revolution to Bangladesh. And we did it! Three months later, crossing many obstacles, we co-created some meditation events to spread the message of mindfulness in our networks in Bangladesh.
We designed a meditation retreat for 23 participants in a beach town, Cox’s Bazar in south-east Bangladesh. Additionally there was a one-hour talk at my high school Sunbeams as well as a workshop for youth that South Asian Youth Society helped to arrange. LP Pasura graced the events as the venerable meditation teacher. Once done, something felt hollow deep inside. It was over. The organizing completed and we could hi-5 finally to mark a successful end. Yet, it was the bittersweet feeling of bidding goodbye to a project we nurtured over two months. I never regretted working with my buddy Carsten. Yet the days of planning, worrying, celebrating and organizing together seemed strangely far away. Did we really go through ALL that? Did the two of us manage it and gave wings to an idea? Sometimes it is hard to believe – sometimes it feels unreal that our plans made over mushroom pasta and vegetable pizza actually gave so many people a new perspective.
If you think this post is about me bragging about what a cool thing we did, hold that thought. It actually is not. It is more about a vision, our project created with love and kindness and getting things done. Mostly, it is about friendship. It is also to honor the crazy relationship with my buddy Carsten Gloeckner that empowered us enough to get things done. I loved working with him – him being a German who will get things done, and that too, in his neat, orderly way.
We know what each of us does best and decided to handle things accordingly. Perhaps that is what makes things work. What I treasure is the trust my friend had in me: to deal with things with my judgement and perceptions. He does not have to be right or prove a point every time. He works hard for the greater welfare of all involved. When you have a project or initiative you want to begin, make sure you select your partners efficiently. The most compatible, reliable friends will make the project amazing and the journey worthwhile. I faced this once before, when I was helping my Delhi friend Rashee Mehra with the Unconference event. She picked me to work with her (we just met a few months back even) – believing in my strengths and zeal for work – and in the process we grew into closer friends.
We love to call out ‘Caaaarsttteeeen’ and ‘Saaamiaaaaa’, which entertained our friends at Mooktawan. PIPO Bangladesh would not have been the same without him. Or me. It would not have even happened at all! Since this is about friendship, we are also glad that Katia from Ukraine volunteered to help us arrange the retreat. She was a wonderful worker and took care of aspects we were lazy to handle ourselves. Alongside all the fun, I am grateful for friends who allowed my potential to flourish. I found my partners in PIPO crime!