A Tribute to a Stranger

Exactly one week ago, the 20th of May was a bad, bad day. My hosting providers were giving me trouble. Within a year, I had upgraded through two plans, I was on a VPS, and still they wanted me to upgrade to a dedicated server. There was a lot of harassment. They would suspend my account and tell me they couldn’t unsuspend it unless I fixed the problem. And how does one fix something they have no access to? Emails regarding upgrades were the main “support” theme.

My own money situation is precarious. Two years after stopping work, I’m at the end of my savings, with no sources of income lined up, some very expensive responsibilities and no emotional, physical, practical or mental support. There was no chance I was paying more for a server, when I was wondering about groceries. With a heavy heart, I was reconciling myself to face that this was the end of the road. The sad part was that at the end of such a labor of love, it was vanishing into thin air, without a trace. Was in a bad, bad place mentally. Other difficult things were happening too.

Tweeted some. Almost everyone who heard about the server was recommending moving to better hosting. No shit Sherlock. Hosting takes money. Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have blinked at the cost of this server, but that time is not now. Finally, I got irritated and Tweeted

Everyone telling me to get new hosting…. sponsor it or hold your silence.

That should shut them up, I thought cynically. And it did. And it shut me up when I got a response from a total stranger – Shashank Patel. Shashank who? I couldn’t remember.

@Vidyut I can sponsor to keep the good cause going on..

I hadn’t even thought of  such a thing yet. Strange, because I would have loved to get a sponsor. Whoa! My black mood was suddenly far more interested in what was happening and I asked back:

@shashankpatel That would be wonderful. You serious? I just need a good server 🙁 RT @VidyutI can sponsor to keep the good cause going on..

And he replied

@Vidyut just tell me the hosting site you require or tell me your requirement with server n I can figure it out 4 ya..n yeh total serious..

He was a reader on this site, and followed me on Twitter. I didn’t know, till I searched for this Tweet to quote, that we did have a few brief interactions in the flood of Tweets around those articles and I remember them. I didn’t remember him as a profile I interacted with, anyway. But he saw a place where he could make a difference, and he stepped in.

One week later, we’re on a new server, and things are looking much, much brighter.

I don’t blog anymore about these maintenance kind of messages. Really, I’m writing, or I’m not writing. I don’t have a schedule as such. But the site having gone down in the middle of the rush of visitors for the recent school related articles…. I thought some explanation was due, because people were still reading off the cache and asking me when things would work.

So here we are, and things are working.

More importantly, in a moment when I was cynical, lost, hopeless, a voice joined in, and things were not hopeless anymore. Why? Because he thinks artists should be nurtures so that they are free to spread beauty. What a lovely thought. Something everyone “believes in”, and like everyone, no one actually does anything about it. My own lack of belief in this was evident to me when I realized that I hadn’t even thought I could ask anyone.

Of course, its a long way for all artists to find such support, but like the boy and the starfish story, Shashank made a difference to this one.

Meet Shashank Patel. A young entrepreneur and developer of iPhone applications who has quit his job a month ago, and is soon to launch his own organization. He has a very strong code of ethics, and an even larger ability to dream dreams of purpose. In the meanwhile, he’s watching his pennies as carefully as anyone else, and still found it important to hold this space for us. He doesn’t have a website, but he is on Twitter, obviously. You can find him at @shashankpatel

A big thank you to you Shashank, not just for the money, but in showing such power of conviction about the need for thoughts like this to spread and stepping up to act on your belief when there was no “need” at all for you to “get involved”. I am honored to know you.

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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