“The problem with a happy dream is that it ends!” I told Lulu, my parrot. He glanced at me took a bite of a raw mango, fluttered his wings and descended on the Frangipani plant.
“Well, nothing is without an end. I guess you are referring to your term as President of Rotary Club of Thane Metro.” Parrots are very perceptive birds. They understand the context immediately.
“Let me tell you a secret. I always desired to be President of my Rotary Club. So I was happy when I took over as President last June. But realisation of what it entailed shook me.”
“Awareness of responsibility is like a mild electric shock! You wanted to build five check dams and you declared it to all before taking over the reins. Did you do that without realising what it meant as work?”
“Actually I did! Looking back it sounds so foolish!! I was relieved when Lord India Private Ltd. agreed to sanction funds to build two. Rs 11.50 lakhs! I knew that Vilas Dhavale, the MD,
would support me but this amount was a pleasant surprise. It included cost of drilling two bore wells too.”
“But check dams are built after October. I wanted to do a major project to begin with in July. A big event creates energy. Hemant Mondkar understood this and donated two lakhs for the e-learning project. Mind you, I had not asked, he offered the funds. With his help and with some available funds we donated two integrated e-learning computers to two village schools.”
“You had done survey of five locations. The situation in villages on water availability is so bad that it brings one to tears. And these villages are not even a hundred kilometers away from Mumbai.”
“Yes, Lulu. We began our work on check dams in November and inaugurated the dams in January. Wow! What an event it was. Villagers were very happy. They asked us to drill two bore wells which also we did. And I had another big shock, actually a big surprise.”
“What’s that? Did you stumble upon a gold mine while digging?”
“Yes. Not literally but figuratively. I was speaking to Jalaj Dani. During our casual talk he offered to finance solar power systems for the two village schools. It was such a pleasant shock for me. I had not asked for it. He offered on his own a good kitty of Rs 15 Lakhs only on learning that I was the President of my Rotary Club.”
“Wow! Sometimes things just work for you” Lulu said as he picked up a frangipani flower for me.
“And the same happened for our bicycle bank project. Hemant Mondkar again offered Rs.1.60 lakhs to do the project. Then two friends also donated a good amount. I don’t know what to say, I am puzzled by these developments.”
“What do you mean? They were happy developments, what’s the puzzle?”
“I did not ask for funds, but I needed to realise my dream. And the funds poured in. In all cases the funds were offered by donors on their own. How does one explain this? Don’t tell me the-universe-conspires theory.”
“What’s your explanation?”
“I think some unknown entity did it through me! What explains people offering monetary help without being asked? These projects have touched so many lives in school, in villages…..” I looked up at the frangipani flower. It had never looked so beautiful.
“That is a good theory. Plausible. That entity is not unknown! It will reinforce your belief in the superpower. And…..” Lulu hopped on to a twig closer.
“It will also make you humble” Lulu said winking at me.
“Oh, shut up!” I said.
Vivek S Patwardhan