dreams on hold

dreams on hold


We just heard that it is too late for nandini… she cannot have corrective surgery.. one feels terible as this child deserved to have her dreams come true.. and maybe we can help her.. so her dreams are now ours to fulfill

nandini was born with a hole in her heart.. she lived 9 long years where in spite of her debilitating ailment she grew up into a lovely girl, went to school where she did everyone proud.. like every child she had dreams, dreams of one day being a doctor..

had she been born in a rich family, simple corrective surgery would have taken care of her problem.. but that was not to be and it took many years before she could get the needed medical attention..

today the doctors reviewed her case and felt that it was too late, the damage was to severe.. and surgery would prove difficult.. it will take them another week to take a final decision..

now one need not be to a rocket scientist to understand what this means: no operation means a truncated life where an overworked heart will give up sooner than later..

we wait for the final verdict.. and all dreams are on hold…

the other side of midnight

the other side of midnight


Wedding time seems to have gripped our city and we have had an array of them: from the creme de la creme to the simple folk.. wedding bells were ringing

If people did not stop talking about a recent page 3 wedding that panned three cities and many nights, we had our own page 0 wedding. A young dalit girl got married and though there were not many to comment on it, it was a big wedding with the groom on a chariot, a snazzy tent, international food and a dowry where washing machine, color TV and VCD players were proudly displayed.. one will for the moment not mention that much of the money was borrowed some of it a 120% a year!

Two ends of the spectrum..

Then there was another wedding one attended, where most of the guests were from planetB… people who belonged to the sacrosanct world of India’s ruling class. Now the talk of the day was j.lal and justice denied.. good point to start talking about India and the spectrum, where justice is denied everyday to people.. I was startled to see how little they knew about the land they represent or administer. We talked about many things from slum weddings to slum schools.. and I was amused to see that to many, it seemed as if i were talking of another planet. This is how little people know about the other side of midnight..

The little girl in this picture was merely a thought, when her sister was brutally murdered in what seemed to be a human sacrifice.. no matter how hard we tried, no proper FIR was registered and in spite of appeals to the NHRC and the police authorities, the case was explained as two children – the little girl age 5 and her cousin age 3 – having decided on their own to cross busy roads and find their way in the dark of the night to one manhole that had been left opened..

Rohan and Puja did not have parents that could fight for them.. and we did not have sufficient clout..

So if today j. lal’s case can restore justice and make some lasting changes in our legal system, it will herald new hope. Muscle and Money the two dreaded M’s have to be overpowered and only civil society can do that.. Today’s fight may seem a page 3 one, but it is not so, as the outcome of this outrage will change things for every one who suffers injustice.. and ensure that little Nidhi will lead a safe life..




I love the interplay of lights in this picture.. it reminds me of India and its surprising ways.. whne you think that all around you is dark, a glimmer of light appears from nowhere and brings back the hope you had almost given up on..

last week delhi was stunned by the verdict in the jessica lal case. the assassins of a young middle class woman who had been shot dead in front of over 100 people , were set free by a court of law.. simply because they were connected.. a mockery of the legal system… and delhi reacted, maybe because j. lal was one of them.. press articles, TV programmes and even support campaigns got underway as the picture of this beautiful woman was flashed with inescapable regularity.. yet there was an imperceptible feeling of resignation epitomised by the young woman’s sister who was not even willing to carry on the fight.. and it did not seem likely that the prosecution would file an appeal..

but like a bolt out of the blue, this afternoon delhi heard that the high court had taken su motto notice and directed the police and investigative agencies to report on the case in four weeks.. it was a matter of prestige for the legal system that had to be addressed.

a proud moment for the invisible citizen as each one of us felt that tiny bit safer. now the ball is in our court and we the citizens have to see that the polemic does not die and that the case is reopened so that jessica’s killers are brought to justice..

B from the city and N from the village

B from the city and N from the village


babli and nandini.. both innmates of our heartFix hotel.. and believe it or not, they are both 9.. one grew up in the slums of delhi, the other in a village in bihar..

they were both born with the same congenital heart defect.. babli as you know had heart surgery and is now busy making up for all the lost school years and getting ready to appear for a class III entrance exam; nandini is already in class V in a ‘private’ school in Sipaul and dreams of being a doctor..

what strikes one who looks at them is the different in size.. the little village girl is in spite of her breathing difficulties, as tall as any 9 year old, whereas little babli who grew up in a dingy airless hovel looks five at most.. says a lot about growing up in a healthy, albeit poor, environment and staying away from the fast food and urban goodies…

what si even more amazing is the fact that nandini may not even need surgery as the doctors envisage trying out a softer option.. we will know next week what they do decide..

time has come to try and tell people that cities like delhi with no proper housing, lack of fresh air, poor diet and bad quality schooling is no more the big apple… and maybe one should start looking at creating new employment options in the smaller cities.. a reverse migration has to be the call of the day..

but who bells the cat…

practice what you preach…

practice what you preach…


I often find myself saying that one of our main flaws is to magnify the bad and overlook the good things. This is true in our everyday life. Thus we remember the day someone forgot to salt the food but forget all the other days when the food was right; we blame the administration for its failures but never highlight its achievements.. the list is endless…

I find myself often saying this to pwhy kids and staff and it is something I believe in.. so imagine my dismay when I realised that sometimes one forgets to practice what one ‘preaches’.

I got a mail today from R who asked me to share something about the okhla primary section. While answering the mail I thought of including links to blogs about the centre and was shocked to find only one!

Blogging is my way of sharing many of the problems and issues encountered and what I realised was that the okhla centre was like the good child, the one that does what is expected almost to perfection, and often becomes invisible.. while one is busy talking about the problem child.

So mea culpa and need to redress matters and talk about this child of ours, one that epitomises the very essence of our mission.

Okhla came into being almost 18 months ago when we were looking to expand our primary outreach. It is the brainchild of two great women: Sophiya and Pushpa who set out finding a location, wooing the local politicos and cops and cleaning up a garbage dump replete with pigs and dirt. A plastic sheet resting on 4 bamboo poles was erected by these two ladies and they begun teaching scores of children.. Their initial days were tough as they came up against a local mafia group who had been using these children to steal of the railway wagons or even push drugs.. often on week ends the rickety structure was pulled down, but nothing could deter the indomitable spirit of these two ladies..

They slowly met all the authorities concerned and in a few months made a semi-permanent structure and wore down all their opponents by their patient ways. What is amazing about these two is that they never complain or share their problems, but find solutions and ways out. Today the little centre is vibrant and active and over 150 children come their and learn.

Our ladies even organised a function for Republic Day, where the local municipal councillor and Station House Officer were chief guests. It is only today when I was ruddely shaken out of my complacency, that I realised how much they had achieved and more than that how well they had understood the true vision of pwhy, one of little primary outreach centres wherever there are children in need..

I realise today that we not only overlook the good things, but overlook things that go our way and take them for granted whereas they are the ones that need to be lauded. And the okhla primary centre and their ladies are to be admired and praised for the excellent work they are doing.

It is a matter of pride for me and a vindication of the vision I have for pwhy!