This is an email I sent to every single contributor to Project Hope on June 20, 2013.
To begin with, there are a few who are getting this email for the first time. Well, all of you are getting this particular email for the first time but you have been getting this newsletter kind of email for sometime now and some are receiving it for the first time.
The world has changed since I last wrote to you. And it has changed a lot. Do we change with the changing times or should we act like the stiff tree and stare at the risk of being uprooted?
I started Project Hope in January. The weather was pleasant back then. So was the journey. By March, Mumbai was scorching hot and incidentally the well of Project Hope began to dry up. Everyone waited for the monsoons. Project Hope, too, waited. It arrived. By now the weather and Project Hope were tied to each other’s fate. What followed was torrential rains. We are in the midst of it. How could Project Hope not react to it?
In January, the rupee to a pound was at around 82. I budgeted at 86. Today, pound closed above 92.
What does this mean? This means that my entire expense of 23,000 pounds goes up by Rs 20,000 each time the pound gets stronger by Re 1. If I was spending Rs 19,80,000 when pound was at 86, I am spending Rs 20,00,000 when the pound reaches 87.
Currently, one pound costs Rs 92.
At this point in time I am forced to rethink. Is this too expensive? Is this even a valid question? Am I acting plain stupid now?
The cost-benefit analysis clearly is against this. But I am glad I am not good at this cost-benefit analysis. The returns on imagination is far greater than any the numerical projections.
To some this might look like my plea to ask for more money. I am not asking you for any more money. ‘From the burrow I fell. To the Earth’s core. I did not burn. I got stronger. For I was sand before.’ (Sorry, couldn’t help at trying my hand at a few lines. Clearly, poems are not for me. Also, chemistry is not one of my strong points.)
Although a couple of days ago I did tweet about restarting Project Hope but aborted that plan. Coming back to Twitter to find this money somehow felt like a dent to my credibility. Now you may ask that I am whining about rupee-pound on Twitter all the time. “Yeah, I am working on it,” I would say. Habit of 26 years won’t go in a day. Bear with me.
With this email, I am apprising you of the current position of Project Hope. Turning back from here is not an option. I am not turning back. We have found Rs 24 lakh and this rupee volatility is not going to stop us.
Once again, thank you for being part of this extraordinary journey. My next email to you will be of the visa stamp.