Friday, April 25, 2008


I have a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. I feel blessed to have known some of the wonderful people I know. I am sure it is no coincidence that so many of them are employed by the same employer - mine.

There is my boss, for instance. I have written paeans to my past bosses, and you wouldn't think I would get so lucky a third time. But this guy is a gem. He has looked out for me, treated me with respect, trusted my abilities, and encouraged me when I needed it. When I did not meet an objective, he went out of his way to reassure me that it wasn't my fault but due to other circumstances, that it wasn't my failure at all.

On an unrelated track: I have been working for some time on trying to get colleagues together and organise a one day stint at a summer camp that this exemplary voluntary organisation, Friends of Children, is hosting. I got my company to sponsor the day on the condition that I would get enough volunteers. I started out tentatively, even sceptically: after all, Friends of Children has held its meetings in our cafeteria for years now, and apart from the Guy and me I've hardly seen anyone from our office attend (except one person who left the company a long time ago). It didn't seem like many people would be interested, but then I needed only five to make it work, and I promised myself I would find that many.

So here's the punch: I have spoken to about a dozen people, and not one has refused. Granted, there are still some days to the event, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I am overwhelmed and grateful at the response.

And this charming lady - whom I already had great respect for, due to her professional attitude - offered to donate some stationery to the camp, and even got a couple of friends to chip in.

And then there's the Friends of Children volunteers themselves. Devoted to their cause, working hard balancing full-time jobs or responsibilities at home with all their volunteer efforts, yet with their sense of humour intact. One of them, Venky, seems almost saintly to me. His dedication is amazing: I believe he was involved in volunteering almost every weekend, and he had a baby at home! I have had long animated discussions with him about their work. Now he has given up a well-paying job in an IT giant and is off to manage a programme training youngsters in rural Karnataka to make them better employable .

These are normal (I decided against the word 'ordinary' here) people I know (despite my ideas of Venky's saintliness), yet they decide to benefit lives they touch. Whenever I feel disappointed in humanity, I should come back and read this.

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