To many pwhy is just an education support programme with some forays into community work, a clone of many such organisations that dot the land. I guess it is in some ways quite that, in spite of the many small and big moments we have lived in the past nine years. Yet there is another side of pwhy, one often concealed and veiled and yet one that is as precious.
A heartwarming mail dropped my way this morning. It came from a very special volunteer who had spent a month with us last year. It simply said: The past 2 weeks have been emotionally tolling for me, but somehow Divinity told me to drop by Pwhy blog. True enough, I felt much better after that. At times I ask myself why, till I came across this story yesterday in my friend's essay:
A little monk liked to complain about everything he does, about life in general. One day, his teacher asked him to go buy some salt. When he returned, the teacher poured half packet of salt into a glass of water. "Drink it", the teacher commanded. The little monk did, and whined, "Bitter!!" The teacher then brought the monk to a lake, and poured the remaining salt in. "Drink the lake water", he said. The monk scooped a cup of the lake water, drank it and, with a big grin, exclaimed, "Refreshing!!" Morale of the story? The amount of pain we have in life is the same, just like the salt. Whether we taste it, depends on how large the container - our heart - is.
I guess this is why Project Why always makes a difference. It opens up my heart and lets me realize there is no point in fixing my eyes on the "small" persona.
I read the words many times. They brought a sense of fulfillment laced with a tinge of sadness. In the last nine years I have seen pwhy change not only the lives of the target beneficiaries, but surreptitiously transform the lives of many young people who come from the four corners of the world to spend some time with us. If each volunteer who has come by has left a little of his or her self, they have also taken with them a little of pwhy. Some keep in touch regularly, others time and again. But each in his or her way have shared the fact that the days spent as made a tangible change in their lives. The sadness I mentioned earlier is that most of the young souls have been from other lands or live there. I have not been able to stir the same feelings in those who live round the corner.
I however still believe in miracles, and hope that one day they too will learn to look with their hearts.