Friday, 18 July 2014

Vol 32: Bonds. Important bonds.

Good tidings to you, Peeker (Positivity Seeker).
This week, we shall look at the dimensions and health of various bonds we create with human as well as non-human entities. So without much ado, here comes our collection.

News from the public domain


17 things happy people say every day
We become what we think, said the Buddha. Other wise men remind us that our language shapes our reality. So when a positive thought manifests as a positive expression, we create an aura of happiness around us. We breathe health into our relationships. Bill Murphy Jr reminds us of this simple ideal through an article that reveals the power behind affirmative everyday expressions. My suggestion: read it as if you don't already know these obvious truths to receive its full impact.
Empowering the "juvenile"
'Luck defines the circumstances you are put in,' says Indian American Anish Patel. If all children are given equal opportunities, will they all not blossom? Aren't "juveniles" merely youngsters who have not received care and direction? With such thoughts in mind, Mr Patel founded an NGO called Uplift Humanity at the ripe old age of 20. Because who better to help teenagers than other teenagers? Close to 70 Indian Americans traveled to India earlier this month to implement a substantial rehabilitation initiative. This hot news comes to us from a Wall Street Journal blogger.
13 reasons to love music
Quite often, when we talk about relationships, we forgot those we share with non-human entities. Like work, food, money, emotions etc. Music is one such entity. It defines us and refines us. Sometimes, it confines us in a particular mood. Here are 13 reasons why we mustn't undervalue our bond with music.
Are you sex-positive?
'Being sex-positive means respecting the sexual freedom, choices and lifestyles of others. It eradicates any hierarchies that assert one kind of sexual practice as better or “more righteous” than another,' explains one article on this idea termed sex-positive.
I wonder whether we are ready to have this conversation today. Perhaps we are expanding out of limited ideas about sex. Ideas such as what sex is, how much it should be enjoyed, with whom, in what manner etc. This futuristic video may well be pushing the frontiers of acceptability. But the question remains: what's our relationship with sex? How much does this relationship impact our outlook to life? Individuals will have to decide for themselves what role sex plays in their lives. From the asexual to the uber-sexual, we all need to be sex-healthy. Being sex-positive will probably follow automatically. So here's wishing us all a sex-healthy future, a future somewhat similar to the one depicted in the above video.

This happened to me

Perhaps you have heard of the Seva Cafe? It's a novel experiment in generosity, marked by phrases such as "paying it forward", "gift economy" and anonymous acts of kindness. Simply put, participating joints (usually a restaurant, cafe or any other kind of eatery) will host a Seva Cafe on a given Sunday, without warning, and invite random customers to experience an atmosphere of pure giving and pure receiving.
Since 2012, I've been privileged to participate in a few Seva Cafes as a volunteer (and occasionally, as a customer) because my good friend Susheel's restaurant Vriksh pioneered the concept in Bangalore. Last Sunday, Seva Cafe was hosted for the second time in south Bangalore. This time, the venue was a newly minted vegan joint called Paradigm Shift.
The morning began with a misty drizzle and the serendipitous lack of traffic on the roads of Koramangala. Sundays in this busy suburb resemble classrooms during summer vacations. All the loveliness intact but not an ounce of hoopla!!
I reached Paradigm Shift a tad late and was immediately embraced by a infectiously enthusiastic gang (yes, gang) of fellow volunteers. Here's a representative sample of those lovely folks:

  • A "clown" who entertains patients in hospitals, the Elderly in geriatric homes and other ecosystems that can use a hearty cheer.
  • An educator of special kids who also happens to be a theatre enthusiast, singer and ace student.
  • A businessman who seldom misses a Seva Cafe because he sees bigger gains in generosity than profits.
  • A wine-maker who distills the good stuff from fruits, vegetables and whatnot. At other times, she teaches Life Skills.
  • A passionate photographer who spends his weekdays as a techie.
Again, this is just a representative sample. Barring a few old hobos like me, most of the volunteers were in their early twenties. Over the next few hours, I watched these young people coordinate seamlessly in an envelope of chaos. I had the luxury of being a spectator because, having sliced off a small portion of my thumb with a machete during a procession of chopped vegetables, I was less than useless as a worker.
The meal was prepared with zeal, consumed with gusto and then the music, which began early in the midmorning, attained a tempo that can only be termed magical. Every guest stayed back to soak in the vibe. Soulful numbers and old ad jingles were sung with equal panache. Nightclubs cannot replicate such a frenzied mood in their dark environs even by paying top dollar. But here, on this rain-filled Koramangala rooftop, strangers bonded like lifelong friends. Smiles and hugs were the currency of the hour.
I felt humbled by my young fellow volunteers. What would I have given to have their sense of purpose and optimism when I was their age! Once I shrugged off my envy, I knew one thing for sure - with such brilliant and kind people in our midst, the future of India is in good hands.
When I bade goodbye to Paradigm Shift, my lips moved in a prayer of thanks.

In conclusion


I must add a negative note here. I want to point out that during the week that an innocent 6-year-old's body was violated by beasts, elsewhere in the same city, wonderful things were happening. Perhaps the world can notice Bangalore for not just the wrong reasons this week.
As always, do write in with your feedback, story ideas and personal anecdotes. You can reach us at
To read the previous volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
To read the next volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.


  1. I badly needed a smile today (shall talk on that offline) and this seva cafe recap just gave me that. Cheers n keep inspiring! J

    1. We all need that from time to time, yeah, Jay? Thanks for writing in.

  2. Fabulous write-up. Bigger, bolder, hard-hitting. Love the pay-it-forward concept.

    1. It is a trophy of an idea, isn't it Manjula? Thanks for the encouragement :)