Six years ago a supporter and friend asked me the following question: Excuse me saying this, but why don’t you sell this house.. imagine how many heart surgeries it would sponsor. I answered the question then to the best of my ability stating that liquidating an asset, no matter now big was against the essence of pwhy. The question was disturbing to say the least and remained in my mind. Yesterday a very young volunteer asked me a similar question. His was perhaps less direct as he wanted to know whether I felt guilty staying in such a large house after seeing the conditions in which the children of pwhy lived.
Six years later I was on the rack again and though I gave him an answer I hope sounded sincere, I realised the need to address the question once again as I presume it is one that undoubtedly comes to many minds but often remains unsaid. Yes I live in a big house, this is an indubitable fact. The house was built by my parents and being their only child it came to me with a rider though. It was to be in my custody and then revert to my daughters after me. So legally it is not mine! But the question has a deeper meaning that needs to be addressed. I think what people want to know is whether I feel guilty living a privileged life or to put it in kinder words whether pwhy has changed my outlook and directions in life.
I have said loud and clear that for me pwhy is the repayment of a debt. I realised how privileged I was when I visited my ancestral village in 1983. The village my family hails from is one of the most backward you can imagine. When I visited it it had no proper road access and none of its girls had been to school. Had my ancestor not left this village I too would have been uneducated, married in my teens, grandmother in my thirties. Instead there I was a diplomat’s daughter, smothered in luxury, highly educated and so on. That is when I realised that there had to be a big payback time. What it would be, I did not know then, but that it would happen was certain.
The years went by, but the feeling never left. I carried on with my responsibilities waiting for the opportune time. It dawned in 1998. My parents were gone, my children grown and my wandering the world done for once for all! I was in my late forties and felt it was time to sink roots and redeem my pledge. Pwhy was born.
I did not know what shape it would take. Only time would tell. And somehow from the very moment it too seed, it seemed as if destiny had it all chalked out. Every step was taking me in the right direction. When friends and well wishers tried to put a spoke in the wheel proclaiming that the task at hand was too huge, I retorted that all I wanted to do was change life.
But I am not here to tell the pwhy story. We are talking of guilt. Honestly I do not feel guilty about having a big house. It has been part of the plan. It is something I cannot change so I humbly accept it. But things have changed for me. And the biggest change has been that for the first time in my life I feel complete.
What has changed for me is that I am humbled each and everyday. Humbled by the love and generosity that has come my way, humbled by the miracles I see unfold, humbled by the love I am given in ample measure.