Hope you're doing fine..I didn't see any blog posts from you wrote a dear friend. Are you OK? You haven't updated your blog wrote another. No I am not OK! And I am not talking of the few aches and pains, they come and go and have never had the ability to make me lose my spirit. I am not OK because in spite of my best efforts I will soon have to put planet why to rest. I am not OK because I have been unable to raise the missing numbers we need to run and have to decide which part of pwhy will have to be closed down as the new year dawns. I am not OK because I feel I am letting down those I love most and who have given me more than I could ever have dreamt of. I am not OK because I feel the God of Lesser beings has finally stopped smiling at me.
It is true that for the past weeks my virtual pen has remained silent. It is not easy to share failure. My mind is bursting with images and thoughts I can barely control. Images of happy days gone by but also dark images of the days to come. Which children will be sacrificed, which teachers will lose their small yet critical jobs. Why was I not able to keep my ship afloat. Where did I go wrong.
The future of project why looks bleak. Once upon not so long ago I was tormented by the question: what will happen to pwhy after me? I thought I had come up with a wow solution - namely planet why - a solution filled with optimism and cheer. For some time everything seemed on track barring a few glitches. We managed the land, a sustainability report that was brighter than expected, a beautiful eco friendly model. All that was needed was the money. Yet in spite of promises and our best efforts we were unable to raise the needed funds. But we still did lose heart and were confident of coming up with an alternative sooner than later. I was still OK.
The crunch came some days back when it was time to plan the coming year's funding. There was a huge gap. Many of our regular donors had backed out; the reasons were numerous I guess though no one ever admits them: economic crunch, donor fatigue, new options. Your guess is as good as mine. We too were at fault one must admit. Had we not once again sunk into comfort zones thinking that all would remain unchanged. No point in crying over spilled milk. The reality is that things are bleak and one has to take some drastic steps. Part of pwhy will have to go. But who?
I have spent sleepless nights wondering just that. It is like Sophie's choice. Which child of yours do you execute? How do you go about making such a decision. Do you apply logic or reason when all that matters is the heart? I do not know. As I lie awake I try and imagine the almost apocalyptic scenario I will need to write. Logic says 'close the creche', most of children come from a slum where we do not have any primary programme and thus 'lose' the kids after the 2 or 3 years they spend with us. Easily said. But the moment I visualise this option I see all the little faces and huge eyes that greet me every morning with a smile that warms the cockles of my heart and makes all problems vanish. The smiles mutate into incomprehension and then hurt and I break up in a cold sweat. Logic says 'close the special section; it is the least cost effective'. Easily said again. But the moment I allow myself to wander that way Manu's gentle face appears in front of me and I am reminded of the silent promise to him and his ilk. Wasn't I the one who pledged a life and death with dignity to those rejected by all.
The tussle between logic and heart goes on relentlessly. Logic says 'cut the project in half', the heart retorts which children and teachers will you sacrifice. Whose dreams will you fulfill? Whose job will you save? The questions are merciless, unending and terrifying.
Morning always dawns after such nights. Reality bites again. The situation remains unchanged. The missing numbers loom large. How will we get through this month, and the next and the next. Something will have to be done, sooner than later unless a miracle comes our way. But will it?
No, I am not OK!