Tag Archives: hope

I am alive.

 

This is an email I sent to every single contributor to Project Hope on January 12, 2014, the first year anniversary of Hope.

 

 

Hi,

A very happy new year to you!
Today is a special day. It is the first year anniversary of Project Hope. What better day than this to write to you and share what we have accomplished. Nothing of this would have been possible without you. Thank you.
A few of you wrote to me in the earlier months asking my whereabouts. So here it is.
Five months, one full term and 15 kgs lighter I must say I am doing pretty good! Although I don’t have any major update at this moment as grades for the three essays from the first term are yet to be announced. Yes, I am not in the best of situations but nothing ever goes as per the plan. I really wish I could devote less time thinking and planning expenses as the money is woefully short. In my previous emails I did mention about the forex rates hitting my budget hard but this is worse than I imagined. But this isn’t anything that can’t be tackled. I am doing everything possible to make it work and will sail through. Just that, as I said, I wish I could worry less about money.
I am fully satisfied with the course and am really enjoying it. London is pretty and on many days while walking back home and looking at the skyline I think that I can’t believe I actually made it. And I think of each one of you, your emails, your words of support and thank you in my heart. I hope you get the hiccups on a regular basis.
I will write again by the end of this month updating about the grades for the first term.
Cheers!

This is it. Day Zero.

This is an email I sent to every single contributor to Project Hope on September 8, 2013.

 

Hi,

I fly to London tonight.
To be honest, there was a point in the past month when I thought that this email will never happen. But here it is.
Thank you once again. In its truest sense believe me that this wouldn’t have been possible if not for your unconditional support. I am overwhelmed by your love. Definitely my past life’s karma is paying me off.
After being in touch over the past months I am sure you have realised how dramatic I am (cues in some Gothic music), hence I am christening today as Day Zero.
This is where it begins.
Cheers!

 

At What Cost?

This is an email I sent to every single contributor to Project Hope on June 20, 2013.

 

Hi,

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.)

Moving on.

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.

Regards

Project Hope in The Hindu

Project Hope in The Hindu.

Project Hope in The Hindu.

Mid-Day’s story on Project Hope

Mid-Day's story on Project Hope

When the news-writer becomes a news-maker.

Bajaj Capital just offered me a 0% interest loan!

Bajaj Capital just offered me a Rs 15 lakh loan on 0% interest rate. That’s right, you read it correct. 0%.

Is there a catch? Of course there is. Do I know what the catch is. Of course not, I don’t know.

I don’t know how these schemes work. And they way the agents sell the plans its just impossible for a naysayer like me to read between the lines.

Anyway, so here is the deal the agent tried to sell me on the phone:

For example if I go ahead with a Rs 5 lakh loan with 10 year repayment I will be paying Rs 50,000 every year.

Bajaj Capital will invest the loan repayment EMI in a life insurance policy which will have a maturity of Rs 9.60 lakh (This is where the locha is). This entire money will go to the company.

Since Bajaj will get Rs 9.60 lakh at the end of the maturity they don’t need to charge me any interest rate. Hence, I get the loan at 0% interest rate and Bajaj still makes its money on the life insurance policy.

Now I want someone to explain how this works and what is the catch.

Project Hope. Day 2. The commitment.

If love could be measured by the money I received today even a Rumi poem would have fallen short by a mile.Two absolutely beautiful souls contributed Rs 1 lakh. And the emails I got did swell me up a lot. But this is a day to make a commitment. A commitment to give back.

I faced a couple of issues relating to my genuineness and keeping some of the identities anonymous. I am glad some of you asked questions and were satisfied with my answers. One thing I wanted to make very clear since some of you had this query. The total course fee is around Rs 22 lakh. I have half of it sorted through a bank loan and my personal savings. Its the rest that I am trying to raise through Project Hope.

Some of you said you don’t want your names to put up on a public forum. Fair enough. I deleted all names from the public file.

Some of you said you don’t want the money back. In normal circumstances I would have used it to build a fresh corpus to see the world but that can wait.

The amount of love and support I have received is simply unparalleled. This has emboldened the thought that if you set out to achieve something people will come forward to help.

A few emails were from people who are in the same boat as me and yet contributed. I just can’t thank them enough.

The last time I said so many “thank yous” was on my engagement day! That did not survive. This will.

Its time for a commitment.

In approximately four years from now I will match the money I am able to raise through this Project Hope in the coming three months. That corpus will be used to fund education of people like me.

Say Yes! to Project Hope.

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