Deepankar, My Friend at Project Why.

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He helped, he showed, he became my friend,
A man with an enormous heart and an enormous smile,
A beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter,
They invited me to their home, humble as it is,
Humble I was.

A man with ambitions, with dreams, with the will to do,
He works for Project Why, himself from the slums of Delhi,
Helping the kids from slums learn computing, and he is a whizz,
As good as any well trained I.T. tech I have known.

His family’s home, a two square metre brick hut,
Atop a rickety and higgledy building,
Of other ramshackle rooms family’s full,
This family of three live in their tiny hut,
A bed, a cupboard, a broken TV, a chair, not much else,
Clean, cosy and alive.

No drinking water from dripping taps,
No taps.
No place to flushing water from the cistern,
No cistern, no toilet.
Water has to be carried.
Toilet has to be walked to,
The municipal toilet, supplied by the government,
Shared with thousands others, a block hole.

A magical place, alive with people living their everyday,
I visited for dinner, a Bengal fish speciality, served to me,
I’m honoured and humbled, the food…devine.
Outside the air buzzes and braps with big yellow Dragonflies,
Home made kites flown from rooftops,
A magical moment.

Deepankar, my friend, I miss and will see again some day.
He works two, three jobs, saving for a modest flat,
A proud father and husband,
A teacher at Project Why I am proud to have met,
Another success for the wonder Project Why.


#Project Why  #AtoZChallenge.


Day 30 – Friendship.


New friends, friendships formed, from stranger to fun friend, from tentative to laughter. A class of kids, living in slums, given cameras, a little training and taken on walks around a vibrant but poor area. A piece of real urban New Delhi, no tourists, just everyday life. Friendships born from fun and breaking the ice, the barriers, the divide between East and West. Shy and nervous beginnings, language differences, yet as a group, photography joins together, brings together and a means to become friends. At first taking practice shots of their tutor, ending up taking shots of him to laugh at, to laugh with, back in the classroom, as he takes photos of them to make them laugh too. A few short lessons, a teacher who says, let’s go have some fun not sit quiet and learn, no longer tutor and pupils but one group of friends, taking photos, together.
Another teacher, also living in a slum area, helping out, fast becomes a friend, tomorrow welcomes his new friend to his house for chai and snacks, glad to accept someone from 4000 miles away into his humble home, as a friend.
In India, as in lots of countries, the first Sunday in August is Friendship Day. Delhites celebrate in their own way, buy or make their friends colourful wristbands, made from cotton threads with little gold charms on. To give one is to show someone is a friend, to receive is to know a friend, to exchange is to bond. From adults to children this new custom is being accepted, to spend time with friends, to enjoy the friendship, to show friendship. Happy Friendship Day on Sunday.