I had always wanted to make a difference in the lives of my less-privileged fellow travellers of life. However, other than doing some isolated bits of charity, I couldn’t do much as I was immersed in the hurly-burly of corporate life. But a near-death experience that my family and I went through gave me clarity.
On July 29, 2015, I was driving back to Bengaluru from Kerala with my family after attending a function there. On Salem-Bengaluru highway, our car collided with a fast-swerving Tamil Nadu public transport bus and our car was reduced to a mangled heap. All of us were pulled out of what was left of the car with various complications. After some days in coma state and weeks of hospitalisation and subsequent months of convalescence, I had time to take stock of my life. A thought soon struck me that the time between life and death can just be a second caused by an accident or a serious illness. Not many get a second chance in life and since I was fortunate to have got one, I didn’t want it to go waste. So I decided to spend the rest of my life towards supporting families that were not so lucky as I was and lost their breadwinners in accidents or illnesses and are struggling to carry on with life. I felt that I got a fresh lease of life in order to take care of families who were not so fortunate. I decided to be their breadwinner, their solace, their go-to man by being an anchor for them. But I realised that with my limited time and resources, I wouldn’t be able to help many families. That’s when I discussed the plan with a few of my friends who encouraged me and assured their support. Thus was born A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters.
Some years ago, a friend of mine had introduced me to the American musical greats Simon & Garfunkel and to their wonderful hit song, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. I was hooked to this song the very first time I listened to it. I haven’t listened to any other song in my life as many times as this one. The compelling lyrics captures the very essence of what our organisation wants to do, that is, lay ourselves down like a bridge over troubled waters. What better name could I have conceived for a venture that wants to live this song in real life?
It’s been magical so far. It’s as though the world has been waiting for someone to start a venture of this nature. The people involved in this venture keep telling me that never have they found so much meaning and happiness in their lives as much as they experience it now. All our beneficiary families have told me that they experience a sense of belonging and feel that they have someone to turn to in their hour of need. Children of such families interact with our volunteers so freely and call us to inform about their small achievements in schools, or to discuss some issues. Even our donors say in unison that they are all contented that their contributions are making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.