Tuesday, January 7, 2014


12 Months 12 Points!

1st: The year 2013 started on a high note because I returned from my sabbatical as the Editor to join a Con Publisher (Little did I knew when I was offered the job to head as the Editor of a new magazine titled ARCHITECTURE & AESTHETICS in December 2012). I slogged for three months but got paid only for a month (Rs. 10,000/- Less than what was promised), no support was given by the Con Publisher and I had to cut a sorry figure in front of all the reputed architects and designers whom I had interviewed to feature their prestigious projects in the inaugural issue. I lost money, was in debt and owed money to my friends. Yes, I was frustrated, stressed but deep down I knew, it was destined to teach me invaluable lessons. So, I walked ahead…

2nd: I returned back to Wardha frustrated after three months living in Bombay. It was soothing to be back in Wardha. I had to take up a job so that I could raise funds for my movement and simultaneously, pay my debts to my good friends, who have helped me always during extreme crisis. You all know that ever since I started the “Journey of Destiny”, TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS have been supporting and helping me each year. However, in the third year (2012 – 2013) couple of the BEAUTIFUL ANGELS discontinued their support with no words… One even committed but… Well, I am indeed very-very grateful to each one of them for all they have done for me to keep walking the “Journey of Destiny”. I had to find a job before I was in dire straits. However, as destined, things were getting worse.

3rd: My Sai Baba has always come in my aid at the right moment, sending me Beautiful Angels from almost nowhere. Bollywood Director Prawaal Raman flew from almost nowhere to lend his support as one of the TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS. Not only that, he spread the word among his known colleagues in Bombay. And, when he spoke about me to actress-producer-director Pooja Bhatt, she was very kind to come forward to help and support me as one of the TEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS. However, my financial worries increased and I was desperate to find a job because only SEVEN BEAUTIFUL ANGELS came forward for the fourth year (April 2013 to March 2014). I had no choice but to borrow money from my friends to survive while I gave couple of interviews and contacted few of my known contacts in Bombay. I was either being offered too little or else, was not selected. I want to do so much but at the same time, I want to do it in a solid manner. I would rather support one affected family in a better way rather than make 10 families unhappy. I was very clear right from the start about how I wanted to help.

4th: Sheetal Ramji Barade, the girl child from Village Salod, Wardha is the first benefactor of the movement and she is being supported with a 7-Year- Recurring Deposit. Sheetal lost her father in 2007, who succumbed to suicide. Her mother, Aruna Ramji Barade is the braveheart of Salod. While I never visit the Bank for my own work, for Sheetal, I have to make a monthly visit to deposit the cheque in her mother’s account without fail. So the support continues and will end after completing 7 years (now in its Second Year).

5th: In June, the Onions’ crisis (created by none other than the corrupt politicians to loot the nation for their selfish gains and election) created a huge dent in my monthly survival budget. With the price of Onions skyrocketing to 60, 80 & 100 rupees a Kg., I stopped buying it altogether. From June till December (till the Onions’ rate fell back to Rs. 20/- a Kg) I never purchased Onions. Certainly, it was a difficult phase because I simply cannot live without Onions. However, I learned to live without Onions for six long months. It was not only Onions but also other vegetables’ prices started escalating like never before. Imagine, such manipulation and exploitation by the Traders’ Lobby and corrupt Politicians took precedence when the whole nation had received more than 150 % of annual rainfall and annual production (2012-2013) was in excess. It is a well-known fact that because the Corporate Companies refused to donate funds (because of mining scams & environmental restrictions everything was at standstill) for election to Congress and other parties, the easy way for the corrupt Manmohan Singh – Sonia Gandhi’s governance to create such a critical situation for the citizen of the nation. Imagine, while the BJP Government fell in mere 15 days (when Onions’ price escalated to Rs. 60/- a Kg), for six long months, the most corrupt rule under UPA, the prices was fluctuating between Rs. 60/- to Rs. 100/- a Kg making every household suffer. And it is more frustrating because everyone suffered in silence and not even a single party came forward to bring succour to the citizen. The woes continued but I vowed that until the rates come down to 30 rupees again, I will not buy Onions. I bought Onions only in the month of December when the prices fell after the election to 20 rupees a Kg. This crisis created problems in my survival and at the same time an interesting paradigm (I will reveal in subsequent points).

6th: With limited budget to survive, I had no option but to eat food once-a-day for most of the days of many months.  The job hunt continued with no progress at all. In such situation, I must confess I was not able to concentrate in my work in villages. Some of my blog followers kept asking me about the ground realities and they wanted to hear more about the sufferings of farmers. It is ironical and indeed very sad! Monsoon in India was exemplary this year in majority except few pockets. Vidarbha region received 150 % (as stated by various newspapers) and there were very less number of farmers’ suicide in the region this year. I thank my Sai Baba for saving many more lives of the farmers. In fact, during festival times, one could see happy farmers buying televisions and refrigerators and other household items. So it was a good year and I am very-very grateful to Sai Baba!

7th: The interesting Paradigm I wrote above was the experiment to grow vegetables in My Magical Terrace (nicknamed by an American Lady Morgan Griffith in Facebook). My Landlord and Landlady were very kind to allow me to grow them, when I took their permission. They are farmers by profession and they even helped me getting soil from their farm. It started as an experiment, today, in My Magical Terrace Organic Vegetables’ Garden, I am growing: Onions / Cauli Flowers / Cabbages / Red Cabbages / Garlic / Brinjals or Egg Plants / Bottle Gourd / Lady Fingers / Lettuce / Radish / Tomatoes / Mint / Chillies… Well, now the list is growing slowly and steadily. Over the months, I have learnt a great deal about growing vegetables. As a kid, I used to help my parents in watering the plants in our home garden, and, when I was running a modern vegetables’ supermarket (one of its kind in Hyderabad and Secunderabad) called “TARKARI”, I had learned a great deal about more than 350 variety of vegetables, which we were selling successfully. All the past experience helped me as I learned some more new techniques from my Canadian Lady Farmer friend Rachel Thoo. Yes, I exchange notes and interact with many farmers and activists’ friends from all over the world on agricultural issues to increase my knowledge about the Global Problems of the Farmers.

Cauli Flowers in My Magical Terrace Organic Vegetables' Garden

An Angle of My Magical Terrace Organic Vegetables' Garden - Tomatoes, Cabbages, Onions growing well...
 8th: The job hunt continues but it seems I am destined to live in Wardha to work to support affected farmers’ families. I am still looking for a job, so I can raise enough funds to help few more affected farmers’ families. However, the state I was in, I restricted my movements because of financial constraint. I found solace in my vegetables’ garden and nature photography. Vidarbha region has one of the most amazing skylines in the world! Every single day of the year, the Sunrise and the Sunset are truly amazing! These photographs have great international fans and I have been slowly developing my Photo Banks.

9th: Sai Baba wants me to continue working in Wardha and I am realizing this fact now. While I have tried my best to find a job in Bombay or other cities, somehow, I have had no success so far. I have been away from active journalism since September 2008 now. Most of the interviews I have attended so far, the interviewees are always shocked to know that I left everything to devote my life for the sake of our nation’s farmers, which also becomes one of the main reasons why they don’t offer me jobs. I know one thing – “Every ‘NO’ brings you nearer to the ‘YES’."

10th: The success of growing organic vegetables in My Magical Terrace has provided me great confidence. Hence, slowly and steadily I am growing more varieties. Obviously, now my landlord’s family and I will have our own Organic Vegetables throughout the year.

My Magical Terrace Organic Vegetables' Garden

11th: In the mid of December, I created “Johnny D’s Nature Photography” Page in Facebook –

The overwhelming response worldwide (600 to 1500 views per day) has been a great feeling! I created this ‘Special Page’ to raise funds for my movement by putting on sale my photographs. I expects people will come forward to help me raise funds by buying the photographs (will be displayed from next week onwards) to sponsor a child monthly. Half the amount from the sale will go into the Trust’s funds (Support 4 Suicide Farmers Families, Wardha – Regd No: E – 350) and the half will be used for my photography expenses. Those, who reside in India, and wishes contribute / donate to the Trust’s Funds will also get 80 G Tax Exemption Certificate for the said amount. So through this post, I am requesting to one and all worldwide to buy Nature’s Photographs from the bottom of my heart, so that I am able to raise enough funds to do more effective work on the real grounds.

You (In India) may send in your contributions directly to the Trust’s Bank Account or mail (support4suicidefarmersfamilies@gmail.com) to me accordingly:

Support 4 Suicide Farmers Families, Wardha
A/c No: 0509104000060330
IFSC Code: IBKL0000509
IDBI Bank Wardha
Maharashtra: 442001

12th: Last but not the least, I wish to thank all the BEAUTIFUL ANGELS (Vijay Beleri, Bombay; My Writer friend from Kerala; Sajan Mittal, Orissa; My Designer friend from Bombay; Bollywood Director Prawaal Raman, Bombay; Actor-Producer-Director Pooja Bhatt from Bombay, Manjit Singh, Goa) of the Fourth Year (April 2013 to March 2014) from the bottom of my heart for supporting me financially for me to continue the work here in Vidarbha.

I also wish to thank and be grateful to one of my very dearest friends Raju Mishra and his family in Bombay for helping me wholeheartedly with everything with no questions asked and always with the BIG “YES”! Indeed, I have been blessed to have such a friend in my life! Thank you Raju for always being there for me.  

Sai Baba bless you all always and forever!

The “Journey of Destiny” continues… OM SHRI SAI!


  1. You are doing great work Johnny by helping poor farmers. May God bless you and give progress

  2. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and wishes.

    Cuidate !

  3. The world needs more people like you who are sensitve and empathetic to the trials of the poor and those who are used by the governments and corporations. --Morgan Griffith

  4. Morgan grateful for your sweet and kind encouraging words to understand the long way ahead of the "Journey of Destiny".

    Cuidate !