Limitless Love At A Farm In Hyderabad

Posted by Nisha Srinivasan on Nov 3, 2018
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Earlier this month, during Nipun's whirlwind tour de India, one of the stops was Hyderabad and I was fortunate to join the group of friends on a trip to Anahad, an eco-community that aspires to live by the principles of love, trust and sustainability.

The community is a brainchild of two brothers Abid and Shabbar, and their families. It wasn't long ago that they shared their dream at a Startup Service event and here it was, a reality.

A reality where 3 families live in their eco-friendly homes as stewards of the land around, assisted ably by people who have been mentored by Shabbar in these values. His wife Fatema reinvented herself as an architect among other things and had designed the homes, a community center and very comfortable labor quarters.

Their energy has attracted their cousin Mustafa and his young family to move on the farm as well. And in their welcoming home, we sat in silence followed by a circle of reflections, questions, and sharing.

Shabbar shared very thoughtfully about his trials of trust. In particular, when there was a fire on the neighboring farm, how his car got stuck on a slushy road in the middle of nowhere, and how he experienced an injury while working on the farm. "On a farm, boundaries are malleable. A fire that starts due to my neighbor's negligence could, overnight, alter the course of everything I've spent years building. Staying away from modern conveniences, like tar roads on a rainy day, is hard. Falling down from the first floor during construction, injuring my back terribly and driving my fractured arm to a local hospital and hearing that they cannot treat such severe cases was a definite inconvenience. It took me eight hours after my painful accident to finally get care. And it took a few weeks to recover. But was it an inconvenience or an opportunity to practice natural healing that needs equanimity? For me, it was the latter.

"Many people ask, particularly those who know my background in Microsoft, 'Is it really worth it?' If you look at the numbers and output, maybe not. But my response is simple: 'I see the sunset every day and I get so so happy. I've never had the eyes to see the sunset the way I do now.' That alone is worth everything in the world. If we can pass through the shadows of inconvenience and arrive at the light of equanimity, we learn that my journey and my neighbor's journey is indeed interwoven, that my happiness and sunset are similarly bound. Then, we land at trust in life's emergence to show us this profound interconnection. That's why I moved to the farm. Thus far, I can say, yes, it really is definitely worth it."

While we were in a circle, kids (and cats!) were playing outside. Four kids live on the farm currently with more to come. Shoma, whose family was also inspired to move into the farm, has been engaging with kids in Natural learning circles that are also open to kids from this rural neighborhood.

Both the brothers, Shabbar and Abid (who is soon moving to the farm with his family too!), fondly remembered an act of generosity: "Meghna, you might not remember, but in December 2015, we attended Startup Service with this crazy idea of this farm space. It was all in our head without any land, details, or path forward. We nominated our idea, as did 20 others, but the group didn't select it among the top eight. Your project was selected, but in a spontaneous way, you gifted us your spot, and we collectively built our idea. And here we are. Welcome to a ripple of your act of kindness."

Love was always in the air. From the brothers driving long ways to pick us up, greeting us with tender coconut water, Abid taking us all on a farm tour and explaining the layout, architecture and Wardha roofs patiently, Fatema serving us kheer and more with so much love, Grandma's constant smile that was beaming out as a blessing. The list could go on.

It did go on and Suchi and Abid hosted a beautifully woven evening with 50 friends on the relevance of Gandhi rocked by Nipun, Swara, Rohit and Meghna. And it was followed by an amazing dinner ensemble. We happily hung out until 1:30 in the morning when travel schedules meant goodbyes were in order. And then, Fatema stuffed packs of nuts into our hands "for the way".

One meaning of Anahad is "limitless" and that was the nature of the love we experienced as well.

Posted by Nisha Srinivasan | | permalink

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Comments (7)

  • Madhu wrote ...

    I am so happy to see this post.I am recollecting the laddership circle discussions with Abid, where he shared his openness to see what emerges.

  • Sunil, Bangalore wrote ...

    Yes I was part of the Startup summit in December 2015.Remember Shabbar from Microsoft. So happy to see his idea mature to reality.Want to drive to his farm from Bangalore to hear Kabir's Anhad Nad in the silence of new year 2019.Smiles with best of love.

  • Anand Damani wrote ...

    Hey Sabbhar,
    So Happy for you:)
    It was a nice time we spent together in Indore with you and Raghu.I want you to connect me to Nipun as I keep travelling to US and would like to meet him out there or in India whenever he comes here.
    Do let us keep in touch and see how we can make this earth a better place for the future generation.

  • Abid wrote ...

    Dear Nisha, Thank you for such a beautiful write-up. The love you felt is an expression of who you are.
    Thank you Nipun, Meghna, Swara, Nisha-Ragu, Drishti and Rohit for your visit. Very happy that all of you could make it in such a tight schedule constraints. And sorry for the rough ride :)

  • Fatema wrote ...

    Nisha you sketched everything so lovingly for all of us.. Feel blessed to receive non stop gifts from you. Love you so much.

  • Sudha wrote ...

    Amid and Shabbar, where is Anahad located? I am in Hyderabad, can I come visit it? I have had a similar dream of starting a eco community and am super excited to see that wonderful people like you are making it a reality. I would love to connect. My number is +91 8247899915 and email is

  • Ashdhir Kinra wrote ...

    Thats a good thought , Emergencies , Education , SOS can be challenge and that too if u have old parents but yes it is a brilliant idea to be part of change in world and that too for all good ( Ecofriendly and Happiness)