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Over the past years we have had many volunteers from the world over. Each has been special in his/her own way and left precious memories. Some however have done more! They simply walk into our hearts. One such soul is Jon.
He landed in our lives in late March and it was as if we had known him all our lives. His endearing ways won us over in no time. True he did have a raw first week courtesy some unavoidable circumstances, but those blew away once he moved to my house and for the days to come, nothing was the same as everything was touched by the magic of Jon West or should I say Best!

In his introductory mail Jon had stated he would like to stay for at least 1 month although I am flexible on dates and length of stay. The month turned into almost six. Jon did not take long to chose his place at pwhy. He decided to work with the special children and it was mutual love at first sight. Jon Bhaiya was adopted by one and all in no time. It was as if an old friend had returned home.

For the past 5 months Jon has been intrinsic part of the pwhy special class: be it the morning exercises, the classroom activities, the dancing sessions or simply the giggling ones. On the rare days he has been away, often nursing a bout of Delhi belly, the children never failed to ask why their Bhaiya had not turned up. I dread to even think about what will happen when he leaves next week.

There is also another side of Jon Bhaiya, one I have had the privilege to discover over time and that is his humane and sensitive nature. We have shared many special moments be it on our daily auto rickshaw ride to pwhy in the mornings or over a cup of tea in the evenings. I often found myself sharing my worries and angst or simply life thoughts. He not only gave a patient hearing to the ramblings of an old biddy but often helped me resolve my apprehensions and find my way.

Project why has been and is a very lonely journey. Loneliness is oft the price you have to pay to be on the top. You need put up a brave face, have a ready smile at almost all times, and find the required answer each time a question comes your way. And though you manage a mean show day after day, you too need to sometimes hop off the spinning wheel and recharge your used and overused batteries. That is when people like Jon are God sent!

We will all miss Jon West, I more than others!

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To the manor born