Come November...

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Come November and it is time for me to get off the spinning earth and look at time gone by as a rank outsider...

November never held much significance in the first for decades of my life. But the year 1992 changed it all. November took my father away and brought the most difficult closure in my life. For six long years I sought every crutch possible just to the fragile vessel of my life from sinking.

But November is also the month when life came full circle with the setting up of pwhy's first class in Giri Nagar and somehow with the intuitive realisation that I had embarked on the last chapter of my life.

The last six years have been the most rewarding ones of my life. A barely formulated wish of paying back a debt turned into a discovery of India. What began as an effort to give Manu a life with dignity is today a throbbing project where over 500 children reclaim their right to be a child.

It is a matter of utter joy to walk every morning and be greeted by smiles and laughter filled ' morning ma'am', when each child tries to get one's attention. It is a matter of outright joy to see my staff dressed in their smartest outfit bustling around efficiently redeeming their lost identity. And above all its is a matter unqualified pride to see Manu smartly dressed sitting with his pals and solving a puzzle. And to say that just six years ago I sat in front of our one room centre trying to rid him of the maggots that infested his much abused body.

A deep sense of peace fills me as I relive these last six years, but I cannot allow myself to sink into a comfort zone, there is still so much to do. Pwhy is still a six year old child that needs to learn to survive independently.

And if I allow myself to dream about the future I see the November when pwhy will be sustained by the community itself, run by some of our ex students, the day when Manu will proudly show his identity papers as he sits in his own kiosk, earning his living with the help of his spirited younger sister.

That day I will allow myself to retreat into a comfort zone.

So help me God of the lesser ones!


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