The brief time between UC Berkeley and full-time employment as a software engineer would be the only moment to nourish a sense of moral curiosity that had been bruised and underfed in university. Commitment to a structure and its rules and a dedication from coding illiteracy to a CS degree from UC Berkeley had left me spiritually drained.
It was time to rekindle the fire that had been weakly sustained through my anthropology coursework, conversation and daydreams.
Living in Japan and Australia had taught me that travel was one of the most time-effective ways of exploring unknown unknowns. In the process of observing others and gleaning their moral universe, there was a double insight: recognition of new values and recognition of your own values.
The new world you find provides a reference point to the world you came from, and the deeper you dig into others the deeper you drill into yourself. That is why I went to India.
I had initially considered Iran, Israel and Turkey, much to my parents’ dismay. When Fair Observer’s Atul Singh — who was teaching in India — graciously offered me a place to stay in Gujarat, I immediately expressed interest. Anchored to my earlier and more anxiety-inducing proposals, this offer was met by immediate approval and an audible sigh of relief from my parents.