of hope and joy

of hope and joy


project why may not have much in terms of what success is measured by in our day and age: buildings, fancy resources or comfortable bank accounts. but there is one thing it has had in abundance and that is the goodwill and love from every corner of our planet.

we pride ourselves in the great team of volunteers that have passed by. each one has left a little of himself and taken a little part of us.. each one becoming better, more complete, more understanding or at least more humane…

and if each meeting is filled with expectation, each parting is always a moment of sadness..

Taylor, a young student from the US left us yesterday after many weeks spent with the little children of the creche.. I instantly liked this young man.. his eyes twinkled and his face reflected a beautiful soul…

They say children do not fake feelings, and our little twins who had never smiled gave Taylor their first smile ever the moment they met him..

Taylor left me a beautiful letter in which he tried to convey what his stay with us meant to him. I do not know whether we deserve all the kind words he wrote, but I would like to share the following as I feel it somehow reflects what project why stands for: ” If through the course of my lofe, I am able to create a small fraction of the hope and joy you have created, I will consider myself a success as a person’.

Yes, project why is all about hope and joy..

and I am sure Taylor will succeed in life… and we will remember him each time little Fatima, or Asiya or Manoj smile…

thirteen years after

thirteen years after


My father left me 13 years ago, today…

Pwhy would not have existed it it were not for him..

Among the many things he taught me, was the meaning of unconditional love.. the one you give without any expectation…

It took me a long time to understand that his legacy was the abundance of love that I was almost choking with, and that had to be let out and shared: pwhy was the obvious answer..

pwhy is an ode to love, a love that makes you richer as the more you give the more you have to give..

everyday i am overwhelmed by the abundance of love that pwhy has brought into my life.. and I feel blessed

every one was a star

every one was a star

ak meets ab

sunday evening saw a star meet a young boy and a spirited woman..

yes akshay kumar, the bollywood hero met Arun the young valmiki boy whose heart surgery was sponsored by him, and Bindiya a lovely lohar (gypsy) lady who won our raffle and hence a meeting with the star..

the venue the home of our friend vikraant who had made this possible..

the smiles on the picture say it all: there were no cameras, no flash lights, no media, no buzz, just people meeting people, discovering each other, bonding in a humane manner.

it was delightful to see akshay holding on to arun’s hand an answering the candid questions of this young boy; it was touching to see him take time to find out about the Lohars and their history…

it was a great simple moment, where no one was pretending to be something or someone else, as there was no one to watch. just people bonding in one happy instant that each one would carry as a memory.

and for that moment in time everyone was a *star*!

there are no invitation cards…(cont)

It was late and the party was in full swing. Little Utpal had enjoyed himself, eaten to his heart’s content and consumed large quantities of cold drinks, not because he was thirsty but because of the tall glass and the coloured straw..

I held him on my lap and my hand indavertently touched one of his ugly scars.. a reminder of all the pain this tiny braveheart went thorugh… we all, even I, tend to forget the kind of pain this child experienced for what today would add up to a third of his whole life.. anyway I hugged him tight.. today was the last of the revelries of p and j’s wedding and tomorrow life would take on its usual course..

As I held him, I asked him whether we would meet tomorrow.. just a redundant question for which I really did not expect an answer. To my utter surprise he answered in his serious little way: “ Kal tum mere ghar chai pina” – tomorrow you come to tea to my home!

Somehow my little mr popples felt that he had to return the hospitality he had enjoyed for the past three days. When I asked him want he would give me he said “I will put sugar in the tea”!

Why are my eyes clouded as I write these words…

why are there no invitation cards..

why are there no invitation cards..


” because i am saving trees..”

was my often exasperated answer.. but I manage to pull it off and stand by my convictions without succumbing to ‘peer’ pressure.

My daughter’s wedding was a vindication of all I stand for and I can say with some pride that I managed to conjure a show where two worlds met in a city where you are judged by appareance, glitter and pomp..

Yet we had everything, a page 3 party with page 3 people but where the lights, flowers, chairs and decoration came from a tentwallah that normally specialises in slum jagrans. The rites were in the purest vedic tradition but the groom rode a motorbike and the barat came in three wheelers driven by pwhy parents to the beats of dholaks played by two of our staff. We had a touch of Bollywood as the salis and sahelis (an eclectic mix of girls from diverse lands and social background) danced to the sound of Bunty and Babli’s Kajra Re , the show ended in the gurdwara hall of gNagar with a bash with pwhy kids and the DJ they wanted.

Was it easy, I must confess it was not as at every step I had to fight my way and hold tight to what I knew was right and find answers to the inane questions I was asked.

But we pulled it off..and it was a lovely celebration where people had time to get to know each other, to share laughter and joy, a wedding where the human touch was not lost and where the sanctity of the occasion was not lost.

Weddings have lost their true essence and meaning, they have become impersonal bashes that are remembered for all the wrong reasons: don’t we always hear things like – the food was cold, or the whisky duff, or it was too cold or to warm – !

Imagine you received a letter from a parent marrying his child, informing you that he or she had decided to use the money set aside for the party planned to sponsor heart surgeries for kids and that all would be informed of the progress. Would that person not rise in your esteem?

The money is that of of just one of the numerous parties plan, when food and guest lists are much of the same…

Think about it..

see pictures of the wedding here