The definition of the word Hubris in the dictionary is the following: excessive pride, defiance of the Gods leading to nemesis. It is a state in which we can easily fall, particularly when we happen to be in a position of power. It is something I have feared and been careful to avoid specially in the last few years when I found myself heading pwhy. It would have been easy to slip up and bask in undeserved pride as miracles after miracles came our way. When pwhy began I could never have imagined the multitude of extraordinary moments that have occurred over time.
First and foremost when we began with a handful of kids and a single spoken English class I never thought in my wildest dream that we would be reaching out to over 700 children, let alone envision that we would sponsor heart surgeries and save many lives. I could not have pictured that a little boy with third degree burns would land in my life and become an intrinsic part of it. It would, you agree, not be out of place if I did feel a tad proud. But I was so petrified of seeming hubristic, that I never allowed myself that liberty and always felt that I was simply fulfilling what I been destined to do. And it all worked for the best as pwhy lived from year to year meeting all challenges with confidence and success. True we had some tough spells but help always came in the nick of time. Everything seemed so perfect that at times it seemed eerie!
Life could have continued in this tranquil manner. It did for a long time till the fateful moment when I began thinking of pwhy after me and became almost obsessed by its sustainability. In hindsight I wonder whether it was not hubris surreptitiously knocking at my back door. Till that moment I had been quite content accepting things as they happened, looking for alternatives when some obstacle came our way and never knocking at a door more than once. However the sustainability syndrome was another thing altogether. It gnawed at me day and night and I must confess still does. After many false starts what seemed a doable idea took seed in my mind: planet why a guest house with a twist. It never occurred to me that it was way out of our league.
As soon as the idea seeded in my mind, I got busy ensuring it would root and grow strong. I defended it with passion against one and all, always finding arguments to counter any stricture, and as I did planet why became more and more real, at least to me. The dialectic was comforting. I refused to look at obstacles as possible writings on the wall and simply gave up my maxim of never knocking at the door more than once. I found myself banging on doors. Some opened slightly, others wider and yet others remained shut. And yet every time one was close to despair a ray of light shone, albeit for a few instants. And that is how we managed to purchase our land, get our proposal vetted by international consultants, and even found a likely investor who promised the earth but has been ominously silent. And yet I refused to give up hoping that some light would shine on us again. I was driven. Planet Why had to see the light of day.
But then slowly better sense seeped in and I felt it was time to take stock and look at alternatives. It was decided to make 2011 a watershed year. If nothing were to happen by 31-12-11 then we would slowly lay planet why to rest and work on different alternatives and feel grateful for what we have.
So all hubris lies forgotten and as a dear friend so aptly wrote in a recent mail: Many dreams that we have take time - at times a long period - to come to fruition. I guess time is running out, and God seems to have withheld his Miracle till now. But till D-day, let's continue to bear faith and look for other ways out. Much has been invested into realizing Planet Why but I hope you don't feel demoralized by the current difficulties, because let's not forget that the everyday operations of the Project is still uplifting hundreds of children out of poverty. Planet Why could well be the epitome and we pray for the day it stands in front of us, but before that day arrives we know the Project is still true to its core duty and beliefs. And for that, I think we have every reason to continue being grateful and strive on with resilience, faith and tranquility.