The picture you see may, at first glance, seem innocuous and anodyne. A bunch of smiling young ones chaperoned by an also smiling older one. True that they seem to come from different lands but in today's shrinking world this is no big deal!
This is what it looks like and no offence to anyone thinking just that. However this snapshot tells an incredible tale. It begins with the meeting of four young persons belonging to different worlds. Janaki is a pwhy alumni, and one we are terribly proud of. She came to us some years back, a spirited bright girl with an insatiable desire to learn. Not only was she a keen student but also one that never shied of anything that came her way. Meeting new people from unknown worlds, participating in any activity proposed, spending more time than necessary at pwhy in the hope of acquiring that little bit more. She completed her class XII last year by obtaining a 11th position in the whole of Delhi. Today she is in college doing not one but two courses.
Willy, Gordon and Lilly are but a few year older than Janaki. They come from the land that conjures success in measures larger than life. When Willy was just about Janaki's age, an age when kids have glitzy dreams and boundless aspirations, he came to India to volunteer in a school and took a first step in a world that would change lives forever. Deeply moved by the plight of children of a Lesser God, he with some freinds decided to do something. And boy they did. At an age when you are barely considered an adult, they set up a foundation to help organisations engaged in developmental work. And in the span of a few summers thousands of children from the four corners of the world were touched by the magic of these incredible kids.
We at pwhy were privileged to receive an email from them last summer and from that day onwards there was no turning back. They simply walked into our hearts. For almost a year we exchanged mails and were overwhelmed by the unstinted trust and support we got. It was a rare privilege.
A few days back they flew into Delhi and we finally met. But somehow we felt we had known each other for an eternity. Though we knew they were one of a kind, we were overwhelmed by their warmth and kindness. And as we discovered each other, we realised that they were exceptional human beings. It was a meeting of spirits where neither age, nor culture, nor social origin, nor any of the things that normally qualify and often divide human beings mattered. We all spoke the same language.
It is a times like these that I allow myself a few stolen moments to pat myself in the back. As I have often said, pwhy is my swan song and also my magnum opus. I know that it is my last chance to do something I can be proud of. And though I live by stringent canons, moments like the one frozen in this tame picture make my heart swell with pride, till I quickly move on to simply being grateful.