What makes you smile? #SpreadingSmile

Smile is contagious

What makes you smile?

This article is for those who remind me that the world isn’t such a bad place

Ok! I can’t promise that these article and videos hold all the secret to a happier world. I don’t know the way to make you (or anyone) smile. I wish I could! I am not a psychologist or a scientist or somebody who has gone through all experiences of life and become an expert on this. I am just somebody who was a little bit sad one time and decided to do something about it for myself more than anybody else.

On the very first day of my personality development class, Mrs. Ann Marie Cardoza showed a video to the whole class regarding a topic which just pumped up my endorphins and dopamine and got me hooked up till now and forever. Its title is #HappinessProject- what makes you happy?

I wanted to do something like this since time immemorial but never had the guts or equipment (which I still don’t have). I tried my best, but all the efforts were futile because of my shy and introvert nature. Time did pass away, but the gush caused in me was now uncontrollable.

As soon as I started basic video editing, this was a dream project (It still is). Now with just a little knowledge and support from friends (especially Palak, who felt as high as me about this video project), I have been able to get a glimpse of what I really wanted to do. I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but this piece of time gave me heaps of happiness, hope and love. In turn, it had the same exact effect on so many people that I could have imagined.

I and Palak went through various streets of Windsor city and ask a question with four golden words and got an answer with words beyond any price. We met various strangers (More than 60, I guess) who opened-up to us, it was difficult at first but then it was just a zing! The whole experience just opened-up my eyes to the people who had been cracked and glued back together many times and people who were imperfect but absolutely wonderful and magic.

Now I find myself “helping out” others whenever I go out. With “Helping out others”, I meant something as simple as a smile or helping someone in holding the gate when entering a café or holding a luggage, asking a homeless person if they want some food. These are TINY-almost insignificant in the grand scheme of everything.

I believe that if we all did more of these tiny, almost insignificant things, the world (or few people’s worlds) would a much happier place. We can’t change huge global problems-we don’t get much to say in the big decisions made by our town or by the government, but we can control and have a say how we treat others on daily basis.

This article is a generous reminder that kindness persists in abundance, that there are strangers helping other strangers every single day, in all corners of the planet and you and I can be a part of that. #SpreadingSmile is a campaign which aims at freeing yourself from entangled life due to pressures and stresses of life. All you got to do is write down (I prefer saying pen down though) various small things which give you sheer treasure and you don’t have to look up your cellphones and laptops while engaging in these. These are the moments which are immeasurable, and no power or money can buy them.

What I mean to say is that ” You have the ability to change the world, one random act of kindness at a time…how good is that?”

So, whether this post is your therapy or little companion to remind you that you’re not alone and something to pass the time of day, I hope that it brings just a  tiny bit of happiness, consideration and kindness to those around you.


We’re going to have the most magical time.
K E E P | S M I L I N G,
T H E    | P E N S L A V E


Graduation Serendipity-Goodbye to all soulmates you found in last four years

A Pic Of Friends

Farewell, Adieu, Sayonara, Alvida & Adios- All these words have the same meaning- Goodbye for the last time, but these are not just words, these are the emotions, these are the feelings from which no one can run away.

The most sentimental place on earth for any graduate student will be a railway station or an airport because this is the place from where you leave your college or move on to a next destination. You are all going to dip your toes into adulthood, real adulthood, and this separation is part of it. We’re not going to live five-person flat anymore where empty bottles of alcohol proudly line up the walls of the balcony and mismatched furniture sits happily together in our second family rooms- our little messy, hectic, chaotic yet beautiful room.

Some of you are going to be in my wedding. Some of you are gonna be godparents or even God grandparents of my children. Some of you will fade away from my life slowly and slowly not because you want it but because life will get in the way. Some of you, I will never see again after I walk away from this place.

But all of you have left a mark on me.

-Kim Quindlen(ThoughtCatalog.com)

I can’t  have all of you, still when all of this is over. I wish I could, but I can’t. Because never again will life be this easy, this smooth & this effortless. Never again I will be surrounded by you, my second family, my support system- I regret that I could not meet you better, I could not know you better, I could not spend time better while your doors were a few feet or a couple blocks away from my own. Gone are those days when we used to complete the work before 1 hour, sitting on chairs, talking all night, chugging coffee and feeling comforted as we prepare for our exams or type our assignments because we feel each other’s warm presence just an inch away.

We were never alone. we couldn’t have been even if we tried.

But soon we all will be heading to different directions. Soon we will be residing in some other part where we would have to adjust to the rough smack of quietness that hits us each time we walk in the door after work. It will be the first time that the silence will be horribly loud. We will work out plans to meet up for happy hours on Friday nights or even fix dates to meet in particular month. It will seem easy and fun at first. We will feel grown up and make our way through busy schedules and travelling weekends.

But as it always does, life will come in the way and these visits will become rare and rare, the meet-ups more sporadic. Our lives will be filled with new relatives, friends and family. New routines, new hangouts and whatnot will come into being. All we could do to connect will be tagging each other on various memes and FB posts to remember that we were something. These candid moments will bring a smile on face and again we will tend to meet up. Things gonna change and that’s okay. You can’t stay in the same bubble, hidden away from all the very things for which we came here to learn about. We have to move on. We have to grow up. We have to work out this friendship in new circumstances because things are always going to change.

What I will remember from this place is that it will hurt because of you. It will hurt because you brought me such joy, laugh, gags and pure happiness. You taught me lessons even you don’t know you taught me. You are part of the reason that I am a different person today than I was before four years ago when I arrived here.

If we ever come back to this place again, it won’t be the same. There will be eventually new buildings, canteens, sidewalks and food joints.  But most of all there will be new energy that we won’t recognise. The place we knew before will only exist in our mind. But what remains immortal will be our moments and experiences because when it exists as a memory, a connection, an energy between you and I, it is safe from upgrades, construction, weather damage, people and anything that will try to alter it.

The four years we spent together, between us,  no matter what happens, will always be here. That’s the safest home these moments could ever have.  And in this moment we are infinite.

The Thirst Quenchers-Story of Chabeel

When Sarso da Saag met Sambar-Vada

You might have listened to or watched people in Punjab as well as many parts of North India serving rose milk to travelers in highways, streets, markets and what not. Now what is this service called and what is its significance? Is it a social awareness act? Is it some publicity stunt? Is it that people have some mental problem so they are spending money and energy on what others don’t even ask for?

No, no and finally no.

This is none of it what you think of. This service of distributing rose milk, water or any other refreshment drink is known as “Chabeel Sewa” and “CHABEEL” is the place where it is done. It is generally served during Death Anniversary of Fifth guru Guru Arjan Dev in summer season.

Chabeels are organized all over Punjab and Northern India by Sikhs as a remembrance of the torture meted out to their Fifth Guru, Arjan Dev Ji. The story goes like this…

The torture went on for five long days. A Sufi approached the guru and requested the Guru to allow him to undo the burns with his mystic powers. Guru Arjan Dev told him that one must accept the will of God; not a leaf moves without his will.

All of this torture was because the Guru had declined the marriage proposal of the daughter of one Chandu Shah, a successful banker with the Mughals. When Chandu’s daughter-in-law heard about the torture, she bribed the jailor and came to the prison with sherbet and other delicacies to serve the Guru. The Guru declined to accept anything from Chandu’s house but blessed the lady for her faith and devotion.

When the tyrants did not know how further to torture the Guru who had borne all of it with complete equanimity, the Guru asked for a bath in the river Ravi by the side of the Mughal fort in which he was imprisoned. Thousands of his followers watched the Guru walk to the river with tears in their eyes. His bare body glistened with blisters. There were blisters on his feet and he couldn’t even walk properly “Sweet is Your will, O God; the gift of your Name alone I seek.” said the Guru again and again.

Chabeel marks the remembrance to the torture meted out to Guru Arjan Dev Ji and finally the relief that river Ravi provided to him. On any other Gurparv, Langars are organized but it is Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s martyrdom day when Symbolically, Sikhs setup Chabeels on the roadsides to provide relief from the hot scorching sun to travelers.

~ Source: U4Uvoice

Water not only quench your thirst but also your ego.

Water has the power to quench not only your thirst but also your ego. During the time of “CHABEEL SEWA”. Everyone be it a man with a BMW car or be it an old lady with a HERO cycle, are considered the equal and unanimous homo sapiens with genes and blood rushing in body. The same body which requires food and water to perform everyday hush-bush tasks. Here is a glimpse of my experience:

What makes you happy can never be destroyed nor created

As we know, Chennai is like the favorite tourist spot of SUN in the month of April, Chabeel seemed to be a brilliant idea. So, my friends got the permission and in the morning we started doing the preparations. All you need for this is not money but a selfless feeling of “SEWA” (service for welfare of others). I am not talking about becoming Mother India but helping others in the every bit you can afford and apply and term for this is called volunteering.

As we grow, we start appreciating little things in life which is what makes us more mature. The amazing heart melting moment when you see the destitute (the poverty stricken people) feeding their tummies with “Rose milk*” and “Samosa**” is the best feeling which gives you some kind of inner peace leaving Goosebumps all over your body.

Serving others is the means to serve thy lord, the guru or the faith you believe in.
















*Generally the rose milk contains 4 parts water, 2 parts milk and 1 part Roohafza syrup. Ice is for the effect. This is the most child & refreshing drink which protects your stomach from acidity and internal heat.

**Samosa is an Indian food consisting of vegetables, spices, wrapped in pastry and fried.

One more twist to the story was that very few people knew Hindi in Tamil Nadu, so it provided a very funny flavor to the event as we were asking people like “Waheguru ji, come to chabeel Anna(or Akka), try samosa ma ”
Many and I really mean many of them liked this very concept and volunteered in serving which was helpful to us to communicate with other Tamilians.

Autowalas, Rickshawalas, Security guards, maids, labour (men as well as women), hospital workers, students and teachers were integral part of this successful event. “Thirst Quenchers”-as somebody referred to us was quite a big compliment and it really felt good to see that what makes us smile are these little actions which defines us each day and can change the way we see the world today & tomorrow.  All which drives us to do such little actions is our trust, our believes and our faith.
I want to end this on one  quote of Buddha –

“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.”

P.S.- I am really thankful to all the people- juniors, mates, management of college who empowered this initiation and make it a huge success. If you are more curious do ping me for more details.

One for the Kitchen and One for the Soul

ONE for the Kitchen and ONE for the Soul

“The best way to live the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams Today, in every little way that you possibly can”

                                                                                                 – Mike Dooley


Let me ask you some questions. “Do you like what you are doing for living?”

“Are You happy with your current boring and tedious job which includes doing some boring stuff ?”

If your answer is yes, it is because of the reason you  have negotiated with this life and moved on with the deal. And I am not saying that it is wrong. It is the source of your income that runs your kitchen and feed your bellies. It is the funding to your as well as your family’s education and well- being. One cannot just ignore the fact that it is the reward which is earned for all the hard work done physically as well as mentally by our bloodlines as well as friends.

If you think no, this is because you think you are passionate, you know the following questions: What is the right food for your soul? What is the thing which drives you insane? What is the extent of sacrifices you can do to satisfy this yearning?

The direction does not choose you, you choose the direction

Okay, this is not a show-off stuff or provides a practical solution to monetary problems we face in our country. But this is something artistic, this is something we can just feel. Now I want to ask you one more question.

“Are you ambitious?”

Yes !

Yess !!

Yesss !!!

I think the majority, or maybe all of you will go for a yes,

*Do you see it as a good thing or a bad thing??

Good thing, right!!

 Of Course it is something individualistic & selfish, it helps you achieve your goals. Now think it for a moment: Many People you see are doing something for the society, they are not doing for their individual growth, they are looking at making and developing our nation and world a better place, Maybe you would not know.But the fact is you and I, as a generation are very selfish.

This question might not come to your mind right now as you are just passing the phase, but later on when you will do the profession you REALLY like, you will think, “Hey. I guess this is what I want. This is the reason I am ambitious but isn’t it selfish?” But when this question arises, which it will, know the answer is that even though ambition is selfish, you are going to do some collateral advantages for other people. Your ambition is going to drive other people to be more ambitious which will lead to the further development of not just the country but the world as a whole.

I am ambitious and have a goal. My goal for today is reaching out to you.Don’t dream money, Don’t dream fame- it’s not a genie. It won’t come to you.Don’t dream to become a C.E.O., Dream to become THE  C.E.O. of the company that you want.In short, be specific. Be Particular. Now, you can see my goal for today is specific, I will follow each and every footstep to get there.

It is also said that if you keep doing one thing for long enough, you become good at it. And if you are good at something never do it for free.(The Dark Knight)


With your skill, you create a market for yourself and money will follow the skill you possess.

*This whole content is percept of one of the TED talks of Abish Mathew(Stand Up Comedian)

Now coming back to the pavilion, if you are in the struggling stage, you should follow this simple idiom: ONE FOR THE KITCHEN AND ONE FOR THE SOUL.

If you are an amateur artist, you have to live at a meager income status to live your life. So it’s better to do some alternate job to help fund your living as well as passion.

One for the kitchen and one for the soul. This might sound non-glorious story which no one is going to talk about. Nobody is going to talk about what you did for kitchen, what you did for your passion will only be reflected. You will have to make some sacrifices because you do have responsibilities and family to look upon and be answerable to them.

One can achieve anything by feeding his belly as well as on’s soul

To sum up, it’s the creativity and diligence blend which is the requisite of a successful lifestyle which can feed our bellies as well as soul. We have to dream specific, know our responsibilities, being more creative than a doer. In order to step on the planet you want to live, you have to experience all the planets and the suns.