In Ubuntuverse you will meet folks who are happy, compassionate and giving.

Choose now – a high flying job with a fat salary and fatter perks but nil joy; or, work on what you love to do, for a fraction of the former, but a large dollop of satisfaction?

The choice depends if you are swayed by your inner calling, or by the insistent scream of the world on what you must do. Do you have the courage or would you rather conform and sweep your dreams under the carpet to join the herd?

Finally, do you care to take the rest of humanity and other species as you move ahead? Or, is your bank balance and your financial security all that matters?

If your replies fall in the minority section of ‘do-gooders’ you can read on to be inspired by the examples of fellow dreamers who chose to listen to the heart and soul.

In the film Tamasha, Ved takes a few hard knocks before chucking his corporate job to become a drama artist. An education system that believes in rolling out assembly line pieces; parental beliefs in a financially secure job and workplace ethics that instil low self-confidence and encourages sycophancy — Ved’s life is pretty much what the average middle class Indian plods through.

So also it was with Abhinav Ubuntu, who topped in AIEEE to land an IT job in Bangalore. But in a couple of years, he realised he was unhappy and quit the job to join Greenpeace. Passion for the environment bubbled and swelled in him. But not so the skill to engage people in conversations. Well, skills can be picked up, and in a short time, he became a topper in canvassing for donations from people on the streets. He was a happy man, having found his life purpose – the version1. This was to make the world a better place for animals and people while conserving environment.

Abhinav Ubuntu

It was this stint that made him realise, he says, that ‘superheroes are not the ones in comic books but ordinary folks who were armed with love and compassion to ease the life of others. It could be just giving a biscuit to a dog, a blanket for a senior or a hug for a depressed friend.’

However, there was more to come. His love for environment saw him turn a vegan, when looking at the amount of resources that went into the dairy industry. From an activist for climate change, he went on to intern at Hyderabad’s first vegan café. Helping with the marketing, in three month he ‘did it all’. Next stint at Pune saw him get out of the comfort zone and become a cook, ‘from not even knowing how to cook rice’. Another of his passion, singing, next saw him campaigning for animals using his voice.

Today, he dabbles in all these ‘purpose versions’ while the main calling is to create purpose-driven ‘superhumans’ and expand the Ubuntuverse tribe of happy, compassionate, courageous and a giving community of people. Building local heroes and community leaders globally is the focus of Ubuntuverse.

He sees people as his wealth. “One does not need much to live comfortably. My basic needs are taken care of from the vegan café I started in Kolkatta. I have enough money for two months. That is adequate and lets me live in the present,” Abhinav says, adding that wherever he goes there are people who invite him to stay with them.

The satisfaction of working for a cause he believed in helped weigh out the lower pay package. But then the Veds and Abhinavs have a different view of money and what to do with it. They use it to empower and elevate the needy using their skills. Happiness or goals are not in things we possess but the feelings we experience in doing what we do for the other. That, in essence, is the core belief of Ubuntu. I am because we are.

For those not aware of Ubuntu, it is an African philosophy about interconnectedness of all life and one’s responsibility to the world around.  It promotes collective work over individual benefits. This affirmation of one’s humanity through the other suggests that we sustain our selves when we sustain the other. This is similar to the Vasudeva Kutumbakam concept in the Hindu scriptures.

Such is his involvement with the concept that Abhinav dropped his family surname to become Abhinav Ubuntu. Many will call him mad, but to some he is a torchbearer of their own inner passion. He has already touched 600 lives since he started in 2019 to build the community. The covid era led to a break but since a year or two, things are livening up in the Ubuntuverse.

There are no problems, only situations with opportunity. Consistency is more important than intensity. Over-analysis leads to paralysis. There are no extraordinary people, only ordinary people with extra-ordinary mindsets. Love your self before you set out to love others. We create our lives, limitless as we are in our capacities…

(You can listen to Abhinav here in his most spontaneous wisdom dispensing mode.)

Typical Guruspeak, you say? Perhaps. But the difference is that Abhinav’s anubhav is where he speaks from. He has converted problems into opportunities, learnt the importance of persistence, and created the happy version of himself by following his three cornerstones of passion, skills and usefulness. Where all three meet lies your purpose, of which volunteering is the highest, as Abhinav believes. ‘Live to give’ is the motto he preaches to his band of Ubuntu-ites.

Apparent meaninglessness of life has assailed countless humans, and continues to do so. Restless youth like Abhinav may remind you of Larry in Somerset Maugham’s Razor’s Edge. Spiritual enquiry into the nature of the self and purpose of life helped Larry recognise true wealth and happiness within. With a more practical and worldly approach, youth like Abhinav spread the joy of living to kindred souls disillusioned by society’s one-size-fits-all recipe to a ‘successful life’.

A youtube video carrying the message of late Earl Nightingale, an American radio speaker, author and motivator of ‘meaningful existence’ notes how the key to success is to have personal goals and then progressively move towards these. Conformity prevents most from breaking out of the herd. They simply exist, like Ved. Instead, if you combine your goals with the right thinking, you can steer your life exactly to where you want to go.

That is what Ubuntiites believe in, with a small big difference. They work for the other as much as for themselves.

If you hesitate, thinking about money in an inflationary world, ask Abhinav and his band of merry men and women. They will say there is enough in the most unglamorous job of rescuing cats and dogs, or alternative healing, or eco-tours operations, to fill your stomach and provide for a shelter. You can even plan an occasional trip to some new place, meet new friends and laugh a little more. With the various skills available in the community, you can home-school your children and teach them a few skills, while letting them explore the world and follow their calling (not yours).

The planet has enough and plenty still to meet our needs, but not our greed.

By Jaya         

(Check out or look for the group in instagram on @ubuntueat)

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