Rani got married yesterday and before I go any further this is not a picture from her wedding! So as I was saying Rani got married yesterday and needless to say I was there. But as is the hallmark of all Indian weddings, I barely got to see her though we did manage a few stolen moments while she was made to wait in what at best would be called a store room, for her entry on stage. Indian weddings are really a play in many acts where scripts always go awry and time goes AWOL. If things had gone on schedule then I would have been part of at last some of the ceremonies though I knew I would not have lasted till the wee hours of the day. It was all meant to 'end' by 3 am though as I was informed this morning, it was far from over at 3am!
The venue was tastefully decorated and everything seemed on cue till the marriage party arrived and plans went out of control. When I left, Rani was in the middle of a never ending photo shoot when every one wants to be snapped with the new couple. I was not even able to spot her on the stage! But I had seen her in her bridal gear and she looked beautiful though not quite the young woman I know. I guess she will be back to normal in a few days. I look forward to that moment.
But this post is about something quite different. For me yesterday was truly a wedding to remember for a totally different reason. Under the bright lights of this unique play one could imbibe the essence of a decade and a half of Project Why in the most wondrous manner. Come to think about it, I first met Rani and seeded Project Why almost exactly 15 years ago in the summer of 2000. And yesterday I had a panoramic view of the years gone by as I sat and watched the show unfold. Wherever I looked I saw Project Why. All the children dancing to the blaring songs where born in front of me and many were project why students. Most of the staff was present and came to greet me with heartwarming smiles. They looked incredibly beautiful in their bright clothes. Some were Project Why alumni and I could not help the feeling of pride that engulfed me. They all came to greet my husband whom many did not know and I found myself telling their stories which were nothing short of remarkable. It was a unique moment as rarely does one get the occasion to be able to have everyone together in one place when one can truly realise what a journey it has been. It was a pure delight to spend some time with them and share some good moments. Of course I could not escape the many: Can I take a pic with you Ma'am
! I was more than happy to oblige and amused at how everyone had a smart phone and was far more savvy than I. Were these really the same people that I had practically pulled out from oblivion?
But that was not all as the Project Why family crosses all barriers. It was such joy to see that two of our die hard and committed volunteers had flown across continents to come to the marriage. They made the event that much more special and gave substance to the spirit of Project Why. We were also privileged to have two of our very committed local expat supporters who found time in their busy schedule and shared this moment with us. I am deeply indebted to them and touched beyond words.
How does one explain the feeling of seeing someone you held in your arms as a new born stand in front of you as a feisty and spirited teenager? How do you find the words to express the emotion that fills you as you introduce one of your computer teachers who once came walking on his hands in the hope that someone would understand his fascination for computers? I could go on and on as everyone in that room has a story waiting to be told.
You just sit and look at all these lives you have changed, at all these women who would have remained housewives but are today in the business of changing lives. Has Project Why been in some way a dream weaver? Maybe we are, and maybe that is the measure of our success as was amply evident in yesterday's marriage celebration.
It was a celebration of belief and determination; a celebration of the power of seeing with your heart, a celebration of the indubitable reality that no life is futile, that no dream is impossible and that miracles happen everyday!
I feel so blessed!