For the past months now I have been on a kind of sabbatical, one I did not really ask for and definitely did not want. Ranjan's cancer has altered my life in more ways than one, some for the better, some for the worst but all in the game I guess as life's journey is not always what we would wish for. Anyway one of the downsides is the fact that I am not as present as I would like to be for project why. I guess I could find the time if I did not have to battle my own demons and need to have a new kind of parallel personal life to the one that has made me into a poor ersatz of Florie Nightingale! But I do get my glimpses into my dear project, albeit indirectly and surreptitiously. It could be a picture I am asked to download or bribes of a conversation when my core team drops in. So this post is dedicated to the children of project why and their incredible spirit.
It is Diwali soon and as every year my very special kids are painting their diyas. This is one of their ways of earning a little money and celebrating Diwali together. To many of you the diyas in this picture may look shoddy but when I tell you that they have been painted by children who have a wide range of disabilities where some can barely hold still, let alone hold a paint brush without shaking, they take on a whole new dimension. These diyas are lamps of hope and love. Each one is painstakingly crafted by our kids in the expectation that they would all be bought. For them this is a matter of being recognised and accepted by the very people who think of them as hopeless. They are heart broken when no orders
came by. I guess everybody does not see with his/her heart!
But believe me these diyas are special as they come to you from the heart of those that people have shunned but who are the children of a very special God. The one you see in this picture was made by Manu for me the Diwali before he left us.
Manu was the quintessential example of the reality that no life is worthless, and every life a gift of God. Had we not met, there would have been no project why. His wretched existence was what stirred a soul I had thought dead after the demise of my parents. I guess it had just frozen, waiting for a tear to kick back to life. For a moment, after his death, I was ready
to give up but then I realised that the only way to honour him was to ensure that the show goes on, in homage to this saintly soul. I am so happy to see that once again diyas are being painted just as they were when Manu was around. I hope those of you in Delhi will see with your heart and order a few. I promise they come with the magic of making dreams come true.
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