Ok its official: Planet Why as envisaged for over 5 years now has been finally laid to rest. This is after many false starts as I guess I was not ready to accept failure - for want of a better word. Many posts
are witness to this. I wrote many requiems
to Planet Why. I prayed to all the Gods imaginable, wished on every star and knocked at every door I could think of. But to no avail. The dream of a lovely green guesthouse built in the Indian style is now is that: just a dream. I guess it will linger in my head for as long as I live, a bitter sweet memory tinged with a feeling, however unwarranted, of failure. I have always been one to beat myself when faced with defeat, more so as my inability affected the hopes and dreams of so many. So before I move on to plan B, and reinvent a truncated Planet Why, I think I need to one last time delve into my ineptitude to see Planet Why through.
Let us take it from the top. I still believe that the idea was/is a sound one. Hospitality is a viable business in our day and times and with the increase in people wanting to 'do' something in the countries they visit, giving them an opportunity is spot on. This holds true for those who just want a safe and clean place to stay and those who would like to 'volunteer' for part of their stay. The adjacent children centre was the ideal place to do just that. So that is the business part. Let us not forget that the plan was vetted and approved by international consultants. As for the design it was in sync with the land and the building would have been as green as possible in the given circumstances. The location may not have looked ideal to some but one must not forget that land prices in Delhi are astronomical and hence anything in the heart of the city was beyond our pockets. However we chose what I think was the next best option: a location close to the International airport. Moreover one must not forget that we needed a site where we could find underprivileged children to continue our work. The place was close to several villages and adjacent slums. Last but not the least, the setting up of Planet Why would have also enabled us to take our mission one step further by providing vocational skills to our alumni.
But every thing I did was not enough to enable me to garner the large amount of funds needed. I guess a recluse can hardly get access to those who have deep pockets. I do not feel the need to recount all the promises that were made and not honoured. The fact is that planet why did not happen. No point crying over spilled milk.
I always wait for signs from the Heavens and this time I has been loud and clear. Not quite what I wanted but one that definitely takes care of any shred of hope I may have still stowed away in some deep recesses of my mind.
The blow of Ranjan's cancer has brought to the fore the fact that life ephemeral and does not lie in our hands. The true meaning of the quote: Man proposes, God disposes. I had always thought - hubris at work again - that I would devote the rest of my life to pwhy and that all others things would remain the same and hence would not need my full time commitment. One word - lymphoma - changed everything. My house of cards crumbled and I am now trying to build another one that seems rather flimsy.
The time I thought I was master of, has mutated into unpredictable spans the reins of which are held by the whims and quirks of chemotherapy and its almost individually tailored side effects. And my life now, has to satisfy itself by the tiny moments that I can steal in between. In these tiny moments I have to cram all else and thus have to make a list of things to do in descending order of importance. I so would have liked to place pwhy on top, but it cannot be so. Let me explain why. At this moment of my life I need to keep my sanity and wits intact. Everything else depends on that. If I were to have a meltdown everything I have lived for, both personally and professionally would come to nought. I realise today and in hindsight that the cornerstone of my existence has been and is my husband. The road he and I are travelling today is scary and uncertain. Every day comes with its set of demands. It is really like running an obstacle race blindfolded.
In this race I try to sneak a few moments to connect with all those who are supporting me, including you who are taking the time to read this post. And then my sanity depends on my finding some time to write, either about my battle
with the new adversary that has forced itself on us and that takes care of the anger and the pain, or Dear Popples 2 which is the Project Why story and takes me into a kind of suspended animation where long forgotten memories bring a smile and even bewilderment at all we have gone through.
One Damocles sword still hangs on my head: the future of project why. I hope it will cruise safely on auto pilot and give the time to come up with a smaller but more meaningful alternative that will give this love child of mine the security it needs.