Visiting a new city is like meeting a new person. From the moment I land, I am in conversation with everything I see or encounter. To me, it’s more than just checking off something from my bucket list. When I am there I want to make the most out of each moment. It feels like the city says to me, please don’t go, not yet, there is still so much to see and talk.
Shimla! Was always on my wishlist. And finally getting to visit was a dream come true. Sharing a few pictures from my recent visit.
Despite of all the rush, happy to have found opportunities to go back to my childhood memories.. Counting the little chicks, or chasing them alongwith Grandma.. Life was so careless back then, though it’s only now we realize.
“Me, I wanted to live up to my name and be happy. That’s not to say I wasn’t annoyed, but everyone should have a bird singing inside them as well as a crow cawing” 🐦 🎶 😊
~ Happy Liu
From Happy Dreams
A Novel by Jia Pingwa
Last month I got an opportunity to participate in several events organized as part of our company’s Community Impact Month.
One of which was a session for the budding women entrepreneurs from rural background. The objective was to provide them an overview on the ways they could promote their products through e-commerce. There was an overview on Paytm, Netbanking etc. Post introductory session we dispersed into groups with each volunteers leading one and showing the practical aspects of the session.
I sat down with a group of seven to eight women from different age groups. This was my first experience of this kind. I took my phone and assuming they know about smart phones, started showing them the different apps.
Before I could go any further they all had a reason to share why this learning wasn’t fruitful for them – some didn’t own a smartphone, some didn’t even had their bank accounts, some belonged to traditional families that didn’t allow girls to go out fearing the society, no one knew how to create an email account or access the internet.
So what was supposed to be a practical session for them turned out to be a motivational speech. Instead of showing them the apps, I convinced why it was important for them to invest in themselves. All the women came from different backgrounds and had their own struggles and thus it was important to let them know that it is ok to spend some on self to buy a phone. At the end of the day it makes you feel independent, more confident and connected to the world.
To all my comments they repeatedly said it was not in their budget. I just had one question for them, “Where do you manage to get all the money on your child’s wedding day? Isn’t spending on a phone much less than that?”
They were dumbstruck. They did not have an answer and agreed that I was right. All of them promised to take these learnings and bring them into action.
I spent almost an hour with two batches. I don’t know where those words of wisdom came from. But when they blessed me while leaving, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I came back energized and content with what I managed to give back to the society in a simple form.
At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, we had to be ready for the assembly that started with prayers followed by announcements, news and prayer requests. I remember being dropped by our school bus half an hour early to the school time that allowed us to take copies from our friends to finish our homework before the school day started. There was always a sense of urgency to finish them on time as we never wanted to get those red remarks in the school diary.
At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, the entire school stood still because it was time for prayers. From a very young age, I was always attracted to a conversation with the Invisible, but standing alongside 60+ students with joined hands never gave me that feeling of being prayerful.
“Make me an instrument of your peace”, used to be a frequent song played during the prayer time. I loved this song, I still love this song – but probably I never understood the deeper meaning of it until later when I heard it on YouTube recently. It took me back to the memories of my school. Looking at where the world is heading into – constant chaos, hatred, destruction, and distrust – each of the word adds so much meaning. If there would have been something called a “World Anthem”, I would have proposed this song for the same.
There are so many forms of the Divine and there are so many places where we hope to get that divine experience. And I can’t agree more to this, no matter where I go, the peace and the divinity exists in our hearts.
It’s our heart that makes us compassionate for others’ needs and leads us to giving a life changing experiences to people through our deeds. And most importantly, our heart deserves some love as well. It is okay if we can’t be like that “someone” who seems to be good at everything.
Take a pause, look inside yourself and see what makes you happy. And just go for it. The problems, the pressures, the comparisons – they are all going to stay there. But for sure, it will not touch your heart.
Stay happy, Stay blessed!