They saw with their heart

A couple of months back I got a mail from Denmark. It was from a high school teacher and simply said: We have with great interest read about your Project Why. My colleague and I are going to New Delhi in October with a group of 23 students. For a long time they have been working with social and political conditions in India. In that connection it would be very interesting and relevant for the students to visit your project and talk to one of your representatives.

The idea of having 25 people at project why was daunting. Project why was such a tiny place, where would we fit so many people. Nevertheless I wrote to say they were welcome. As the visit was still some weeks away we somehow forgot about it. Last week another mail informed us of the impeding arrival of our young visitors.

On Monday morning as the clock struck 9, the young students and their two teachers reached project why. I must admit that 25 young people take a lot of place. They wanted me to present project why and we decided to move across the street to the foster care as there was a little more place there, or so it seemed. Soon we were all packed in a room. I had thought of giving then a short presentation and then send them to visit some of our centres but somehow the eagerness of these young souls made me tell the the project why story as I had lived it, straight from the heart. I spoke for a long time recalling small details. They listened almost mesmerised. As the story went on and we talked of Manu I could see a few hands surreptitiously wiping a tear. When I had finished there were many moist eyes and they has still not seen the project or met the children. I must admit I was taken aback and moved.

It was then time to start the visit and the first stop was at the special section. Shamika introduced the children to them and told them each one's story. Soon the tears turned to sobs. Many of the young students were crying unabashedly. Many were surprised but I was not as I understood that they were looking with their hearts.

I wondered what touched these young people who came from the land of the plenty? Was it that suddenly all they had taken for granted till now seemed undeserved? I do not know. All I knew was that nothing would ever be the same for these young persons.

Seeing with your heart can be dangerous as it may entail unexpected changes in your life, changes you did not anticipate, changes that could make you a different person altogether. Perhaps that is why many of us resist seeing with our hearts.