would you give away 50% of your wealth to charity whilst alive or in your will?

I just did. That is, I pledged aloud to give away 50% and more of my savings to philanthropy. And no, I am no billionaire. I am just an ordinary, working woman. This pledge is my birthday gift to myself. It is my birthday today. 🙂

It was not a spur of the moment decision. The idea to give away my hard-earned money was made subconsciously many years ago. The fact is, life has been pretty kind to me. I make way more than I need and so I figured I owed it to life to be kind in return. To pass on the blessings. What better way could there be than to pass on what I have received. But it felt nicer to acknowledge it publicly. Like I was setting myself free.

What made it doubly right was that I was not alone in my decision. I was joined by a score of others, all professionals like myself, guided by a desire to give back. Many more are giving it a serious thought as I pen this article—fighting both inner and outer battles. After all, it goes against the very grain of our social fabric to give away half of what we own.

The promisers so far:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

the day I changed from an ugly indian to a beautiful indian

Whenever I see litter on streets and public places my heart squirms. I feel sick in the stomach. It’s just the way I am. When I was young(er) I often got into arguments with friends, and at times complete strangers, when they littered. It did not do much for my popularity index as you can imagine. 😛

For someone like me, hence, the move to India meant I had to learn to shut up if I was to have any semblance of civil conversations.

A firm believer of the three R’s— Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—my contribution to protecting the environment has been limited to following these ‘rules’ over the years. How could I do anymore? How can I do anymore? I, thus, excuse myself from the debris around me. It is the easy way out. Not taking responsibility for spaces outside my own personal ones. Continue reading

why i became a volunteer at daan utsav

Last month I became a volunteer at Daan Utsav Mumbai Chapter. Many asked, why? Why not any other NGO? I think it’s because, in an intrinsic way Daan Utsav reflects a core part of me, and in fact of everyone.

I like giving. The material stuff, yes. But more than material things I like giving my time, my effort, my attention, to friends and strangers alike. And that’s what I like receiving the most too. Like everyone else again, I believe. Continue reading