2011 - a watershed year for planet why

A recent mail from of our staunchest supporters suggested gently that one should consider 2011 as a watershed year for planet why. Give it our all but accept to let it go by the end of the year of nothing happens. A bit fatalistic I must admit. But then am I not the one who had always felt the presence a guiding hand since the day it all began, it being project why! The hand of the one I christened: the God of Lesser beings.

So when did it all begin, this planet why idea, at least in my mind. I guess here too there were two distinct ideas: the shelter for lost souls and the hope hotel as some call it or the guest house that was meant to churn the much needed resources. The former was seeded almost 11 years ago when I first lay eyes on Manu. The later was much latter, when all other options had failed: the cards and candles, the chocolates and jewels, the tshirts and bags, the one rupee a day venture, the soaps and oils, all meant to help us move from charity to sustainability.

It did not happen overnight. One was at one's wits end to find the best solution and an innocuous remark introduced me to the ninos hotel in Cusco. The rest is history. With every passing day the idea of dovetailing hospitality with development became stronger. It was richer in possibilities the all previous ventures as it also allowed us to take a step further in our journey and take the kids beyond simple school education.

There were up and downs, times when we were ready to give up but like the proverbial bad penny planet why kept springing back with obsessive regularity. When we were let high and dry by a potential donor, other appeared and we managed to purchase our land. When the world markets plummeted we again thought that the planet why idea had crashed with it but then it bounced back. When a friend suggested that we get the plan vetted by professional consultants I was convinced that the outcome would be negative, but far from that, it was found to be very lucrative. When the final costing was worked out, I recoiled at the figures but others found it normal. When our innumerable mails seeking support and finance were answered with polite nays, out of the blue came people who were willing to ensure that planet why see the light of day. When Manu left us and I was shattered as in my mind Manu and planet why were synonymous, every one else felt that Planet Why was the only way we could honour his memory.

This where we stand today. And yet I tend to agree with the friend who has decreed that we consider 2011 as a watershed year for planet why. I guess it simply means that we once again leave it in the hands of the God of Lesser Beings!