Deepak Ramola, Founder & Artistic Director of Project Fuel, speaks to Sonali Pimputkar about the life lessons he has collected from Project Fuel
‘Find beauty in simple things’, ‘Acceptance is liberation’, ‘Be willing to seek help from others’. These are not inspirational quotes by spiritual leaders or visionaries. Instead these are life lessons collected by Deepak Ramola, Founder and Artistic Director of Project Fuel. The project takes ‘life lessons’ from people like you and me and further documents it to turn them into activities to pass on the learning. So far about 50,000 life lessons have been collected and more than 60,000 lives have been impacted.
Q- What got you in the quest of looking for life lessons?
There are multiple factors that affect a person’s life, for me it came from two sources. Firstly from my mother, despite being a school dropout she gave me a lot of insights about life. As I move ahead in life I realised that these lessons need to be documented as they contain wisdom.
Secondly, so many people have said to me that they don’t have time to contribute to the society. It’s not like they don’t want to but lack of time and resources doesn’t permits them to. So I thought of sharing their messages, their life lessons to the society.
Q- Which has been your most important lesson until now and who has it come from?
It changes every 10 minutes. I am getting dozens of life lessons every hour. My current favourite is ‘Try to relate to everyone with a sense of humour’. This came from a woman from London who was volunteering at Project Fuel’s refugee camp in France.
My other favourite is from Bhairav Nath Shukla, Manager of Kashi Labh Mukhti Bhawan – a place where people in their final days take refuge to find peace, in Varanasi. The lesson says ‘You don’t break ties with people; you break ties with the thought they produce’.
Q- What do you have in store for Project Fuel?
Project Fuel’s next campaign is to collect 1 million life lessons by December 2017. If you have a life lesson to share go to Project Fuel’s website and submit it there.
Q- How was your experience on penning a song for Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar in Wazir?
That was a brilliant experience. Of course, there was a lot of pressure as the song portrayed the friendship of Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar. Both the actors belong to different generations, both of different age and essayed quite a different friendship. It is like a dream coming true.
Q- You are a lyricist, an actor, a journalist, a script analyst, an educator and founder of Project Fuel. What’s next on your bucket list?
It has already been a lot of jobs now. My next focus is to write a really nice book which people can carry along. The book is expected to come out in 2017.
Q- We know that wherever you go, whoever you meet, there is one constant question ‘What is your life lesson’? What if today I ask you the same question?
I would say ‘Share your story as often as possible, as many times as possible and with many people as possible’.