Everytime I saw news about “Antilla”, Mukesh Ambani’s gargantuan home of 24 or 26 floors that cost some 350 crores to build, I wondered what if he had used the money to help 10000 students get educated or setup 10 sports stadia with state of the art facilities to groom our athletes or renovated all our historical sites and so on. He does a lot of charitable work as well, but somehow “Antilla” has not earned him a shred of goodwill. Then you see people like Narayana Murthy or Ratan Tata and you wonder – these guys also have comparable assets like Mukesh, why dont they build an “Antilla” ?
When we got out of our 18 lakh hole I started to buy a lot of things … then once we had enough money to buy what I wanted, the need to buy just dropped, I had the comfort of knowing I can buy the things I want. Then once our financial situation got even better to a stage where, for the rest of our lives we could take care of our living and also enjoy things that we like to do (travel, reading, clothes), the charm of money is lost. The question that I would keep asking Krishnan almost everyday was “what is the purpose of our life?” “how are we making a difference?”…. and that led to Shikshadaan being born.
Today, in the morning Krishnan and I went to OM Foundation, a school run in a village in Noida, just a few kilometers from the swanky “Noida City centre” metro station. The children that study here are from the slums and without the school they would not have probably got any education. I met Sanjay Drabu who setup OM and he talked about raising Rs. 5 crores for OM …. and thats when the thought occured to me – each of us has a different threshold of “Enough” and Mukesh Ambani’s is just higher than Krishnan’s or Sanjay’s.
It does feel odd that once your basic needs and some over the top needs have been satisfied with money – why would you not ask the question, what now? We cant eat money… cant carry it with us in the coffin or on the pyre… if the world’s rich lower their threshold of “Enough” – there is Enough to go around 🙂