Readers of Daily (w)rite, if you’re here, please welcome Anouradha Bakshi, my friend, philosopher and touchstone for more than a decade.
She runs Project WHY, a little non-profit with a large heart, in New Delhi.
For this whole week, she’s taking over Daily (w)rite.
Please give her all the love and attention you usually give me, because she merits it far more than I ever will.
Miracles happen every day: you just have to look for them, and see them.
A miracle is a surprising, unexpected event often thought to be caused by the supernatural. It is not always so. In the past twenty years since I set up Project Why, I have seen so many miracles that it has become impossible for me to not believe in them.
The biggest miracle came in the form of an angel who appeared in my life and conjured the biggest miracle, that of having me set up Project Why.
Manu did not have wings or a halo, far from that. He was a bedraggled beggar you would barely look at, and yet he was the one chosen to show me the way.
It was for him that I started Project Why. He taught me my greatest lesson: every life has a purpose. Manu’s was to see that I set up Project Why. Can there be a greater miracle?
Today Utpal , the baby who fell into a boiling wok and sustained third degree burns is a young, strapping, endearing teenager doing us proud in class XI in CSKM boarding school and can walk into your heart.
Meher, a toddler who sustained terrible burns when her bed caught fire and lost the use of her hands is now an impish 14-year-old who you cannot help but fall in love with.
Over the past 20 years now, whenever things have looked bad, someone out there has conjured a miracle.
When all our computers were stolen from the Okhla centre one Sunday night two years back, I was in shock. It had taken so long to be able to set this centre up, a centre that the children had asked and waited for as we did not have space, or the funds to create it.
With the theft of the computers, the dreams of over 300 kids came to a halt, as ours is the only computer centre in the area. We did not know what to do but a simple phone call was all that was needed to set matters right. Another angel; another miracle.
Also, thanks to this incident, more doors have opened for Project WHY, doors that we did not know how to open, not having the right ‘introduction’.
Our thief gave us that introduction. No wonder I am grateful to him.
Project Why is replete with miracles big and small.
A miracle is what happens when you get out of the way of yourself, wrote Brad Szollose.
I am reminded of a lesson learnt at my father’s knee when I was a child. He talked of the Big Picture we could not see, but which nevertheless existed. It was a beautiful picture with all shades and hues, but sometimes we got stuck on a dark spot. We sadly tend to forget this.
Miracles abound. They happen every day. It is for us to open our hearts and see them, embrace them. and be grateful to have been touched by them.
I am busy being grateful.
Do you believe in miracles? If not, why not? What miracle have you seen around you lately?
Anouradha Bakshi is the descendant of an indentured labour and a freedom fighter, and the daughter of a senior diplomat. She travelled the world before settling in India.
A professor in French, an interpreter and a conference organiser, she found her true calling when she set up Project WHY in the year 2000.
She is a wife, and a mother not only to her two girls, but also to the scores of children whose dreams she holds in custody.
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